Monday, June 29, 2009

"Insurance" for Dummies...Now with visuals...

This is what my current insurance policy clearly ensures:

1.) 45 minutes is not a long enough amount of time in which to make a phone call to customer service to get information about injectable reproductive medications.

2.) You will have less of an understanding of what is actually covered, and how much of any covered procedure or drug is actually covered, based on your deductible, the amount billed versus the amount allowed (which they are not at liberty to discuss with you) by the time you get off the phone.

3.) The person on the other end of the phone will have a southern drawl and demonstrate slightly anti-semetic leanings in casual conversation. Said person will also go on for several minutes about the difference between a procedure that will get me pregnant versus a drug that will get me pregnant, and make sure, several times, that I know the drug itself will not get me pregnant.

4.) You will be broke. Because you will be paying for every single penny of your fertility treatments out of your own pocket.

5.) IF a drug is covered (which you still won't know for sure after almost an hour on the phone with said anti-semetic customer service rep), you will most certainly not be able to purchase it at the specialty pharmacy that's within your own neighborhood and convenient to you. No. In order to maybe, perchance, depending on how the review board feels that day, get your prescription covered, you'll have to use one of two specialty pharmacies that they contract with.

6.) Don't worry about #5, because odds are a million to one that your prescription will be covered at all.

7.) You will need to drink heavily after getting off the phone. And eat a piece of cake.

This is a picture of the notes I was able to take while Marilyn, my helpful customer service rep, gave me misinformation after misinformation. Perhaps you can get a sense of my state of mind---note the "our insurance is a giant vat of suck" commentary, written during one of the eleventy billion times she put me on hold to dig up some more bogus information to give me. You see the few lines in the left-hand, sideways Sarah-created column? That is the only actual valid information she ended up giving me, after calling me back. It basically says--you pay for it all. Then you get to file a claim and if you get denied, you get to appeal. Awesome.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Los Angeles--one year later.

This time one year ago, Husband, Ethan and I had just waved goodbye to our friends and family on the East coast, dealt with the logistics of traveling by plane with a toddler and two intensely freaked out felines, and were living in a hotel in Burbank. It's so strange that the cats being searched for explosives in a closet at Dulles airport, and complimentary continental breakfasts feel like they were just yesterday.

But it's been a year. And I make our breakfast in our house now, and sadly, both of those cats are dead.

A year ago, we were stuck in a limbo where packing up your entire world and moving 3000 miles away still feels like a vacation. Floating in the hotel pool, exploring the area that we knew we'd be living in, but didn't quite get what that meant, and taking a lot of deep breaths when the reality of the situation set it. I remember the mantra "It's an adventure. It's an adventure. It's an adventure." which I repeated to myself over & over as I fell asleep at night, listening to the hotel air-conditioner hum.

It was a year of taking risks and re-identifying myself. When I moved to D.C., my best friend Karen awaited me with her entire circle of friends opening their arms to me. Here? There was no friend who had come before me and done the leg-work of carving out a social circle that I could happily fall into. It was all on me. At that park, I essentially threw myself at other moms if I saw them more than once on the playground. I over-shared about our situation in Ethan's Music Together class, and said, "hey, we should do a play date sometime!" to any mom who slowed down in my presence long enough to make eye contact (if she didn't seem like a loon). I realized early on that I couldn't wait for people to make the first move. It was painful at times to have a conversation with a mom, think we hit it off, exchange information and then never hear from her again. In the world of what is essentially mommy-dating, it sucked to find out that she was "not that into me".

But I persevered over the course of this year and amazingly, we have friends. Friends in our neighborhood, friends from the park, friends from Ethan's school, and even friends-of-friends who are now our friends.

Watching Ethan grow over the course of this past year has been a revelation. How is living in Southern California shaping him differently than living in the metro DC area would? I am eternally grateful that as long as we could spend time playing in the toy aisle at Target, he seemed not to be too distressed that he hadn't seen Chloe, or Lilly, or Lily or any of his other friends in weeks. To this day, when we see a Nissan of any make, he will say, "look, mommy, a Chloe car," (the kid is a freak for who drives what--or whose mom drives what), but he never asks to actually see Chloe in person. Now, he asks for Lucy, Evie, Noni, or Penny. Or any of the friends he's met at school.

What do I miss about DC? I miss the quiet softness of the first snow and the hushed rumble and orange circling lights of the plows going by the house in the dead of night. I miss driving by monuments just to get somewhere--having such amazing icons as a part of our daily existence was something I'll always treasure. I miss the cotton-candy beauty of the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in April. I miss the wine bar down the street from our house, Tallulah, and the amazingly fun mom's-nights-out with my play group friends. I miss lying on my back at Gravelly Point and waiting for the next plane to land at Reagan National, feeling the engine vibrating in my stomach and believing, for a moment, that if I sat up, I'd conk my head on the underside of the plane. I miss the Thomas Train table at the Barnes and Nobel where Ethan and I would have a snack and play for hours. So many things. And the people. Oh, the people we left behind who I love so dearly. That doesn't get easier. All other things fade a bit around the edges, but the feeling of missing loved ones far away? That never stops, or lessens with time.

But what about here? What do I love about this past year in LA? This morning, I sat on the beach in Malibu, Husband and Ethan alternately covering each others' feet with sand, and watched a giant pod of dolphins leaping and, I kid not, body-surfing in the waves. It's hard to beat that for breath-taking. Add to that the drive through Malibu Canyon to get to the beach, the winding road through the sharp, jagged rocked canyon, and you've got pretty much the most awe-inspiring combination of earth and ocean I've ever experienced. Behind our house, there is a canyon that, while it pretty much kills me to get up (I like to blame it on pushing the 17-pound jogging stroller and the 25-pound toddler in it, but seriously, I'm not kidding anyone), is exhilarating and gorgeous and life-affirming in it's own weird way (if you can overlook the cloud of smog you can see hanging somewhere over Pasadena). I love that we could walk to Ethan's Music Together class and we can walk to the bookstore, even if it doesn't have a Thomas Train table. I love Ethan's pre-school and the people who care for him there and that he comes home talking about Devon and Nicholas and Miles and Alex and all these kids who are new in his life. Kids he never would have met had we stayed in DC.

Also? I love the friends we've made here. I think about some of the amazing women I've met here, who've opened their lives and social circles to me and my family and I think, "can I imagine a life in which I'd never met them?" And I can't. I'm so grateful for the chance to have met these people.

This year has taught me a lot. How to take a deep breath and jump off that cliff, trusting that either something soft will break my fall or something strong will hold me up. How to live in the moment and find the positive in frightening situations. Most importantly, it's taught me that "home" is not a particular place on a map, but is where Husband and Ethan are. As long as I am with them, I am home.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Paci Fairy Cometh...

"What is this", you ask?! It's our mailbox (complete with a flowering vine growing up through it--clearly doesn't require a lot of sun-light). And what's in our mailbox? No, that's not how I send out our mortgage payment each month (although I'm sure it would brighten the day of the sad sap who opens those envelops). It's Ethan's "Thank You" note to the Paci Fairy. Because tonight, she came to get his pacifier and take it far, far away to another baby who needs it (or, as you and I know, the trash-can).

A month or so ago, at Ethan's 3 year check up, the pediatrician said it was time to get rid of the paci. Looking in Ethan's mouth disapprovingly, he said, "He still uses his paci, huh?" Ugh. The moment all mother's dread. The pediatrician standing in judgment of my bad, bad mothering. I'm not stranger to it. You might recall our first pediatrician telling me to let Ethan cry-it-out when he was 4 months old and when I said CIO wasn't for us, he jotted down "Mother needs to toughen up" in Ethan's file. Awe-some.

So I've learned to take the pedi-judgment with a grain of salt, but this was one thing I really couldn't deny--at the rate we're going, Ethan's mouth is going to suck up about 4 Disney vacation's worth of Husband's paycheck by the time he hits puberty.

Husband & I discussed how best to introduce the idea of giving up the paci. Ethan is a hardcore paci fanatic. He stopped using it during the day a long long time ago, but he'd have you believe that the nap and nighttime use has been, up until about 20 hours ago, woven into the fabric of his very soul. I was looking forward to this experience about as much as I would a root canal, or a high colonic.

We decided we'd totally co-opt the tooth fairy's gig and about two weeks ago, we started talking to him about how the Paci Fairy was going to come and take his paci to a little baby somewhere who needed it, and that he was a big boy and he didn't need it anymore. I so thought he would see through that. Or that he'd say the babies could get their own paci. He's a good sharer, but this seemed above and beyond.

On Monday of this week, we decided it would be Friday, today. We ramped up the Paci Fairy rhetoric and started asking Ethan what he wanted her to bring him as a present for giving his paci to a baby who needs it. At first there was talk about something having to do with Blues Clues (this discussion happened with Husband, so I don't really know what he meant) Thankfully he changed his mind, because as it turns out---no Blues Clues products are sold anywhere near me. Does LA have something against the little blue dog??!!

Yesterday, Ethan told me he wanted the Paci Fairy to bring him a giraffe. A purple giraffe. Um. The blue dog was starting to sound good and I tried to swing him back to a Blues Clues state of mind, but he was having none of it. Purple giraffe. Okay. This is also the kid who, when you ask him what he wants for lunch, he says, "Pick up truck!!" So, you know. He doesn't always get exactly what he wants--I'm thinking a pick up truck for lunch would probably be a bit rougher on the teeth than an entire lifetime with the paci. So if his giraffe isn't quite purple (and by that, I mean not at all purple), he probably won't be too surprised.

Today after school, we set about making the Paci Fairy a "Thank you" card---if you recall in the past, I have shared with you my crafting prowess. I'm wicked crafty. I dug out the foam paper sheets, the glitter glue and pom-poms, and the letter stickers. Initially I sat down and wrote out a simple message, in sticker letters, to the Paci Fairy.

In retrospect, it does look more like a ransom note than a "thank you" card, but again. I'm not what you'd call crafty.

Then, in my best Anti-Kate Gosselin move, I threw caution to the wind and figured any mess could be cleaned up later, I let the child loose with the glitter glue, the silver glitter, the pom-poms and anything else we could get our hands on that would stick to the foam.

Nice, no?

This evening, I got out an envelope, Ethan got his pacifier and dropped it in. Sigh. I sealed the envelope and we went outside to put it, along w/ the glittery joy that is the "thank you" card, into the mailbox. We let Ethan have the honors, and he even thought to put the little red flag up.

After that, Husband took Ethan to his room for bedtime. I anticipated tears, plaintive cries for the paci, tantrums. Um. Nothing. Husband emerged from the bedroom in almost no time. No tears. Just a sleeping Ethan. Paci-free. Wha???!!!

If I've learned one thing from this child, it's that what happens tonight could be in a completely different universe from what happens tomorrow night. Or later on tonight. He could wake up in three hours and stay awake until my eyeballs are cracking, wailing for his pacifier. Tomorrow night he could do his best to make Husband and me want to stick forks in our ears to make the screaming stop. I will be giving Husband my car keys to hide from me so that I don't run out to the 24 hour CVS at 2am to buy up every paci they have.

But tonight? So far? It's quiet. And I'm about to go outside and gather up the Paci Fairy loot--a giraffe (regular old giraffe-colored, sorry kiddo), a hula hoop (blue and sparkly--he will love it) and a toy microphone (the child thinks he's Bon Jovi. I am so not joking), and arrange it in the livingroom so he'll see it when he wakes up in the morning. And the "thank you" note to the Paci Fairy? That's going in my memory book.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Could Get Used to This...

I've been thinking about what to write for the past half hour, as I sit here in Panera. I'd probably have come up with something sooner had it not been for the Fran Drescher-esque voice of the woman sitting at the table next to me, talking to her friend (and apparently the rest of the the restaurant) about some kid she knows who may or may not be a spoiled brat. The nasally whining pretty much jabbed at my brain like a pitch-fork for about 20 minutes, making the formulation of all thoughts or ideas completely impossible.

Thankfully, her bagel is consumed (though I'm not sure how; she didn't. stop. talking. once) and she has left the building. Although if I listen closely, I think I can still hear her kvetching.

But it occured to me as the metaphorical pitchforks subsided that I still have time. Granted, not as much time as I had before she sat down next to me and let loose, but still. And if I don't get done what I need to now, I have tomorrow. These three hours every day have been like a revelation. Want to go to the gym? Go! Want to write in the blog? By all means! Cleaning the kitchen without having to ask the 3 year old eleventy billion times not to press the buttons on the dishwasher, the microwave, the Swiffer-wet mop? Almost delightful....almost. Want to catch up on your Twitter feed without feeling like a neglectful mother? Now's your chance! Want to make phone calls that don't need to be made in the bathroom, with the door closed and locked just so you don't end up with a child literally climbing up your leg? Have at it!!!

It's not been all blissful mama getting her groove back, though. The first few days found me leaving the school in tears, listening to Ethan screaming and wailing, and seeing him reaching for me from the arms of his teacher. It's not come as a complete surprise--he did cry a bit at every. single. drop off during our Transition class. So I expected some tears. But the first few days were agonizing. No amount of before school, "you know mommy's coming back to get you in a few hours, right? And that you're going to have fun playing with all your friends," seemed to quell his panic as I left the room. Loud, gagging, screaming cries. That I'm sure the entire universe could hear as the clucked their tongues and thought, "oh that poor child. And all so his mom can go run on a treadmill. What horrible woman." Oh, can I weave the drama or what???!!

I'm sure the anxiety I felt about it was similar to how I felt when Ethan was a newborn and would cry in public. The type of cries I couldn't comfort or make stop. I was sure that everyone in the store or restaurant was being utterly distracted by Ethan's cries and thinking that I was an absolute failure for not being able to comfort my baby. Now when I hear a newborn wailing in the supermarke tor Target, I find myself thinking, "That's it? That's the sound I thought was piercing everyone's skulls? That's the sound I thought made me a horrible mother?! You. are. crazy."

I've always been distinctly aware of the disconnect between emotional and logical in my brain (or, I should say, "since spending an absurd amount of time and money in therapy, I've become distinctly aware of the disconnect between emotional and logical in my brain), and nothing has exacerbated that disconnect more than motherhood. I KNOW logically that Ethan's crying as a newborn didn't mean I was a failed mother. I KNOW logically now that his tears as I leave him at preschool do not mean that I am selfish or bad, or that anyone's judging me. But how I feel? How my emotional side interprets these things? Bad, bad, bad. So, you know, it's super fun inside my brain a lot of the time.

But today we had a bit of a break-through. Ethan loves the playground at school. So I decided that rather than stay until school actually starts, walk him into the classroom and then have to maneuver my way out amongst the other kids and parents, with Ethan trying to follow me, hold on to me and screaming for me to stay (good times!), I would simply leave him while he was still on the playground.

My hasty retreat was facilitated by the fact that I was wearing my scrubbiest of gym clothes and the thought of being seen by too many sets of eyes was just mortifying. I've never felt judged by the moms there for what I'm wearing or how I look or what I weigh (they are not those moms by any means), but seriously--I was judging myself for how I looked this morning---pig-tails, Husband's old t-shirt, capri-length gym pants--I was a black and grey stay-puff marshmallow. Not fit to be seen by anyone who had bothered to run a brush through their hair.

So when we got to school, I sent Ethan over to the slides, ran into the class room, signed him in and told the teacher I was leaving. I went outside, gave Ethan a big kiss and told him I'd see him later.

(just an aside--I am so distracted right now by a woman sitting across from me that I KNOW is some sort of celebrity/actress, but I cannot place her for the life of me. I hate when that happens).

And what do you know? The child smiled, said, "Bye bye, mommy!" and went back to 'driving his car' with his friends.

That. was. it. Well, that and the clouds parting to sunny skies, and the angels singing and playing harps and whatnot.

So we shall see. I have, in fact, run out of time for this morning and have to go pick up my little man from school. But I'll have three more hours tomorrow. I could definitely get used to this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Overthinking it. Really?! Me??!!!

So here I sit, in Panera. yogurt and bottled water at my side (oh, bagel and coffee how I miss you, my loves), listening to some LA-types discuss the biz in the next booth over (there is always someone here trying to make a deal, close a deal, bragging about a deal--all just loud enough that you can hear them 2-3 booths over).

Ethan's in preschool. I'm basking in the "summer of Sarah". Except.

It occurred to me last night that it has begun. School. Schedules. Alarm clocks. Drop-offs & pick-ups. We've catapulted out of the world of baby and toddler, and into the world of kid. From now on, Ethan's life will be spent, at least for some portion of the day, away from me. In someone else's care, and with someone else's agenda. This? Makes me a little sweaty.

It's not that I dont' trust that we've picked a great preschool for him. It's not that I think he won't love being with his friends and learning new things and having these new experiences. It's the abstract, intangible "that part of my life is over--my baby's really, really not a baby anymore" type of thing that keeps catching in my throat.

I've spent a lot of the past 24 hours thinking about the days when Ethan was a newborn, and a colicky, pissed-off-at-the-world infant, screaming, wailing, railing against everything around him. I remember thinking, as I bounced him until my back was numb, that this was my life. This was all I'd ever do. Fifty years from now, I'd still be standing at that window, looking out and watching cars and people I didn't know go by, as I bounced, bounced, bounced my red-faced, angry baby. I know I'm not the only one who has felt that--I've talked to lots of moms who also carried around the sense, illogical as it is, that their lives would be comprised of 2-am feedings and that they'd never get to sleep alone, shower or pee with the bathroom door closed, or think about themselves first and foremost for even a few fleeting moments, ever again. But what do you know? Time goes on, and all of those things fade; all the phases end and make way for new ones. My silent mantra "this, too, shall pass", which filled my head while Ethan, wrapped in a swaddle and wailing, cried in my arms, turns out to be true after all.

Yesterday, before picking Ethan up from his first day, I sat in my car in the parking lot and watched him on the playground. He was going up and down the slide, playing in the sand and having a little conversation with one of his friends. As happy and relieved as I was to see him playing and enjoying himself, the moment sat on my chest like a ton of bricks for a second. In only three years he's changed so much, life has changed so much. I can only imagine what the next three years hold for him, and I am so torn between embracing the adventure and wishing time would freeze.

I know I'm not unique in this; I think it is probably the universal plight of mothers to at once dream of an amazing future for her child while at the same time wistfully missing the baby that child was.

But seriously? If I'm like this after his first day of preschool, WHAT am I going to be like when the kid goes to college? Oh, my head just exploded.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Summer of Sarah...

I really hope I sound at least slightly less pathetic than did George Costanza when he announced that he was embarking upon the "Summer of George", but if not? Meh. I can take it. I hereby declare June 22 the first day of The Summer of Sarah.

In two days, Ethan starts every morning pre-school. That means setting an alarm, waking up the beast, dressing him appropriately (buh-bye crocs), and dropping him off by 9am. It means THREE HOURS every single weekday during which I get to become "me" again in a way I've not been able to do regularly for over three years. I am giddy at the idea of having that time back to myself. Giddy, people.

What will I do with that time? Oh. I'll tell you. I already know, because I've been fantasizing about it for the past few months since we made the decision to enroll him in preschool. I am going to be at the gym 5 mornings a week. For the past 2 years I've been saying, "Oh, I wish I had time to really go to the gym regularly, but Ethan hates the gym child care room." Out of the goodness of his heart, Husband spent gobs of money on a personal trainer for me when Ethan was barely a year old. Combine sleep deprivation with a, I believe the term is, "high needs baby" who won't let you put him down, let alone leave him with a stranger in a gym child care room, and couple that with a mother who has a wicked tendency towards emotional eating and you have a recipe for one fat mama. Poor trainer could have been Jillian Michaels (and she kind of was--you could tell that's who she was emulating) and she couldn't have made a dent in the size of my ass.

But now? With three hours to myself Monday through Friday? The only thing that sounds as appealing to me as sweating for hours on the treadmill (and yes, that actually does sound incredibly appealing to me--what is wrong with me???!!!) is blogging. So I will be running and blogging. And reconnecting with myself on a daily basis. I am going to get my Oprah on and live my best life!! Woot!

Also? I will be shooting myself up with fertility drugs. So that should be fun, too, right?

Honestly, as we near the end of this journey to conceive another baby, I have to say that the timing couldn't be more perfect. Yes, I want to be pregnant and have another child more than anything in the world. I know that more and more, and everytime I look at Ethan I realize how badly I want to see the next baby and watch the next baby grow and learn and laugh and play. But at the same time, we are facing the reality that it might never happen at the best possible time. At a time when we are sleeping more and better, when we can appreciate Ethan as a little boy with his own personality and free will and spirit, when we can start going out on dates again and reconnect with each other as two people who are in love, not just as parents. And so, if the autumn rolls around and we close up shop on Operation Baby 2.0, then yes, I will be devastated. Yes, my therapist will probably have to free up some extra time in her schedule for me. BUT, I will also be ready to move foward with the future, knowing we did everything we could do. I'm hoping for another child as much as anyone ever has, but I'm also getting ready to embrace a future different from the one I envisioned, if need be.

What else will I be doing during the Summer of Sarah, you ask? Please take a look to the right-hand side of my blog. In a last minute call, I've decided to pack my bags at the end of July and head to Chicago for the BlogHer convention. Um. Peeing my pants with excitement over this one, people!!!!! My internet soulmate Amy ( has invited me to crash at her place, and my other internet bff, Sarah ( has invited me to crash in her hotel room, which means I also get to meet Becca (, so seriously, people. Peeing.

I've RSVP'd to the two parties in my side-bar, and I'm fairly certain that on those dates, I will be in what we women trying to get pregnant refer to as THE two-week-wait. And as I'm one of those women who lives by the motto: "Drink 'til you see pink", I intend to drink my body weight in delicious girly drinks in martini glasses and get my star-struck on. Because as dorky as it sounds (and yes, I know it's dorky), bloggers are my super-stars. I'm sure in the weeks leading up to this event, I will be sharing more than one "Ohmygod, who do I think I am? I'm not a real blogger! I don't have any business rubbing elbows with these women!! I'm going to stay home because no one will like me and I'll make a big fat fool of myself!!!" freakouts. But I'm going!!!

So there. Summer of Sarah. Complete with running, blogging, needles in my butt, and serious girl-power drinking time in Chicago. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, a pregnancy to wrap it all up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For anyone who won't be able to sleep tonight without knowing the state of my ovaries...

We missed it. I went to the RE yesterday, ponied up another $100 for a tryst with the dildo-cam, just to find that the pretty follicle I was growing last week had already popped its goods and collapsed. Regardless of your location in the world, you may have felt the aftershocks of my nuclear-blast of my "WHAT??????? COME ON!!!!" reaction when the RE told me.

I was good, though. There was no weeping (in front of the RE), but I did sulk enough to merit an arm around my shoulder and a "Don't worry. We'll get it right soon", to which I responded with a wicked intelligent and eloquent, "I hope so because this really sucks." Seriously, the English teacher in me fades farther and farther from my consciousness every day and I find my brain mushier and more devoid of substance (and vocabulary) daily. I didn't even realize what was going on in Iran until yesterday because Noggin, those sonsofbitches, don't do hourly world news updates in between Yo Gabba Gabba and Little Bear.

Anyway, I digress. Back in the car, Ethan asked if I was okay (yeah, did I mention I had to bring him? To my dildo-cam appointment? I sat him on the chair way behind my head, told him the doctor was going to look at my tummy, and I gave him a lollipop. I hope I didn't traumatize him for life. Do you think?). He is such a sweetheart, and such a lovebug, he could tell I was upset and probably knew that the banana split we found in front of us 15 minutes later, because I said he was such a good boy that he deserved a treat, was more for me than for him.

But what can I do? I had a bum set of ovulation tests. And for those who mentioned them, I was also using the digital ovulation tests, because I am JUST that obsessive---I was peeing on the regular sticks AND using digitals at the same time. I guess I just started using the digitals too late (because I didn't get them until I started to suspect that the regular tests were faulty).

Next month I will be camping out at my RE's office daily from the time of my follicle check until I meet the turkey baster (IUI) again. I don't care if they have to bleed me dry, they are doing blood tests every day to check for ovulation. I'm not going to be injecting fertility meds (especially knowing what's in some of those things---um, ew.) into my belly or my butt every day just to miss another ovulation.

Thank you for all of your kind words and thoughts. It really does mean a lot to Husband and me that friends, family and interweb strangers alike are pulling for us.

On the ride home...

Conversation between me and Ethan in the car, on the way home from Target.

Ethan: Mommy what's that one? (standard question any time a new song comes on)

Me: It's Jack Johnson, honey. It's called "Eyes Like That"

quiet for a moment as Ethan listens to the words.

Ethan: What's he singing about, Mommy?

Me: He's singing about a pretty girl. He's telling her he thinks she's really pretty. When a boy likes a girl, he usually tells her that she's pretty.

Ethan is quiet for a moment, apparently pondering what I've said.

Ethan: I used to do that. But I'm too big for that now.

So if you've got a daughter, you can relax--Ethan's far too grown up and sophisticated now, at 3 years old, to try to win her over with sweet talk. I guess he's moving on to throwing sand and pulling pig-tails.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reading Between the Lines...

So here I am. Waiting for my body to let me know that we're ready for IUI #2. After a relatively disappointing follicle check last week (same number of follicles as the first month, even with the higher dose of Clomid), Dr M sent me home, telling me to pee on a stick every day until I got a positive ovulation test.

This month's cycle has, up to now, followed last month's schedule--clomid Wednedsay-Sunday, follicle check on Wednesday. Then a positive ovulation test on Sunday, followed by the thrill that is the IUI on Monday. But yesterday was Sunday. And today is Monday. Night. And no positive test for ovulation.

If you've never taken an ovulation test before, it's essentially identical to a pregnancy test, just measuring a different hormone. SO thoughtful of them to create a stick that is shaped and colored exactly like a pregnancy test--like I don't hate the sight of them enough already at the end of each month--now I have to look at them for days on end in the middle of my cycle, too? Fracking awesome, folks. Awesome.

And just to make the, pardon my French, mind-fuck complete, there's a kicker to the ovulation test. Unlike the pregnancy test, where ANY second line means 'YAY! IT IS ON!", you can see two lines on an ovulation test, one light and one dark, and it means nothing. NADA. You have to actually keep peeing on sticks, taking note of whether or not the second line is getting darker or lighter. According to the box, both lines have to be of EQUAL darkness in order for one to make the assumption that ovulation is actually going to happen in the next 24-36 hours.

So that makes things SO MUCH MORE FUN!!!! Can you sense my excitement at having to second and third guess each pee stick? "Is this one lighter or darker than the last one?!" Holding it up to the light coming into the window, taking it into the kitchen to look because the lighting is better in there (no worries to anyone who eats at my house---the pee stick never touches any surfaces of my kitchen, because ew!).

Last month, I am not proud to say, I actually had to line 2-3 tests up to assess if *this* test is *the* test that sends me to the phone to call Dr. M to schedule the IUI. 6am one lighter, 1pm one darker, 6pm one lighter. DING*DING*DING! We have a winner!

This month? No winners. Not even a faint tiny whisper of a second line on any of the damn sticks. If I lined them up, I'd be simply looking at a bunch of tests with control lines in an otherwise blindingly white window.

So if tonight's and tomorrow's test don't reveal that my ovaries are about to actually do what they were freaking born to do, I have go in for yet another ultrasound to see exactly what those follicles are up to. I'm wondering if Dr. M will be up for me just coming in daily to pee in cups in his office, so they can tell me if I'm ovulating. He deals with crazier people, right? He must. Right? Right? Hrm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In which Ethan gets a haircut, tries sushi for the first time, and Mama makes someone else's kid cry...

Two out of three ain't bad, I guess, right?

This week, after watching my poor long-haired hippie freak child brush his hair out of his face for the eleventy-billionth time, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and make the once-every-five-month journey to the kid's salon down the street. I figured, last time he got his hair cut, he was just starting his transition pre-school class, and next week he starts his first week of actual, real, drop-you-off-and-have-three-hours-to-myself preschool, so perhaps the haircut will be our pre-rite of passage rite of passage. Of course, if I reserve the haircut for just the week before school starts, eventually Ethan will end up looking like a toss-back from a 70's musical, since it won't be long before school only starts once a year. are some pictures of the big cut...

Nothing says "manly" like a zebra-striped cape and a rhinestone-y pink LA.

Ethan contemplating how in just moments he will look like an entirely different, much older, child.

Let's try to imagine for a second just how sick and tired this child is of hearing, "say cheeeeese!"

What Ethan would look like if his parents were rock stars...

side-view of what Ethan would look like if his parents were rock stars...

My grown-up looking little boy.

Rocking the race car video game at the salon. Big Boy McGee is always reduced to tears when it's time to part with this machine and can only be coaxed, crying, from the driver's seat, with the promise of a lollipop and balloon. Only thing the boy loves more than a car?

A green lollipop. Thank goodness the boy loves to brush his teeth these days...

mmmmmm, greeeeeeeen.....

Last night, we took mr. clean-cut out to dinner. For years we've been taking him to sushi restaurants and ordering him miso soup and chicken teriyaki while we gorge on roll upon roll of sushi. Last night, the child who puts all other picky eaters to shame actually went after a California roll, on his own, without any prompting by either parent. As a matter of fact, we looked on dubiously, mouths agape, eyes bugging, as he pulled the piece of roll apart and kept shoveling it in his mouth. I apologize I have no pictures of the actual sushi consumption, but please understand I was paralyzed with shock. Apparently the child decided to join the family and get in touch with his inner fat-ass last night. We were so proud.

Preparing to perfect the temperature of the miso soup...

Ethan is more of a stabber when it comes to the chop-sticks than an actual pinch n' grabber.

Exploring the California roll before the first this point, Husband and I are just giggling at the idea that he might eat one....then he did. I may have dropped the camera.

That bowl of edamame really was bigger than his head...he ate most of it.

washing it all down with some miso soup.

...and for dessert, strawberry ice cream, covered in some sort of pink sugar paste and drizzled with strawberry sauce. Screw the spoon, daddy, I'm going after this one with my hands...

Earlier in the week, Ethan and I joined a couple pre-school moms and their little ones for a play date at Barnes and Nobles. All was going swimmingly--mamas enjoying some coffee, kids giggling and swinging their legs, drinking apple juices or chocolate milks. Chatter, happiness, and a "so nice to make new friends" sort of vibe floating all around. Good times.

Then Ethan and one of the other little boys decided that nothing could be funnier or more approrpiate at that moment than taking off into the rows of bookshelves just off of the cafe. And so off they shot. One after the other, running and chuckling as they zig-zagged through the books. Good times (note the sarcasm).

The other little boy's mom has a made of spun-sugar sweetheart of a little newborn girl who was curled up and sleeping on her lap, so I took it upon myself to go wrangle the beasts boys. I started to give chase and realized quickly I had no idea where they were. The giggles were becoming less distinct and farther away and I started to feel that "ohmygodwherethehellaretheboysIhavetofindthembeforewe
oftheweek!" panic. Fortunately I stumbled upon them in the romance aisle.

They stopped running, and stood there giggling with each other as I calmly and quietly explained how it was important to stay with the mommies and how scared we were when we didn't know where they were. Ethan, huffing and puffing from all the running and laughing, just smiled at me like "whatever, woman, I am so going to give you a full head of grey hair before first grade." But the other little boy? Burst out into tears. Serious tears. Red cheeked, full-eyeballed, pouring down the face tears, sucking in air in between wails. My blood drained to my toes. OHMYGOD. I made another woman's child cry.

Stay at home moms often equate meeting new stay at home mom friends with dating. You see somebody a few times in the same place--a park, school, whatever, and you initiate conversation. If you get along with the small talk, you set up a play date. You make sure you're dressed nicely, but not too nicely. You're on your best behavior. After the play date, you find yourself wondering if there will be a second play date. Did your kids get along? Did you and the other mom hit it off? If you think they did, does SHE think you did? Take sexual tension out of the scenario, and there's little difference between a first date and a first play date.

So imagine the horror I felt when I made this other woman's kid cry. Talk about blowing it! I swear I didn't yell or scold or even use a mean tone of voice. And there I found myself, begging the kid not to cry, saying, "no, no, honey. It's okay! I'm not mad! You don't have to cry," wondering if his mom could hear him sobbing and mentally making the note: "Never talk to mean-mommy Sarah again." Bad mommy!!!

Fortunately, as I led the boys back to the cafe, the other boy's mom was laughing and thanking me for corralling the runaways. I assured her I hadn't yelled or been cross with the boys and she said, "Oh, please. Feel free." Thank God. But still, making another woman's child cry? So not cool, Sarah.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The video Blogger didn't want you to see...

Thanks to those who suggested uploading to another site and embedding the video. That made life a lot easier.

So here's Ethan, giving you a medley of his favorite songs in a singing style that I think you might agree is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan (even though he's never heard Bob Dylan before in his life).

Untitled from tekiedude on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Please be sure you read my title while envisioning me alternately ripping my hair out and shaking my fists in the air, screaming in exasperation.

I have been trying for two freaking days to upload a video of Ethan singing a medley of his favorite songs (ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row, Row, Row Your Boat), to no avail. It's a minute and a half long, it's not like I'm trying to upload a feature film here. WTF, Blogger?! You're awfully technologically challenged for a fracking website!!!

Anyway, the video is adorable and turns me to a big gooey blob of love every time I look at it, but I guess sharing it is just not in the cards. And that makes me cranky.

Please check out my other blog, NoMoreFatSarah (link to the right) for some pictures of Ethan helping me bake cookies today. He is an awesome helper, I just wish he'd eat some of the cookies.

Here are some pictures from yesterday's farmer's market:

The boy is so into "cheesing" right now, I can barely snap the picture, I'm laughing so hard.

Chicks dig this guy.

Okay, so there's no fresh produce or artisan crafts displayed in these Ethan-centric pictures, but I assure you, they were taken at the farmer's market. And I love that we live in a place where I can expose Ethan to that sort of experience. We got to two markets weekly; once on Sunday morning with Husband, and once on Tuesday afternoon with friends.

I've been thinking a lot about how Ethan's early experiences are going to shape his view of the world and I'm so thankful that he will have concept of the farmer's market as part of his consciousness. I love that he will grow up around healthy, unprocessed foods and produce, grown locally and organically, and that for him, that will be the "norm" and the expectation. I hope that growing up with the farmer's market will instill in him a respect for food in a way that it's taken me a long time to get to.

The grocery store is this magical zone where food just appears, and except for the "Product of Mexico" signs underneath the tomatoes, you really have no idea where your food is coming from. Each stall of the farmer's market has it's own banner advertising the name of the farm (usually a small family farm) and it's address, and people behind the stands who are involved with and invested in the food they are selling. I love that. And I love that Ethan's going to grow up with that perspective--not just about the food, but about the people who grow it and sell it to us.

So is it obvious that I'm kind of all over the place today? Yeah, I thought so. Probably because I learned from our RE today that I am most likely going to be a Clomid drop-out. The ovaries, apparently just this side of incompetent themselves, didn't do much with the amped-up dose of Clomid this month. I'm still just rocking one serious follicle, which is what I should be making without Clomid's help. We'll have to see what this month's turkey baster extravaganza produces, but barring some fabulous feat of fertility, we'll be heading into Octo-mom territory next month with injectable fertility meds. Good times.

I'm going to try upload that video again. Someone at Blogger is laughing at me.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Since the blog is really about this guy:

I should probably get back to it, and talk a bit about him, huh?

I attempted "arts and crafts time" in our house last Friday afternoon. We made a really cute pom-pom caterpillar and a foam and pom-pom butterfly. It was super fun! And by "we", I mean "I", and by "super fun" I mean, "can I just have a root canal instead?"

Maybe a three year old boy doesn't really "get" the idea of arts and crafts. When I showed him the picture of the green and purple pom-pom caterpillar, he was way excited. When I pulled the separate pom-poms out of the box, though, he looked at them for a few seconds, then went off to find his Buzz Lightyear.

It wasn't until I whipped out the little bottle of glue that I could capture his attention. It seems that Ethan loves glue. Awesome. He's going to be that kid, isn't he? He came bouncing back over to the table, demanding the glue be his personal private property to do with as he saw fit--and by this I mean spreading it across the coffee table and all over as many pom-poms as he could get his hands on before I could get all "mean mommy" on him and snatch them back.

I admit, for a minute I felt a little bit like Ruby from Max & Ruby---she's such a kill-joy and is always telling Max that he can't do this or that. Part of me thought---"oh, look at the magic of exploration and discovery!" The other part? Was thinking, "Glue!!! On my coffee table!! Ack!! All those pom-poms! Must. Make. Caterpillars!"

So we compromised. Ethan got to play with a handful of pom-poms and all the glue he wanted, as long as he let me borrow the glue when I needed it. For the caterpillars. Because I made them. Myself. What? Is that weird?

Is he not the most pathetic little pom-pom caterpillar you've ever seen? I'm so proud. Ethan? Is gluey.

Monday, June 01, 2009

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try....


IUI#1 was a bust.

29,000,000 sperm. One egg. How does that NOT work?

Back to the turkey baster for us this month...