Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I don't know why everyone insists on reflecting on their life at New Year's. It seems to me that there is no worse time to decide what needs improvement in your life. You've just finished the most stressful month of the year. It's cold, the days are short. Why not sit down and figure out what's wrong with you? Won't that make you feel better?

I vote for May. Weather gets nicer, spring really gets going. Now that's a better time to sit down and reflect on life. May is a time of renewal. Why not decide to become a new you when everything else is new too?

So, if you make your New Year's resolutions and they don't quite work out, try again in May. You may feel more like becoming a new person then.

*Note: I'm not that in to introspection anyway. I try to leave the past in the past (except when arguing with my husband, of course).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meme of the day...Thanks, Lindsay!

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Thanks you Lindsay. :)
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

Okay, here we go...

1. I helped build my house. My favorite job was burning scrap wood, since I was warm and it didn't require a lot of effort, But, I also helped create a tray ceiling, I insulated, I've helped with drywall and drywall finishing, I've painted (walls, trim,etc.), I grouted a crapload of tile, and I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

2. I read a lot...and I gather a lot of useless information from my fiction reading (I can recognize the fact buried in fiction). I usually read 2-3 books a week.

3. I am Irish and Polish and I look like I'm completely Irish. Growing up in Chicago means that if you look Irish, and had my maiden name, anyone you meet will start racking their memory to figure out if they knew my father through the police or fire department (he was an office manager for a trucking company - what a rebel!).

4. I love to watch Judge Judy and Cops and Intervention. This is not because I want to feel better about myself (as my husband surmises). I think it's to keep an eye on my behavior to make sure I'm not inadvertently being an asshole. I also watch Snapped on Oxygen, because I'm looking for pointers (kidding, DH, kidding).

5. I love Mountain Dew. I really don't understand how people who can drink Dr. Pepper can tell me that Mountain Dew is too sweet.

6. I like to cook, but I don't do much of it any more. My husband has no taste buds (slight exaggeration, he notices the taste of some food), and so food is pretty much just fuel for him. So, we might as well eat tacos most nights. I still bake in winter, though, and that is appreciated.

7. I almost let my husband get away with not buying me an engagement ring. I have a lovely diamond ring that I inherited from my aunt, and we were going to use that. Until I decided that I needed something that he picked out for me. He did a fine job. Plus, I like white gold better than yellow gold.

So, since I think I've seen just about everyone tagged with this, I will again say

If you haven't done this yet, consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas lessons learned

Parenting tips for Christmas with a toddler:

1. Don't Waste Your Money. So as not to overwhelm the 2 year old with gifts (from Santa, mom & dad, grannie, aunts, great aunts), opening presents was spread over 3 days. What were the big winners? Crayons from Santa and a package of 14 plastic flower shaped bracelets that I got for $1.

2. Keeping up with the Joneses is a little necessary My husband is so glad I spent all that other money on toys. I say, no one ever buys my daughter toys. Everyone gives her clothes, books, or money. So, she didn't have any Legos (still doesn't, but now she has some sort of stick together blocks), she didn't have a train set or any cars (she had one but I can't find it anywhere). She didn't have any silly noise making toys (they annoy her father). Basically, she didn't have any of the toys I've seen at the houses of other 2 year olds. Now she does. She also has a pair of roller skates, so the noise making toy (a Wubbzy) is going back and she's getting a helmet.

3. Lessons that you don't realize you're teaching. We also got her her own little laptop...which she immediately told me not to touch (I wonder where she learned that from). She's very excited to have her own laptop - and it comes with its very own mouse. Which I also should not touch.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I tried to get my daughter interested in Santa, but she isn't familiar with the idea yet. I'm looking forward to seeing her face tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, my husband drove through 600 miles of rain, freezing rain, sleet, accidents and crazy drivers. There were no problems for him, although I did have to call some state police to find out if the stopped traffic was due to weather, accidents, or road closure. He made it home safely, and I'm thankful for that.

Now we are watching A Christmas Story. Just got to the tongue on the flagpole part. Hilarious. Can't help but love this movie.

I still don't know if we'll be going to see my husband's family tomorrow. He said "it's up to you," which is passive aggressive speak for I don't really want to go. I don't care either way for myself, but I like for my daughter to spend time with her cousins. So, we'll see what happens. I braved the grocery store today, in case I need to make some dinner tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Of course!

So, after talking to my husband, it turns out I was right. He did know what was going on, but neglected to discuss it with me. Everyone is going to his sister's house. But, since his sister lives 45 minutes away, he doesn't know if he's interested in going, after driving 600 miles home.

I don't fault his reasoning, and it would certainly be fine to spend the day at home just with my little family (most people's dream holiday, from what I can determine), but it would be nice to know about it! But, now I do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I had the most unusual conversation with my mother-in-law today. I think we got some wires crossed somewhere. Or maybe she just thinks she talks to me as frequently as she talks to her daughters. More likely, however, she delivered the information I was trying to get to my husband, who will later assure me that he told me.

I like my mother-in-law. She's very sweet and thoughtful and funny. She doesn't interfere, gives advice when you specifically request it, and is more irritated when her son is being a jerk than I am. But, she's kind of flighty and absentminded. Her signature trick is to put a cup of water (for tea) or coffee in the microwave, reheat it, and forget about it. And everyone has the microwave that beeps at you until you go and take the stuff out. That beep is like a dog whistle to her - she doesn't hear it at all.

Since my husband will be driving 600 miles on Christmas Eve, I'm pretty sure he will be against the idea of driving another 300 miles to spend Christmas with my family. Which means we'll be going to wherever his family will be (his mom's or one of his sisters' houses). Since it is now the 21st of December, I thought maybe I should get an idea of what the plans were. So I called my mother-in-law.

I talked to her for about half an hour (with a brief phone pass-off to one of my sisters-in-law) and I really have no idea what the plans are for Christmas. I think she said to come over on Christmas Day around 12:30 or whenever. If we want to come at 6:30, that's fine too. And I can bring some of the cookies I've baked. Or an appetizer, because we're having soup and chicken salad, and appetizers. Or, if I'm too busy don't worry about it. But someone is bringing shrimp, because they went to a Christmas party and there was a shrimp plate there and they really enjoyed it. And my sister-in-law's husband had tickets to a hockey game today, but they couldn't go because pipes were bursting all over and he got called in to work for that. And she wishes she had more toys to send over for my daughter to play with for a little while, so she can get some variety. Huh?

I"m really not sure what the plan is. I guess I'm used to a more formal dinner arrangement. I prefer that, but I guess that means I can wear jeans. Or sweatpants for that matter. This is not what I am used to! Anyway, I'm sure she just thinks that she already told me everything - she has 4 daughters and talks to each of them probably 6 or more times a week, so I'm sure she imagines I made it in the mix somewhere. (In contrast, I make a weekly duty call to my mother, because I just don't have that much to talk about.) Or maybe my husband knows...

In other news, I am having paranoid episodes today. Normally, I revel in having the house (mostly) to myself. But today, I keep hearing weird noises. When I was trying to take a nap this afternoon, the heat was going on and the rattling of the air ducts made it sound like someone was walking through the house. It is also really cold and really windy, which increases the creaks and cracks that normally happen. Plus, my little darling is in a violent sleeping pattern today - she keeps whacking her head on the sides of her crib. Lots of thumping and creaking - it's freaking me out today for some reason.

I have all my cookies baked, now I must devise a delivery system for the neighbors (I am not good at presentation, but my stuff tastes pretty good). I'm sure my neighbor's dog will enjoy the doggie stocking full of toys that S. has been dragging around and trying to break into ever since we got it last week. Now I just have to wrap presents. And clean the house. And put away the laundry. And figure out what the hell is going on for Christmas. Ugh. I should probably just go to bed and not think about it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good Samaritan ruling

Now you can sue someone for helping you? Really? I am amazed by this ruling from California. The story is that coworkers on their way home from a party were in a car accident. One person (from another car) dragged a woman from the car, thinking the car would catch on fire. The person who was dragged from the car is now a paraplegic. The paraplegic now wants to sue the person who dragged her from the car, and says she should have waited for emergency personnel.

I'm not sure who I should be most disgusted with in this case. I understand that being paralyzed is unimaginable and horrible. But, while I might not prefer that to being dead, I certainly would prefer it to being burned - a little, a lot, or to death. So, I can see how one might be bitter about being paralyzed, but why sue someone who was trying to help you?

And the courts - don't they have a duty to protect the Good Samaritan? Aren't there places where it is a crime to stand by without helping (or was that just a Seinfeld episode?). Why would anyone help anyone else, if the possibility of being sued is now real and present?

I'm not really the type to stop and help - because I never feel like I have anything to offer. I'm short, not very strong, and I don't usually react quickly (i.e. pulling over if I see an accident). Also, I am fortunate enough to not see many accidents. But the ones I have seen and could do nothing about stay with me. I want to be ready the next time.

I guess the Good Samaritans must hope for a true jury of their peers if they do get sued. It's unlikely (never say never) that I would vote in favor of punishing someone for trying to help, and I believe most people are like me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I was going to bake cookies

Today, I was awakened at 4:30 am by the sounds of crying and the plaintive call of "Mommy." Sometimes, this just passes, but today I got up to check on my daughter. I guess my nose doesn't work too well when I first wake up, because I patted her back, told her she was OK, and was ready to go back to bed. And then I smelled something. So, I turned on the light, and was greeted with a lovely sight. Vomit. Lots of it.

Fortunately, most of it was on the bedding and carpet (YAY!) instead of on S. I took her to sit in the bathroom, in case there was more. Then I cleaned the carpet and stripped her bed. Then I took her to get some crackers and water. Then I got her dressed - her Christmas party at daycare is today. Then we watched the Wiggles. I was just about to conclude that it was just a one-time deal and get her ready to go to school, when I saw her little face change. Then she started throwing up all over the couch. Which was (fortunately) covered with a towel, her afghan, and my afghan.

Now, she's napping, the second load of laundry is running, and I'm not feeling too well myself. I really do not like to vomit, so for the most part, I don't. Up until this past summer, I had a 15 year no-vomiting streak going.

Any way you look at it, though, it's not a good day to bake cookies for my neighbors for Christmas. I don't think they would enjoy that little bonus feature that would probably come with anything I touch today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little mythology...Updated! With commentary!

A friend sent this to me and I got a good laugh out of it...

This is absolutely amazing - and makes perfect sense!! (Amazing, yes. Makes perfect sense? The jury is out.)

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners....
(and that's why life expectancy keeps growing. We've finally learned to eat the foods that have been there all along!)

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!
God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

Yep, my dad fed me this line for my whole life...I guess that's why I'm nearsighted with astigmatism! And my husband, who actually eats carrots voluntarily? Worse vision than me

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

I love tomatoes. I eat them frequently. But my family history says I'm still getting heart disease. Unless, of course, I give up the butter, and that's just not happening.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood-vitalizing food.

They're even better when you let them turn into wine!

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

I have more than one cerebellum? Sweet!

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Well, when googling this phenomenon, I didn't learn anything about the kidney beans + kidney health, but I did learn that when I inhaled all the chemicals at work this week, some of it was good for me! Too bad it was counteracted by the stuff that's not good for me...

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Yep, eat the celery. Don't worry about calcium or Vitamin D. Just consume foods that are 23% sodium. How many Cheetos is that again? They look JUST LIKE finger bones!

Avocados, Eggplants and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Well, crap. If all we need is an avocado a week, why are we wasting research dollars on Gardasil? Did you know you were throwing away your money on infertility treatments, when all you need to do is eat an avocado every week? How much guacamole does that come out to?

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

So, does that mean if you eat dates (they are dried figs, aren't they?), your testicles will shrivel up?

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

White sweet potatoes from Japan contain a compound that lowers blood sugar. But why don't you load up on that Sweet Potato Casserole? Those marshmallows and the brown sugar will do wonders for your glycemic index.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

This is clearly a plant by the classic martini industry. NO MORE APPLE-TINIS!!!

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

All the guys I've ever talked to refer to them as melons. Oranges and grapefruits just don't get big enough, apparently.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Because everyone needs a onion to cry and wash those epithelial cells. Nope, nothing else going on that would cause crying...

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's up DOC?

When I shared pictures from my trip to Italy, Cara commented "Good thing we aren't on the witness stand." So, since it's related to both parts of the above sentence, I thougth I would share the story of the time that I was almost held in contempt of court.

It was a regular day - a Tuesday, I think. I had gone out to lunch with some of my coworkers, and I had been out for quite a while (an hour and a half, I think). When I came back, someone told me that I had been paged and that there was someone waiting in the lobby for me. My first thought was, "Uh-oh, I took a really long lunch today." My second thought was, "Who would be waiting for me?" So, I went downstairs to find out.

I get to the lobby, and there is a cheesy looking guy sitting on the bench. I asked the receptionist who was waiting for me, and she points him out. I walk over, and he asks my name. I tell him, and he whips out some papers and says, "You will need to appear on December 22 to show cause as to why you should not be held in contempt of court." WTF?!? I said, "Wait, what are you talking about?" He said, "You were supposed to analyze some evidence and you didn't do it, and I filed for contempt of court against you." Then he turned and walked out before I could ask him any more questions.

Of course, at this point, I start freaking out, because I can't be in court on December 22. I will be in Italy on December 22. I took my subpoena upstairs to my supervisor and the other senior examiner in our group. They, with all due concern for my worried self, started rolling on the floor laughing. Ah-ha-ha-ha, the U.S. Marshalls will be meeting your plane - when are you coming back again? Hope you look good in orange (prison jumpsuit color)! What's up DOC (that is, Department of Corrections)? Yes, I provided entertainment for an entire afternoon.

When they finally stopped laughing (I was still freaking out), they told me not to worry about it, they would find out the story. I was actually leaving the next day, so I didn't have time to track down the information. As it turns out, this was a defense attorney. He had requested an essentially useless analysis (it was requested out of order, so any evidence had likely been destroyed by other testing), which I had performed. Our rules say that the results in such cases be delivered to the investigating agency and to the judge handling the case. I had sent my report to both, but the judge had never informed the defense attorney.

I live in hope that the judge would hold himself in contempt, since he was the one who signed the order for me to appear, with the reasoning for it. But, I know that no one ever reads my reports anyway, so I can't completely blame him. The defense attorney could have simply called me, but many of them think that we work exclusively for the prosecution (not true, we will work any evidence in a criminal case, regardless of who requests it). Either way, I still have a record of being charged with contempt of court.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My sister sent this to me and the beginning sounded familiar. I hope the end will too someday!

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this?Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a hum an being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Show and Tell

10 years ago this week, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Italy to spend Christmas with my sister, who was stationed there. It was quite a memorable trip, from events occurring before the trip, to my flight being cancelled, to some interesting characters that we encountered, but the best part was midnight mass at the Vatican, when we were mere feet away from Pope John Paul II. OK, actually, I missed the best part. We were walking down the street, looking for a quiet public phone. My sister said, "That was digusting! Did you see that?" I, Captain Oblivious, said, "No, what?" She said, "That guy." I said, "what was he doing?" She said, "He was was waving at us---with other than his hand!" I started laughing, and I don't think I stopped for the rest of the evening. Only I would miss seeing the flasher in Rome.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the top of St. Peter's and from midnight mass, 1998 (which was a 7 hour extravaganza!).

Don't forget to check out the rest of Show and Tell!

I think I need a glass of Christmas cheer

Normally, I have all my holiday stuff organized by Thanksgiving. I hate crowds. I am offended when the stores are not empty on Mondays, when I usually do any shopping. I really hate crowded parking lots - I usually try to park away from everyone else, and at Christmastime, that is virtually impossible (not that it matters. I can park at the farthest end of the lot, on a non-busy day, and someone always has to come and park next to me. Look! I'm a trend setter! In a sad and demented way!)

For some reason, though, I am totally off my game. Last year, by this time, I had provided all my neighbors with Christmas cookies, had my cards sent off, and was wrapping presents at night when the baby was asleep.

This year, I did all of my Christmas shopping yesterday. I just ordered our Christmas cards online today (and had to pay $5 extra to get them here in a reasonable amount of time). The Christmas tree has been up all week, and we finally got around to hanging some ornaments on it today. That's not a huge deal - the little one really just likes the lights anyway. I will probably bake all the Christmas cookies next week. I will probably also be lacking in that whole "goodwill toward man" feeling that you're supposed to have this season. Because I feel rushed and that makes me tense.

Don't get me wrong - I am totally not a type A personality. I don't mind letting things slip by. Christmas, however, is not something I can let slip by. That's probably why I don't enjoy it much. That, and differing expectations from every single person in my life - it's just too hard to make everyone happy. I know (academically) that it's not my job to make everyone happy. But it certainly is hard to decide who I'm supposed to please, and of course, who I'm going to make angry.

At any rate, things are getting to the point where I don't feel like there's something hanging over my head all the time. Hurray. Now, where's that drink I was looking for?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I am always uninteresting

So most people get visitors googling things like "small octopus inside vagina" (No Matter How Small) and "Pregnant supermodel" (Mission:Impossible), but not me. No, I get

"things to do to sleeping people"

Well, I knew I was boring, but I don't like to have it confirmed!

Things I should be doing

It's Wednesday night and there are many things I should be doing, including:

Emptying dryer and putting away laundry
Emptying dishwasher
Cleaning bathroom
Hanging ornaments on Christmas tree

So here I am doing the following:

Sitting on the couch
Watching Life on NBC (love that show!)
Blogging (obviously)
Requesting books from the library
Reading other library books

I think I will tackle most of the first list this weekend - that's what weekends are for. But, if anyone would like to come by and tackle these items for me...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Martha, at A Sense of Humor is Essential tagged me for a Meme listing either weird or random facts about myself. Okay, I'm game, so here goes.

The attendent Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Random/Weird Facts:

1. I am a forensic scientist, which means I work in a crime lab. (like CSI, but without the opulent surroundings, spike heels, or having to deal with criminals)

2. When I tell people that, they say "That must be really interesting." My response is "you'd think so, wouldn't you?" There is much disappointment with that response.

3. I hate mowing the lawn. But it is the only household chore, that, when I finish it, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

4. All of the cars I've purchased before my current one have had manual transmissions.

5. My aunt wanted me to join the foreign service and be a diplomat. It took her 10 years to figure out that I have absolutely no tact and would be horrifying in the foreign service.

6. I have my mother's sturdy Polish legs. I knew I had my mother's legs, but I realized that they were sturdy Polish legs when I noticed that a (male) friend of mine who had emigrated from Poland has the same legs as I do. They are nice, shapely legs, but still sturdy and Polish.

7. My husband and I spent 6 years living together and working together - not just in the same building but in the same office, >10 feet away from each other, all day long.

I don't think I know 7 other people to tag for this meme. So, if you're reading this, and haven't already done it, consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Inspired by Geohde, today I am sharing a snow anecdote.

Last January, we had a series of snowstorms, which is somewhat unusual in this area. Mostly, we get ice storms, or snow storms of an inch or so. This does not inspire me to shovel our very long driveway. We live in a lovely little town where they plow our subdivision almost immediately. So one Friday, I picked up the little menace (uh, I mean, my daughter) after work (probably early, because it was snowing hard) and drove home. We were happily tucked in to the nice warm house, so I peeked out the window to check the state of the weather. There was about 5 inches of snow on the ground. Then I looked a little farther. I live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and it seems that the snow plow had come through. Normally, I see the pile of snow that ends up at the end of my driveway as just what happens when the snow plow goes by. But this time, there was a 6 foot snow mountain directly in front of my driveway. As you can see from the picture, it's not like they can't tell there's driveway there - they made a point of not covering up my mailbox. Also, across from me there is not a house, but rather a large stretch of my neighbor's front lawn (i.e. a perfect place to deposit excess snow).

It was at this time that I realized that I am completely crazy. I saw the snow mountain and I lost it. I got on the phone and called the public works director for my town. Now, he wasn't in, but I left him a lovely message. It was something on the order of this.

"I appreciate the speed with which you plow the streets in my subdivision. But, is there some reason that your drivers feel the need to deposit all the snow from the entire street in MY DRIVEWAY?!? Now I'm going to have to go out and clear a six foot snow mountain from the front of my driveway. By myself. With a shovel. In the future, I hope you will recognize that there is a large stretch of street with no driveways directly across from my driveway, and put your snow there."

By the time I finished, I was pretty much yelling into the phone. So, I took all of that energy (anger) and dug myself a path down the driveway. As I got about 1/10 of the snow mountain moved onto that pile around the mailbox, the snow plow pulled up. The guy sat there in his truck for a couple minutes - and at this time, I was practically crying with rage - then he got out and said, "Uh, we can move that snow for you." I said, "that's nice of you to offer, but I've already called your boss to complain about you leaving snow in my driveway. But if you'd like to move it, that would be great." So, while they moved the giant snow pile from the front of my driveway to the front of my house*, I continued to shovel the driveway. I hope, now that it's snowed 3 times already (just enough to make the grass a little white, nothing much), that they will remember not to plow the snow into my driveway this year.

Also, I did call back the public works director and apologize for screaming into the phone, and tell him that his guys had come to clear out my driveway. So, even though I'm crazy, I hope I remain polite. But, I'm pretty sure they just think I'm crazy, because when I called this summer to inquire about random drops in my water pressure, I never got a call back.

*The picture shows my 30" tall daughter standing amidst the snow mountains, which upon redistribution, were reduced to a mere 4 feet tall.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Doubts and fears

It occurs to me that I haven't really covered the reasons why I fear secondary infertility. First, obviously, the primary infertility experience was such fun that I'm in a hurry to take my chances again. Even though the eventual end result is wonderful, the path to get there was fraught with disappointment, grief, and fear.

My second issue is that I was on a protocol of heparin and aspirin. So, after 9 weeks of injecting heparin twice a day, I developed a rash at my injection sites. I was still with Dr. Bad Karma at the time, and since she had sneered at the protocol, I did not even bother consulting with her about the rash. Dr. A. switched me to Lovenox, which also gave me a rash. So, Dr. A. said that I could just stop the injections - I had come far enough. On the plus side, I had a whole bunch of unused medicine to donate back to my clinic for someone who was not getting their meds covered by insurance. On the minus side, I don't know if this is a long-term allergy, or just an annoying side effect. I don't have any allergies to pork or anything like that, which is what Dr. A. and Dr. B. said would develop if I had a true allergy. But, I could not tolerate 10 weeks of constant itching from the hives if they developed again.

My third issue is my age. I am 39. I am now at the point where I will be considered over 40 as far as child-bearing goes (in case you didn't know, they count the age when you deliver - as if you didn't get it from all the Advanced Maternal Age crap they write all over your chart, they must add insult to injury). I'm not sure why they do this, since my eggs are only 39 and they won't be getting any older if they actually turn into a fetus. But, I didn't go to medical school so what do I know? I have certainly learned in life that applying logic to most situations is downright useless. Anyway, due to my advance age, I don't know if I would get pregnant as easily as we did in the past. My husband certainly takes that for granted, but he hasn't been reading infertility blogs...

I know that all my testing gave every indication that I have the reproductive system of a 30 year old, but who knows what has happened in the past 3 years. I know that I haven't developed an allergy to pork (where they develop heparin), but who knows if that's what triggered my hives. I know that even if I don't have a reaction to the heparin, there is no guarantee that it would work the same way again. All in all, too many unknowns exist for my comfort.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Too long...

I was tagged by Martha for this meme:

* Grab the book closest to you. Now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write that sentence as your title.
* Copy these instructions.
* Don't go looking for your favorite book, or the coolest one you have - just grab the closest one

Well, all the books that are closest to me are much shorter than 56 pages (We're all lucky that The Complete Madeline collection was moved back in the bedroom), so I altered it to the closest adult book, which is When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris.

The sentence is "The woman stayed with us for a week, and while I hated for her to leave, I sort of loved watching her go."

Life lessons

Did you ever meet someone whose life was literally an ongoing soap opera? Well, I work with a woman like that. Marriages, divorces, bankruptcies, drug addictions, weight loss - you name it, she's covered it somewhere in her family. Today's saga was a classic, and so I must share.

D (the coworker) lives in a small house with her son, her older sister, and her nephew. The nephew is 18, in community college, works at a local big box retailer, and has a crazy mother (D's younger sister). The nephew believes (most likely due to his mother's way of life) that someone should provide the means for him to live like a bum and not do anything. He thinks his aunt should buy him a car, and that he should live in her house for free, coming and going as he pleases, and doing whatever he wants. Oh, and he's only going to school because that's what his aunt and grandparents expect him to do.

Last weekend, he was out with his friends and some new girl. D was very concerned because he hadn't come home on time (midnight). When he finally rolled in at 4 am, he was escorted home by the police. They also dropped off a girl (J) with him. It turns out that they all got arrested for having alcohol, and J's car got towed because the cops also found marijuana in the car. J lives in a town about 25 miles away, and it was her car that got towed. She told the cops that she could stay at D's house. Of course, D was waiting when the two of them came in. The nephew thought that it would be fine if J slept in his room with him. D informed him that it would be totally inappropriate and that J would be sleeping on the couch.

So, last night, J apparently came home with the nephew again. D woke up for work this morning and had to go through the nephew's room to let the dog out. She found J and the nephew in the nephew's bed. She then woke them both up and dragged them upstairs for an hour long lecture. Now, most people would probably lecture about house rules and respect for other occupants. But not D.

She proceeded to tell J that this was only her second date with the nephew and there was no reason to be giving it up this soon. Did she think she was in a real relationship already? The nephew was just looking to get laid - he wouldn't have any interest in her for anything else if she didn't make him wait. And by the way, what kind of dates had she had with the nephew anyway? On the first date, they got arrested and her car was impounded. On the second date, they met up after work and came back to the nephew's to sleep together. A date involves dinner and a movie. Was she on birth control? Did she have any indication that the nephew would be responsible enough to use protection? He's not responsible about anything else. He's certainly not prepared to raise a child. He can't even maintain a relationship with his family. She should not be doing ANYTHING with the nephew until he had shown her that he was somewhat responsible. He can't even pay for a date, what would he do with a baby?

I'm not sure how this all ended up, but I can just imagine the nephew's reaction. "Fuck - I'm just trying to get a little lovin' here. Why is she doing this to me?" I do know J ended up crying, and I'm sure she won't be overnighting at D's any time soon. She went for a "date" and got herself a long woman-to-woman lecture.

D usually annoys me because she refuses to take the actions that she knows will fix her problems (because she doesn't want people to dislike her). But, I have to cheer her on this time. If you can't do anything with your nephew, at least warn the people he may be screwing over!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday on Tuesday

Since I have the good fortune to have a job that allows me to work 4 days a week, I was just treated to a 5 day weekend. That was nice. (It doesn't compare to the 12 day weekends that I was taking while I was on maternity leave, but all good things had to come to an end, and I dragged it out as long as I could.) Anyway, my regular extra day off is Monday. That makes Tuesday my Monday.

As first days of the week go, this one wasn't bad. My husband tempted me with the option of taking the day off, and still sending the little menace to daycare. But, I was strong and went to work anyway. While I was there, DH put the Christmas lights on the columns on our front porch. We were treated to a lovely sight when we got home.

So, even though it was a typical Monday at work (many things not going well), all in all, it was an easy start after a nice 5 day weekend. Let's hope the week and the month continues this way. It's so hard to accomplish anything in December anyway.

Happy anniversary to my two oldest sisters, who got married within 5 days of each other - just 10 years apart!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I hate my hot water heater

I live in the midwest, and it decided to be winter here this weekend. So, in winter, when I'm really cold (because we're too cheap to turn the heat above 67 degrees), there's nothing better than a hot shower. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned cheapness, I have the world's worst hot water heater, and only get a hot shower about once a week.

When we were building our house, I had to go and open an account with the electric company. While I was there, I found out that they offered an electric hot water heater for the bargain price of $1. That's an 80 gallon hot water heater. I made the mistake of mentioning this to my husband. We then decided, foolishly, that an 80 gallon hot water heater for $1 was exactly what we needed to fill our jetted tub and take a shower after lounging in the bath.

The hot water heater has the anti-scald setting of 120 degrees. Unfortunately, it also seems to be missing a temperature sensor. Once you put water in and it heats up to 120 degrees, it's done. The heater does not turn on again until you have run a large volume of water back out. This volume seems to be in excess of 1 shower. That is, if I take a shower in the morning, and no one else uses a large amount of hot water, then my shower the next morning is, at best, warm.

On Friday, my husband took a shower, ran a load of laundry on warm, bathed our daughter. An hour after that, I thought I'd have a good chance of getting a nice hot shower. Boy was I mistaken. I got the coldest shower I've had in years!

I guess I could increase the temperature of the heater. But, have I mentioned that I'm cheap? I can't even imagine how much electricity it would take to heat the water to a constantly hot temperature that I would like. I guess I'll just have to keep trying to run out enough water during the evening to get myself enough hot water for the morning.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's a matter of perspective

For some time now, I've been worried about my sister-in-law. Well, two of them really. You see, there are 6 children in my husband's family. As of this year, they're all married. His two youngest sisters have been talking about the children they will have for several years now. This is what worries me. They have purchased clothes and books and toys in anticipation of having these children. They have all their names picked out. They take their fertility for granted, and I fear that it will come crashing down on them.

We were at his second youngest sister's house for dinner yesterday. She has a room that is filled with anything a toddler might want to play with. She dotes on her nieces and nephews, but I know she can't wait to have a baby of her own.

I'm not as worried about J's youngest sister - I don't think she'll actually have any problems. But his second youngest sister? Her, I worry about. She suffers from migraines, she seems to be the world's most sensitive salmonella detector, she has acid reflux, she works really hard in a job that she is totally overqualified to do, and she's a freak magnet (she attracts the most odd and obnoxious people). And, her husband has been known to say stupid things about childbearing (like telling me, when I was 37 and pregnant, that people should have kids when they're 28 or so because much older and you're too old to have fun with your kids). This just looks to me like the universe is lining up to screw with her.

So, I don't know if this is me being superstitious, or if it's me projecting my issues on to her. Did you ever meet anyone who you absolutely knew was going to have problems ttc? Have you been proven right? I just hope that I am proven wrong and all goes well for her.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving and is prepared to start the Christmas rush tomorrow. 2 years ago, when my daughter was 6 weeks old, I got up at 4:30 and went out to buy a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Best $100 I spent. She loved the lights. I didn't put it up last year, but it will be going up this year. She will be so excited - she's already been trying to pull ornaments off the tree at the YMCA.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

weird dreams

I was having some weird dreams last night...I don't know what it was all about, although I can attribute part of one dream to reading other blogs.

First I dreamt that I was with my best friend and I was having a totally blood-free miscarriage. I was holding my tiny fetus in my hand and he was perfectly formed. If you've ever been to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and have seen the fetus exhibit (I think it's gone now - last time I saw it the babies were not holding up in their preservatives), then you'll know how the baby looked. I wasn't crying - I was sad but awed at his perfection.

Next, I dreamt that my mother was having bypass surgery. Not unusual, she's been having heart flutters (and I was reading Nancy's blog). But, while they were preparing for the surgery, mom was talking to me, but I couldn't concentrate because I was busy watching tornados form outside the window.

Dream interpretation would imply that my life is about to spin out of control with disastrous results. I hope it's really just that my husband fed me Totino's (it's not really) pizza for dinner. That man really needs to buy himself some taste buds.

Maybe it's good that I don't usually remember my dreams

Random things

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

This cracked me up...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things to do when you should be sleeping

DD woke up at 2 am for a drink of water, presenting me with a dilemma. Today was hpt day, so should I wait 3 hours and do it when I got up, or proceed at 2 am with a most concentrated sample? Didn't really matter either way - bfn, as I mostly expected. On the plus side, between that and my morning walk, I found myself composing haikus. It turns out there was a contest for this sort of thing that ended Monday. Now the world will not hear my genius (ha!) Anyway, here are my efforts...

I want a baby
The white space tells me it's no
I needed two lines

Another baby
My daughter needs a sibling
God has other plans

I am awake now
Why can I not go to sleep?
Disappointment sucks

Two lines are not there
I am not pregnant again
Bring on the vodka

and on another topic:

It is cold and dark
Why am I outside walking?
Oh. My ass is big.

Subdivision rules
I wish you would follow them
My shoe smells awful

As long as I can entertain myself...

Monday, November 24, 2008


I am watching Clean House right now, and I just gotta say, how do people live like that? I was a total slob when I was a kid and living at home, but it was just one room (that I shared with my more sloppy sister). By the time I got to college, I didn't want to live in a mess anymore. Then I got the roommate who had the clothes mountain in the corner of the room. I swear I saw that thing move once. I hate cleaning, but I'm not a huge fan of clutter. I guess that actually goes together, now that I think about it. I hated dusting in our house because I had to move all my mom's crap around and dust under it. I'm watching a family that has so much stuff that they can't walk or sit or sleep anywhere in the house. That's just a disease, and they need more help than a group of personal organizers can give them.

My husband is anti stuff. He's always trying to sell or give away things in our house. I bristle at some of it, but I don't tend to hold on to a great many things (although I have a sweater of my mom's from high school and shirts of my dad's that were from before he moved out of his mom's house). My mom has added more and more clutter as time goes by. My sister's crawl space is the family respository for stuff we all want to save but just can't take right now. I guess we're fortunate that I have all the sentimental family belongings (the "bonus" of having an older family) that I need. We're also lucky that J. did not inherit his mom's pack rat tendencies (everyone is always throwing away her stuff). I hope I never get to the point where stuff takes over my life.

Pack Rat or Anti-clutter? Which are you?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another $10 story

After the incident in the grocery store, I was reminded of the last time I encountered someone quibbling over $10.

I used to live in Chicago, and I owned a tiny loft condo in a reviving neighborhood. I lived there for 4 years and then moved to my current locale. I sold the condo to this absolutely vile girl. She came in to make an offer with all kinds of demands, which I politely declined. By the end of negotiations, I was completely p.o.'d, but fortunately, so was she.

Fast forward to closing...I had paid for the termite inspection, based on the estimate that she had given. The inspection was $10 less than her estimate, but the information had come to the closing agent too late to put it in to my check. So the closing agent told her that she owed me $10 and asked whether she had brought her checkbook. She started protesting that she hadn't brought her checkbook and she didn't have the cash, and it was only $10 anyway, so I should just let it go. I replied, "If it's only $10 to me, then it's only $10 to you, and I'm not letting it go."

I don't know why this girl caused such instant enmity in me, but boy, did I hate her. Oh yes, I remember, she was in commercial real estate, and had spoken to her residential real estate coworkers to get advice. So she spent our negotiating time name-dropping (all the so-influential real estate agents - woo hoo) and telling me what was customary for the seller to provide. I don't mind a know-it-all (heck, I am one frequently), but all her self-serving pronouncements were incorrect. All I know is, I got my $10.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Show and Tell

It's pretty cold here this week, so I thought it would be nice to see some pictures from last spring.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ugh, some people

A grocery store in my area has a deal on many Thursdays - $10 off your purchase of $50 or more. As I would expect, on most of these Thursdays, the store is packed with people. I live in a suburban area, where the types of people range from yuppies to drug dealers - in other words, it's fairly diverse. There are two branches of the grocery store within 15 minutes of my house. One is in a university town, the other is in a more blue collar town. I usually go blue collar, since it's slightly closer and I like the store arrangement better.

After wending my way through the crowds, finding all the bargains that I needed to find, I got in line to check out. As I was standing in line, a woman came up to get in the line next to me. She got on her cell phone and started talking to what I assume was her husband. She started complaining about the length of the lines. Then she says "I can't believe all these people are here. It's only $10. I mean, these people would probably spend it beer or cigarettes anyway. or lottery tickets." Now, she was standing about 10 feet away and I could hear her loud and clear. Then, after she hung up, she saw a friend a few lines away and repeated the same comments to him. Ummm, excuse me, but aren't you in here with a cart full of groceries, trying to get your $10 off?

I hate hypocrites. I am (unfortunately) a hypocrite magnet. Sigh.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My head was about to explode. Managers in my workplace suck.

I think I'm better now.

My husband has been forecasting the end of the world for a while now. Mostly I ignore him, because he is just venting about something he can't express specifically, so he goes with the end of the world. It's dire enough for how he feels, but nebulous enough that he doesn't feel tied to it when life is going well. He was about to start a dissertation (doing a little googling) about how the predictions in Revelation and Daniel are eerily accurate, and asked me if I was familiar with some passage or another. I told him that I didn't remember any of Revelation because it was kinda boring, so I mostly skimmed through it. He couldn't stop laughing at that one. I see his point; most people are way concerned with the book of Revelation. But I am not a fundamentalist, and I don't get much into apocalyptic fantasy when I read fiction (movies, OK; books, not so much). So, yep, I find Revelation to be a chore to read. Nothing like a little irreverence to lighten your mood.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More reasons why my blog title is accurate...

Last night, I announced to my husband at 10:00 that I was going to bed. So, I took myself off to the bathroom to prepare for bed. Upon emerging, I found my husband putting away his clothes in our master closet. That would be all the clothes that he had been wearing for the last 6 months - he had brought all his summer wear home with him this trip. I had to ask him what about the phrase "I'm going to bed" inspired him with the urgent need to hang up his clothes, when he had the WHOLE day to put these things away. He said he was just trying to annoy me.

I also found out that, contrary to my imaginings, hospital records are not computerized, accurate, or easily accessible. In a job related situation, the serial # on a prosthetic device needed to be traced to a particular person (which would have saved me some rather unpleasant work). The hospital said it would take a week to request the records from archives and then 2 weeks to search the records. I ended up (through sheer luck, although no less unpleasantness) being able to obtain similar information in about an hour. Really, it should not take more time for a records search than for lab work.

This brings up another concern. Several months ago, I emailed Dr. A to ask him what I would need to do should I get pregnant again. He emailed me back to say that I should just follow the same protocol - i.e. get a + hpt and come in for a blood test and then get prescribed all kinds of fun medicine. Now, I'm worried that they will be like "who are you and what do you want again?" Oh well, I guess I'll just take my chances...

On the positive side, gas is cheaper than it's been in years! And it's supposed to be almost 60 degrees today! In the middle of November!

Yep, it's definitely an Are You Kidding Me kind of day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Movie Review and other stuff

Last night, at my husband's suggestion, we watched Superbad. It was OK. It gave me the same feeling that Knocked Up did - namely, it would have been much funnier if the dialogue wasn't so stilted. I guess what confuses me is that this stilted dialogue happens only occasionally, and in scenes where more relaxed delivery would be more fitting and funnier. Take, for instance, the "I love you" scene, near the end of the movie. The guys were supposed to be so wasted that they had passed out and/or were uncomfortably truthful with the girls they wanted to sleep with. The wasted guys I've encountered (and there have been many, because I mostly hang out with guys and I mostly don't drink) would have little problem telling other guys they loved them. Because they're drunk. Wait, not just drunk, wasted. Oh well, it was funny, in an incredibly juvenile humor kind of way. I'm glad I'm not too old to appreciate this stuff yet. I outgrew horror movies a few years ago, and the spoof movies barely elicit a chuckle. Without coming-of-age or kid's movies, I'd be limited to action movies and drama. Not a great deal of laughs in those genres...

Other than that, I guess I'm sort of in the 2ww. Since I don't require medical intervention until after fertilization, I'm not completely sure. The timing may have been right when my husband got home this weekend, so now I get to spend the next week or so wondering and hopeful. I just hate the crushing disappointment that comes with the BFN. And the feeling of time running out. And what do I have to look forward to if it is a BFP? Many weeks of shots, followed by several months wondering if everything is normal. So I guess I'll just wait and see. But I'm not giving up caffeine yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A good day

It's been busy around our household this weekend. Yesterday, our neighbors needed a dogsitter, because their dog was on new medication that made him thirsty. So, DD and I wandered over every couple ours. DD loves doggies, but we don't have one. She was in heaven. She's still talking about the doggie pooping. When we were leaving, the dog thought that the fake fur trim on DD's coat was one of his toys, so he grabbed it and tried to drag her back into the house. I'm not sure she noticed, but I found it amusing.

We also had a birthday party for another 2 year old to attend. My friend made an incredible train cake. Very impressive. DD seems to be the only girl her age around. In her daycare, there are 5 girls and 10 boys. Everywhere we go, it's all boys. I guess that will be good for dating options later.

Finally, DH returned from work this morning at 4 am. He's crazy and likes to drive through the night. But he got home safely, and we are very happy he's home. DD kept trying to wake up daddy. She loves her daddy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reading some comments...

Martha said...
Ha, ha, love Pearls Before Swine. How does one make money from blogs??

I wish I knew!

KandiB said...
Can I come work with you? I'd like to spend 1/2 my day chewin' the fat with whomever.

Sure, come on along, but first a few qualifying questions...
1. Do you have social skills? If so, please do not bother. We have met our quota of people with social skills (I think there's one somewhere, but he/she may have quit to work somewhere normal).
2. Can you spend your fat chewin' time bitching incessantly? Would you prefer to talk about politics or religion (or any other subject that's usually taboo in the workplace)? If the answer is yes, welcome!
3. Do you find it charming when your supervisor rewrites the rules to better cover himself with glory (even when there's not really any glory available)?
4. When your employer tells you that "we're all a big family" are you aware that this means that you're about to be treated like a toddler with a learning deficiency? If not, then this is the place for you!

Fortunately, the benefits are good (I'm in one of those states that mandates insurance coverage for IF treatments), salary is good, and hours are good. Sometimes the work is even useful and fulfilling.

Although, I should mention Evil Coworker #1 used to flaunt her fertility/children in the face of a former coworker that she knew really wanted kids. (She's one of those "I got pregnant on bcp twice" kind of people)
Love Pearls Before Swine! Click on the cartoon for a link to the full version.

Pearls Before Swine

Thursday, November 13, 2008


An open letter to my coworkers:

We have one of the best jobs on earth. Sure, it's boring, and you're completely unappreciated. Sure, you generally feel like you're bound by the silliest rules ever devised by mankind. But seriously. No one else will pay you what you're making with that silly B.S. degree - you'd have to get a Masters, if not a Ph.D. No one will give you sick time and vacation time, and personal days and 13 paid holidays a year. No one will (more or less) let you manage your own workload, imposing very few deadlines. No other workplace will allow you to spend 3 to 4 hours a day EVERY DAY chatting with your coworkers. So, please, before I completely lose my mind, STOP WHINING! It's not that bad. It would not be better somewhere else, but if you're interested in finding out please do so as quickly as possible. But, if you must stay, could you at least manage to do your job properly, so as not to screw up my work? It's not really that difficult. Read a little, ask a question or two. Follow the rules. They tried to idiot-proof everything, but you are clearly superidiots, as you manage to miss the most obvious things. But, if I were the one to make these mistakes, you'd all be the first ones in the manager's office, accusing me of sabotaging you.

In closing, spare me. Spare me your personal traumas. Spare me your whining about how you just can't work under these conditions. Spare me your pseudo moral outrage - I've seen your black souls and you have no morals. Spare me.



As a follow-up to yesterday's post, DD's musical interest is ever expanding. She loves the Smashing Pumpkins - not their music, per se (I'm not actually sure that she knows that they are musicians). Every time they are mentioned on the radio (which is frequently, since they're coming to town soon), she repeats Smashing Pumpkins and laughs and laughs. I guess she just likes the name.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


DD has always been a fan of music. As an infant, she would go to sleep in her vibrating bouncy chair listening to classical cd's* or Belinda Carlisle. But she has also been selective about her music. Belinda Carlisle, yes. Big Head Todd and the Monsters (or was it Toad the Wet Sprocket?), a most emphatic no! She loved most things, from the music box that plays Love Makes the World Go Round to the electronic bleatings of the toys my sisters provided. Several months ago, her father introduced her to YouTube. I think she was having a tantrum, so he played Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry for her. And when he's mad at me, he plays Jojo's Leave/Get Out. Yep, DD likes music. But, today, she surprised me. You might notice that most of her mentioned preferences have been on the pop side of the music spectrum. Today, we were in the car, listening to the local alternative rock station, when Apocalyptica's I Don't Care started playing. Using her second four word phrase, DD said "I love this song," and accompanied that statement with some nice, rhythmic head bopping. I'm so proud.

*Classical cd's were sent to us by a guy who came to our house to buy some items that we had for sale on craigslist. We were talking about our newborn, and he said that he had to send us something for her. You can meet good and interesting people when you least expect it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

To my husband and all the others who have served:

Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Story

I met my husband at work. We started dating in 1999 (or 2000, depending on who you ask). In 2001, the opportunity to transfer to a different work location arose. This, in turn, led to our decision to move in together. We bought a house in my husband's home town. In 2002, my husband's Army Reserve Unit was called up for duty in Uzbekistan. J spent 9 months in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. When he returned home in 2003, we got married.

In 2005, I finally convinced J that having a baby would be a good idea. He was unsure of the whole idea due to the fact that he's fairly well convinced that he has long term as-yet-unknown health issues from serving in Iraq during the Gulf War. Anyway, we had a discussion in December of 2004 that I interpreted to mean that we could start preparing to have a baby. He meant we should start thinking about it, but I stopped taking my bcp, and when March came around, I was ready to try for a baby. So we did. And I got pregnant right away.

I made an appointment with a carefully chosen OB/Gyn. Unfortunately, I didn't choose carefully enough, so we now refer to her as Dr. Bad Karma. On my first appointment, I was instructed to meet with the midwife. The office staff told me that many women prefer to see the midwife instead of the doctor, and this should have been my first clue that I would probably not like this practice. So, at my first appointment, I met the midwife. I hated her immediately. I have a degree in Biochemistry, and I'm not very social, and I don't really like to express my feelings. I was also almost 36. During my appointment with the midwife, I had a ton of questions. I'd never been pregnant before and I had never been close enough (distance-wise) to be involved in any of my friends' or family's pregnancies. I wanted facts. The midwife gave me feelings. When I inquired about the possibility of miscarriage (since several of my friends had recently experienced miscarriages), she handed me a tissue and told me not to worry about it. I resolved not to make any more appointments with her.

The next appointment, I met with the doctor. She was OK, if somewhat brusque. I appreciated that and felt that I would get straight information from her. I can't remember if I had a chance to hear the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler. By this time, J had told all of his family. I had told my family. Then, one day, he let it slip to our coworkers. That was on a Thursday. On Saturday, I started bleeding a little bit. Nothing to worry about, the weekend service said, just stay off your feet. On Sunday, I lost the baby, just shy of 12 weeks. J called Dr. Bad Karma and was completely offended by her manner. It seems we were interrupting her Father's Day celebrations and she let it show. I thought she was just being her usual terse self. Either way, I was able to see what I thought was the baby when I passed it. Needless to say, I was hysterical and sobbing and my poor husband couldn't do anything to help me or himself.

I went in for the internal ultrasound the next day, to confirm the loss. The doctor told me that it happens in 15% or more of pregnancies, and we could just try again whenever we felt we were ready. I took the next few days off of work, leaving it to J to tell everyone at work. He is not a very sympathetic person in general, but he reached new heights of insensitivity during this time. On reflection, I know that he couldn't be sensitive because he was completely helpless to deal with his own emotions. I knew it subconsciously at the time, I think. I knew how to grieve, as I had lost several people who were very important to me, including my dad. J's only loss was the death of his grandfather, and he was pretty young when that happened.

So, being determined people who had set their minds to a project, once we were able to try again, we did. And we got pregnant again. And, in September, at 8 weeks, I lost the baby. This was not as devastating as the first loss. I think maybe I expected it. I hadn't even made it to my first doctor's appointment, and didn't even have a due date to focus on. But I went in for the internal ultrasound to confirm the miscarriage. When I was in the office, the nurse or med tech, said, "Now you're about 24 weeks, right?" Uh, no actually. I lost that baby, I'm losing another one, and don't you people read your charts or do you just not f'ing update them??? I got stuck with the midwife again. She seemed somewhat perturbed when I said I wanted to see the doctor about some testing. Normally, the doctors go with statistics and make you keep having miscarriages until you beat the odds (or maybe have 3 depending on the doctor), but I insisted on having some testing. Since I was already "old," they indulged me.

This time, we hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy, except one of J's sisters. She had also had a miscarriage recently, but followed that up with a successful twin pregnancy. Anyway, her husband is a doctor. So, after reflecting on our situation, he decided to ask around and find a doctor who might be able to help us. Enter Dr. A - the perfect combination of 2nd generation MD, good looking, and knowledgeable.

Dr. Bad Karma recommended a series of blood tests, which I did, and an HSG. I had sent my information to Dr. A and had a telephone consultation. He recommended additional blood tests and a hysteroscopy instead of the HSG. Having read the HSG information, I was inclined to agree with his view. To me, a camera beats radioactive dye any day of the week. So there's a little anesthesia involved, so what? Anyway, I had all my bloodwork info transferred to Dr. A's office. Dr. Bad Karma's office was confused that I was branching out on my own. Apparently, they'd never had a proactive patient before, because they couldn't understand why I wanted my info transferred without having Dr. Bad Karma recommend someone to me. Another sign.

After Dr. A's intensive battery of tests, and making my husband donate a sperm sample (which we retrieved at home and then I had to carry it in my armpit for the 45 minute drive to Dr. A's office), we had some results. J was convinced he had mutant sperm. He was also unconvinced about Dr. A, since our insurance would not cover all of the testing that was done. He was wrong on all counts. Dr. A was wonderful, our insurance covered most of the costs, and I was the one with the problem.

My father died in 1991 due to complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disease, and it is usually inherited. In my dad's family, it follows a meandering path. My dad's uncle had it, my dad had it, and my cousin has a different autoimmune disease that falls into the same family. Based on that information, I should not have any problems, and I don't. Except for this one small thing. Anti-nuclear antibodies. Everyone has some, but an elevated level is a non-definitive indicator of an autoimmune disease. But then again, some people just have them. I theorize that I have excess ANA's because my dad had RA. Dr. A seemed somewhat disappointed that all I would need was a few drugs and things should work out just fine. He told me to go home and let him know ASAP when I was pregnant again. Then he would prescribe heparin and aspirin, and the pregnancy would work out fine.

In January, I got pregnant again (I am not infertile! I can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. Or a sperm , if you prefer. I just have trouble holding on to that pregnancy. Oh, I guess that means I am infertile). Dr. A gave me drugs - fun injections twice a day for 2 months - and a couple turns with the vagi-cam. I got a lovely cd showing pictures of the baby and saw her heartbeat at 6.5 weeks. Then he sent me back to Dr. Bad Karma.

The main reason that I was trying to stick with Dr. Bad Karma was that she practiced out of the hospital that is 5 minutes from my house. There was no one else in the area that I wanted to use. It was either her or another hospital. I really gave her the benefit of the doubt - over and over. The final straw was when I saw her for my first appointment after Dr. A released me. I was 12 weeks at that point. I had now surpassed any other pregnancy, and things appeared to be going just fine. During the appointment, when I told her what protocol Dr. A had used, she sneered a little and said that she'd never heard of that being used for my particular problem. (Hey lady - screw results! Just because you've never heard of it means it just shouldn't be used, right?) Then, when I requested a level 2 ultrasound (yes, a 36 year old woman who's had a couple miscarriages had to request a level 2 ultrasound before 20 weeks), she snidely asked me if the major teaching university in our area would be OK with me. Apparently, I was not supposed to participate in my own health care. At that point, I decided that I would ask J's BIL for a recommendation for a new OB. When I left Dr. Bad Karma's office, they told me I owed them $50 for my pregnancy copay. I should have told them to bill me, but I foolishly paid.

Enter Dr. Fantastic (his name is actually a synonym for that). When I went to see him, he had actually read all the information in the medical history from Dr. Bad Karma's office, and he talked with me for 15 minutes in his office. Then we went in for the exam. He got out the Doppler, and...he couldn't find the heartbeat. He searched everywhere. It was a very tense time period (seemed like an hour but was probably only 5 -10 minutes), but he finally found it. My little menace was not cooperative about lodging in a place where her heartbeat could be easily detected. When Dr. Fantastic finally found the heartbeat, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. I said, "You're not kidding. And you're not even emotionally invested in this baby." He said, "you'd be surprised." After that, he called the ultrasound service in his building and got me in for an ultrasound right away, saying "you haven't seen the baby in 8 weeks. I'm sure you want to reassure yourself that everything is fine." Dr. Fantastic won my heart right there.

Over the next few months, Dr. Fantastic took excellent care of me. He sent me to Specialist Dr. B to determine that I did not have Lupus (could have told them that). That was a bonus, though. With Dr. B, I got to have ultrasounds every month. Finally, in October, on my due date, my daughter arrived via C-section.

Now, 2 years later, I want to try again. My husband, however, thinks the economy is so bad that anarchy is around the corner. It's hard to talk him into having children when he thinks the world is going to end. On the plus side, he always keeps his word. I seem to remember him telling me we could try again...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random Thoughts

J works in a different state. It's not about living on the border of 2 states (although we do) - he got a great paying job 600 miles away. We used to work at the same place. It's incredibly stable and the security is unbeatable. But he got fed up, and needed a change. When he took this job, I considered going too. But we had a 7 month old, we live near his family and not terribly far from mine, and the job is government contract, so there was no guarantee that the job would still be there in 5 years. So I stayed, with the baby, in our beautiful house that my husband built. It's not a terrible arrangement - his schedule is 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. But, I think he will be quitting soon to come home and be Mr. Mom. The pay is not as good, but the benefits are much better. Or, he'll decide to do a year of the dangerous overseas option of his job for twice as much money. Either way, he'll be home next weekend and will stay through Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Statistics don't work for me. It seems that everyone I know has had some kind of reproductive issue. My oldest sister and a few friends have gotten by with just a minor complications (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, c-sections). But, I have a sister who adopted 2 babies from China, when she and her husband didn't get pregnant naturally. I have a friend who had to terminate a pregnancy due to major abnormalities. Two friends, one sister-in-law, my mother-in-law, one aunt and I have had miscarriages. One friend and I had fertility treatments (me: autoimmune issues - heparin and aspirin, friend: drugs and IUI, I believe). Most odd, to me, is that I know three guys who have had their vasectomies reversed. The thing is, I don't really know that many people. So, probably 80% of the people I know have had problems conceiving and carrying a child. Seems a little high to me...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Random thought:

Do you suppose the Obamas' new puppy will be housebroken by the time it gets to the White house? Who do you suppose will have to clean up the presidential puppy puddles?
Today, my husband let me know that he is still grieving. 3 years ago, I had 2 miscarriages in 3 months. I should have known how hard it would hit J, because he was so excited. We weren't really on great terms with his parents at the time, but he told them right away. He told everyone right away. I was already 35, and was more cautious. We lost the first baby on Father's Day. It was devastating for me, but not debilitating. For J, it was just something to suppress. I cried for 3 days. J objected when I took the third day off work - and the fourth day too. He told me I should be over it. Then, I was hurt. Today, 3 years later, I can accept that he did not know what to do or how to grieve. It still hurts him and that surprises him.

He is still afraid that he will somehow lose our daughter. When she was conceived, I was determined that not only would she survive the toxic environment that is my body, she would be whole and healthy and have her father's metabolism. I would do anything to ensure that she would come into the world. So, I have confidence that things are good now, and I am here to protect her. J thinks she is an angel that he is not worthy of having in his life, and she will be taken from him. Fear is an insidious thing, and it just doesn't want to go away.

In spite of all this, I want a sibling for S. She is precious, and I am lucky to have her, but I don't want her to be alone in the world when her father and I are gone. Now, I just have to convince her father that it will work. I guess I'm here to vent my doubts, spew my history, and express random thoughts about whatever crosses my mind.

The title of my blog comes from my latest favorite response to the idiocy of others - it's a nice clean way to say WTF??!!!! in front of my daughter. Oddly enough, that is also the first four word sentence that she absorbed, and she says it all the time. Guess I shouldn't have explained its usage to her...she's too smart for my own good.