Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why did I read that?

I just went back and read some of my awful posts from July. Why? I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about it, but for some reason, every few weeks, I go back and read it again and again. I think I'm either a glutton or a sadist. Or both. I am so glad 2007 is coming to a close. I hope 2008 is better.

Speaking of 2008, I went to Target today to buy my Christmas cards for next year. 50% off, baby. Anyway, I bought photo holder cards again and I hope. hope hope hope, that next year's picture is Chuckles sitting in a chair with a cheesy smile with some kind of tiny baby half schlumped over next to him. Maybe wearing a Santa hat.

Bodily Fluids

Warning: Do not read this post if you are squeamish or eating.


During the previous 24 hours, I have cleaned up the following fluids:
  • pee (dripped off of small one as he spun around after peeing on the potty)
  • poop (same small person had a very loose bowel movement that...well, I'm sure you can imagine)
  • Spittle (small person learned how to make "zerpies" at me...you know, zerpies, like razzberries but without my belly involved)
  • snot (for the love of god, don't wipe your nose on the couch, use your sleeve or a tissue)
  • vomit (good morning, mommy, cough-cough-bleck)
  • and blood (after my shower, I was toweling off and icked on the floor)

I know I am lucky and everyting to have my husband (whom I love once again) and my son (who is my sole reason for carrying on every day), but some days, I'd like a maid.

Dinner Menu

I know you all like it when I tell you what's on the table around here.

For breakfast, we had scrambled eggs with stuff (onions, tomatoes, ham, cheese), bananas, egg nog, and Emergen-C.

Lunch was PB&J sandwiches with clementines and milk.

For dinner, I am making a homemade loaf of wheat bread which should still be warm come dinner. I'll be serving it with dipping sauce (parmesan, balsamic, olive oil, spices). And I am making a beef stew: 7-bone roast that I butchered off the bone myself, carrots, celery, veggie stock, shi-itake mushrooms, onions, garlic, oregano, black beans, cannelini beans, green beans, wild rice, and tomatoes from my garden (frozen back at the harvest). It smells divine. I should throw some wine in with it, but uhhhh, I think I drank it.

Speaking of drinking wine....I find it immensely funny when I wash my prenatal vitamins down with red wine while eating soft cheeses (and feta with kalamata olives). It's the imagery that does it for me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Personal is Political

So, from time-to-time, I cover the Presidential Race. I've looked at Hillary, Guiliani, Thompson, Huckabee, I think Romney, and Kucinich. Or maybe I didn't cover Kucinich. Maybe the Weekly World Alien News Service covered him. Hard to remember. Anyway, today we'll look at two long-shot candidates. Ron Paul and Richardson (who is such a long-shot I need to google his name to get the first name. I'll do him second).

Ron Paul - Ran as a Libertarian a few years back. I'm a closet Libertarian, so already I like him. Although, I do tend to be a little Hawkish on foreign policy and he is non-interventionist. He's OK. He's pro-low tax (Yipee) and pro-business (woo hoo) and anti-federal government and anti-nationalized health care (I mean, do you think our Federal Government would insure my infertility better than my private insurance?...I think not...unless powerful big interest were involved...because you know, embryos are involved in some of this stuff), pro-home schooling (I love home schooling), pro-Life (but doesn't want to legislate it), but he's anti-war (I mean, we all are anti-war, but he's anti-this war and while I'm not exactly pro-war, we're there and we can't just leave, the surge is working, so we need to stay the course, the soldiers on the ground overwhelmingly feel like they're doing good work). So, all-in-all, Ron Paul gets a thumbs-up from me. He has a snowball's chance though. Maybe someone will pick him to run as the VP.

Bill Richardson - One of the issues in his platform (they all have little ISSUES menus where you can go and find out their actual position on an issue) is LGBT which is pretty neat. I haven't seen that as an issue on anyone else's official campaign website. For the record, he is pro-rights for LGBT persons. Oh by the way, Bill RIchardson is a minority. He's Hispanic. Apparently, people forget that when Obama is in the room. 'Hey, I'm an underrepresented minority over here.' He's from New Mexico and a Democrat. He wants to uphold Roe v. Wade. He's on the side of America's working families (this sentence makes me laugh because i want to see the candidate who proclaims that he (or she) is NOT on the side of America's working families and is firmly and squarely in the pocket of big business or Big Pharma). He also has a Issue called Darfur. He's anti-genocide. I don't like him though because he raised the minimum wage while governor of NM. I am anti-minimum wage. I believe that a job pays what a job is worth. I'm funny like that. And when he talks about education, he talks about working hard ofr teachers. SHouldn't he really be working hard for students and not beholden to the teachers' unions? He's also anti-Bankruptcy reform. I'm not. I'm harsh like that. I guess that's why he's a democrat and I am a Libertarian.

I urge you to go out and research your favorite candidates. It's quite easy. They all have webpages with Issues Links and you can find your favorite issue and research who has the best positions for you.

Check our Kucinich, he's wacky.

Julia's Babies are Here!

Oh my god. Oh my god.

Julia had a boy and a girl.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Google is Really Weird

I found a website today while googling something like "my oh my but progesterone is expensive and where is the pregnyl?".

The website is http://prescriptionrxmedicinepharmacy.com/?gclid=CMSvxYupzJACFRXOIgod8BMWXg

They offer the following convenient services:
Our order process could not be simpler, just select the medicines you need, fill
in our medical questionnaire, and submit your order. Our U.S Licensed Physicians
will review your order and issue your prescription. Next, our U.S. Licensed
Pharmacies will dispense, and FedEx your order discreetly using Next day
delivery.

So, you can say you have trouble getting it to stay up, and they send you Levitra or something. So, I can tell them I have lots of sex and no baby and they send me what, a baby? No, no, no. But do I need to tell them exactly what I want? Like 75 mg clomiphene on cd3 through cd7 and 200 mg gynodiol on cd8 through 18. 10,000 iu pregnyl on day 20 and 200 mg prochieve on cd 21 through 30. I mean, how specific do you need to be? OH MY! They have painkillers too. So, if I get a negative hpt and want to drown my sorrows, I can go back and get some valium or something. Interesting. Doesn't quite seem legit though, you know what I mean?!?

Crafty is as Crafty Does

To celebrate my newfound fertility (you know, the semi-regular cycling kind), I offer you the following craft:

Maxi-Pad and Tampon Christmas Tree Angels
  1. Locate a maxipad with wings, preferably the extra-long overnight kind.
  2. Find a tampon. One with a white rip cord works best.
  3. Get a white, silver, gold, or sparkly pipe cleaner.
  4. On permanent marker.
  5. Remove tampon from wrapper and applicator, if present.
  6. Remove paper backing from pad (but not from wings).
  7. Fold wings out to the sides.
  8. Stick tampon to the pad using the adhesive strip.
  9. Use Tampon string to stick straight up (keep it straight up with the pipe cleaner).
  10. Fashion the end of the string and the pipe cleaner into a halo.
  11. Draw face on the tampon.
  12. You now have a be-haloed angel with wings and a smiling face.
  13. Ta-da. Hang on tree.
  14. Stand back and admire your craftiness.

What Age?

I think 2.5 years old is the perfect age for a kid to learn about quid pro quo, or bribery as I like to call it.

  • If you eat three more beans, you can have a cookie.
  • If you leave school and come with me quietly, your Tow Mater is in the car.
  • If you remember to say 'please' and 'thank you', you get more Christmas presents.
  • Open your mouth wide while I brush your teeth and you won't get cavities.
  • Sleep through the night and I will play with you tomorrow.

OK, so it's not bribery per se, it's more like an elaborate reward system for doing what I want.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Best. Christmas. Ever.

A quick recap of Christmas...

Chuckles's best present from his Grandma and Grandpa: a tool box from Menards filled with small cars and trucks.
What Chuckles got in his stocking: two cars, a clementine, and a small block of cheese (traditions).

My two favorite...no three favorite....presents: a gift cert for a massage, hub caps/covers (because I drive a ghetto-mobile that lost 3 of the four already....they just break off), and four packages of Pond's Clean Sweep Facial Cloths (I love them....they even clean make up off of the counter if you happen to spill it on your brand new counter/sink combo)

Husband: Simpson's movie (which I bought the day it came out), a remote controlled helicopter, a remote-controlled hovercraft and it truly was his best Christmas ever as he specifically mentioned that he received no clothes! And I got him a gift cert for a complete auto detail and hand wax job (which sounds dirty but it actually very clean)

Coolest present I got someone else: a key chain digital picture frame thing. Only like $25 at amazon and it holds 60 pictures and I preloaded it with pictures and charged the batteries so it was ready to roll on Christmas morning.

Most thoughtful present: I printed some Great-Grandpa pictures on my husband's side and framed them for my FIL side-by-side with pictures of Chuckles looking almost exactly the same. I think it almost brought tears to his eyes to see his dad side-by-side with his grandson (with their hats both cocked just so). And I did them all in black-and-white to make the comparison even better and put them in a black frame.

Sad, but not at all unexpected

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today. Not a surprise. I hope that the (free, fair) elections continue as scheduled and are truly free and fair.

Cycle Day 1: The Dawn of a New Cycle

Well, it's official. I am not pregnant. And I am bleeding. And while I am somewhat disappointed, I am just fine. My cycle, for those of you keeping score at home, was 29 days-long. That's surprisingly normal. But, the luteal phase was short - even with progesterone supplementation (and it only took 36 hours after cessation of progesterone for my menses to begin, so I really do have a progesterone deficiency).

I called my doctor's office to see what to do, but apparently, they are out today and tomorrow (and the weekend), and Mondays are busy and Tuesday's a holiday, so I guess we're done until Wednesday. I suppose that means I just continue as I have been doing. I thought they might want to order some Day 3 bloodwork just to see where I am (or perhaps at my harping insistence try me on a low-dose clomid regimen this month). My insurance doesn't cover any of this, so I guess it's better that we wait until 2008. I am upping my HCRA considerably.

I love the sound of a vaccuum cleaner taking money out of my wallet. Perhaps I should quit my new job and go work in Illinois where infertility is covered. Or just keep my job and use all my salary for drugs and blood tests and visits with the wand monkey. Ahhh, the wand monkey. I haven't thought about that in years!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Positive but Negative

Merry Christmas (or Happy December 24th, if you don't celebrate this particular holiday). I am filled with Tidings of Comfort and Joy. I am not, however, filled with future life. I took the test this morning and rarely have I seen a hpt so resoundingly negative. And that's OK. If the worst thing that ever happens to me in this life is that I raise Chuckles as my one and only child, then life is good. And thinking that thought actually makes me tear up. He really is that good. Apparently, I can tear up at the drop of a hat. But c'mon, Peter came home for Christmas to surprise his mom AND made the coffee.

So, anyway, that's where we are. And to celebrate my barrenness, I had three glasses of champagne with brunch. Joy to the World.

Most of the family (both sides) came over for brunch today. I made my easy and famous French Toast casserole (which had some odd spots of not-tasty in it this time). There was coffee and egg nog and champagne and orange juice and milk for the kiddies and cookies and casserole and Denver omelette casserole and we opened some presents. Everyone got one present (except Chuckles who got 3 pairs of shoes, one outfit, some Cars stuff and some trucks!) to open (and one present which required adult assembly and then just shot marbles at us all but that was fun too). And it was laid-back and fun and not at all annoying as some holidays are.

Have I given a strenuous reccommendation for Ann Douglas's the mother of all pregnancy books? If not, I am doing so now. I am reading and re-reading the sections on "your pre-game plan", "sperm, meet egg", and "missed conceptions". Fascinating stuff. Really stellar.

Oh fascinating nugget: women with short follicular phases tend to have boys and those with long follicular phases have girls. So you are ever-so-sligthly more likely to have a boy if you ovulate before Day 14 and ever-so-slightly more likely to have a girl if you ovulate after Day 14. Now, those four or five times in my life I have ever ovulated were all after Day 14, and I have a son, so take this info with a large grain of ever-so-slightly salt.

Love,
SarcastiCarrie
And PS - Yes, I might in fact be drunk-blogging...maybe tipsy blogging is more accurate.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Full of Joy

I send a lot of Christmas cards, and consequently, I get a lot of Christmas cards. You may even have sent me one.

There is one card I got, though, that is my favorite. It's not because it had the cutest picture, although it was cute. And it's not because it was handmade, which it was. It's not because it had a lengthy verse of scripture which I skipped over to get to the hand-written note, but it did have that and I did skip over it. It's not because it had a gift or a witty newsletter, as it had neither. This card simply filled me with Joy.

Do you remember back in the Spring, when I told you about some friends who had a baby right before Thanksgiving last year? If not, go refresh your memory. Anyway, they had a son who only lived five hours. It was very hard on them, as you might imagine. But they are strong people. Good people. They are better people than I.

There, on the front of their Christmas card, they are smiling. Not just smiles, but big broad smiles. Joyful smiles. Smiles that prove that no matter what the past has dealt them, they are persevering. And expecting a baby in March. A girl. And I teared up just a little thinking about how happy I am for them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Life is Not Fair

Jamie Lynne Spears is pregnant, and I am not.

I am not jealous, per se, as I do not want her child, but you know, she does not want her child either, so there you have it.

Oh, and her mother never thought little Jamie would get pregnant because she was never late for curfew!!! Does that woman know where babies come from?

I'm a Liar

I think I wrote the wrong cycle days on my ovulation journal. Whoops. There were four days with surge. Same idea though.

Also, I know what I said about tossing birth control and just seeing what happens, but eh, I'm me. I like to control. Plus I know too much. After the very first cycle with no birth control, I knew something wasn't right. I noticed my fertile signs and then shortly thereafter, my period hit which told me my luteal phase was too short. So, It was less than a month to my annual exam and we talked it over and it was confirmed and another month happened and still another short luteal phase so here I am with my progesterone and my pee sticks and none of this is looking like seeing what happens. For Pete's sake, I've been bidding on Clear Blue Easy ClearPlan Fertility Monitors on ebay. I refuse to pay more than $30 (shipping included) for a fertility monitor, so I suppose I will never actually win one. Oh well. I guess I will just see what happens. And I've been looking at buying bulk OPK sticks and pregnancy tests from amazon. Bulk! I'm looking into buying a gross of pee sticks. I am sicksicksick.

So, I lie. I lie to you and myself when I say I am just seeing what happens. It's so easy to think that when here I sit cycling somewhat regularly, which is a far cry from anything I have ever done in the past.

And my husband is remodeling our downstairs bathroom and right now he is standing on my son's potty chair to hang a light fixture. I need something else to obsess about other than the fact that ten are coming for brunch on Christmas Eve morning and my bathroom is a leetle teensy weensy bit unusable.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun with Science

OK, so I mentioned that I have little pee sticks upon which I, obviously, pee. Every day. To detect ovulation (which part of me highly suspects I do not do, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding).

Here is my OPK journal for this cycle. I had, ahem, marital relations with my husband on cycle days CD16, CD18, CD19, and CD20. I started progesterone supplementation on CD20 PM. I ruined my plastic party tumbler on CD21 in the morning when the greasiness from the progesterone got on it and WOULD NOT WASH OFF. I think I had a surge for too many days. THat just doesn't seem quite normal to me. Peeonastick says that this is pretty unusual, although not impossible. I trust the internets. These women have vast peeing experience which I must exploit.


So, here, for your viewing pleasure is my cycle in full-color...


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fun with the photos

Baking cookies with mom.

Playing the what should be the "It" toy of the season. It's called Solving Path and is available at museumtour.com.


Frying a turkey on Thanksgiving...

Chuckles has not been napping at "school" lately. You know he's a tough one to nap. Well, even though he didn't nap on Friday, he was in a good mood, so we went out to dinner. He fell asleep at 6:30 in the car on the way home. I got him out and laid him in the living room for a while. He didn't seem to stir at all after a while, so I changed him into jammies (and a diaper) and put him to bed where he stayed until 7 am Saturday. Awesome.

The first really big snowfall of the season. As measured on a ruler in our backyard, it's 9.5" but in places it drifted to more than 2'.

Winter Wonderland

In the lane snow is glistening....

Unfortunately, that lane is supposed to be the "fast" lane on the interstate....


Saturday night, the Mr and I had Mimi come sit on the child and we went out to dinner with two other couples. We went to Pappadeaux. I got the Costa Rican tilapia, and it was excellent. Like little pieces of heaven on the plate. With capers. Anyway, apparently, while we were dining and carrying on, a big snowstorm hit Chicagoland. We got to the restaurant in just under an hour in very light snow that was melting when it hit the warm pavement, but 5.5 hours later when we left, it took 1:20 to get home and the pavement, if I could have seen it, was not longer warm. No biggie. It's not like Mimi was going to leave at midnight if we weren't home yet (which we weren't, and we brushed her car off for her, so she was happy). This morning, Chuckles did not get up until, wait, this cannot be right, 8 am!!! Anyway, we all woke up to 10" of snow. I know because I put my boots on with my pajamas and went out with a ruler and measured it. Good sight, that. Took almost 2 hours with all three of us working to clear the driveway. But we're fine and all is well.

Oh, and apparently, I had a sneak attack ovulation on Saturday. My little pee on them strips were nothing-nothing-nothing-a little something-a little more something-nothing - nothing - nothing- BAM ovulation. Crazy, I know. Friday night I had some cocktails at the Mexican restaurant and seduced my husband...my timing was impeccable (kid fell aslep in the car coming home from dinner at 6:30 pm...how else was I to spend a Friday night, then). So, now we wait. I will test on Christmas Eve morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

To my Husband

I just want you to know that while I don't mind, laundry is not really a hobby.


Sudoku is a hobby. Cooking is a hobby. Reading is a hobby. Sewing is a hobby.

Taking cold, wet pee-soaked clothes out of bags-of-shame from daycare and washing them in scalding hot disinfecting water is not a hobby.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful

The weather is calling for sleet, freezing rain, slush, ice, and frozen fog (which is FUN).

I can hardly wait.

Last week we had weather. Lots of weather. Six Inches of Snow one morning and black ice the next. And wow, am I really going through this intersection at 5 mph sideways? Whee. Did my 12 mile commute actually take me over an hour two days last week? Yes, yes it did. Was it really only 5 deg-F one morning? Yes, yes it was.

Sunday morning, the driveway was a sheet of ice. Slippery andfun. I went for a little slide down to the sidewalk, but had some trouble getting back to the top. We had to take a running start in the car.

So, Mr. Long-Suffering, who for the record really does not get to have much fun, decided to put EnergetiCat on the driveway and see what she'd do. Well, she put her claws out, got traction and hopped into the snow-covered bushes. Now that's fun! We got her back and she's fine, but I think we cured her of her escapist tendencies...for a little while at least.

A few hours later, Mr. L-S decided to play with KleptomaniaCat and the laser pointer. I really enjoyed when she started climbing the wall trying to get the red dot.

Oh, why is she KleptomaniaCat? Because she takes things out of the basement (off of L-S's tool bench) and scatters them around the house. I found conduit connectors in teh upstairs bathroom, cable ties in the nursery and wire nuts in the kitchen.

Why was my prescription not covered?

Uhhhh, because my insurance apparently doesn't cover anything vaguely related to reproductive health for women. I called the prescription drug coverage people today and they do not cover custom-compounded progesterone suppositories. And as long as I had the very-helpful woman on the phone, I asked a bunch more questions.
For the record, here is my coverage:
  • Progesterone suppositories - not covered
  • Progesterone gel (Crinone) - not covered
  • Progesterone in oil - covered but still quite expensive (basically the copay is as much as me paying cash for the suppositories)
  • Clomid (clomiphene citrate) - not covered
  • Estrace (estrogen) - not covered
  • hCG (pregnyl, profasi) - not covered

That's the basic cocktail I took for the seven months leading up to me getting pregnant with Chuckles. Well, except that I stayed on progesterone for 14 weeks. Ahh, good times, good times. Only back then, I had excellent coverage that covered everything with a reasonable copay.

I will be upping my HCRA for next year, I guess. And I suppose if it comes down to it, I'll need to pay cash for all the monitoring and ultrasounds and everything and I think I am feeling ill just thinking about shelling out that much money.

Oh, and I did do some comparison pricing at ivfmeds.com and drugstore.com. Even if you don't need ivf, ivfmeds has very reasonable pricing on all kinds of fertility drugs. But, my sister lives near the Mexican border, so I'm sure she could come up with something for me. She got some birth control pills there once (and hey I didn't get pregnant, so they must have been fine....oh wait, that's right, I'm infertile).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Anal Retentive

In case of nuclear holocaust, let's meet in my basement. We're good for at least a month on the food down there.

I'm having my in-laws over for dinner tonight (fajita burritos, hopefully as good as at that one restaurant we used to go to every week before we moved). I am going to make a cake for dessert. There are three boxes of yellow cake mix on my shelves (one Betty Crackpot, one duncan hines, and one pillsbury). I picked the one with the closest expiration date which is Pillsbury. Oddly, there was only one can of frosting, which means I need at least two to go with the cake I already have.

Right now, in my home, there are no less than 30 boxes of cereal. It's an addiction really. I have 12 large cans of diced tomatoes (you like chili, right?). I have a flat of cream soups and another flat of canned mushrooms. I have an instutional sized can of fruit cocktail. I have over 700 ounces of laundry detergent. I easily have 15 pounds of beef. I would not be surprised to learn that I have 20 pounds of frozen vegetables. I have 12 pounds of sugar and 15 pounds of flour (in three or more varieties: unbleached all-purpose, cake, whole wheat, and bread flour). I have five tubs of oatmeal.

I have at least 20 liters of pop, which we do not drink but have just in case company comes over (which they never do). I have six bags of chips, which is a two-month supply if not more. The chips are in addition to Fritos, pretzels, crackers, crisps, and other snack-y foods.

I am now going to get all philosophical about why I do this. Sure, I do a lot of cooking and we eat most of our meals at home, and it is the rare occasion that something goes bad and I need to discard it. But, when I was growing up, we didn't always have food. OK, that's not true. I suppose I was never in danger of going hungry, but we did sometimes have to wait until payday to have milk (and cereal with water is gross). And sometimes there wasn't anything normal to eat. I have a vivid memory of eating seasoned breadcrumbs one day for a snack. And my mother used to complain bitterly about the price of two of the things I liked (and still do like) best: fresh fruit and cereal (never did I see her complain about the price of cigarettes, switch to generics, or wait until payday for them, but I digress*). With the internets as my witness, Chuckles will never have to eat breadcrumbs. Now if he wants to eat them, that's a different story.

* - For the record, Mimi is now a doting and loving grandmother whose financial situation is quite a bit better. And she quit smoking. Good for her.

Words that have come out of my mouth that, I swear, are not my own

  • Sit down before you fall down.
  • Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.
  • I have a hankerin' for some spankerin'. **
  • What's the magic word?
  • If you're not crying, you're not learning. **
  • Every time I'd see that blueberry stain, I'd be reminded of what a bad little boy you were and that would make me sad.*

* - This one caused crying, so I thought I should tone the language down a little.

** - Not mine, my husband's channeling his own father.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Things That Make Me Angry: Part 82

  • Traffic
  • People who think Christmas is about the gifts
  • Traffic
  • Black Ice
  • Red Light Cameras
  • Cloudy Skies
  • My insurance, which is actually quite good, did not cover my prescription, which was filled at a totally far pharmacy because (A) Walgreen's in not on my insurance any longer and (B) that's a moot point because they don't carry it at any of my local Walgreen's anyway.
  • The prescription for which I paid cash shorted me one bullet. Perhaps my math is wrong, but "insert one vaginal suppository on cycles days 20 through 28" tells me that I need 9 bullets to complete that action. I received 8. So, I paid $30 for 8 suppositories of a drug (progesterone) I know is not expensive. That's almost $4 per day I will be paying for this. And no, honestly $30 is not a ton of money, but if it takes us an average length of time to get pregnant, which according to Ann Douglas's The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, which is like the Bible would be to me if I were christian, is 6.7 to 10 months in the early 30s, then we are looking at, perhaps, $300 in drugs, assuming we don't even need anything other than the progesterone, which when I think about it is not bloody likely.
  • I will call the insurance tomorrow to find out whether I need to mail order this, because even if I do get pregnant, I will be on supplemental progesterone until week 13 or 14 because if you need it to get pregnant, you need it to stay pregnant according to my awesome Nurse.

I will now recreate the chart in the book because it's good:

Odds that you will conceive any given month

(1)early 20s: 20-25%, (2)Late 20s: 15-20%, (3)Early 30s: 10-15%, (4)Late 30s: 8.3-10%

Average # of months it takes to conceive:

1: 1-5 months, 2: 5-6.7 mos, 3: 6.7-10 mos, 4: 10-12 mos

% of people who are pregnant within a year

1: 93-97%, 2: 86-93%, 3: 72-86%, 4: 65-72%

Last time I had a baby, I was in my late 20s. It took me 13 months (7 cycles with help). It looks like I'm on the wrong end of the stats, here. And my chances are apparently worse now. Although with two months of spontaneous ovulation, things actually look up. I continue to pee on sticks every day. There is a line starting to form, but considering its already Cycle Day 11, it's still pretty light. I think I ovulated on CD17 to 21, the last two months, so I have plenty of time (and plenty of little pee sticks left).

Icky News

As my profile says that I am up on current events, I will now mention the following, just to prove it.

  • Earthquake in Bali during summit.
  • Stacy Peterson married a man who had been married three times before and who was 20+ years her senior. And now she's (probably) dead. And her husband is smiling on TV every day and the paprazzi are camped out outside his house.
  • A man shot and killed his ex-wife in front of their two kids a few miles from my home. They were in a public place exchanging custody of the kids. Then he killed himself.
  • That shooting rampage in a mall: Ick.
  • Traffic so bad my eyes bleed (hours wasted in car not getting anyone to sleep)
  • Obama & Oprah bonded over having funny names that start with O
  • Two Words, America: Chuck Norris
  • and on a lighter note, The Mom Song (love it)

Why worry?

I wondered whether we should do a whole family picture on Santa's lap and whether we only get one picture and blah blah blah. Well, it turns out it was all a moot point as Chuckles would not sit on the jolly fat man's lap all by himself, nor would he sit on the chair next to Santa all by himself.
Daddy had to hold him near Santa and DING is in the picture and so is Mommy and if you look really closely, you will see a tear too (and the wall on either side of hte blue backdrop). We even went back to the back of the line after making it to the front of the line so we could watch more kids do this and get more used to the idea, but no go. And we did end up getting two pictures. In the other picture (which was vertical), my body was cut off and I am just a smiling, floating, disembodied head. Talk about your nightmare before christmas!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Work-Life Balance

My work and my life are not balanced, but they co-exist in semi-overlapping spheres.

Saturday, I needed to do some work, but I didn't want to go in to the plant. I needed to meet one of the traveling guys and get some samples of failed material, but he lived closer to me than either of us lived to the plant, so we met at McDonald's. And I brought CHuckles and Mr. Long-Suffering with me (we were right next door doing some shopping and it seemed silly to go all the way home when this was only going to take 20 minutes).

Chuckles sat at the counter on a stool and drank milk through a straw (which was the highlight of his week based on the number of times I have heard this story) while I sat at the next table and talked business. All went well until Chuckles needed to potty and only mommy was allowed to take him. Excuse self from table, take child potty, enter back into the work conversation. My husband and the guy chatted while I was gone, they knew some people in common. All was well. The men in my industry tend to be a little older than my own father and so often have working mom daughters and usually feel sorry for me and think I'm doing OK. And I am.

Late Breaking Addition to Things that Make a 5th Grader Laugh

From caramama: Poop Deck

Anal Retentive

I sent out my Christmas cards, but I was not first. Dang. I've gotten two cards already. I'm always first. Oh, slippping. Off my game.


Oh, but at 8 am Saturday morning, we have tickets to see Santa, for free. Woo Hoo. Should we do a whole family picture or just Chuckles? Pictures are free, but I think we only get one.

Lying Liars and the Lies they tell

Osco lies. I called Casa Sarcastic's resident pharmacist, Banjo, and she says that she and her female pharmacist counterparts all play with progesterone (with gloves or something). She said they just didn't want to do it. That's what I thought.

I also talked to my doctor's office today and they said there was only one pharmacy in teh area that has progesterone suppositories, Walgreen's at the corner of major street and far away major street. I disagree as I know of at least two other pharmacies closer where I can get them and that are not Walgreens who will no longer honor my prescription drug coverage.

Speaking of which, I have no idea whether my insurance will cover this as it could be consiered a fertility drug and I am pretty sure my insurance doesn't cover that now. Very disappointing. To get Chuckles, my insurance covered everything, and it was great. I never ever worried about not getting an ultrasound for follicle counts or a blood draw to confirm (my lack of) ovulation. With 7 treatment cycles, I paid a $200 out of network co-pay (which honestly, I could have avoided if I weren't so particular about who tested my blood) and a reasonable co-pay on each drug during the cycle (not usually more than $25). So, all-in-all, maybe $500 out-of-pocket to get pregnant and another $420 to have all prenatal visits and give birth. I knew I was lucky. I knew it. Others have far less, if anything. I am now one of those. So, I guess to have Bo-Bo, I will have to shell out more money, but I;m making homemade eggs this time, so maybe it won't be so bad.

Or I'll think that, only to be disappointed in new and exciting ways. I can hardly wait to find out.

Not My Most Proud Moment as a Mom

Chuckles did not nap at school today. It's becoming an every-other-day thing at school now. ANyway, when there is no nap, the evening is often fraught with peril. Tonight, dinner was a challenge. He didn;t want to sit or eat or anything, so he sat on my lap, sat in a big chair, and stood while eating the following (which just barely meets my minimum dietary requirements...no nap days get lower requirements than good days): Yoplait full-sugar HFCS yogurt, two cups of soy milk, 1/3 banana, 1/8 pear, a Gerber Biter Biscuit (I told him it was a cookie), a package of peanut butter Ritz crackers, one kidney bean.

So, now you know. While I imply that I feed my child healthful foods and responsible snacks, I actually feed him peanut butter-stuffed Ritz crackers (which he got from a neighbor while trick-or-treating).

I had homemade chili and Thin Mints for dinner.

Getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year

Chuckles's day care is not endorsing any specific holiday this year, but they are referring to December, in general, as the most wonderful time of the year.

I have taken the winter-holiday themed books out of Chuckles's closet and started reading them. I can almost recite Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by heart. Getting close. Did you know the last line is: "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night"? Me neither. Who'dve thunk it?

I really love the Charlies Brown Christmas. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, he really is the Charlie Browniest.

We have one book something about Snappy Sounds and Friends Giant Annoying Book of Loudness that makes noise. One page says "Ho, Ho, Ho" another is singing carols and one page is the sound over and over and over and over and over and over again of dropping silverware inside a dishwasher full of broken glass. With a cat. This gets my award for Most Annoying Sound of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

We put the lights up on the house Sunday. We're tres retro. Those big bulbs along the gutters and white light nets in the bushes. It's 1952 meets 2002. Chuckles is enchanted by it. He'd like to know why the lights are not on in the morning, mommy. I've come up with something about they are on you just can't tell.

Things that make a Fifth Grader Laugh: Christmas Edition

  1. From "Deck the Halls": Don we now our gay apparel.
  2. From "'Twas the Night Before Christmas": On the breast of the new-fallen snow.
  3. From some overly religious Christmas song we have two: Round yon virgin
  4. And: Holy infant so tender and mild (the word mild always makes me think of sausage, and sausage is funny).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

That work "Bonus" I got

You know, teh two $50 vouchers....well, you cannot combine forms of payment at amazon, so I freaked out and called customer service and blah blah blah Raj in India...finally I had an epiphany. I ended up buying two amazon gift cards for $50 each, using those and then paying for the balance with the coinstar voucher and $9 on the credit card. Now, I guess my shopping is done.

I adopted two kids through the Angel Tree at the Salvation Army, so we headed back to Lo-Mart today. I got the 13-year old girl clothes (and novelty socks) and the 9-year old boy gets a remote controlled hovering airplane. I want to adopt a whole family next year and have our whole family do it. It would be way fun, I bet.

I got up from the computer

Right after I wrote that last post, I got up from the computer, went to the bathroom and learned that I am definitely not pregnant. I saw red.

It turns out that my infertility comes in many different flavors and I am now the proud owner of a luteal phase defect. So, next cycle, I will supplement with progesterone for the second half.

But, as I mentioned I can no longer fill prescriptions at Walgreen's and it turns out Osco doesn't have a male compounding pharmacist on staff at my local store, so I have to go far. I will end up transferring this script to a local pharmacy affiliated with the hospital. But, whatever. Oh, why do they need a man? Female pharmacists cannot play with female hormones (or certain other medicines). I wonder if men are not allowed near some drugs.

So, I'm not pregnant, but I guess I never thought I was. But my husband was so disappointed. I just keep disappointing him in this department. Poor guy. He was so sad and kept telling me it wasn't too late. Poor guy.

So, I went to Lo-Mart today and got more pee on the strips to detect LH surge/ovulation. In case I happen to ovulate for a third straight month which would be a record, I guess for me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things that make a 5th Grader giggle (or a 32-year old)

  • Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan. Regina rhymes with, well, something.
  • Lake Titticaca is the world's highest navigable lake.
  • titmouse is really a bird.
  • sperm whale is quite large and a marine mammal.
  • breast cancer is not the leading killer of women.
  • Trojans are from Troy.
  • Ramses was a New Kingdom Egyptian pharaoh.
  • Pipe Nipple is just funny.
  • And pornography checkers flag on both "has strong morals" and "the pen is mightier than" because the first one contains the string "ass" and the second "penis".

Please add some more in the comments. I love these. Because I am 10.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Random Agglomeration of Thoughts

Let;s do them in numbered list format. I;m good with numbers. Let;s also replace all apostrophes with semicolons. It;ll be fun.

  1. I am a little embarassed to mention this, but apparently, I had a lot of mucus when I was at my annual appointment. It was the ovulation, I swear. I don;t get all hot fo the speculum. Gobs of ewcm (that's egg white cervical mucus for people who don't track their cycles).
  2. The test this morning was negative, but even the most sensitive tests would read negative this early even if I were pregnant, which I probably am not.
  3. I am three people at work this week and it's a little bit stressful. From 6 am until 7:10 pm today I have been on the cell phone. I finally turned teh phone off.
  4. I accidentally faxed something to the guy's phone yesterday. And when the fax didn't go through, the fax machine kept calling and calling and calling. Whoops.
  5. Thanksgiving was good. If you ever get a chance to deep fry a cajun injected turkey, I recommend it. We had two turkeys. L-S's turkey (fried) was better than mine (traditional open pan oven roasted).
  6. Dinner was 45 minutes late because my 14-year old brother is a meticulous turkey carver. There was not one speck of meat on that bird when he was done and each slice was the same size as every other one. But we were eating 45 minutes late so I actualy died. Then I came back to life to do the dishes. Then my sister-in-law fell over my dishwasher while holding her baby and they're fine but the door and basket for the dishwasher will never be teh same again, but that's ok because if I can make it leak, I get a Bosch. L-S promised.
  7. Did you know that it is hardest to buy gifts for the people closest to you? Or so I have heard. I usually hit the ball out of the park for my husband (this year's birthday...crank powered emergency radio with 7 NOAA weather bands and a cell phone charger, emergency alert siren, and flashlight...the FR300 from Eton....I got him the Red Cross version from Lowe's for $43 less 10% coupon).
  8. I used a $10 off your $100 purchas at Target on Saturday. I am more than half-way done with shopping.
  9. Kohl's short-shipped my order by three pieces and one came in the wrong color (and their shipping is expensive but I called them and had them reverse teh shipping charges...hopefully that worked).
  10. I love Walgreen's but there is some federal case between them and Caremark (who owns CVS). I don't know the details, but I guess Caremark wants to direct retail traffic to CVS and Walgreen's won't play ball and all I know is there is a Walgreen's on every corner and in even the smallest towns I frequent, so I need Walgreen's. They have Fever-All and Pedialyte, and special formula and diapers and sweatpants and cards and gift cards and milk. It's everything a busy mom needs. And now my insurance isn't accepted at Walgreen's. I consulted Casa SarcastiCarrie's resident pharmacist "Banjo" and she said that Caremark is still playing nice with other, smaller pharmacies and that Medco and Walgreen's still cooperate.
  11. I think I will refer to Lisa, the new cat, as EnergetiCat. In the middle of the night, we found her in the upstairs bedroom with the turkey's wishbone, which up until that point had been on top of the stove.
  12. CoinStar, the coin counting kiosk in teh grocery store, will waive their standard 8.5% counting fee if you get an amazon gift certificate with your change, so I now have an amazon voucher for $20.01 (I was trying to make it even, but I wasn't perfect). Work gave me $100 in amazon vouchers as well, so there's the rest of the X-mas shopping (but they tell me taxes are coming out of my check to cover this "bonus" but isn't it more of a gift?).
  13. I absolutely adore the TV show Chuck and I hope hope hope the writer's strike does not kill it.
  14. I got my first Christmas card today. This means my cards are not first. I must hang my head in shame.

Monday, November 26, 2007

To test or not to test

PeeOnAStick.com tells me that a home pregnancy test (hpt) can read positive as early as, oh, heck I don't know, whatever, but it's really low threshold levels for the brand I buy. I buy Dollar Store brand (or maybe it's Family Dollar) which is distributed by Inverness. The official rated sensitivity is 50 (which is micrograms of hCG per deciliter, I think).

Anecdotally, you can get a + test at 10 dpo or <10 mcg/dL on that brand despite whatever the official sensitivity is. With Chuck, at 12 days after trigger, which is probably 10 dpo, I was at 34 mcg/dL (which is really low for a successful pregnancy...which he is, as he pees on the potty and occassionally sleeps through the night). I am 7 or 8 dpo right now. hCG doubles every two days, so let's work backward on Chuck's numbers.
10 dpo 34
8 dpo 17
6 dpo 8.5

Right now, I am about 6 or 7 dpo, so I would be between 8 and 17, which officially would not show positive. So, do I waste the buck in the am? Yes, I will. I had a routine exam last Monday (which apparently in the throes of ovulation) and was given strict instructions that with my history of luteal phase insufficiency (low progesterone unable to sustain a pregnancy) I need to know ASAP so a progesterone number can be run and supplementation offered, if needed. I guess then I will test every two days after that until I get my period or I get that mystical second line. Which if we're being honest here, I do not expect, but I hope (or I don't hope, whatever....I'm not getting my hopes up).

On Funerals

It doesn't take a lyric poet to wax on about the significance of funerals, so I won't try, but I will say the following:

Why do I often have a good time at funerals despite being sad? It's because a funeral feels mandatory, so people come. And you often get to see people you like whom you haven;t seen in a while. I caught up with a large number of people I would not have seen otherwise. I called other people out of the blue to see whether they had heard. We chatted. It was nice. But it feels wrong.

Two more things:
1. If a measure of success of your life is how many people show up (in an icestorm) to pay their respects, my former co-worker was a huge success. He was a big man, both in stature and personality. He had many friends. It took about 2.5 hours to get up to the receiving line. THe line of people waiting to pay their respects snaked out of the chapel, around the corner, down the hall, through the "family room" where they keep the snacks, back down the hall the other way, up the steps toward the offices and back down and to the front door. If the weather had been more agreeable, I'm sure the line owuld have snaked outside and down the block. They ran out of prayer cards and when I signed teh book, it had ten or fifteen pages completed already.

2. When I die, if I have a headstone (which I will not as that is a huge waste of money), it will not read "Always Came Prepared for the 7:30 am Meeting" but it will read "Beloved Wife and Devoted Mother" and that is the way it should be. I went to the 7:30 am meeting today (in at work around 6:00), but come 4 pm, I scooted my way toward the exit pretty darn fast because Chuckles was eagerly awaiting my arrival at school (where he did not nap today). My priorities are in order.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This Season's Hottest Toys

at my house....not in general because none of these toys make noise or are marketed with a tv show or movie.

Solving Path - fun for the entire family. On Thanksgiving (which was a huge 18-person success), even the sullen teenagers and slightly tipsy adults played.

Wedgits - which I just played with for a few peaceful minutes and found enthralling. You can buy them here or here.

And lastly, Magna Tiles which were also a lot of fun.

The phoen just rang. An old co-worker of mine died at work on Thanksigiving. I have to run to the funeral home now.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Code Adam

Two things tonight.

1. I just checked in for my flight tomorrow morning, and I got a B group boarding pass. Not just any B, but B 36, whatever that means. Guess I should have done this earlier. What do I care where I sit though? It's business.

2. I hope to god you never need to know what a Code Adam is, because I do and I wish I didn't. Code Adam is the alert that goes out over the radio in the store when a child goes missing. They block the doors, search the bathrooms, etc. Chuckles caused a Code Adam on Saturday and I think I will now die five years earlier. Details will follow from my hotel room (if I have wi-fi, and really these days, who doesn't?), but rest assured, everyone is ok. A little worse for the wear, but fine.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thanksgiving

Supposedly, I am hosting Thanksgiving here Casa Sarcastic. I am having 11 adults and 11 children. That's 22 people. I need to come up with the menu.

  • Turkey (obviously, but we're doing two, one in the fryer and one in the oven)
  • Crescent rolls from the cardboard can* with butter and margarine
  • mashed potatoes
  • sweet potatoes with brown sugar
  • southern comfort sweet potatoes
  • tossed salad*
  • cranberry salad from the can with the can indentations still on it, served on an attractive plate
  • cranberry jello with mandarin oranges
  • cranberry chutney
  • broccoli cream corn casserole (or souffle if you want to fancy it up)
  • green bean casserole
  • spinach/noodle/parmesan cheese side dish
  • gravy
  • stuffing (or dressing if you're southern or something, traditional not oyster or cornbread)
  • pumpkin pie x2
  • pumpkin crunch
  • something with apples or pears
  • whipped cream
  • beaujolais nouveau
  • coffee
  • spinach dip with cocktail ryes
  • veggie tray

*-these items added by my husband because it's not a holiday without them

What did I miss? I am sure there is something. Once the menu is finalized, I can begin writing the shopping list. Do you have any good recipes for carrots (I'm thinking savory, not sweet)? Share recipes with me, and I'll share mine with you.

Carly - how about a cranberry rice walnut celery salad recipe?

Job

I haven't blogged much about my job. But I was late today. I got lost and wound up going away from work on the expressway. Apparently, one street near work just turns into an entrance ramp. That was a piece of information I wish I'd had prior to making that turn. Oh well. I got off the higway and came back and made it a few minutes late. To a meeting. With my boss. Very embarassing. I am supposed to be this totally together professional person, but I just keep doing stuff like this.

Also, in the last week, I have heard several people say (referring to my predecessor): "Oh, well, that's why Jennifer quit." Huh, that would have been good information to have. Apparently, Jennifer quit because the job sucked monkey butt, to put it politely (that's polite, trust me...I could have said much worse). The position involves being a referee between different departments and all the third-party registration places (like ISO and UL). And on one side, your conscience is telling you to do what is right, and on the other side "Larry" is telling you to hide all the bad stuff. Hey Mr. Rock meet Mr. HardPlace. I have a feeling this is another one of those AngeliCarrie versus DemoniCarrie moments. So far (and throughout most of my career), AngeliCarrie has won, but it's hard always saying no. Sometimes, you know it will be easier just to give in and say "yes" knowing you'll feel dirty later.

Rereading this: "Sometimes, you know it will be easier just to give in and say "yes" knowing you'll feel dirty later. " makes it sound dirty and like a whole lot more fun than it is.

Oh, and did I mention that I work in a division that was acquired in a somewhat hostile takeover so there is a lot of animosity and ill-will? I didn't mention that. Nevermind then.

Did I mention that corporate "forgets" that those of us in this other division have different phone numbers, no mail codes, a different ID card and so on? So, when they send out memos saying that so-and-so's phone number is now x2157 without giving the area code and exchange, it just pisses me off. Or, when they say that you can get a free flu shot after your scheduled shift by putting your request in a spreadsheet on the common folder on the server, I am enraged because I cannot access the common folder on the server because people in our division are denied access to these tools.

Oh, did I tell you that a guy actually told me that he would not give me that information because then I might use it??? It's not like I was trying to do insider trading. I was trying to learn my job, which is exceedingly difficult because no one returns my calls or emails and I have not gotten any training and when I do get someone on the phone and ask questions so I can train myself, they withhold information so I don't use it. ARGH!!!! I am starting to long for those golden days of 20-minute car rides to get someone to nap.

Pee on a Stick

So, I'm still using my little fertility sticks. It's kind of fun - like science. But, so far, nothing has happened. All I get is a control line. I think that's normal considering it's CD4 or 5 or something. I don't have to remember what cycle day I am on because the sticks do it for me. Yay.

Note to self (and to you, should you ever visit): do not use the plastic party cup in the bottom drawer of the bathroom cabinet when brushing your teeth. Because I am not the most co-ordinated crayon in the box, I pee in the cup and dip the stick...so, you know. Just drink out of the faucet.

Bad Citizen - Bad

I didn't vote today. I told the candidates who came to my house to knock on doors and talk with the constiuents that I would. And then I didn't. I suppose this makes me a liar! Oh no. It's not like I don't care about the relative size of my water bill ($65/month) or the state of our schools (blue ribbon, if you must know). It's just...the polling ends early and it's crowded and half of the races were uncontested.


Oh, and I pinky swore to the HUmane Society that I would take Lisa to the vet within 5 days of getting her and today is day 5, so we had to go to the vet. And she's perfect, by the way. Just as I thought. Apparently, her poop is made of diamonds, she pees liquid gold, and she got a 1600 on her SAT. Although, it is possible that she is allergic to her Hill's Science Diet food. We'll wait and see. But, man, that cat can pass some gas.


Here she is in her 9-pounds 9-ounces of glory....


Did I mention that she likes to hang out in the bath tub and she drinks from the faucet? She's odd. She'll fit right in here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Addition to Our Family

We took the plunge and adopted. She's 8.5 lbs, 20" long, has green eyes, and triangle ears. Oh yeah, and a tail. Her name is Lisa and she's a cat. She seems so active compared to GeriatriCat that we had before. She jumps, sprints, runs, dashes, and makes a break for the door when it's open (retrieved from the garage x3 so far). But she's no kitten. She's almost 3.5 years old. And she wants to be spoiled.

So far, she seems pretty good. She's quiet at night (unlike GeriatriCat who would get senile and scream in the middle of the night until you reminded her who she was and who you were). She eats and drinks, uses her box, and mostly stays off of the counters. We're working on that. She seems generally uninterested in eating our houseplants too, so that's good. She has all her claws, but I have yet to see her bare them.

She rolls over and plays and Chuckles is adorable with her. She seems very tolerant of toddler antics too.

Fun while it lasted

I made it to day 30 of my cycle (approximately) before the bleeding started. Now, when pregnant with Chuckles, my first symptom was bleeding, so while I was diappointed to see red, I wasn't crushed until the single line on the hpt later that night. Oh well. Like I said, it would have felt like cheating to get a baby by having sex with my husband.

But, one thing is nagging at me. 30 days is a pretty typical cycle length for a lot of people, I had a negative LH test at the beginning of the month, and I think I ovulated, so all-in-all, that was a pretty weird month for me, but very normal. I never have cycles like that. It almost makes me think it would be possible to get a baby the old-fashioned way. And a little hope is a dangerous thing. So, while I was at Low*Mart the other day, I bought something called Answer Daily Ovulation Tracker. (And true to their word, Low*Mart's price is lower than drugstore.com's.) Basically you test every day for 20 days looking for your ovulation (20 days is better than 5 or 7 for me, since I really have no idea when I would ovulate if I even do, and it was comparably priced to the 5 and 7-day kits). I start tonight. I wonder if I'll surge and get a positive. I'll probably be on my business trip if I do. That would be so ironically perfect as the husband will not be present.

Harvest

With frost coming, last weekend we did the harvest. We got about 15 cups of basil which made 6 batches of pesto. We used 3 cups of olive oil, a lot of parmesan cheese, and 30 cloves of garlic. Man, I love pesto.

We also have a ton of green tomatoes and I am making a green tomato stew out of them for dinner tonight. I have no idea what it will taste like, but I did put red wine in it, so it will be good, regardless.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It;s just me, isn't it

Have you ever been tempted to do something baaaaaad and as if in a sitcom, a little angel appers on one of your shoulders and a little devil on the other. Let's call them SarcastiCarrie and AngeliCarrie. Today one of them is telling me to eat the pie before our dinner guests arrive. They'll never know I was going to give them a pie. And that stupid do-gooder on the other shoulder is telling me I want my pants to fit in the morning and my blood sugar and insulin resistance and blah blah blah. Ding Dong. Gotta go. The guests are here.

Speaking of Potential New Babies

Next one is named Bo-Bo. Boy or girl. Once you've named one kid after a clown (Chuckles), you really need to keep that up with the next kid.

Home Alone

OK, so technically, Chuckles is here, but he's been asleep for 3 hours (more than), I made an apple pie and it is already cooled. I've surfed teh web, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and dining room and sorted teh little green army men from the little blue police men. Now what?

The Mr. is out doing what he loves best...browsing at the hardware store without anyone needing to go potty, no one looking bored or rushing him, etc. I bet he's in heaven. I'll ask him when he comes home.

Three Little Words

Watch more Three Little Words here.

Crying (because I am a sap)

So, I was just saying I don't cry much anymore. But then I went and watched Good Morning America Satuday this morning. They have this segment called Three Little Words or something. And people take videos (you-tube style) and send them in of Three Little Words. Today we saw the following powerful images:
  • A piece of notebook paper saying "Fighting off cancer" and then the paper is pulled down and you see a 6-month old baby with a huge scar on his back crawling away
  • A man and woman on the front porch or a middle-America house. Her paper says Will Miss You. His says Miss U More. He is in uniform. She kisses him.
  • Three index cards that are being held up by a woman whose face you cannot see...just her hands. They read: My Rapist Jailed!!!! and then the hands give two thumbs up.
  • A girl with glittering nailpolish and lots of rubber bracelets on writing in a notebook My Mom Survived and a little pink ribbon
  • A photo frame on the mantel and the words, I miss you.
  • A cat and dog kissing and playing and the words Love Is Blind
  • A picture of twins and Worth The Wait
  • A big pregnant belly with the words Dream Come True written on it (in marker, not stretch marks)
  • A mom and son with signs reading "Adopting from China" and "Waiting for Sister"

And then you can write your Three Little Words on their website. These are some:

  • Love Conquers All
  • Please Parent, Britney
  • Embryo Transfer 10/21 (ed: and good luck to you)

I'm not supposed to be this emotional. I swear, the only time I ever cried from that damn coffee commercial was when I was pregnant. I mean, Peter came home and surprised his mother. I don't know why she's so shocked. He's been doing it every year since 1982!

Babymaking lazy, infertile style

So, uhm, I have no idea what cycle day I am on since I have no idea when I should start counting. Is it first day of spotting, first day of flow, first day off of the pill, three days after the last pill when my body would finally figure out that I hadn't taken a pill?

I have no idea. Either way, I am somewhere in the Day 20-something range.

In all the fertile propaganda, they say you start bleeding on Day 1 (what no spotting beforehand, you just go full-on into flow?), ovulate on Day 14, and then conclude on Day 28. Well, in the real world, something else happens entirely. Who knows?

Generally, ovulation takes place 12 to 16 days before you get your period. How that helps you figure out when ovulation will take plce, I do not know. That time between ovulation and the appearance of your period is known as the luteal phase. If your luteal phase is shorter than about 12 days, you are more likely to miscarry when you do conceive because of something with progesterone. That's called a luteal phase defect. The first part of your cycle from period until ovulation is known as the follicular phase. It is when the follicle (the little sack on the ovary that will release the egg) is formed. Where am I going with this Biology 101 lesson? I have no idea.

Somewhere on Day 2 or 6 or something early, I took an ovulation predictor test that I had around the house from four years ago. Anyway, it was stunningly negative. I mean, nary a hint of a line. PCOS is known for giving a low-level line all the time, so I figured if I was negative, I might actually have a shot at an ovulatory cycle this month, and I actually think I may have ovulated, but around Day 21 or 24 something. That would be late, so I guess I wait to see if I have a period by Day 35 or so, and if not, I freak out and hyperventilate until I test.

Oh, and crazy thing...I am trying to get pregnant by having sex with my husband without consultation of ovulation predictor tests, doctors, blood draws, ultrasounds, drugs, or even, wine. If we do get pregnant this way, it will feel like cheating. It will have been too easy. Weird, huh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A million little things

I've been writing blog posts in my head for two weeks and now that I have a free minute, I cannot for the life of me remember what I wrote, but trust me, it was good.

  1. I think I may have had some minor depression back in the spring (OK, no maybe and probably not minor). I've had it before and it usually breaks before I actually go off of the deep end. I think I am better now. I like my husband again. I no longer blame him for all the evils in the world (I mean, he wasn't even in San Diego when it caught on fire). I always did have immense love and affection for my son even at the worst of it. Amazing power of a mom, I guess. But, I am enjoying my son (most days) now. I think the depression lifted in June, maybe. But, I've been a lot better since we all recovered from salmonella. Since then, I've been good.
  2. I don't know how to phrase this. I complain about how hard being a mom is. I complain a fair amount, if by fair you mean a lot. But, know that I love my son and I derive great pleasure watching him grow into a real person. Example: I asked him to tell me a story the other morning. This is approximately what he told me: "Three little pigs were walking in the forest, but grandma wasn't there. A fox ate her. Then, she went home to her house all by herself." The End. So, I love him and think he is a genius, plus he does things that are so cute, it makes your uterus ache. Example: He lined up a really big bear, a medium-large bear, and his teddy bear and called them Mommy, Daddy, and Chuckles bears. Then he said that made it a Family. Oh, my uterus aches, it's so cute. Then he threw another bear into the mix and then he brought in Snoopy, so we just decided it must be our cat, who has been gone over a year now. Anyway, the point to all this is I love my son, and I am throwing my hat back into the baby-making ring. I tossed out my pills three weeks ago. I am infertile, so this is not as monumentous as, say, a fertile person doing this, but it is symbolic nonetheless. We are probably not going to go the medical route, we'll just see what happens. And so far, what has happened? Zits. Lots of icky, white-headed zits on my cheeks.
  3. I went to the dentist. Look ma, no cavities.
  4. I applied for a passport. The http://travel.state.gov website assures me that they have already put it into the return mail for me. Now, I can travel to Canada for work. Woo Hoo.
  5. I bought really cute tourqoise and lime green striped sheets for the big boy bed that is slowly making its way into Chuckles's room. He's such a marginal sleeper, we are not planning on pushing anything. We'll just set it up and see what happens, some day. We're in no hurry. The bed (and two dressers) for Chuckles's room were Mr. Long-Suffering's when he was a boy (and they were his uncles' before that) so it's no big deal really.
  6. Chuckles is almost completely daytime potty trained. No diapers from morning until bed for the last week or so and only and accident or two when no one was paying attention to him. All poopy in the potty though. And most pee. Standing. Which is fun, since the aim is not so good. The Clorox wipes are close at hand. No biggee.
  7. There's this new show on TV called "Chuck". I like it. And hubby likes it too. Hot girls who fight. A computer geek who went to Stanford. Unrequited love. The longing. Humor and action. What's not to like? Go watch this clip...it's hysterical. Ok, that clip wasn't actually hysterical, but there were laughs. And guns. Watch the show. It's not on too late. I've given up on shows that are on too late.
  8. Sometimes, I feel like my life is just an extended jam session version of Office Space. Please keep this in mind when I am at work over the weekend. Something about needing weekend coverage to handle issues within 24 or 48 hours of when they occur. Dang!
  9. One of the odd symptom of our recent cold illness was gluteal pain. All three of us had it and that was weird. I had no idea what Chuckles meant when he said his butt hurt until three days later when my ass was tender. Like Pilates class tender. And sitting on hard plastic chairs. Talk about it being a pain in your ass.
  10. When I moved from Ohio some 4.5 years ago, a moving company came and packed up all our stuff and brought it here for us. In all that stuff, there was a large bag full of smaller bags. A bag of bags, if you will. Anyway, I pulled one out the other day to line the garbage can in the bathroom and it said Akron Boo at the Zoo 2002 (and it rhymed so well, I got a chuckle). That is all.
  11. I got three new tires to go with the one new tire I got already (twice). The guy at the tire place found some major problems with the linkages (which is actually one of the repairs we passed on earlier this year when the car died and I discovered sitting in the car for nap time). So, all-in-all, I think with groceries, a trip to Boo at the Brookfield Zoo, a trip to Costco, and the car repairs, I spent about $1500 this weekend. There I go and get a job and the next thing you know, I am spending money like it's going out of style.
  12. Speaking of style, I miss shoulder pads. Not the big ones, just the nice ones to offset my hips. Speaking of my hips, did you see the study about how a mother's hip measurements help determine her daughter's breast cancer risk? I will paraphrase for you: "The findings showed that women had three times higher risks of breast cancer if their mother had wide hips and seven times higher risks if they happened to be a second or third child." So, huh, not only are my hips no good for birthing babies, but should I ever have a daughter, she might get cancer, because damn, if I'm not hippy.
  13. My sister went to Sea World in San Diego over the weekend. She's back at her home now and is safe. Whew.
  14. Fred Thompson, please be as good as I hope you are.
  15. I can't think of anything else this very second, so be well, and Jamington, I am thinking of you.

104.3

Not the radio station (which in this market is Jack FM), but the level of the fever that sent us to Urgent Care two weeks ago. Chuckles is mostly better now as are Mr. Long-Suffering and I. The adults got sinus infections, the kid wound up with a barking cough, but we're on the mend. Just in time for a big MRSA outbreak. The day care sent home a flyer today on their disinfection program and a reminder of their illness policy.
While Chuckles was sick, he was out of school three days (plus two days for the weekend). I have been working six weeks, and I have already called off once. Am model employee. Mr. L-S took off Monday and Tuesday but he had something important at work on Wednesday so I stayed home because Chuckles was still quite ill and we didn't want to expose the grandparents.
But, we're mostly back to normal, so no harm-no foul.

As promised

Just notice how far away from my body the sweatshirt hangs. I think the boy was born a day or two after this picture was taken.


This photo here of a tiny baby being mauled by an enormous boob reminds me of so many things....my body is covered in moles, nursing breasts are one of nature's cruelest jokes (oh yes, they are big and no you cannot touch them), my son (MY SON) had a shock of black hair at birth and it smelled greasy greasy greasy, his cheeks were really red too, once upon a time, I had long nails. But, yes, here is one of the few pictures of me nursing. It's funny, but I spent a lot (A LOT) of time nursing and there really aren't many pictures of it at all. And that;s kind of sad.




Friday, October 05, 2007

PCOS and obesity

So PCOS and obesity go hand-in-hand. They're like those two little naked kids from Love Is....

I am not obese. But, I am not some waif-like stick figure. I have a point with my weight where I can sit with very little effort, but almost any false move can tip me back up. Fortunately, I usually keep pretty close track of such things and nip it in the bud before I need to nip it in the butt. But, I slid since I have started working. There is the mocha coffee and the Twix bars and the free donuts from vendors on Wednesdays...and well, ten pounds snuck on in a month. That's not good. So I am consciously on a food reduction trip for a couple of days here to get back down to the comfy place. And I am not happy about it one bit. I still had some Twix bars this week, but no mocha (stupid broken coffee machine at work helped with that) and no donuts and I skipped dessert after dinner 4 of 5 nights (but that 5th night was sooooo good). Si, I am going to go upstairs for a moment of scale truth. I'll let you know what I find.

Last Saturday, first thing in the morning, I was 160#.
Friday night after a full day, I am 158#.

So, at this rate, I can lose it as fast as I put it on. I'll let you know. I think I am going to start taking vitamins just so that I know I am getting enough (even though I am still eating plenty of food and calories...probably 1800/day most days).

Odd thing about work

There is another manufacturing facility inside our gate and they share our locker rooms. It's quite odd. They are a competitor and once upon a time, some equipment in our building was sold to them and they didn't move it (and we didn't require that they do so). So, here we are, in the bathroom with competitors. Very strange. I don't think it violates any anti-trust things provided you don't scream out trade secrets and pricing philosophy while on the john.

Let's talk about money

Money is something I did not have as a kid, but I guess I didn't realize it because no one else had any either. There were families with more kids who got less and families with fewer kids who got more, but the families basically all evened out.

Until we moved to a better school district...and the kids had Guess? jeans and Benneton sweatshirts and straight hair with no bangs instead of the big hair with big bangs we had where I was from. And then, the kids had cars. Their cars were nicer than the teachers' cars. My sister drove a 1973 Chevy Impala in 1989. It got from A to B and could carry her 25 closest friends. She would have been laughed out of the parking lot at my high school. Few kids had after-school jobs and most spent money for prom and things. I spent money too, but it was money I earned by working 20 hours/week. When AP exams were offer at $72 apiece, I wondered how I could possibly afford them (I needed like 7 my senior year).

When I got out of (very well-granted) college with some debt, I freaked out. I did not want to be my mom. She's a good lady but not the best with money and numbers. So, I quickly paid off my student loans and saved up a down payment for a house (which I bought right before my 23rd birthday). My husband and I both make nice salaries. I mean, we're not pharmacists, but we do just fine. We live in a nice community with reasonably priced homes and good schools. We save. But, really, we don't have to worry. Even when I wasn't working, we had plenty, though certainly not what we have now. When I said things got tight, I should have added that there was no money left at the end of the month after paying all our bills and fully contributing to our savings.
So, even if something bad happens, we'll be OK with money. But, what do we teach our son? I already know the rule for in the store. If I say, "no" and he continues to pester, I will just add, "We don't argue over money." But, this strategy can only last so long. Some day, he'll be 12, and I will need to teach him about money and responsibility and I want to instill in him a little fear of not having enough some day, just so he knows and feels how important saving is. He will never know not having a need fulfilled. I will never ask to borrow $20 until pay day. He will never know any sort of real deprivation. How do I make him frugal?

Monday, October 01, 2007

I tried

I just tried to post pictures of me as a 9-months pregnant hippopotamus and one-day post-partum attempting to nurse a teeny weeny baby on an enormous, engorged teat, but blogger keeps crashing mid-download, so trust me on two things:
  1. By 9.5 months, I was so large, I was unable to reach my own nether parts to cleanse myself properly after using the facilities. I tried around front, around back, leaning to the side, throwing paper at it from the corners, and so on, but I just couldn't reach. Eventually, I just decided I'd fix it up in the shower.
  2. You might think your breasts are large, but oh, ho ho, they are NOT big until you actually fear your H-cup will suffocate your child, whose head circumference was 14" and yet looks surprisingly small in comparison to your, ahem, motherly orb.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chatterbox

Some things from Chuckles:
  • When I told him we didn't have any ice cream: Go to the store and get some.
  • Devising a nefarious plan: I moved the chair over 'dere and got it (off of the bookshelf's high shelf where I didn't think he could reach).
  • When I asked him whether he wanted to go to the grocery store or the hardware store: Go to ..........toy store?
  • His speech is just skyrocketing and his acquisition of language is phenomenal. Kids are neat. 2 is a marvelous age. But, when again do they learn to sleep through the night, because at 4am this morning I heard: I need my mommy. (I enter the room.) Hi mom. Sit in your lap?

Best of all, I am blogging from the couch in front of Desperate Housewives. Love the Wi-Fi and the laptop.

You Look Mah-Veh-Luss, Darling

It's been over four years since I had my eyebrows waxed. I had a girl at my old house and she was fantastic. A good brow waxer is like a good electrician. When you find one, you hold on. So, I was reluctant to go to someone new. But, Norma waxed for a good 20 minutes and I look great! NOw, don't get me wrong. I haven't neglected my brows for 4 years. I've been plucking, but it's just not the same. I can't believe I waited so long. The two caterpillars have been separated and are clearly on opposite sides of the face where they should be.

Confused

I got paid and money moved around and I was viewing my online banking and money moved places I did not authorize, so I really look forward to 12 minutes on hold with the bank tomorrow to figure out what happened.

Carly, when I make lasagna, I think of you (and your crispy noodles on top).

I am making lasagna and baked apples for dinner. Quite a combo, no? The lasagna has fresh tomatoes and the apples are from Michigan and we still have 2 bushels left.

Grubs. I have grubs in my lawn.

I was doing my safety talk on how following procedures is great for you, but if you don't follow them, you may hurt someone else and that guilt is bad stuff and I was telling the story of how someone did not follow established procedure and nearly killed my son and I started blinking away tears. Tears. In a meeting at work. In a room full of people I didn't know. A room full of men, no less. Ugh.

And during safety training, I learned what a degloving injury is and now I can never sleep again. Ick!

Yesterday, we went to watch people fly model airplanes. I don't know who was more excited - Chuckles or Daddy.

Chuckles now says, "I love you, Daddy!" Notsomuch on the mommy yet, but we'll get there.

I did some shopping at Lo*Mart yesterday. I don't go there too often, but their prices are low. Unfortunately, the sox I got for Chuck (size 3-5 years) are too small. He's only 2, so these should fit. He has big feet, but not that big. The sox are just weird. But, I also got him a stepstool so he can pee standing up. Whee!

Have you ever done something and while you're doing it, it's a lot of fun, but you realize you will come to regret it later? This was me on Friday as I was teaching Chuckles to pee on a tree at the park. Then, he peed on all the trees in our yard and at the grandparents' house, which you know makes them think I am a hippy freak even more than they already did (breastfeeding more than 6 weeks is hippy behavior). And now all the dogs in the neighborhood need to pee on my trees to cover that marking smell.

I messed up paying for day care, but we're all square now. I think I used to be a whole lot more on the ball than this. What with the banking error which was there for a full 2 days before I caught it.

And while fixing the apples for dinner, I knocked $40 worth of wine off of the kitchen counter. I sure hope it's OK because it's a gift for an anniversary party I am attending in 2 weeks and I was quite proud that I had the gift a full 3 weeks prior to the event.

I bought lottery tickets and I sure hope I win so I can do good works with my life...and uhm, other stuff.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some Things In Bullet Point Fashion

  • I am attending safety training all week and need to give a presentation. My topic: Food Safety (quelle suprise!).
  • Last weekend, on a boring Sunday, I pulled out three harmonicas and our family jammed to the Blues and we established a new Family Rule: no bologna near the harmonica.
  • This most recent past weekend, we went apple picking, so now we say that apples (and pumpkins) come from Michigan. And on the way back we stopped at a winery for 15 minutes and mommy got toasted lightly.
  • My son has started calling my Mommy Carrie.
  • Toothbrushes are not for cleaning the floor.
  • Road rash on knees, elbows and the tops of big toes is not a pretty sight.
  • The No Food Shall Be Eaten Strike appears to be on the way out, but stories of its demise may be greatly exaggerated.
  • My son calls The Simpsons television show "Homer". As in, "Watch Homer on TV".
  • We have some little issues with school. Namely, Chuckles got bit (again) by Roland. No big deal. Keep an eye on it.
  • Next week is "Picture Day:. Last time school had a picture day I accidentally sent Chuckles to school in Halloween jammies (in May), so I better do better this time.
  • Chuckles is learning to drink from an open top cup. I now keep the mop in the kitchen and he eats naked to minimize laundry.
  • Chuckles is doing really well in pre-school. If they graded it (which they don't), he'd be getting all As except in naptime and drinking from an open cup.
  • Chuckles did not sleep from 11 pm to 1 am one day last week and I did just fine at work the next day. My husband says it took him 6 hours to get going that day.
  • On the night of no sleep, he ended up upside-down in our bed, and it was 39 degrees outside but we couldn't put the covers up because his head was down and he'd suffocate fo something, so we shivered.
  • On the night of never ending crying and no sleep, we thought he might be hungry as he was in the middle of the No Food Shall Be Eaten Strike, so I gave him a graham cracker, which I ended up vaccuuming out of my bed at 1 o'clock in the morning.
  • On the weekends, I am back to driving for naps.
  • Chuckles can tell you that he got two pumpkins and mommy got one BIG pumpkin and there are now three pumpkins on our front porch. That sounds like addition.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bleh

It's almost 8 am on Sunday morning. I have been up for almost 4 hours. BUT, our child is not here. We left him with Grandma and Grandpa overnight, so now I am waiting for my husband to wake up so we can go get Chuckles. I HATE leaving him on teh weekends because we get so little time with him as it is this feels like abandonment, but I am sure G&G are giving him plenty of attention.

So, why was I up even though I had the opportunity to sleep? I don't sleep well. Period. Chuckles has disrupted my natural sleep patterns in lasting ways. And I never really was a great sleeper. I like sleep, but I can't always do it.

We went to visit a couple with a new baby yesterday (and hence left the germ factory of a toddler with the Gs). Their baby sleeps A LOT. My husband said that what they are doing must be right and what we did wrong since their baby sleeps A LOT. Uhhh, how about they are different kids with different temperments? I mean, I have resolved with myself that Chuckles is who he is and how he sleeps is a big part of his personality. I am sure it would be nice to have a baby who sleeps A LOT, but it seemed to me that their baby was not alert. We were there for 8.5 hours and I am not kidding you but the baby was awake with eyes open for about 15 minutes. Even then she didn't really seem interested in much. As a tiny baby, Chuckles was AWAKE. I'm AWAKE. Here I am, entertain me. I am AWAKE and ALERT. See how cute I am! I mean alert. For 11 hours a day as an infant. In fact in the hospital at two days old, the nurses told me they couldn't have in the nursery because he was so alert and needed his mother for interaction AT 3 AM right after I had a C-SECTION and needed MY SLEEP. It was (and continues to be) draining.
I have resolved somewhat not to complain anymore about the sleep and just chalk it up to his personailty, but when you are in the car and your husband, the one who is supposed to be on your side, basically blames you for setting your son up for a lifetime of disrupted sleep (and consequently disrupted sleep for your husband), it's pretty hard not to take it personally. Oh and what did he think I did wrong? Breastfeeding. He thinks bottle feeding would be far superior to breastfeeding for encouraging consolidated sleep (never mind that the human race is designed to have babies wake frequently during the night so they don't forget to breathe before their nervous systems are developed or that babies are designed to breastfeed (by God or evolution, whatever)) even though he is wrong.
It's hard not to take it personally when you feel you are being attacked for doing what you honestly believe is right. Oh well.
I guess we'll chalk this up to "fights we don't need to resolve unless we're actually going to have another baby".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept. 11th

Today is September 11th. I don't have a lot to say that doesn't make me either angry or sad. I'll tell you a little about what I was doing 6 years ago.

It was a Tuesday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sky was bright blue - no clouds. It was warm but not too hot. It was my first day back at work after my honeymoon. I was showing off my pictures of my wedding. I was at work. I was doing what was called "red folders" at my job, four jobs ago. I took some back across the road to another office and a guy named Jeff told me. I tried to go to cnn.com but the site wouldn't load. A man in my office tuned a small portable radio to ABC News Radio.

My phone rang. It was Carly. She wanted to know what was going on and I was usually in the know, but I didn't know. It couldn't be that bad. A guy whose name I forget (he was Italian and had a mustache and six years ago, I talked to him every day and now I can't remember his name...I think it ends in an "o") came in and said he had just been to New York and the World Trade Center and 50,000 people could be in that building that fell down.

I called my mom. I knew she would be worried about me. There was no reason to be worried about me, of course. I was hundreds of miles away from there. Actually, I just checked on maquest and I was less than 200 miles from Shanksville, PA, where I believe Flight 93 crashed. But still, mom would be worried. I talked to her for just a few minutes. She was relieved I was fine.

I got a mass email from the corporate people at work telling us all to stop making personal long distance calls. The phones were needed for business-related calls so customers can reach us, so stay off the phone. No business calls were coming in. No one was setting up a shipment or sending in a PO. Everyone was glued to the TV, the radio, or the internet. People were standing in the hallways talking and looking shell-shocked. Some people were crying.

I went home, my first night after work as a married woman. We had dinner. I watched live on TV as some building, which was thankfully evacuated already, fell down. I went to the neighbor's house. She had been watching WonderCat and I needed to get my key back. Her kids were out back playing. The TV was off. It would stay off until she knew what to say to her kids. She had to tell them something. They'd be going back to school tomorrow and the other kids would be talking. What should she tell them? She had a small, portable radio tuned to the AM station and was listening. I had been crying.

I assume at some point I went home from the neighbor's house and watched more live coverage of death and destruction. They kept showing (and still to this day keep showing) the pictures of the planes hitting the buildings, the buildings on fire, the tall antenna on the building standing straight up as the building falls to the ground, the leaning, standing piece of debris that used to be four floors of a building, the flag being raised on that debris, the handmade/homemade signs people made with pictures asking if anyone has seen "John missing since 9-11, last seen wearing blue shirt & khaki pants in the subway station", the flowers and teddy bears laid at the fence around the site, whicch is now named Ground Zero just like a nuclear bomb had gone off, the sky with no airplanes and no contrails and no traffic helicopters and no light flight helicopters - just eerie silence all weel. ANyway, the images are burned into my mind and I fear that I will never be able to forget them (and in some ways, I hope I never do).

I'd like to say something sarcastic and witty about Osama bin Laden's "Grecian Formula" beard, but I cannot. I'd like to say that cowards hide in the hills and caves. But, I don't have the fight in me to say that. Today, I am just very sad.

I lost a couple of classmates that day, and I know plenty of people who lost coworkers and acquaintances. My uncle was on a conference call with counterpart bond traders at Cantor Fitzgerald. He heard people die. He will never be the same again. A friend-of-a-friend was in the WTC on one of the mid-number floors - 40s or 50s. He hasn't gone back to work since then. He travels the country telling people what happened to him that day, how he got out, how others helped him, how he tried to help others.

In a way, I can hardly believe "only" 2,974 people were killed that day. It could have been so much worse. Our US military forces have lost about that number in the six years since in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I'm really glad it was overcast and rainy today. The bright, sunny weather on the 11th always makes it too hard.

My resolve is strong. I hate islamoterrorism. I hate terrorists. F-k the terrorists.


Oh, the man's name I forgot was Dan. Yes. Italian Dan C-o. That's right.

Another 15 minute dinner idea

1 steak (I prefer boneless ribeye like Delmonico but it's often over $8/lb so maybe porterhouse), set to thaw in refrigerator the night before
1 box couscous
1 16-oz pck Birdseye steamfresh steams in the bag frozen veggies (green beans, in my case)
1 tomato from my garden, optional

On way into garage, pull grill out and set it to preheat.
Go in house and change dirty work clothes.
Get steak out of fridge and take it out to the grill.
Come back in and start the veggies in the micro (7 minutes perfecto)
prepare couscous according to box directions. Use olive oil in it and if desired, add tomatoes to the water before it boils.
Flip steak.
Add couscous to the boiling water, cover, remove from heat.
Throw veggies in a bowl, set table, get beverages.
Bring steak in, serve couscous from pot on stove.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Two things since going back to work

1. My child has been back in group day care for 7 days and I already have teh sniffles. Not fun.

2. A very quick, relatively healthy dinner is:
1 - 16-oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
1 pack udon noodles (or minute brown rice or boil-in-bag brown rice)
8 oz, cleaned, tail off, frozen shrimp, thawed under cold running water.
Store-bought stir fry sauce like Saigon Sizzle (or LaChoy).

Start the rice (if making rice).
Throw the veggies in the microwave to thaw for about 2 minutes.
While micro-ing the veggies, put the shrimp in strainer in the sink and thaw it.
Put veggies in a pan on the stove for about 5 minutes. Add noodles, rice, and shrimp for one minute.
The whole thing takes about 15 minutes to get to the table and it's not bad at all.

Also nice: Adding some water chesnuts. Throw some dried shi-itake mushrooms into the water of the boil-in-bag rice and add those for the last minute. Stir fry an egg and add that. Chop onions or garlic and add it, but if you are really tired and just need something covering all the food groups, go with the basic. It runs about $6.50 for the entire dinner which feeds about three adults (two adults plus one picky toddler with a few leftovers).

Friday, September 07, 2007

I don't know what to say

I work. Chuckles has been a good sport. He has a best friend at pre-school. The kid's name is Roland. I know "Chuckles" is an odd name for a kid, but Roland seems even odder. And he told me that a girl named "Megan was crying so her mommy came and took her home."

My job is odd. It requires unbelievable knowledge of the French language, which I happen to have but did not realize was requisite for the position (OK< class="blsp-spelling-corrected" id="SPELLING_ERROR_3">unbelievable, but it's enough). All the software and documentation that I use are in French. And all my tech support people are in Paris (must call by 10 am or they are no longer in).

There is no one to train me and no one in my area knows how to sent inter-office mail. I guess they fax everything. And, when I got my computer, I had almost 200 emails waiting for me. They set up my email box and started cc'ing me on things two weeks before I started. I got my laptop and cell phone a Thursday. Apparently, I need to be in contact with my french software 24/7, which is fine since I was given permission for remote access of everything.

So, I guess it's just back to the grind. Nothing seems out of the ordinary to me. As I tell people, it's the same everywhere (and I guess I am only referring to heavy manufacturing, because for all I know working at a law firm or software company could be totally different....do you do Lock Out/Tag Out training for OSHA at law firms? Do you get daily safety contacts? Do you talk about fall protection and tying off when working on scaffolds?).

My office is out-of-the-way up some stairs in an abandoned computer room. It is about 160 steps to the ladies room. I must don a hard hat to run to the potty. It's quiet up there (and dark, too...I contacted maintenance about getting some light bulb service...do you know how long it takes to figure out who to call for that when you are brand-new? Answer: 2 hours) and very chilly since there is a super heavy duty AC unit to handle the heat generated by the computer equipment. It was dirty, but I used some cleaner and heavy duty wipes and got it to the point where I would set my purse on the desk.

The job itself seems OK. I just hope they don't expect too much from me right away. It took four hours for me to install one piece of software today to my laptop because there was no documentation and I mapped the wrong network drive. Who knows how many more of these gaffes I will have (oh and my erreur messaged were coming up en francais, which made troubleshooting the database problem THAt much more fun).