Monday, November 30, 2009

Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolley...

And Ethan almost puked all over me.


This is NOT the face of a child who has just enjoyed his first ride on the San Francisco Powell-Hyde line street car. Rather, it's the face of the kid who clung to his uncle's leg for dear life, hid inside the color of his puffy vest and muttered, "I want to get off now. I want to get off now," at every stop between Fishermen's Wharf and Union Square. Poor kid. I'm a bad mom.

Other than that, he had a good day in San Francisco. But the street car?

Ethan rated it a P for Puke.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

'Twas the night after Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...

except me, sneaking out at 2:30am to go to ToysRUs.

I really wish I'd been thinking enough to take my iPhone for pictures. It was truly epic.

When I was a teenager, my best friend, Tress, and I used to hit the mall for Black Friday, but it was mainly to get away from our families during a long weekend and spend the $40 we had stashed in our acid-washed jeans on presents for each other. I'm not even sure that stores had begun the sales-boosting habit of roiling up the easily roiled shopping public by opening at ungodly hours, nor do I know if the term "doorbuster" had even been coined in the '80's. I do not recall hearing about fist-fights between demure little moms at toy stores or the mayhem of tramplings outside Radio Shacks (there were no Best Buys then--I'm old). Either way, it's not something either of us had EVER remotely considered, even after we'd gotten our licenses. We just liked being a part of the vast hordes of shoppers later that day, when you could stand in line for 45 minutes to buy a $5 pair of earrings and have enough patience left in you at minute 43 to not want to throttle anyone in arms' reach.

Now let me assure you, I went to bed on Thanksgiving night with no intention of joining the madness of Black Friday's wee hours. I had joked about it for days, horrifying Husband and parents alike. We live two blocks from a ToysRUs and well, you know about the Target. But while I'd joked about it and had considered it in a half-assed kind of way, I really had no intention of setting an alarm clock or leaving my cozy house to deal with lunatics, erm, I mean shoppers at midnight.

I fell asleep at 8pm while putting Ethan to bed. Ever the awesome hostess, two of our friends were still in the livingroom with Husband watching a football game and I, after saying, "I'll be back once he's asleep," never reemerged from the bedroom. I have no idea when they left. Way to go, Martha.

Given the fact that I fell asleep at 8pm, I was wide awake at 1am. Sitting on the couch, watching infomercials. Thinking about the toy store two blocks away that had opened it's doors an hour ago. Full of toys. On sale. Doorbusters were calling my name, and I don't even know what a "doorbuster" is.

Soooooo, I snuck back into my bedroom, threw on a bra and Husband's sweatshirt, tiptoed to the door, slipped on my flip-flops and headed out into the wee hours. I felt like a freaking bandit. I get that Black Friday shopping when it's still dark out is nothing new and that people dine and dash from the Thanksgiving tables to go sit outside in front of stores like Best Buy for hours in the hopes of scoring a 46 inch plasma TV for a buck fifty. And it's not like I was pushing and shoving my way into the store at the moment the doors opened hoping to avoid a good trampling. I was just toodling into ToysRUs with about 200 hundred of my closest friends at 2:30am. But still, this is as rebellious as I get these days--shopping at 2:30am. Sad.

When I got to the store, the lights were utterly blinding and they were out of shopping carts. No big deal, I thought as I squinted my way into the store, I don't need a cart; I'm just looking around, observing these crazy people who get up at this insan----what is that?!!!! MegaBlocks Cars sets for 50% off?!!! LeapFrog math phone for 50% off?!!! Where the hell are the freaking carts????!!!!! GIMME A CARRRRRRRRRRRTT!!!!!

I walked around for several minutes with a couple of items in my hands, still smugly chuckling at the people lumbering through the main aisles with carts that were piled 1/2 way to the ceiling and packed precariously with huge boxes as they tried to maneuver corners down the smaller hallways without toppling their entire toy-comprised Jenga carts. I still didn't reallyreally need a cart. Sure, it would have made my life easier, but I still wasn't one of those peop----what is that???!!!! 1000 piece lego-esque fire station AND police station, compatible with Legos???!!! For $20.00?!

I caved. I walked up to a manager like I was a Dickens waif, gave him my most pathetically pleading look and said, "Please, sir, do you have any other carts?" I also was quick to throw in that I really wanted to keep shopping, but wouldn't be able to if I didn't have a cart, as my arms were currently at maximum capacity.

Fortunately for me and the economy, the manager did indeed find me a cart and I proceeded to find a few (billion) other things we neeeeeeeeeeded at much better prices than I'd have gotten if I'd waited until all the sane people were awake.

I left the store at 3:30am, feeling all-shopped-out, but so glad I'd partaken in such a holiday tradition. As I pulled out of the ToysRUs parking lot, I contemplated staying up for another hour and a half and basking in the glory that would surely be the 5am opening of our SuperFreaking Target. It's too shiny to look at on a regular day--can you even IMAGINE what it would be like opening at 5am????!!!! With all the sales???!! zOMG!!!

But my saner side prevailed (mostly because I drove a block without my lights on and realized I was ex.hau.sted), and I decided to head back to the house, saving Target for a more reasonable hours.

It was surreal to open the door of my house, sneak back in, slip off my shoes and slide back into bed with Ethan and Husband (family bed is the name of the game when out-of-towners come to stay). They'd kept the place cozy and warm for me while I'd been out and I fell back to sleep all warm and fuzzy, with all that visions of sugar plums stuff dancing through my head.

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaBloPoMo, ShmaBloPoMo

So I made it 24 days. That's *almost* a month, right? For me, it's a special edition: NaBloPo24days. But the last few days have been so full that I've been completely incapable of logging in, throwing some cute picture of my kid up on the blog and attempting a witty caption.

Sorry 'bout that. Family came into town and all kinds of merriment (read: anxiety) got in the way of my ability to sit down for five minutes daily and throw a picture up on my blog with an attempt at a witty caption. Yeah, it's been that fun.

Hosting a holiday is serious business, people. There are no fewer than 850 trips to be made to the closest grocery store because you didn't read that recipe correctly and the Nutella icebox pie requires TWO containers of Cool-Whip (to which my father says, "You know that's oil, right?" Yes, Dad. I watch commercials, too.) For the record? Nutella icebox pie is so sweet that even I couldn't eat it. And that, my friends, is saying something. something horribly tragic. I hate nothing more than finding that something is too sweet for my palate (well, I do hate somethings, like terrorism and Glenn Beck more, but you know what I mean).

Also something that makes the holiday a little less cheery and a leeeeetle bit more frantic? Ordering a "fresh" turkey from Whole Foods, picking it up during day-before-Thanksgiving grocery store mayhem, only to get home, pull it out of the box and find it....frozen. Just how distraught was I? It is a big fuzzy memory for me, but I do believe I may have dropped a couple of "f" bombs in front of my father. Some people say my dad looks like Dick Cheney (I adore him anyway). He's not the type of guy you drop "f" bombs in front of. Just sayin'.

But I did. Then I grabbed the box o' frozen meat, threw it in the back seat of the car, checked my pocket for the receipt (because seriously the last thing I want to do is walk back IN the store with a frozen turkey I payed $60 for and end up having to buy it AGAIN because I can't produce a receipt), and headed back off to Whole Freaking Foods.

I spent the 10 minute drive over to the store going through what I would say, the whole angry consumer shpeil I planned to pull, making a scene until they went out back and brought me a fresh, UNfrozen turkey. Things like, "I hope you're happy that you've RUINED my family's Thanksgiving!!!" and "You have lost a loyal customer in me", and "My uncle was right to boycott your stupid company!!! You stupid douchebags!!!!" I had a LOT of pre-holiday anxiety building up and I was ready to unload it all on the poor saps behind the meat counter.

When I got into the store and made my way to the back of the store, I swear they sensed the angry-in-fact-nearly-psychotic-woman vibe coming off of me in waves. I was met by a manager of some sort who said, "Is there a problem with you turkey, ma'am??" (I only have a problem being called "ma'am" when I'm already pissed off. No idea why) I said, "Yeah, I want to know why I ordered a fresh turkey and I just opened this up to find that it's a frozen turkey?!!" I was so proud of myself for not allowing any obscenities to slide out of my mouth during this exchange because in my head? I was screaming one long string of 'em.

Turns out, my turkey wasn't in fact "frozen". It was simply "flash chilled at 28 degrees during transit," so its outer layers were indeed a bit icy and solid feeling. But, I was assured, over and over, as my breathing normalized and my skin tone returned to it's normal non-ruby red hue, that it was NOT frozen and would, after a few hours in the refrigerator, be completely thawed and ready to go.

To give you a bit of background, my parents hosted Thanksgiving for eleventy billion years while I was growing up and into my adulthood. Thanksgiving memories for me consist of Mom and Dad fluttering about the kitchen (Dad would insist that he never, ever fluttered), whipping up batches of culinary perfection in the shape of mashed potatoes, sausage and apple stuffing, butternut squash and of course, the perfect turkey. This was my first year hosting for them. Now, granted, I asked my dad to make the turkey just to be sure it was fabulous, but I was the one responsible for providing him with the turkey I charged him with cooking to perfection. I may have had a smidgen of irrational anxiety about that turkey. And to bring home a turkey I thought was frozen solid less than 24 hours before the Thanksgiving meal? Shaved a few years off of my life, easily.

But I found, as I woke up every couple of hours over night to stick my head in the fridge and poke at the turkey, that by morning, Deli Manager Man at Whole Foods was right and my turkey had indeed not been reallyreally frozen, only a little bit frozen. Honestly, people? PUT A FUCKING STICKER ON THE BOX THAT SAYS: THIS TURKEY IS NOT REALLYREALLY FROZEN. That would have saved me a LOT of breathing into a paper bag. And we all know I do enough of that to begin with.

So, I had to make a lot of trips to grocery stores (those were only two examples out of the 850) and my Nutella pie gave us all Diabetes, but otherwise it was a pretty good day.


Ethan was a big fan of the cheese platter before dinner. He said "More goat, please," a lot.

I really wanted to make this shmancy pastry baked brie, but I forgot to take the puff pastry out of the freezer. It's not so easy ot manage or puffy when it's frozen. Also frozen? The crescent rolls I had planned on making but forgot to take out of the freezer the night before. "Frozen" was a big thing for us this year.

I did manage to make an ass-kicking apple pie and Paula Deen's pumpkin cheesecake and I have sworn off all other left-overs so that I have room in my belly to eat whatever is left of those.

Ethan watched the Macy's Day Parade WAY to close to the TV, but it's a holiday.

Wanna know what's fun? Taking a room of rabid football fans hostage by turning the TV to the Annual Dog Show and refusing to give back the remote. Look at the preshus pug!!!!


Ethan grew tired of waiting for dinner and proceeded to eat his socks. Gross.

We like cranberry sauce. Whole berry, whole berry with oranges and my personal favorite, jellied and straight out of the can with ridges. Also? We like wine.

I brilliantly took this picture before taking the tin foil off the food, soooo...here's a picture of some tin foil.

there's the food. And peoples' reachy hands. "Give me the stuffing...nom nom nom nom"

Ethan of course, glutton that he is, dined on a dinner roll. Just. a. dinner. roll.

Turkey jack o' lantern provided by my artsy friend Sally. He presided over our meal this year. (and looked on disapprovingly as we devoured a turkey, I'm sure).

All in all, life-stunting anxiety aside, it was a good holiday. I ate until I was so full I could barely move, slept for a few hours and then found myself trolling the aisles of ToysRUs at 3am. But that's another story for another day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So, Two Things....

First of all, after reading this blog entry by my friend Sarah, I immediately ditched any notion of taking Ethan to Picture People, Sears or any other chain photography place for holiday card pictures. Not because I don't think they're great. I just dug up a bunch of Ethan's '06 holiday photos from Sears the other day and was a hot mess, what with the weeping and the "oh my preshus little babeeeeeeeeee"'ing I had going on. I freaking love these pictures. Let's take a moment to reflect on the blinding adorableness that was the infant Ethan.

Check out the baby feet that are so squishy and round before learning to walk. Nom nom nom nom

I also love that these pictures were taken before the first trimming of the old man comb-over he rocked for the first eight or nine months of his life.

Seriously. That butt? I know. Someday he will be beyond mortified that I have a picture of his butt posted on my blog. I don't care. I made that butt. I can put it on my blog

But after reading Sarah's post, I remember the panic-inducing chaos that revolves around those places during the holiday season and so I thank her from the bottom of my heart for sharing her harrowing ordeal and reminding me why I've not been in three years.

So yesterday instead of braving the mall crowds and the onslaught of glaring flash bulbs, stressed out moms on the edge, and H1N1 germs, Husband and I took Ethan to our neighborhood park, encouraged him to play in the leaves and smile a lot while we snapped upwards of 300 pictures in the hopes of finding two or three to slap on a holiday card.

I learned a couple of things yesterday. One is that we've entered the age of the cheesy grin and there is no going back. When you ask Ethan to smile now, his face scrunches up to such a degree that you're not sure he's smiling, or making the universal face for "I have to pooooooop!" He accompanies the face with his only DJ-scratch "ch-ch-ch-che-cheeeeesy-cheese-cheese!!!" every. single. time. If he's not giving you the scrunched-face smile and the hip-hop "cheese", he's giving you the back of his head. So when I say that Husband and I snapped 300 pictures yesterday, you kind of get the picture that at least 175 of them were the back of his head and another 100 were of the "ch-ch-che-cheesy-cheese-cheese" variety.

The other thing I learned? And I know I've said this before, but yesterday was a ton-of-bricks moment for me. There is absolutely no trace of baby left in my baby. In so many of the pictures we took, I can see what Ethan will look like as he grows up, not what he did look like when he was a baby. Now, I know I'm a case-du-basket these days anyway (thank you, Follistim for turning this drama queen into full-on lunatic these past two weeks. It's making our home life wicked fun!), but seriously. Look at these....





Right? It's unreal how grown up he looks. For farks' sake, in the last picture, it looks like he's reaching into his pocket for his car keys!! And yes, I did bring a change of clothes to the park. And I seriously cannot stop laughing at that second picture because when we got his hair cut, I specifically told the lady that he is obsessed with the Beatles, so don't cut it too short. And I swear to G-d, if that isn't a freaking Beatles haircut on his head.

So that's the first of my "Two Things"

The second thing?

This:


I introduced that sucker to my belly this evening. It's called a "trigger" shot and it contains the medicine that tells the ovaries, "All right, suckers. Bring it!" In 36 hours, I've got a date with a pair of stirrups and a turkey baster. Hawt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Okay, So Probably Not Worth a Whole Thousand Words,

but these pictures crack me up.



We took these pictures the day before Ethan's haircut last week, after he got his hands on Husband's styling product. Clearly, he needed a little bit of a trim.

And yes, that's my pink Snuggie behind him in the first picture. Don't judge.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's baaaaaack...

Remember that sinus infection I had about 2 weeks ago? I went to the doctor's office and sat around in the waiting room like this:


I took my five days of antibiotics and felt much better almost immediately. And since. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I went through two boxes of tissues, coughed up one of my lungs and felt craptacular all over.

Today? Another box of tissues, the immense joy of actually being able to HEAR whatever is IN my sinuses popping as it shifts and jockies for space. All I can think of is those disgusting little mucus creatures in the Mucinex commercials, you know--this freak:

and I'm telling you, I want to gouge my sinuses out at the thought of him and his friends digging around in my head. I make Husband change the channel every time this little cretin comes on the screen because OMG, FREAKING DISGUSTING! And now he's in my head. Ugh.

So fine. On Monday, I'll go back to the doctor for another round of horse pills. Maybe I'll even get another one of those kicky face masks to sport at the doctor's office. Thankfully I've still got the Robitussin with codeine so I can sleep (mmmmm, codeine). Except that I have to get up tomorrow morning for another follicle check. So I can't really sleep too much. Which is awesome. Because when you're sick, nothing rocks it like getting up early.

But seriously. On Monday we've got a giant feast at Ethan's preschool. On Tuesday, family is coming into town. Somewhere in there I am hoping for a few hawt minutes in the stirrups with a turkey baster. On Thursday we are hosting Thanksgiving. And on Monday of the next week, Husband head out of town on business for eleven days. This is NOT the time for me to get all sicky. Again.

Super!!!!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday night, you ALMOST got me...

Is this month OVER yet?! Because seriously, I have never had less to say.

And that is saying something. No pun intended.

Thankfully the NaBloPoMo rules include nothing about having anything worthwhile to say. Just that you put something up every day. So here you go.

I am thinking of setting my alarm clock and getting up early next Friday and becoming part of the crazyass masses who trample each other at 5am to run like lunatics through the aisles, mindlessly grabbing at things and throwing them into a cart. Not because there is ANYthing on our list remotely that coveted. But because I've never done it and I figure that's one of those things that everyone should do at least once in their life.

And because I think it would make a freaking hilarious blog entry.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stop Me If You've Heard The One About How My Ovaries Suuuuuuuck!!!

Oh you have? Well, yer gonna hear it again.

Follicle check #2 today? Super awesome. If by super awesome I really mean a giant swirling maelstrom of FAIL.

Right ovary? What right ovary? Out. To. Lunch. Thus far, in the months I've been monitored, the right ovary has done zilch, leading me to wonder if it's just on a permanent vacation, never to spit out another egg again. Buh-bye, right ovary, we hardly knew ye.

Left ovary? Two little follicles that may or may not actually mature enough to merit a few precious moments with the turkey baster.

Sound familiar?! That's because it IS. This is exactly what my ovaries did in reaction to Clomid. Two little follicles in my left ovary that are pretty much the dictionary definition of "meh". That's all I got with Clomid. And it's all I've got after 900 ius of Follistim.

In the world of fertility treatments, Clomid is supposed to be the gateway drug, the silly little (but very effective for some) pills you try out before you start swabbing your tummy with an alcohol pad and dosing yourself up with all that FSHy goodness. I've moved on to the big guns, the stuff that's supposed to pack the bigger punch. These are the sorts of drugs that made the Octomom who she is today (don't even get me started) and who gave the world the glory (erm, puke) that is Kate Gosselin and her eleventy billion kids.

Do NOT get me wrong. No way in the world 6 or 8 babies are going to be housed in or pulled from this body at ANY point, EVER. But given my age ("advanced maternal age"--it's the feel good label of the century, people!!!), what I gather is that it's in my best interest to have lots of potential follicles because it's pretty freaking likely that eh, they aren't going to do anything anyway. So if I have 4 or 5 follicles, MAYBE one of them will take. With two follicles? That are mediocre at best? Meh.

So my RE (who is a sharp dresser with a kicky bob and blunt bangs, by the way; at least I enjoy seeing what shoes she's wearing every time I go into the office) wants to see me again on Sunday. For another follicle check. Sunday was initially the first of my potential IUI days. Now it will be another check to see if the follicles are doing anything of note. If they are, maybe the IUI will be on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. For those of you who were looking for a turkey baster joke, you must might get it. If the follicles aren't what the need to be, I guess we move on to the next cycle. WOOOO-FREAKING-HOOOO!

Oh yeah. Good times.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too Many Hormones Making YOU a Little Crazy?

Me, too!!!!

So the past few days, while I've been shooting up the FSH, I've been a bit, erm, emotional. Now, it's not like I've been inconsolable over holiday jewelry commercials (they are, without a doubt, the cheesiest little bits of marketing ever ever ever and no amount of artificially induced hormonal hypersensitivity could compel me to shed a tear over a stuffed bear and a diamond pendant), but I have found myself once or twice feeling a bit overwhelmed by emotions when I normally wouldn't be.

Yesterday I finally decided to hang family pictures in the hallway, and in trying to find a few extra pictures to put in random frames, I ended up pouring over twelve different photo albums of Ethan. Looking at pictures like this:

and this:


oh, and maybe a little bit of this:

And please, I'm only human. I got a little weepy. When did he go from that to this?

Don't get me wrong; I LOVE every second of watching Ethan grow up and become the amazing little person that he is. But, oh my gawd, I miss my tiny little preshus smooshy baby!!!!! Perhaps these hormones I'm shooting into my belly nightly are intended to prime the pump of maternal instincts and gear one up for thinking all of that spitting up, raw nipples and sleep deprivation-induced insanity is worth it because "zOMG, look at that cutie-cute-cutie!!!!!"

For what ever reason, I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon letting my now 3.5 year old kiddo melt his brain in front of Noggin while I flipped through page after page of him being a tiny little toe-chewing baby and being a weepy little baby myself. Big Fat Sigh.

Also? Songs. Last week, Cold Play's "Fix You," which is the song I listened to almost daily during my pregnancy with Ethan, came on the radio as I was driving home from preschool drop off. Holy tear duct leakage, batman! All about wanting to protect the person you love most in the world from the hurts and disappointments in life. Powerful stuff when you're stuck in bed at a 45-degree angle trying to keep your baby from coming into the world at 26 weeks, or when you're hobbling out of the NICU, leaving your tiny little baby behind so that he can grow strong enough to come home to you.

And on Monday when I was driving home from my somewhat disappointing follicle check, I heard that weird song/poem that was so popular a few years ago about wearing sunscreen. Which was actually about a lot more than wearing sunscreen. Remember it?

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)--Baz Luhrmann

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97
Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be
It. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
Scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering
Experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not
Understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and
Recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before
You and how fabulous you really looked….You're not as fat as you
Imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
Effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
Bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
Never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm
On some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with
People who are reckless with yours.

Floss

Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes
You're behind…the race is long, and in the end, it's only with
Yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
Succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your
Life…the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they
Wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
Olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe
You won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky
Chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don't
Congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
Choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body,
Use it every way you can…don't be afraid of it, or what other people
Think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever
Own...

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

(Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there
For you. And I'll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.
Everybody's free.)

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for
Good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
People most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you
Should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and
Lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you
Knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live
In Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize
That when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
Noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
Might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
Look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
Supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
Fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
Ugly parts and recycling it for more than
It's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

(Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there
For you. And I'll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.
Everybody's free.)

When I first heard it years ago, I thought, "Hm. Deep," and moved on. Hearing it earlier this week, though, as a mother thinking about her child (and thinking about another one that might find it's way into our lives at some point), I actually had to pull into a parking lot, roll down the window and give myself some air. Yeah. I know. Awwwwwkward. Reading the lyrics now, I'm not really sure why it impacted me so fiercely. I mean, it is thought-provoking and poignant, especially in terms of all the things you want for your child in life, but I'm pretty sure that 99.99% of people who heard it on the radio that morning were in fact, NOT overcome by emotion to the point of needing a time-out. But isn't that the nature of the hormonally imbalanced freak out? What seems huge one second is silly the next.

Yeah, I'm so there.

Also? I'm breaking out like a 12 year old. Awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hrm. This is a First

I don't know what I want for Chrismukkah. Not a clue. I've got one thing on my list that I really want: the new Barbara Kingsolver book.

It's not for lack of holiday spirit. I can barely contain my excitement at the idea of having our friends and family here with us in our new home. I've been quietly gathering pretty pretty little shiny things for our mantels and place settings, trying not to get all Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee creepy with the whole "table scape" insanity. But, please, people! Pretty sparkly shiny things! For the table! Today at Michaels Craft store I was eyeing a bag of fake snow. I don't even know what I'd do with it, but damn I wanted that bag of fake white snow crap.

I bought a holiday CD back in October--yeah. I know. I could have waited, but what if it wasn't there the next time I was at the store???!! At least it's still in it's shrink wrap. I won't bust out the holiday tunes until after Thanksgiving. Promise. But after that, all bets are off. It's all holiday music, all of the time. You know, like the good Jewish girl that I am.

My Cooking Light, Everyday, and Living magazines are all dog-eared and post-it note'd with every recipe of all the appetizers, sides, sweets and drinks I plan to foist upon everyone who walks over my threshold in the next month and a half. Yesterday I baked a pumpkin chocolate chip bread because I simply couldn't go another day without having SOMETHING pumpkin-y smelling up my house.

Today I stocked up on an obscene amount of Melissa and Doug toys for Ethan. I'm bummed that I'm almost done shopping for him. I'm impatiently waiting for my family to start their lists (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and I can't wait to start wrapping pretty boxes and bows. And don't get me started on a tree. Decorated with silver and blue. Because, again, I'm a good Jewish girl.

But me? I can't really think of anything I want or need, aside from a house full of people I love, laughing and telling stories and eating yummy food. Hmm.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nothing says "I deserve a giant bowl of peppermint stick ice cream"

like ovaries that just won't fucking behave. This morning I went for my ultrasound to see exactly what 75 ius of Follistim for 4 days will do to a couple of lazy ovaries. Turns out, not much. Those deadbeat bitches are still just kicking around, taking up space and thinking about maybe producing an egg or two. An egg or two, for our purposes, is not a really great response. I can do an egg all on my own, by my lonesome, without stabbing myself in the stomach every night and injecting myself with more hormones than my own body has ever created on its own.

Considering that the vast majority of my old lady eggs are unlikely to do anything but nod lazily at the sperm as it passes by, we need several eggs setting up shop at the time of the IUI, so that maybe, just perchance, one of my eggs will say, "you know what? I'm feeling feisty today," and tango with a sperm. You know those groups of older ladies who go places wearing red hats and talking about how when they're old, they'll wear purple? Yeah. I am looking for an egg with that kind of "can do!" attitude. That's the egg that's going to take. But she's not getting out of bed for 75 ius.

So perky RE and her entourage (it's a teaching hospital--my lady parts always have an audience. It's awesome) decided to up my dosage. From 75 ius to 150. I'm not mathematician, but I'm pretty sure that's a doubling my dose. Doubling the dose that already makes me queasy and sleepy and weepy. Are we ready for a full-on emotional shit storm? I hope so, because that's where we're headed people. Bring it.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

You Say You Want a Revolution....For Chrismukkah?

Have you seen Restoration Hardware's holiday catalogue? No? Well, Ethan has. It looks like this:


Yeah, the Beatles. The Fab Four. The object of Ethan's obsession, like he was a 16 year old girl in 1962, screaming and fainting.

We were at the mall this past week and from across the hall, Ethan spied the catalogue in the store's door way. Amidst the crowd, he leapt from his moving stroller (one of those finger amputating Mclarens, damnit!) and ran through the people like a stunt man dodging traffic.

Of course we took a copy of the catalogue with us and the rest of the time we were at the mall, Ethan pointed out for me which guy on the cover was John, which was Paul and asked why one of them is named Ringo, since that's really not a name. He wanted to know where they were walking to and what Paul was talking about. And clearly, I have none of these answers.

I assumed that this catalogue would go the way of all other magazines or trinkets that catch Ethan's momentary, 3.5 year old attention span. I underestimated the obsession. Somehow, that catalogue has made it's way into our bedtime story rotation. Every night now we read Knuffle Bunny, Green Eggs & Ham, some crap about the Wonder Pets, and the Restoration Hardware holiday catalogue.

We leaf through the pages and Ethan regales us with stories of how John is going to ride his bike (there's a bike on pages 10-11) to the park or how Paul and Ringo are going to race their cars around the race track (pages 8-9). It's all very entertaining.

So I'm kind of in the market for a Beatles childrens' book. Know of any?



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ironic

The funny thing about these shots that I'm taking to try to get pregnant, after two years of not being able to get pregnant?

They totally mimic the very best, most fun parts of the first trimester of pregnancy. I? Am exhausted. Like, clawing my way to the couch by 4pm, crying about how tired I am by 7pm and falling asleep on the couch before 8pm tired. Oh, and nauseous. Which is awesome (please see my post from earlier in the week about how much I love and am not at all freaked out by the thought of throwing up)

So because of that I'm going to bed. Oh, and so as not to be anonymously accused of being a complainer (ha ha!), I have to say this will be more than worth it, 100 times over, if I am able to get pregnant, and I'll gladly feel like this every day for the next nine months if it works and I get knocked up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oy Vey.

Yeah, I said I was going to write about my fabulous reunion with my lover, erm, I mean Target, today. But as it turns out, my kid did something I think is far more blog worthy, so I'm going to forego the hedonistic consumer lovefest that is my relationship with Target for now.

Ethan attends a Jewish preschool and every Friday morning, the kids celebrate the Sabbath. They head over to the small sanctuary in the synagogue, sing songs, march around the room with plush stuffed faux-Torahs. It's pretty much the cutest freaking thing I've ever seen. ever. in. my. life.

I knew all of this was happening on a weekly basis and thoroughly enjoyed listening to my little mensch singing Shabbat Shalom songs on the way home from school on Fridays. But I learned something I didn't know about the services last week when a few other moms and I attended so we could see the adorableness in all it's glory. Apparently towards the end of each little Shabbat service, the school director passes around a tzedakah box, which is the little box to put change in to donate to charity.

I had been sending my kid to school for over a month of Fridays without knowing about the existence of the tzedakah box. While other kids were listening to the plinking plunking sound of nickles, dimes and quarters off on their way to make the lives of others better, my kid was...I don't know. Picking his nose (definitely)? Looking at the ceiling (possible)? Contemplating the meaning of life (highly unlikely)? I have no idea. But he wasn't giving any money to charity.

Fabulous. I'm hoping the director, his teachers and all other adults involved realize that Ethan wasn't trying to impersonate Scrooge, nor were his parents. I just didn't know about it! So that day, when the director whipped out the box and all the little kiddos jumped up to deposit their spare change in the tin can's slot, my heart sunk to my toes, my face turned ten different shades of red and I shoved my hand into my purse, digging around for coins, bills, whatever I could fine. SHIT! As I realized what was going on, and that I had no idea how much money I had on me, if any (damn debit card making cash and coins obselete!!!), I panicked that if Ethan didn't give any tzedakah while I was physically present and in the room, I couldn't claim ignorance and I'd just look like a stingy jerk.

I pulled some bills out--I have no idea how much, I didn't even count, folded them up and told Ethan to put them in the can. He of course, had NO idea what to do because, you know, he'd never actually given to charity before because his loser mother had no idea he was supposed to be coming prepared for such a thing. Gah!!! So we created quite a spectacle, the two of us cramming a fold of bills into the tin can.

So anyway, this morning when I dropped him off for school, I made sure to put two quarters in his pants pocket. I told him, "These are for the tzedakah box during Shabbat services, okay?" and kissed him goodbye. I told his teacher that the quarters were there in case Ethan forgot and went on my merry way.

This afternoon I picked Ethan up, we drove home and began playing some rock star game or other (we are always, in some way, pretending to be rock stars). Ethan reached into his pants pocket and pulled out the aforementioned two quarters. And a dime.

"Why didn't the quarters go into the tzedakah box?!" I asked, then, "Where did the dime come from????" Ethan's answer? "The tzedakah box."

Oh dear G-d in heaven above, please don't strike my poor thieving child down. He stole from the tzedakah box. I'm not sure how it's possible since the only opening to it is a little slit in the tin can, but he left the house today with fifty cents and he came home with sixty. We had ourselves as serious a talk as one can have with a three year old about taking money that isn't ours and why it's important to give to people who don't have all the toys and food and comforts in life that we do. And then I went into the other room and giggled until I about peed my pants.

On Monday, I will go into the school, with that whopping sixty cents and explain to his teacher that I'm not sure how exactly that random dime ended up in his pockets (maybe another equally confused kid really just gave it to him while the box was being passed around the room? I don't know, but I am sure it was entirely innocent), but could she please put all of it in the tzedakah box for us.

Maybe next Friday I'll attend the little Shabbat service and make sure that a certain sticky-fingers gets his coins in the tzedakah box.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One shot down, eight to go...

So, I've spent a LOT of time in the past 48 hours on the phone. If not with my infertility clinic, with the insurance company. If not with the insurance company, then with the infertility clinic. You get the picture. Apparently there was some confusion over whether my injectable meds had been ordered, when they needed to be ordered by and whether or not they were going to actually be at my house and accessible to my belly fat and then my ovaries at the exact right moment.

Seriously, if timing sex for conception isn't stressful enough, timing shots of god only knows what hormones and chemicals into your belly for conception is a full-on panic attack of legendary proportions. At least when it's just you and your husband timing the deed, you at least have some control over that. But when your chances of conception are suddenly being controlled by a doctor, a pharmacist and four or five faceless voices on the other end of a telephone line, things get a little more stressful.

I'm not what you'd call a confrontational person. I'm rarely a squeaky wheel; I'll just take my grease when whoever's giving it out gets to me. But with this? I turned into a bit of a harpy.

I tried not to be. All day Tuesday I took deep breaths, and when I called the clinic or the specialty pharmacy, I spoke in soothing, easy tones. I said things like, "I just want to check that..." or "I'm sorry to bother you again, I am just wondering if...". And when the responses I got were, "I will check on that and get back to you," or "No, ma'am, I do not have that order," I took more deep breaths, and double checked with the voice on the other end of the phone that these meds could indeed be shipped overnight, so if I needed them by Thursday, I still had a shot (no pun intended) at getting them on time. And then I'd get off the phone, wait a couple of hours, and start my calls again.

By Wednesday morning, though, I was starting to get a little bit testy. After being assured by the clinic on Tuesday that the prescription would definitely be placed by the end of the day, I discovered, from the pharmacy, that they had in fact NOT been ordered yet. This is when I started to feel the synapses in my brain firing personality-altering messages to my mouth. I called the clinic again, and did a whole lot of interrupting whenever I heard the phrase, "I'll look into it." I do believe at one point I said, "Maria, you're going to do more than look into it. You're going to make sure it gets done. And you're going to call me back to let me know it's done."

I have no doubt that in my medical record file, the words "Gigantic Bitch" are written in red across my full name. I don't care. Maria can suck it. An hour after that phone call, while we were at Ethan's dentist appointment, someone who was NOT Maria called me back from the clinic to let me know that she had personally seen to it that the order went through to the pharmacy. I wish I could remember her name, but I was so busy being madly in love with Ethan in the dentist's chair (see yesterday's post) that I didn't catch it. Whoever she is, I love her.

A couple of hours later, Neisha from my insurance agency called me to set up delivery. That phone call took about thirty minutes. Have you ever tried to change a poopy diaper while talking on an iPhone to a complete stranger? And iPhone, or any cell phone, I think, is really not designed to do the whole cradle between your shoulder and ear thing and I'm not nearly cool enough to have a blue tooth ear piece. So I dropped my iPhone, and Neisha, about six times during our conversation. I'm sure she was thrilled.

But bless Neisha's heart, this morning at 10am, a white styrofoam cooler filled with baby-making serums and syringes and progesterone suppositories showed up, packed on ice, to my doorstep. A--freaking--men.

Moments ago, Husband looked on in, I'd like to think, awe, as I gave myself the first shot of nine. The needle looks pretty scary, but it really didn't hurt. According to the calendar my RE gave me today, the IUI date is either the 22nd or 23rd, so a full day or two before family arrives for turkey day. But, due to overwhelming demand, I will do my very best to fit a turkey baster joke into my Thanksgiving repertoire.

Tomorrow's post will be about something far more fun than this baby-making riggamaroll; I will be writing about my return to TARGET!!!! SQUEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Like Mother, Like Son...or Maybe Not.

I'm not what you'd call a "fan" of the dentist. I didn't mind going when I was a kid, really. My dentist was a kind old gentleman who'd been cleaning my parents' teeth for years. He had some stray nose hairs I remember staring at while he dug around in my mouth with his pudgy fingers (in the days before rubber gloves), but other than that, I had no complaints.

And then in high school, I had to have my wisdom teeth extracted. They were impacted and all kinds of fun stuff and the decision was made that I'd be put under general anesthesia in the hospital for the extraction as opposed to having it done in the office. Having had no experiences with surgery before, I had no fear--I had nothing to compare it to and no images in my head of what the prep and aftermath would look or feel like.

So lying in the hospital bed, waiting to be wheeled in to the OR, a kind-hearted nurse with the best of intentions comes up to me and says, "Okay, honey, so later on tonight when you're at home, you might throw up and it will be really dark. Don't worry; it's just because you're going to end up swallowing a lot of blood and that will make the vomit darker than you're used to." Um. Used to??? Used to???!!! I'm NOT used to vomiting. Ever.

I think I've mentioned here before that one of my biggest fears in life is vomiting. I once stopped eating for more than a month except for chicken broth and toast because I saw another kid puke and was so freaked out by it that I couldn't bear to run the risk of throwing up by having food in my stomach to throw up. A smidgen twisted, but it made perfect sense to me at the time.

So hearing "you're going to throw up later" moments before being put under general anesthesia for the first time ever may have caused a wee bit of anxiety for me. And by "wee bit of anxiety", I am referring to trying to get up off of the table right before being wheeled in, saying "I don't want to do this," and I think now, looking back, I was mid-panic attack when the anesthesiologist told me to start counting backwards from 100. Rather than count, I clearly recall saying, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe," and then poof. Sleepy land.

I woke up in recovery fairly certain that I had in fact died, what with the whole not being able to breathe thing. Coming out of the fog, everything in the recovery room was white, cloud-like, from the warm white sheets wrapped around me, to the white walls, to the white gauze packing my face. It could certainly have been heaven. Yup. Dead. Went in for some little tooth business. Came out. Dead. Which? In my mind at the time, probably would have been fine with me IF I could be certain that there was no vomiting in heaven.

I heard my dad's voice, and knew that last I checked, he had in fact been alive, so that meant to me that perhaps I wasn't in heaven, but just in a really bright and plainly decorated recovery room. And was alive. And was going to go home and vomit. Blood.

Oh. My. God. I remember the fear of that night so vividly. There was no sleeping. I never vomited, not even once, but the fear of it made me so nauseous that I shook in my bed most of the night, wide awake and waiting. And crazy ass vomiting fears aside, recovering from the extraction was paaaaainful. The only other serious pain I'd had in my life up to that point was menstrual cramps. And holy moly, I had those. Like pass-out-from-the-pain cramps. You can see that I have a wicked high pain threshold, right? Yeah. I'm tough. This was like the worst menstrual cramps ever, but in the back of my mouth. Good times.

It was routine and uneventful, medically speaking, but it forever changed how I felt about going to the dentist. I continued to go every six months until I was off my parent's insurance (because I'm super independent and my mom kept making appointments for me until I graduated college. Thanks, mommy!). After that, though, and since, I have been spotty at best, in my trips to the dentist. I'm kind of like the woman in the 1-800-DENTIST commercial who mocks the 1-800-DENTIST guy in the elevator, who can't understand why she needs to go to a dentist. Yeah. I'm responsible like that. I know I need to go more often. And I will. But this isn't about me (contrary to the fact that you've been reading about me since I started this post).

But as a mother, I HAVE to bring my kid. So I did. Today. I took some deep breaths, promised myself I wouldn't pass my own anxiety on to Ethan and off we went. I envisioned much screaming, fearful eyes under the bright lights and tears. I envisioned Ethan looking at me like "why why why would you do this to meeeeee," and a dentist who would throw her hands up and say, "I can't work with him if he's going to be this worked up."

File this under "Mama drama over-reaction" (and I know, that file is WAY full at this point), but the kid had a bona fide blast at the dentist. LOVED it. She had toys for him to play with while she and I chatted. Then she invited Ethan to climb up into her space-ship chair and introduced him to Mr. Tickle (the polishing brush) and talked about sugar-bugs and how she was going to check for them in his mouth. He was full-on AWESOME and I've never been prouder.

There were even x-rays and he did well with those, too. XRAYS! He did gag once on the bite-plate, but even that didn't deter him from enjoying himself. He smiled as the tech replaced the bite plate and zipped another xray picture. Who IS this child?! On the way home he said, "I liked the dentist, mommy!" and later in the day spent time prying my mouth open and "checking for sugar bugs" in my teeth.

So fine; he's got a tiny shallow cavity on one of his front teeth--we're going back in a few weeks so the dentist can buff it out and put a small white filling over it. I brush his teeth a little too hard, so I've made his gums a bit sensitive and have to practice brushing more gently. Other than that, he's in tip-top shape. And if this makes any sense, I am a little less afraid of going back to the dentist myself now.





Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally, an excuse for all my belly fat...

Apparently belly fat is a GREAT receptacle for fertility drugs. Well, bring it! Thank goodness I've been storing up this fat since my pregnancy with Ethan! You know how they say muscle has a memory and can bounce back to it's former shape when "reminded" to by exercise? Wouldn't it be cool if my tummy flab also had a memory and could remember being knocked up? That would be awesome. A couple of shots in the "smiley face right below the belly button" (yeah, that's what the lady called it) and POOF! fat cells start yawning, stretching and saying, "heyyyyyyy, wasn't I pregnant a little while ago? That was awesome. Let's do that again."

I'm sorry. What the hell am I talking about? Oh yeah, I had my injectables training today. The nurse/therapist who did the training was wonderful, very comforting. She came equipped with a 1.5 hour long power point presentation (you read that correctly) about the entire process, detailing everything from what phone numbers and extensions will give you an actual real live person on the other end of the phone in the office, to how many days to abstain from sex before your procedure. To everything in between---and there's a LOT of stuff in between.

Funniest part of the training? On the way in, another woman and I noticed a bunch of green "gift bags" at an entry table, turned to each and said, "Swag at the infertility clinic? Nice touch." Maybe she went to BlogHer, too.

Also? A tiny little women who I think may have been Chinese came into the conference room a few minutes late, meekly sat down next to me and was silent for the majority of the nurse's presentation. As the nurse went from standard clinic procedures into discussing the actual process of giving the shots, this tiny little woman's voice, heavily accented came out of nowhere, "Wait. Doctor doesn't do shots??? WE do shots??? WE do??!!" Poor girl. Yes, WE do the shots ourselves. And not the vodka kind. I wondered why she thought she had to go to a training session if the doctor was going to be the one doing the shots. But it was hilarious. Fortunately she took it in stride once she digested the news that she was going to have to give herself her own shots.

I'm relieved I didn't have to actually stick myself in the belly today. We were given a variety of shots to work with, but administered them into a foam square instead of our (my) own chub. So if everything goes according to the current plan, on Thursday I will start shooting my belly full of hormones for nine days. Then, the night of the tenth day I'll give myself another shot to force my body to ovulate and then off we go for the IUI.

My hope is that we get this process done before it's time to sit down to the dinner table on Thanksgiving. My family's not one to discuss these sorts of matters over a meal, but I may not be able to resist a turkey-baster joke unless the IUI is already behind me.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is It Really Only Monday?

And ONLY day #9 of this reeeediculous NABLOPOMO??? I have officially dropped the Nablopomo ball on the other two blogs, but I will power away on this one, leaving you all wishing that I was just a little bit better at this writing thing when I have to churn something out every day. Because truly.

Really, though, things are lovely. No school today, so Ethan and I met a bunch of the preschool moms and their kiddos at a park. The moms attempted conversations while ducking to look under jungle gym apparatus or craning to see over the other moms' shoulders, to make sure whichever kid was theirs was still somewhat visible and not dangling from the top of a slide or one of those obnoxious twisty ladders. The weather was crisp, the kids were ecstatic to be running around like maniacs, the moms were chatty, and there was coffee. Your basic perfect morning.

A little after 11am, I heard someone call to their child, "Are you ready for lunch?!" and then the blankets came out, spread over the grassy area of the park. Lunch boxes emerged from moms' bags and kids sat around rifling through their sandwiches and whatnot. Things their prepared, organized moms had thought to bring for them. Erm. Oops.

As soon as I heard the word "lunch!" I remembered reading it on the email "playdate....ending with a picnic lunch!" What an awesome idea! If you remember to pack the damn lunch. I, however, did not.

Before getting to the park, however, I'd stopped at Whole Foods to make a small purchase for the purpose of getting out cash to use at the park (they have a $5 parking fee). E saw a box of Annie's Organic snack mix (the healthy kid's answer to Chex Mix, right?), so I grabbed that, requested $20 cash back at check-out, and off we'd gone to the park.

So that box of glorified Chex Mix? Oh yeah. That was my kid's lunch at the park today. As the other kids were eating pasta salad and sandwiches and pieces of fruit. The lunch of champions I happened to have on hand? Chex mix. And to wash it down? The last quarter of a bottle of water I had in the car from this weekend. Because I am nothing if not an excellent mother.

I'm grateful that in my preschool experiences with Ethan, I've never come in contact with "those" moms; the ones who look down their nose at you or seem to judge you at every turn. It's very likely that I'm completely oblivious to the looks and judging, but I doubt that given my penchant for self-doubt and social anxiety. For the most part, every single mom I've met, here and in Los Angeles, through Ethan's schools, have been so friendly and laid-back and fun.

So many times I could walk away feeling like "that" mom, but I don't. Most recently (aside from today's delicious and nutritious lunch offering), I returned for afternoon pick-up at preschool after a shopping trip to Sephora where I happened to have tried on a glitter-based eye liner. That wouldn't come off. So perhaps some of the moms might have thought, "well, now we know what Ethan's mom does with her four hours off each day...*cough* stripper *cough*", but they never said it or looked at me sideways or direct their child away from me if they come near. So it's all good.

Hanging out at the park today with this new group of women reminded me of my mom friends in LA and of my mom friends in Virginia. So many other kids' moms have touched my life in the past 3.5 years. I can't help but feel incredibly blessed not just in that my kid is so freaking awesome on a daily basis, and that I get to watch him grow up and be this amazing little person, but that through his mere existence and the fact that he's got a life to lead that involves school and friends and all of that, I get to meet new people all the time, too. Life's pretty sweet.

Oh, and as a side note? Tomorrow I get to go to the infertility clinic and learn how to shoot myself up with drugs that will shock my ovaries into spitting out eggs like a pitching machine. Awesome.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Long-Haired Hippie Freak...

I recently suggested to Ethan that we get his hair cut before the holidays, what with the grandparents coming and the plethora of pictures sure to be snapped during said visits. He looked at me with much chagrin and nixed that plan, stating, "No, Mommy. I have Beatles hair."

The obsession with the Beatles has reached all kinds of new heights. We listen to them every morning on our way to school. Ethan's current line of questioning goes beyond, "What song is this?" or "What is Paperback Writer singing about?" to things like, "Mommy, is this John singing, or Paul?" or since he doesn't quite get the concept of harmonizing, "Mommy, why does Paul sound so weird in this song?"

His teacher has incorporated Ethan's love of the Beatles into the class room by bringing in instrumental versions of their music (which is so much better than the kids going home singing, "look at them run like pigs from a gun" or "pornographic priestess, boy you been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down,"). I love that they are tuned in (no pun intended) to his musical interests enough to nurture them. His school makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

But anyway, back to the hair (is it really only day 8 of NABLOPOMO and I'm already talking about my kid's hair??!! People, the well is dry. I imagine day 25 will just be the sound of crickets chirping). He looks so grown up and handsome with it cut short and close to his head--we're not talking buzz-cut; I think Husband I would both weep at that. It looks sweet on lots of boys, but Ethan just isn't a buzz-cut type of kid. We just tend to say, "neaten it up and short enough so we won't be back in three weeks." And what we normally get is:

Yeah, I mostly chose that picture because he's clodding down the hallway in a pair of my peep-toe black patten leather stilettos and a string of purple Mardi Gras beads. And that's fabulous. But his hair is also very short in the picture.

What we have now is this:


he looks especially Beatle-y in this picture, I think.

"Here comes the sun...and I'm going to eat it! Nom nom nom."

and if he gets a hold of some styling product while I'm not looking?

I can't bring myself to cut it, people. It's too stinking cute. If I do say so myself (and I do.) So while people might think it is lazy parenting that my kid's hair is all but in his eyes these days, I say it is allowing a child to channel his inner-Beatle.



Saturday, November 07, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name...

....or at least one person.

Tonight Husband, Ethan and I were out to dinner a town or two over from ours. We were sitting outside at a burger place, sharing a plate of sweet potato fries (because my diet is going so super).

As I dipped my fry in whatever that little taste of heaven dip they have there is, I heard someone say, "Hey, Sarah!" It was a new friend of mine, who happened to be walking by and recognized me sitting there with my family. We introduced our husbands to each other, made tentative plans for a play date next week and they went on their way.

Before we moved here, I lamented that I didn't want to go through the effort and expend the energy to make new friends yet again. That it was exhausting and took all the strength of my self-confidence to put myself out there. But you know what? Having someone recognize me, and call out to say "hi" to me and my family on a Saturday night in a crowd of people? That moment made it all worth it. I will continue to take deep breaths and put myself out there and quilt together a patchwork of community.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Find Your Happy Place

Several years ago, after a hideous break up (what I now refer to as the biggest bullet ever dodged), I did three things: plummeted into depression for the first time in my life, started therapy for the first time in my life and took a vacation, by myself, far far away from the source of my pain.

A wonderfully kind friend who lived in San Francisco at the time FedEx'd me the keys to his apartment. He was going to be on a business trip, but invited me to stay at his place during my school's spring break, clear my head, get some perspective, learn how to breath all over again.

I flew to San Francisco and arrived at a doorstep in the Castro in the middle of the night. I let myself in with my FedEx'd keys and dropped my bag in my friend's empty living room/bed room (ah, the days of studio apartment living!). I spent a lot of time sitting out on his tiny balcony, watching the fog crawl down hills, writing in my journal and wondering how long it would be until I felt whole again.

Over the next several days, I only spoke to ask directions or to order food. I walked the city, from the Castro down to the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf to Golden Gate Park (not all at once). As I walked down Haight, a bare-chested long-haired hippie ten years younger than me stopped playing his guitar and offered me a foot rub for $1. I climbed on a bus that dropped me at the Muir Woods, where I wandered through the giants for the better part of an afternoon.

Everything about San Francisco was rejuvenating, and slowly I felt myself coming back to life. I knew I had a long way to go, but that week gave me glimpses of peace and the strength to fight through the depression to find it. But the one place I remember above all others is the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. There's no way to describe the calm I felt walking through there without sounding like a giant dork (not that I usually let that stop me, I know).

Down the road, not far from the tea garden, there are little ponds. I sat by the edge of one pond, thinking about my life--choices I had made, choices that were made for me, and how to move forward with my life. I don't know how long I sat there (I'd walked from the Castro, so my feet were freaking killing me; I had not taken that hippie up on his offer of a foot massage, but I was in no hurry to get up and start moving again), but at one point I looked down and a turtle, no bigger than the size of my hand, had crawled up out of the pond and was sitting next to me. He didn't move until I got up to walk away. He was just a silent witness and companion to my healing.

For some reason, that turtle was profoundly comforting to me and when I got up to walk home not long after, I felt there had been a shift in my mindset and my belief that life would go on and that happiness in the future was a real possibility for me.

This weekend, more than a decade having passed since that week of my life, Husband and I took Ethan to the aquarium in Golden Gate Park. When we arrived, I recognized that we were only a short walk away from the tea garden and after we'd exhausted Ethan's ability to oooooh and aaaahhhh at jellyfish and Nemos, we headed over to the tea garden.

Watching Ethan explore the garden, and being there with Husband, aside from just being fun, brought me at once back to that time in my life when I could hardly envision a future in which they could exist, and brought what has been in a way a long journey towards inner peace, full circle.










Thursday, November 05, 2009

What is it they say about opinions?

Oh yes. I remember. But I'm too much of a lady to write that in my blog. Ha.

So today I met with a new high risk OB. Not that I need one right now. But other girly business needed tending to, so that's how I ended up in yet ANOTHER hospital gown a mere week after my appointment with the RE. And next week I go BACK to the RE for my injectable training. I'm wondering if hospital gowns will be involved in that, too. I'm starting to think I look quite fetching in them.

But anyway. You may recall 2 years ago when I went to my former high risk OB and she clucked her tongue in disapproval as she searched for what I could only assume at the time was a missing tonsil somewhere in my abdominal cavity. But no, she was just trying to locate my cervix. You remember, the incompetent one? She said at the time that were I to get pregnant again, my only choice would be to have a transabdominal cerclage, rather than your garden variety vaginal cerclage. Transabdominal is exactly what it sounds like. Right through the tummy. And who doesn't like a bit of major abdominal surgery whilst gestating? Awesome.

Of course, as luck would have it, my uterus remained on unpaid leave for the remainder of our time in that particular high risk OB's jurisdiction. And when I started meeting with doctors in Los Angeles, they all, without examining me of course, looked at me like I had 10 heads when I said, "transabdominal". "No, no, honey," my first OB said, "I don't do transabdominals unless a vaginal one has failed on a prior pregnancy." So, erm. I'd have to get pregnant, get a regular cerclage, wait a few weeks, lose the baby, then get pregnant AGAIN before you'd consider a transabdominal? "Yes, honey, that's right," she said. Ooookay. This is the same woman who wanted me, miss high risk, on unmonitored clomid. I'm thinking she might have been on Octomom's team of "specialists" or something.

But then when the Los Angeles RE echoed the sentiment that I wouldn't need a transabdominal cerclage, I started to relax a bit. Maybe the regular old cerclage, the one you just need a spinal block and a massive speculum for, would be enough for me!!! I wasn't as incompetent as I thought after all!!!! Hooray!!!!

Today, as the newest high risk OB had a go at the internal exam, I heard her cluck her teeth and say, "Yeah, I can't work with that. It's going to have to be transabdominal."

Seriously, people. Just set fire to my hair and call it a day.

I know it shouldn't matter because let's face it, there's a chance that there is absolutely NO cerclage in my future at all. But the waffling, and the different opinions about something so significant are making me a little twitchy.

In a way, it was a small relief to hear a new doctor echo something that had been said by those doctors that took such great care of me back in Virginia, and who I trusted with my and my child's life during those months of bed rest. It made me trust this woman and believe she really wanted what was absolutely best and safest for me and a baby.

At the same time, the idea of major abdominal surgery, and the risks that come along with it, open up a whole can of fear and uncertainty for me that the regular cerclage just didn't. Sure, they both come with risks. But the TAC is so much more invasive, requires c-section recovery time, and is riskier to the baby because of how much closer to the baby it is.

Sigh. The Debbie Downer in me sometimes wonders, after almost two years of trying and all of the risks involved with another pregnancy, is the universe trying to tell me that this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing with my life?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Finally, HALLOWEEEEEEEN!

Better late than never and all that trite crap, right?

So, the title for this post was originally going to be "The one in which I sound like a cranky old man bitching about how I used to walk to school, uphill, both ways, in three feet of snow and bare feet. And I LIKED it!"

But I thought that was too wordy.

When I was growing up, we were all about Halloween. No, we didn't trek to Target in August to start stocking up on candy (by the way, I'm on day 6 of my Target hiatus and I'm not even a little bit twitchy yet, so there), or set up animatronic witches in the yard that would cackle and drool blood anytime someone walked by. There were no dry-ice machines puffing pretend smoke at the doorway of our houses. We wore giant plastic masks and nylon-based costumes that burst into flames if we so much as looked at a jack o'lantern, transforming our costume from Howdy Dowdy to the less popular Self-Immolating Monk. We went up and down our streets knocking on our neighbors' doors, shouting "TRICK OR TREAT!!!" with such gusto, you'd think we were taking them by surprise at every ring of the doorbell. "Really? It's Halloween?! Thank goodness I have some candy just lying around for you! What are you? A Self-Immolating Monk? Very realistic!"

I recall one year trick or treating on crutches, I was so gung-ho for the experience. In 5th grade, I sprained my ankle a total of three times; probably because I never let it heal the first time or the the second time. It's the sort of thing where my left ankle now aches when it's going to rain. Yeah, I'm THAT old, folks. But I would not be deterred by the crutches, so I threw on a costume, swung myself down the street on my crutches and let me tell you, my basket was chock o'block full that year---sympathy candy. It's a good thing.

As an adult, after those awkward years of "I'm too old to trick or treat, but not old enough to use Halloween as an excuse to get stupid drunk with my friends," the holiday became a night of crazy costumes--I have been a back up dancer for Madonna, Molly Shannon's Mary Katherine Gallagher ("sometimes....when I get nervous....I stick my fingers under my arms and then I smell them....like thisssssssssss"), an old lady, a Goth, a Studio 54 partier. Nothing is more fun than planning the costume, finding all the pieces for the costume, dressing up in it and then watching the reaction of other people when they see you transformed.

So I have fond memories of Halloween. For the most part. And more than anything, I want Ethan to have fond memories of his Halloweens, too. So far he has been a peapod, a monkey and a bumble bee. This year he decided to be a fireman. He is at an age where he "gets" it. He started to demand trick or treating sometime around the 28th and I had to keep explaining to him that we couldn't simply walk up to peoples' houses whenever we felt like it and demand candy. Except for 2 hours on the 31st, that is considered really uncouth. Yeah, a 3.5 year old could give a rat's ass about couth--he wants candy.

Since Ethan was born, I've not considered dressing up myself. Too busy, too tired. Nothing to do and no place to go, really. A whole lot of effort for pretty much no pay off in comparison to years gone by. But this year I decided at the last minute that I HAD to dress up. Earlier in the month I'd purchased a witch hat from the $1 bin at Target, mainly to amuse Ethan during one of our marathon Target trips. But it was floating around in the dining room and I decided to be a witch. The day before Halloween, we ran around finding a long black wig, green face paint and green and black striped tights. My Sephora holiday catalogue arrived in the mail on Saturday and the cover model was all glittery and fake eyelash-y. My costume idea really materialized: GLAMOUR WITCH!!! Well, glamour-ish. There's only so much glamour you can pull off when your face is green.

I knew our neighborhood wouldn't be ripe for trick or treating--not enough kids and the few kids that are on the block are from families that don't really believe in observing Halloween. So, okay. I got dressed up, we got Ethan dressed up and threw him and his fire hat, fire extinguisher and bull-horn siren into his little red wagon and hauled him to the next neighborhood over. The neighborhood with the massive houses and the cul-du-sacs. Where the people with kids and loads of expendable cash live--they'd have some rocking trick or treating there!!!!

Except they didn't. Out of 20 houses, maybe 8 of them were open for business, in a trick or treating sense. When I was growing up, you gave out candy on October 31st. Period. No discussion. Every porch light was on, unless there was some sort of major family emergency, and even then, you found someone to do the candy passing. Fine, no one in my neighborhood had haunted houses or mock graveyards set up in the front yard or screaming skeletons hanging from trees, but they had their porch lights on and they oooh'd and ahhhh'd at every single child who presented themselves at their doors. Kids took ONE piece of candy, said "thank you" and showed off their candy to their parents waiting at the end of the walkway.

I know I'm paining a very Normal Rockwell picture of Halloween's past and perhaps they weren't as idyllic as I am recalling. But there is something seriously disheartening about watching your little fireman bound up to a door (with its front light on), knock as hard as his little fist can manage, ring the doorbell, and have no one come to the door to tell him that he looks like such a brave fireman and to give him some candy.

I don't think Ethan was too disappointed; those who did answer their doors were effusive in their appreciation for how stinking cute he was as a fireman and everyone gave him two pieces of candy. So he did all right in the loot department and all of that. Fair enough.

But I couldn't help but feel that Halloween was losing it's magic. Entire neighborhoods with front lights off, other neighborhoods with only a smattering of porch lights turned on. It made me sad, and Husband would probably say I pouted a little bit underneath all that green make up.

I love love love living in Northern California. But I know that the neighborhood we live in now will not be the one we stay in indefinitely. I want Ethan to grow up in a place where community is a priority. Not so that he gets a ton of candy when he trick or treats one night a year. But so that he knows that porch lights will always be on for him.

Fire Chief E, reporting for duty.

He wore the entire ensemble to dinner on Friday night-in case the sushi place suddenly bust into flame, he wanted to be prepared.




Sadly, anyone who was within 10 feet of me is probably still finding glitter on their person to this day. Looks like Ethan might have gotten some in his eye. I was very shiny.

My love affair with goofy tights was rekindled this Halloween. Green and black stripes? I'll be wearing you all winter long, baby!

I would like to live in green face paint, fake lashes and glitter. Would that be wrong?

Aaaaand he's off....

Yeah, that's the Little Red Wagon of Hope (note Obama sticker still afixed)


Mama witch and fire chief looting up at the first house.

For the record, I had a file-folder full of scanned pictures from Halloweens past that I really wanted to upload for this post, but Blogger.com is TRES MUY useless today, so I guess we're lucky I got any of them to load. Apparently all of my scanned pictures are "corrupt", which is blogger.com's way of saying, "We're sorry. We're TRES MUY useless today." Meh.