Thursday, February 26, 2009


Blue (bloo) - adj - Sad and gloomy

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Odd Question

Ok, so this may be icky, but I have used all my google skills and can not find a good enough answer so I am calling to the masses for help.

Exhibit A

My face turns red when I exercise. Even if I just climb a flight of stairs. It isn't just a little flushed either it is {{BEET RED}} (see Exhibit A above) and feverishly hot to the touch It is so bad that people usually stare and ask if I"m ok. My face also DOES NOT sweat. My upper lip does a little...and I mean a little, but that's it. So I can WALK on a treadmill for 5 minutes and look like I've just run a marathon in the Sahara. It has been like this as long as I can remember and my level of fitness doesn't affect it at all. When I was running buku miles everyday I still got beet red, I noticed myself in the mirror at the gym last night and suddenly all the panicked looks people had been giving me made sense.

Ok, so anyone know why my face does this? Any fix-it ideas?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Can your eyeballs beat my eyeballs?

I went here to take a fun quiz. My first time I got 4.91. I tried it gain and got 3.37. How'd you do?

Friday, February 20, 2009

More funny business

We left early (3:30am) Wednesday morning to get to MEPS. (I thought Nathan was leaving Tuesday?? Yes, so did we. We got to MEPS and it turns out that they had screwed up a piece of his paperwork and so they couldn't ship him that we had to go back down Wednesday) On the way I my mom texted me this photo:

This is the remains of my dad's truck. He was going home from work (he works nights) and went to cross a set of train tracks and just as he got to them he noticed out of the corner of his eye a little light. He slammed on his brakes, hit black ice and slamed into the train. He's lucky he saw the little light (which I believe was a headlamp on a helpment of the driver)...otherwise the train would have hit him instead of him hitting the train. Turns out they were moving train cars around and didn't turn on the train lights, crossing lights or put the arm-thingy down. The truck is totaled...obviously. And my dad was very sad about that. (Funny thing is that this is his old, ugly work truck...he has a brand new Dodge Ram Megacab at home. My mom thinks he would have been LESS sad if that truck were totalled instead)

Here's something else that's funny:

This is all the booters (slang for new sailers going to boot camp) sitting in lines in the concourse of the O'Hare Airport. They treated Nathan really well...told him to go hang out at the USO he did. He sat on their couch and watched TV. And he fell asleep. He woke up Thursday morning and realized he'd been left behind. Seriously. But he took a cab and now he's at the base and all set. Oh, my funny honey.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

For everything else...

Time spent making the decision: 6 months
Weeks waiting for official word: 4
Trips to MEPS: 3
Hours spent at the recruiter's office: 11
Documents prepared and signed: 100+
Tanks of gas: 2
Headaches: 23
Finally seeing him put his arm to the square: Priceless

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I swear I am not making this stuff up...

Last night we had to drop some stuff of at one of our friend's pads.  We got there, parked and went in.  I noticed there was a 'Permit Parking Only' sign and I asked our friend about it and he said we would be fine.  We were there for maybe 25-30 minutes.  When we walked out we noticed a couple guys standing by our car talking.  Come to find out one of them had JUST booted our car.  JUST.  He wouldn't take it off, he wanted $70 first.  We forked it over, I mean, what other choice did we have?   Booting Nazi.

Nathan's parents warned us about the impending storm so we made sure to get up early enough.  When we backed out the driveway we immediately knew it would take longer than expected.  It was snowing and windy and the roads were snow packed.  With clenched jaws and white knuckles we made it to the other end of the canyon about an hour later (just to give you an idea it usually takes abut 15-20 minutes).  We got to MEPS just in time.  We got in and went to the Navy office and waited...and waited. Come to find out there was an error in his paperwork.  MEPS blamed the Navy Music department, I blamed the recruiter...we found out later that it was MEPS' fault.  The guy at MEPS said there was no way Nathan was leaving today so we should go home and he would call and let us know if he would be leaving tomorrow or Thursday.  

We started heading back home and turned on the radio to check weather.  The freeway was closed just a couple exits ahead of us and when I tell you why you'll call me a liar.  A semi truck driver had fallen asleep, hit a barrier and spilled his load all over the road.  Guess what he was hauling?  Quarter pound hamburger patties for McDonald's.  Guess how much spilled?  43,000 pounds.  You can see the full story with pics here.   

We continued north and we noticed that the farther north we got the worse the storm got.   We were both getting sleepy (after all we were on only a few hours sleep) so we pulled off and killed 20 minutes or so walking around Smith & Edwards to wake up.  We got home and immediately went to sleep.  

At five we were worried because we hadn't heard from MEPS yet so Nathan called them.  He talked to someone (not the guy from this morning...he was gone), and yes he is slated to fly out tomorrow.  Sure was nice of them to call and let us know.  Jerks.  Nathan called his detailer (the guy who decides where we'll be stationed) and told him he didn't fly out today just as an FYI.  Then he called the recruiter and he asked if we were jinxed.  He has NEVER had anyone be this hard to process before.  

So we'll try again tomorrow.  Please keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well and the weather won't be too bad.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Babe I'm leavin, I'll say it once again...

(Sam, that title is for you)

So the reality of our move is starting to set in. I took yesterday off work and we cleaned and sorted and took stuff to the DI (goodwill). We also met with our Realtor and signed all the paperwork so that is all set. We have listed a few things on an online classifieds site and last night when Nathan was talking over the details of selling our piano I got all teary. I sulked to the bedroom, got up on the bed and cried. Our house is getting emptier and emptier. We have given away some things, sold others and donated some too. We had to decide if we wanted the item enough to schlep it over 1000 miles. Sadly our piano didn't make the cut. I love it but that beast is HEAVY. Seriously...HEAVY. It will eat up a TON of our weight limit and I would honestly rather have a washer and dryer and a couch...(which would probably be about how much that beast weighs...I'm not kidding). Nathan promises me that we'll find another piano once we get there, and believe you me I'm going to hold him to it.

I have also given my official last day to my work (the 6th). I am tidying up things and getting everything ready for the new me. I am going to miss the people I work with. I have always wanted to do some office practical jokes but I have never had the balls to do them for fear of losing my job. Well, not anymore. I have pulled a few hijinks the last few days, because what are they going to me??!? They are not harmful or rude, I promise. For example: I took the T and Y keys on Sam's keyboard and switched them. I seran wrapped a guy's office today (well, not the office, but everything in it...chair, computer monitor, phone, pens, calculator, etc, etc. I have a few more up my sleeve, we'll see if they make it to fruition.

Nathan leaves on Tuesday. :( The kitties and doggie and I will miss him while he's gone. There will be much scrapbooking to be done to occupy myself so if any of you want in on the scrapbook goodness, let me know.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Again...sorry, I can't help myself.

So the author of this blog that I stalk (is it still considered stalking of I occasionally make comments??) posts articles on infertility and adoption on Sundays. Today's article is about dealing with people who you love who are infertile. You can read her post here...she starts by saying that when they were struggling with getting pregnant that ever rule in the article was broken. I too can say that EVERY ONE of these things has happened to me at least coworkers, family, friends, strangers. I know they were never done intentionally...people just didn't know any better. I know I just posted something in infertility earlier in the week...but this is just too good not to share. So here it edited (well, enhanced...cause I love to bold and italicize things) copy of THIS GREAT ARTICLE which you all should read because you love us, or someone like us who is struggling or has struggled with infertility.

Infertility Etiquette

By Vita Alligood

Chances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.

The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.

As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. Most infertility treatments involve using hormones, which alter the user's moods. (That statement is like calling a lion a cat-my husband would tell you that the side effect is insanity!) The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money. Infertility treatments are expensive, and most insurance companies do not cover the costs. So, in addition to the pain of not conceiving a baby each month, the couple pays out anywhere from $300 to five figures, depending upon the treatment used.

A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:

  1. They will eventually conceive a baby.
  2. They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
  3. They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.

Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Don't Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.

Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don't Minimize the Problem

Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.
{Holly here...DON'T tell us things like "I'll give you one of mine" or "Be glad you don't have kids - it changes your life"...we KNOW it does. We WANT that change}

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen

Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.

People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.
{along these same lines...DO NOT say "Everything happens for a reason"...even if we agree with you, that is NOT going to help. If you are religious don't tell us it will happen in God's time. We realize this...but it is like telling someone whose spouse gets tragically killed in an auto accident that it was God's plan.}

Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"

There are many reasons why a couple would choose not to pursue this option. Here are a few of them.

IVF is Expensive with Low Odds

One cycle of IVF is very expensive. With all of the hype in the news, many people assume that IVF is a sure thing when, in fact, the odds of success for each cycle are low. Most couples cannot afford to try for one month, much less for multiple times. Considering that it also costs a significant amount of money to adopt a baby, many couples opt for the "sure thing" rather then risking their money on much lower odds.

IVF is Physically Taxing

Undergoing IVF treatments is very rigorous. The woman must inject shots into her thigh daily to cause her ovaries to superovulate. The drugs used are very taxing on the woman, and they can cause her to be become extremely emotional.

IVF Raises Ethical Issues

Ironically, couples who undergo IVF to become parents may have to selectively abort one or more fetuses if multiple eggs are fertilized. Many couples cannot bring themselves to abort a baby when they have worked so hard to become parents. If the couple chooses not to selectively abort, they run the risk of multiple births.

Don't Offer Unsolicited Opinions If They Are Trying IVF

On the flip side of the coin, don't offer unsolicited advice to your friends who do choose to try IVF. For many couples, IVF is the only way they will ever give birth to a baby. This is a huge decision for them to make, for all of the reasons I outlined above.

If the couple has resolved any ethical issues, don't muddy the waters. IVF is a gray area in many ethical circles, and many of our moral leaders don't yet know how to answer the ethical questions that have arisen from this new technology. If the couple has resolved these issues already, you only make it harder by raising the ethical questions again. Respect their decision, and offer your support. If you can't offer your support due to ethical differences of opinion, then say nothing.

A couple who chooses the IVF route has a hard, expensive road ahead, and they need your support more than ever. The hormones are no cakewalk, and the financial cost is enormous. Your friend would not be going this route if there were an easier way, and the fact that she is willing to endure so much is further proof of how much she truly wants to parent a child. The hormones will make her more emotional, so offer her your support and keep your questions to yourself.

Don't Play Doctor

Once your infertile friends are under a doctor's care, the doctor will run them through numerous tests to determine why they aren't able to conceive. There a numerous reasons that a couple may not be able to conceive. Here are a few of them:

Blocked fallopian tubes
Low hormone levels
Low "normal form" sperm count
Low progesterone level
Low sperm count
Low sperm motility
Thin uterine walls

Infertility is a complicated problem to diagnose, and reading an article or book on infertility will not make you an "expert" on the subject. Let your friends work with their doctor to diagnose and treat the problem. Your friends probably already know more about the causes and solutions of infertility than you will ever know.

You may feel like you are being helpful by reading up on infertility, and there is nothing wrong with learning more about the subject. The problem comes when you try to "play doctor" with your friends. They already have a doctor with years of experience in diagnosing and treating the problem. They need to work with and trust their doctor to treat the problem. You only complicate the issue when you throw out other ideas that you have read about. The doctor knows more about the causes and solutions; let your friends work with their doctor to solve the problem.

Don't Be Crude

It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.
{I have had people say "Spend a night with ___ and you'll get pregnant", ya...THAT'S what I want to do}

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy

This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.

The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.
{Don't complain about your unplanned pregnancy in front of an infertile friend. If you feel that way, FINE, but don't spout off about it infront of someone you KNOW cannot get pregnant. Don't go on and on about how inconvenient the timing is...we would KILL to be that inconvenienced}

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.
{Yes, we haven't had children yet...but as a whole, infertile women and men have read more information on parenting than non-infertile people...we read about it to help pass the time, give us hope and encourage us. We would take a night filled with diarrhea and vomit and snot and crying in a heartbeat..because it would mean we had a CHILD in our home}

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition

Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.

Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.
{It is embarrassing to run into someone and have them ask if your period came yet...enough said}

Don't Push Adoption (Yet)

Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.

You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.

Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.
{NEVER NEVER NEVER tell someone to "Put in your adoption papers, then you'll be sure to get pregnant". This minimizes the importance of the decision to if 'adopting' is just another infertility treatment}

So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care

The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.
{When we lost one of our babies a dear friend sent me some flowers. I can't even begin to tell you how much that meant to us}

Remember Them on Mother's Day

With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.

Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.
{We know that there are other women in our life and the day should be spent celebrating them and not wallowing in our sorrow...but the ENTIRE day is a reminder of what we CANNOT if we feel the need to skip out on church or cry a bit, put your arm around us and tell us you love us}

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments

No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.

Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.
{As someone who has decided to stop infertility treatments I can tell you it is a hard decision to make. Having people constantly ask if "We're sure" or telling us about something one of their friends tried does not make it easier.}

Friday, February 06, 2009

We have a winner!!

Feb 17th

Am I on Candid Camera??!?

Here are a couple snippets of hilarity that is our life.

I had to have Nathan at the recruiter's office yesterday BY ONE. They were leaving right AT ONE and would leave Nathan if he was late. We didn't want to leave his truck there so I hurried home on my lunch and we hauled my sweet hubby to the opposite end of town to drop him off. He was there about 12:40. I haul butt back to the opposite end of town, excited that the ball is rolling, but ticked about spending my lunch hour in traffic. I get a text from Nathan at 1:45...they still hadn't left. Turns out there were a few more forms Nathan needed to fill out...not that we couldn't have filled them out during one of the DOZEN times we've been up to their office already. grrr.

This morning I am at work and Nathan texts me...our {blankety blank} recruiter has forgotten ANOTHER form and I need to sign this one too. I call the slacker and tell him he's got to bring the form to me...I am not wasting my lunch hour trekking all the way up to his office to sign a form HE forgot. He comes to my work, has me sign a few forms and I tell him 'I am going to murder you if you screw this up'. He told Nathan he is a bit frightened of me. Good.

Nathan texts me while I'm home for lunch. The recruiter forgot Nathan's transcripts from the University. For real.

On a good note, last night Nathan took the 71 (maybe 72?). Good job honey!

25 things you never wanted to know

Ok, so this has been passed around more than the easy cheerleader in highschool, and since I have been tagged by no less than seven people here it goes. If you actually knew all these, stop stalking me.

  1. I have a slight obsession with shoes...I am currently at 92 pairs. Yep, 92.
  2. Even though I was born on Christmas, my favorite holiday is Halloween...hands down.
  3. Six cities in three states have had the distinct honor of calling me a resident. In a month or so, that will be seven cities in four states.
  4. Never broken a bone, but I did tear all the ligaments in my right ankle in indoor track in 9th grade.
  5. As of last Sunday I have been married for seven years to the luckiest guy alive. (actually, I am the lucky one)
  6. I LOVE writing. Actual using a pen writing. I used to practice my penmanship when I was younger...of my own free will and choice.
  7. During high school I went through a bit of a Hippie phase. It was nothing but bell bottoms, polyester and The Beatles. (there was also a lot of much that someone nicknamed me PG...Purple Gothic)
  8. I am the oldest of four and the only girl.
  9. One of my Christmas presents from Nathan was a notebook that fits in my purse...all so I can make lists any time I want.
  10. Nathan calls me a hoarder. I will admit that I have a bit of a collecting problem (see #1)
  11. When I grow up I want to be a secret service agent, college professor, graphic designer, event planner, professional photographer, psychologist, interior designer, concert pianist, lawyer, stay-at-home-mom.
  12. Want a slice of the best pumpkin pie ever? I can do that for you. (Apple Pie and Cheesecake too)
  13. I have OCD. For real. Actually diagnosed and medicated.
  14. I LOVE to mom doesn't and hasn't EVER. Not sure where I got it from.
  15. My outfit of choice would be a skirt and heels.
  16. One time I chopped my hair off. I went from waist length to a chin length bob in one snip. (well, it actually took a few to get through the ponytail)
  17. I play flute, piccolo, piano and drums. I took piano lessons for a year when I was ten and other than that I have never studied privately...kinda wish I would have...sometimes I am sad thinking of the talent I could have cultivated. :(
  18. I sing all the time. Unless there is someone around who can hear...the kitties are my only acceptable audience.
  19. I would LOVE to be in a musical...and not in the pit orchestra. But then I'd have to be able to sing in front of people... (see #18) Roxie Hart in Chicago would be my dream role.
  20. Going to the dentist should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.
  21. I have an intense desire to run a marathon...but unfortunately I lack the motivation to get my sorry butt out of bed and train.
  22. My Barbies and I had an ongoing secret relationship until 8th grade. I hope for girlie girls who will want to play Barbies with their mom...I still have 2 large rubbermaid tubs full of Barbies, clothes, furniture, etc...just in case. I also have a Barbie Jeep and a Barbie Van.
  23. I never wanted children until the summer of 2004. Some switch flipped that summer and now I know I can't have one I want twenty.
  24. I hate when people use incorrect grammar. Misuse of homonyms (Your/You're and There/Their/They're and Here/Hear) is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
  25. There is a constant running dialogue between me and myself and I in my head. It occurs in the shower, driving to work, eating and trying to fall asleep. I keep myself pretty good company.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Ball is Rolling

I just dropped Nathan off...he's off to MEPS. {finally} That means that barring a horrible performance on the ASVAB by the end of tomorrow we will have a DATE!!!!

And I realized that not all my bloggie buddies are military, so I made a short list of the military jargon I throw around to help that confused dazy look some of you get. (I told you...super techy spy software...)

MEPS - Military Entrance Processing Station. This is where they test to make sure Nathan is 'fit' for service. You know, the turn your head and cough bit. He'll also get to swear the oath of service there...I'm kinda bummed I'll miss it. The first time he did it I forgot my camera, now this time I won't be there to see it. :( Hopefully my hubby will think to have someone snap a pic on his cell.
ASVAB - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. A test all military personnel must take to see what type of job they qualify for. You can take a practice test here and see how good you do.
TPU - Transient Personnel Unit. This is like refresher boot camp. This could be two weeks or two months...however long it takes to get everything done and make sure Nathan's records are all correct in the system. (Given how long it has taken to get this far, I'm planning on two months)

So if you read this today, keep your fingers crossed for a good ASVAB score and no unknown appendages hiding on his body.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Warm

Our kitten, Frank, loves to be nice and toasty warm.  Whenever I pull out the heating pad he gets excited in the hopes he'll get to snuggle into it.  He also has figured out that warm air comes out of the air vents.  I find him all the time laying on top of the vents when the air is off hoping to absorb some of the heat off the metal...and lately he has acquired a new talent.  See below.

He straddles the vent while the heat is on.  He'll stand like this for the entire time the air is blowing.  Smart little rat. 
(As an aside, doesn't Winston look THRILLED that Frank is hovering that close?)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It worked

Nathan's paperwork got processed and he's headed to MEPS on Friday.

Thanks to our awesome fam...especially to Timothy. :)

The Blank Space

I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be pregnant. I have dealt with that grief and have moved on. But that doesn't mean that every once in a while something touches a sensitive string in my heart and sends me into a downward spiral that results in THOUSANDS of calories being eaten, many tears being shed and 'it's just not fair' being my phrase of choice. The last few days I could tell that this was coming on and I have tried my best to ignore it. I could feel it welling under the surface of my heart and I tried to will it back into the dark corner where I keep no avail. Today I broke. I went online in search of some comfort. Someone out there who feels like me, who struggles like me, who shouts it's just not fair just like me. I found someone. Reading through the pages of her blog I find that we are very similar. Our personalities are a lot like each other, we share the same political beliefs, and we both suffer from infertility, although the means to that end has been different for both of us. She had this article on her blog and I read it. I shouldn't have, knowing the mood I'm in today, but I did anyway. I cried. I ate more chocolate. I felt like I needed to share. The article is just incredible. I know not many of you are fond of clicking on the links I provide (my super spy tracker software tells me so) so I decided to post the article here....if you feel like reading to get a glimpse into what it is like for us 'infertiles' here you go:

The Blank Space in Our Family Album


Published: January 6, 2008

EVERY once in a while I am clunked on the head by one of the many baby books we’ve shoved into the upper corner of our future child’s closet. Given the shortage of space in our 700-square-foot apartment, I probably should have given them away by now.

But when you’ve been trying without success to have a baby for four and a half years, books aren’t the only things you have trouble letting go of.

Among the titles are “The Expectant Father,” “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” and my personal favorite, “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.” I wonder if it has any “No-Cry” solutions for a grown woman who occasionally can’t hold it together at bedtime because she has no one to put to bed.

Some of my friends post sonogram images of their thumb-sucking fetuses on their refrigerators. It’s their baby’s first photo, the one that is sent by e-mail to everyone with cheerful subject lines like “It’s a girl!”

We have sonogram photos, too, years’ worth, but there are no tiny hands or perfectly shaped noses in ours. The sonogram image that’s furthest along features two promising little marbles that stopped growing at seven weeks, which was three weeks before we knew anything was wrong. The most recent is of a blank, black space with the caption: “Empty Uterus.”

I wonder how people would respond if I were to e-mail that to everyone with the subject line: “It’s an Empty Uterus!” I know — not appropriate. But in the world of failed fertility, you learn that a little gallows humor can help you through a lot of heartache. A companion photo of my ectopic pregnancy looks perfect except for the fact that the embryo is in the wrong place. Another potential e-mail message, subject line: “Embryo in the Wrong Place!”

That pregnancy was last May, after our second round of in vitro fertilization. My husband had taken off work to go to my appointment because there was a chance we would see a heartbeat. We had even talked about going to see “Knocked Up” afterward to celebrate.

Then the nurse didn’t see anything. I just figured she needed to adjust the gain a little. But then she said, “It might be ectopic.”

I said, “So you’re saying it’s nothing or it’s ectopic?”

“Yes.” Then she left us with a box of tissues. I had some blood drawn to confirm that there was a pregnancy somewhere. The medical assistant struggled to find my vein and pricked me again and again as I sat there sobbing. Then they kindly offered that we could leave through the side door. I did honestly take it as a kindness, though it also occurred to me that it’s probably bad business for a fertility center to have a sobbing woman walking through the lobby.

A few weeks after the surgery to remove the wayward pregnancy, my husband and I met with the doctor to discuss our situation. We hadn’t even known an ectopic pregnancy was possible because the embryos are transferred directly into the uterus. And the possibility is extremely low; the doctor said the chance was less than 1 percent, which is less than among the general population.

“The worst luck you could possibly have,” he said.

Our first year of trying, when my husband and I were 30 and 31, was a time of assumptions: that we would conceive like everyone else, that having a child was the most natural thing in the world.

The next year brought tests, anxiety and doubts. Then came fertility treatments, followed by our two cycles of in vitro fertilization, and finally, three months of acupuncture and herbs from a Taiwanese doctor. And now, nearly five years since we started, we have nothing to show for any of it.

Except our photos: grainy images of all the embryos we created in a laboratory. And I can’t bring myself to throw them away, these artifacts of our fertility science experiment and our gamble with luck. Though they are nothing more than blobs of cells, I can’t help wondering whom they might have become. They may not have gotten very far in life, but they are the only life we’ve created. Like the photos on our walls and in our albums, they are part of our history. It’s just that we would probably be violating some social norm if we were to frame them and hang them on the walls. Not that we have any desire to do so. Instead, we tuck them away in nooks, stuff them into drawers, shove them into the corners of our closets and our minds, along with the books, clothes, furniture, expectations and dreams. Occasionally we bump into them and remember, “Oh, right, there’s that.”

In the closet with the books is a Target bag containing baby clothes and an “I love Daddy” bib that I bought in a fit of hope around the time of our first pregnancy. In our cabinets and refrigerator, we also have prenatal vitamins, prescription folic acid and in vitro fertilization drugs. Somewhere in our apartment is a Consumer Reports checklist of must-have nursery furniture and baby gear.

As for child care arrangements, we’ve already worked out several plans, each with its pros and cons. We’ve decided on cloth diapers and flexible 529 college saving plans. We’ve ruled against using Baby Einstein before age 2, having a family bed and allowing mobile phones in high school. (We’ve acknowledged that by the time we actually have a teenager, phones will be implanted in their brains.)

We even have names, which don’t take up any space except in our heads. We have first and second choices for each gender and haven’t wavered on them in two years. Last month over lunch I asked my newly pregnant sister not to steal — er, use our names. But I had sounded so grave when I announced that I needed to “discuss something important” with her that she smiled with relief when she realized it was only baby names. “I thought you were going to say you and Bill were getting divorced or something,” she said.

In the end I think she believed I was being unreasonable about the names, one of which was her choice as well, particularly in my request that she not take our second-favorite names, either. But how could she have known how precious those names are to us? We’ve been carrying them around in our hearts for years, if not in our arms.

Most of our friends and family don’t know we have all of these books, photos, names and parenting philosophies. I doubt it occurs to people with real babies that we have prepared exactly as they have, if not more. The only thing we don’t have is the baby book. Hallmark doesn’t carry a version for people like us to preserve our “Empty Uterus” and “Embryo in the Wrong Place” pictures. (Instead of “Our Baby” embossed on the cover, I suppose they could put “Well, It Was a Long Shot Anyway.”)

It’s time for us to move on, I know. But how do you move on when every month brings a new cycle of hope? When your first reaction to a new period is to add ovulation predictors to your Target shopping list? When you can’t stop yourself from feeling a corrosive bitterness toward every family parading by with the babies they seem to have come by so easily?

Conventional wisdom tells us that hope is a good thing. Hope is what gets us through difficulty. But over these years I’ve come to realize that hope is sometimes slow torture. When hope keeps you anxious and bitter and stuck in some fantasy of the perfect nuclear family, then maybe hope isn’t what you need anymore. Maybe the most hopeful action one could take would be to abandon hope altogether.

Turns out I’m not alone in thinking this. When The New York Times Magazine recently published its list of the most innovative ideas of 2007, I got some satisfaction out of the inclusion of a study claiming that in certain cases hope can be an obstacle to emotional recovery.

I imagine a lot of people would call our years of fertility treatment and our $20,000 in vitro fertilization bill, which we paid with a loan, nothing more than vanity anyway, or selfishness. But it’s not so simple.

It’s not vanity to want a child with my husband’s laugh and spiky blond hair, or for him to want a long-legged girl with brown hair, freckles and gaps in her teeth. It’s love. And of all the baby items we’ve had to find places to store in this apartment, that unspent love is the most unwieldy. Unlike our books, furniture, clothes and pictures, it can’t be returned, given away, or shoved into the corners of our closet. And unlike hope, it probably won’t be found through scientific study to be an obstacle to emotional recovery.

SO we are pursuing an adoption in China. Some of our friends are surprised we’re O.K. with the fact that it takes about two years to complete an adoption in China, not including the three to five months it takes to put the paperwork in order.

But by now we are used to waiting. And we chose China because it offers something that fertility doctors, Mother Nature and plenty of other adoption options can’t: a predictable schedule and the closest thing possible to a guarantee.

We don’t know how to stop hoping for a biological child. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to our adoption. Slowly, books on adoption and attachment like “Are Those Kids Yours?” and “A Love Like No Other” are finding a place in our closet alongside still relevant titles like “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.”

After all, no-cry solutions are useful no matter what the circumstance. Not to mention “I love Daddy” bibs.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Lucky Number Seven

Today is our anniversary. Seven years ago we got hitched, and in honor of our special day and in hopes of channeling some good luck our way, this will be a post of sevens.

Seven things I remember about the day
1 - I forgot my shoes. I had decorated these white tennis shoes with rhinestones and ribbon and I left them at my apartment. So I had to trudge through the snow in sandals.
2 - It was cold. In most of my pictures my nose and ears are glowing red. I had a cloak to wear, but I didn't want it in all of the when I wasn't wearing it, it was passed around quite a bit.
3 - I snapped at my mom in the lobby of the temple (sorry mom, I feel bad about that to this day)
4 - Nathan's aunt caught on fire while while admiring pictures near the candle laden mantle.
5 - My uncle spiked his own punch.
6 - My brothers ripped the back of my dress when they lifted me up for a picture.
7 - My grandma's sex-lesson-chat thing in the restroom before I left will scar me for life.
(I swear I am not making any of this up)

Seven reasons I {still} love him
1 - He is an eternal optimist. Whenever times get tough he just smiles and tries to help me see the bright side of everything.
2 - He is uber patient. See #1.
3 - He let me get kitties. When we got married he told me it was him or a cat. Now he is just as wrapped around their little paws as I am.
4 - He puts up with me being bossy, moody, indecisive, impatient, pessimistic, messy and stubborn.
5 - He brushes my hair when I've had a bad day.
6 - He is the one who scoops the litterbox...even though I don't have to worry about toxoplasmosis anymore.
7 - He's a stud (see photographic evidence below)

Seven wishes I have for our future
1 - The blessing of children in our home
2 - To see the world side by side
3 - Health
4 - Much happiness
5 - Lots of laughter
6 - A few tears (sad and happy ones... there needs to be opposition in all things)
7 - Many, many years more

Seven pics (waaaaay back from when people actually used we're old)

My daddy enjoying the bridal cloak

Everyone who was with us for the ceremony.

My stud muffin

My mommy and me. I LOVED my bouquet...wanna know why? NO ROSES. :)

Our fairytale photo-op

Awwww, tender.

And they lived....