Friday, April 29, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week-Bust A Myth!

 April 24th-30th is National Infertility Awareness week.  If you have suffered from, are suffering with, or know someone who is going through it now, let them know you are there for them and just listen to them.  Don't give them ideas on how they can fix the problem.  You'll only cause more hurt.  Just be there for them, pray for them, and if they want to talk, they'll talk, but if they don't, that's okay too.

  We are one of the millions of couples who are suffering through infertility.  We don't share this with many people, because although they mean well, they cut us deep when they try to give us unwanted advice, some have even been family members.  Some don't think we are trying very hard.   Many of these very "helpful people" have no clue what it is like to walk in our shoes.  We have been married now for 13 years.  We have been TTC or "trying to conceive" for 11 of those years.  It gets very lonely at times, even though we have each other,  seeing families enjoy each other,  major holidays filled with family get-togethers,  and every time friends and family members celebrate the birth of a new baby.  Some people even "suggest" we take their kids home for a week and then ask ourselves if we really want kids.  "Ouch"!   Below I've gathered a bunch of information from the web with links to some great sites.  This post may be long, but so is the journey. 

 This was written by a fellow member of Hannah's Hope Prayer Ministries, Karen Gory.  It so well written that I've left it intact.  I couldn't have written this any better myself.

April is Infertility Awareness month. You may have seen one of the cutesy messages floating around on Facebook, implying that infertility is a temporary condition, and that we will all get our happy-ever-after if we wait patiently for long enough, either though IVF or adoption or a miracle of God. The facts aren't anything like that, but Facebook messages rarely traffic in fact.  ~ Karen Gory, April 17 2011

Infertility is a silent disease. You can't look at us and see at a glance that we're any different from our neighbors. But we are.

We are the women who cannot have children. There are far more of us than you might think. One out of six couples will deal with infertility. For every unplanned pregnancy in the world, there is another woman who will not be able to conceive without expensive medical assistance, if at all. There are women who have always known about their health issues; there are women who never even imagined it could be them; there are women who were able to bear one child, but never became pregnant again; there are women who have had 10, 12, 20 miscarriages in a row; women who have drained their bank balances in pursuit of advanced medical treatments, and women who have never conceived at all.

Infertility isn't just a woman's problem - 30% of infertility is male-factor, and another 30% of couples have a joint issue, so it's split evenly down the middle. But it's the woman who will have an empty womb for the rest of her life, who will never know what breast-feeding feels like, who will never have a dramatic birth story to share in the coffee circle when the conversation inevitably comes around to what it was like 'for you'. What it's really like for us isn't something that's easy to talk about past the initial 'we can't have children'. It's one of the great conversation-stoppers of the world, about on a par with 'I have cancer' or 'my mother was an axe-murderer'.

So what does it really mean? It is a grief that strikes when you least expect it. For some, it's a monthly punch in the gut. For others of us, it's just a hidden emptiness, a wound long healed over until something pries the scab off and brings it back again anew. It means never holding a new life in your arms and knowing it will grow up with your eyes. It means never eagerly shopping eagerly for a layette... or if you already did, then it means the anguish of an empty room and a closed door, and the final grief of packing it all away and giving it to someone who will actually be able to use it. It means putting down your book or turning off the movie five minutes before the end, because Hollywood's idea of a happy ever after ALWAYS includes 2.5 children and a dog. It means that baby showers and Mother's Day celebrations will forever be for other people and not for you. And sometimes you won't be able to face another room (or church) full of happy smiling people for a million dollars.

But as great a grief as it is to know that we are infertile, it is not the end of the world. The number of children you have (or don't have) is not a measure of how much you matter. Sure it hurts. Sometimes it hurts so much I want to hide under the covers and never come out again. Sometimes I want to yell at the top of my lungs that it's NOT FAIR!!!! Wouldn't my husband be a good father? Wouldn't I be a good mother? Don't we have all the love in the world to give a child? Sure we do... but it's not going to make a difference to the outcome for us. And being angry and bitter about it won't change anything, or make my life any better. It'll just keep me from seeing the blessings that God has bestowed on me.

Life is precious. ALL life. Whether you have no children or sixteen makes no difference in the long run. You are just as precious and valuable to God as the next person. God doesn't want us to spend our lives in misery. We are doing it to ourselves. The longer you hang onto the old griefs, the worse they become. Let them go... let your tears wash away the anger and the pain and the guilt and the fear for good... feel God's loving arms around you. He loves you just the way you are. You are perfect in His sight.

We are all on a journey together. And there is something that He wants to use you for just the way you are...   ~ Karen Gory,  April 17 2011


Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. April is Infertility Awareness Month. Whether a friend, a family member, a colleague or yourself has fought through this difficult fate that MILLIONS of women are fighting day in and day this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to hell and back for the chance to be a MOM.


Here is some information from their site:

Myths About Infertility Diagnosis

by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.
The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health

Myth: If you just relax, you will get pregnant.
Busted!:  If only it were that easy! The fact is, the vast majority of individuals who have infertility have a medical reason, not a stress-related one. Upwards of 90% of all infertility cases are caused by physical problems.  In the female partner, the major causes of infertility are absent or irregular ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes, abnormalities in the uterus, and endometriosis (a chronic painful condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus migrates into the pelvis and attaches to the reproductive organs).  The male partner can have issues with sperm production which can lead to too few sperm, sperm which can’t swim correctly, and abnormally shaped sperm.
 More Myths – Busted!
Where the stress/infertility connection may come in tends to be after one has been trying for a while, and the stress of not conceiving easily may then contribute to the problem. But there has never been a study which shows that simply relaxing increases pregnancy rates. Research does show that infertility patients who learn and practice a wide variety of stress reduction techniques can have higher pregnancy rates than patients who don’t learn those techniques.
Myth:  You waited too long to have kids.
Busted!:  While it is true that fertility decreases with age, youth does not guarantee fertility. Many men and women in their 20’s have infertility. And women in their early 40’s can get pregnant and deliver healthy babies. However, if you know that you want to have children, the earlier you try, the less likely it is that you will have trouble.
Myth: It’s the woman’s fault.
Busted!:  Sometimes the fertility diagnosis lies with the woman, but it is just as likely to be an issue with her male partner. In order for a man to be fertile, he needs to have enough sperm (count or concentration), they need to be able to swim properly (motility) and they need to have normal shapes (morphology).  Other contributory causes can be erectile dysfunction or lack of libido.
Myth:  Something you did caused your infertility (you are too fit, too fat, ate the wrong food, had a STD…).
Busted!:  There are few lifestyle factors which permanently impact fertility. Smoking can be one of them, but many people have stopped smoking and been able to conceive within months. Obesity, and being underweight, are both associated with an increased risk of infertility, but losing or gaining weight can relatively quickly bring you back to the fertile zone. Eating unhealthy food can put you at risk for diseases such as heart disease and cancer, but switching to a more healthful diet- focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy products are associated not only with a lower risk of disease but may increase one’s chance of ovulating normally. Once again, if you know that you want to have children, it is indeed a good idea to look at your health habits and if you have any which might hamper fertility, such as smoking, excess alcohol intake, being over or underweight, extremely vigorous exercise habits, or a big caffeine habit, adapting healthier habits can decrease your risk of experiencing infertility.
Myth:  Infertility isn’t a disease.
Busted!:  Yes, it is. According to the dictionary, a disease is a “disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body”. Infertility in either the male or female partner is in fact directly due to some malfunction in the body, whether it be hormonal or structural.


Here is a touching video:

(Keep the Kleenex nearby)


 Helping a Loved One with Infertility
SAIL Ministry
    •    Unless you are a very close friend, don’t ask specifics such as, “What day do you have the pregnancy test?,” or “What day will you do the artificial insemination?” Simply saying, “I’m praying for you,” “We’re thinking of you,” or “Please let us know if there’s anything we can do,” are all appropriate ways to show your interest without putting her on the spot.
    •    If possible, do not surprise her by making a big announcement that you’re pregnant. While it is appropriate for you to be excited and want to share your news in a big way, consider telling her privately first and letting her know when you plan to share your news.
    •    Do not ask her any questions about infertility around other people.
    •    The childless couple may feel “out of place” at child-centered family events like family vacations, Easter egg hunts, children’s birthday parties, etc. Absolutely invite them, but don’t make them explain why they declined the invitation.
    •    Offering to ride with her or drive her to appointments would be appreciated. People often have to drive over an hour to the nearest infertility clinic.
    •    If you say something to her and think later that maybe you shouldn’t have said it, call her and apologize. It will mean al lot to her.
    •    Definitely invite her to baby showers and let her know when a baby has been born, but don’t expect her to attend those events. Besides feeling very uncomfortable herself, she may feel that her presence will make others uncomfortable.
    •    Sometimes a woman going through infertility will not want to talk about it. But she still needs to know people care. Calling and leaving a message saying, “I hope you’re doing OK. We love you and are praying for you. Call if you want to talk,” is very considerate because there’s no pressure for her to call back yet she knows she hasn’t been forgotten.
    •    Sending “Thinking of You” cards are nice. Here is an example of a note: “I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and praying today and especially over the next three weeks. As I was thinking of you this verse kept coming to my mind and I think it is meant for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope an a future!” Jeremiah 29:11. God’s plan is to give you hope and not harm. Know that you are loved and cared for deeply!
    •    Acknowledging that Christmas and Mother’s Day are difficult days is appreciated - but this is a tricky one. An example follows: at a family Christmas, my sister-in-law privately walked over to me and handed me a gift bag. It contained a children’s book with a written note on the inside cover: “This is a bedtime favorite of our girls. We hope it will be for your little one very soon! We love you and keep your baby-to-be in our prayers!” It meant so much that she took such a bold step to acknowledge our pain, but did it very privately so we were not put on the spot. She realized that while everyone else was happy and excited, we were struggling.
    •    There are lots of books on infertility and miscarriage that can be helpful. Buying one and mailing it, along with a simple note, to someone you love who is experiencing infertility would be a very nice gesture.
    •    If you know she has just had a negative pregnancy test or is having an especially difficult time, sending flowers with a note saying, “We love you, “or “We’re thinking of you,” is always a good idea.
Things to Avoid Saying:
    •    “Just don’t think about it so much and it’ll happen.”
    •    “You’re lucky. We would love to have some time without our kids!”
    •    “If you wouldn’t get so stressed out about it, maybe...”
    •    “I know exactly how you feel, it took us two months to conceive.”
    •    “You can have a couple of my kids!”
    •    “I’m having another boy. I was hoping for a girl.”
    •    “This was an accident. I didn’t want to be pregnant in the summertime.”
    •    “I can just lay in the same bed with my husband and get pregnant!”
    •    “Maybe God doesn’t want you to have children for some reason.”
    •    “Do you just not want kids?”
    •    “Have you tried....”
    •    “You’re Lucky, you don’t have to take the pill.”
    •    “How much does it cost to do......(in-vitro, artificial insemination, etc.)”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cricut Expression 2

On  April 26th at 12:00A.M., HSN and Ginger from ProvoCraft will be releasing their latest creation which is the Cricut Expression 2.  It has all of the same features as the Cricut Expression but it also has a touchscreen and it will cut images from the Cricut Imagine catridges, (but it does not print like the Imagine does).  To learn more, tune in to HSN to see what else it can do. 

My Pink Stamper is giving away one Cricut Expression 2 on Monday night.  Click HERE to find out all of the details and how to win!

Good Luck!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lighted Easter Basket

I saw these Easter Egg Lights at Walgreens a couple of weeks ago and I thought they would look really cute hanging around the house somewhere.  They also had some really cute Easter baskets.  An idea struck me!  What would it look like if I put the lights in the basket with some Easter grass?  So I put one together and it looks so cute!  These would be great on the entry table, hall table, or as a centerpiece-if you had access to a plug in and could hide the cord.

(Caution:  These should not be left unattended just like they were candle.  I've let mine stay plugged in for hours with no problems, but caution should be said.  Don't leave the house without unplugging!)

I think these could also be created using plastic eggs and a light set.  Create a small hole in the end, big enough to insert light, then using clear tape, tape down wire to keep the light from coming back out the hole.

Arrange as desired.  First put some Easter grass into basket, then put the lights in.  Add more grass, covering up the cords as you go,  tucking and rearranging as works for the lights.  Plug them in, stand back and admire your new display.

When you want to use this as an actual Easter basket, simply remove the grass and lights, fill with new grass and treats and enjoy!

What I used:

1 string of lights
1 Easter basket
1-2 Bags of grass

All for a cost of about $12.00 with the lights being on sale!

Here it is in the daylight, isn't this basket cute!  And only $5.00!

A close-up
I like how it glows!

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Magnetic Jewelry Holder

I made this for my sister as her birthday was last week.  Well I just finished it.  I've had all of these great ideas swimming around in my head lately, inspired by all of the different projects I've seen on the web and on other blogs.  I finally came up with this project and I have to say I really like it.  So much so that I don't want to give it away, even though it does not match my decor.  But I will.  So here is what I used:

8" X 8" Shadow Box
8" X 8" Roof Flashing
Scrapbook Paper
Modge Podge (Matte Finish)
Gorilla Super Glue
Metallic (push-pin type) Magnets
Buttons (from my stash)

Here's how I did it:

I removed the glass from the frame by first removing the inserts from the just behind the glass.  They are attached to the frame with sticky adhesive, so this part was not very difficult.  Then I reinserted the inserts so that everything would stay to the back of the frame when complete.  I then took my scrapbook paper and cut it down to 8" X 8".  I cleaned the flashing with rubbing alcohol to remove any grease or residue that may have been on the surface.  Following the manufacturers instructions I applied a thin coat of Modge Podge to the flashing.  I laid the paper on top and applied a thin coat on top of the paper.  I let it dry and applied 2-3 more coats, drying in between each one.  After it was all dry, I inserted the modged podged flashing into the frame and then put the back of the frame on.  To make the magnets I sanded the tops of them evenly so that the glue would have something to hold on to.  I also sanded down the bottom part of the buttons.  After cleaning the dust off, I glued the button to the magnetic push pin with Gorilla super glue.  These seem very strong once they dried over-night.  So here is the finished project.  I hope my sister likes it!

As always, just click on the photo to enlarge it.

These buttons are perfect since she likes Parisian decor!
Close up of the magnets
I wish I had two of these buttons!  This would have made a fun BLING ring!

Another close-up

This would also make a great memo board!

I had wanted to use something that would hold rings, but I never found anything that would work like I had it in my head.  A place to hold earrings would have been great also.  Maybe a wire strung across the top would work for earrings.  So that's all for now.  Happy crafting and Enjoy!

Most of my supplies came from Walmart.  The roof flashing came from Home Depot.  Different designer paper can be added to change the look as needed.  I decided to Modge Podge just so the paper would last wear and tear and so it had at least one permanent feature.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

A Law Student's Journey

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Awesome Giveaway!!! The Sewing Box

The Original Scrapbox is giving away their newest creation called the Sewing Box.  I so want to win this, but having the WorkBox would be even better since it has the most storage, I have a lot of supplies and a small house!  Check them out for yourself:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Truck Birthday Card and Making Your Own Metal Foil Paper

Our friend's second oldest son turns four today!  They had a small family only party on Sunday since the dad had the day off and all of the kids were sick.  We were invited to celebrate with them.  I started this card last month, but finished it just before the party.

To make this card I used:

Lite Cricut Cartridge B is for Boy
Cricut Expression
Cuttlebug Machine
Diamond Emboss folder
Aluminum foil
Card stock
Xyron Adhesive Machine

To make the card I first ran my card stock through the Xyron machine that basically turned my card stock into a sticker, about a 4 1/2" X 5 1/2" piece.  The machines come in many sizes and having the different sizes allows a person to not waist adhesive, say if you just needed a little piece, but all you had was the largest Xyron, a lot would go to waste.  Then I adhered my card stock to a piece of foil slightly bigger than the card stock.  I trimmed the extra away.  I inserted the foil covered card stock into the embossing folder and then ran that through the cuttlebug.  I glued the now embossed foil onto a card base.  I also found some foil tape at Home Depot and ran that through the Cuttlebug also and then stuck it over the fold of the card having covered both sides of the card with the embossed foil.  It did not look that great, but I just left it be, perfection is not everything!  The reason for adhering the foil to card stock before running it through the embosser is so that it will hold it's shape.  Otherwise the foil will just flatten upon use and lose it's embossed design.  You can also buy foil paper or metal sheets, (that may or may not need to be reinforced to retain there shape), but living where we do with limited access to craft supplies we make do with what we can get our hands on.  I then cut out the truck on the Cricut Expression using the Lite B is for Boy cartridge at about 3 1/2".  At first I cut it out at 4", but that size would only fit on the card long-ways so I cut it smaller to fit as I wanted it too.  I used some removable glue dots to adhere the extra truck inside of the card so my friend can scrap book with it if she so chooses.

Sorry for such poor pics, I forgot where I put my camera so I used my iPod.  It's since been found, but at the time my mind was blank.

Here it is:


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Card Table Play Houses

Tammy at she wears flowers is giving away a $200 Felt Playhouse that you put onto a card table.  The attention to details are soo awesome and they all are so cute.  Go check out her blog for a chance to win.  If I was 4 again I'd love one of these.  Who am I kidding?  I'd play in one now if I could get away with it!  :)

and here is her Etsy page:

My favorite is the Cupcakery for girls.  My choice for boys is the construction one.  Very fitting for this area. 


Tips & Techniques: iPod Touch

I just found a great use for my iPod Touch that my husband got me for Christmas.  The iPod came with an alarm app already loaded onto it.  I sometimes use it as a gentler way of waking myself up. With a husband who is a shift worker (who alternates between days and nights) I often wake up after he is asleep.

But here is the new way of using the alarms!  I set the alarms to go off when it is time to take medications!!!

I went to the doctor yesterday for a sinus infection and he prescribed me two different medications.  One is to be taken 3 times a day and the other is to be taken twice a day, (or every 12 hours).  I also take a thyroid med every day, and sometimes another one my GYN doc has prescribed, so taking all of those can get confusing and some should not be taken together and some should be taken with food while others need to be taken without food.  So, I started to set timers for my meds and now I'm taking them consistently and I don't have to worry about forgetting to take them.  I can even label the alarms to say just what they are for.  Boy I'll be glad when I'm better and don't have to take all of these meds!!!

Another fun use of the iPod Touch are the game Apps.  ANGRY BIRDS is my favorite  game and is soooo addicting!!!  But it's fun to play and great for long car trips, using in the waiting room at the doctors, etc... I currently own seven, yes, 7 versions of Angry Birds, four of which are free.  A few other favorites are:  Cut the Rope,  Moron Test, (use it on your friends and watch them get frustrated, Hilarious!), Cat Physics-very challenging,  Pac-Man, and a new won I found,  Family Feud.  Plus a few others.  (Many game apps are free or .99 cents.

 -I can also download and watch Movies
-Watch T.V. shows on HULU plus
-Watch You Tube videos
-Download and play other games and brain teasers
-Check out Facebook 
-Check the Weather
-Use it as a flashlight
-Use it as a calculator
-Search the internet-(must be within range of WIFI for this and many of these applications)

-Use it as a baby toy, (the Baby Piano Lite is a great app and free!),  and Yes, I have let my friend's baby use it a few times now, but I refuse to let her older two boys, (4 and 5 yrs.), play with it as they might be more aggressive and there are the two of them and only one iPod.  (If you have kids and let them use your iPod or work construction or similiar type jobs,  I highly suggest purchasing an Otter protective case for it.  I found one for my husband at Radio Shack. A bit spendy at $40.00, but you want to protect your investment!!!)

-I can even download the Cricut Cartridge Handbooks with the iBooks app, and take it with me shopping so I know all that a cartridge will do, (cause the back pics on the packages don't do them justice!)

-Use it as an Address Book
-GPS, (sort of), as long as I download the map and directions from a WIFI location

-I've also got a few different versions of the Bible downloaded on it with the Olive Tree Book Reader app, (this is a great app, especially if I need  different versions of the Bible without actually owning them-most of these are FREE!
-Voice memos
- Write myself notes and memos 
-Take and view Videos and Photos, (although not as good as my digital camera, but it's so less conspicuous and I can take pics of ideas I see at Hobby Lobby and the like
- Calendar and reminders,
 and many more!!!  Again many of these apps are free!

Oh yeah, and I can Listen to Music!!! 

The more I use it, the more uses I find for it.  It basically is like a small portable computer and very worth the investment especially if you are on the go alot.  I started walking with a couple friends this year, but if I go by myself, it is so nice to have the music to listen to, so that I can enjoy the walk and not get so bored.

So if you've been wanting one,  I hope I've given you,  justification to buy one,  new insight into some of the many good uses for one.  So save up and get one.  Or better yet,  ask for one for Christmas, or at least money to go towards the purchase.  I'm sure it will be even better and much improved by then, as technology changes faster than one can even grasp.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm Guilty!!!

Guilty of using my blog mostly to keep up with all of the other blogs out there!!!  I really do have some great ideas I want to share, but so often I'm caught up in reading other blogs that mine gets neglected.   I want to finish my blog about the flowers.  My Cuttlebug was returned about two weeks after Valentines day so that kinda blew the wind out of my sails on that one, but I'm hoping to make bouquets for our Ladies Tea at church this spring.  I also dyed some reusable shopping bags that I also want to share.  I have not done a lot with Close To My Heart yet, but hope to soon, plus I'm working on another big project here in my town, so please forgive me, but I do want to share, I'm just a bit busy and I get sidetracked often.  On another note, I have what I believe to be a really bad sinus infection!  I see the doctor tomorrow, so we'll see what he says, but at least he'll be able to help me.  I have pressure in my ears that make them hurt at times too, so if I don't go now, it'll only get worse.  So thanks for letting me have a moment of your time, and check out my favorite blogs to see what they are doing.  I need to add more to my favorite list-for more blogs check out my profile page!

Also I recently learned about One Word.  Instead of making a New Year's resolution, just pick one word to be your focus for the year.  Find out more about it here: HERE .  An addition to this idea is to take a frame, any size, some pretty paper, and then either write out your one word, or if you have a cricut, cut it out and glue it to the paper and hang it on a wall or place it on a shelf somewhere you can see it everyday so you remember to do it everyday.

Here are some creative ways to create your one word reminder: Word Art .

And a few more.  Just google word art for  lots of inspiration.