12.30.2010

The airing of grievances

Disclaimer: The Airing of Grievances, like traditional venting, doesn't have to be a well-constructed diatribe; any diatribe will do.  Even this one.

For Christmas, my MIL got each of her kids a copy of Jon Stewart's Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, and I've been reading it just about every day.  Jon Stewart is a pretty funny guy and the book is very entertaining, as well as mildly informative.  As I read it I'm reminded of things I learned in middle and high school school science classes, and then I giggle at his sarcastic comments and think, "If an alien did happen get their hands on this book after the human race was wiped out, it would never understand these jokes and would probably think we were really freaking stupid."  But I digress.  ...Already.

Anywho.

The other night I got to the section on "life," and there's a list of the scientific criteria required for an object to be considered alive.  I know you still have them memorized from 7th grade, but just in case you missed class that day, they are: Organization, Homeostasis, Metabolism, Growth, Response to stimuli, and Reproduction.  And now you can guess where I'm going with this.

Lately I've been stewing thoughtfully pondering the common perceptions many people have about infertility and ART.  So, in the grand tradition of Festivus (which I realize I'm a week late for), I give you my Airing of Grievances. 

Thankfully I don't see very much of this in real life, but I can't even describe how sick it makes me when I see ignorant comments on online infertility articles saying stuff like,
  •  "Infertility is God's/nature's way of controlling the population,"
  • "Obviously there's a reason you're infertile, quit being selfish - stop trying to conceive your child and (just) adopt," and,
  • "You're being pretty dramatic, so what if you can't have kids?  It's not like you need to!  I don't have kids and I'm perfectly happy about it!" 
You all know what I'm talking about, you've seen the comments and know I'm just scratching the surface of the idiocy that's out there.  And if you don't, please see Exhibit A.

So when I'm reminded that one of the basic criteria required just to be considered ALIVE is the ability to reproduce, my jaw drops that so many people think infertility is no big deal.  Or that it's some kind of punishment.  Or that there's some deeper reason for it that somehow benefits the rest of the world (i.e. population control).  Or particularly that any reaction to discovering you're infertile besides simply and quietly accepting it, stop trying to conceive, and adopting a child instead, is selfish and egotistical.

Well guess what?  It's not selfish or egotistical to have the desire to reproduce.  It's LIFE.  Life wants to continue and it tends to do whatever it can to survive.  Remember that line from Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way?"  It's true.  Seriously, just think about your garden - you work hard to keep it pretty, tearing out weeds like crazy, but no matter how weed-free you manage to get it those damn weeds are always going to find their way back in there.  It's what they do, and that's just plants!  Animals, and certainly humans are also wired to perpetuate their species and keep living.  I believe that a desire to create genetic offspring is evidence of that.  And I believe that desire, for many if not most of us, goes right to the core of our humanity.  Which is why those of us unable to act on it feel like the very foundation of our lives is shaken, damaged, or sometimes irreparably broken.

So to anyone who still believes that infertility is anything other than a disease or malfunction of the human body that Infertiles have every right to treat however they damn well please, to quote Frank Costanza, "I got a lot of problems with you people!"  And I respectfully request that you immediately cease and desist with your self-righteous, know-it-all, judgmental, and often downright mean (and even more often downright stupid) assertions.  We don't need any more proof than we already have that the wrong people were "chosen" to be infertile.

:P

12.27.2010

363 days until Christmas

Good morning, fine folks! I trust everyone had a decent weekend and a lovely Christmas if you were celebrating it.  You'll be happy to know that I did not spend mine in a drunken stupor, contrary to what my last post may have led you to believe.  In fact, I was sober most of the weekend.  Although there were a couple of moments I wished I'd made that punch after all, but who doesn't have those moments?

Hubs and I had an absolutely fabulous Christmas together.  We savored the morning and took our sweet time going through our pile of presents.  We mostly got each other clothes.  He got a new jacket, sweaters, some books and a game for the Wii; I got some super cute new skirts and dresses for work, a hot pair of boots, and some really nice product that will hopefully clear up the small solar system that was recently discovered on my chin.  Atticus got a toy, but I gave it to him days ago when he was driving me nuts while I was trying to wrap presents, so for the most part he just chased balls of wrapping paper and tried to eat ribbons.  He seemed satisfied with that.  We also scored some sweet swag from our families - most notably a gas grill!  Not to mention the "family" gift we got for ourselves - a new computer that Hubs built, complete with a snazzy new monitor.  The Von D household definitely got some upgrades this weekend.  And now we're on spending lockdown for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully, the weekend was low on drama after last week's ordeal and we enjoyed a busy day Saturday followed by a very mellow day Sunday.  Now it's back to the grind, where I am reminded every day that I need to GET THE F OUT of this job.  My boss added a whole new dimension to that reality last week when he proved he doesn't give a rat's flea-infested anus about my department, and then flat-out lied to me just so he wouldn't have to go to any effort whatsoever for us.  There are only four of us in the department and I guarantee every one of us is seriously considering looking, if not already actually looking, for new jobs.  And now I have this burning desire to go out in a blaze of glory.  Hubs suggested we have sex on the president's desk, but I thought that might be taking it a bit far.  At any rate, the job hunt is beginning NOW.

Now that Christmas is over, we can all start talking about the new year, right?  What are your plans for New Year's Eve?  Hubs and I are going to a small get-together at a friend's place, which will be an enormous improvement over last year's South Park marathon.

12.24.2010

For the drinkers

For anyone planning on drowning their sorrows this weekend, I thought I'd share the recipe for this SUPER YUMMY punch that I thoroughly enjoyed last night.  Of course it's just as fabulous even if you're not depressed, but if you're going to drown your sorrows at Christmas, you might as well keep it festive!

1 bottle champagne
Appx. 1/2 cup brandy
Appx. 1/2 cup apricot brandy
1/2 - 1 cup sparkling red grape juice, for color
A few scoops of raspberry sorbet to float on top

We also added about a shot of extra (plain) brandy to each glass; it gives it more of a kick without losing the tasty frou-frou flavor.  Throw in some blueberries and it's a gorgeous and delicious knock-you-on-your-butt libation! 

Bottoms up!

12.23.2010

Almost perfect but not quite

I started writing a post the other day about how I've kicked out my inner Grinch and am actually, for the first time in three years, looking forward to Christmas. But then I never got around to posting it, which turned out to be a good thing because the shit hit the fan on Tuesday night and I remembered why the holidays suck so much.

Without going into the gruesome (and yet somehow also boring) details, I will just say that it's about the same thing it always is: Trying to schedule 4 family functions into one day while maintaining my sanity and maybe getting 5 minutes to do what I want to do, like spend a quiet moment alone with Hubs. I thought I had it all figured out, that this was going to be the year we finally had a stress-free Christmas! Oh how wrong I was.

I just wish our parents would try to understand that we do want to spend time with them at the holidays, but it's not always going to be the ideal situation because we get pulled and guilted from all sides every year.  Everyone wants a piece of us, and there just isn't enough to go around.  I'm trying my best to make everyone happy, but in the end it always ends up making me unhappy!

So Hubs and I are thinking about trying to move the trip to Hawaii we had planned for our 5th anniversary next year up to next Christmas instead.  Then even if I piss everyone else off, at least I'll be happy and relaxed!

There is good news about Christmas this year; the reason I was so excited about it is that it's the first year since we've been married that Hubs and I bought a lot of gifts for each other.  That sounds really materialistic, but I don't mean it to be.  It just doesn't seem like Christmas without a big pile of presents under the tree to wake up to, and we've never had that together.  But this year we will, and I am excited to share it with him.

Merry Christmas, ladies. I hope you all get exactly what you want this year, whatever it may be.

12.17.2010

The turning of a page

There is a chance that Hubs and I will some day have a biological child.  Right now, though, I am coming to realize that those chances are not increased by our efforts.  Infertility has left me exhausted and heartbroken to the point that giving up TTC sounds like sweet relief, and infinitely more appealing than one more month of valiant effort and crushing disappointment.

It hasn't been easy or clear-cut coming to this decision.  Hubs and I are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that one day, a few years from now, our family will grow through adoption, and I've already started putting a lot less emphasis on TTC.  But still I've been miserable for weeks.  Until today I thought it was about my miscarriage and how much I hate my job; now I believe it's the end of the dream of little baby A+K I'm grieving.

I don't know if this is a permanent decision, but I think it should at the very least be open-ended so I can try to move on.  I also don't yet know what new direction my blog may take.  I guess I'll just wait and see, and I hope you do too.

12.03.2010

Bitter Infertile on board!

WARNING: This is a rant about child-centric automobile adornments.  If you happen to have child-centric adornments on your car, please know that I still love you and it's not my intention to offend you.  Even my siblings have some of this crap on their cars and I still speak to them. ;)

As I was pulling into the parking lot at work this morning I was behind a guy with a license plate that read "2X A DAD."  I immediately scoffed.  For one, my personal opinion is that vanity plates are a waste of money, but I can appreciate a funny or cute one.  For example there's someone driving around with a plate that says "GR8YTB8."  The guy is a surfer.  Get it?  Great White Bait!  I think that's clever.  But the people living in the town where I work tend to be long on excess funds and short on imagination, so it's rare I see a vanity plate that doesn't come across as, well, vain.  Or superior.  (A couple other regulars I see are: "heart R HI IQ" on a Smart car, and "MY 60MPG" on a Prius.  Yes, we get it, you get good gas mileage.  I still don't think it's particularly "smart" to drive around in a car the size and sturdiness of an aluminum can.)

For two, I'm just getting so tired of seeing automobiles slathered in advertisements about the driver's offspring and fertility.  Look, I get that they're proud of their kids, I'd be proud of mine too if I had any, but it's just so over the top.  And guess what?  90% of the population can have kids, so procreating is not exactly a notable achievement, Mr. 2X A DAD.  You had sex and children are often the result of that.  I'm happy you're doing a good job raising your kids, but I'm sure you'll excuse me if I don't pull my car over and applaud you for it.  Did my grandma drive around with a sign that said "9X A MOM?"  No she did not, and raising 9 kids is a helluva lot more impressive than your two.  It's your job to raise them to the best of your ability, not a special talent worthy of sharing with the world.

For three (and let's be honest here - this is obviously the main reason I scoffed), it's a well-established fact that I'm a bitter Infertile and sarcasm and scoffing are like second languages to me.

So how many different ways do parents pat themselves on the back (or bumper) for rearing their kids?  Let's count.  Besides the cheesy license plates, there's...

1. Stick-figure family decals, sometimes even including everyone's names, as if the parents have never seen an after school special warning kids not to tell strangers their names in case the stranger is a predator.  I can't stand those stickers.  There was one time, though, when I saw a car with just a male stick figure and a female stick figure clinking wine glasses and my heart surged with joy!  I would totally get something like that.

2. Bumper stickers - and not just the ones that say "My child is an honor student at fill-in-the-blank school," (please, is every kid an honor student these days? Those things are everywhere!) but other super clever ones like the "Got Twins?" sticker I'm always ending up behind on my way out of my neighborhood.  Sigh.  A. No, I don't "got twins," but I do got endo!  And B. Though the "Got Milk?" ad campaign was decent for its time, it's now stale and cliche.  Can we please agree to retire it?

3. The "baby on board" window signs.  I don't quite understand the purpose of these.  Are they supposed to make me drive slower?  Be more careful than usual?  Because I was totally going to rear-end someone this one time just for giggles, but I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw that sign stuck on their rear window.  Or maybe it's an advertisement targeted at Infertiles who are in the market for free unwanted babies?  If that's the case I might change my mind about this one.

4. Personalized license plate frames.  I especially loathe the ones that "keep score."  You know the ones I'm talking about, "Mom's scoreboard: Girls 2, Boys 1."  (Or if you're the Duggars: Girls 243, Boys 198.)  I'd like to get one that says, "Infertile's scoreboard: Beers 6, Martinis 3," but that might attract the wrong kind of attention... the kind with blue and red lights and sirens.

Hmm... well that's all I can think of.  One day I will have a kid and maybe this stuff won't annoy me anymore, but for now I might as well have fun with it!

12.01.2010

Wednesday

Work is getting worse and worse.  I heard some "unofficial" news this morning that's turning out to be just the kick in the pants I needed to start seriously looking for a new job.  So tonight as I'm enjoying a HP double feature with Hubs, I'll also be updating my resume.  I started working here the same month Hubs and I started TTC, and I've been miserable ever since.  And more miserable with each passing year I'm here.  That's just no way to live.  So if I may ask, please send thoughts, prayers, hopes, whatever you've got, that I can find something where I'm happier and can still afford to pay the mortgage.

And in TTC news... ugh.  It's CD10 and, not surprisingly, I am in no mood to get down to business this month.  Besides that, I think my hormones have been jacked ever since my m/c.  I've got a few lovely cystic zits that haven't gone away in months and flare up even bigger when I'm PMSed.  Also, for the past 2 or 3 months I've been spotting after AF for days.  For example, I am still spotting today.  Day TEN, people!  WTF.  So my acu gave me some herbs that are supposed to balance out my hormones and make the spotting stop.  I can only hope. 

Oh - Did I tell you about the status of my ring?  It was kind of on hold while I attempted to procure a stone, which I finally did last week.  I ended up getting a trillion-cut blue topaz.  Pretty much nothing like I was originally planning (pear-shaped ruby), but there's a reason for that.  I've been seeing poppies everywhere since I decided to use that flower as a symbol for my loss (P.S. did you notice the background on my blog is poppies? I had no idea until recently).  Then I happened across a gorgeous image of a bright blue poppy, which was the inspiration for the little image I made over on the right.  I'm in love with just about every shade of blue, so I decided to go with a blue poppy for my symbol of remembrance rather than red.  It just felt more personally meaningful.  Anyway, so my friend T now has my stone and can get started making my ring!

Okay I feel much better adding that last paragraph, otherwise this post was getting seriously depressing. 

Happy Hump Day, all.  And happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating it :)

11.27.2010

Considering throwing in the towel

Hubs and I have been having some conversations lately about TTC, specifically our feelings about continuing to try for a baby.  Maybe it's just time for a break, but no matter how I try, I haven't been able to shake this depression since my m/c.  I can't believe it's only been 4 months, it feels like an eternity.  I've gotten past the point where I tear up whenever I think about it, and where I yell at the TV and change the channel whenever there's a commercial about babies or pregnancy.  I even had a nice thought the other day about the pregnant lady at work, who still sighs and shuffles around all hunched over like she has the weight of the world in her uterus.  But the holidays certainly make it harder.

You know that faint glimmer of hope that shows up toward the beginning of a new C, right after AF leaves town?  I don't have that anymore.  Our conversations - mine and Hubs's, not mine and AF's - have been about giving up TTC.  We decided several weeks or so ago that our drop dead age for TTC would be when I'm 34.  If by that time I'm not pregnant/haven't had a baby we will start on the adoption route, with my added caveat that if Hubs feels ready to adopt sooner then we'll do it sooner.

I will be a mom some day, and that is a wonderful thought.  But I also feel like right now I'm starting to mourn the lost hope that we'll be able to conceive our child.  Of course it could still happen, but I'm tired of hanging everything on that narrow hope.

No hard decisions have been made.  I'm still going to acupuncture, though I've thought (a lot) about the amount of money it would save us if I stopped.  I guess for now we'll just let our feelings evolve and see what happens.

11.25.2010

Thanksgiving

Today I came to a realization: I just don't like the holidays!  Is that so wrong?  I find them to be more trouble than they're worth, besides being a painful reminder of what I don't have.  So I don't have any holiday spirit.  It is what it is.  Today I will still put on a happy face and no one will be the wiser.  I will ignore the bitter feelings and be truly thankful for what I have.

And I will eat turkey and green bean casserole and pie and drink wine all day.  Because really, that is what Thanksgiving is all about, isn't it?

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.  Thank you for being a bright spot in this bitter scrooge's life.  ;)

11.22.2010

Overworked

I want out.

My job is pushing me over the edge.  There's too much going on, and about every time I turn around I get another big project to do.  I am up to six right now, six, all but one due by the end of the year.  All three of my employees have been coming to me complainig that they are overwhelmed and stressed.  One used the word "drowning."  I feel awful for them, but I don't know how to help them when I feel exactly the same way.  There's no way we're going to be able to hire another person, we just have to figure out how to deal with it.  But I'm afraid someone's going to quit on me. 

Or worse, that someone will quit on me before I have a chance to quit!

But there just aren't that many jobs out there that I'm qualified for.  I've been in banking almost 10 years, pretty much my entire adult job history.  Yes, I've done different things - customer service, training and development, and now management - but in this economy I feel like any other job paying what I make now is going to require as much of me as this place does.  And I can't afford to take a pay cut.  I am hoping to get a raise this year, since no one here did last year, but that just means my bills get paid faster, not that my workload will get any easier.

I don't know what to do.  My boss is not receptive to the "I'm overwhelmed" complaint.  The work just has to get done and we just don't have enough people to take some of the load off. 

I have got to get out of here, somehow.

11.15.2010

Acceptance

I feel like I'm always anticipating, fretting over, and fighting against the unknown.  Every day it's, "What if I never have a baby?"  "What if I unwittingly do something horribly wrong at work?"  "What if that milk is spoiled and I drink it without realizing it?"  Even when it's something I know I can't control I still try to control it.  At the very least I feel the need to be mentally or emotionally prepared for the worst possible outcomes.  I'm sure it's some kind of coping mechanism.  Making myself crazy with anticipation and dread is supposed to somehow soothe my fear of the unknown... I guess...?

This morning I had a thought:  How liberating would it be if I could turn off that need for control?  I imagine the familiar tension falling from my body like heavy robe, landing on the floor in a heap that I could simply step out of and walk away from forever.  And instead of feeling vulnerable and weak without that "protection," I'd feel capable and open and accepting of whatever lie ahead.  I would know that even if I couldn't win every battle I was faced with I would at least survive them.  Maybe even come out a stronger person.  I'd know that there is really nothing for me to fear because I'm strong enough right now to face the challenges I've been given.  The bad stuff wouldn't look so bad anymore, and I could accept the good with gratitude and joy.

This is my one chance at life and I don't want to spend every day of it fighting my fate or desperately yearning for what's just out of reach.  I want to get as much enjoyment out of it as humanly possible.  What if I could really begin to accept things just as they are?  Can I learn to look at my world through the lens of "this is how it is," instead of "this is how I wish it were"?  Is acceptance something a person can even choose to do, or is it one of those things that graces you when you "least expect it"?

11.13.2010

It's Saturday and the weather's fine

Hubs woke up all excited about going to the farmers market this morning.  I know lots of people find it enjoyable, but I will never understand excitement over grocery shopping.  To me it's a necessary evil at best.  But we did get some good deals on fresh produce, and I got to pick up a pumpkin latte from Cof.fee Be.an which made getting out of bed before 10 almost worth the trouble.

Later, while Hubs was putting up insulation in the garage/man cave, I weeded our very neglected planters and pulled up all the dead plants.  Ever since the m/c I've been avoiding gardening more than usual, almost to the point of deliberately letting our plants die.  I guess that was my small way of sticking it to life; fickle, fickle life.  For the record, most of the plants survived the VonD famine, I just had to get rid of a few annuals.  Even better, one of my azaleas is blooming, and the other, along with all three rose bushes, are getting ready to bloom again too.  And now I have room to plant more roses, which somehow seem to thrive in our yard despite my black thumb.

Now Hubs and I are feeling restless.  We have a birthday shindig to attend later tonight, and I think we may just laze around the house drinking vodka cranberries until then.  And at some point I may take a shower too.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

11.10.2010

Bullet point check-in

It's been beyond insane at work this week... and last week... and will most likely continue in that fashion for weeks to come I'm afraid.  But I have a moment of quiet right now so I thought I'd just pop in to say hi!
  • Hi :)
  • Did you know that stress is bad for your skin?  Well, it's bad for my skin.  I've had this cystic zit on my chin ever since my miscarriage that grows and shrinks but never completely goes away.  On Monday it was tiny; today it's about the size of a golf ball (and it hurts! And itches!).  I've been popping Xanax like it's going out of style all week.  Coincidence?  I think not.
  • My friend B had an 80's themed birthday party this past weekend and everyone had to dress up.  I am now extremely sad I wasn't able to fully participate in 80's fashion back when it was stylish.  It was so fun!  I wish I could wear blue eyeshadow, big hair, teal tights, and hot pink off-the-shoulder sweatshirts every day!  I looked hot.
  • Team Aardvark had been doing pretty well in our bowling league... Okay hold up, "pretty well" might be a little strong.  I mean, we were ranked a respectable 13 or 14 out of 17 teams. Then last week all three of us hit our personal worst scores, and we are now 2nd to last in the league. The worst part is we're pretty sure the bottom team has only actually shown up a few times the whole season. 
  • Hubs and I are both off tomorrow for Veterans Day (thanks, Vets!).  Hubs thinks we're going to be working on the garage.  I think we'll be going to the movies.  Who do you think will prevail?
And that's my life lately!

11.01.2010

My happy Halloween weekend

Don't you hate it when a perfectly good weekend is interrupted by a VERY ~Monday~ morning?  Atticus was in rare form whining for food well before my alarm went off, someone left all the windows in the house open last night so the whole place was freezing, and I've had some stomach issues for the past week that culminated in the unstoppable need to barf while I was brushing my teeth.  Things can only improve from there, right?  I hope...

Before this morning, though, the weekend was pretty great.  Our potential guests decided to stay with another friend, which worked out perfectly.  On Saturday morning we headed downtown to the farmers market and stocked up on veggies and a lovely bouquet of autumn-y flowers.  I was feeling adventurous and also picked up some pomegranates, yum!  Afterwards we walked to a couple of thrift stores in search of Halloween costumes.  The plan was to dress up as an old couple, but when I found a fabulously 60's dress and Hubs discovered a pair of 1970's Levi's 'Gentleman's Jeans,' we decided to go to the party as a retro couple instead.  I just wish I'd gotten a photo of my gorgeous blue and gold eye shadow; let me tell you, it looked pretty amazing. 

It was nice spending the evening with some friends we hadn't seen in months (isn't that usually the case with me?), even if the party was a little on the bland side.  As if to spice up the evening, we had one of the scariest cab rides home I've ever experienced.  Many laws were broken, the cabbie was messing with his cell phone, pager, and GPS all while speeding, and then when we got home he kept trying (unsuccessfully) to give Hubs some business cards.  Looking back we should have taken one, just so we'd know which driver to NEVER get a ride from again!

After I slept off my hangover on Sunday, Hubs and I ran some errands and then came home and carved pumpkins together.  We wanted to create our own designs, but were both at a loss for what to carve, since it's been about 15 years since the last time we'd done it.  They ended up looking really cute though.  I tried my hand at scraping for the first time and made a firy cauldron, where the flames were cut out but the cauldron was scraped so it just sort of glows.  Hubs's jack-o-lanterns turned out better than mine did, he made two: one scary face and one scared face.  Since we weren't handing out candy and didn't want kids to think we were, we put our creations on the steps by the back door instead of out front.  Then we ordered some take out and watched Bram Stoker's Dracula before going to bed. 

It was just about the perfect Halloween weekend.  Well, except for that one moment when we found out another one of our friends is pg, but I'm working on blocking that detail from my memory.

Hope your Monday is going easy on you!

10.29.2010

Why can't I quit you?

I have a confession:  I've been on blogger every day this week.  (What do you mean you could already tell??)  I've read some posts, I've commented on some posts, I've clicked some links within some posts that took me to some other posts...  Even when work is busy, I itch for my fix and make time when I can to visit blogland.  I suppose it's time to admit I have a problem. 

Hi!  (Waves)  I'm Kit, and I'm a blogoholic.

Y'all are my drug, and I'm hooked.

******************************

Well, it's that time of year again:  Halloween is nigh!  The day when little monsters dress up as angels and go door to door begging for freebies.  Actually in my neighborhood the little monsters don't dress up, nor do they bother begging - they just stick their grubby little hands in my bowl and dig out fistfuls of candy before I can even get the door all the way open.  I desperately wish I was exaggerating.  Hoping for a "Trick or treat" is almost as pointless as expecting a "thank you" before they run off to the next house.  So once again this year I'll be leaving my porch light off and curtains drawn tight on Sunday night.  Maybe I'll get Hubs tipsy enough to curl up on the couch with me and some popcorn and watch a scary movie.  (He's a manly man, but he doesn't like scary movies.  They scare me too, but I like to be scared once in a while!)

We're invited to a couple of parties on Saturday night, but we're facing a few dilemmas:

1. We may be hosting house guests for the weekend, starting tonight.  Yep, I said "may."  And to answer your question, yep, I'm annoyed that we still don't know for sure if they're coming.

2. We don't have costumes.  Hubs doesn't want to dress up, and I'm not going to a costume party without a costume.  So I told him it's up to him: either we go and dress up (and he has to help me with the costumes), or we don't go.  I'm not sure if he's decided what he wants to do yet.

3. Halloween also happens to be the 30th birthday of one of our potential guests, and he is as indecisive as Hubs about what he wants to do this weekend.

Jeez I sound like a crotchety old lady!  I'm not as crotchety as I sound though, I promise.  Whatever happens this weekend, I'm not that worried about it.

So.  Are you dressing up this year?  What are you going to be?

Happy Halloween! :)

10.27.2010

More on "Barren"

I know I said I wouldn't be posting about IF for a bit, but I couldn't not tell you that last night I received a personal email from Monica Wiesblott, the artist from the Barren exhibit!  I'd left my email address and blog URL in the guestbook, and to my surprise she recognized me from ICLW and has actually been by here before.  (I have to admit, I was as excited as if I'd been recognized by a movie star!)  I'm so pleased to be able to follow Monica on her infertility blog now!

I'm also very pleased to tell you that the exhibit is online!  (Prepare for major trigs if you decide to check it out.)  I don't know how I missed that before, but now that I have the link I'm going to be spreading it around wherever I can.  It's such a powerful depiction of what it means to be infertile and to have suffered loss, and like I said in her guestbook, Monica is a very brave woman for baring her soul to the world in this way.

Thanks again to Monica!
Happy Hump Day :)

10.26.2010

It's not you, it's me

I need some space.

I'm not ready for a serious commitment.

I have so many other things going on in my life right now, I feel like I can't give you the attention you deserve.

No, I'm not breaking up with you, my bloggity friends, I just need a little distance from TTC and IF for a little while.  To get off the emotional roller coaster, if you will.  The start of a new cycle seems like a good time to try to adjust my focus and hopefully get back to some kind of balance.  Hubs and I will still try this C, since I can't seem to avoid it, but hopefully without so much obsession.

So, I may not be around here much, or I may be around but posting about stuff other than TTC and IF.  And I may not be commenting much (not that I've been a stellar commenter lately anyway, sorry), but please know it's nothing personal. 

Well I mean, it is personal, but yeah.  It's me.  Not you.

10.25.2010

Couldn't wait

I stopped on the way home for some FRERs, and as I was waiting in line I could feel AF picking up.  OF COURSE!  But I bought them anyway because, hell, I'm a glutton for punishment I guess!  Of course it was negative.

Maybe next month.

The Barren exhibit, and other stuff

Hello my friends :)

First, an update on my weekend activities:

My friend B and I went to the Barren exhibit on Saturday and it was very moving.  Most of the pieces were photographs of things like empty cribs, strollers, and lonely toys.  There were also some wintry scenes with bare trees and frost-covered ground.  A few were mixed media and a technique I'm not really familiar with (and I forgot the name) that looked like multiple photo exposures layered together, but with a sketchy quality.  Some of the pieces were quite graphic; apparently the artist experienced multiple early miscarriages, if that gives you an idea.  She also had a few written pieces posted here and there, talking about visiting a friend who had just given birth, thoughts that seemed to have been written when she was in some of her darkest places, and so on.  Those were the pieces that touched me the most. I guess maybe I have more of an appreciation for literary art than visual art.  There were many points where I was choking back the tears.  I don't really know what else to say about it.  I'm very glad I went, but I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed it, you know?  It definitely touched me, as I'm sure it would touch anyone who has dealt with infertility.

The rest of the day Saturday was much more lighthearted.  B and I tried to sell some clothes and accessories at Bu.ffa.lo E.xcha.nge, and discovered that we're not nearly cool enough for them.  Even my Be.tsey Jo.hnson dress was denied and that thing is CUTE (but a size 4, which I no longer am nor will I probably ever be again).  We each managed to unload a pair of shoes in exchange for store credit, so maybe I'll be able to pick up a new sweater or something.  After that we had lunch and made the rounds to all the local party stores to brainstorm decoration ideas for B's 1980's themed 30th birthday bash which is coming up in 2 weeks.  You know how I love throwing a party, so of course I offered to help her set everything up!

~Poss. triggs ahead~
As planned, Hubs and I spent Sunday afternoon/evening at my brother and SIL's to see baby J.  She is so damn cute and such a good baby.  I didn't want to put her down!

~TMI (and obsession) ahead~
I'm pretty sure either yesterday or today is CD1.  Although, what I'm experiencing right now reminds me of what I experienced right before I got my BFP.  Let me explain - last night (CD28) Hubs and I DTD since it was our last chance before AF's arrival.  Afterwards I had some pink bleeding, not a lot, but enough to figure AF was starting.  This morning there were just a few brown spots on my pad, and some beige-ish CM when I wiped.  Then nothing until noon when I went to the RR, and when I wiped had about the same amount of pink bleeding as I did last night, maybe a bit more, but only 1 little brown spot on my pad.  I do not normally spot before AF, and never have since I've been doing TCM. 

Sigh... I'm anxious, scared, and trying not to be hopeful... But I have to remember I have no control over this.  Chances are AF is just messing with me, maybe we knocked something loose DTD last night and that's why I'm all spotty.  If it doesn't pick up by tomorrow I will test in the morning.  Today I'm just going to try to keep breathing.

10.22.2010

What a week!

I don't even know where to begin today, sorry if this post turns out disjointed.

This week has felt like torture, though in reality it wasn't all bad.  Mostly it's just felt ridiculously long, work has been incredibly busy, and I've been stressed to the max.  It seems like every time I turn around my boss is saying to me, "I know you've got a lot on your plate right now, but would you...?"  Uh, yeah - more like my plate is overflowing - I've been letting things go by the wayside, forgetting things, and generally being overwhelmed and dreading the workday, but sure!  Go right ahead and see how much more you can pile on me before my sanity gives out!  Ugh.  All I can say is, thank GOD for Xanax.


The worst part about this week was Wednesday night, when it became abundantly clear that I'm in need of professional therapy.  How I was feeling a couple weeks ago had nothing on the explosion of emotions going on inside me on Wednesday night.  It was not pretty, and I think I really scared Hubs.  He's pushing me to call a shrink.  I know he's right, but I'm having a hard time taking that step right now.

On Tuesday a series of thunderstorms passed our way, and in the morning knocked out power at work... Which in turn knocked out our servers, which caused a huge tizzy at the bank seeing as no one, not even locations that had power, could process transactions.  We thought we were going to have to go all disaster recovery mode, but luckily the power came back on after about half an hour.  What a relief!  The storms lasted all day, and on Tuesday evening Hubs and I watched the lightning from our backyard until it started raining... then POURING... and finally hailing.  The hail was crazy!  We rarely get such extreme weather, and when it does hail it's usually teeny tiny bits of ice.  This time it was chunks the size of quarters!

Anywho, I am more than ready for the weekend.  Shoot, I'm practically sobbing with relief knowing it's only a few hours away.  I finally have firm plans to go see the Barren photo exhibit tomorrow.  My friend B and I are going together and then having lunch afterwards since it's been way too flippin' long since the last time we saw each other.  I'm looking forward to it, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!  I'm also hoping to go with Hubs to check out this huge haunted house/maze thing nearby.  I haven't done that since I was a teenager and I'm feeling a little Halloween spirit this year I guess.  And Sunday we plan on visiting my new niecey-pie. Oh yeah, and my brothers and SIL and other niece too. ;)

I hope you've had a decent week! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

10.18.2010

Still stuck

First of all, if you know Christina, or even if you don't, be sure to head over to her blog and offer your condolences on the loss of her mom, as well as the issues she is dealing with her dad right now.  I feel just awful for her, no one should have to go through all of that at once.

**********

I can't seem to get on top of my emotions lately.  I would have been more than happy to stay at home on Sunday instead of going to the housewarming party we'd planned to drop by, but Hubs forced me to go.  Even though I whined and pouted about it the whole time we were getting ready.  In the end, I'm glad he made me.  I spend an inordinate amount of time planted on the couch watching TV or mindlessly lurking on FB (or playing An.gry B.irds of course), and that is not good.  Hubs and I were a pretty social couple once upon a time, but now... well, suffice it to say there was more than one person at the party who noted that it had been a few months since they last saw us.  What am I supposed to say to that?  "I know, so sorry, ever since my embryo died a little piece of me died too.  And it was probably the piece that liked to party."

Anyway, the housewarming party was a good time in the end.  Even though there were kids and babies around (I even held my friend's 1 month old for the first time), I had fun.  I really need to do more of that.  It's just hard to drag myself out of my depression and go.  Luckily I have a "mean" husband to push me when I don't have the strength to do the pulling.

~Trigs Ahead~

After the party I got a photo text from my brother of my new niece, J!  I was so shocked, I had no idea my SIL had even gone into labor.  They were surprised too.  As it turns out, she was only in labor for 5 hours before the baby was born.  So we cruised over to the hospital to check her out.  Baby J is adorable with a little round face and dark hair, and weighed in at 8 lbs 7 oz.

Which brings me to today.  Now, I stand by my declaration that I'm not jealous of my brother and SIL about the baby.  I am very happy for them.  But the combination of rainy-day Monday and just knowing this C is another bust made me really sad for myself.  My mood followed me around until an hour or so after my acupuncture appointment, and thankfully it's pretty much dissipated now.  (Really, it's amazing what acu does for my mood, it's a good thing my appointments are usually on Mondays.)  Anyway, I guess my point is, I'm feeling very STUCK right now.  I know, it's nothing new.  And I keep going back and forth between wanting to move on and wanting to hide in my cave.  It is very frustrating.

**********

And finally, I completely forgot until I read Busted Kate's blogiversary post that it was my blogiversary this month too!  October 8th marked two years since I started this here blog.  I apologize that my posts aren't nearly as entertaining as BK's, but I do want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing, wonderful people I've met since that fateful day.  Thanks for reading me, thanks for being there for me through the good times and the bad, and thanks for helping make this awful journey a little more bearable. You (yes you!) are the best!

10.15.2010

Just a quick update

I don't wanna work.

I just want to bang on my drum all day.

Actually, I don't really have much rhythm or coordination, so it's probably better if I stick with what I know and avoid the drums.

There's not much going on with me this week.  Today is CD 19 and I'm not particularly hopeful/delusional about this C.  We only DTD like 3 times around O, and guess what?  I don't care!!

This weekend is art walk weekend.  They do it twice a year downtown and I've never gone.  So Hubs and I decided to make it a date tomorrow night after he gets home from work.  Who knows, maybe we'll end the evening with some drinks and fun at home...  ;)  ;)

Speaking of art, I still haven't made it over to that Barren exhibit.  I'm going to try to see it tomorrow with a friend, but if that doesn't work out - next weekend for sure!  The exhibit's over on the 23rd and I'll kick myself if I miss it!

~Poss Trigs Ahead~

My SIL is due to deliver daughter #2 on Monday.  Believe it or not, I am not (at this point anyway) sad in the least about it.  On the contrary, I'm excited to meet my SIXTH niece!  She and I are going to share the same middle name, which is also my paternal grandmother's name. :)

Well my friends, I wrote my post.  That means I can go home now, right?  Pretty please...??  No?  Shoot.  Guess I'll be here for another 4 hours... Happy Friday!

10.12.2010

The Infertile's guide to surviving a kids' birthday party

I found a way to help me get through children's birthday parties - bring along a tyke!  There are many benefits to borrowing a toddler for child-centered festivities:

1. You have someone to entertain and focus your attention on the whole time you're there.  (You know, besides the other 10,000 kids swarming around you reminding you of your barrenness.)

2. Although you may not be able to jump into parenting discussions, you at least appear at first glace to be a parent, so no one asks if you have kids.  And if anyone does start asking questions, you can pretend to be that overly-cautious mom and run off after your charge like she's getting into mischief.

3. Eventually the kid's parents will want her back, so you can leave whenever you want as long as you say, "I really hate to leave early, but her parents are expecting her home at __ o'clock."

4. Oh yeah, and the kid has fun too!

In case you hadn't guessed, Hubs and I brought our niece H (my brother's 2 year old) to our nieces V and J's (Hubs's brother's kids) birthday party on Saturday.  And truly, it made things so much easier!  I didn't have time to be sad, there were a ton of kids for H to play with and she had a great time, and an hour was the perfect amount of time to stick around - for both of us!  Why didn't I think of this sooner?

It was a pretty decent weekend all around.  And I topped it off by getting my highest score yet bowling last night!  (145, my average starting off in this league was 105.)  Now if today would get with the program and start easing up I'd have it made.  Nothing like coming back to work after a three-day weekend and getting slammed!

10.08.2010

Better now

I can't thank you enough for your wonderful comments on Wednesday.  This week has been really rough on me, and even though I know I can always count on you all for emotional support, I'm still amazed by your compassion.  Thank you.

I started feeling better yesterday and today I'm in a pretty decent mood.  On Tuesday night I had a big meltdown.  It was ugly and awful and it carried into Wednesday, which was lots of fun to deal with at work.  But I think it was necessary, like I was overflowing and these feelings just had to come out.  And now my emotions are thankfully back to a more manageable level.

I've been wanting to share something with you - I decided to have a ring made to remember my lost little peanut.  My good friend T makes amazing jewelry so we're working together on a design.  I know many people use angels or butterflies or forget-me-nots, but those symbols didn't really appeal to me for a ring, and I couldn't think of any other symbols for loss or remembrance.  So I googled.  One image that kept coming up in my searches was the poppy, for Armistice Day.  A red poppy traditionally symbolizes the bloodshed of WWI, but poppies in general have been used as a symbol of eternal repose as far back as ancient Greece and Egypt.

So I came up with a simple, vaguely abstract design for a semi-closed poppy as a copper embellishment on a silver band.  I also want to incorporate a pear or teardrop-shaped ruby for two reasons: 1. I lost my baby in July and that's the birthstone for July (also my birthstone), and 2. It's similar in color and shape to a pomegranate seed, for infertility.  I know it's probably hard to imagine how it's going to look, but it's pretty, I promise.  T is excited to get started on it, so hopefully it won't be too long before I have it and can show you.  I can't wait to have a tangible reminder of my peanut.

The bank is closed on Monday for Columbus Day, so I have a three-day weekend ahead of me.  Tonight we're making pizza with my brother and SIL, tomorrow is T's birthday party, as well as a party for our two nieces on Hubs's side of the family.  And at some point I would really like to go to that "Barren" photo exhibit I was talking about the other day too.  So, busy, but not too crazy.  Oh yeah, and I'm getting ready to O, so there's also that.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. :)

10.06.2010

Observing myself...as I spiral downward

People often tell me, and I often comment on it myself, that I'm not very observant.  It's true.  For example: I've worked in this city for over two years and until last week I had no idea there was a Ba.skin Ro.bins in the shopping center where I buy lunch almost every day.  This from the girl who lives for ice cream.  You might say I'm a little stuck in my own world, but I like to think of it as "introspective."  It sounds nicer.

The problem with being introspective, at least in my case, is that I sometimes analyze my thoughts and feelings to death, or to the point that I break them down so far they no longer mean anything to me.  Does that make any sense?  Well, my point is, I haven't been very observant of my feelings since the miscarriage.  I've been analyzing them, trying to figure out how to get past them and get back to "normal".  How to still be a good wife, a good sister, aunt, daughter, friend.  Because certainly I can't be much good at anything if I'm in the depths of depression.

But feelings have a way of catching up with you no matter how analytical you are, don't they? This week my feelings are catching up to me.  And I feel thoroughly helpless, and I hate it.

I don't just hate feeling helpless and miserable, I hate all of this - TTC, infertility, loss, the unfairness of it, the sadness, the jealousy.  I don't want to keep trying, and as monstrous as it sounds I want to forget all about the fact that I was ever pregnant.  I don't want to hope every month that I could be pregnant, and then feel that all-too-familiar despair when I discover, for the umpteenth time, I'm not.  And I don't want to see two lines again and then make myself sick worrying for weeks whether history will repeat itself. 

I want this part of my life to be over, and then I want to forget the last few years ever happened.  How else is the pain going to end?  If I get pregnant and carry to term and give birth to a healthy baby - possibly. In the meantime, it hurts so damn much to hope for that.

I don't know what to do anymore.  Saying this fucking sucks is the biggest understatement I can think of.

9.30.2010

Award time!

Thank you to Angie for this lovely award!

So the deal is I share 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to 7 other awesome bloggers. Nominating 7 bloggers isn't hard, but coming up with 7 things about myself that I haven't told you yet might be a little tricky for TMI girl here... Here goes!

1. I haven't always been a cat person. Growing up, my family always had dogs and my dad absolutely hated cats.  After I moved out on my own I wanted a pet but couldn't have a dog in my apartment, so I got Atticus. Now I prefer cats, they're so much more quiet and out of the way!

2. In high school, my best friend and I wore the same size shoes, and we each owned a couple of the same pairs.  So we said we were "sole mates."  Nerd alert!  ;)

3. I was a late bloomer. I didn't have my first kiss until I was 17, and then I was afraid to make out until I was 18, at which time I had a cute boyfriend so I got over it.

4. I'm currently in a bowling league with Hubs and my older brother, C.  Our team name is Aardvark.  Not "The Aardvarks" or even "Aardvarks," just plain Aardvark.  That was my brother's and my doing.

5. My younger brother, A, and I used to hang out listening to comedy music - you know, like Weird Al, Adam Sandler, S.ifl & O.lly etc. Hubs still looks at me sideways when I bust out with random songs, although he's learned some from me that he sings too. 

6. I've always wanted to go skydiving.

7. As a kid I used to collect rocks and polish them to a flawless shine in my rock tumbler.  I had some nice ones, but have since lost them all.  (Nerd alert times two!)

I now nominate 7 people I want to learn more about:

Steph
Misty
SpeechGirl, AKA My Husband Grows Cotton
Kate
Lex
Caitlin
CJ/Lookingforaplussign

9.29.2010

Text from last night

Warning: Triggs ahead...

I have a friend who works for an organization that's trying to end abortion. They go out and counsel pregnant girls/women who are thinking about aborting, talk to them about other options, etc. From what she's told me it sounds pretty mellow - hand-holding, kumbayah kind of stuff. I mean as opposed to groups that plant pipe bombs at the Planned Parenthood or something.

Anyway, I'm supportive of my friend and proud of her dedication. I'm not 100% anti-abortion, but I do wish more girls/women who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy would choose the very difficult option of adoption over abortion. That's not really what this post is about though, so put away your soap boxes. ;)

Yesterday my friend sent me a text asking me to pray for a girl who is 13 weeks along and scheduled for an abortion today.

I wasn't entirely sure how to feel about that. My first reaction was shock that she would send that to someone who just had a miscarriage. Yes, I've expressed some support for what she does, and I'm sure that's why she included me in what was most likely a mass text. But it hit a little too close to home and I doubt I would have done that had I been in her shoes.

Then I felt bad for being so selfish, and thought maybe I should pray for this girl. Regardless of where you stand on the abortion debate it's a big deal and she could probably use some prayers. So I sent one up.

I still don't really know how to feel about this. I'm not angry, not spurred into action for the cause, not really even sad. Emotional, yes, but which emotion?? Mostly I just don't want to continue to be on the receiving end of messages like that, especially two months post-miscarriage when I'm bleeding like a sieve and doubled over with cramps after one of the worst days I've had at work in a while. I didn't respond, and I'm hoping my friend takes that as a hint not to keep sending them to me. If not, I guess I'll have to tell her the old-fashioned way (i.e. I'll text her).

Thoughts? I'm also interested to know how you'd feel, in light of dealing with infertility and loss, in this situation.

9.28.2010

Dear AF: GFY

Well you know how they say your first period after a miscarriage might be heavier than usual? I thought I sorta bypassed that by having my first period after I'd already been bleeding for 4 weeks. And I figured this is technically my 2nd period since the m/c so it shouldn't be too bad...

Boy oh boy was I wrong! I'm going through pads like they're going out of style. Unfortunately, I'm also going through PANTS like they are going out of style. Seriously. I've never destroyed a pair of pants like I did today. I had to leave work and go to T.J M.axx to replace them because I'm too far from home to go change. And do you think I could be wearing something that goes with black? Of course not! I had to get brown pants. And don't think they're some nice, dark chocolate brown pants. Nope! They're light walnut-colored pants because T.J M.axx only had about 3 different pairs of brown women's pants. So I will be running to the bathroom every 30-45 minutes to make sure I haven't destroyed this pair too.

I almost wish my cramps would get worse so I'd have an excuse to just go home!

9.27.2010

Monday

CD1 today.

Ladies, I tried not to get my hopes up this cycle, really I did. But then AF was a couple of days later than I expected, and I was having funky cramps off and on, and there were a few days in a row last week when I was a little nauseated... So who was trying not to tear up listening to Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits on the way to work this morning? This girl right here.

If someone could invent a device or drug that turns off the part of my brain that wants to get pregnant I would totally buy it. It's just too painful anymore.

9.26.2010

What I'm doing next week

Just found out about this art exhibit in town (click on the word "Barren" in the lower right). It's called "Barren: life on infertile soil." I think Hubs and I will be going to to see it on Friday. I'll be sure to let you know what I think. :)

9.24.2010

Where I Live

Oh goody! This one will be fun. Well, for me. I'll try to make it fun for you, too. :)

The city I live in is officially named San Bue.nave.ntura, which is a lot prettier than what it's more commonly known as - just Ven.tura. It's a beach town an hour north of Los Angeles, and half an hour south of Santa Barbara. Although it's an average-sized city of about 100,000, it feels like a small town because everybody pretty much knows everybody.

Both Hubs and I were born and raised here, and although I spent a couple of years living in other cities, my heart stayed in Ven.tura and I was excited to move back. I guess a lot of other people feel the same way because a good number of our friends were also raised in Ven.tura, went off to college thinking they were getting out, but afterwards came back to stay. It's a nice place!

So, some of the cool things about this town are:

1. Surfing! That's probably the main thing we're known for - Ven.tura has some of the best beaches for surfing in southern CA. I myself never learned to surf. I'm more of a lie-on-the-beach-soaking-up-the-sun-with-a-margarita kind of girl.

2. Retail! Pa.tagonia and Pe.tunia Pic.kle Bo.ttom are both headquartered here.

3. History! We're part of the California mission system, and our downtown area sports the San Bue.naven.tura Mission.

4. Art! We have a lot of hippies artists here, and every few months or so there's an art walk in the downtown/beach area to view and celebrate their work. (I promise I don't really dislike hippies as much as I seem to!)

5. Food! I can't even begin to count how many different types of cuisine you can find in Ven.tura. And the restaurants are innumerable. Which is good, because I LOVE FOOD.

And that's all I can think of. Come visit me sometime! (Unless you're a stalker.)

9.23.2010

A Youtube Video

Just got this yesterday:

Meditation

Is meditation one of those things where people think you're a crystal-toting new-age hippie if you do it? Because I've been hesitant to talk about it, but I've been thinking about it a lot.

Let the record show that I don't believe in the healing power of crystals, and I don't even own a pair of Birkenstocks, nor have I ever. (I'd much rather sport a hot pair of stilettos any day!) And although I admit to lighting incense on occasion, it's for air-freshening purposes rather than... I don't know - whatever new-age hippies use it for.

Apologies to any new-age hippies who might be reading this!

Was I going somewhere with this? Oh yeah. Back to meditation.

Anyway, I've been thinking about it for a while. Specifically, that I'd like to learn how to do it, you know, to help me manage stress and give me a better outlook and that kind of thing. I've done it once, sort of by accident, and it was an incredibly peaceful, wonderful experience that I want to recapture. But it's hard trying to get my brain to be quiet!

Yesterday I tried. I sat myself down on the couch, closed my eyes and got to it. I did pretty well for the first 15-20 minutes, trying to just concentrate on one word and my breathing. For a while I thought I was getting there. I felt very relaxed. Atticus jumped up next to me and then started attacking the arm of the couch, but it didn't faze me. A few more minutes passed and my neck started hurting. I stretched it a little. It kept hurting. I tried to ignore it. Then I peeked to see if the cat was still in the room. He wasn't, but he was standing in the hallway staring at me. I shut my eyes again. I wondered if it would help to contemplate the burning candle across from me. I tried. It didn't help. Finally after 40 minutes my phone rang and I gave up!

But not gave up gave up. I'll try again, I think it takes practice.

9.22.2010

A Website

I am so boring, I frequent only about 3 sites: Blogger, Google and Facebook. I do a LOT of googling, but I don't often save the cool sites that I come across.

So, yeah. I got nuthin'. But I am enjoying playing around on stumbleupon.com. I'll let you know if I find anything better!

9.21.2010

A Recipe

I know I have a TON of catching up to do on the blog challenge, and to be honest I'm not sure I plan on catching up! But I will give you a recipe :)

I'm a little possessive of this recipe, which is weird because it's not even mine, my MIL actually gave it to me. And it's so simple and yummy it's probably already well-known. But whenever I make it I get rave reviews, it's super easy to make and to customize, and it's perfect for football season!

(I'm not sure but I may have shared this with you before; if so, apologies for the duplication!)

What is it?

It's...

Artery-Clogging Artichoke Dip
(I added the "artery-clogging" bit.)

Ingredients:
1 Cup mayonnaise (or as little as 3/4 cup if you'd like it "lighter")
1 Cup+ shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 Can artichoke hearts in water, drained (optional: coarsely chopped in food processor)

Optional Ingredients for Spicy Mexican Style dip:
1/2 - 1 chopped jalapeno, de-seeded
Substitute shredded Mexican style 4 cheese blend (the packaged pre-shredded kind) for cheddar, or use 1/2 cup pepper jack and 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese.

(You can also turn it into spinach-artichoke dip by adding frozen spinach, but I've never made that so I'm not sure how much spinach to use. Just mix it in until it looks right!)

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Mix mayo, artichokes, 1 cup cheddar (save a little for later), and parmesan evenly in oven-safe serving/dip dish. Smooth top and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with crackers or dippable veggies. Serves 4-6.

9.20.2010

Whine and wine

Yesterday Hubs and I had dinner with my family at my parents' house. I was in a decent enough mood, but I had one of those moments when I really felt out of place. Four of my nieces and nephews were running around the backyard, with my sister and brother leading a conversation about pregnancy and parenthood. Meanwhile Hubs and I were sitting 10 feet away looking at each other with nothing to contribute and a burning desire to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. Sigh... Score another point for infertility - driving wedges between family members since 830 B.C.

Not helping matters: Today is CD22 (about 8DPO), and I just know AF will be visiting this weekend. I really wasn't holding out much hope for this C, but I'm bummed. Very bummed. Ugh... This is still so damn hard.

Hubs and I had a very nice long weekend, though. Our trip to wine country was perfect, and we had a great time wine tasting on Friday. We booked a shuttle and wound up hitting it off with two other couples in our van, so we spent most of the day with them. We also got to spend some time with one of Hubs's good friends and his girlfriend on Thursday evening. And guess what? No one talked about kids or babies the whole trip. We got back early Saturday afternoon and spent most of the weekend just hanging out at home. It was nice and relaxing.

Seeing as we're now completely broke, it's time to quit having fun and get back to work on the house. We still (always!) have a ton to do, so that will be the focus of our weekends for the next... however long. But I'm excited to get stuff done, our little bungalow will look so much more finished and homey.

Almost time for acupuncture. Fingers crossed it does the trick and pulls me out of my funk today.

9.15.2010

Amalgamation

FYI: This is my 400th post! Jeez I talk a lot.

Hubs bought this book called Eve.rything is Going to Ki.ll Eve.rybody and I've been reading it in bits and pieces. Each chapter describes a different way that the world could easily be destroyed by something already in existence: supervolcanoes, weird diseases, nanotechnology, etc. It's actually a really funny book, but I think it's starting to give me nightmares. This morning I woke up from a dream that my little brother was trying to kill a Smart car that had achieved sentience and was out to get us.

Or maybe I just drank too much wine with dinner...

Anywho.

Happy Friday!! Well, to me. Apologies to those of you that are only halfway through your workweek. I'm pretty excited to be going up north for a couple of days, but even more excited to be able to sleep in for four days in a row! I'm tired!

What would a 400th post be if there wasn't some smack-talking?

I mentioned there's a lady at work who's pregnant; she's about 10 weeks along, and I'm sorry, but she's really starting to tick me off. I would like to tell her, "Look. You don't need a belly band at 10 weeks, what you need are new pants. You're not 'showing,' you just gained 15 pounds because you've been eating way too much for the past 2 months!" But what really bothers me is that she'll go into my two employees' office and talk their ears off about her pregnancy. One of those two employees is the one who just miscarried. I don't think she knows about it (she definitely doesn't know about mine), but it's still a. annoying and b. unprofessional. If it happens again I am going to ask her to kindly knock that shit off.

And to wrap things up, a brief TTC update! Wee...

So yeah... we're TTC this C. I think I ovulated somewhere between Sunday and Tuesday. I'm trying not to think about it very much, to be honest! It would be really easy for me to start obsessing and I don't want to do that. So I'll just listen to my C+B meditations, and enjoy what will hopefully be a lovely and relaxing long weekend!

My Dream House

Once again, we get back into the territory where Kitty can't make a decision. I have a couple of ideas for my "dream house."

One is up on a hill in the town Hubs and I live in. It's a sprawling Spanish-style house high on the hill, near downtown, and has great ocean views. It has a horseshoe floor plan with an open courtyard in the middle, and is luxuriously appointed with marble and all that good stuff. Unfortunately it was well over $1 million, just a tad out of our price range! What can I say, we have champagne dreams on a Miller Lite budget.

But probably my dream dream house would be up the coast a ways, where there's still plenty of open space. Up there it's mostly gently rolling hills dotted with oak trees, and it's so peaceful and lovely. I'm not exactly sure what kind of house I'd like on my 100 or so acres... One story or split-level would be nice. And something with plenty of character, maybe a 60's style house - low and flat-looking with big windows and a slope roof. Or a Craftsman with dark hardwood floors throughout and a big wraparound veranda. And of course it gets pretty hot up there, so we'd have to have a really swanky pool!

One day, right? :)

9.14.2010

How was Vegas?

It just occurred to me that I haven't told you about Vegas!

Well, I will do so posthaste.

From our house to Sin City is about a 5 hour drive. We have our routine down and it goes pretty quick actually. We left on Friday night... but not until after 8:00. That was okay though because we brought two boxes of Red Bull! Yee-haw! Other than being pulled over for speeding down a two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere (and AMAZINGLY getting let off with a warning) it was an uneventful drive.

Realizing that we are now old and unable to keep up with the debaucherous atmosphere of the strip, we decided to book a room at a resort in Henderson, the next city over. It was really lovely. Hubs and I were perfectly happy to spend all day Saturday right there - breakfast at the Pancake House, lying by the pool drinking margaritas, and gambling in their huge casino. And the weather was perfect, just hot enough to make me feel like I finally got a little taste of summer before it's completely over.

Saturday night we saw Peepshow, Ho.lly Mad.ison's (from the Girls Next Door) show. It was pretty entertaining, and seeing Ho.lly up close and very personal was, surprisingly, a little self esteem booster! The girl actually has some meat on her bones - for a Pla.yboy model anyway. Of course all the other dancers were skinny as rails, but still. It's nice to see someone in entertainment (especially mostly-naked entertainment) that looks human. Well, minus the big fake rack, of course.

And that was it! We were exhausted after a day of drinking in the sun and it was a late show, so we went back to the hotel and went to bed. The next morning we checked out early and beat the traffic coming home.

Next up: The four-day weekend! Hubs and I are taking off on Thursday to visit some friends and wineries up north on the central coast. We'll only be there two nights, though, so we can have some down time at home on Saturday and Sunday. (And also because we're going broke with all this spending we're doing!)

A Non-Fiction Book

I don't read much non-fiction. I'm something of an escapist, I want a book to transport me far away from my world, and non-fiction doesn't usually do that for me. However, I recently read a couple of books that I enjoyed.

One, which I think I may have already told you about and I just recommended to Miss Ruby yesterday, is Michael Crichton's Travels. I probably enjoyed it because it sorta reads like fiction. It's mostly about his experiences traveling, but also delves into his time in medical school (I didn't know Crichton got his MD) as well as some crazy psychic-type experiences he had.

I read it at the same time I was reading Ea.t Pray Lo.ve (which, if you haven't read it, has a lot more substance than the movie) and there were a lot of similarities between it and Travels. Including, in my opinion, having flat endings. But other than that I thougt they were both quite good.

9.13.2010

A Fictional Book

Oops, I got stumped on the blog challenge with the "photo of me taken over 10 years ago" assignment, and now I'm a few days behind! I'll try to catch up tonight.

For now I will tell you about a fictional book. Wait, hold up a sec - is this supposed to be like, my favorite fictional book? Because I already did that one. The guidelines for this game just say "a fictional book," they don't specify whether said book should be one I loved, or hated, or learned something important from, or wanted to burn, or... whatever.

So I'll tell you about the book I'm reading right now. It's called Girls' Poker Night by Jill A. Davis, and according to the cover it's a National Bestseller. You might notice I didn't add periods to thwart search engines from finding this title or author on my blog. That's because I have such a strong opinion of this book that I want people to benefit from the wisdom of my experience.

Mind you, I'm not even halfway through the book right now, but I highly doubt my opinion will change by the time I finish.

In a word, Girls' Poker Night SUCKS. I guess the author is/was a blogger (yes, I tried to find her blog but what I found hadn't been updated since 2007), and apparently that's the only writing style she knows. Which is fine and dandy if all you write are blogs. Or maybe essays. Or articles. Or short stories. But definitely not novels! Novels need to be organized, they need to flow, they need a freakin' storyine most of all, and this book has none of that. The plot is more like an afterthought in a collection of page-long tangents that might ellicit a giggle once in a while, but are so distracting that by the time Davis makes her way back to the story, you've completely forgotten where she left off.

But if that was the worst thing about this book, I still wouldn't be as annoyed as I am to read it. The worst part is the gratuitous use of the phrase "I mean." (E.g.: "I mean, who writes like that?") And I'm not talking about dialogue here. There are sections of this book where Davis uses "I mean" in every single paragraph at least once. She repeats a couple other phrases to irritating effect as well, but that one is by far the worst. Seriously? Get a new catch phrase, preferably one that doesn't make you sound like a gum-smacking Valley girl tween. And, oh yeah, try to only use it a few times throughout the book, please.

You might wonder why I continue to read Girls' Poker Night given how much I clearly dislike it. And I guess the answer to that is it's like a train wreck where I can't make myself look away. I hope it gets better, but for now at least it makes for decent blog fodder!

(When I go back to catch up on the blog challenge days I've missed, I'm going to give the posts the correct dates, so if you care to look at them just go back in my blog history.)

9.12.2010

Something I'm OCD About

This is kind of a hard one, I don't think I have a particularly OCD personality. I can definitely be obsessive (see: TTC), but no real compulsions come to mind.

Maybe except one - I'm pretty OCD about the potential for Atticus getting outside and going missing.

Whenever I leave the house I have to make sure I know exactly where he is, so there's no chance of him sneaking past me. Preferably, I like him to be within my sights while I'm closing the door. If I don't know where he is as I'm about to leave, I'll look around the house for him before I go out. Luckily our house is really small and it only takes a few seconds!

The stupid thing is, he's never once snuck outside and gone missing. He likes to go out, but he doesn't try to make a break for it. He just saunters onto the steps to chew on a weed or sprawl out on the stoop. I'm just really, super paranoid about it. I love my kitty!

9.09.2010

A photo that I took

This is a beach (if you can call it that) in my town, right off the promenade. Believe it or not, this used to be a really nice, wide, sandy beach. I'd often come here to lay out in the sun and play on the beach all throughout my childhood and teen years.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, not too much farther up the coast is a river that used to flow steadily into the ocean, bringing with it the silt and sand that made up this beach. In the 50's they dammed it up, and the beach sand was no longer regularly replenished. Over the past 10-15 years the existing sand (and staircase) finally eroded away to what you see above.

There's a local movement to tear the dam down since it no longer serves its original purpose, and is destroying what was once a beautiful beach. Not only that, but the river used to be full of trout that can't survive in the tiny stream that's left. It sounds cut and dried, but of course there's all kinds of red tape and bureaucracy that's holding up the project. Here's hoping they're able to cut through all that soon and bring back the beach I once loved!

9.08.2010

A Photo that Makes Me Sad or Angry

At first I didn't think I had any pictures like that.

Then I remembered this one:
This definitely makes me sad. And a little angry. But I can't quite bring myself to delete it (and its 4 siblings) off my computer.

Anyway, I never got around to posting this when it happened, so I guess it's sort of fitting to post it now. I'm not wallowing or anything; actually I'm looking forward to trying again. I'm trying not to expect too much, but feeling a little hopeful... and yes, a little scared too. But I gotta keep on moving!

Bummer day

It's too early for all this bad news today. My employee who just found out she's pg started bleeding, and now she thinks she's miscarrying. It is still very early, so it would technically be a chemical, but she's going for betas this week so we'll see. She's bummed, but not devastated. Still, I'm sad for her.

Right after she told me that I got an email from a friend who just found out she has PCOS. (She has two kids and wants at least one more.) She wants to read up on it, so if anyone knows of any good, informative web sites to recommend please let me know.

Knock on wood I don't hear any more bad news today. I thought it felt like a weird day this morning. Do you ever get that? Every once in a while I'll be on my way to work and I'll think, "It's going to be a weird day," and everything turns out to be just a bit off. That's how today feels.

Hopefully this is as 'off' as it gets.

9.07.2010

A Photo that Makes Me Happy

My niece and flower girl, N, at our wedding. I just love this photo :)

Weekend ramblings

Thank goodness today's not Monday.

The thought of finding another job is almost always on my mind. Often it's sort of tucked away as I trudge through one day after another. Then every couple of months it jumps out of hiding and practically screams at me, "You have GOT to get out of here before you lose it!!!" Now is one of those times. Of course the feeling is being multiplied by last week's news, which my three employees will no doubt be talking about nonstop for a while. But it's true, I do need to get out of here, and as soon as I discover what it is I'd rather be doing I'm bolting!

Until then, I'm working for the weekends. This past one was nice and mellow. Hubs and I went to breakfast with some friends followed by the Dodger game on Sunday, and yesterday we went to the movies to see Inc.eption (which I'm still trying to figure out). Other than that we pretty much sat on our butts, it was good.

In a saucy turn of events, we're going to Las Vegas this weekend! We couldn't decide whether to stick with our original plans to go wine tasting for our four day weekend next week, or to give in to our desire to visit Sin City instead... So we figured what the hell, we'll do both! This Friday we're driving out after work for a quickie sun-filled getaway, and next Thursday we'll head up north for a long mellow weekend.
*****************************
So, knock on wood, I stopped bleeding on Saturday. I think/hope/pray it's for real this time. I had acupuncture that morning and when I told him that the nurse said it could have been my period when it started back up again last Monday, he seemed to agree. So that makes today CD9. I'm starting herbs again tomorrow and C+B tonight, and I even got back into the groove of taking my vitamins and supplements over the past few days. Guess I'm officially back on the TTC wagon.

9.06.2010

20 of My Favorite Things

In no particular order...

1. Holiday weekends
2. Dirty martinis
3. My new snazzy phone!
4. Peep-toe heels
5. Bracelets
6. The Dodgers
7. Candles
8. Getting packages in the mail
9. Sunsets
10. Quesadillas
11. Will Ferrel movies
12. My bed
13. Singing
14. Artichokes
15. Having a clean living room
16. Getting my hair done
17. Finding the perfect shade of lipstick
18. Jeans that make my butt look fantastic
19. My wedding rings
20. Road trips

9.05.2010

Favorite Quote

Since I don't really have an all-time favorite quote, I'll share this one from The Prophet that helps me keep perspective during tough times like now:

"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain."

We're all becoming stronger, better people for the hardships that we endure.

9.04.2010

Favorite Book

Finally! An easy one! This will be quick.

My favorite book, hands down, is Pride & Prejudice.

9.03.2010

FML

I just found out one of my employees is pregnant. It took her three months. To be fair, I knew, or at least had many good reasons to believe, that she and her husband had been trying. As much as it's sooo not about me, I have this feeling like I've been punched in the stomach.

I'm supposed to be the one getting bigger, finding out the sex of the baby any time now, and trying barf in the bathroom without anyone hearing.

To add to it, my suspicions that another woman in the department is also pregnant have been confirmed as well.

Not to be all Eeyore, but WHY THE FUCK AM I THE ONE WHO ALWAYS GETS THE SHIT END OF THE STICK???

But at least my phone is working now.

My new toy

Old Phone: Wah-wahhh...

New Phone: ZING!

Isn't she glorious??

I'm amazed our new EVO's arrived yesterday because they were literally sold out everywhere and it's only been a week since we ordered them from B.est B.uy.

Unfortunately, Be.st B.uy is apparently staffed with a bunch of friggin' monkeys because, although they had no problem switching Hubs's phone number from AT&T to Sprint, mine is now completely disabled with both services! Hopefully it'll be set up sometime today, no thanks to the monkey zone over at BB.

I'm such a dork, I've been showinge everyone at work today. This is a big day for me! I finally stepped into the 21st century!

Favorite TV Show

Welcome to Day 3 of the Bloggity Challenge!

In case you haven't sensed the trend, I am incapable of choosing individual favorites (except for favorite cat - Atticus. Oh! And favorite man - Hubs). Today's topic will be no exception.

Some of my favorite TV shows include...

Tosh.0 - if you don't watch it, you should. It's both disturbing and hilarious.

Glee - Disclaimer: I truly think this show is awful. The storylines are unrealistic, the ridiculously auto-tuned voices hurt my heart, and the characters are annoying as hell. But do I watch it religiously every week? You bet I do! I can't help it! They must put crack in the commercials or something.

Cougartown - Am I alone in my love of Courtney Cox? I think she's a riot.

Modern Family - Needs no explanation.

The Middle - I wasn't expecting to like this one, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I especially love the two younger kids, they're hilarious!

I like comedy, can you tell? :)

What do you like?

9.02.2010

Favorite Movie

It's day 2 of the 30 day blog challenge! And today's topic is just as impossible for me to concisely answer as yesterday's!

Favorite movie.

Really? Just one?? Yeah, that's not happening. So here's a bunch, neatly categorized for your reading convenience.

Romance: Love Actually

Musical: Grease

Comedy: Anchorman

Sci-Fi: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Action: The Matrix

Drama: A Walk to Remember

And you? Care to share some of your favorites?

9.01.2010

Sick of me yet?

Three posts in one day, you must be sick of me! I'll try to be quick, promise.

A little update on the bleeding - I was freaking myself out with the horror stories I found by googling things like, "heavy bleeding 2 weeks after D&C," so I decided to call the doctor back. I needed to get the results of my last blood test anyway. Well good news, my hcg is down to 8! Thank God. I'll be retesting in 2 weeks. So then I asked the nurse about the bleeding and she said basically the same thing the other chick told me: as long as I'm not going through more than a pad an hour it's considered normal, everyone is different, there's no time frame to go by, etc. Then she asked if this is around the time my period would normally be starting.

...Well, yeah... actually it's exactly that time. But I thought that was impossible; how could I have even ovulated when I've been bleeding for the past month? She told me it's possible. Now I'm thinking this actually does kinda feel like AF... maybe...?

Well, it does no good speculating, but if I stop bleeding in the next several days I'm going to take that as GAME ON. It's been over a month since I miscarried (and according to the pathology report from the D&C - the stuff they removed was not part of the "products of conception," just my own gunk stuck in there, so turns out the miscarriage was complete after taking those pills); I think that's long enough.

Favorite Song

Of course the blog challenge had to start with a hard one! I blame my inability to make desicions for the fact that I've never been able to single out a favorite anything. I can't choose just one, there are so many that get my toes tappin'.

So I won't. Here's a sampling of my version of ear candy:

Weezer: Only in Dreams, The Greatest Man that Ever Lived (and just about everything else on their Blue and Red albums)

Queen: Pretty much all of their Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

Muse: Invincible (and most of the Black Holes and Revelations album)

I thought of some more, but one song kept leading to another and the list was getting way too long. These three artists are definitely some of my very faves, at least for the moment.

30 days of stuff

I'm gonna do it - the 30 day blog challenge. Starting today I'll be posting about one of these topics every day:

Day 1 - Favorite song
Day 2 - Favorite movie
Day 3 - Favorite television program
Day 4 - Favorite book
Day 5 - Favorite quote
Day 6 - 20 of your favorite things
Day 7 - A photo that makes you happy
Day 8 - A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9 - A photo you took
Day 10 - A photo of you taken over 10 years ago
Day 11 - A recent photo of you
Day 12 - Something you are OCD about
Day 13 - A fictional book
Day 14 - A non-fictional book
Day 15 - Your dream house
Day 16 - A song that makes you cry
Day 17 - An art piece
Day 18 - Your wedding
Day 19 - A talent
Day 20 - A hobby
Day 21 - A recipe
Day 22 - A website
Day 23 - A youtube video
Day 24 - Where you live
Day 25 - Your day, in great detail
Day 26 - Your week, in great detail
Day 27 - Your worst habit
Day 28 - What's in your purse
Day 29 - Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - A dream for the future

8.31.2010

This is my life

At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

Someone please make the bleeding stop!

The weekend was a nice break, which I appreciated very much (thank you, Mother Nature!), but since yesterday morning it's been worse than it was all last week. Almost like a regular period - cramps, heavier bleeding, feeling light-headed, etc. I did call the doctor this morning and they say this is "normal."

It doesn't seem "normal" to me.

Granted, I'm not going through pads at an alarming rate, and I haven't needed to take anything for the cramps, but SERIOUSLY? How can there even be this much blood in there??

Oy.

In other news... eh, there isn't any. I should probably eat lunch. Maybe that would help with the light-headedness, huh? (And maybe the moodiness too!)

8.30.2010

Bullet-point weekend recap

Monday again??? Didn't we have one of these last week?

I'm tired today. So I apologize for not providing the luscious details of my friend A's wedding that I just know you're all craving. I also know I owe you some pics of T's wedding two weeks ago. I'll get around to that one day...

So a quick rundown of my very busy three day weekend:

Thursday night: Hubs's birthday, sushi with friends, good times had by all!

Friday: Wedding prep, I did the bride's hair (fabulous!), small ceremony on the beach followed by an intimate dinner at the groom's mother's house, gorgeous!

Saturday: The big reception! Held at a park, super casual but still beautiful, everyone was invited, games, water balloons, jolly jump, yummy food, fun stuff.

Sunday: French toast fit for the gods (or just me and hubs), trips to Be.st B.uy and Tar.get, attended BBQ for BIL's birthday.

Notable stuff:

I'm opening up about the miscarriage IRL. Most of our friends now know. It doesn't make it any less painful, but it's easier not to have to hide it. Everyone has been very supportive and kind about it. P.S. I stopped bleeding... for a couple of days. It started again this morning.

Our new fancy-schmancy phones might be in sooner than we thought! Be.st B.uy gets a handful of them a few times a month; I'd LOOOVE to have them by the time we go on our weekend getaway.

Hubs also wants to buy a new TV. Or rather, two new TVs, because "if we're getting a flat-screen for the living room we might as well get one for the bedroom too!" I told him let's see where we're at after we pay for the new phones. Good gravy, he's taking this retail therapy thing a bit far!

Back to work!