Finishing Up the Home Management Guide

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The last really important section of the HMG is the “Contacts” section. In this section, I keep a list of our family members, including addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses, a list of telephone numbers that we call frequently (library, preschool, pediatrician), and a list of emergency numbers (poison control, police, fire etc.)

Here’s my “Contacts” section cover:

You can also personalize your binder with additional sections. For example, I have “Gardening” and “Home Improvement” sections, because we grow fruits and vegetables, and do nearly all home improvement projects ourselves. You can even create sections for hobbies, if you want to. Remember, this is your personal binder, and you can design it however you want. It will be a terrific reference for your family.

I’m sorry to say that life around my house isn’t very easy right now. Though I did complete the tax return and file it (finally–it took 3 months), I have yet to get the house back in shape after Easter. For the last two days, I’ve been unable to accomplish anything because I’ve been doubled over with terrible menstrual cramps (my apologies to the handful of men who read this blog).

In an earlier post, I mentioned that both of my children were conceived via in vitro fertilization. In fact, Cakes was frozen as an embryo for 4 years, before being implanted. IVF was necessary for us because I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease, which basically means that while my ovaries produce eggs, they’re reluctant to let go of them. This seems to be related to a shortage of progesterone, which prevents me from having regular, monthly periods. When we finally sought help from fertility doctors, I hadn’t had a period in over a year.

Then, when Cakes started weaning, my body went bonkers, and for about two months I had a near-constant period. I also suffered from severe fatigue, hair loss, and other very unpleasant symptoms. Last month, I saw a doctor, and was put on medication for low thyroid function, as well as birth control pills to regulate my hormones. This is my first period since starting on the pills, and it’s very, very bad.

I realize that this whole subject is personal and private, and also probably too much information, but I have a good reason for bringing it up. I’m hoping that somebody knows how to ease the pain of these terrible cramps! I’ve tried ibuprofen and Tylenol, caffeine, and also a heating pad. While these things take the edge off, the cramps are still so bad that I feel like throwing up.

If you have any ideas, please let me know! I’m desperate to feel better so that I can get something done. At this rate, my family will have to eat canned soup for supper, and will probably run out of clean underwear.

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Heather is a minimalist in love with a recovering packrat. 7 years ago, she and her husband sold pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down in order to pay off their mortgage, and they've been living happily debt-free ever since. They have 3 hilarious little kids who were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, and they haven't had a good night's sleep in the last decade. Heather is an anglophile who loves all things British, and spends her free time looking at real estate listings in Cornwall. Every day, she and her family work toward a simpler, more meaningful life. Some days are awesome, some are disastrous, and you can read about all of them here.

Have a question? Need a listening ear? Contact Heather, or visit Want What You Have on Facebook.

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4 comments… add one

  1. Heather McClure March 25, 2008, 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the great information about the home management guide. I’ve never heard of those before, but I’m already getting mine together.

    I’m sorry to hear about your menstrual problems. All I know to do is take lots of hot baths and ride it out. Hopefully it will be over soon!

  2. moneythoughts March 25, 2008, 11:23 pm


    Thanks for visiting my blog. To answer your question about selling my art, I do, but I now sell signed prints from my Envelope Collection. If you see something you are interested in, let me know. I will be happy to give you the size of a print and price.

    Take care,


  3. Shannon December 14, 2011, 2:34 am

    No caffeine! It’s a stimulant and will aggravate the uteran muscles that cause the cramps you have.

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