Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green & Crunchy Clean

Green is Good.

I decided a few months back to make the switch over to the green side in preparation for IVF and all things baby. Not only did I get sucked into the "popular" thing to do, but I've seemingly become an ameture advocate for all things green. Thus the green post on my infertility blog.

So far, all of my aspirations to be green have yielded the following results; Costco and Trader Joe's have an amazing selection of organic food products, Target has an endless supply of all natural household cleaners and body products, and it's pretty hard these day to not find a store sporting some adorable Eco-friendly tote bags for under $2 to replace evil plastic and brown paper shopping bags.

Up until a few days ago, this simple formula was the extent of my new found greenness.

But I hit a new level of green when researching cloth diapers brought me to an amazing all natural detergent company called Crunchy Clean. The business is ran by a stay-at-home-mom that like myself, is happy to follow the trend and care for the environment but is even more concerned with the unnecessary harsh chemicals that are being used by (and on) her family. Her about me section of her site also states that she's a Christian, and strongly believes God gave us this earth and it's our responsibility to take care of it.


And don't believe everything you hear about all natural cleaners not working. Even on my husbands nasty work clothes, all it takes is the addition of a few squirts of either Simple Green or Bac-out added in with the detergent to do the job. And for really bad stains, you can make a paste out of the detergent by mixing it with a little bit of water and letting it set on the stain for a bit. It's amazing, and there are about a million and a half heavenly scents to choose from, all phthalate free. Baby Bee Clean is my favorite so far, but I'm going to have to work my way down the list and eventually try them all!

And how could a green, all natural, small business product be any better you ask? I'll tell you. We usually purchase liquid tide from Costco, which runs us about $20 for 110 loads in our HE washer. But get this; Crunchy Clean detergent is about $20 (after shipping) for 320 loads in an HE washer.

Yeah, 320 loads. It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that comes to almost 3 times the detergent for the same price. Plus it works great, smells delicious, and did I mention it's green? Score.

Trust me, green has never smelled so good.

"Haven't you heard? Green is the new black."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pay It Forward

Until infertility swept, no, knocked me off my feet, I had never thought of drugs as a blessing.

But here in California, infertility coverage is pretty much non-existent, making the cost of the IVF process-and the medicine it requires-pretty ridiculous. I used to think a $1,200 IUI was crazy; but that was before I knew the cost of meds alone for an IVF cycle run about $3,500.

And that's for a low-dose, young-and-healthy package.

But God continues to bless, and just a few minutes ago I signed off on a package of ice-packed Follistim, which would have cost $1,500 had it not been given to me for free.

Because over the last year or so, God has sent many amazing friends my way through infertility message boards and blogging. Not only have these new found acquaintances encouraged and inspired me, but they've also given me drugs. Lots and lots of free, donated drugs!

I haven't asked permission and therefore am not at liberty to publish any names for privacy reasons, but these wonderful, selfless ladies have taken my $3,500 IVF med cost and dwindled it down to a mere $350 by donating there left over, unused IVF meds to us.

So in continuing this pay-it-forward revelation, as soon as I achieve my long awaited pregnancy I'll also be donating any of these unused drugs to other fertility-challenged friends who are in the same boat as me.

Because if free drugs aren't a blessing, I don't know what is.

"We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy the blessings of where we are now."
-From Calvin & Hobbes

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Retail Therapy

Hi. My name is Tabitha, and I have a shopping problem.

Not the standard I-can't-breath-unless-I-go-shopping-right-now problem, but more of a It's-on-sale-so-it's-justified-even-if-I-don't-need-it problem. Like when I ventured into Target yesterday for a tongue scraper and face wash, but was drawn like a magnet to the clearance end-caps. Although I tried to talk myself out of it, I ended up purchasing a travel pack of 10 Band Aids, Purelle, and a mini pack of cough drops for my purse just because they were tiny, on clearance, and might come in handy someday.

You never know.

Being the sucker for a red tag that I am, I'm absolutely helpless when it comes to clearance items. I've always come out on the other side with some amazing finds, but retail therapy still costs money in the end. So when I saw this Petunia Pickle Bottom clutch online at that matches the pattern of the Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag I want, I suddenly needed it so bad I couldn't think straight.

Originally priced at a ridiculous $87, it's now down to an only semi-ridiculous $62. Now that I've taken a step back from the situation and gathered my thoughts, I realize that I may never use this mini-travel-diaper-bag-baby-changer-storage-thing. Not to mention the fact that I don't have a baby yet and my list of favorite things changes like the wind; But it was there, it's adorable, and it's on sale...and suddenly I'm weak.

Especially since the shipping is free.

I'm pretty good about stopping myself before things get out of hand; after all I did refrain myself from purchasing the $10 Vick's humidifier that I passed by last night that I just may need someday. And the $8 gift pack of Caress body wash, body scrub, soap and a razor that would have been perfect for my guest bathroom. Wait a minute; a razor alone costs $10. Good grief, I may have to go back and get that.

Anyway, there is hope; I'm fairly certain that having a baby will fix the problem. When I get bored, I shop. But when there's a baby in the picture, I can't just take off and go shopping whenever I want, hence solving the problem of running recklessly into clearance end-caps. Because even though I'm a Ross-T.J.Maxx-Target kind of girl, it still all adds up in the end.

So I did not purchase the diaper bag clutch, for more reasons than the reservation of whether or not it will fit a bulky cloth diaper. Until my little miracle makes his or her debut, I will have to learn to be happy with what I have and enjoy all I've been blessed with. As I walk into a store, I'll hold my head high and remind myself to save my money because I desire a child more than a great deal.

Because I refuse to be controlled by a red tag.

And I will overcome the clearance section.

"May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have."
-Richard L. Evans

Monday, May 4, 2009

Last Chance

Right now I'm shamelessly downing some Grande-Mint-Mocha-Frappachino-with whipped-cream-and-carmel-drizzle-goodness.

Darn these things, they suck me in every time.

I had no choice; Frappachinos mixed with a few extra-strength Tylenol is the only thing that quites my throbbing ovaries during times like these.

Not that I'm counting, but today is the start of cycle number 28 and the first day of our last unmedicated and unmonitored month of trying to produce our much awaited offspring. Literally our last chance at a natural pregnancy before we open up that pack of birth control and jump into the medically advanced world of ART treatments and IVF.

My mind is racing. Should I even bother being hopeful that we could actually get pregnant on our own this cycle, or should I just resume preparing for IVF and pretend like I really don't care? Is it crazy that I'm actually excited for IVF instead of terrified? Do I need to call the Dr. and double check that they've ran every test possible to accelerate our chances of this working? Is all this emotional Frappachino drinking making me fat?

The only thing besides the Tylenol and Frappachino that quites my rebellious ovaries and eccentric mind is the fact that God doesn't think in terms of months and to-do-lists. He doesn't have a countdown in his head like I do, mentally checking off my jumble of tests, blood work, ovulation dates and Frappachino calories.

It's all new, exciting, and wonderfully terrifying, but it's also liberating to have faith that God knows exactly how this is going to turn out; He'll never be surprised or caught off guard because He's already written the ending to this story.

And it's pretty pointless to stress about and contemplate the future when I fully trust that God will take care of it, because the thought of God in control of this entire process is far more powerful than a Frappachino and Tylenol.

And it's fat free, too.

When through life’s darkened maze I go
And troubles overwhelm my soul
Oh grant me, Lord, the faith to know
that you are always in control.
-Author Unkown