Friday, September 11, 2009

I am alive

Thank you to those of you who have been checking on me. I have not expired from surgical misadventure, septic gallstones, or the complete decay of my mental abilities. I'm just lazy. And busy. Simultaneously. They seem like they'd be mutually exclusive, but I guess they aren't.

Things are good here. Kevin got a new job with a nice, big raise and lots more responsibility. Yay! I'm as fat as ever, and on the brink of a major body overhaul (via diet and exercise, I wish it were more extensive). Work is keeping me outrageously busy but that's a good thing. I'm preparing for a huge consignment sale that I help manage, I'm completing preparations for the Ministry Fair at my Church, and have started a Daisy Girl Scout troop at Megan's school. No rest for the weary (and stupid).

Megan started Kindergarten and is doing well. She loves her teachers, has a couple of friends in class, and although I know she's tired each day, she's weathering it fairly well. She had TWO birthday parties this year which were big fun but lots of work. I'll post some pictures of the tea party we did for her school friends as well as the kick ass Tinkerbell cake that my best friend helped me make for her family party. I still can't believe Megan is 5 years old, it's like I was pregnant with her yesterday!

She spends oodles of time in trouble for manhandling Liam. If it were an Olympic sport, suffice it to say that she'd medal in "Beating Up on Your Brother." We've tried many variations of punishments and reward systems, and have enjoyed some success with each. Wish us luck, this is going to be a long road of sibling jealousy, we can see it now.

She is a beautiful little girl with a giant heart. Her sandy blonde curls are completely gone, and have been replaced by thick, wavy brown hair. She hasn't lost any teeth yet so she's still got that adorable little-tooth smile that can light up a room.

She got her ears pierced (didn't even flinch!), loves to wear her black high heeled boots, and desires faaaaaaar more bling than I ever have or ever will. We started letting her watch Hannah.Montana and now she thinks she's a teenage rockstar. Please shoot me.

She isn't eating much anymore, but is still shooting up like a reed. She really gives a shit about what she wears (which is a real drag), and won't wear bows in her hair except on rare occasions. [sniff, sniff] She is determined to grow her hair down to her feet, but if she doesn't stop giving me shit every time I try to brush that rats nest, then I'm chopping it all off. And she knows I'm not kidding, so these struggles are starting to dissipate.

Liam ... well, Liam is best described as a menace. Seriously, this boy wears me out. If he can touch it, break it, taste it, or carry it around, he will. I joke that we should have named him Chuck. Hand him something, and his initial reaction is to throw it. Hard. Far. Then run (walking is apparently for sissies) over to it and shove it in his mouth. After both of these activites are completed, then -- and only then -- can he take a moment to actually inspect it and see what he's got his hands on. Of course, after this assessment, his next step is typically to just throw it or bite it again anyway.

He is a study in constant motion and he is hilarious. He's finding his voice (Lord help us, we've already got a house full of talkers), and his temper as well. Awesome. I need to post a video of him dancing because you've never seen something so funny and cute in all your days. Let's just say he channels a bizarre mixture of Elvis, Elaine from Seinfeld, and John Travolta. Just take a moment to picture that. It's good stuff. One of his favorite channels to dance to is the Weather Channel. No lie.

He's got some new teeth, has finally grown hair, and has taken the act of saying "Hi" to a new, agressive level... "hi. hi. Hi. Hi. HI. HI!!!!" Heaven help you if you don't respond in kind. He'll practically come over and bitch slap you.

He's sleeping well (finally!), growing like a weed, and eating us out of house and home. He rarely sits still but when he does, it is to give an extended and wonderful hug typically followed by a dramatic kiss complete with the "mmmmmwa!" sound. Then he's off.

For a taste of what we are working with on a daily basis, let me tell you what he's like in the shower. First, he prefers the shower to the bath because he loves to stand under the streaming water and blow bubbles with his mouth. When he's done with that, he'll tear all of the shampoo bottles off the shelves and throw them around. Then he'll pry off the drain cover, shove his fat little hand down the nasty pipe, and will LICK the underside of the drain cover. Complete with that pinkish water mold stuff. Yes, it IS every bit as horrifying and revolting as it sounds. He's so fast and so wiley that he accomplished that little feat while I was washing the conditioner out of my hair yesterday. I think I screamed so loud that the neighbors could hear me.

I have another post brewing about how reality measures up to the fantasy of completing our family building activities. I'm just struggling with the words to express my thoughts.

In the meantime, I still read your blogs. Every single day. I just don't comment much and obviously don't post for shit. Please forgive me! I'm celebrating your joys and triumphs. I'm also mourning your disappointments and losses. I promise, I really am.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Earflaps, Hubcaps and Mousetraps

I wrote a poem. I've written poems before -- anyone remember 'Twas the Night Before Transfer?. I've also rewritten classic stories such as Snow White. Clearly, I shouldn't quit my day job.

What is this new poem about? The surgeon who removed my gallbladder. Actually, it's as much about the whole adventure as it is about any particular surgeon. But it still cracked me up anyway.

----------------------------------------------------
Ode to the Minimally Invasive Surgeon

How do I feel about my defective gallbladder?
My friends, it was worse than wrestling a death adder
It made me unhappy, not just mad, but much sadder
And when it was gone, I have never been gladder

Well, we ripped the bitch out, it was heaved, tossed, evicted
The sweet relief that I felt was even more than predicted
Oh the pain that the little bastard inflicted
Had me straight on the road to being pain-drug addicted

So, you ask, oh Leah, what could really be worse?
What could be so bad that you think it's a curse?
What would make you wish you were carted off in a hearse?
What could make you feel pain so bad it's perverse?

It's a stone! A gallstone! Stuck in your bile duct
I am here to tell you that WOW how it sucked
I was in so much pain that I bucked and I clucked
I writhed and I moaned, I even upchucked

So, my friends, if you feel that your insides are urgin'
If you find yourself having meals then immediately purgin'
Don't be a wuss, unless you're a surgery virgin
Run! Don't walk! To your nice, friendly surgeon!

He's capable of so much, many things he can fix
He'll do what you need, even remove your appendix
He's got all kinds of talents in his big bag of tricks
With a flick of his scalpel, he'll provide a quick fix!

What's your problem? A hernia? A rectal prolapse?
Well, pull yourself up by those proverbial bootstraps
No need for earflaps, hubcaps or mousetraps
Go see your nice surgeon, he can help you perhaps

What's got you down? A bout of ulcerative colitis?
That's far more painful than having just sinusitis
It even sucks more than enduring gastritis
When your surgeon is done, you will feel like King Midas!

He'll fix you up right with his surgery skills
He'll save you from living on narcotic pills
No longer you'll need endure the battle of wills
He'll release you from all those pain-addled dunghills

Yes, a Minimally Invasive Surgeon is your friend, there's no doubt
He'll make you want to get on a rooftop and shout
You can eat what you want! No need to live without!
And that is the end of this tale, there's no doubt.
----------------------------------------------------

I worked fairly hard to use the phrase "catastrophic surgical misadventure" but it just didn't have that Seuss-like cadence or flow.

The good news is that I am feeling 100%. I'm considering writing a little ditty about my poop since it's so weird these days, and will surely share it here first. :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Liver, Sad Panky

The ERCP went fine yesterday. The urine sample I provided before the procedure was interesting. It was sort of a copper color. The GI doctor just looked at it and said, "Um, yeah. Your liver isn't very happy." I guess it's happy now. My pee is a normal shade of yellow, and my eyes aren't. So that's good news.

Today's adventure? Post-ERCP pancreatitis. I've given my pancreas (and it's friend The Pancreatic Duct) a new nickname: Panky. Panky had better shape up or it will meet the same fate as Mr. Gallbladder*.

If it weren't for My Reality, I would be thinking I was a raving, hypochondriac, unlucky nutjob. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for her, she's already traveled this road and has held my hand along the way.

I'll take this and any other pain (including labor pain!) over that gallstone-in-the-bile-duct pain. Today's issue is accompanied by endurable pain, endurable nausea and strict orders not to eat or drink anything. Good times. At least my weigh in on Tuesday should be a good one...

Thanks to everyone who has been checking on me!

* Not really, because I'm not sure you can just rip your pancreas out. Seems to me that there might be some nasty complications as a result.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catastrophic Surgical Misadventure

Well, we are assuming that it's not that. But I liked the sound of it so much that I wrote it down immediately when my surgeon said it.

Here I am, live blogging from the bed in room #21 of the Emergency Department. You'd think I was developing some sort of crush on the surgeon that yanked my gallbladder out -- given that I tortured myself with steri strips in order to talk to him again, and now camped out in the ED fresh off a consult with him.

Yesterday afternoon my stomach/abdomen started hurting. I am PMSing and had just crammed a quarter of a bag of potato chips down my gullet, so I figured that was the problem. But it kept hurting all evening, which sucked. I took one of my 800mg Ibuprofens and was able to at least get to sleep.

When I woke up, it still hurt but not too badly. I still wasn't going to chance eating anything. By lunchtime, I was starving. To death. So I got a salad, and man was it good. Twenty minutes later, all hell broke loose.

The pain quickly went from "ow, that kinda hurts" to "holyfuckingshitohmygodsweetmamahelpme" accompanied with literally writhing around on the floor (the dirty, nasty carpeted floor of my office), sweating and moaning. It lasted about 10 minutes -- basically an eternity -- and then was gone. Poof! Like nothing ever happened. Except that I was completely soaked in sweat, shaking, panting, and chalk white.

My co-workers had already procured a wheelchair to take me to the ED (perk of working in a hospital), but I tried to tell them that I was okay now. Which I was. Only it didn't last long. A few minutes later, it started all over again. Gawd, it's awful pain.

Fast forward to now. I am lying on a bed, getting Dilaudid in an IV drip. I've just had my 4th cup of apple juice with contrast dye in it as preparation for the CT scan I've got in 20 minutes. Good times.

The good news is that my bloodwork just got back and since my liver enzymes are jacked up, it just about confirms what my surgeon suspected which is a stone in the bile duct. It snuck in there before they got my gallbladder out and has been just hanging around, waiting to torture me.

So I'll get the CT scan in a bit, it will show that nothing else major is wrong, and I'll have an endoscopy tomorrow to remove the stone. I moaned and pissed and whined about needed to go home and see my kids, so they are actually releasing me (pending good CT scan results) with instructions to come back at 9:30 tomorrow morning for the endoscopy.

I am SO over myself and these medical woes. But at least I got another idea for my ficticious band names list: Catastrophic Surgical Misadventure. Rock on! Get it? Rock... stone... in my bile duct... Okay, that's not funny. Give me a break, I'm high on pain meds right now, okay?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So freaking funny

I have been a slacker on my daily posting. I'm sorry! I have lots to say, and will catch up. In the meantime, check out this outrageously hilarious video. You've probably all seen it already, but I can't stop laughing and gasping at technology/graphics today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PHnRIn74Ag&NR=1

P.S. - How do I embed a youtube video with blogger?

Monday, July 6, 2009

10 Things that Suck About Infertility

I initially thought about this topic and planned for it to be funny. I know there’s nothing funny about IF, but I still had hopes of it being lighthearted. Then I started jotting down my thoughts. And they weren’t funny at all. So I apologize for the somewhat morose tone of many of these, but it is what it is. They are also very specific to my IF journey, but I have to imagine you can relate to many of them anyway.

Here, my friends, are the top 10 things (in no particular order) that I think suck about infertility.

1) The Fear

Will this all just end up being a waste of time? Will it be a waste of money? Will it ruin my marriage? Will sex ever be fun again? Will I be childless? Will my husband leave me for someone who can give him children? What will happen at my monitoring appointment today? What is my E2? Will I sleep through the alarm and miss the exact time for my trigger shot? Will I ovulate before they get in there to retrieve the eggs? Will any eggs be mature? Will any eggs fertilize? Will any eggs make it through the first night? The second night? Will I POAS and see stark white? Will I always be angry – at fertiles, at the IF Gods, at myself? Will we be bankrupt, with nothing to show for it? What are other people saying about us? Will I ever be the one in the maternity clothes? Will I ever be able to repair the friendships that I’ve neglected? Will I ever feel good about myself again?

2) The Self-Loathing

I’m broken. I’m barren. I’m weak. I’m defective. I’m pathetic. I’m an embryo killer. I’m a baby killer. I have lazy ovaries. My uterus is useless. God must know I’m going to be a terrible mother and that’s why I’m infertile. I’m fat thanks to the IF weight gain. I’m not a real woman. I’m a whiner, why can’t I stop bitching about not having a baby? I’m sick of hearing my own self complain. I’m ugly on the inside – angry and jealous. I want everyone to pity me, yet I can’t stand the idea of being pitied. Basically, I just suck in every way.

3) The Money

I refuse to add up how much we’ve spent. I can’t stomach it. There are so many different places that we’ve hemmoraged cash, I’m not sure I could even remember them all… a basal body temperature thermometer, OPKs, REs, HSGs, acupuncture, copays, drugs, syringes, needles, suppositories, HPTs, fertility massages, BCPs, acupuncture, visualization CDs, books, herbal supplements, D&Cs, fertility yoga DVDs, bracelets. The list goes on and on. Other people get knocked up for free. They don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to make a baby. They spend it on stuff like vacations and clothes and flower gardens and beach houses. Damn them.

4) The Loss of Control

I don’t get to decide when, or where, or how we make a baby. It’s decided for me, in the form a protocol from the RE. I never know what to expect when I show up for daily monitoring – I’ve taken my meds, I’ve visualized my follicles growing and my lining thickening, I’ve drowned myself in positive thoughts – but will it be enough? I can’t enjoy carefree planning with trips or vacations or social activities, these things are dictated by monitoring appointments and trigger shots and inseminations and egg retrievals and transfers. I cannot will this to happen. I can’t try really, really hard or practice or take a fancy shortcut to make this happen. I’ve worked my whole life to make good things happen, to try harder than the other people, so that I could get what I wanted. Infertility doesn’t work that way, and that sucks.

5) The Waiting

Waiting to see that elusive 2nd line on an OPK. Waiting two long weeks to see if that worked. Waiting the requisite amount of time (full of failures at home) to consult an RE. Waiting to finally call, but then not getting an appointment for 6 more weeks. Waiting for your consult. Waiting for your bloodwork results. Waiting for your HSG to be scheduled. Waiting for your protocol to be developed. Waiting for your cycle to start. Waiting for your meds to arrive. Waiting for your name to be called so you can get a camera shoved up your ladybits. Waiting for your E2 results. Waiting for the appointed trigger shot time. Waiting for the anesthesiologist to knock you out at the retrieval. Waiting to hear how many eggs they got. Waiting for the fertilization reports. Waiting for your transfer time. Waiting to pee after the transfer. Waiting to POAS. Waiting to see if a line appears. Waiting for your beta. Waiting to see if your beta doubles. Waiting for your sonogram. Waiting to miscarry. Waiting for your beta to drop to 0 so you can get on this God-awful rollercoaster and do it all over again. Waiting to tell people The Good News until you are sure it’s going to be okay, and then having it all turn to shit anyway. Waiting to see if you will ever, ever have a baby to bring home. Waiting to use that perfect name you picked out. Waiting to pull out that cute onesie that you stupidly bought during the first month of trying when you were sure it would be so easy.

6) The Exhaustion

I’m tired of trying to make a baby. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being pathetic. I’m tired of the waiting, the wishing, the hoping, the crushing disappointment, the heartbreak. I’m tired of crying at baby showers. I’m tired of sobbing after pregnancy announcements. I’m tired of doing the mental math to figure out how old my babies would be if I hadn’t miscarried. I’m tired of realizing that people who started trying after us now have 3 kids. I’m tired of waking up at 6am to get poked and prodded and have the blood sucked out of me. I’m tired of feeling like a bloated, drugged whale. I’m tired of waiting to make plans just in case. I’m tired of the lack of answers. I’m tired of other people’s optimism. I’m tired of the stupid shit people say to make you feel better. I’m just so, so tired – mentally and physically.

7) The Anger

I’m angry at my fertile friends. I’m angry at pregnant strangers. I’m angry at my body. I’m angry at my RE for not being a miracle worker. I’m angry at anyone who conceives an oops baby*. I’m angry at other people’s stupidity. I’m angry at the unfairness of it all. I’m angry about the wasted money. I’m angry about the delayed plans. I don’t care if God does know what’s best, I just wish it didn’t have to mean I’d have to struggle or have to miscarry. I’m angry at myself for letting this rule my life. I’m angry at myself for being such a huge failure.

8) The Pain

Without a doubt, it’s the emotional pain that hurts the most. The pain in my heart has left scars that are so big and so deep, not even a houseful of kids could take it away. But the physical pain can’t be denied either. It hurts to get a needle shoved in your arm day after day after day. The stim shots hurt. The trigger shot hurts. The PIO hurts, and it just keeps on giving since you have to do it for weeks on end. Clomid and Lupron and the rest of those vile, nasty devil drugs give me painful headaches. The HSG hurts, the dildo cam hurts, retrieval hurts, transfer hurts, D&Cs hurt. Watching your husband cry hurts. Watching your friends feel helpless hurts. Watching your sister live through the all too familiar angst of IF or miscarriage hurts. Seeing the disappointment on your Mom’s face hurts. Getting the “I’m so sorry” comments on your blog hurt (even though they aren’t supposed to). Crying until your eyes swell shut hurts. Realizing that everyone else at work knows your co-worker is pregnant except you (because they are too afraid to tell you) hurts. Hating yourself hurts.

9) The Loss of Dignity / Privacy

Sex isn’t between you and your husband anymore. It involves an entire medical team and that sucks. I can’t count how many different people have seen and/or shoved their hands and/or medical equipment up my private parts. I’ve been told specifically when to have sex with my husband. I have to sit in the waiting room while my husband jerks off into a cup. I have to take time off work (and provide an explanation) for monitoring, retrievals, transfers, and whatnot. As you are sitting in the RE’s waiting room for the first time, you are mortified because you might as well be wearing a sandwich board that reads, “WE HAVE UNPRODUCTIVE SEX. WE ARE BROKEN AND DEFECTIVE AND CAN’T MAKE BABIES.” Nevermind that everyone else in that room is in exactly the same boat as you, it doesn’t matter. You are sure you’re the biggest losers in the building. You have to pretend like it’s okay when you have no great answer for the incessant, “So, when are you two going to have some kids?” question. Your choices are to divulge all the personal details about your failed babymaking sessions or just grin and bear the pain silently. Maybe the only thing worse than the when-are-you-going-to-have-kids question is the one that occurs after you finally spill the beans about your infertility. That’s the “So, what’s wrong with you?” question. ‘Nuff said.

10) The Wondering

Did I cause this? Did I do too many drugs in high school? Did I lay my cell phone in my lap too many times and fry my ovaries? Am I eating too many cold foods? Did I stand too close to the microwave? Was it that glass of wine? Was it the fish? Was it my childhood vaccinations? Was it a drug my Mom took during her pregnancy? Will I ever get pregnant? What will it feel like? Will I miscarry? Will I have a healthy baby? Will my IF friends hate me when I get pregnant? Will a baby fill this gaping hole in my heart? Will my husband and I be able to withstand the financial and emotional war that we’ve been in for so many years? When will the pain, fear and loathing end? Ever?

I’m sure there are dozens more things that suck about it all. We weren’t dealing with MF issues. Although we were on the doorstep, we didn’t embark on the donor egg path. We didn’t get put through the adoption wringer. There are so many other facets to someone’s IF journey that I don’t even begin to touch on. But they all suck.

In another post at some point, I’ll tout the joys of The Silver Lining. Those joys aren’t quite as numerous as the shitty things, but there is actually some good to come out of the journey we’ve taken and it deserves to be explored. That’s another post for another day…

* - About this oops baby anger... it doesn't apply to everyone. There are many of you (and you know who you are -- Farah, Artblog, Mrs. LaLa, S, BuggsMomma) that I am thrilled for. Basically all IFs are excluded from this one. Just wanted to be clear...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gee, sorry about that, Lorelei

Okay, another change to the posting schedule. I don't have my shit together to finish the Simple Pleasures post that was supposed to be for today. Therefore, a cop-out. The "Leah understands" meme:

Leah understands the frustration of women who would rather scrub floors than shop for clothes.
What? No, no, I really don't. I'm not all that wild about shopping but I would DEFINITELY prefer it to scrubbing floors. Um, hello?

Leah understands God-given talents are different for everyone .
Yes, and I'm still waiting to see just what mine are!

Leah understands the needs of the working class and works hard to find people the right house at the right price.
No, I don't. Unless they want to buy my house, I don't give a rat's ass what they need.

Leah understands the desires of potential buyers and can help transform a home into an attractive space for potential buyers.
What's with all the real estate agents named Leah?

Leah understands the value of quality customer service .
Yes, I do. Especially when *I* am the customer.

Leah understands the need for education, instruction, entertainment and options.
Especially the part about entertainment.

Leah understands suddenly that the knife is a thing deep inside Lorelei.
Weird.

Leah understands the Los Angeles market, as well as the intricacies involved with relocating and buying a home.
I've never been to LA, and never plan to. But clearly my name suggests that I should have gone into real estate, eh?

Leah understands that immunity only applies to the competition and not elsewhere.
Screw the competition, I want immunity. Wait, I want SERENITY. NOW!

Leah understands that this loan is for the weekend only.
Those are some shitty payment terms, remind me not to borrow from you again, jerkoff.

Leah understands the glass and the torch.
Both are very important when heading off to a date with an ogre.

Leah understands the importance of lifestyle change.
Especially in your 20s.

Leah understands that women's subordination to men is, under most circumstances, a fact of life.
Are you fucking kidding me?

Leah understands people go through many obstacles in life which may bring some to the feelings of helplessness.
Um, hello infertility!

Leah understands that, and works really hard to find jeans that are flattering for everyone that comes in her store.
I own 1 pair of jeans because I have a figure like a fat 14 year old boy, so I don't recommend taking any jean fashion advice from me at all.

Leah understands how lucky she is to have sole access to this fine horse.
Ah yes, Kevin loves it when I refer to him as This Fine Horse. Although he usually perfers The Stallion.

Leah understands that events are more than just cheese & cracker platters with streamers.
Yes, they are opportunities for uncomfortable clothing and mind-numbing conversation. Good times!

Leah understands to some extent what the hippies were about back then but mostly she just thinks they look really cool.
No, I actually don't. I'm more the Pottery.Barn type, not the Hippie type.

Leah understands she has multiple identities, each of them important.
Multiple personalities? No doubt.

Leah understands the special needs of the dancing community.
Ha! Have you seen Elaine dance on Seinfeld? That's the type of dancing community where I'd fit in.

Leah understands only too well, not everything always goes to plan.
You can say that again. About 1,001 times.

If you haven't done it (which nearly everyone in the blogsphere has because I'm 729 years late to this particular meme), try it out. Google your name with understands.

Have fun!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Show and Tell

My 15 year old niece had arthroscopic knee surgery on the same day that I had my gallbladder removed. On one of her first outings after the surgery, they came over to our house so we could compare battle wounds. Because she's 15, and a great kid, I wanted to give her something to brighten her day. I made a candy bouquet.

I saw a couple of them online, but couldn't find one I liked that would deliver in this area. So I made my own. And here it is:


If you look closely, you'll see 18 different kinds of candy nestled in there. Yum!

Lastly, here is the happy recipient:

BTW, that's a cell phone shoved into the top of her ace bandage. I think that's hilarious!

Book Review: The Double Daring Book for Girls

I love this book. Seriously. I loved the first book, and I love this one just as much. Maybe more. These wildly talented ladies have written a slew of books. All of them are great, but my favorites are the two Daring Books for Girls.

How can you not like a book that tells you how to dye your hair with Kool-Aid, how to make a lava lamp, how to perform a Japanese Tea Ceremony, what the meaning of courage is, how to catch a fish, how to run a magazine, how to be a private eye, how to become President of the United States, all about the Underground Railroad, how to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, how to shoot pool, how to say no (and how to say yes), and -- for pete's sake -- how to run away and join the circus. And that's less than 10% of the topics in the book. The information in here is terribly important, it is positively invaluable lore and instruction. I'm not kidding. Go buy one. Before you even read the rest of this review, just go buy one.

I challenge anyone to pick up this book and tell me that they made it through reading the Table of Contents without smiling, reminiscing, and also being intrigued. It's a seemingly random collection of really neat stuff that you find you are thrilled someone had the time, energy and brains to actually document. It's the stuff that's told around the campfires, discussed over dinner tables, and taught over sidewalk chalk in the driveway.

I tried to decide which was my favorite topic in the book. I narrowed it down to two of them, but it's a little like cheating since both of them are actually collections of things. One of them is "Practical Life" (pg. 253). It's subtopics are: sew a hem, sew on a button, sharpen dull scissors, plunge a toilet, stop an overflowing toilet, unseal a sealed envelope, put out a kitchen fire, fix a clogged drain, hang a picture, and get ink off your skin. The other topic is "Miscellanea" (pg. 273), and it's subtopics are: popcorn on the stove, the five longest rivers in the world, the dance moves to the YMCA song, homespun wisdom for stopping the hiccups, hang a spoon on your nose, make a wineglass sing, tin-can telephones, read a topo map and compass, whistle through a blade of grass, hide a treasure in a book, and the words to "Auld Lang Syne". Now tell me you aren't grinning, and nodding your head while you think, "Yeah, yeah!" People, just go buy this book.

When I agreed to write this review, I was told that I'd need to pick one of the activities and then blog about it. The only problem with that was that I couldn't decide which one to do! Luckily, Megan's age (4, going on 5) eliminated a few of them since she can't be trusted yet with paint (How to Paint a Room, pg. 201), hot wax (Paper Cup Candles, pg. 26 and Batik, pg. 99), wire cutters (Electric Buzzer Game, pg. 174) , concrete (Stepping Stones, pg. 189), a saw (How to Build a Raft, pg. 207), and knives (Whittling, pg. 240).

Megan and I actually enjoyed 5 different activies over the course of 3 days, but we decided to document one in particular for this review. It was in the "Fun Things to Do with Paper" chapter, item #5. Marbled Paper. Essentially you squirt shaving cream onto a cookie sheet, smooth it out, sprinkle paint on top, swirl the paint around, lay paper down on top, scrape off the paper, and let it dry. It was basically that easy, and we really had a blast! Here are some more specifics...

These are the ingredients we used:


- white paper
- a piece of cardboard for scraping
- shaving cream (foam, not gel)
- paint
- 2 crappy old cookie sheets
- a plastic fork
- a table covered in wax paper
- straws (not pictured)
- a smoothing tool (not pictured)

First, we squirted shaving cream on the cookie sheets and smoothed it out with our hands.

Without a doubt, Megan's favorite part of this activity was playing around with the shaving cream. In fact, as you'll see in later pictures, it all sort of degenerated into just finger painting with shaving cream by the end. But we still had a blast.


Then we used a smoothing tool (which is a fancy name for my thing-a-ma-bobber that scrapes off stonewear) and made the surface of the shaving cream as smooth as possible.


Next, Megan took paint (she initially used pink, purple, and red) and dabbed it on the shaving cream. We used regular ol' drinking straws to get the paint out of the bottles and sort of dropped it on the surface of the cream. Then she took the plastic fork and swirled the paint around to make designs.


When she was done swirling, we put a piece of white paper down on the surface and smoothed it out as we lightly pressed it into the paint/shaving cream. Then we carefully picked the paper up, scraped off the excess shaving cream, and viola!


We were suprised at how exact a translation there was between the pattern in the shaving cream and how it transferred to the paper. I was thinking it would be a little more abstract, but it wasn't. It was almost like putting it into a copy machine.

Next, Megan added a few more colors to her existing shaving cream (green, brown, and yellow).


After that, she continued to mix up the shaving cream until it was a discolored, semi-disgusting mess. Again, it translated directly onto the paper as a bit of a train wreck. But she loved it.

Here are her finished products:


Then, while she painted every body part she had access to with shaving cream, I started on my cookie sheet. I went for a nice, calming, ocean color theme (green and blue). I tried to get all subtle with the first pass:


And here's the result. Booooooooring!


So then I added more green, more blue, another color blue, and some purple:


Which produced a lovely piece of paper (if I do say so myself):


I mixed up the shaving cream a little more, but didn't add any paint:


And I got something in the middle of boring and cool. Here are my finished products:


Then it was time to play! Here she's scraping extra shaving cream off a piece of paper for fun:

And now we're just getting messy...




When it was all over, here is the mess that was left:


Not bad at all to clean up, and tons of fun.

We cut up our favorite parts of the paper, laminated them, and have turned them into bookmarks. Horray for Christmas and Mother's Day presents for the Grandparents!

Here's a snippet of the bookmark I kept for myself:


It really was incredibly easy and made some neato paper. I even tried what the book suggested and ran the pieces of paper under water, just to test the theory that the color wouldn't run. And it didn't! So it truly transferred the paint into the fiber of the paper I guess (as opposed to regular paint just resting on top).
Now, I am supposed to challenge you guys to try it out. If you are game, check it out. Let me know if you need more information about how to do it. Should you accept this challenge, tell me and I'll post a link to your blog.
Oh, and by the way... GO BUY THIS BOOK! You will love it.

Coming Soon!

I've got my review of The Double Daring Book for Girls all ready to go. But I can't get the %#^&* camera to cooperate. We got a new camera. Need I say more? Actually, we got a new camera that came with fabulous directions. Then Liam snatched the directions (presumably to take off into a corner and chew/drool on them) and we haven't seen them since.

Anyway, I'm fairly certain that I need a cable which seems to be buried under the pile of CRAP in our office (ggggrrrrrrrrrrrr), and as soon as I find it, you will get the review with some fabulouso pictures of the project that Megan and I did.

BTW, I also plan to do my regularly scheduled post for today. So how about THAT, party people? I'm talkin' THREE posts in one day. Madness, I tell you. Madness.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

E's Interview Questions - Part 1

About 638 years aso, E was interviewed. Then she asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed, and I said, "Yes! I do!" Apparently what I really meant was, "Yes, please take the time to think up interview questions, then send them to me so that I can rudely ignore them for many months! Whee!!" I am an ass. But that's for a different post.

Anyway, the interview had 6 questions and since I'm subjecting you all to my daily posting madness, I've decided to stretch the answers out over multiple posts. So, without further adeu, here is question #1:

1) If you could live anywhere in the world besides where you live now, where would it be and why? What would your house be like there?

Assuming that the economy and cost of living weren't a factor, I would live on Kauai in Hawaii. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Our house would be medium-sized and would sit on a hill with a gorgeous view. There would be a nice, big yard carved out for the kids to play in. We'd have a pool with a waterfall. The entire back of the house (that faced the gorgeous view) would be made entirely of sliding glass panels. That way we could open them up (by sliding them into pockets in the wall) and enjoy the fresh Hawaiian breeze whenever we wanted. We'd have an outside shower, an outside family room, and a mack-daddy outdoor kitchen on our mack-daddy patio.

If not Kauai, I'd also settle for St. John, USVI. All the same house desires apply.

If not Hawaii or the Virgin Islands, then I'd pick San Francisco. I had a magical trip there years ago that could never be replicated, but I could come damn close if I moved there. Unfortunately, I have an irrational fear that all of California is going to crack off into the ocean and sink so I can't live there. No disrespect to my lovely friends who live in CA, and trust me that I completely understand why someone would run screaming from the Northeast corner of the US as well. :-)

If reality needs to be considered, then the answer is probably Cary, NC. Neither Kevin nor I have ever lived there, but we both really want to. If the housing market will ever pick back up, we'd consider the move. But how could I leave my TOOTPU ladies? (The only acceptable solution will be if I move close to JJ, that would help the ensuing depression.)

How about you? Where would you live and why?

P.S. - For anyone as anal as me, you might notice that today's post was supposed to be a book review. But the project that Megan and I tried to accomplish from the book was thwarted by a very short, drooling, snot fountain who trashed everything that he could get his hands on today. So we had to abandon the project until tomorrow when Kevin can entertain said destructo-boy while Megan and I undertake the project again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This is the picture...

...I've been dreaming of taking since we started talking about having children. The one of my husband and 2 kids at the beach.

(I know it's supposed to be "wordless" Wednesday, but I don't think I'm capable of being wordless. Sorry!)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

31 days of love, sweat and typing

You're never going to believe it. I'm so dedicated about posting every day that I've made up a freaking schedule. A SCHEDULE OF POSTS, PEOPLE. That's a lot of pressure. I don't know if I can do it. But I'll try. [insert dramatic wiping of brow here]

In medically-related news, I am doing great. I worked for 5 hours yesterday and will work my full 9 hours today. Today is the first day that I'm simultaneously itch-free, pain-free, and drug-free. Go me! Let's just say that the allergic nastiness got muuuuuuuuuuuch worse before it got better (okay, it hasn't actually gotten better looking yet, but I assume it will). I took more pictures but I'll only post them if I run out of better shit to show you on a Show and Tell Day.

Because my children won't be one-upped by my medical woes (or each other), Liam is now scheduled for ear tubes. Megan's surgery went well, so we're hoping that Liam's is just as easy. Poor guy. It's scheduled for July 27th, keep your fingers crossed. Any bets on when Kevin will be needing some random surgery?

Now, on to the posting schedule...
July 1 - Wordless Wednesday
July 2 - Double Daring Book for Girls book review
July 3 - E's interview questions, Part 1
July 4 - Show and Tell
July 5 - Simple Pleasures
July 6 - Perfect Moment Monday
July 7 - Honest Scrap tag from Jendeis
July 8 - Wordless Wednesday
July 9 - E's interview questions, Part 2
July 10 - "Leah understands..." meme
July 11 - Show and Tell
July 12 - Navigating the Land of IF book review
July 13 - Perfect Moment Monday
July 14 - E's interview questions, Part 3
July 15 - Wordless Wednesday
July 16 - Bedtime in the Good Ol' Days
July 17 - Top 10 things that suck about infertility
July 18 - Show and Tell
July 19 - Confessions of a BPF addict
July 20 - Perfect Moment Monday
July 21 - E's interview questions, Part 4
July 22 - Wordless Wednesday
July 23 - My not-so-secret obsession
July 24 - Oh, that's great!
July 25 - Show and Tell
July 26 - E's interview questions, Part 5
July 27 - Perfect Moment Monday
July 28 - The Cool List for 5 year olds
July 29 - Wordless Wednesday
July 30 - Some random quiz result from emode
July 31 - E's interview questions, Part 6

I'll do my best not to disappoint and slack and whatnot! I hope you guys don't get tired of me droning on and on all month long. :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

I am one itchy bitchy

I'm alive, and doing well. Thank you to everyone who has checked in on me. :-)

The surgery went fine. When I woke up, I was in much more pain than I expected. After 2 hits of morphine and a couple of percocet, I was at least able to converse without gritting my teeth, clawing the bedrails, and whimpering.

I stayed on a steady, every 6 hour diet of 800mg ibuprofen and percocet until today. As of today, I went down to just the ibuprofen and since I slept right through my midday dose, I've just had it at 6am and 6pm. So far, so good. I definitely feel a little more sore today without the "good" drugs, but it's not bad at all.

Know what is bad? Forgetting that you are WILDLY allergic to steri strips. Ugh. After my last c-section, I had a horrible reaction and ended up with a near-full body rash before we figured out that's what was going on. This time I did remember -- as I was laying in recovery. Um, that's a little too late.

It took about a week for the rashes to blister up nice and itchy last time, so I figured I would be fine. But apparently it gets worse each time you use them, so this round hit me much earlier. By yesterday, the itching completely eclipsed the pain and it nearly drove me off the deep end.

After a consult with the surgeon (via phone) today, we decided to just take the steri strips off and use band aids. The incisions are barely closed, so it's sort of scary to be cruising around with nothing really holding them together, but when the alternative is to have a thick, blistering, insanity-producing rash instead, I'll risk it.
I took 2 benadryl today around lunchtime and practically lapsed into a coma for 3 hours. The nap was great, and blissfully itch-free. But wow, I guess I can't snarf 2 of those and hope to function. At all.

LJ asked me to post some incision pictures for Show and Tell. I'll do that, but in the meantime, here is what you look like when you're allergic to steri strips. Good times.
First, a diagram of where the 4 incisions are. One near my sternum in the middle, one near the edge of my ribcage toward the right edge, one on my right side a couple of inches above my hip, and one inside my belly button.

Now, as I said, around each incision site is angry and blistered where the steri strips where. This is a shot of the one near my sternum and the one midway down my torso. Gee, think you can figure out *exactly* where those little bastard steri strips were attached?

Here's a shot of the middle one, and the one that's sort of above my hip:

I can't get a clear picture of the madness going on inside my belly button, but you get the gist from this fuzzy, gross picture:

And, lastely, here is a decent closeup so you can really appreciate the individual blisters that comprise the affected areas. Fun, no?

It's 9:30 and I can hear the benadryl calling my name. "Leeeeeee-uh, Leeeeee-uh..." Oh, I'm comin' baby, I'm a-comin'.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Way, way, way TMI

On this, The Eve of my Surgery, I'm feeling fine. As long as I eat only lettuce and air. What follows for the rest of this post is a lot of talk about poop and whatnot so if you aren't into that sort of thing, then go ahead and click over to TLC so you can read that -- shocker! -- Jon.and.Kate are getting divorced. Gasp! Whoda thunk? Anyway...

Since discovering my Gallbladder Issues, I've had to severely restrict my dietary intake of fat. Therefore, I ate 2 cans of fat free Pringles over vacation and I am here to tell you that it will go down in history as one of the Worst Ideas Ever. Initially, I just started shitting orange oil every time I took a dump. Crazy, Halloween-colored orange stuff. And not a little bit of it. A LOT of it. For days.

Sadly, I just took it in stride. Sort of like, "Wow, check THAT out. I'm shitting orange grease. Huh." Such is the life of a chick with jacked up insides. You endure a lot of crazy stuff below the belt without getting too alarmed.

Then, last night, my insides decided to evict themselves in a truly violent manner. I seriously could have shown up for a colonoscopy this morning with complete confidence that I was dead empty from the waist down. It was one of those lay-down-on-the-bathroom-floor-sweating-and-writhing-around episodes. Good times. The pain was so intense that I finally got to practice those neato breathing exercises I learned for labor. You know, since I never actually made it to the part of labor where you push. I just opted for the slice-me-open method. But I digress.

This morning, I ate nothing. Absolutely nothing. Didn't even drink water when I brushed my fuzzy, orange, oily teeth because I was afraid of the Mt. Vesuvius possibilities. Yet, somehow this agitated my gallbladder. Stupid, stupid gallbladder. So I took 2 of my last 3 vicodin and prayed for the best.

Everything stayed quiet for the rest of the day. Right now, I'm staying up until 11:59 so that I can shove every fat free item in the house down my gullet since I'm not allowed to eat after midnight. And my surgery isn't until 12:50pm tomorrow afternoon. That's just cruel, I tell you. The nurse cheerily explained that I could swish water around in my mouth during the day but that I better damn well not swallow it. (Anyone else picturing Michael Scott murmuring, "That's what she said"?)

This time tomorrow I will be gallbladder-free and, presumably, pain-free. Well, there will be the pain from surgery recovery but I bet it will be a cakewalk compared to gallstones. If not, you guys will be the first to hear about it. I'll be bitchin' and swearin' like Courtney.Love with PMS.

Now, if you'll excuse me, some fat free pudding with fat free cool whip is calling my name!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flying Horses?

I've decided to post every day in July. I don't know why. I think I feel a little guilty reading the gazillions of blogs that I read, knowing that those people have just as much (or as little) time as I do, yet they still make the space in their day to post.

So I've made up a calendar of what I'll post each day. I'm jumping on the bandwagon for a few staple days each week (Perfect Moment Monday, Wordless Wednesday, Mel's Show and Tell). I'll also do a couple of memes floating out there. To really milk it, I'm going to split E's interview questions for me (from about 100 years ago) into 6 different posts -- since there are 6 questions. Smart, no? I still have 10 days that I need to figure out what I'll post.

My brilliant plan is to write all of those 10 posts next week while I'm laid up after my gallbladder surgery. I tried to be sneaky and had planned to publish a few of the draft posts I've got lying around. But when I looked at them, they all sucked. There was one all about how shitty Liam was sleeping, and it was titled "Flying Horses". I have absolutely no idea why I titled it that, as I usually don't add the title until the end. But, whatever. So, no well of decent draft posts to dip into.

We just got back from a week at Myrtle.Beach. It was a blast! Until the drive home. That was like Hell on Earth. Everything about it was bad. The only thing that didn't blow up in our face was that we neither ran out of gas (although it was close), and the car didn't actually break down (although we seem to have some sort of electrical problem brewing). Worse than it taking about 426 hours to make an 8 hour trip, worse than hearing my darling children wail for hours on end, worse than feeling like I just rode to the Moon and back in a sardine can, is that I missed my date with LJ and Mel. This would be the makeup date from when I missed the TOOTPU gathering a couple of weekends ago. I think the universe hates me. Thanks a lot, universe. Fuck you. The only thing that kept me from climbing up to the roof and jumping off is the adorable picture that LJ sent me of V on my phone. :-)

Okay, it's time to take a shower and start unpacking. We just couldn't face it yesterday. I can't wait to see the little nooks and crannies that Megan has selected to smuggle sandy shells home in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vexed and irritated

gall
–verb (used with object)
to vex or irritate greatly: His arrogant manner galls me.

Raise your hand if you know what your gallbladder does. I bet there are only two types of people who have their hands up right now: those in the medical profession, or those who have had their gallbladders removed.

The good news: I am going to kick some ass in this round the Biggest.Loser contest at my work. I lost 5 lbs last week alone, and will continue to drop it like crazy for the next month or so.

The bad news: Eating has taken on a whole new meaning of pain. My gallbladder has become a traitorous, villainous, evil, spiteful, soon-to-be disposable, miserable little thorn in my side. Actually, in my abdomen.

We're going to cut the bitch out. It can't come soon enough, as eating baked fish and lettuce is getting old. I love both, mind you, but I'm weary of watching everyone around me consume fat. Fat, fat, glorious fat!! Oh how I love thee, I will see you again soon.

I got to spend a lovely 5 hours in the ER of my local hospital learning that I have gallstones. So many of them that neither the Doctor or the Radiologist were able to count them all. Guess what I was supposed to be doing at the very moment I was writhing in pain at said ER? Having a lovely lunch with the TOOTPU gals. Dammit, dammit, triple dammit.

I have to say that it was mighty weird to have so much bloodwork done, and such a lengthy sonogram, yet to have none of it at all oriented to my reproductive tract. That was mostly liberating and exhilarating, but also sort of disappointing. I'm a cycle junkie, I guess I miss it more than I thought.

Just to torture ourselves, while frittering away eons in the ER, Kevin and I got on the topic of a 3rd child. We both firmly agreed that we are thrilled with the 2 we have, and never ever plan on trying for more, but if I magically became pregnant, we'd be happy. Of course it would be like the immaculate conception since I am infertile, Kevin has a vasectomy, and we use condoms (a story for another day). So, let's just say the chances of me magically getting pregnant are slim to none. And slim just left town.

I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. I assume that after that, they'll schedule the procedure. We are going on vacation for a week, starting this Friday, so it will be sometime after that. I'm just so happy to know what the problem is, I could cry tears of joy.

I plan to ask about a tummy tuck (or lipo) and some handiwork on my outrageously separated stomach muscles. In reality, neither of those two things are going to get addressed, I'm sure. But I can still dream. As it is, I won't be able to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds FOR A MONTH. Oh yeah, you read that right. A FREAKING MONTH. In case you were wondering, Liam weighs 22 pounds. Well, shit.

Before you ask, I'll tell you that I don't know what The Plan will be. We're going to figure that out on vacation. I guess I'll import my MIL for a while, hit up my teenage nieces when they aren't away at summer camp, call the 14 year old babysitter in the neighborhood who just put a flyer on our mailbox, and wing it.

Anyone out there thinking, "Why doesn't she call her own Mother?" The answer is that I would hack my own gallbladder out with a rusty butter knife then slather my children in meat juice and leave them in the care of rabid wolverines before I'd let my Mom watch them. Okay, okay, that's a little extreme. She's a possibility. She's just the proverbial Last Resort. For lots of reasons. That's a whole 'nother post, trust me.

By the way, Megan had taken to telling people, "Mommy's ballblather is broken." I snickered every time I heard it, but Kevin eventually made me correct her. Now she over-enunciates it: GALL-BLADD-ER. I've gotta find the humor somewhere, people.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wow

Happy Blogaversary to me!


I had no idea that today marked 2 years since my first post. Three different friends left comments wishing me a Happy Blogaversary and I thought they were drunk. Finally, I figured I should check the archives and see when the hell this machine got cranked up. Yup, 2 years ago today. Wow! (Okay, I just read the LFCA for Friday and saw my blogaversary there. NOW I get it. Thanks, Mel!)

I have so much that I could say -- about IF, about blogging, about you guys, about life after IF. But I suck at making time to blog. And my next post will be a book review of The Double-Daring Book for Girls. So don't look for any Hallmark card-inspiring sentiment there.

Just know that I would be in the loony bin right now if not for all of your support (my bloggy friends), for blogging the craziness out of my head, and for the gals of TOOTPU. I wish I could put a big, warm hug in an envelope and mail one to each and every one of you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I could think of dozens of wistful, heartfelt, touching and tender things to say about my gorgeous, wonderful, funny little boy who turns 1 today. But instead, I'll just show a few pictures of what he's been up to lately.

















He melts my heart and I thank God (and my RE) every single day for him. Happy birthday, buddy!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's here! It's here!

Look what I'm reading!!

I was so excited when it arrived yesterday I think I squealed like a teenage girl after Adam Lambert performance! I was tipped off (by the famous author, of course) to look at the acknowledgements in the back and -- hey! -- there's a shout out to the TOOTPU gals. Yay us!

Now that I have succumbed to a practice which is one of my pet peeves (ending every sentence with an exclamation mark!), I'll just stop. Plus, HELLO people, I've got a freakin' book to read.

Congratulations, Mel. I love you and I love your book. :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cute pictures and not much else

All at once I have lots to say and then jack shit to say. A real post will be forthcoming, I promise.

In the meantime, just so you know I didn't fall off the planet Earth (since I've totally sucked at keeping up with Facebook too), here are some pictures of the kids...

This is the new love of my life. My little boy freakin' rocks!


Here is Megan in her Easter garb. She's scaled her bed in an effort to get away from Liam -- since he's now into CONSTANTLY following her around. Poor thing, she better get used to it.

I am in awe that ANYONE with more than 1 kid (I still can't believe that *I* have more than 1 kid -- yay!) can get a decent picture of the two of them. These two are the best that I could scrape together after Church on Easter...

Here is what happens when a deer runs into your car (while your husband is driving, thankfully) at about a zillion miles an hour. You get a new hood, a new bumper, a new quarter panel and lots of other cool stuff while your car goes to live in the shop for two weeks. The deer goes to live in Bambi Heaven.

A lame post, I know. But that's about what we've had going on. I'm going to see Bean's little boy on Sunday and I simply cannot wait. Thankfully I've finally found something to get me as wildly excited as I have been for the last few days about the fact that Mel's book is coming early!! Wahoo!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

100% sad about the 27%

Total number of people in Braces Bunch (1st generation, 2nd generation, rotated off): 62

Those who have given birth and are not pregnant now: 24
Those who have given birth and are pregnant again (all without ART): 4
Those who are currently pregnant: 11
Those who adopted and are not pregnant now: 2
Those who adopted and are pregnant now: 1
Those who are still trying: 17
Those who are not trying: 2
Those who are unknown (pw protected blogs that I can't access): 2

Of the 62 women, 27% are still trying. 68% of these women have realized their dream of having children. While I should be dancing in the streets at that stat (especially because -- HELLO -- I'm one of them), I'm torn to pieces about the 27% still trying. Why? Why? It's just so unfair.

I've been thrown into a tailspin by my friend Rho's latest disappointment. IVF #6 was unsuccessful. I cheerily tried to point out that since this was the first time with donor sperm, it should really count as #1 again. But I couldn't pretend like that is true when I know what her body, her heart, and her ovaries have been through during those first 5 tries.

She is incredibly angry, and I can't blame her. She says she feels "stupid" and removed her blog entirely because she couldn't bear to look so "stupid." While you and I both know she is anything but stupid for working so hard to have a child, it doesn't help her right now. It is a crying shame when someone as wonderful as her is crushed by this bastard called IF.

This will be a the top of the list when I get to the Pearly Gates. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for any and all of my sisters in the trenches.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't Kiss the Nanny!

I bet you dollars to donuts that no one even reads this blog anymore. I'm not entirely sure why I still have it since I don't write up here. Ever. I suck.

I honestly feel like all of the interesting stuff I have left to say is communicated through comments to other folks. I've noticed a disturbing trend -- the less I blog, the longer my comments are for other people. I left a comment on JJ's blog the other day that was about as long as the last Harry.Potter book. It was truly in the category of Stupid Long.

Many times, I've thought about shutting the blog down entirely. But I still get too many hits on DHEA, miscarriage, IVF, secondary IF, and my pee stick pictures that I guess I'll leave it up. There's really no point in making some giant declaration about how I'm Not Going To Post Anymore because, um, hello? That's sort of self-evident.

I've even tried to tell myself that I'm not going to read and comment on other blogs. Hahahahaaaa, I simply can't do that. I opened up my bloglines in the hopes of trimming some of the 70+ links out so that I can get down to the basics. Guess how many blogs I dropped? Three. And only because they have closed down shop. I am entirely too invested in your struggles, joys, tragedies and triumphs to stop reading now. Especially because so many people supported me through my years of Hell, I don't feel that I've given back what I got yet.

Speaking of closing down shop, I was just about to delete the feed for Mary Ellen and Steve's blog when -- SHAZAM! She posted. And she's pregnant. WAHOO! So I'm glad I didn't do my Winter pruning before I got that update.

Anyway, I'll follow the current trend of ticking off a few bullets about what's new:

- Back in mid-February I started answering the interview questions that E sent to me. It rapidly degenerated into some insanely long post wherein I blathered on and on about completely random shit that wasn't even remotely connected to the topic. Therefore, until it gets edited a bit, I'll hold off on publishing it.

- I'd like to send up a giant FUCK YOU to the IF universe for (what seems like) a BFN for my friend Rho's 6th IVF (this time with DS). I mean, seriously? Why does this have to be so shitty?

- Daylight Savings Time is stupid. I can't believe that I'm going to lose another hour's sleep.

- Remember NannyGate 08? Well, the woman that we hired turned out to be a mean, conniving, rude old bat. She screwed us over, essentially milked us out of a couple hundred dollars, and left us stranded. The icing on the cake is that she never said goodbye to Megan, so my daughter is pretty confused and still seems to think the old bitch is coming back. It's VERY hard to be even remotely pleasant when discussing the witch, but I'm trying to be a good person and not let Megan see any of that. Meanwhile, I wrote the lying hag such a nasty letter that it made my eyes burn to read it. I felt great after that. Of course I realized that it wouldn't be in anyone's best interest to actually send said letter, so I edited it a bit and will be sending that version out sometime this week. Don't you worry your pretty little heads, though, it's still plenty scathing.

- We hired a new nanny and she ROCKS. I heart her so much I practically want to kiss her square on the mouth when she shows up each day. Although that would most likely have essentially the opposite effect of what I'm trying to accomplish (gratitude vs. creepiness).

- I got to see LJs gorgeous, amazing little boy. It was absolutely blissful -- snuggling that warm, wonderful, delightful smelling little guy was just heaven. I'm so happy for her I could burst. She's got about half a dozen blogs at this point, and despite the fact that I read them all, I have no idea if/where I should link for her.

- Work is kicking my ass. Because of all the nanny drama, and all of the extra duties related to this new role I took on, I feel like I'm on a treadmill and can't ever get caught up. That doesn't seem to be stopping me from typing this nice, meaty post (meaty in terms of word volume, not substance).

- Thank you to everyone who participated in the group gift for JJ. We got her lots of good stuff and it's been wonderful to finally get some information about little Oliver. Now if I could only get my ass in gear and finish the baby gift I started almost 2 months ago!! Good grief, at this rate the kid is going to be in college before I send it. Although it's lovely, it's not exactly college dorm room decor so I need to hop to it. (Like that Easter Bunny reference? I'm soooooo witty.)

- I have to imagine that you've all heard by now that Bean is on hospital bedrest. Things seem to be going well, but hop on over and entertain/distract her if you have some time.

- American Idol. If you haven't seen last night's show, don't read this. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK were they thinking bringing that stupid, obnoxious, batshit crazy asshole Tatiana back for the wildcard show? Honest to Pete, that was outrageously dumb. If she happens to make it into the top 12 [shudder], I will refuse to watch one single second of the show again until she is voted off. Viciously.

- Liam and Megan have been sick. Megan has had two ear infections for over 3 weeks now. We are on our 2nd round of antibiotics and I think it is finally starting to improve a little. Liam has had such a terrible cold that he needed to use the nebulizer in the doctor's office earlier this week. I've never seen such a sad, heart-wrenching sight with one of my kids. I know it's small potatoes compared to what many of you have been through (babies with serious medical problems, children who have had surgery, any NICU stay at all, etc.), but seeing his beautiful little face all scrunched up under that sterile, ugly mask just broke my heart. Not that I haven't already been sympathetic, but it gave me an even deeper appreciation for the stress and hurt that Shelby has been going through to get Seth's breathing issues addressed.

- I love craigslist. I have bought and sold a bunch of shit up here in the past 6 months. It's just truly magical to me. I'm about to list an assload of stuff to see if I can get rid of it before selling it at the consignment sale I do twice a year. I hope to made wads and wads of cash. Wahoo!

- I am a fat ass. I started a Biggest.Loser competition here at work. Astoundingly, 18 people signed up. It's been fun so far. I simultaneously started the Carbohydrate.Addict's Diet and have managed to shed about 4 pounds in the first week. Wish me luck!

- I'm excited about weaning Liam. I let my production falter quite a bit (sick and tired of pumping), and worked through almost all of my frozen stash. At Liam's 9 month appointment, I explained that we were going to start supplementing and asked what formula she recommended. I was shocked when she told me to go ahead and start him on cow's milk. So we did, and he loves it. Luckily, he still likes breastmilk too. Now the poor guy goes back and forth between nursing, bottles of breastmilk, and bottles of cow's milk. But he never skips a beat, we are lucky.

- In other holy-shit-my-baby-is-growing-up news, Liam is crawling (although mostly on his stomach), cruising, eating almost exclusively table food, saying "da da" (no "ma ma" yet), and has 6 teeth. He never, ever, ever, under any circumstances wants to SIT DOWN (unless you've accidentally left a TV or cable remote control, a microscopic Polly Pocket shoe, or some other blatent safety/choking hazard on the floor), and demands to walk holding on to your hands all around the house. Around and around and around and around. It's back-breaking but still fun. He's still sleeping fairly shitty and has decided that 30 minute naps during the day are super cool. But he's a great kid and was worth every dollar and minute of agony to have him.

Yup, I think that's it. I'm sure there's more useless stuff I could prattle on about, but surely your patience is waning. And, just in case you weren't listening the first time, FUCK YOU IF universe. You can suck it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hormonal much?

I tried to sit down and write a coherent, witty, entertaining post. All I managed to come up with were a bunch of random bullets. However, there was a clear theme -- my thoughts were either wildly HAPPY or horribly bitchy. In a fit of TMI, I will admit that I'm enduring a nasty visit from AF, so I'll assume that she's the whore to blame.


On to the good stuff:
  • My birthday rocked. I thought turning 40 would be a lot more painful, but it wasn't. ETA: Damn, I need to update my profile now. Ugh.

  • The amazing, smart, witty, talented and wonderful Jendeis sent me these flowers for my birthday. She is one helluva woman, they really made my day.

  • My dad flew in from Florida to surprise me for my birthday. Yay!!

  • Approximately 14 gazillion people wished me happy birthday over Facebook. I heart you Facebook. (Nevermind where I tell you to suck it later in this post. Hey, I already admitted I was not rational right now.)

  • Megan has had off school for umpteen days in a row (parent teacher conferences, snow days, water main breaks). We've had lots of fun days at home -- making cookies, doing crafts, playing Barbies.

  • Liam and I are FINALLY over the wretched colds we had for more than 2 weeks.

  • Lots of wonderful people have contributed to JJ's group gift. I get to go BRU on Friday and buy up some baby gear. Yippee!

  • I think that her belly is about the cutest thing ever.

  • I can't wait to see her belly in person -- it makes me want to cry because I'm so freakin' happy for her.

  • I can't wait to see her belly again too!!

  • I am so out-of-my-mind excited for her baby to be born that I am having a hard time sleeping. Of course the birthmom is probably sleeping worse than me (as well as LJ, dontchathink?) seeing as how she's been in labor for what feels like a month now.

  • My sister signed us up to take a cooking class together. This was probably the best birthday present I got!

  • She is starting stims soon. This is the cycle, I just know it!! It's GOT to be.
Now for the bad stuff:
  • Bloglines can suck it. I'm sick of seeing that I've got hundreds and hundreds of unread posts when there are really only 4. Piece of shit software.

  • Facebook can suck it too. It bitched me out for sending the message about JJ's gift to too many people. Um, HELLO? I was trying to CONNECT with people. Isn't that the point? Assholes.

  • Our nanny sucks. I've been interviewing people for the past couple of weeks with plans to replace her soon anyway but she's sucking more every day (and she doesn't even know she's getting replaced). I'm tired of her attitude, her passive agressive bullshit, her incessant family drama, and her refusal to perform basic tasks.

  • Nintendo can eat shit and die. I hate it that my Mii is such a fat tub-o-lard on Wii Fit. Damn, people, I already KNOW that I'm fat. That's why I bought Wii Fit. At least that cute litty smartypants animated Wii Fit board went out of his way to wish me a happy birthday.

  • Liam was healthy for a whopping 2 days before he got a fever this afternoon. Are you SERIOUS?

  • Why in the holy hell does life need to continue to deal her and her so much dung? ENOUGH ALREADY!

I think that's enough for now. Thanks for listening. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Giving back

There seem to be some bloggers that we all know... Mel, Geohde, Alexa, Heather, Serenity, Julia, Antigone, Julie. I would hurl myself in front of a train for a few of these ladies, I'm not too proud to admit.

There's another one that is extra, extra special to me... JJ at Reproductive Jeans. She is a truly amazing woman. She has her hand in about 100 things at one time, yet always seems to be able to lend support or kindness whenever it is needed. As the brainchild behind the Braces Bunch (Generations 1 and 2!), she has helped dozens and dozens of women connect and become just that much closer through our association with the group. (Much like how LJ facilitated the truly invaluable support offered by TOOTPU.)

Perhaps it's because she gave us the most touching and beautiful gift for Liam that we received. Perhaps it's because she has a voice like an angel (if you don't believe me, buy one of her CDs). Perhaps it's any one of the 263 ways that she touches other people's lives each week. Anyway, JJ is always so giving, I wanted to give a little back to her.

If you know JJ, you know that she is on hospital bedrest right now, awaiting the birth of her baby boy. He will be here very soon, and although it's earlier than expected, we are all no less excited. To help prepare for his arrival, I have set up a page where folks can donate to a group gift for JJ.

Initially, I began attempting to contact the dozens of ladies in the Braces Bunch individually. But after getting my virtual wrist slapped by Facebook for engaging in annoying and possibly spam-like behavior (screw you FB, hmmmph), I figured I'd just put it out here for anyone who visits my blog. Mel has also agreed to put it on the LCFA for a few days. If you know that some of JJ's friends visit your blog regularly, please feel free to include a link as well (either to this post or to the baby gift site directly).

So, if you are interested (and haven't done so already -- thank you to all of you who have contributed thus far!), please head on over and join in the group gift/hug we are sending to JJ and Mook.

Then go hug your favorite blogger. :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

A short post full of very little

Don't forget -- vote for Mel. She's kicking ass in 1st place right now, but voting hasn't ended yet. Go vote!!

I have plenty to blog about, but no freakin' time. The biggest news of all is we finally have Liam's sleeping on track. Amen! I'm hoping to now regain some semblance of my former mental acuity previously robbed by the Sleep Deprivation Demon.

But I will leave you with a picture of my beautiful baby boy. He's got 4 teeth now, blows kisses, and has finally decided to SLEEP. I didn't think I could love him any more than I already do...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

VOTE FOR MEL!!!


Go here. Vote now. Vote every day! (Pretty please.)