Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'd Make a Tiger Woods Joke...

but since this post is about my 3.5 year old son and Tiger has turned out to be such a randy perv, it's probably not very appropriate. But we went golfing today. Of the mini variety. Also known as "put-put." An ages old tradition of kitchy dragons, windmills and bright blue astro-turf.

We were celebrating the sunshine. For the past couple of weeks, we have wondered if our Earth didn't perhaps shift on its access about 800 miles north and sent us careening into Seattle's weather pattern. It has rained for about fourteen days in a row in the past few weeks, the sun just peeking out from behind the clouds for good (or, for now) yesterday. So today we felt we had to get out of the house and do something to pay homage to the big yellow fire ball in the sky. And since the likelihood of seeing us on a hiking trail is pretty much the same as your chances of seeing Glenn Beck giving Obama big bear hug (note: sign of the Apocalypse), we found our great outdoors within the chain-link fenced mini golf course and arcade (although the arcade technically is not "outdoors") a few miles from our house.

Mini golf with a not-quite-four year old? It's an exercise in both patience and giving up control of all-the-rules-that-make-the-world-go-round. Watching Ethan pick his little green dimpled ball up off the astroturf and plop it into the cup? Sent me all twitchy. I try not to be a "color inside the lines!!!!!" type of mom because I'd like my kid to spend as little time as possible in therapy later in life (who are we kidding? He'll spend some time there, but I'd like to think I can minimize it through my own actions. Because it is all about me). But for some reason, golf seems to be a rule-laden sport (yes, even the put-put kind!) and watching Ethan kick his ball, sweep his ball all around the 'green' with the club and grab it in his chubby little hand and toss it into the cup just all made me antsy. Sometimes I was able to bite my tongue and laugh at how much fun he was having breaking the rules. And other times Husband had to remind me that he is three and its fuckingminigolf!!!

After the fresh air and good sportsmanship (except for the dad and two kids in front of us who repeatedly called each other "loser" as each took a shot---not really your Noggin type family fantasy land, but whatever), Husband and I gave in to the ding-ding-dings and flashing lights, certainly contributing to a future parent/teacher conference during which we will hear: "Ethan's a sweet boy, but he seems to have trouble focusing and paying attention," and took Ethan into the arcade. Ethan sat on Husband's lap and raced snow mobiles, souped up Mazdas and probably a motorcycle or two.

Best part about the whole day? We discovered that the mini-golf course opens at 9:30am on Saturday mornings. What a wonderful father/son bonding experience: Saturday morning breakfast and mini-golf! Mama senses some quiet time in her future.

waiting for the magic to begin....

Husband shares his years of mini golf expertise with the young one...

See? Hole in one. I put it there myself.

Again with the tongue 'o concentration.

Clearly today was "dress your child in the dark" day. He is a fashion "don't" on so many levels here. I take full responsibility. I am sick of him always being better dressed than me. My fix? Dress him like a shlump, too.

this is how you hold it, right?

blue astroturf & green golf ball. Just like the Masters, right?

Nothing says "classy" like a chain link fenced-in activity.

caught red-handed

what?! I totally hit that in with my club. Fair & square. Right?

Dude, I'm so beat from hitting golf balls through the windmill.

There's always time for air guitar...

...and golf club jousting

lining up the shot...sort of.

Ethan versus the windmill
perhaps it's time to trim the bangs. perhaps.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sweet dreams, Holden Caulfield

I didn't meet Holden Caulfield when I was a teenager. I attended a small, all-girl Catholic school and I guess the teachers there didn't feel that adolescent girls needed to mess with the likes of what they must have seen as a subversive teenage boy, a high-school drop out with a penchant for the the f-bomb. I guess. Whatever the reason, it was a huge disservice on their part to keep Holden from us. When I first read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, I remember thinking, in how many ways would my teen years have been easier if I'd met Holden earlier? If I'd been given him as a vehicle through which to realize that all of my fears and disillusions weren't new, weren't unique; that I wasn't alone. I hadn't been running away from home, with absent parents, destined for the psych-ward. I hadn't lost a sibling. I had been an only child, a middle-class honor student. But I still felt Holden Caulfield, when I finally met him as a young teacher, reach into a quiet forgotten space of my mind and say, "Remember that? Remember when you felt that, too?"

I introduced Holden Caulfield to hundred of teenagers over the course of my decade-long teaching career. Some recoiled from him in disgust, "Miss S, he's a pervert!" they'd howl, or "Why should I believe anything he says? He told me in the first couple of chapters that he's a flat-out liar! Maybe none of this happened at all?!" or "Why does he have to swear so much?!" They were either the kids whose own fears and disillusions were so deep down inside of them that acknowledgement of Salinger's character threatened to break down a facade of strength that they just couldn't run the risk of losing, or they were the type of kid whose entire life peaked in high school and they were currently riding too high to see the crash ahead of them.

But most students found something in Caulfield to connect to. They appreciated his paralyzing grief over losing his brother, Allie, talking for entire class periods at a time about Holden chanting "Don't let me disappear, Allie. Don't let me disappear," as he stepped off curbs to cross the street. They found his disillusionment with education powerful. They cringed for him as he called Sally on the pay phone, wishing that for just a second he could be "normal" and get it right. They gave a big old "right on!" when Holden complained about his brother DB being a sell-out in Hollywood (kids love to condemn anyone that allows their dreams to be corrupted by outside influences--or at least they used to). More than a few were deeply moved by Holden's fierce love for and desire to protect his little sister, Phoebe, who in so many ways is more mature and ready to face life than is Holden.

It's been years since I either read or taught The Catcher in the Rye, but upon hearing of JD Salinger's death yesterday at the age of 91, I felt compelled to pull one of the many copies of it I've owned off the shelf and carefully go back through it's pages. It is a copy I used in the class room, so it is dog-earred and annotated to the point of exhaustion. The maroon and gold cover hangs to the body of the book by a thin wisp of paper connecting cover to spine. It is a well-loved book that has sat on my shelf for years, untouched. Even though I've lived in three different homes since I last read the book, I knew exactly where to find it--on the shelf I always seem to reserve for my favorites. It sits beside Alan Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.

I think I've mentioned before that I left teaching abruptly when I was put on bed rest during my pregnancy with Ethan. I may have also mentioned that I have never missed it. By the time I left teaching, it had become an exercise in teaching students to pass a test, to satisfy No Child Left Behind requirements and to create data that could show our students were all learning the same thing, at the same time, through the same methods, for the same end results. I do believe Holden Caulfield would have spontaneously combusted in an environment like that.

But yesterday, when I posted the online news article about Salinger's death on my Facebook page, one of my former students responded that she'd read that book in my class and that she'd liked it so much. It brought me back to my early years in the class room, when I was discovering this book for the first time, too; in that first year, I was often only one chapter ahead of my students (ssssh, don't tell). Yesterday was the first time in four years (and one week) that I missed teaching.

As a teacher, Holden Caulfield is a perfect character. Unpacking him is endless; understanding him completely is a Sisyphean task. Trying to explain the how's and why's of Holden opened up hundreds of essay topics and hours of conversation. As a teacher (and as a former teenager riddled with my own kind of angst), I adore Holden Caulfield.

As a mother, Holden Caulfield stops me cold in my tracks. So isolated, so misunderstood, so filled to the brim with anger and confusion and grief and fear. Though the story timeline only spans 3-4 days of Holden's seventeenth year, Salinger makes it clear that his character's angst is the culmination of a lifetime of experiences. His parents are so oblivious to him, so detached from what their son is going through. But we see that from his perspective, not theirs. We don't get a full account of what they have done for him, if anything, in the past, to alleviate his suffering. Is it possible that they are loving and caring, but Holden is still this tormented? As a parent, Holden Caulfield makes me wonder how I can ensure my child never feels this lost. And makes me fear and realize that, as he gets older and life shows him it's ugly side, I won't be able to protect him.

I am extremely sad that the world lost such a great voice yesterday in the death of Salinger. Although he lived the majority of his life in isolation in New Hampshire (which leads me to wonder to what extent Salinger was Caulfield), the voice of his most famous character continues to speak above and beyond any other for adolescents, generations later.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Did I Mention?

"Dear G-d, woman!" you say, "How many blogs can you write?"

I know. Well, let's be honest. If you've checked either of my other blogs lately, you know that I'm really writing, um, one. I have good intentions of writing in Frustrated English Teacher because I have read some amazing books lately (and because I am inordinately sad about JD Salinger's death today and feel the need to immerse myself in books once again). The No More Fat Sarah blog? Meh. Writing a blog about losing weight alone is kind of like trying to lose that weight alone. Not so much with the effectiveness.

So my friend Kate and I decided that, since we both want to lose 30lbs, we'd start a blog together, to share our stories and offer each other support along the way. She write a couple entries a week and I (in theory) do, too. Kate is an awesome, hilarious writer and I love sharing a blog with her. Feel free to pop over to our blog every once in awhile (or? daily?) and see how we're doing!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

So many wonderful suggestions and words of wisdom from you, interwebs. I pink puffy heart you for your thoughtful responses and tips on how to get my kid to stop making bedtime a waking nightmare.

So many factors to consider. His bedtime, when Husband comes home from work (about 20 minutes before bedtime, thereby making the whole process madness), his sense of control over the whole thing, how he winds down, how we deal with the procrastination and all the whining that goes with it.

We've not gotten it down to a science (or anything remotely close to one), but we've started talking about it and made a few changes.

Change 1.) He stays up a little bit later. Whereas bedtime used to be 7pm, it is now 7:30pm. That means that he gets some actual quality time with Husband before bedtime. This has taken the shape of rebuilding train tracks previously ripped to shreds by a play date, building with blocks, and sharing more about our days (which we already do at dinner, but whatever; he manages to come up with new stuff). It's nice to see Ethan playing with Husband for those 30 minutes as opposed to whirling like a dervish for ten minutes before bedtime, trying to squeeze in all he daddy-time his tired brain and body can handle. Yes, he's really tired by the time he goes to bed now, but it's a happier tired. And that has made a huge difference. And it still gets him to bed before 8pm (because I'm with you, Kita; after 8pm? No kiddos!!!)

Change 2.) When Ethan's babysitter was over a couple weekends ago, she said that he was adamant about putting his pull-up and jammies on by himself. With Husband and me? Ha. "You do it! I can't do it!" is the mantra du jour (every jour). So in the past week, we've encouraged Ethan to do this part of the night time routine independently. To give him a sense of ownership. Kids like that, right? Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Change 3.) Ethan is not so great with the quick change. When transitioning from co-sleeping, and giving up the paci, we talked with Ethan about the changes, gave him a chance for input on how he wanted it to go. He picked out his bedding for his new bed. He made a card for the Paci Fairy. So this time, we've started talking to him about falling asleep on his own, and that how in a few weeks he's going to be falling asleep on his own like a big boy. Thanks to MamaBear, who mentioned her little girl's butterfly lights and jokingly suggested we find Beatles lights....we are currently searching for Beatles things that he can take to bed with him to help him stay in bed on his own, or rather, with the Beatles.

Beatles songs arranged as lullabies? Yes, please.

Who couldn't sleep better at night knowing the Beatles are watching over you? Right?

What I need to find is a pillow with the Beatles' faces on it or individual Beatles dolls. That don't cost eleventy billion dollars.

We are hoping to have these things amassed in the next couple of weeks and we will then commence with the pseudo-tough love, and hopefully, we'll be on our way to a kinder, gentler (for us ALL) bedtime routine. Until then, the later bedtime seems to be solving most of the whine and evade issues. And right now, this mama will take what she can get.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Things We Want To Teach Our Kids...

As an introduction to this, let me say, interwebs, you KNOW I don't get all preachy on you, like, ever. But this has been bothering me for days, and even at the risk of putting people off or losing followers, I have to share my thoughts on this.

I'm fairly certain none of us have been living under a rock as of late, so we all know that in early January, a 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, killing an estimated 200,000 people and orphaning tens of thousands of children in moments. The ground shook for 35 seconds. That's all the time it took to shatter bones, dreams, lives. There was, of course, as is the case with earthquakes, no warning. No way of knowing that in a matter of moments, life as you knew it (even then most likely riddled with uncertainties and poverty unlike anywhere else in the Western hemisphere) would never be the same.

As with the Indonesian tsunami in 2004, New Orlean's hurricane Katrina in 2006, the Ethiopian famine in 1984 and countless other natural disasters that have rocked our world in my lifetime, I was inspired by the generosity of spirit (and wallet) that I saw from not only my friends and local organizations, but also, as always, from the media and those in positions (either through entertainment or politics) to influence people to give what they could to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, etc. I am constantly amazed by how our cynical world transforms itself into a giant embrace of goodwill and giving when we see the mass suffering of our fellow human beings.

Which is why it bothers me to my core to see some of the anti-Haitian sentiment I've seen not only through nutjobs like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson--please, I expect nothing less from those characters. But within my own Twitter stream and Facebook status updates, I see people I know in one context or another (everything from family to a fellow blogger I've never met) posting things about how we should be ashamed of donating money to Haiti when we have our own problems as a country.

The one which bothers me in particular is one that is copied and pasted into the status update space, so not even someone's original thought:

"Shame on you America. The only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations. 99% of people won't have the guts to copy and repost this."

It's hard for me to even begin explaining all the WRONG I see here. I won't be a snark-ass and point out all the grammatical errors, but I will say whomever actually first posted this status update, and bullied the masses into copying and pasting it could have paid a bit more attention in 8th grade English. I'm just saying...

Let's now take a look at the "facts" included in the gem. America is the only country where we have homeless without shelter? America is the only country where we have children going hungry? Well, yes, I suppose it is the only country where "we" Americans have these things, because we ARE American.

But I assure you, oh anonymous first poster of this absurdly obnoxious status update, America is NOT the only country that faces the problems of homelessness, hunger, untreated illness, etc. And the fact that you think that? And think it strongly enough to actually post it for the world to see, and encourage others to post it for their worlds to see? I would be so embarrassed for you, were you not perhaps one of the most ignorant, isolationist, xenophobic individuals I've had the pleasure of not actually meeting. And to my friends and family who are smart enough to know this is NOT the case, but posted this in your status update anyway: I love you, but WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???

In 2005, there were 100 million homeless people in our world. Approximately 744,000 of them in America. A staggering, unacceptable number. But a far cry from us being the "only country" with homelessness.

And then there is the bullying. "Shame on you" and "you won't have the guts to repost this." This person, whoever s/he may be, clearly never heard of the old adage that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Really? America should be ashamed? It's interesting, because I recall donating to the Red Cross after both 9/11 and Katrina. I donate food to our local food shelters. My child gives tzedakah every Shabbat at his preschool (although, G-d forbid, that money went to buy a family in a 3rd world country a flock of chickens, so you know, clearly--shame on my son!). It's a mighty big assumption that just because I also donated money to help those devastated by the Indonesian tsunami and the Haitian earthquake that I am somehow leaving my fellow American to squander in their poverty. And to try to shame me, and to imply that I'm a coward for not agreeing with them that I should be ashamed? I have no words.

I do get that many people who posted that are probably "just trying to say" that as Americans we should take better care of our own. And I do not disagree with that. My politics, if anyone knows me, are liberal. Bleeding heartedly. I absolutely agree that we should be doing more; I pay my taxes dutifully and pray that the money I pay in taxes goes exactly to what the status post talks about: housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick. But, you and I both know that in some cases, it doesn't. Yes, some of it does. Absolutely. A sizeable portion. But the amount that goes elsewhere? Staggering. A quick google search of the expense of the Iraqi war to date? Unfathomable amounts of money. And we give money to terrorist insurgents so that they won't fight against our troops, while at the same time we have Vietnam vets living on the streets.

This is not to get all political, because I believe that our humanitarian consciousness is absolutely bipartisan. I don't know if the person who started that status update is a conservative, a liberal, a communist, a libertarian, an anarchist or what. My point is simply that as Americans, perhaps we don't do enough, but perhaps that is NOT entirely our fault, given that we do not have the option of dictating where exactly our tax dollars go.

But how is that the starving, broken orphan in Port-au-Prince's fault? And why should that child matter any less in my eyes than the child who goes to bed hungry miles away from me in another American city? Why should I be ashamed to share what I have with someone who lives outside of the boundaries of my own country?

Yes. We have problems here in the United States. We have a recession. We've always had homeless and hungry and uninsured. But we are also the richest country in the world. We have the resources, albeit poorly managed on an epic scale. To assume that we, as Americans, are in any way, shape or form in the same state of need as Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere even before the earthquake, and to assert that we should be ashamed for helping them in their hour(s) of need? Unconscionable.

While I hope that as Ethan grows up, we don't encounter more natural disasters in our world, I realize that that is an impossible wish. The earth will shake, the oceans will rise up, the sky above us will periodically seem to fall. And people will be in need. Not just in need of money, but in need of knowing that they've not been forgotten by their fellow humans. Likewise, though I pray for the end of hunger in our own country, I know that will continue as well, as will the other problems mentioned in the status update.

So while I know those circumstances of life will continue to be a part of our human experience, my hope is that Husband and I raise a child (and hopefully children) whose hearts are big enough to encompass a great scope of those who need. Volunteer, donate money and things, here in our own country on a regular basis. But to also reach out to those devastated and in need in other countries. My son does not look like the orphans of Haiti. Their lives, their experiences, their languages--they are all different. But they are the same. I hope we raise our child to be the type of person who will see the hand of G-d in being good and kind and generous to ALL people in need, not just those who happened to be born within the confines of the same country as them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

California Dreaming, My Ass...

It has been raining for five days now in California. All of California. Not just a little cloudy with some drizzle. Downpours. Cliffs sliding into oceans. Thunder. Lightening. Gale-force winds. Trees falling on houses (not ours, thankfully. Yet). Highways closed because of flooding. Since Monday. (And yes I realize that I am a whiny bitch about it because really, it's just rain. Not blizzards or tornados or hurricanes and certainly not life-shattering earthquakes, like the people of Haiti are struggling to recover from right now. So I get that it's self-indulgent and bratty to boo-hoo). Rather than harp further on all the reasons I'm a cranky, cabin-fevered pout-head, I will focus on my happy place.

My happy place? Here:

Maui sunset

The road to Hana

waterfall at the Blue Pool on the road to Hana


Also? I want my long hair back. And my single chin.

Sunset on Waikiki beach, Honolulu

Diamond Head, Waikiki beach, Honolulu

Oh, frosty drinks at the barefoot bar. How I miss you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Study in Concentration...

Or, What the Hell Is Up With My Kid's Tongue...

Today was Ethan's Little Gym performance class--the one where 12 (or 2, in his case) weeks of hard work and preparation pay off with a big bang in the form of a bunch of 3 year olds running around, bumping into each other and falling off of balance beams while pretending to turn into butterflies.

He did awesome. I was so proud of him as he leapt around with the other little, um, Funny Bugs. I did get the "Hey, did you know you just wrote a big check to a cult?" vibe when the SUPERFUNCHEERY!!!! teacher turned on the surround-sound audio of some reassuring sounding man going on about how the gym promotes self-esteem and how these visits to the Little Gym will be a part of my child's cognitive, emotional, social and kinesthetic development forever. And when SUPERFUNCHEERY!!!! teacher reiterated it in her "before you go, we have to read these lines to you so the indoctrination will be complete" speech.

But more than the weird feeling that I had indeed been given a big cup of "the koolaid," I was distracted by the fact that Ethan did EVERYTHING with his tongue sticking out. I'm really not exaggerating. His tongue, mostly poking out of the side of his mouth, was omnipresent during the entire hour. Check out this tongue---it's in every single picture.

except this one--this one is just preshus.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rock-a-bye, and goodnight, go to sleep now, my little demon....

Have I mentioned that our child has never (yes, that's what I said), never slept through the night?

Don't get me wrong, I say that without the expectation of any sympathy whatsoever. Husband and I are fully aware that a lot of the elements of our nighttime routine have created that dynamic. There was the co-sleeping and the lying with him until he falls asleep at night and then going into his room when he wakes up in the wee hours and lying down with him until he falls asleep again. Were I not such a devoted mother lazy shit, I know I could definitely get up after he falls back to sleep and sneak back to the comfort of my own bed. Which would be nice, because Husband rarely twists and turns with such exuberance that I wake to find his cold, clammy feet pressing insistently against my neck.

But really, I've learned--my kid doesn't sleep through the night. If I were to get up and go back to my room, even if I could successfully extricate myself from his pudgy-fingered clutches and tiptoe out of his room without being detected, I know that the second I fall back to sleep in my own bed, he will stir in his, and finding the bed beside him empty, the cycle will start over and I will spend all night running a one-woman relay race from my bed to his. So in an effort to get a "good night's sleep" (ha!), I just say "eff it" and curl up in Ethan's bed when he first wakes up sometime around midnight. I have a hard time falling asleep before that because my internal clock knows that he will wake up sometime soon, and nodding off while you're expecting the pot to boil is not easy feat.

None of this really here nor there in terms of my post, but it's a little bit of background. As much as Husband and I lovelovelovelovelove Ethan, we also love it when he goes to sleep at night. Because then for a couple of hours we can quality time with each other gaze vacantly at the television (which is finally set to something besides Noggin), trying not to drool. I used to be so much smarter, really. I used to read newspapers (do they even exist anymore?) and do crossword puzzles. Now I scan CNN's tweets on my Tweetdeck and absentmindedly play Scramble on Facebook while I watch that pilot guy kiss a bunch of skanks under the guise of "I'm trying to find a wife!" (hello, Bachelor, I'm talking to you).

So Husband and I are knee-deep in chagrin here as we enter this next phase of nighttime parenting. The preschooler dawdle. That turns into the preschooler tantrum. That turns what was a 25 minute bedtime routine into an hour-long battle of wills that is the parental equivalent of being water-boarded by your 3 year old.

First, Husband and I give the countdown to bedtime. "Ten more minutes, Ethan!" At this point, since E isn't able to tell time, Husband and I feel free to adapt the time-continuum to suit our purposes. When only two minutes have elapsed since the first warning, we might say, "Five more minutes, kiddo." Or, if he's playing nicely and happily, sometimes we will wait ten minutes before saying, "Five more minutes, kiddo." Yes, we are drunk with power. Oblivious to the countdown until he hears, "Okay, buddy time for bed!" he is likely to, at that point, flip his proverbial top and scream that he is not ready for bed. He has found that running and hiding in a tiny little corner of his play room or into the guest room and slamming the door is an effective way of prolonging this process, so guess what? He does that. While screaming.

Fine. So he loses a book for that. Normally (ha, what's "normally"?!) he gets three books at bedtime. He loses one each time he pushes the boundaries to the point of making Husband and me mental. He gets the chance to re-earn the book from that moment on. Some nights he earns the books back. More often than not lately, he ends up losing all his books and that makes for a LUNATIC child who refuses to go to sleep. So this is really not working for us.

Once he's in bed, there is the predictable, "I need some water." If he is given water, he needs more water. If he isn't given water, see the above LUNATIC child who refuses to go to sleep thing. Then, if Husband is with him, he wants me. If I am with him, he wants Husband. Briefly (and by briefly I mean for about an hour one night) we gave into this musical parent routine and found ourselves going in and out of his room like a revolving door before agreeing that it was madness. So now he gets who he gets. And whoever he gets, gets an hour of screaming.

So internet, I ask you, for the well-being of my sanity and my quality time couch-monkey time with Husband, what do you recommend? I ask that with the caveat that walking out of his room and letting him scream it out on his own really isn't an option. It's just not something Husband and I will ever be comfortable doing AND I don't really want to spend my evening washing vomit out of sheets. Because that's how that scenario will end.

I'm trying to see this experience through his eyes and figure out what he's trying to accomplish with this change of behavior, or what he's reacting against that is suddenly different in his eyes. I want to find a way to make bedtime something we both enjoy rather than something that makes our last feelings of our day together miserable. I know I'm going to spend most of my overnights in his room until he says, "Ugh, mom, go sleep in your own bed, will ya?" But I'd like not to have to spend an hour in there every night even before he goes to sleep.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What I Need Is a Tiny Set of Jumper Cables...

So this morning I went to the Baby-Making-for-Dummies doctor (that's their real name--Reproductive Endocrinologist just rolls of the tongue more easily). And let me clarify that I am not the dummie in this scenario. My ovaries? They are the dummies. At this point in my journey to baby #2, I have a fairly adversarial relationship with the ovaries, as you can well imagine. I KNOW that they are my only way to the next baby, so I'm kind of obligated to be nice to them. I take a lot of deep breaths when they don't come through and I laugh at all their lousy jokes. But between you and me? I've had it up to here with them. And then some. Not only does the RE have to practically sit on me to find an ovary on an ultrasound, but they do what they want, when they want, how they want. It is most inconvenient when you want them to just pop out one freaking good egg for the LOVE OF GOD!!!!!

Last month, the ovaries had a bit of a hangover from the November round of drugs. An ovarian hangover consists of cysts (say that fast five times). I had two of them. One on each ovary. Fabulous. We could have gone on birth control pills to get rid of the cysts, then pumped up the stimulating drugs and really delved into an exploration of JUSTHOWCRAZYCANIGET?!!! But since it was the holidays and I wanted to be sane for the family, we decided to scrap the month altogether and I was able to maintain a nice even-keel (well, let's face it, my definition of even-keel) for the last month.

Five nights ago I started the current round of drugs. Hello, giant needle! Get in mah belly.

Today I went for my follicle check. You know; dildocam and all that good stuff. Small talk with the RE about the restaurant husband and I went to last night. I may have prattled on a bit too much about the Alaskan black cod. She interrupted my Zagat's rating to ask her assistant to freeze the ultrasound image on one of my measly follicles.

Turns out there are four of them. Which is good. But they're small. Which is bad. The cure for measly follicles? MORE MEDS!! So now I'm twisting the dosage dial up to 225, up from the original 75, every night. Let me tell you, it feels AWESOME to have the incompetence spread like the plague throughout my entire reproductive system.

I'm hoping that these extra 75ius (we were at 150 until tonight) will be the jump start my ovaries need to snap to and realize that I NEEEEEEED them to do this for me just one more time.

We shall see on Wednesday, when I go in for my next date with the d-cam. I am so hoping that this time works, because you know, I'd kind of like to have another baby.

Friday, January 15, 2010

E I E I O....

After school trip today! I'd heard about a quaint little farm a couple of towns over and in my endless quest to avoid endless hours of preschool on TV Noggin, I decided that after I picked Ethan up from school, we'd head up there and get all commune-with-nature-y.

Ethan was not at all sure about this; I heard more than a couple of times from the backseat, "Let's just go home." But I was determined. No TV! More nature! More fresh air!! Yay! I AM a good mom! He might eat chicken nuggets and get lost in the library, but dammit! We are SO all about the outdoors and appreciating nature and being good stewards of the environment. Yay, me!!

In a karmic kick in the pants, the farm kind of blew. I was a good girl and left my $5 donation at the honor system gate. We parked in the lot and walked in the general direction where it seemed like there might be something of interest. Speaking of things of interest--the sign about mountain lions being "active" in the area? Yeah. That was interesting. Active? Like...participating in zumba classes active? Or, like ripping people to shreds active? Either way--glad we didn't see any.

There wasn't a whole lot to see. Some aging hippies tending a communal garden and whipping up an impromptu shed. A couple of kitchy signs, like this:

You can't see it really clearly, but that sign? It says, "POOP HERE." Um. No, but thank you.
And this one:

which is really cute, but you know what? I already left you $5 at the gate and I haven't seen anything yet but a sign that shows me where poop goes and another sign that tells me a mountain lion is probably trailing me and getting ready to pounce. Soooo, I'm going to pass on giving you more money. Mkay?

Eventually we did find a pen of pissed off goats, a small field of pecking chickens (pecking the ground, not us, thankfully) and a couple of very vocal pigs. Ethan was really none too pleased with any of them. I heard a lot of "I want to go home. Can't we just go hoooooome?"

I was ready to dig my heels in and say, "But this is important!!! We're learning about agriculture and animals and other very important things!!! And I think there are rabbits around here somewhere," but as soon as I realized there were no bunnies to be found--we were out of there.

It was a pretty big disappointment, but there were some cute shots to be had:


Chicken Little and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

What are you lookin' at?

way more interested in the berries than in the animals.

book ends

You can see how much fun he's having, right? Ethan LOVES a farm.

We get to leave now?!!!! And go home to the TV?! And I can chase the cats?! YAY!!!!!