Kitties and Doggs and Babies

I didn't think it would happen this soon, but Atticus and Scout are actually getting to be buddies.  Not only are they playing and cuddling together more often, but Atticus is actually initiating grooming now too.  Who knew he was so maternal?  Another good sign is that he's getting back to his old self again - doing his evening laps around the house, playing with Hubs and me more, and snuggling with us too.  So it looks like we're probably going to be keeping the little one.  It's gonna be a full house come April!      But I think it will be good for Atticus to have a friend when the baby comes and he becomes second banana.

Hubby and I have been enjoying a particularly lovely weekend together.  Yesterday we got our tree and decorated the house for Christmas, and today we've been super ridiculously lazy.  I watched a terrible Lifetime movie from beginning to end while he played video games.  Tonight we have a hot date though, we're going to a -- wait for it -- Snoop Dogg concert!  LOL  Actually it's pretty cool, my friend's husband's band is opening for him and my other friend's husband works at the theater so we were able to score free tickets.  It should be entertaining.  I'm really excited for my friend, she gets to hang out backstage with Snoop.  I hope she has some awesome stories to tell me next time I see her!

I think I hit a milestone with the pregnancy the other day - I had my first stranger ask me if I'm pregnant.  I was so excited that strangers could actually tell I have a bump and not a beer gut that I overlooked the social faux pas.  (And he really should have known better too because he told me that just last week his brother congratulated a non-pregnant woman in line at the grocery store, and she was none too amused.)  Now, if any strangers attempt to touch my tummy that's going to be an entirely different story.  Just because I'm in a family way doesn't mean anyone not intimately connected with me is allowed to invade my bubble, and I won't hesitate to choke a bitch if need be.

The kid has been pretty active the past couple of days too. I think I have an anterior placenta because of something the ultrasound tech said, but my doctor never mentioned it so I'm just guessing.  It makes sense to me though because I haven't felt the kind of movement my friends describe - like popcorn or flutters - it's been more like an occasional squirming (and usually feels a lot like gas) until the past few days when I could feel some more obvious thumps and bumps.  Anyway I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so I'm going to try to use the absence of movement to my advantage.  I'm going to tell her I'm anxious that I haven't felt very much and that I want another ultrasound to make sure everything's okay, and hopefully get another chance to find out the baby's sex.

And I need to know the sex because my PHENOMENAL friends J and B have offered to throw me a shower!  They're my two oldest friends in life - J I've known since we were a year old, and B since we were five.  I get a little choked up just thinking about how sweet they are to offer, especially since they've been there for me my entire life.  *Sniff*  It is just so awesome.  :)

Okay enough mush.  I have a concert to get ready for, so until next time!


Adventures in feline care

What was I thinking???
Well, the answer to that question is easy - I wasn't.  I found this adorable little 10 week old kitten (now called Scout) crying pitifully (and loudly) near my house last Thursday, and when I learned she was abandoned all I knew was I couldn't just leave her out in the rain.  So I took her home, got her groomed to take care of the fleas, and promptly didn't think of much else until later. 
Stuff I should have thought about sooner includes:
  • The cost of the vet bill for deworming, vaccinations, and disease testing, plus deworming for Atticus just in case (because Scout did indeed have worms).  FYI - it was A LOT.  And she still needs to be spayed.
  • Atticus's response to Scout having free reign of the house.  I should have kept them separated from day one.  My well-adjusted, happy boy has turned into a surly old man in just a couple of days.  He paces the house, holes up alone, and bops her on the head, hisses, and/or runs away whenever she tries to play with him.
  • The amount of effort it takes to keep a baby kitten from destroying my stuff, out of Atticus's litter box and food dishes (and him out of hers), as well as the energy it takes to keep her entertained and happy.  I thought having two cats would be marginally more work than one.  Yeah, not so.  And generally I just feel like if I'm keeping one of them happy then I'm neglecting the other one, and I feel guilty.
  • Just feeding them is a pain!  I moved Atticus's dishes from the kitchen because that's where I block Scout off from the rest of the house.  So now he gets confused about where to eat at every meal, and she follows me whenever I have food in my hands, which scares him off from eating, which has totally thrown off his feeding schedule.  (Luckily he needs to lose a little weight anyway.)
  • How much space we actually need to accommodate another cat, and how little space we actually have.
Overall it has been a somewhat stressful experience, punctuated by some cute moments and a few big laughs.  Hubs and I have decided to give it a couple of weeks to see how we all adjust before we commit to keeping Scout.  The good thing is she's young and really, really cute, so it shouldn't be any trouble finding her a good home if we can't keep her.  I've already had a couple of friends express interest, though it would be super nice if one of them was able to split the cost of the vet bills with us!  Seriously, I had no idea that it's much cheaper to adopt a kitten through a reputable group than to rescue one yourself.  They must get deep discounts on medical care.
So that's been my life for the past 4 days now.  This weekend I hit the halfway point in my pregnancy and things still seem to be fine.  Nothing much else to tell about that.  Well except that I'm finally going to go buy some maternity pants today.  I've been using a belly band with my regular jeans unzipped up until now, and it's starting to get annoying, so I figured it was about time.  I still have people tell me I don't look pregnant, to which I sarcastically respond, "Thanks, I guess that means I just look fat."  Just kidding, I don't really say that.  I just congratulate myself on my good genes and figure they're jealous bitches that I can be this far along and still order a beer without the bartender looking at me funny.  Okay I don't do either of those things either.  Sorry, I think my emotions are on overdrive lately.  I think it's time to get out of the house!


In with the in-crowd

Thanksgiving turned out to be pretty nice.  Dad was civil enough, albeit more quiet than usual, and everyone else was great.  We had dinner with my family at my sister's house and it was DE-LISH.  I ate a nice big plateful of food, followed by a little piece of pumpkin dump cake, and then we were off to my in-laws' for dessert.  They were just putting dinner away so I got myself a second plate (good thing I saved room at my sister's!), and then had myself a sampler platter of desserts to top it all off.  I don't think I've ever eaten that much on Thanksgiving, and it was AWESOME.  Mmm... now I can't wait for Christmas dinner!

So this holiday was my first experience getting a whole lot of attention for doing pretty much nothing (i.e. being knocked up).  As usual, there were a ton of people at my in-laws' house.  Hubs said there were around 35 people but I think it was more like 50, and I couldn't go from one room to another without people stopping me to congratulate me and ask about the pregnancy.  I have to say it was a little awkward!  Nice for sure, but definitely kind of awkward.

It's also been interesting to note the difference in the amount of interest some people take in me - like we finally have something in common they can talk to me about.  Now that I'm pregnant I'm included in more conversations about parenting and family type stuff, and when I voice an opinion about such things those people don't automatically dismiss me.  Do I have any more parenting experience now than I did last year?  Of course not!  But I'm going to be a parent now so I guess that means my opinions somehow hold a little weight.

Looking back on previous family gatherings it's such a noticeable difference that it's almost funny.  Those things people say about parenthood being a kind of exclusive club really are true.  I definitely feel more accepted, people are less awkward around me (even though I feel more awkward) - it's like I've joined the human race.  And that thought makes me really sad about the way anyone who doesn't quite fit in is sometimes treated.  I don't think family members (at least my family members) mean to exclude anyone, but most of them don't try particularly hard to make them feel accepted and included either.  It's just a lot easier when you have that most common of all common bonds - reproduction - working in your favor.  But it makes me want to be the person who puts in the extra effort to make everyone feel included.  I hope I can do that at least once or twice.

Now we enter the mad dash to Christmas, huh?  I've decided to do handmade gifts for the family this year.  I'm not sure I quite realize what I've gotten myself into, but I'm committed!  I have to figure out some ways that Hubs can help me assemble everything because I know it's going to be a lot of work, but at the same time I'm a little bit of a control freak when it comes to creative stuff.  I better figure it out for my own sanity though!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was fabulous!


Give thanks, or something

What I need to do, and maybe this is why I'm here right now typing this - because I think it will help, is somehow take a step back from the anxiety that has been getting to me the past few days.  At first it was kind of generalized, waking up stressed and worried and proceeding to feel tense throughout the day, and then I started to put my finger on what's going on in my head.  There are a lot of things, and nothing really new: Money, family tension, the holidays, work...  It isn't always easy not having the benefit of a good ol' prescription medication to keep the stress at bay, but up until the past week or so I've been doing pretty good.  Now I wish I could just pop a Xanax and make the butterflies fade away for a few hours!  I have tried a glass of wine since I've been pregnant but it doesn't agree with me; the booze makes my body feel weird and achy and uncomfortable.  No idea what that's about and I'm not going to ask my doctor since she made it clear from day one that she's against any amount of drinking during pregnancy.  Damn teetotaler.

So I'm on my own to try to handle this anxious feeling.  I'm not looking forward to dinner with my family tomorrow, what with the drama with my dad.  Hopefully I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, he's simmered down a bit, and tomorrow will be perfectly pleasant.  I will hope for that.

The good news is that Hubs has the next two days off, so we almost get a long weekend together, except that he has to work Saturday.  I can live with that.  It's always a pain when either of us has to work the day after Thanksgiving, which has been pretty much every year since we've been married.  Seriously, Black Friday should be a Federal holiday just so people have a chance to digest and come out of their turkey hangovers.  But no one ever asks me for my opinion on the matter!  Maybe I should start a petition or write my congressman or something.

Oh!  I just noticed the lovely sunset.  The sky is blue and pink and yellowish and wispy with clouds.  And Atticus is whining to be fed, so I guess this is as good a place to stop as any.  Happy Thanksgiving, all.  I think I'll focus on gratitude for the rest of the evening instead of on my worries.  Look at that, I think I just found my solution. :)


The BIG ultrasound; and Drama is just around the corner

What was supposed to be the big, exciting ultrasound turned out to be a bust yesterday.  The little monkey refused to reveal what was going on between its legs, so I'm still in the dark about whether it's a he or she.  At first the tech thought she saw a little "something," and she did, there was definitely something showing up in apparently the right spot, enough for her to say she was pretty sure it was a boy and would be very surprised if she turned out later to be wrong, but she couldn't get a good image of it.  So she suggested I go relieve myself (I drank waaaay too much water beforehand) to see if that gave the baby some more room to move around and give us a better view.  But when she looked for a second time she couldn't find whatever it was she saw the first time at all!  So that caused her to second-guess herself, and think maybe it was a heel or something curled up under its butt, and she couldn't say with any confidence at all whether she thought it was a boy or girl.  DARNIT!

The good news is baby's measuring right on target, except for its legs which are measuring a week ahead!  We got ourselves a leggy one I guess.  Thank goodness it doesn't seem to have inherited the stumps from my side of the family (I didn't either, but my dad and one of my brothers definitely got them; they look really cute on little kids, but not so much on adults).  Everything else is looking good as well, and all the important parts seem to be in order so far!

So, the holidays are just about upon us once again, and I'm having my usual hard time keeping up a positive attitude about them.  Last year Thanksgiving was a disaster, and the year before it was Christmas that bit the big one.  This year my dad hasn't been speaking to me for a few weeks since I told him we won't be baptizing the baby (hey, he asked and I couldn't lie), so I anticipate Thanksgiving to be a particularly jovial affair!  If anyone in my family decides to tell me what time to show up for dinner, that is... which they didn't last Thanksgiving, until they were all already eating...  I really don't understand the drama that always pops up around the holidays in my family, but I'm more than a little sick of it.  One of these years I want to take off for the entire week of Christmas, somewhere far away and without any cell phone reception or internet, where no one can bother me.  And just knowing that Christmas will be utterly serene will help me get through whatever drama will inevitably pop up for Thanksgiving...  One day...


Thanksgiving Comes First

I follow this blog, Suldog (thanks to the "blogs of note" section on Blogger), and I almost always get a kick out the author's posts.  He has an entertaining writing style and I enjoy his colorful (not to be confused with obscene) way of venting and getting things off his chest.

Well, it seems that every Autumn he focuses his efforts on trying to stop commercial advertisements about Christmas that show up before Thanksgiving.  Appropriately enough, and as you might have guessed, he's coined this "movement" Thanksgiving Comes First.  The goal is really just to gather people who are also annoyed by Santa displays in the mall, Christmas carols on the radio, and advertisements of all kinds selling Christmas before we have a chance to even digest our Halloween candy.  There's no push to make any of these activities illegal by any means, it's just an opportunity for like-minded people to voice their opinion that we prefer to enjoy and celebrate one holiday at a time, and that we don't appreciate commercial interests trying to push us to BUY BUY BUY before we wanna.  If enough people are vocal about this preference, maybe retailers will start to listen and hold off on holiday advertising and sales until we clear our Thanksgiving tables (like Nordstrom)!

Anyway, because I've definitely found myself more than a bit peeved about retailers shoving Christmas in my face as early in the year as August, I figured I oughta do my part to spread the word about Thanksgiving Comes First.  I just feel that 1. Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever other winter holiday you may celebrate) would feel a lot more special if we had the same anticipation for it that we did when I was a kid, and if it wasn't dragged out for two months or more; 2. Thanksgiving is an awesome holiday in its own right and it gets the short shrift because of the overwhelming presence of 'Christmas' well before turkey day; and 3. I don't need or want retailers to remind me that Christmas is just around the corner.  They advertise and offer big sales early to make themselves more money, not to do a public service to their shoppers, and frankly it just bugs me.  It's hard enough to keep the focus of holidays in general and Christmas in particular mostly on things that matter, rather than just decorations and presents and spending.  It would be nice to slow things down just a bit, and enjoy each holiday for what it is.

If you agree, like Thanksgiving Comes First on Facebook, and write your own Thanksgiving Comes First blog post to spread the word.


I painted my toenails blue

(I couldn't think of a title, so that up there is just a little extra factoid for you.)

Last week was a pretty good one in VonD-land.  At home we got some electrical work done that allowed us to rearrange our living room to make it more open and easier to move around in (and gives us more room for the mountain of baby stuff we'll eventually be buried under).  I'm finally getting used to the new layout, but Hubs and Atticus loved it from the beginning.  Atticus in particular was so excited he didn't know what to do with himself.  I think he particularly enjoyed the shadows cast by the new can lights in the ceiling, which gave him a newfound appreciation for his own shadow, which he chased incessantly for the first couple of days.  

Work was pretty good as well.  I managed to get some hours at my job with the DJ, and not only did I finally pin down this couple for a day-of wedding coordinating gig in April (the one my SIL is doing for me), but I met with them yesterday and the job turned into a full service planning gig!  Very exciting and brings in a lot more money.  This week I also start my second part-time job working at the online company.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that things continue to go well work-wise.  Luckily I seem to be finding little opportunities to make money all the time - babysitting, working with a friend who's a caterer, whatever comes up!  So I'm trying not to worry too much and just trust that everything will be okay.

And, naturally, the joys of pregnancy continue this week.  My current dilemmas are as follows: 

1. My faceful (more like upper-torso-front-and-backful) of acne.  Like a good girl I switched out my awesome face wash that contains salicylic acid and kept my zits perfectly manageable for a safer one that's supposed to just get rid of oil.  I figured, the excess oil is what's making me break out everywhere so this will probably work, right?  Wrong!  My skin is drier, all right, but now it's just dry and pimple-laden.  What's a gal to do?  My forehead is bumpy like sandpaper and it's spreading south and making me sad.

2. Daily heartburn.  I try to eat (somewhat) healthily, really I do.  I buy fruits and vegetables and lots of times I actually remember to eat them.  But every night around 7:00 the heartburn hits whether I've just eaten or I'm getting hungry for dinner.  Tums Smoothies are my friends.

3. Intestinal distress.  If it's not constipation it's gas, and if it's neither of those it's what I affectionately call "mud butt."  All of which range from uncomfortable to painful.  I spent no less than 30 minutes in the bathroom at my friend's birthday party on Saturday because my tummy was so upset.  Granted, it was probably revolting against the jalapeno poppers I had with lunch the day before, followed by the leftover Chinese food covered in Red Rooster sauce I had for dinner.  Baby likes spicy food!!  How am I supposed to deny baby her spicy food??

That's all for the dilemmas, now for the joys:

1. Newfound confidence.  This seems like a strange one to me.  I don't know if it's the hormones or what, but for the past few weeks I've been feeling like a much stronger person.  The anxiety that has followed me around like a dark cloud for the past 2 or 3 years has almost disappeared, and I actually feel good.  I don't really know how to describe it but I love it.  I'm not so afraid to make mistakes, or of what people might think of me if I say something they disagree with or don't like.  And like the money thing - I'm just not as worried as I most definitely would have been six (or even two or three) months ago.  Hopefully this side effect sticks around for, like, ever.

2. Bumpin'.  Okay so just about as soon as I said that I'm not showing, I noticed that I'm pretty much showing.  Maybe strangers can't necessarily tell, but my friends and family can.  So that's pretty cool.  And weird.  I was hoping I'd be like those pregnant women who are all like, "I never felt so sexy in my whole life as I did when I was pregnant!"  But I'm not.  I think it's awesome that I'm starting to show, but I'm also still getting used to the changes in my waistline, and I have zero libido so nothing makes me feel sexy at all, much less changes to my waistline that I'm still getting used to.

3. Sex!!  No, not the sexy kind of sex.  I'm pretty sure I just mentioned that I have zero libido.  What I mean is we get to find out the sex of the baby in just one week!  And that means I get to start figuring out how to decorate her room!  (I maintain that she is a girl, even though I also maintain that I will be equally happy to find out he is a boy.  It's just that she feels like a girl to me.)  We'll see which of my split personalities is right on this one next week.  Hopefully she (or he) doesn't get shy and hide the goods!

Now I need to get moving.  I have many terribly important tasks to accomplish today from getting started on a wedding planner proposal for my clients (!) to grocery shopping (-_-) to baking pumpkin spice muffins (:)).  Happy Monday!


Just some stuff

15 weeks and not much to report.  I apologize that this blog went from infertility to practically nothing to -BAM- pregnancy.  But there just isn't much else going on in my life these days!

Well, there isn't nothing else, I will supposedly be starting a new job in the next week or so.  Some friends of Hubs' and mine have an internet company and they've been talking about me filling this position they've been planning on opening for months, and now the position is almost ready to be filled.  It will actually require me to utilize lots of the skills I learned in my banking career - financial records, fraud detection, document security, and a little customer service - but without being in the financial industry.  It sounds really interesting and I'm excited to get started, it just isn't entirely clear exactly when that will be.  It'll be part-time to begin with, and as long as the business continues to grow it will eventually become full-time with a better salary.  I'm not quitting the job with the DJ, but I haven't gotten nearly as many hours there as I thought I would (they haven't called me in at all in weeks) and unemployment is going to be up by the end of the year, so I really needed something else, fast!  As required by the EDD, I've been applying to jobs religiously for months and months, but I've gotten exactly NO responses from anywhere, so landing a regular ol' full time job anywhere near my past two salary ranges doesn't really look like a possibility.  Not that that's what I wanted anyway, but it's pretty disheartening to see firsthand how shitty the job market still is (despite what "they" would like you to believe), and if I was putting all my eggs in that basket I'd be legitimately screwed.  Anyway, I guess I'm lucking out that I have some things in the works that will at least help pay the bills.

Besides wondering and trying not to worry about jobs and income though, there's pregnancy.  And that part of my life is mostly fun.  I'm a lot less tired these days (and my house is much cleaner) and the nausea has settled down to just occasional gagging, but now I'm discovering the all-new joys of the second trimester.  I still don't think I'm showing, and that this little bulge in my belly is mainly due to constipation because it shrinks and grows according to how "regular" I am.  But lately when it's on the bigger side it looks more like a bump than bloat, so maybe I am starting to show.  My clothes still fit though (as long as I hook a rubber band around the button on my jeans instead of actually buttoning them).  I also have this excess mucous production in my sinuses that I wasn't even aware was a pregnancy thing, but apparently it is.  I thought I was getting sick because I was sneezing and clearing my throat and blowing my nose all the time, but nope!  Turns out it's just my little parasite reminding me she's still here.  My boobs are still sore as a motherfucker and still growing.  Whoever said they stop hurting eventually was clearly full of it.  I bought some new bras a few weeks ago and I'm already outgrowing them; at this rate I'm going to have my own bra department in my dresser by April.  At least I figure I'll be prepared when my boobs start shrinking again! 

Only two more weeks until we find out the sex!  I am still convinced it's a girl, and all the old wives and Chinese gender charts and even my friends and family who have made predictions agree with me.  I'll be really surprised if it's a boy, but honestly I don't care either way.  For a while I was so caught up in thinking it was a girl that when I tried to imagine it was a boy I thought I'd be disappointed.  But then it occurred to me that a little mini-Hubs would be so freaking awesome, there's no way I could be disappointed!  Hopefully baby cooperates when we go in for the ultrasound because I really want to know.  Cuz I really want to start registering and figuring out how to decorate her (okay, or his) room.  And ya know, cuz then I'll know my baby better and feel closer to it or something.


Near miss

I finally decided that I would post a (tasteful) Facebook announcement once we had confirmation that this little alien is still alive.  Thank you to everyone for your input :)  Well today I went in for a doctor's appointment and we got to hear the heartbeat on the little doppler thingy.  (Sidenote - whenever I told family members that the doctor said we'd get to do the doppler at our next appointment, someone invariably said something like, "Oh, they're going to check the weather in there?  Haha!"  *Wink, wink!*  Very clever...)  I'd been told that the first time they do it, it can take a while to find the heartbeat, but I lucked out and the doc found it right away.  It was very cute, all fast and loud and swooshy.  She went to show me the comparison between the baby's and mine, and it took her like three times as long to find my pulse!  Guess maybe I'm not as alive as I thought.

Anyway, I was all set to post my announcement sometime today and then...  I remembered it's October 15th and Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.  D'oh!  Thank goodness I saw a couple of posts about it before I came across as a seriously inconsiderate asshole.  So my announcement will wait until tomorrow, and today I will support my fellow sisters who have experienced losses instead.

In other news, I'm still figuring out how to get excited about this baby.  I know that sounds terrible and I don't want you to think this pregnancy isn't an incredibly welcome event, because it is.  My MIL keeps asking when we can get excited and telling me she wants me to be HAPPY (I had to emphasize the word the way she does).  I don't even know how to explain the way I'm feeling.  I strongly suspect it has something to do with my depression, because, like I said, this baby is more than welcome in my life, and it's not at all that I'm disappointed or bummed about being pregnant, it's just that I don't feel particularly overjoyed.  And I really thought I would feel that way, so it is a bit strange to feel so stoic.

But I am not going to beat myself up about it.  There's nothing worse for depression than berating yourself for falling short of your own expectations, especially when it's outside of your control.  I love that my friends and family are so excited, and honestly when I'm around them their excitement is infectious.  Maybe I just need to be around them more often!  It certainly doesn't help that I'm alone most of the time, and exhausted most of the time too.  I guess anyone would have a hard time mustering up a constant level of enthusiasm under the circumstances.  Still, I hope I get that burst of excitement soon, maybe it will once I allow myself to start shopping for baby stuff :)


The FB effect

First a quick update: I have made it through 11 weeks of pregnancy!  I still look pretty much the same as I did 6 weeks ago, although sometimes my gassy bloat makes me look like I'm showing... the way it did at the wedding I was at a week or so ago, and all my friends were rubbing my tummy...  Yeah, that's not weird at all.  I just let them think it was a miracle they were carressing, and not the burrito I had for lunch.  The morning sickness never got too terrible and I think it may be fading at this point.  I'm still really tired though, and I managed to catch a cold somehow so that's not helping matters.  And now it's like 178 degrees outside today, so I'm holed up in the coolest room in the house with the lights off drinking ice water.  This does not bode well for my productivity factor.

Okay, on with the show.

Over the past few weeks I've found out that like eight other people I know are pregnant.  Holy crap, everyone must have read Fifty Shades of Grey over the summer because I haven't seen a baby boom like this in years.  (And yes, I too read those books this summer.  Not that I attribute my condition to them, but they could have had a hand in it, who knows?)  As is the norm of late, many of these women have made announcements via Facebook.  Which is what brings me here today.

I always said I would never announce a pregnancy on Facebook.  My reason for that is solely because of my history with infertility.  Getting blindsided with pregnancy announcements as I casually scrolled through my newfeed always hurt.  And actually, it still does sting.  But I've given it a lot of thought lately, and I've noticed that it stings regardless of the way the information is conveyed - on FB, in person, via email or text... It's all the same.  For me I think it hurts because I figure those people don't ever have to consider what it might be like to always be on the receiving end of those announcements and never be able to make their own.  They always seem so carefree, almost flippant (especially those ultra-cheesy ones, like when there's an accompanying photo of a jar of pasta sauce).  So because those announcements have always stung me, I swore I wouldn't make an announcement that would sting anyone else.

There are a couple of problems with that promise, though.  For one, I didn't realize how excruciatingly tempting it would be, especially when so many others are doing it and you've waited so long to get your turn to do it too.  Getting - and staying - pregnant is a big deal, especially for infertiles.  Hell it's the one thing most of us want more than anything in the world, and lots of times the one thing we least expect will ever happen.  So doesn't that give us at least as much right as anyone else to shout it from the rooftops when it does happen?  I think so.  Absolutely.  But for many of us, the journey to that point has made us very sensitive to our audience.  And for those who didn't become so sensitive (I'm sure I'm not the only one who's seen an infertile post a pregnancy announcement to FB mere minutes after getting a positive pee test), us sensitive IFers can sometimes be not very forgiving.  *Ahem*  I am referring to myself, and the comments I've made to Hubs and others about how tacky and stupid it is to announce so soon when one should know better.

Another problem is how damn convenient a FB blast is.  Although most of my friends and all of my immediate family know I'm pg, I have a huge list of extended family members, a few other friends, and yeah, some acquaintances too, that I would like to tell.  This list is apparently too long for one email, as FB cuts you off from adding more names once you get to #65 or so.  Plus, if you try to go alphabetically, rather than typing in the whole name of a person you want to send a message to, it won't necessarily bring up everyone's names.  I think it goes by the people you communicate with the most.  And frankly, I can't remember each individual person who I want to tell off the top of my head!  My next thought was to create a list of friends who I thought might not appreciate seeing yet another pregnancy announcement in their feed (and any subsequent pregnancy-related updates), posting a status update announcement and hiding it from that list.  But 1. That just seemed wrong; maybe some of them actually would want to know, and maybe some others that weren't in the list wouldn't.  And 2. Most of those people already know that I'm pregnant anyway.

Is this making any sense at all?  I guess what it comes down to now is that there's no way for me to predict who will be happy vs. hurt by any announcement I made.  Even if I sent an email to only my family members, there might be someone who gets stung.  Even if I never made any announcement and just let the word spread, someone might get stung.  And even if I told everyone who already knows to keep it to themselves until the baby was born, eventually everyone would know I had a kid, and that could sting for someone too.

So what am I gonna do?  I still don't know.  Feel free to comment with your opinions on the subject.


Just a few things

There is nothing like going back to regular ol' morning sickness after enjoying a particularly brutal bout of food poisoning.  Mmm.  It was either the frozen chicken stir-fry I made on Monday for dinner, or the cheesy curly fries I had during bowling directly after dinner.  Well, that or eating said cheesy curly fries with grody house bowling ball fingers.  Whatever it was, it came out with a vengeance early Tuesday morning and didn't stop until that night.  I was so nauseous all day I couldn't even nap, and ingested nothing but sips of ginger ale and a few saltines later in the day.  Yesterday my stomach was back to about 90% normal, but I was so freaking tired I stayed in bed until 1:00 p.m.  Today I feel like me again.  Well, pregnant me anyway, what with the background of mild nausea and underlying tiredness. For which I am even more grateful than usual!

Other than the barfing, life is pretty boring these days.  I really enjoy working at my part time job, but I'm a little frustrated because I don't have a set schedule there, and I never know for sure when I'm working until the last minute.  The owners aren't in the office at regular hours either, plus they're night people and don't usually go in until sometime in the afternoon on the days they do go in, then they stay late.  So I'm thinking a general lack of schedule is normal for them.  But for me, it causes stress.  I like to be able to plan my week; as little as I have to do, I still need some structure!  Plus I like to be home around the time Hubs gets home (like 7:00 p.m.), which really limits my hours working in the office when I don't go in until around 2:00 or later.  I'm planning on asking them today if they'd mind me having a key so I can go in a little earlier and have more time to get stuff done.  Then hopefully we can work out a schedule that works for everyone.  Particularly me. 

As for the pregnancy, I'm still adjusting.  Even though I saw the heartbeat last week it still feels very abstract.  I have a hard time thinking of the little nugget as a baby, although I do have these occasional images flash through my mind - like the second bedroom as a functional nursery, or the feeling of a baby's cheek against mine.  Those are nice.  I don't know if I'm in denial about the whole thing or if I just got so used to imagining a childfree life that it's hard to switch gears.  I'm sure I will switch gears eventually though, as long as things keep going smoothly.  



My anxiety has subsided in the past few days.  Every day that I don't spot I feel a tad more comfortable.  And I think it helps that I've been staying busy. 

I started working at my new part-time gig this week, which has been fun.  I'm doing office work for a DJ/Lighting/Photo Booth company, and I also host photo booths at events (usually weddings) when they need me.  Tonight is going to be my first time hosting one all by my lonesome and I'm a tad nervous!  I'm going to have to talk to people - like lots of people - in an entertaining type of fashion.  Not that I have to sing and dance or tell jokes of course, but I will have to be "on" and help ensure everyone has a great (and smooth) time using the booth.  This is not my forte.  But I'll figure it out and try to have fun with it.

I also took a job at a catering event the other day; my first time working for a caterer.  It was a good experience despite being utterly exhausted by the end of the evening.  And I didn't even actually serve food, I stood next to a cheese station for a few hours and mostly people-watched.  But I was there for 7 hours, on my feet the whole time, and I'm not used to such exertion!  The owner of the catering company liked me and said she'd love to work with me again, so that was nice.  Anything that helps pay the bills!

I figure this experience can only help me as I continue working to build my event coordinating business.  Now I have a much better idea what it's like on the catering and entertainment ends of events.  Plus I'm making connections with other vendors, and I actually enjoy working again!  The difference between working at a bank or other heartless corporation and working with small business owners is like night and day.  These people not only love what they do, have fun with it and are generally super friendly, but they appreciate the people who work for and with them, and treat each other nicely!  I could get used to this :)


Real live human baby

I was so nervous before the ultrasound appointment this morning.  And honestly, I am still nervous!!!  Spoiler alert, it was good.  And it feels very surreal!

So the u/s tech did the abdominal scan first, and could actually see the heartbeat flicker, but it wasn't very clear.  She said she didn't think I was eight weeks, but not to worry (I'm 8 weeks 3 days past my last period), so of course I immediately started worrying more.  We moved on to the dildo cam, and lo and behold she was wrong.  The little bugger is measuring right about 8 weeks 4 days, and the heartbeat is nice and strong at 171.  She said it looks nice and secure in there, and everything looks good.  I don't see the doctor again until Monday, so that's all I got for now.

Now I have this fear that I'm going to start spotting again, like the wand might have irritated some stuff down there or something.  But I'm trying to remind myself that ultrasounds do not cause miscarriages!

Whew.  I should probably feel/sound more excited, right?  I'm just still so nervous!

I'm finally starting my part time job this afternoon, so that should help me keep my mind off of being anxious, hopefully.  I'm doing some office work for a DJ and event lighting company.  Then tomorrow I have a catering gig, basically just hosting some buffet stations, nothing too strenuous.  At least I'll have a little extra money coming in this week, god knows we're gonna need it!


Countdown is on

I've got my first appointment with the shrink this afternoon.  I've been feeling better about things since the spotting stopped again on Friday, but I know I'm still just a TAD unstable so I'm looking forward to going this afternoon.  Two more days until the ultrasound...

Today I'm 8 weeks 1 day pregnant.  It feels like a milestone.  Not to get morbid, but last time my miscarriage was confirmed at 8 weeks exactly, and this time things seem to be going okay at this point.  I've been getting more and more nauseous, which is not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.  Apparently throwing up/trying not to throw up always sucks.  But it does help me feel more secure so I'll take it. 

As optimistic as I'm feeling today, I'm still dreading the ultrasound on Wednesday.  I really, really, really don't want to get bad news, or unclear news, or anything other than positively good news.  Even with great news I know I'll still find some reason to feel anxious.  Well, at least I know what I'll be talking to the shrink about today.  I would love to get to a point where I can start feeling excited and thinking beyond the next few days, or at least beyond the next trip to the bathroom.  Hopefully she will help me out with some of that today.


Eh, can't think of an appropriate title

I am really bad at this whole "Calming the F down" business.  I mean, as long as everything goes smoothly and there are no surprises, I'm golden.  But as soon as I hit a bump in the road I lose my shit.  I told my NP this at my appointment yesterday and she was soooo understanding.  That's one nice thing about my OB's office, they seem to actually care about my mental health.  Well, except for the one midwife who scared the shit out of me last week.  (Oh PS, they said they were happy with my 2nd beta, so not to worry.  Haha.  Okay I'll get right on that.)  But moving forward...

So I don't have an infection anymore, score!  But I started spotting again.  DRAT.  I went five days with no sight of blood and then yesterday there was some pinkness.  KNOCK ON WOOD it seems to be lighter today, so hopefully it's just doing some kind of annoying coming and going thing that doesn't mean imminent disaster.  Doc says take it easy and keep them posted if it gets heavy.  Gagginess continues, as does tiredness, although I've managed not to take a nap for a few days in a row.  I have just 6 more days to wait until my ultrasound, and hopefully I'll feel marginally better when I hear a heartbeat.  Did you see that?  I said WHEN.  I'm practicing being more positive.

Meantime, I am going to call a therapist.  I'd been on antidepressants for several months before finding out I was pregnant, at which point I immediately stopped, and I'm obviously feeling the effects now.  It's funny, Wellbutrin is such a mellow drug that I hardly even knew I was taking it, but now that I'm off it I remember what a basket case I am when I'm unmedicated.  Though I'm sure the hormones aren't helping matters.  I also miss my Xanax.  So I figure the next best thing is to talk to a shrink.  I will be calling the therapist my OB referred me to tomorrow, before my appointment for a relaxing facial, courtesy of my awesome SIL L.

Okay that's it for now.  Please keep your fingers crossed for 1. A live baby in my ute that stays alive for many, many years to come (though not in my ute that whole time), and 2. That regardless of the outcome I find a way to hold myself together for the foreseeable future.


This post brought to you by the letter F

You know what's hard?  Calming the F down when your doctor's office is F-ing with you!! 

So I was having a late lunch with my friend T on Friday, happily chatting away when my phone rings at about 3:30.  A different midwife from the one I spoke with on Wednesday is on the line and tells me she was looking at my beta.  She says, "It's not terrible, but it's more indicative of someone who is at 5 weeks.  You should be somewhere in the hundreds of thousands now.  I'd feel better if I saw them double, and I'm a little concerned that you're still spotting."  And sent me for another blood draw.

AHEM!!!!!!!  Excuse me, but 1. Why am I getting conflicting info from 2 midwives?  2. Why, when I asked the first midwife if the numbers should be doubling did she tell me no, and this one is telling me they should be?  and 3. WHY THE F is she calling me on FRIDAY at 3:30, before a 3 day weekend, telling me to get another draw when I specifically asked the other midwife two days before if I should do another draw and she told me no???  Oh yeah, and 4. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS at 6.5 weeks???  REALLY???  Doesn't that seem a tad unreasonably high???

Okay so it gets worse.  I BOOKED IT over to the hospital immediately, freaking out of course, hoping the lab could get my results to the doc on time for me to get the numbers before they closed at 5:00.  My mom met me there, spoke to the lab folks, and got them to agree to have the results ready in 45 minutes, 20 minutes before the Dr's office closed.  Right after the draw I called and spoke to the same midwife and asked if someone would be there until 5:00 to call me because the lab said they'd have the results ready before then.  She sort of hemmed and hawed but eventually said she would call me if the results came in on time.

I'll give you two guesses as to what happened next.  Yeah.  NO CALL by 5:00.  My phone was dying and after doing a little "get my mind off it" shopping with my mom, I got home right at 5, plugged in my phone and called the doc's office.  Naturally, they'd already switched the phones over to the operator, and when she called the back office line to see if anyone was still there, there was no answer.  Grrr...  Hubs wanted to call and yell at the on-call doctor, but luckily my mom has friends in high places.  She got a doctor friend of hers to get the results for me.  (Apparently the system was down until around 6:30 which is probably why my Dr's office never called, but DAMN!  They knew I was freaking out!  They couldn't at least call and say the system was down?)

So the numbers didn't double, the second result was 24,176 (the first was 3 days before and was 13,754).  According to this website and everywhere else I've looked online, this is still within normal range, and at this point the numbers usually double within 96 hours, not necessarily 2-3 days.  Who the F knows?  Knock on wood the spotting seems to have stopped as of yesterday.  But I'm still having a hard time thinking positive.  Ugh why does this have to suck so much???

I've been telling myself whether this works out or not, it's all good.  It's fine.  We weren't trying for this, we were happy before this happened and we'll be happy again.  And god dammit I'm going to Hawaii if no baby comes out of this, and I really want to go to Hawaii.  I already figured out what islands we'll go to (the big island to see waterfalls and volcanoes, then Oahu for Pearl Harbor and general relaxing) and to be honest I kind of have my hopes up for a second honeymoon.  Of course I am hoping for the other result more, but either way I figure I win.  (Remind me I said that if this whole pregnancy goes south, okay?  Actually on second thought, for your own safety you might not want to remind me.)

Back to the waiting game.  But I'm going to demand to talk to an actual DOCTOR on Tuesday, not one of these asshat midwives.



Okay, some more updates.  After talking to my very cautious mom, I decided not to go in for the ultrasound today.  I know ultrasounds are generally considered very safe, but they do put out a lot of heat, plus pressure on the cervix, and I would rather just limit my exposure (and especially the little bean's exposure).  And given my past experience where the spotting picked up after the u/s, though I know logically it was due to impending m/c and not the actual fault of the u/s, I'm paranoid.  So instead I spoke to the midwife and asked for hcg testing.  I got my number this morning - 13,754 at 6 weeks 2 days.  She was very happy with that number, said it was nice and high and that unless I really wanted to she didn't see a need to test again tomorrow.  We'll see.  I had a small amount of very light pink gunk yesterday evening (first time in 48 hours), but if anything it seems to be getting lighter and more infrequent, rather than picking up daily like last time.  My mom and the hubs both think I just need to calm the F down and stop worrying so much.  I'm trying.

I'm definitely feeling a little nauseous these past few days.  I gag for no reason and then hubs laughs at me.  He's sensitive like that.  Actually it is pretty funny, we'll just be chatting and then BMLPH!  Even when I was stressed out every day working at the 7th Circle of Hell I didn't gag in the middle of a conversation, so I am thinking this is a good sign and not just nerves.  Eating helps too, and I think that's a good thing.

That's it for now.  I'm going to go work on Operation: Calm the F Down.



I hate waiting.

The spotting continues... Or does it?  Yesterday morning I had very little, then definitely had some in the afternoon, then none last night and so far none this morning.  I am an enigma wrapped in a riddle. 

So I called the doctor's office and the midwife seemed a little puzzled herself.  She said it's good I'm not spotting now, but thought it best if I get an ultrasound to make sure things look okay.  I'm going in Wednesday morning for said ultrasound and I will report back with the news.  I'll be 6 weeks 3 days at that point.

Again, I'm not particularly thrilled with the similarities to last time that I'm experiencing.  I'm really trying to keep an even keel but let's face it, it's pretty much impossible when odds are 50/50 that things are okay.  I can't even tell how I'm feeling physically because I have a knot in my stomach most of the time.  I might be nauseous, but who knows if it's from hormones or stress?  Hubs says my boobs still look huge, so I guess that is good.  They don't seem to be shrinking LOL. 

Ugh.  Just gotta keep it together for another couple of days.  Hopefully the ultrasound will tell me something good.  Or at least something useful.


Round 2

Well hello there strangers.  I started a post a couple days ago to update my chronicle of TTC and non-TTC adventures, but never published it.  And now some things have changed that would have required another update anyway, so here I am, updating.  This is more for my sake than yours because I've often found it helpful to go back and read the things I've gone through for comparison purposes.

I would say, "the good news is," but I'm not sure I'd even call it good news at this point.  So I'll just say it - I'm pregnant.  Six weeks tomorrow, technically.  I started spotting yesterday though, which is the reason I'm here posting today.  It feels like a bad dream, but it all started so hopefully.  Hubs and I were on vacation when my period was late, late, late.  When we got home last Friday I tested and got a strong positive.  We were shocked, well, sort of.  Both of us had suspicions by that point, but by shocked I mean we haven't TTCed in over a year and a half and never thought we'd end up with a surprise pregnancy.  Unlike last time I had no spotting, and it seemed that my symptoms were stronger - more moodiness, tiredness, changes in eating habits, and some stomach issues.  Things seemed good.

I went to the doctor on Wednesday and that was fine.  She took a culture but I didn't let her give me a pap as last time it increased the spotting I'd started and I didn't want to do anything that might cause me to freak out later.  The next day the nurse called and told me I have a bacterial infection and to start using Metro Gel to treat it that night.  Then yesterday, after the first night using it, I noticed that I started spotting in the afternoon.  Very lightly, but definitely a little bit of dark pink blood.  I freaked.  Called the doctor and she said it could be the Metro Gel, not to use it that night and to see if I stopped spotting today.  Unfortunately, no such luck.  This morning when I checked the spotting had definitely picked up a bit.  So now I'm really freaking out. 

It feels like deja vu.  Or a recurrent nightmare.  Last time I tried so hard to keep my hopes up, tried to stay calm and positive, and it all ended horribly anyway.  This time I'm having a lot, LOT harder time keeping positive or having any hope at all.  We wanted to wait to announce anything until after we heard a heartbeat, but I ended up spilling to my parents last night.  Why wait when I need the support now?  I hate that I have basically already thrown in the towel; I worry that my negative attitude will somehow make things worse, if there is any hope to be had.  Stupid.  But I don't know how to be positive at this point.  I know that lots of women have had spotting early in pregnancy and then went on to have healthy babies, but I haven't.  Everything about me is different from "normal" women.  Is there really any reason to think this time will be any different?


Mothers and others

Time for the obligatory Mothers Day post.  I actually had a pretty good one yesterday.  I spent the first part of the day at my sister's place with my family, having brunch and mimosas.  My parents remembered that it was Hubs's and my 5th wedding anniversary the day before, and brought us the same little mini rose bush they got for my sister and SIL (both moms), so I didn't feel left out.  It was a nice time.  The second part of the day was spent with Hubs's family at his uncle's pool.  That was a nice time too, except the part where Hubs's aunt made the rounds giving all the moms these cute little beachy sarongs and the ONLY two women who didn't get one were me and my MIL's cousin.  I have to admit that stung a bit.  I have half a mind to email her all nonchalantly and ask where she got them so I can get one too, but I'm not that passive-aggressive.

I did have a nice moment with my MIL's cousin, the other non-mom at the party, about the choice whether to have kids.  She's in her 50's and single.  She told me she'd always expected to have a family of her own and it just never worked out that way, but that she loves her life.  Clearly she's not bitter about how things turned out at all, and I admire her for that.  We talked about how parenthood isn't always all it's cracked up to be.  It's hard work 24/7, and although it's apparently rewarding as hell, who's to say those parents wouldn't have found something they felt was equally rewarding had they not had kids?  I don't think it's fair to compare parenthood to a childfree life.  In order to fully appreciate the rewards of having children, a person has to actually have a child, and vice versa.  You can't experience both a childfree life AND the life of a parent, so how can anyone say one option is better or more rewarding than the other? 

I have a good friend whose MIL has been not-so-subtly hinting to her since right after my friend got married that she really, really, really wants to be a grandma.  My friend and her husband go back and forth between thinking they might one day want kids and that they definitely do not ever want kids, much to her MIL's dismay.  And her MIL tries to convince her that deep down she and her son really do want kids and that they'll regret it if they don't have them.  I do not envy my friend's situation.  Of course, all MIL wants is for her son and my friend to be happy, but she doesn't understand that it's possible for them to be happy without kids because she didn't have the childfree experience.  What is unfortunate for my friend is that her MIL can't even imagine being happy without kids in the picture.  Hopefully getting MIL to stop harping on the subject will just be a matter of my friend and her husband communicating to her their hopes and dreams for their life.

Who knows why there's such a divide between those with children and those without them?  I suspect it has something to do with our Western society.  The nuclear family reigns supreme and there's very little respect or attention tossed to people whose lifestyles don't fit that mold.  And there's a lot of pressure to fit into it.  (That's a topic for a whole separate post.  Or maybe even a book!)  Granted, I've set up my own walls between myself and those with kids, thanks to infertility.  I'm a little more sensitive than most to what I perceive as a sense of superiority some parents seem to wield over childless people.  But I'm working on that.  I think the solution to closing the divide is about being understanding and compassionate.  We're all different and we all make choices based on our unique personalities, histories, and circumstances.  I hope that's the attitude I'm putting out these days!  To each their own, I say.

So this post wasn't really about Mothers Day after all, but I rather enjoyed my little tangent!  Until next time...


Auntie Kitty and so forth

This has happened to me several times recently: I come to the computer and sit down, ready to finally publish a new blog post, but by the time everything fires up and I have a blank page and a blinking cursor in front of me I freeze.  There's plenty going on in my life but I can't think of a way to make it sound very interesting or relevant to this blog (i.e. the infertility aspect).  On the other hand, I'm always saying that this blog is about me in general, which proves that whatever I feel like writing about is relevant, even if it can't be interesting.  So I'll just apologize now for that last part.  Here's what I've been up to lately:
Still FUNemployed and working on starting my business.  It's been even slower going than usual in all things enterprise-related because I've been babysitting two of my nieces three to four days a week for the past few weeks (and for the next few weeks) while their regular childcare provider is on - you guessed it - maternity leave.  (YES!  I knew I could squeeze in some IF shit.)  How wonderfully ironic, eh?  For my part it's been a great experience.  My nieces friggin' love their Auntie Kitty and I'm getting to build close relationships with them.  We go to the park, color (there is a ton - a TON - of coloring going on every day), go for walks around the neighborhood (and occasionally to 7-11 for a Slurpee), and I change my fair share of diapers.  It's very character-building actually.  And quite exhausting.  Not only do you have to keep them entertained enough all day to ensure a nice long nap, but you have to be constantly "on" and alert to any potential danger.  Fun with a toddler and 3 year old.  On the other hand, it's gratifying to know I'm pretty damn good at it.  Yep, ol' barren Kit proves useful in the child-rearing department after all!  Nice try, infertility!

Okay that's where my IF talk ends today.  I hope, since I already broke my promise that this post would have nothing to do with it.  Anyway, the business.  I don't have any new business on the business except to say that my childhood friend J will be sharing office space with me!  I have a roomie!  She's going to be using the back two offices and rear entrance for her private MFT practice, while I occupy the front entrance and two offices.  And since I'm not charging her rent (yet), she's offered to buy paint!  Which means I get to decorate!  Which I couldn't afford to do before and the rooms desperately need!  So that's good.  I'm throwing myself into that right now so I don't start freaking myself out about how to accomplish what comes after the decorating.  One thing at a time.  I have time.  Gotta keep telling myself that.

More funner stuff is in the near future for me and the Mr. as well.  We'll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year by toasting our friends' S and K's nuptials.  I do love me a good wedding!  And it's going to be out of town (in wine country!!!  My fave!!!) so even though we technically can't afford it, we're making it an overnight trip, hopefully with some wine tasting.  The weekend after that is our 5 year wedding anniversary, and not only did Hubs take several days off work, but he already planned something (which he's not telling me about) too!  His silence on the subject does not stop me from asking him daily what he has planned, which I am assured he doesn't appreciate.  The thing is I like surprises... I think... well, I haven't actually had very many... I wonder if there's a reason for that?  Anyway, in June we're going out of town for one night once again, for that sacred and time-honored tradition known as Beer Fest!  I love beer as much as I love wine, and summer is just not summer without plenty of outdoor drinking.  After that we're doing our usual summer camping trip, and then two more weddings...  Wow, it just occurred to me how busy the next several months are going to be.  Lots of celebrating though!  And that's always great. :)

I should make myself useful now and wash a dish or two.  Apologies for lying to you once in this post, and I trust I didn't lie again when I said it wouldn't be interesting.  Thanks for enduring the tedium long enough to see what's been going on in my world!


I love planning parties

I signed up on this site called House Party a while back, on the recommendation of my friend K.  What they do is work with all different kinds of companies to promote their products - from video games to non-profits to cosmetics to food manufacturers...  And members like me apply to host try-and-tell type parties for whatever products strike our fancy.  If you're chosen to host a party, they send you a party pack with stuff like free samples (or full-size products), coupons, and little gifts to give your guests.  All they ask you to do in return is take photos of your party and post them to your House Party page, and spread the word about House Party.  K was selected for a pizza party that she applied for, and received coupons to get free pizzas, among other things, to serve at her party. And I just won the mother load: A Benefit Cosmetics House Party.

My party is coming up next Friday and I'm terribly excited.  For one, the party pack I received is A. MAZ. ING.  I got full size bottles of all 9 shades of their new liquid foundation (Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow), 4 or 5 other full size products (eye shadow, cheek and lip stain, pore minimizer...), plus a ton of samples and cute little goodie bags to give all my guests.  I've never used any of Benefit's products before, but I'd heard of them and knew they had a really good reputation, so I was stoked that I actually got chosen to host!

With St. Pat's day coming up, I've been really busy with my biz and cleaning up my STORE (did I tell you I have a storefront???  It still needs a lot of work, but I'm super excited about it!), so I've had to put off jumping in to planning my girls' night.  But now that I'm almost totally prepped for this Saturday I'm itching to focus on the party!  Why, oh, why can't life be nothing but fun all the time?

Just because I can't contain myself, I shall tell you what I have planned.  And maybe you can help me with some suggestions!

I'm asking all my guests to come with a clean face and their clean makeup brushes, cuz of course we're gonna be trying on all these fancy cosmetics!  My house is so small, I've had to limit my guest list so there's enough room for everyone to be comfortable, but on the plus side that means everyone will get to take home a ton of samples, and many will have a whole bottle of foundation to take with them too (everyone will at least get a sample of their shade).  I'm giving away a few of the other full size products with simple games.  But I'm kind of stumped on what games to play - I only have one idea so far that I'm calling "Natural Beauties."  I'll have a bunch of photos of celebrities without any makeup on and generally looking so awful they're all but unrecognizable, and whoever names the most of them wins a prize.  So if anyone has ideas for simple prize games, I'm all ears!

I'll have 4 makeup stations at the kitchen table, where there's enough space and decent lighting, but I'm gonna need mirrors.  Maybe thrift stores?  Or I can ask around to see if I can borrow some.  (Remember, I'm on a tight budget!)  And hors d'oeuvres will be served in the living room, along with beverages.  Several of my friends have dietary restrictions so I'm going vegetarian and vegan with the food, with minimal sugar and starch, as well as serving fun non-alcoholic drinks in addition to the booze.  Girly music and pink decorations will abound... And that's about it!

I really recommend checking out HouseParty.com.  After all, it's free stuff, and who doesn't love free stuff??


In their place

I did something really out of character today.  Normally I'm very non-confrontational.  I don't get involved in drama and I try never to start drama.  And I especially try not to take what I see on Facebook too personally or seriously... but today I was fed up.  A woman who I worked with years ago and haven't seen IRL since published a post that questioned the point of a life without kids.  Granted, it was in the context of, "Oh, I'm having such a great time being a mommy!" and I doubt she seriously meant that your life is pointless if you don't have kids.  But that is what she said and I was in the mood to put her in her place. 

Like I said, normally I would have let it slide (like I have with so many of her (and other people's) asinine posts); or maybe just quietly unfriended her.  Not this time though.  This time I responded in a very pointed and snarky manner.  And do I feel better?  Well, sorta.  On the one hand, I have to assume that I'm not the only person she knows who doesn't have kids, and I want to assume that someone besides me would find her post offensive.  Because then I could be the champion of all those who silently cursed her dumb luck at being able to procreate - or at least of those who found it annoying that she was part of what seems like the majority of a very child-centric society that values motherhood above all else.  Before anyone else could comment, though, I unfriended her, so I have no idea if those other offended people actually exist at all.

Ultimately, I'm not sure if commenting on her post was the "right" thing to do.  Being semi-sarcastic and condescending rarely teaches anyone the lesson we want them to learn, even if it does feel momentarily empowering to put them in their place.  On the other hand, because I'm not usually the type of person who voices my dissent in a very direct way, it might have been good for me to get that off my chest.  In the end, I'm only out one friend who was never really a friend to begin with.  So maybe it doesn't actually matter either way!


New Post on Being Von D

A few of you are already followers of my other blog, Being Von D, which I initially started so I could share information about Hubs' and my life with IRL friends and family.  However, almost all of my friends and family live in the same city as we do, so there's not much they're missing out on.  In light of that, and the fact that I've been blogging here for so long, I've been thinking about what to do with the darn thing!  Well I think I've finally come up with a solution.  This blog will stay the same, and Being Von D will take on a more "Happily-childless couple" focus.  It's not a big change since I've been writing about my happy life with Hubs there since day 1, but I'd like to go more into detail about the unique lifestyle we share.  It's definitely not going to just be about all the fun things we get to do since we don't have kids, but it will focus on topics that are somewhat more relatable to a different kind of household - the adults-only, or adult-centric (anything but "childless" or "childfree") family.

I hope you decide to read along.  I have a new post over there today about Warming the Home, go check 'er out!


Shop Your Closet

If you're like me, you occasionally (or frequently) get tired and frustrated by your wardrobe, but are too poor/frugal/uninspired to purchase new pieces to spice it up. Shoot, even when I do buy new pieces to add to my existing repertoire I don't know what to do with them half the time! I end up with really cute shoes and jackets that I don't think "go" with my average-looking skirts and pants, so they sit on a hanger in my closet where nobody can appreciate my good style. Meanwhile, I continue to wear the clothes I'm comfortable with, but that don't always do justice to my taste.

Luckily, I have a friend with a similar problem, so we agreed to help one other out. We each spent an afternoon at the other's home, rifling through each other's clothes and putting outfits together. It's amazing what a fresh eye can do for a seemingly stale wardrobe, and now we both have several "new" ensembles to liven up our trousseaux.  As it turns out, we already had everything we needed to dress as cute as we want!

If you feel like your wardrobe is a little lackluster, try asking a friend to make outfits out of your existing clothing options, and I bet you'll find that there are at least a few cute combinations you never even thought of. And you won't have to spend a dime!

I needed help with day-to-day outfits and stuff to wear when I'm out with the girls.  Annette needed help with work ensembles.  Here are a few of our favorites (never mind our makeup-free faces and lack of modeling skills):

I bought this green jacket for work over 3 years ago and haven't worn it for at least 2.

This cropped tweed jacket rarely sees the light of day, but it's making a comeback!

My fave: Khaki trench-style jacket that was part of a skirt suit. I never thought about wearing it separately! Paired with a denim-look skirt and magenta slingbacks that I also hardly ever wear. (This jacket also looks amazing with skinny jeans and peep-toe wedges!)

New office friendly use for a cute and flowy giraffe-print top!

This never-worn-by-Annette woven hand-me-down belt now finishes off 3 or 4 outfits, including 2 work ensembles (one of which includes the pencil skirt above).

We paired this super cute vintage skirt with a sheer blouse and perked it up with accessories to boot!

Now go find some new outfits in your closet!



I can't remember a time when Valentine's Day was a particularly romantic holiday for me.  Hubs and I usually stay home and avoid the restaurant swarms, and now that our income has been cut back so much we can't afford flowers marked up 100%.  BH (Before Hubs) I rarely had a date on V-Day unless I had a current boyfriend, and before that I was always working in my parents' shop.

Oh how life comes full circle sometimes, eh?  Yesterday felt kinda like high school/junior college all over again, but in a really good way!  In an effort to kick off my new business venture I plastered flyers all over town and emailed and Facebooked everyone I know to let them know about the Valentine's Day balloon bouquets I was selling.  To be honest, word of mouth worked a lot better than the flyers (I only got one sale from them), but in the end it was a BIG success!!  I even got an order for a ton of balloons for a local restaurant.  The owner remembered me from the days my parents had their party store and she was really happy with the balloons I did for her.  It almost feels like I'm in business or something!

After a full busy day, Hubs and I celebrated VD by getting takeout from Macaroni Grill and watching "Arthur."  Then I promptly passed out at 10:30 and slept for 11 hours.

I can't wait to get started working on the next leg of this venture!  I may have a storefront in the not-too-distant future... :)


Forming positive habits

Last night my women's group had a great meeting.  We talked about habits and positive routines, a very timely topic for me!  I haven't been getting into the best habits these past several months.  It's just too easy to lounge around the house rather than do something productive, as bad for my mental state as that is.  But lo!  After hearing what my friend A had to say as presenter, and talking to the ladies last night, I found that there's hope even for the laziest among us!  (And by that I mean yours truly.)

Have you heard of flylady.net?  A introduced me to it a while back and the website is full of great tips for easily starting and maintaining a housekeeping routine.  The goal is never to have to do Spring cleaning again, because you spend a little bit of time each day maintaining various areas of your home.  But it starts you off easy:  Step 1 is simply to shine your sink.  The site suggests adding one thing a day for 31 days, but I'm going even slower, knowing that I need more time to make such a big change for myself.  I'm shining my sink and doing all the dishes every day for 2 weeks before moving on to the next step.  The cool thing I've noticed though, is that by keeping my kitchen sink clean I'm a lot more motivated to get other stuff done too.  (But even on those days I'm not feeling so motivated, at least I know the only thing I'm requiring myself to do is shine that damn sink!)  I find myself finishing all the laundry instead of giving up after folding one or two loads, and even picking up on projects I'd left unfinished weeks and weeks ago (today, for example, I finally waxed and contact-papered the drawers in my linen closet).

In addition to starting a housekeeping routine, I'm also attempting committed to start making weekly meal plans.  I found a great article on organizedhome.com that outlines how to do such a mysterious and complicated-sounding thing.  Seriously, I had no idea where to even start since I'm not much of a cook and I hate grocery shopping, but after reading it I feel like I might actually be able to start planning menus for me and the hubs.  Finally, we can start eating more healthily and stop wasting so much food!

The third thing I'm trying to change for myself is to use more positive self-talk.  I've noticed that my once charming and humorous habit of self-deprication has turned particularly nasty and is really starting to get me down.  I beat myself up over the slightest things I've done or said or didn't do or say.  This does not make for a sparkling, confident person, and dammit, I want to be the sparkling, confident person I once was!  That said, I'm giving myself the requisite 21 days to allow my new routines to become habit, and no berating myself for missing a day because my cramps left me feeling too miserable to do the dishes (aherm, yesterday...).

I'm hoping all this will help me be better prepared to become the small business owner I dream of and am working on becoming.  And I'm thinking it'll also help me be a more content and happy me!


Bad Kitty

Hello friends!  I know I've been MIA, and after reading ^J^'s post today and being completely incapable of leaving a comment due to Blogger's utter stupidity, I figured I might as well just post and tell everyone that I haven't fallen off the planet.

See?  There I am, still on Earth (most of the time).

Now, what's going on with me, you ask?  (Come on, humor me!)  Actually a lot, which is why I haven't been blogging.  I'm a busy bee, trying to make my dreams come true...  Thanks to my upbringing by paranoid parents, I'm afraid to say too much in this very public forum, but I will say it has to do with my professional life, and it has to do with parties and other very fun things!  I'm hoping this venture will get me out of the financial industry once and for all, and get me on my way to self-employment soon!  Wish me luck!

Now for a dramatic recount of Hubs's and my trip to Denver...

Overall it was fun, punctuated by some really not fun moments.  First, our descent and landing on the flight in was extremely turbulent, which didn't bother me at all, but poor Hubs's motion sickness got the best of him for the first time ever on a plane.  Thank goodness for barf bags.  Both of us were still suffering from the awful cough and cold that never ends, too, so neither of us got much sleep that night.  But we powered through the next day and had a good time.  The tour of the mint was fun, and extremely strict!  No joke, three armed officers followed us the whole time - we just wanted to get a good look at all the cool displays they had in there, and the tour guides really rushed us through.  When they say it's a 30 minute tour, they mean it's a 30. Minute. Tour.  I guess they were afraid we were going to steal a handful of pennies or something.

After that we wandered around the city checking out the sights, then went back to the hotel to rest up before the show we were going to that night.  Now, I have to back up a little here.  Normally I'm very paranoid about how Atticus is doing at home while Hubs and I are out of town, but this time I decided not to harrass my brother, who was house sitting, right away.  But I hadn't heard anything from him by this point, and that was a little unusual.  So I checked my phone and... he had just texted saying he forgot to go to my house the day before, and just got there at about 4:00 p.m.!  Which meant the cat hadn't eaten in well over 24 hours.  My poor starving baby!  He was fine of course, but I still freaked out a little.  Also, I was plum out of Xanax.  So I asked Hubs to go down to the bar and get me a martini to calm my nerves.  It helped a lot!  And then we were on our way to the show.

Now for a plug:  We went to this burlesque show in downtown Denver, and it was really super fun!  There were boobies and butt cheeks, but no nipples or anything else south of the border, and the dancers were all shapes and sizes.  It was very kitschy and cute, and I had so much fun that I drank like 2 or so more martinis while we were there.  Now, 3 (or maybe 3.5) martinis isn't a ridiculous amount for me, but I failed to take one key thing into consideration: I live at sea level and Denver isn't called the Mile High City for nothing.  The altitude really took its toll on me that night.  Not only was I seriously hungover even after guzzling water for a couple hours before bed, but between the altitude and super dry weather, I also felt like I couldn't breathe.  And that led me to the first panic attack I've ever had.  At 4 in the morning, on the floor of the hotel bathroom.  Did I mention I was plum out of Xanax?

So needless to say (but I will anyway), I was really happy to get home on New Year's Eve, to my sea-level town that actually has humidity, and to my bed, which I was fast asleep in by 10:00 that night.  I still like Denver, but I swear, every time I travel I realize there's no place I'd rather live in than Southern California!

Well I hope to be able to give you more information about my upcoming venture soon. :) Until then...