Monday, December 18, 2006

A Picture Says...

...1,000 words? Maybe. But it our case, it at least says Merry Christmas.

I am now completely sold on doing photo cards for Christmas. I always thought they were too impersonal. But you know what is too impersonal? Not getting a freaking card at all. That's what. And last year, WAY too many people got the impersonal touch from me. I was still exhausted from having a baby in the house and being back to work. Writing out all of those cards was a nightmare.

And printing address labels? Why did I not do this in the past? Can someone tell me please? Oh, right, because I am a moron.

I have a hectic, way-too-busy type of last week here before the holidays. The saving factor is that I work for a university, so I get the week between Christmas and New Years as a paid holiday. Yeah, I'll take that. But in the meantime, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Happy Kwanchristmakkaheid. Did I get them all?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sick

Gah! I am fighting off the cold of the century right now. So, I'm not actually dead, I just look dead.

I came back from an errand to find a cough drop on my desk. Think maybe my neighbors at work are tired of hearing me cough up one lung at a time? Yeah, I'm tired of it too. Hubby is out getting cough meds right now. Yay!

Will recover and write again soon...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Long overdue update

Thank you to Tinker for reminding me that I did not include a promised update following my trip to the RE. Bad, bad dish.

The trip was wholly uneventful, to be honest. The RE asked a bunch of stuff about my last pregnancy, which was, overall, very smooth. I really only had problems at delivery and those have healed plague my nightmares make life a living hell become tolerable to a degree. The only real change he anticipates from the last round (and this conclusion is, of course, pending test results that don't reveal that I am even more broken) is that he will double my stim meds because I was a poor responder the last time (only 6 follicles, 5 eggs retrieved, 4 mature) and I have reached the dreaded "35 years of age and you are an old bag" landmark.

The timeline becomes somewhat tricky as I must juggle between trying to make it work regardless of what the world is throwing at me and planning around major work events. The compromise is that if the stars align and we find that something like sex can get your pregnant (I know, laughable) then so be it. In the meantime, we will also start updating our test results in January and plan for an April or May round of IVF. Basically, if I push it off until then I get two bonuses of the winter break from the University. I get to first, be paid for the time off (a good thing because the maternity leave is not paid) and if we go with the latter month, I get a long week off right before the end of the pregnancy. I'll take that.

Of course, when I got home from the appointment that day there was a letter in the mail from our adoption agency asking for additional paperwork. I can either assume that they are updating their files or that a match is pending. I am guessing the former. But, who knows, life can be kooky.

That's my story, what's up with you?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giblets and gravy

Lots of random thoughts on the brain today, so this will be a scattered post. In no particular order, I present you with turkey and all the fixins:
  • Before I can forget, please send many prayers, fertile thoughts, and or shaken chicken bones to my friend J who is in the process of her third IVF. She's with the big guns up at Cornell, so she's done as much as she can on the medical end of things. And our good wishes surely can't hurt.
  • The kid loves him his PBS in the morning. By 5am he is yelling out "Elmo! Rogers! Puppy!" in the hopes that I can magically make Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, or Clifford appear out of thin air. I tell him that they are all sleeping (and convince him to do the same), but we hear it all again by 6:00. Luckily, that's when they are aired.
  • Project "pillow in the crib" is working well (with the exception of sleeping in each morning- see above).
  • I finished another Christmas gift (scarf) and have started another. I'm a knitting machine! If I do the same stitch repeatedly. No really.
  • I know you don't give a crap what I had for lunch today, but I had a gyro. And it was wonderful. Even more wonderful because it was not turkey.
  • I was "yelled at" (wild gestures) by another driver this morning for NOT pulling out in front of her. Huh?
  • I will begin my first foray into scrapbooking this weekend. I decided that the grandmas are getting smaller (8x8) books for Christmas and then I can provide updated pages as things happen. Seemed like a good idea. I have paper and letters and stickers and stuff. And the books will be identical to the degree that I am able (they live in different states). Now if I can just get past the creative roadblocks that keep me from starting many a project...(sigh)
  • And last, but not least, have a lovely holiday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Awake and sing

The sleeping situation in the house is getting a little bit better. I decided that perhaps the factor making Gabe sleep a little better in the big bed was the comfy pillows and blankets. So, in an act of maternal rebellion, I gave him a pillow and bigger (but not overwhelming) blanket in his crib*. I also drew the shades and wore ninja garb in the process, knowing that the crib police were bound to find out about the safety violation.

Night one: Gabe still woke up four times, but he was easier to settle and seemed to wake more from trying to turn sideways than from other discomfort.

Night two: Gabe only woke up twice (progress) and, again, was easy to soothe.

Night three: By now, we have put modified “bumpers” in the crib so that when he tries to turn sideways he doesn’t crack his head on the rails. Result? Only one waking. (Yay!)

To date: Gabe is far more restful now and generally sleeps until 5 or 6am. If he does wake sooner, he is soothed back to sleep without the need for holding and rocking.

And mommy is a much less cranky gal.

*Anyone reading this for sleep solutions, please note that my son is now 18-months old and is capable of not suffocating under a blanket. Please do not put all of the cushy stuff in the crib with a wee one. Please.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Friday-ish

Today was a whirlwind because I am off tomorrow. The "artificial Friday" as it were. These types of days are great, because of the short week, and suck ass, because of the short week (if deadlines are looming...which they are).

So, the post is short and sweet. Hopefully I will get a chance to write something more lengthy and meaty tomorrow.

Toodles!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pessimistic Pollyanna

Note: this post was written yesterday and was to be posted then but stoopid Blogger (use Homer Simpson voice for full effect) was down.

I have an appointment this afternoon with my RE. I have been all over the board on how we will arrive at a two-child family, and I suppose this is one of our options. I have not talked about it much with anyone because, honestly, I'm not quite sure how to feel. When we approached IVF the first time, I was convinced that it would not work. I guess not so convinced that I skipped it entirely, but given that our insurance pays for it (don't hate me), and we were already working with an adoption group (with whom we still spend time), it seemed like a very low risk opportunity. Well, in the grand scheme...

Long story short, the first round worked. Singleton pregnancy. Live birth. What more could a girl ask for?

Forward to now when we would like to have plans in the works for a sibling to arrive in, oh, another year or so. At first I gave a resounding "no" to the idea of IVF again. Too much emotional baggage. Then, I kept thinking about it and decided that perhaps I could give it another try after all. On the off chance that I didn't change my mind, I scheduled the consult with the RE to get the ball rolling.

And now I am not quite sure how I feel. Am I excited? Well, sure, the chance at parenting another kid is very exciting. Am I scared? You betcha. The stim procedure barely worked last time and I'm two years older right now. And I'm 35 now, making me of "advanced maternal age." And I am guaranteed a C-section (you know, if everything else goes well) because of the dramatic level of tearing I experienced last time. (I am not the same person, and I probably never will be, and that's all the detail you want- trust me). And part of me is convinced that the only reason it worked last time is that I was convinced that it would not work. So what do I do this time? Knowing that it could work should mess up the "won't work at all" philosophy. Which should mean that it won't work. Which would then mean that I am convinced that it won't work. Which, by my previous logic, should mean that it will work. But knowing that it will work should make it not work. Oh, you get the idea...I'm going in circles here.

I'll let you know what the RE says.

Monday, November 13, 2006

And about the weekends...

Ok, I guess the weekend posting things is just not going to happen. Part of the problem is that when I am at home I have to contend with (gasp) dial-up service. Another problem is that I use a computer all day at work and have little desire to touch one on the weekends. And, there’s always the combined problem of energy and time. And, alas, the weekend posting goes out the door.

Speaking of energy, mine has completely gone out the door these days. Gabriel is not sleeping much at night, and we are walking around like zombies. He has also decided that taking a nap in his crib is NOT going to happen. He will take a nap in the “big bed” but not in the crib. (sigh) I don’t know if this is a sign that he is ready to transition, a way for him to be manipulative, or a combination of the two. We have a guest bed in the house, but I know I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that he could fall out. Yes, there are rails for the sides, but what about the bottom? What about the fact that the rails are low? He’s no dummy. So, I am considering the option of giving him a mattress on the floor to see if that helps. We have a twin set just waiting to be used, and there’s always the crib mattress. That will be an option as soon as I re-childproof his room. He has a nightlight. Great for a kid in a crib- not so much for the free-range toddler. The bookcase is not yet strapped to the wall- must get to that. And there is the fact that his room tends to be cool, and we have been using a portable oil-filled radiator type heater. That will have to go, too.

I think I will be very busy this weekend, too...don’t look for a post.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pug Love...

Gabe loves the puggies, too:

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Butt sniffers...

The question of the day: What kind of dogs annoy you? (from JS)

I am definitely a dog person. I can't imagine life without a dog. However, there are some dogs that I can only take in very small doses. I am not a fan of small, yippy dogs. Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Mini-anythings. Most of those dogs have a Napoleon complex and it drives me batty. The exception to the rule? Pugs. I love pugs. (snort!)

Furry dogs also bug me, but only from a “can’t live with them” standpoint. I realize that dogs have hair. I’m talking about the big fluffy furry ones where no matter what you do, you can’t get the fur to go away. It sticks to your skin, your hair, your clothes. And it is soooooo hard to get off. Hair gets on everything, too, but when I brush at it, it falls off. When I brush at fur on my pants, it sticks to my hands. Then I try to get it off my hands and it’s back on my clothes. Wash, rinse, repeat. It makes me crazy. I have met many, many wonderfully friendly furry dogs. I just don’t want them to live with me.

The most annoying dogs? The ones with clueless owners. The worst is when someone is blind to the fact that their dog is a danger to others. That is downright negligent. Kids have been maimed and killed in situations like that. I will not go into further detail (I could go on all day) in case the person that annoys me most with their dog happens to read this. I have said my part to him/her. S/he is still clueless. Therefore, I keep my family as far as humanly possible from that animal. It’s a Napoleon dog (not terribly small- could do lots of damage) with an unpredictable mean streak. Bad combination.

That’s my rant for the day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ding Dong

All day I have had the song "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" running through my head in response to the elections yesterday. I guess it's an odd choice given that the people I most wanted out of office were men, but whatever. I am just glad that the country finally decided to drop the house on that old cow and put her out of my misery. I'm not saying that life will magically be wonderful. I'm just glad that we have put a fresh face on congress, and I'll just pray for the best. And as an added bonus, I see that the Wicked Witch of the West (a.k.a. Rumsfeld) decided to throw the water on herself (ok, himself...I'm going with a metaphor here, ok?) today. That was the icing on the yellow brick road.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sweet, Sweet Sleep...

I have heard many a blogger tread through the foggy haze of exhaustion to warn other parents of the dreaded 18-month sleep regression. Or perhaps they were just venting and trying to stay awake. Regardless of their intent, I never quite felt that the information was meant for me. I mean, my kid would never regress. No, he was a forward mover. Yeah, right.

In fact, I had blocked the information so well that until just a few days ago, I hadn't considered the fact that Gabriel might be experiencing the dreaded regression even though he has been waking 2-4 times a night for the last month and will turn 18-months old in two weeks. I guess it turns out he really is a forward mover...moving into the damn regression six weeks early! Gah!

If I don't go loony from sleep deprivation by the time this is over, I'll have a gaping hole in my stomach from all of the coffee. And then we'll be on to the next developmental challenge.

It's a darn good thing he's cute.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nonsense!

Has anyone seen this yet? Just when we thought we were done hearing "just relax," the travel industry decides to jump on the bandwagon. A**holes.

And I just love that the couple featured in the article had just started trying two months ago and "magically" their weekend trip did the trick. Yeah. Two months of trying is so infertile. Boo hoo. Sympathy anyone?
So, what kind of person signs up for an activity that requires daily blog posting, knowing full-well that she will be away from a computer for two days?

Me.

Eh, that leaves me out of the running for the prizes, but it doesn't mean I can't post every day for the rest of the month now, does it? And, yes, I know that one can post with a phone or via e-mail. But I don't have a PDA, and, while I do have a phone, I don't have text as an option. Not on the cutting edge of technology am I.

I left the pictures of what I did do this weekend at home. Instead, I leave you with a picture of what I was doing the previous weekend:

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Classic...

The topic of the day: Name your top ten list for a particular genre (CD, movies, etc.). In other words, which ones would you take to a desert island? (from MP and AL)

I'll start with a list of CD's and see how far I get before the baby wakes up. I will assume, though, that this desert island provides me some way to play the CDs. I always love these questions when they require powered devices on a desert island...

Top 10 CDs

1. ABBA Gold
2. If I Were a Carpenter (var. artists)
3. Erasure Top 20 Album
4. Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)
5. Best of Jethro Tull
6. Violator (Depeche Mode)
7. The Mozart Album (Canadian Brass)
8. 80's Mix (made for me by A)
9. Flood (They Might Be Giants)
10. God Shuffled His Feet (Crash Test Dummies)

I wish it could be more than 10 because I also have a fondness for the Grateful Dead, Toad the Wet Sprocket, James, Siouxie and the Banshees, Iz, and a bunch of others I am forgetting right now (baby is up- finishing quickly).

I suppose to be on the safe side, I should start making compilations of all of my favorite songs from all of my favorite artists on 10 CDs. You know, in case that desert thing ever actually happens.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nantucket...

I have had a fabulous response from my friends. Today, I picked a fun and easy one:

Write a limerick about candy or water (from JS).

On Candy, My Sweet

There once was a candy called Nerds,
Whose pieces were sized for the birds,
In pink and in green
With a sour-sweet sheen
They’re eaten by children in herds.


Eh, why not, here's a water one, too...(great title, huh?)

The running of water, a brook,
Is moving each time that I look
The pebbles and soil
Washed away in a toil
It amazes me how much it took.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Off We Go!

Having accepted the NaBloPoMo challenge, it dawned on me yesterday that, starting today, I would need to find 30 things to say in 30 days. I'm one of those people who perseverates on every word, every topic, and every thought that might make it to the blog. Then, I don't post for a while because nothing is "just right." Or, alternatively, I end up posting on the hated "what I had for lunch" type topic (usually expressed as ramblings about my kid).

Fear not- I have found a solution!

I have asked my IRL friends who know about the blog to suggest topics or ideas. I have given them only a few restrictions (no work, sex, or hometown topics) but outside of that, creativity is welcome. I have already received a few responses, and it should be interesting. With 30 days, I won't get to every idea, but it will be fun trying! To keep it from seeming too random, I will include the suggestion/question du jour with my post.

If anyone finding this post has a topic suggestion, drop me a comment, and I will try to fit it in. Buckle your safety belts, it's gonna be a wild ride!

Monday, October 30, 2006

NaBloPoMo

I noticed the other day that I am creeping up on my two year blogiversary. Two years! And I have said, well, things. Stuff. Nothing earth shattering, I fear. So, in celebration of my two years of rambling on, I have accepted the NaBloPoMo* challenge. In the month of November you will get the good, the bad, and the ugly. All "dish-ed" up to you daily. Think of it as a blue plate special without the gravy. Oh, who the hell am I kidding, there might just be gravy on some of them- needed or not.

Tomorrow I rest and stock up on sugar.

*National Blog Posting Month. Credits to Cecily for alerting me to the occasion. For a complete list of rules and participants, go here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bipedal

Yep, you guessed it- Gabe has finally decided that walking just might be ok. Last night as I was testing his ability to follow instructions (“Honey, go get your sock. It’s next to the pillow.”) he decided to walk over to get the sock. And then crawl back to me. I don’t think he had any idea what he had done. (And, but the way, he has so mastered the follow instructions gig- it’s awesome).

A bit later, he did it again and based on the reactions of all present, he did finally realize what he had done. So he did it again, and again, and again- each time going to one of us for a big hug and kiss. He loved the attention and the affection.

This morning? Not gonna walk. No way, no how. Eh, he’ll get back to it soon enough.

(And in case you were wondering, no, mommy is not insightful enough to grab the freakin’ camera when the kid takes his first steps. Duh!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pe*nis!

How do you get the attention of a classroom full of undergraduate students right before lunch? Same way I just got your attention- say "Pe*nis." Perks 'em right up, I tell ya. (I did actually have a reason to say it in the lecture, but I will be remembering the power of the pe*nis for future rainy-morning classes.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good things

I have been remiss in my shout-outs to good things in the lives of those I stalk whose blogs I read. In no particular order, please go and send soy-based, poo-stained good wishes over to Karen on her return to the States intact and with child. Then go, quietly now- she's napping, and give a huzzah to Jen on the arrival of her daughter Lila.

As for me, I have been scrambling like a whisk at an egg festival. Work has me putting in gobs of overtime, non-work deadlines are creeping up, and I did want to sleep on occasion, ok?

In the meantime, enjoy Gabe relaxing on the big stuffed dog sent to him by a dear friend:

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sing, sing a song...


So, I am off to a regional weekend event with the Sweet Adel*ines. See, I am diverse- a weekend gaming, a weekend singing- yeah, I am a real party animal. Actually, there is normally a lot of partying at these SA weekends. No, really, there is. Stop laughing!

As a group, the ladies of the SA love to sing. A lot. A lot, a lot. So, what else to do when you’ve had too much wine but to stay up all night singing? Well, at least until the hotel security comes by and threatens to throw you out.

Which brings me to a mini-rant. Why, oh why do hotels that have distinct wings in their design “mix” in non-SA folk with the SA folk? We love everyone, really. But not everyone loves us. It would let us party till the wee hours and let those who don’t care for a cappella harmonies at 2am sleep soundly. We run into this everywhere we go, so it’s not just one hotel in particular.

Anyway, I digress.

And there will be no late night partying for me this time because I am taking Gabe. I wanted to give A the weekend to himself because we’re in the middle of a few projects that have been “on hold” for too long. Now he can work on them without complaining that “The baby was fussing and you were off having fun” or “I didn’t want to do X because it might expose the baby to fumes.” See, I fixed it- no mommy, no baby...now get to work, dammit! {smile}

Gabe loves that barbershop sound. It soothes him like nothing else. So, I have high hopes that we’ll have a good weekend. Fingers crossed for me, ok?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

100 things

I have enjoyed reading the “100 things” posts on other people’s blogs so much that I have finally decided to create my own. Not sure if it will rank up there as amusing and interesting, but I’m curious to see if I can come up with those 100 things.

1. I am 35 years old.
2. I am finally a mom
3. Which is not something I ever thought I would “finally” want to do
4. Until I met my husband
5. And I couldn’t wait to have a family with him
6. Then we found out we were infertile (unexplained)
7. IVF #1 worked for us
8. Three transferred, one took, one live baby resulted
9. I am very lucky indeed
10. I have a Ph.D. (neuroscience)
11. I work as a writer
12. I am not trained as a writer
13. I hated writing in high school with a passion
14. I mostly write about science
15. Except when I blog
16. I love to sing
17. I am a Sweet Adeline
18. No, I am not 80 years old (see age above)
19. I sing baritone (that part is driving me wiiiiiiiiyyld)
20. Crap, I’m only on #20
21. I like to make quilts
22. I have no time to make quilts (or complete other hobbies)
23. I taught myself to knit two years ago
24. I have completed two scarves (see #22)
25. I make beaded jewelry
26. I have not beaded in a while (see #22)
27. I enjoy hiking
28. Yes, see #22 again
29. I enjoy making complicated desserts like baklava
30. I suck at making cookies
31. I lived in West Lafayette, IN for five years
32. Go Boilers!
33. Then I lived in Los Angeles, CA for six years
34. Go Bruins!
35. Now I am back in my hometown
36. I spent a summer in Austin, TX while in high school
37. I did research for 8 weeks at the university
38. Yes, I am that nerdy
39. And I have never, in my life, seen so many roaches
40. I shivered while writing that one
41. I have an unnatural fear of insects and spiders
42. I’m getting better at not shrieking like a little girl when I see them
43. But I shriek inside
44. I have been to 30 states plus DC
45. My son has already been to 13 states plus DC
46. I did not leave the continent until 2004
47. I went to Italy
48. I want to go back
49. I love coffee
50. I love tea
51. I love the java jive and it loves me
52. I have red hair
53. Yes, it is natural
54. I used to hate it, but now I love it
55. I wish I could wear it very short
56. But I have found a good enough style for now
57. It used to be very, very long
58. My husband loved it, but it gave me a headache
59. Ibuprofen is the only pain killer that works for me
60. It was the thing I missed most when pregnant
61. Ok, except for sushi- I missed that, too
62. I love to play games
63. Current favorite board game: Blockus
64. Current favorite RPG: Hackmaster
65. I hate to gamble
66. But I am in a Powerball pool at work
67. I like medical and criminal TV shows
68. I don’t have cable TV
69. Therefore choices are limited
70. I also love PBS
71. Antiques Roadshow!
72. Britcoms!
73. I love to watch snow falling
74. And then go out walking in it
75. I hate windy days
76. My favorite season is autumn
77. If I had to skip a season? Summer.
78. I can’t take the hot weather
79. Which made living in LA (see #33) a bit of a drag
80. I am definitely a dog person
81. And besides, I am allergic to cats
82. I think that rats make wonderful pets (really!)
83. But I am also allergic to rats (so sad)
84. I am terrible with fish
85. I once killed an entire pond full while housesitting
86. Ooops!
87. I am also bad with plants
88. I have the proverbial “brown thumb”
89. Want me to watch your fish and plants?
90. I didn’t think so
91. I have a tattoo
92. A lizard on my stomach
93. Yes, it hurt
94. No, I don’t regret getting it
95. And it survived the pregnancy- yay!
96. I love 80’s music
97. But I listen to most everything
98. Except rap and country
99. Are you bored now?
100. Me too- let's go have some coffee!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am such a whiner

I got home last night and on my doorstep was a package. I had completely forgotten that a friend had offered to send me a bunch of her son's old clothes, and I am all about the hand-me-downs...especially since Gabe is growing like a weed. So, I began to dig through the box and realized that she has not only sent me more than enough to get him through the rest of the warm weather but a ton of stuff for the winter, too. All nice. All name brand (I'm not a label person, but they do tend to wash well and last longer). And I realized that her sending me this stuff gave me one less thing to worry about.

And it also made me realize that I'm a big whiner. I sit here complaining that I don't have enough time to clean and can't afford someone to do it for me. And there are people out there who don't have enough money to put food on the table.

Sometimes it takes a good slap in the head to put life in perspective.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bah!

Honestly, it seems like I just wrote a post yesterday, but when I noticed that the date on the last post was a month ago, I freaked a little. And it dawned on me that I'm not quite sure exactly what I've done with that last month. Not in the alcohol-induced-blackout-but-hey-that-must-have-been-a-hell-of-a-party sense but more in the vacations-and-piles-of-deadlines-make-you-crazy sense.

A week ago I started considering that I might want to hire someone to clean my house. It's one of those things that seems to get pushed aside until we see tumbleweeds of dog hair rolling by as we traverse the halls. Then it dawned on me that we really can't afford the extra expense. We don't live extravagently, really. We rarely, very rarely, go out to eat. We haven't been to a movie in two years. Our outings to the symphony are on tickets given by friends who can't make a performance. You get the idea. Our indulgences in life? Good cheese. Books. I haven't bought clothes in ages because I'm just now getting back into the smaller sizes. I have a whole freakin' wardrobe in my closet just waiting for me. Where exactly am I going to cut back to be able to have a little extra? Would I be willing to give things up for the extra time I would gain from a cleaning person? You bet. I'm just not quite sure what else there is to cut. (And for those who are thinking, "you said you took a vacation- that's an extra," the vacation was a car trip to see my in-laws. Not exactly Club Med.)

The solution for now? Revamp the household budget to look for the "extras" that are surely lurking around and eliminate them. Continue working on the homemade Christmas presents I've already started (don't hate me, I know it's only August). Make some extra jewelry and other niceties to possibly peddle for the holiday season.

And for the hairballs? Get a Swif*fer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monkey in the middle

My little monkey is one amazing boy. Or at least I think so. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been very selective about my blog topics concerning him because I’m not quite sure how to talk about his development. But, a few recent blog posts out there have brought me into the light, so to speak.

Both Julie and Brooklyn Girl have written posts on how they feel that they must make apologies for their sons’ behavior. Julie apologizes because her 20-month-old does not walk yet, and BG apologizes because her 10.5-month-old toddles around the playground. I feel like I am caught in the middle of those two moms. Gabriel is not yet walking at a little more than 14 months old. The “average” is 12-14 months, depending on who you consult, and so my mommy instincts scream “developmentally delayed...get thee to a specialist pronto!” I think about how I can really understand where Julie is coming from with her concerns. Then it dawns on me that if I were to express my empathies and co-worries to her, she would probably consider me a numbskull assvice dispenser, because my kid is a whole six months younger than Charlie, which in baby time is an eternity. Then I think about BG’s concerns that her son is walking around but not really talking. Gabriel has been talking and communicating very well since he turned nine months. Does that make up for the lack of mobility?

The whole developmental milestone discussion can be quite a sore topic with us moms. We all want our children to be “normal” or even “advanced.” Some of us (like me) don’t discuss it much for fear of either revealing a weakness in our child or fear that we will offend someone whose child is less or more advanced than our own. It makes mommyhood a lonely place when we don’t have each other for support. Childhood development is not a competition. I find it frustrating that I have even said things like “No, Gabe isn’t walking, but he says more than 20 words and uses phrases,” because it’s another apology. Another form of competition. And another way that we distance ourselves from each other. Who else is going to willingly listen to you discuss your child’s excrement? We moms have to stick together. Ok? Good? Great.

P.S. The above is simply a thought from my own head. It is not directed at, or written about, anyone in particular. I write this disclaimer only because it seems that sometimes the most innocent of venting posts gets blown out of proportion and a blog war begins. Not that I have a slurry of readers, but you never know...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Observations at Origins

Our trip to Columbus for the Origins gaming convention was a real treat. It has been a long time since we devoted an entire weekend to the sole purpose of having fun. Over the course of the weekend, I found that there are a few truths in the gaming world that do not necessarily apply to the outside world. (Please pardon the formatting...I tried.)

1) Dice make a lovely accessory.


2) Gamers think it is cool when you threaten that you will plow them over with your stroller by saying “I have a battering ram, and I’m not afraid to use it.” They also move the hell out of the way.


3) I guess Gabe really is beyond breastfeeding because he thinks the ears are the most interesting part of this costume.


4) Jumping in and out of time periods and bodies is an awesome way to spend an afternoon. (Many thanks to the GMs running Cthulu Juxtaposition!)


5) Gabriel said “Hi!” to just about everyone.

6) Then he got so excited he puked.





7) You can never have too many gaming tables.


8) Nor can you ever have enough dice.












9) The Smithee Awards were, as anticipated, spectacular.

10) Alan Smithee was in full regalia.




11) Worst (and thereby best) picture? The Guns of El Chupacabra.



12) I want Gabriel to attend this school.






13) The guys of KenzerCo. didn’t threaten to sue me for the t-shirt!

14) Running into gamers you just met at other locations? Awesome.

15) Scaring your fellow gamers by pulling out a lunch of kippers and saltines? Classic.

16) Blending in with a crowd of gamer geeks? Priceless.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Whirlwind

Sorry for the blog silence- life has been taking a big ol’ bite out of my ass lately. Essentially, someone in our house has been sick since the beginning of June, and when illness finally struck Gabriel, it hit him so hard that he ended up in the hospital for four days. It boiled down to a respiratory infection that may, or may not, have triggered asthma (the jury is still out on that one). So, he was too wheezy to go home, especially because his oxygen levels kept dropping. So, they piled him on with meds, hooked him up to some oxygen (let me tell you how much a 13-month old LOVES to have little tubes stuck up his nose...yeah, that much), and four days later he could go home again.

He’s doing much better now and is actually eating again (he didn’t eat more than a bite in two weeks...). And I hope I never have to deal with that again.

And because I’m such a good mom, I am going to drag my little guy off to a conference this weekend with a lot of smelly gamers. Anyone heading off to Origins in Columbus, OH, this year? If so, give me a holler. I made some awesome gaming tees for the babe. Here’s the picture from one of them.

The other is a complete spoof on a publication, so I’m not going to post it for fear of legal ramifications. I do plan to show it to the creators because I think they’ll get a kick out of it. I just don’t think they’d be too pleased if I posted it all over the internet.

Hopefully I’ll get some awesome blog fodder from the conference. When you are in a convention center with a mix of costumed characters, vampires, girls in chain mail bikinis (I’m not kidding), and dorky gamers, you’re bound to have at least a few good stories. Plus, we will be attending the annual Smithee Awards, which is always great. Where else can you watch movie clips that include a sock puppet snake (Rana, Queen of the Amazon), roller skating Ninjas (Ninja Thunderbolt), and zombies whose face paint rubs off on their victims (Zombie Lake)? And, yeah, I have actually watched the entirety of that last one at a “Bad Movie Night” with friends. I tell you, though, the Smithees are a classic.

Catch you all on the July side- I’m off to Ohio!

Friday, June 09, 2006

What a S-Tori

Blogger has been down (bastards!) so I am only now able to write a post to congratulate Cecily and Charlie on the birth of Tori Anne! If you have never read their blogs, go do it now. Their ride on the infertility roller coaster has been a real doozy.

I remember that I was pregnant with Gabriel during Cecily's first pregnancy (I was about 5-6 weeks behind her), and when I read about her losing the twins, I did not spend another moment of my pregnancy relaxing. It was too real, too close to home. She shares so much on her blog that I feel like I know her, even though we've never met. Her loss shook me and her current joy elates me.

Best wishes to the three of them!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Graduation

Today my little guy graduates from taking naps in the crib while at daycare to taking them on a little cot. The cots are very, very low to the ground and if a child were to roll off of one, it might not even wake him or her (it would most likely not wake Gabriel as he sleeps like his mommy). But I still keep thinking that he needs to have rails and bars and other protective things around him while he sleeps.

And next week he will move from the low-chair (high chair with short legs) to a real, honest to goodness little kid chair! What's next? Condoms? Sheesh!

I thought that yesterday was a milestone when I turned 35. Nope, it's today when my baby becomes a little boy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

From here to eternity

Or to the toy on the other side of the room. Whichever one my son has his eye on at the time. As of yesterday evening, he has achieved mobility. Crawling. And he darn near pulled up. Oh yes, and he stood on his own for a few seconds. All in the same day! Yikes! Our house currently has no gates, and I only recently packed away a lot of the breakables. Not all, I’m sure, but a lot.

The crawling is really quite amusing because he uses such a Kafkaesque form. His version of crawling involves using both hands, one knee, and a foot. If the Hunchback of Notre Dame crawled, I imagine that’s what he would have looked like. And as of last night (and things change daily in the dish house) he has not realized that his mobility can propel him forward to reach, say, the next room. Or the dog (to her delight). Or the unrestricted staircase. He sees it as a way to get the toys that are out of reach. I figure by tonight he will have figured out how to use his powers to take over the world and then I’m screwed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pathetic musings (updated)

Why is it that if something a teensy bit odd happens with one of my cycles my first thought is “maybe I’m pregnant?” Haven't I learned that it is just not going to happen without extensive intervention? I have been pregnant once...just once...and have one child. Three years of trying and drugs galore to get that one. Most of the tests indicate that it is a male factor (alhtough we were never anything but "unexplained" on the records), so my body “learning” what it is to be pregnant is not going to solve anything.

So, when I spot a tiny bit yesterday, which is a full week or so before the red ravage is due, why the hell do I torture myself by thinking that it might be implantation bleeding? Why do I play these mind games? WTF??? The RR has been early (even two weeks early) on a few occasions. Honestly, that is a more likely scenario.

I need some chocolate.

Updated to add:
In case you're keeping score at home, it was, in fact, the coming of RR.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Big One

I used to love watching Sanford and Son as a kid. Seeing Redd Foxx stumble around, clutching his chest and saying “It’s the big one. I’m coming Elizabeth!”

That fact has nothing at all to do with this post. It just popped into my head when I wrote down the title. No, the “Big One” in this case is, as you have probably already guessed, the first birthday. In a mere 12 days my little boy turns one. My head cannot seem to wrap around that fact.

And the first birthday seems to be surrounded with a lot of magical occurrences:

• The car seat can be turned to face forward (yes, he is more than 20 pounds)

• He can eat egg whites

• He can eat peanut butter

• He can eat citrus fruit

• He can drink milk (ok, lots of food stuff- you get the idea)

• He should start to walk any day

• He can sleep on a cot at daycare

I wonder- can I turn the car seat around the day before he turns one? Or will it cause the infant police to take away my mothering license? What about the milk? We did try to give him a bit of ice cream a month ago and it came right back up. Does he have the proper enzymes as of May 17th? What if they are late and only show up on the 18th?

Here’s a little secret...he already loves mandarin oranges {gasp}, and I’ve given him scrambled eggs {double gasp}.

But, anyway, after a ceremonial plea to the Gawds, we will be taking him to get ice cream on his birthday to the same place where I have gone my entire life and where my mom has gone for almost her entire life. Let’s hope that the magic enzymes show up on time!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The 11th Hour

On Monday, Gabriel will officially turn 11 months. He is at that stage where everything is a new wonder and the world has become unbelievably fascinating. I love watching him explore and discover each day. Of course, I also worry (as does every other parent) about whether we have done everything we can to advance his development.

Gabe is a tall, skinny kid, and was not a huge baby. In fact, we recently visited with friends whose child is a month younger than him but looked about two months older. Of course that child is crawling around, pulling up, and generally has achieved free mobility. Gabe, on the other hand, has no interest in crawling. He wants to walk everywhere but has not mastered the whole balance thing, so we spend much time each day hunched over, index fingers extended as support handles, and let him toddle around all over the house. Given his demands for “walkies,” I really expected that he would be toddling on his own by now. Far before now. I know that all kids develop differently, but I admit that I had hoped his dismissal of crawling would lead to early walking. And I guess I was wrong. I figured his desire to be “up, up, up” all the time would inspire him to pull up on the furniture, dog, or us. Nope, not so much. Gabe is often content to sit in one spot and play with the toys around him. And I know that his ability to self-entertain is a milestone all in itself, but as a mother, I still worry about his mobility.

Now verbally, the child is doing beautifully. At this point he has a vocabulary of six words. Dot (doggie), Ba (bottle), Dada, Mumma or Mama, Up, and the most recent Na or Nana (food- specifically stemming from his favorite...banana). Just last week he made a two word sentence- “Mama, nana” as he was reaching for the food on the table while sitting on my lap. It was pretty darn awesome. And he does a lot of other cool things like plays independently, initiates play (he plays peek-a-boo with the blanket when we lay him down to sleep), and uses non-verbal language to communicate what he wants. He also has the best temperament and sense of humor I could imagine. He goes bonkers when I pull out a book to read to him, and even if he’s in cranky mode, it calms him down completely. He will also sit and page through a book (the cardboard ones of course) by himself and knows when it is upside down.

I know, I worry too much, but it’s in my job description. And based on seeing what I wrote above, I know that he is fine and is most definitely a product of our genes. All nerd, all the time. Just like his parents.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hot off the presses

I saw a sign on my way to work this morning:

Eat Our Fish

or

Go to Hell

Where is the camera when you need it?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Houston, we have a tooth.

The prize has finally arrived after many months of drool beyond compare, and chewing, and fussing, and pooping. (What? Pooping is not a sign of teething? Then why do you always seem to read how someone's little one had "a big poop" and that's just how they knew a tooth was coming? I figure with all these diapers he's been working on something big.)

Anyway, the great moment of discovery was last night at dinner and of course the first thing we all did was immediately stick our fingers in his mouth to feel the tooth. Boy did THAT go over well (ahem).

I guess we'd better shape up, now that the little bugger can bite.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cool tool

I'm one of those weirdo's who likes to color in maps to show where I've traveled. I've been to quite a few states, but I was nearly 30 before I left the US. So, I had to do something to make it look like I was "well traveled." I found this cool tool while surfing at Menita's blog.

I will admit that having the states where I've been as "red states" bugs me, but I'll get over it. I guess I need to go north more often, huh?

If you want to create your own visited states map, go here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Revival

I feel like I have been in hibernation for an eternity. lately, life has been getting the better of my time, and has left me with little extra for things like blogging. It has also left me tired and not feeling like I really have much to say.

Gabriel is growing like a weed and seems to change each and every day. Some days, I swear I wouldn't recognize him by the end of the day because he has changed so much. That's actually one of my recurring nightmares...not knowing which kid is mine in a group. I don't expect it to happen IRL, but it sure is scary to wake up from one of those dreams and start to doubt your own mothering.

Now that it is officially spring, I feel like I should be putting efforts into something constructive. At this time last year, I was having a baby shower, preparing a nursery, and wondering whether I was really cut out for the whole mothering thing. This year, I am preparing for Gabriel's first birthday in May, reorganizing the house to make one of the rooms into a playroom for him (no, he really doesn't need a playroom at one year, but I want to have it), and thinking about the expansion of our family. We have discussed it at length and are not going to revisit the IVF path. Yes, we had an amazing run of success with our one and only experience. But we were fully committed to adoption before my pregnancy, and we are going back to that pursuit. In fact, only yesterday we reactivated our paperwork with the agency. The director will need an updated profile and we will need to get recertification for criminal and child abuse background checks, but outside of that our other paperwork should still be fine. We never got to the homestudy phase the first time around, so that would need to be done regardless.

Now I am anxious to really get things fixed up around the house because once there are two kids, we can forget ever having time to do *anything*. But I am really excited at the possibility of this guy having a little brother or sister. I think he'll be happy about it too.

Monday, January 30, 2006

When it hits the fan, read it

I have been so lax in writing lately but not so lax in reading. A few posts I saw today are worth an extra mention, so I would like to highlight them here:

First, if you are looking for an in-depth, no holds barred birth story, check out Beaver Girl's blog. We have had to wait a bit to hear the nitty-gritty on the arrival of Fred, but she has come through and then some with all the poop. Literally!

Second, if you are planning to cloth diaper at any point in your life, you must read what Jo has to say. She is the queen of cloth and has also begun elimination communication with her daughter. And, again, she's a gal that will give you all the poop. Literally. (Are you noticing a theme, here?)

And last, but so very far from least, is the most recent educational symposium on adoption from the ever-lovely Karen. Asshats of the world beware! The Ovary is watching! (While Karen does not literally discuss fecal outpourings, she does give you the straight poop and therefore fits the theme. My blog, my theme.)

I have a few random posts a-brewin'. Till then, enjoy the words of these lovely ladies.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mama Meme-a

Today I am borrowing a meme from the lovely and ever-snarky Jo, who credits Mamamarta (sorry- I don’t have her link) with giving it to her (or tagging her, you know, whatever). I liked it because it will give a little more flavor to the “dish”- ha! Get it? A flavorful dish?

{crickets chirping}

What were you doing ten years ago?

I was at UCLA, had just finished my master’s degree, and was continuing down the road toward the doctorate. I had also just realized that my advisor WAS truly insane, not just quirky, and I was in the process of deciding whether to stick it out, move to another lab in the same department, go to a different department, or change universities altogether. (I ultimately created a hybrid of option two and three and moved into two different labs but graduated from my original department.) I had also just moved (again- I moved something like 6 times in a three year period) into a rental house with a friend after getting dumped by my boyfriend and having him move out of our apartment. It was pretty ugly at the time, but worked out nicely in the end. I loved the new house, loved living with that friend (with whom I am still close), and actually enjoyed being unattached for almost two years (no, I’m not that lame- I really got used to living life for me and loved it). Now that it has been many years later, I even have a casual friendship with my ex and his wife (I had moved away from LA and they happened to move to same city). We have dinner sometimes, we have kids a month apart in age, I have coffee with her occasionally (she’s a lovely gal). We still have awkward moments given the history, but life isn’t always a smooth ride, so I take the bumps as they come.

I also started attending the local University Catholic Center. At first I wanted to feel a connection to a group, reconnect with a church (and I had grown up R.C., so why not start there), and perhaps meet some new people (many of my friends were mutual with my ex). I ended up finding some wonderful people, getting involved in the choir (more of a folk group), and used it as a great base to the chaos of my life. Some of my best memories of living in LA revolve around the people I met at that church.

What were you doing one year ago?

One year ago I had just entered the second half of my pregnancy and persisted in the state of disbelief that I would actually come home with a baby. As many infertiles experience, even when a pregnancy occurs there is such a cloud of doom hanging over your head because your body was uncooperative for so long that it is difficult to enjoy the pregnancy to its fullest.

Five snacks I enjoy:

1. Pretzels and diet cola (I love to eat them together)
2. Crackers
3. Peanut butter on banana or apple
4. Popcorn
5. Ice Cream

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics:
(Ok, I must qualify this by saying that as a Sweet Adeline—bet ya didn’t know that about me—I know all of the words to a LOT of songs. I will pick non-SA songs.)

1. Most everything by Erasure, Sting (not the Police), and Duran Duran (yes, I admit it)
2. Pink Floyd’s The Wall (the whole album, not just the song)
3. R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World
4. Toad the Wet Sprocket’s All I Want
5. Blind Melon’s No Rain

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:

1. Move to a big piece of land, build three little houses, and move there with our parents.
2. Open a Bed and Breakfast (...thus limiting location of property in #1, but that’s ok)
3. Buy a Toyota Highlander hybrid. (We want room for more kids and the dog without mutilating the environment.)
4. Homeschool my kid(s)
5. Write a book

Five bad habits:

1. General laziness and procrastination (lifted from Jo)
2. Chewing skin around my nails
3. Using clean laundry out of the basket rather than putting it away first
4. Over-committing myself to activities
5. Watching too much TV (cop/forensic/medical shows)

Five things I like doing:

1. Spending time with my son
2. Creating (usually jewelry, cross-stitch, or fabric-based items)
3. Reading
4. Singing
5. Hiking

Five things I would never wear, buy, or get new again:
1. Any clothing in a fluorescent color
2. Mini-skirts
3. High heels
4. Blue cosmetics (mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, or nail polish- and I had all four at one time)
5. Leg warmers (what the hell were we thinking?)

Five favorite toys:

1. Wei*ght Watchers point calculator thingy (which has helped me to lose 26 pounds in 11 weeks, thankyouverymuch)
2. Web sudoku (does that qualify?)
3. My new crock pot (hey, we both work full-time...hot meals are nice)
4. My son’s Leap Frog Alphabet Pal
5. Our digital camera

If you have not only visited my blog (it’s an elite group, I tell ya) but read to the end of the meme, consider yourself tagged. Plus, it’s delurking week so leave a comment, ok? Toodles!

Monday, January 09, 2006

A New Year's Eve Review

Wow. Did the year really turn already? I am still in denial. New Year's Eve (NYE) is always one of those awkward nights where you don't necessarily want to go out because of the potential hassles involved but you feel awfully lame staying in for the night.

I have spent most of my NYEs at home, saying goodnight to my parents at about 9p.m., and then staying up alone to watch the ball drop. Yeah, I know, how exciting is that?

On a few other occasions, I spent NYE with my in-laws and while they normally stay up until midnight, the evening is not much different than the rest of the visit.

In two previous years I have gone to a NYE party and both were spectacularly lame. At the first one, I was abandoned by the friend who dragged me there and had to find a way home. At the second, my immediate group of friends was about 10 years older than the rest of the crowd. Yes, we were the old fogies...at midnight we quickly snuck out the door to get home before the drunks hit the roads.

However, a few NYEs stand out in my book:

In 2000, NYE became the day that I got engaged. It was freezing outside, we're talking below zero with the windchill, and A asked me to marry him while we were outside and standing on an exposed deck on a hillside. Don't crucify him for the meterological mishap- he chose the spot because it is one of my favorite places (not that I normally go there on brutally cold nights, but that's ok).

In 2002, we went to one of those "First Night" celebrations in my husband's hometown. It was fun, not too crazy, and I would definitely go again.

In 2004, I spent NYE in Florence, Italy. I have to admit that I went to sleep far before midnight, but I was also 19 weeks pregnant at the time and was a wee bit tired as we neared the end of our European trek. Florence, however, was fabulous.

In 2005, we decided to attend a party, baby in tow, and then stay the night to avoid the risks of driving home that evening. Overall, a good party. The best feature, though, was knowing that our baby was asleep upstairs. The latter half of 2005 showed me, without question, that although I spent many of my younger years claiming that I wasn't cut out to be a mom, I was absolutely and completely wrong. That is about the best way to ring in the New Year that I can imagine.



Happy New Year, all.