Today I completely lost my voice. I'm not sure why exactly. I haven't had any congestion or anything like that. I don't even really feel sick.

The only thing that I can think of is some of the nausea that I experienced this week with my migraine. Yesterday afternoon, I had what we refer to as the "dry heaves". I was coughing a lot with that. Perhaps I injured my throat in the process.

Monkey T overheard Mel (her mom) & I "discussing" my voice situation, and she heard us talking about heaving.

"What's heaving?" She immediately asked.

Hmmm...apparently it is not something easy to explain to a 9-year-old whose dad, the vet, openly talks about animal health stuff to a lot.

Mel: "It's like when you have to throw up, but nothing comes out."
T: "Like a burp?"
Mel: "Nope, more like just gagging."
T: "Oh."

The rest of the evening she followed me around.

T: "Are you going to be sick again?"
Me (writing): No
T: "You look too pale."
Me: I'm always pale
T: "Are you sure you aren't going to be sick again?"
Me: I'm sure

By the end of the night, I think I had convinced that having dry heaves is not a big deal, and I could tell that she will file that term away for later use. The next time she gets a sore throat, I am pretty sure that she will blame it all on the heaves.



Max, our three year old Shih Tzu, is pretty much blind in one eye. Somehow, he cut his eye when he was just a few months old. A couple of surgeries and months of cone-wearing later, he gained the ability to see light (we think). Because of his poor vision, he gained a distrust of people other than J, myself and our parents.

Max loves to hear his own voice when we have company. He will bark incessantly until he fully establishes who they are. Even then, if they make a sudden movement toward him or leave the house and come back, he starts the barking all over again.

So, when we have any kind of repair person or some other STRANGER over, we started putting Max & Molly in their room and closing the door so that he will not be traumatized by having STRANGERS in the house.

Now, when Max comes out of the room, he starts barking/sniffing all over the whole house, retracing the STRANGER's footsteps. Periodically he will come up to J or I with a quizical look on his face as if to say "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?!? YOU LET SOMEONE COME INTO OUR HOUSE!!!!"

When he finally convinces himself that they have left the house, he collapses on the floor - completely exhausted. Our poor, little guard dog. Life is rough sometimes.


New Day, Same Headache

Today I am still suffering from a major headache.

I am heavily prone to migraines - have been all my life. Headaches are common side effects of Clomid. Great.

My headache started as a dull pain, and I thought, "Okay, I can manage this. It's nothing compared to a migraine." Famous. Last. Words. My dull pain turned into one. A bad one.

Yesterday afternoon, I began to experience dizziness, light auras (a.k.a. "the shiners") and vision problems (for me, this means depth perception difficulties).

Today, I called the nurse. For future reference - Yes, you can take OTC painkillers while you are on Clomid. And now, I will hope that it's been long enough to take another dose.


Rainy Day Dogs

Today, it's raining. This means that Molly & Max, who generally love the outdoors, are completely uninterested in going outside.

We gather leashes, and appropriate rain gear, and open the door. Neither one will leave the porch.

It would have been so convenient for me to be able to stand on the porch (it's covered) and wait for them to do their business. But, no. I have to march out in the rain with them.

We spend the first five minutes just standing there. The dogs stare at me with this look that says "Why, O Why, crazy woman? Why must we be rained on?"

And this entire process will repeat at least two more times before the night is over.

Clomid, Shlomid

So, what happens when I take Clomid? A. Major. Headache.


Round Two - Complete

Today is the day my cousin had her baby (by c-section). I took an extra day off from work. I knew I needed to be there at noon, and it's an hour away.

So, about an hour and a half before I need to go, my phone rings. It's my doctor. "Can you come now?"

Let me back up just a second. Yesterday, was my Day One (for my cycle). My fertility tests have to come within the first couple of days. Of course yesterday was Memorial Day, so the doctor's office was closed. Today is Day Two.

Okay, so back to the phone call. "Sure," I said. "I'll be there in 30 minutes." Duh! I hadn't gotten my shower yet. I still had to put together my camera and the other things I would need to go up to be with my cousin. The doctor's office is 30 minutes away on a good day. And of course, there is a ton of road construction going on, so I inevitably have to wait on traffic. 30 minutes! Yeah, Genius...whatever.

Somehow I did make it to the office in 45 minutes. And then, I had to wait. WAIT! They knew I needed to be on the road! But, I was in no position to question that since they made a special effort to work me in today.

Dr. F did a sonogram to make sure that all my organs are intact, and that they really do exist.

Then they drew two vials of blood. I am a terrible blood-giver. I pass out. Or throw up. Or both. I warned the nurse of this, and she turned out to be a saint. Not only did she get the needle in the first time, she kept me completely distracted and helped me to remember to breathe.

So, to sum it all up, no problems found so far. Dr. F gave me an Rx for Clomid. We will try a round or two, to see if it will help. I go back on 6/7. My cycle is totally not co-operating - starting on a holiday, and the ovulation predicted for a Saturday - but, Dr. F wanted me to come in anyway.

By the end of the day, our family has a new little baby to spoil. Carrie's dad called me to tell me that she just had the baby - and I was only three miles away (stupid waiting at doctor's office)! When I got there, they were wheeling Carrie and Alison to their room.

Baby Alison is already the star of the nursery. She has a great set of lungs, and like the rest of my family, already exhibits signs of ADD.

You know how some babies are red, purple, etc.? Alison is perfect. Maybe one day...

P.S. Today's my anniversary - 8 years! It's unfortunate timing that the events of this morning had to happen today!


Day Off

Tonight, my husband & I sit side by side at our respective desks in our office. He is struggling with a work problem. I am struggling with, well, life.

Tomorrow is our 8 year anniversary, and in 8 years I grew to depend on J more than I ever thought I would any other person. Sure, he can absolutely drive me crazy, but I rely on him to be there. He is the calm to my storm.

I have changed a lot since we met. I became more introverted, but at the same time I am more sure of myself and what I want. He has changed a lot too. He has become more extroverted, and he's completely lost his shyness.

This afternoon I realized the impact that I have had on his speech and his musical tastes - whether he likes it or not. He recounted a situation for me, and I noticed that he refrained from using "ain't" - completely! Furthermore, he overheard me sing a song that I know he doesn't like to the dog earlier, and he's whistling it now as he works. I wonder if he notices that kind of thing.

Today we both had the day off. I spent most of the day trying to figure out what we should do with our day. Now, as I reflect on today's events, I realize that we didn't do anything. Sure, we accomplished some medial around-the-house type chores, but nothing memorable, nothing of substance. And that's okay. Just being together is enough.


Hamburgers and Sharing

Today we invited my mother-in-law & crew over for hamburgers after church. She spent the entire weekend baby-sitting three of my nephews - Super H (age 7), Farmer C (age 4) and Baby G (age 1) - while my sister-in-law & her husband are out-of-town.

Super H is a quiet, sweet kid. He loves watching animals and playing video games. He listens well, and he is really, really good with Baby G. He's...well...he's usually super.

Farmer C is outgoing and very loving. He likes to snuggle with you and laugh. He has a cute little accent that reminds me of Little Rascals. He also has a striking resemblance to a little boy in a photograph that my grandpa had hanging on his wall. It's two little boys in overalls, and one says to the other "You been farming long?". Therefore - Farmer C.

When you put the two together, you end up with a constant battle. Super H becomes a know-it-all super villain who tries to annoy his brother in anyway possible. Farmer C becomes a bundle of nerves and tears.

So, lunch became a battle of food, toys and anything their creative little minds could come up with. I lost count at the number of times the words "You have to share" came rolling off my tongue.

My mother-in-law will sleep for a week by the time this weekend is over.


Ruby Three Times

The gear shift broke on my jeep today while we were "four-wheeling" in our woods.


This is the third problem with Ruby this week (1, 2). J fixed this one.

Visit from Friends

Today our friends from a town where we used to live came to visit for the night. I must confess that this visit had me pretty nervous.

I do not make friends easily. Especially with other females. Events transpired in a past life that molded me into someone that does not trust very easily. Christy & I became closer after a couple of years. We have a lot in common, and after a while, I felt that I could talk to her about anything.

Todd & J got along well immediately.

So, the four of us hung out a lot. The hardest part of that move was leaving them behind.

I became nervous about their visit, because of that nasty little habit I have of over-analyzing every situation. We hadn't seen each other for a good while. Now J & I have this amazing house and whole other life. They have another child, and other things have changed for them as well.

My nervousness faded during a game of "Sing Star". I knew as soon as we sang "Baby Got Back" together at full capacity, that our friendship was still completely on track.

There are some people that you don't have to talk to every day or even every month. You don't have to worry about being laughed at or trying to find something to talk about to fill the silence. Those are the best friends to have.


My Tree

For our upcoming anniversary, J bought me a tree today.

I'm smitten. With the tree. (And J too).

We planted it in our front yard. J came up with a complicated irrigation system to ensure that the tree gets plenty of water.

Tonight as I took the dogs out, I snuck over to my tree and begin talking to it. (Talking seems to be the only way that I can keep plants alive.) Okay, I hugged a little bit too.


Dogs to the Rescue

The best thing about having dogs is the unconditional love they provide. I cannot tell you how many times my dogs have preventing me from suffering a complete mental breakdown.

When I come home, they act like it's the highlight of their day that I simply walked in the door. They jump all over each other trying to get to me.

When I pick them up, they snuggle against me and lick my face.

I have a lot of things going on right now between being scared and frustrated about medical tests, uncertainty about some political situations at work and then there is so much going on out of my control - you know - global warming, the outrageous gas prices, etc, etc, etc.

But Molly & Max make me forget about all that stuff. They make me feel like I am the luckiest person in the world.


Round One - Complete

After playing phone tag with the nurse the last couple of days, she finally caught me.

J's test results came back normal.

The count came back as 92, and normal is 10-20, so that was really high.

The motility rating came back as 59.8%, which is just slightly under the normal of 60%. The nurse assured me that number should be fine also.

Honestly, I am happy for him, but to me, this just reaffirms what I already thought - I am the problem. The nurse says, "Oh no, honey, it may not be all you." It is, though. I just know.

To further incite my pity party, I received a discouraging email about beginning the domestic adoption process (after months of calling with no response, and finally hacking her email address based on other email addresses on the DSS site). Apparently, the class already took place, and we will have to wait until the fall. This is BEFORE we begin the 7 year average wait.

We chose to look into domestic adoption first, because we know there are so many children that need a loving home in this country. International adoption remains a trend with so many celebrities going this route. Now I understand why.


So now that Ruby's completely paid for, she decides to fall apart on me. Piece by piece.

Last Thursday, we replaced the shocks to remedy shaking incident.

This morning, I turned the key and....nothing.

The battery died.


Baskets & Parents

This evening my parents decided to drop in. They seem to be establishing a pattern that will lead me to dust my plants on a regular basis. Trust me, don't ask.

Anyway, my mother-in-law had a basket party tonight. She invited my Mom, who spent the week telling me she could not come. She does live ~75 minutes away, I really never thought she would come.

I left work a little early so that I could make sure I got all my errands done before the basket party, and I decided to call my parents.

Dad: Hey! Whatcha' doing?
Me: I just left work, and I am heading home
Dad: Oh good! We will beat you there! We're getting ready to turn in on your road.


25 minutes later, I pulled in and my parents were sitting in their car in the driveway.

We honestly had a very nice visit, even though all odds were against us:
  1. It stormed, and my mom refused to spend the night at our house even if it meant driving back in the storm. Furthermore, I had just terrified my parents by recapping our 7 hour power outage from Sunday night. The storm finally blew over about 15 minutes before the party ended.

  2. The basket lady cancelled on my mother-in-law due to the weather. Only 3 other people showed up to the party that my mother-in-law has been planning for more than a month. Luckily, my mother-in-law recently decided to become a basket consultant herself, and this was just her introductory show. She had the baskets and materials to proceed anyway. Lucky J, now we have a really expensive basket ordered to put our remotes in! (Catalog picture above)


Power to the People

This morning I am struggling to stay awake at my desk.

Yesterday evening, it stormed. Not a hard storm - mostly rain - but a storm nonetheless.

At 5:00 PM, our power went off. We thought it would be back shortly, so we continued to get ready and go to the evening church service.

We got back home around 8:00 PM, and still no power. I began to get worried. I like to sleep with the fan on. I am also terribly spoiled by air condition. And running water.

As the hours went by, my panic level continued to rise. Finally, I became so worn out from being upset that I finally fell into a fitful sleep.

At 12:00 AM, I saw light. The angels began singing the "Hallelujah Chorus". (Okay, so the last part was probably only in my head.) Our power had returned, and all was right with the world.

Well, at least until this morning when my alarm went off, and I had to get out of bed.


Piano Afternoon

Today I attended Monkey T's piano recital. I am so proud of her, and I would not have missed this exciting event for the world. Really.

However, after two & a half hours of being crammed in a bench watching thirty-three terrified kids struggle to remember the songs that they had worked so hard to memorize, I will admit that I was ready to start throwing hymnals at the teacher.

First of all, the recital is for the kids, right? The teacher insisted on a (long) duet with each student. I understand that it is good for piano students to have duet experience. (I took piano for 10 years. I have played duets myself.) In this case, it was obvious that the teacher was way more into herself than allowing the kids to perform.

Secondly, there was no intermission. I'm no parent, but common sense tells me that when your kid is nervous, they are bound to need multiple bathroom trips. Some of them, especially the younger kids, were dancing in their seats.

Thirdly, the typically cell-phone guy was present. Okay, so he forgot to turn the volume off, and it rang. Sure, it's annoying, but sometimes you just forget. The second time it went off? Hello?

I looked around the auditorium towards the end of the recital. The crowd had become angry. Those who were still awake were squirming in their seats.

Finally, the recital ended and after a quick picture, we bolted out the door before the angry mob of parent could corner the teacher. I probably would have enjoyed a seat at ringside for that, but we were already running late.


More Unpacking...Groan...Sigh

Our house took 2 1/2 years to build. When we move, we did not expect it to take so long. So, when we sold our house, we simply packaged things as quickly as we could. We became frantic. And now, we are paying for it.

We have a storage building that we had used to store all the items we did not need. Now, we are in the process of cleaning that out.

I am so, so, so tired of unpacking.

A big part of me just wants to ship all this stuff off to Good Will and not deal with it anymore. The problem is that since we were so frantic to pack, some potentially important paperwork (with all of our information on it) very well may be in the same box with...well, with the cookware that we never use.

So today, we spent the entire day trying to get our basement ready to unpack. We purchased shelving, assembled it and began to organize our un-needed stuff. This process ended up lasting the entire day, and we are still no where near the finish. If anything, you could not tell that we had even cut into our box pile.

I guess that means that the rest of the coming week will be spent...you guessed it...unpacking.


C'Mon Ruby

This is Ruby - my 2003 Jeep Rubicon.

We generally have a good relationship. She gets me where I need to go (even over dirt!), and I pay for her expensive gas guzzling habit.

But sometimes, we fight. Like yesterday.

On my way home from work, I was manuevering through road construction when all of a sudden, Ruby started shaking like CRAZY. I could not even get my arm through the steering wheel to turn on the emergency lights. I almost completely lost control of the vehicle.

I started to pull off the road, but as suddenly as it started, the violent shaking stopped.

Shaken (literally and emotionally), I pulled myself together enough to make it home.

So today, Ruby's going to the shop. J dropped her off at a place near his work. He won't let me drive it again until we figure out what is going on, so I had to drive his truck.

Driving a big truck (extended cab F150, in case you were curious) after being used to driving a jeep = no fun parking. I make sure no one is looking before I attempt to pull into a space.

Anyway, I cannot focus today because I am anxious to know what is going on with Ruby.

I just gave her a bath; what more could she want!?!


Morning Dog Duty

This morning I took my dogs outside before I left. I never remember that when I am on dog duty, I need to allot an extra 30 minutes - minimum.

Much like me, Molly & Max thrive on rituals. And these rituals are totally irrelevant to the fact that I need to be out the door and on my way to work.

First and foremost, they conspire to see who can take the longest time to go to the bathroom. I know this because when one finally gives in, the other immediately does too. Usually Molly wins.

Secondly, they must map out the current state of the yard. Every bush, piece of grass and previous bathroom remnants must be inspected to make sure that nothing moved during the night. You know, by the aliens or something.

Before Molly gets down to business, she performs the following dance:
  1. Walks several steps in one direction
  2. Stops
  3. Spins
  4. Walks several steps in the other direction
  5. Spins
  6. Repeats Steps 1-5, lessoning the number of steps taken in Steps 1 & 4 until she is centered and ready to go

Sometimes, like this morning, her dance gets interrupted by such inconviences as a bird singing or the wind blowing the leaves around. In this case, she has to start her dance all over again.

And that, Internet, is why I was late for work.


Ring, Ring

I spoke with a friend and former co-worker today, and he finally bought his girlfriend a ring! He plans to propose during their Memorial Day weekend getaway. He wants it to be a surprise, but thinks that she may suspect that it is coming.

Therein lies the beauty of the marriage proposal. It does not really matter if we know it is coming, guys. We still experience surprise when it actually comes.

J proposed to me in my parent's living room on Thanksgiving 1998. We had been dating for 9 months. During that time, we were sure that we were soulmates and that we would eventually take the plunge. We discussed it openly many, many times.

When J presented me a stuffed bear with a card attached afternoon that said "Will You Marry Me?", I totally blew it off with a "Yeah, sure." I had no idea that he was serious. Then, with a "No, really," he got down on one knee and pulled the ring out from the scarf of the stuffed bear.

My knees began to knock and the butterflies swirled in the pit of my stomach. He could barely get the ring on my finger because I was shaking so severely. I knew it was coming. I really, really did. But I was still shocked.

So Eric, just relax. She knows it's coming, but she really has no idea that it's actually coming.

Round 1 - Waiting

J had his tests run today, so we are waiting results from that.

This round of tests is actually a repeat of tests we did a few years back (with a different doctor when we lived in a different town). According to Dr. F, we need to run these tests again. The results may change dramatically over years.

Also, during our conversation, I realized that the test that we did may not have had the most accurate results. Dr. F says the sample needs to be less than 30 minutes old. Just the drive to that hospital was longer than 30 minutes.

The last time we ran tests on J, we found that his motility was borderline low. My doctor thought we may have luck with what we refer to as the "turkey baster" method. We never persued this because of poor timing with the building of our house. Furthermore, I have always had a nagging feeling that ultimately I am most likely the "culprit" of our problem, and I do not want us to go through trials without ruling that out.

My testing (we'll call that Round 2) will be in a couple of weeks. More waiting.


Murphy's Lunch

My lunch hour today is a prime example of the intimate relationship that I have with Murphy's Law.

I hoped to accomplish two goals during my lunch: 1) Get my Jeep washed; 2) Get something to eat.

There just happens to be a car wash about 5 miles from my work. And, there just happens to be a Sonic beside that car wash. So, it should be simple, right?

Of course not.

I pulled into the car wash behind a long line of cars. I knew at that point that my mission was not going to be easy. After about 15 minutes, the car wash guy tried to divide the line into two lines. What did that mean for me? That all the cars behind me got to go in another line, and of course, that line was faster than my line. So several cars got a free pass right in front of me.

After finally getting to the attendant and selecting my car wash options, I walked next door to Sonic to order my lunch. I decided to visit the restroom before attempting to put in my order. Big mistake. The door wasn't locked, but it should have been. I opened the door on a frazzled mother attempting to take care of the bathroom needs of two small and crying boys.

So, I backed out of the restroom to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, the door opened and she emerged. I proceded to head into the bathroom, but unfortunately for me, the group had discovered the lock. Right before they closed the door.

I ended up sneaking into the men's bathroom. A gigantic water puddle ran from one end of the bathroom to the door, but I did not discover that until I stepped right into it.

Did I mention that I am a germaphobe?

A stream of soap and paper towels later, I made my way out front to place my order. And the speaker system was down. The wait staff had to go around to all the cars and people the hard way. I felt really sorry for them because they all looked flustered. But, that was before they ignored me for the next 15 minutes as I stood there right in front of them.

Futher adding to my frustration, a lady from the car wash - one of the line cutters, of course - walked right up, and they took her order immediately.

It will be a long time before I return to Sonic.

When I finally made my way back to the car wash, the Wash Boy was in the final stages of perfecting my Jeep. I must say he did a really good job, and that the extremely clean state of my Jeep did brighten my mood considerably. It really looked like a whole new vehicle.

I pulled into my parking place at work with my goals accomplished with about 30 seconds to spare. And a headache.

I resisted the urge to jump up and down and shout "LOOK!!! THE JEEP IS CLEAN!!!" in the middle of the parking lot. Instead, I downed two Advil and snuck back into my office where I will spend the rest of the afternoon looking out my window to see how shiny the Jeep is and yelling at anyone who may walk too close and endanger the cleanliness doing very important work stuff.


Day of Mother

For two weeks, I have tried to get my mother to commit to a time that she would be available to get together today in order to celebrate Mother's Day. No answer. Question avoided.

We live an hour and fifteen minutes away from each other. It's not like a simple meeting should require extensive planning.

Today I called her first thing in the morning:

Mom: "Well, it's going to rain."
Me: "We can drive in rain"
Mom: "Well, I have to find Tim to straighten out the property tax"
Me: "We can still meet you for lunch - you have to eat, right?"
Mom: "Well, I have to go feed Mother" (My grandmother has alzheimer's and is in a nursing home where my mom does not trust any of the staff to actually feed her)
Me: "Well, we would like to come"
Mom: "Well, maybe another day"

And we left it at that because I got tired of going back and forth.

So one hour later when my dad called and said they were ready to meet us, J & I hopped in car and headed their way.


Nickels and Quarters

When we were little, my cousin Brian stuck a nickel up his nose. This resulted in a trip to the emergency room. After the incident, he wisely proclaimed to my younger cousin Carrie & I, "Never, ever stick a nickel up your nose."

So we didn't.

Carrie used a quarter instead.

Bird of Prey

My cousin graduated from college today, and J & I drove down to the family celebration. As we were driving, an eagle swooped down right next to our car. There was an orange-colored snake - a copperhead - in its mouth!

According to J, it was a buzzard with an orange rope, but whatever. My story is better.


Going to the Doctor

Last night I met Dr. F for the first time.

I got there early, just as directed by the receptionist, since I am a new patient. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I decided that if I was there early they would take me back early. Wrong. Darn that pesky optimism. I waited for an hour.

When the nurse took me back, she weighed me (yuck) and measured my height. I am 5'4 1/2". I know this because when you are shorter than a lot of people around you, you tend to be pretty anal about knowing how tall you actually are. I am 29, so I probably will never get taller, but occasionally I measure my height, just in case. That 1/2" is pretty important to me. It was not important to the nurse. She did not even let me stand up straight before reading the measurement.

Next, she took my blood pressure. I was nervous, and I tend to get a little panicky when I am cornered in a room, especially with a cuff cutting the circulation off my arm. High blood pressure runs in my family. So, mine should be high, right? She had to try it twice. The second time she finally identified some numbers. According to my blood pressure, I am getting ready to drop into a coma. It was low, low, low. Me. Anxious, totally stressed-out, ready-to-attack-the-nurse-to-reclaim-my-personal-space me.

The nurse walked me back to an exam room, and we bypassed a desk with Dr. F sitting there. (I recognized his picture from their website.) I didn't realize it until later, but he was actually there studying my case notes. I was pretty impressed when I realized this, because most doctors that I have been to do not even know who they are seeing until they open the door.

Dr. F spent a long time in the room with me explaining potential paths that we will take to diagnose me. He was a wealth of information and ideas. He rambled through a number of potential problems and how my medical history may relate to some of those.

Our next course of action will include blood work and a sonogram on day 1 of my cycle. That will probably be the last time I will be allowed in their office. I am pretty terrified of needles, and for my blood work I require three hefty security guards to hold me down, a nice old lady to get me soda (and fan me), and finally, my husband or my dad to hold my hand. Otherwise, I will either a) pass out; b) throw up; c) both.

Depending on the results of these tests, we may have to do a laparoscopy (warning...scary pictures) or some other kind of more extensive testing. Now that I have had time to think about it (and remember what a wimp I am as I was typing the paragraph above), I really hope that any further testing will require sedation.

By the way, J has to do testing too. He is not really looking forward to that.


How I Met Dr. F

Today I am going to see an OB/GYN who specializes in infertility. I am a little nervous, but I have high hopes.

A few weeks ago at my nephew's party, I found myself backed into a corner by my brother-in-law's sister. She is a well-meaning, very friendly gossip addict, who loves to find out every detail going on in your life so that she can store it in her knowledge base for later use to help others. Hopefully as the story progresses, you will see what I mean by that. For this anticdote, we will call her GossipGirl.

GossipGirl cornered me with a speech that I normally receive from little old ladies. "When are you & J going to have kids?"

Did I mention that GossipGirl is expecting? And that it is child number five?

I had reached my patience limit for the day. By nature, I am pretty quiet unless I have something important to say around people I don't know very well. I always go out of my way to be nice. I save my snarkiness to those close to me. But at that point, I was too tired to deal with my standard generic response. So instead, I rudely explained that we had been trying for a looong time, and we were facing infertility issues. I laid out every little woe-is-me detail. My aim was to make her feel bad for even mentioning such an emotionally stressful issue.

But, it didn't work. She did give me a look of sympathy, but she certainly wasn't sorry she asked.

Instead, she said that when it took her 6 years to have her first. She thought she would never have any children. Then miraculously she found help, and the first one came. Then another a few years later. Then twins last year. And now, she is expecting again.

Shockingly, I was almost comforted.

She told me that she had heard of a doctor that worked wonders for several of her friends. She remembered the spelling of his name, and even remembered his phone number off the top of her head.

So after I got my new job, I called and made an appointment with Dr. F. He was pretty booked, and couldn't even see me for over a month. That appointment is today.


Another Tick!

And this one was on me!!! Commencing nervous breakdown...

A Tick!

This morning I had to pull a tick off of J's shoulder. YUCK! EW, EW, EW!

When I was growing up, I had seen ticks on a dog, but never a PERSON.

Fairly soon after J & I were married, we came down to Ruralopia to visit his mom. In the shower the morning after we got back, I noticed a new mole on my midsection. Upon closer inspection, I realized it MOVED!

J was totally level-headed about the situation, and simply removed the little invader. I guess growing up around this kind of thing as a regular occurance will do that to you. I, on the otherhand, spent the next three weeks waiting for my Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever symptoms to begin. (Luckily that didn't happen).

So now, after several years to digest that ticks will actually attack humans and that I cannot prevent this from happening, I...well, I still completely freak out.


The Ear Incident

My allergies decided to leave me with an earache this week. I cannot share this little piece of information with J because he will remind me (again) of the infamous Ear Incident. After 9 years, he still loves to remind me about this as a prime example of my talent for getting myself into unpredictable situations.

After J took me home from dinner that night, I proceeded to get ready for bed. I reached down to the ground to pick up something off the floor. During my reaching, I propped my hand on my desk. As I moved my hand to push myself back up, I felt something pop up and solidly land in my ear canal.

I thought it was probably just a piece of fuzz, but I couldn't reach it.

I tried flushing my ear out, but to no avail. So I did the most reliable thing I could do. I paniced.

I called J, and he came back over. When he looked down my ear, he was completely speechless.

Finally in a soft voice, he said. "Umm...it's your earring back."

J tried unsuccessfully to remove it with tweezers. After several attempts, he suggested we go to the emergency room.

Until that point in my life, to my knowledge, I had never been to the emergency room. The very last thing I wanted to do was to go there for a ridiculus situation such as this. However, J finally convinced me that living with an earring back in my ear was probably not a great idea.

To make a really long story considerably shorter, the doctor and nurses got a kick out of my predicament.

Also, it is worthwhile to note that the ER actually has a tool designated for this situation. Apparently bugs make a fairly frequent habit of flying in people's ears, and I am not the first person in the world to have something stuck down in there. Or, they probably just told me that to make me feel better.


Church, God and Me

Since I mentioned being in church yesterday, I think I will take my entry for today to throw in my $.02 (or my $1.25) on religion.

I am a Christian. I regularly attend church. A Baptist church.

(Cue the church-y angelic choral background music.)

These days, that is not a popular thing to say. Christians are seen as Bible-thumping haters who stand in judgement of everyone and everything. Some people who profess to be Christians may act that way, but that stands in direct contradiction with what I believe.

Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus. Period. While Christians are instructed biblically to share their faith, no where in the Bible does it mention that a Christian is to shove their belief down one's throat.

Christians are called to love everyone. I will be the first person to admit that I suck at that. I am easily angered and I have pretty hefty mood swings. Both are pretty big "no-no's". The difference is that I *try* to be better.

Christians are not called to judge. Everyone sins. That's a fact of life. No one person is better than another. The world would be a much better place if we all stopped judging one another and worked on the betterment of ourselves.

I believe that each person is given their own convictions. For example, one of mine is to watch my language. During my teenage years, I used words as colorful as any sailor. Then I felt conviction that I was being a bad example to those around me. So even though the colorful words still fill my brain while I sit in traffic or get stung by yet another mosquito, I try really hard to supress it from coming out loud.

So, bottom line - Christians have gotten a pretty bad reputation, but that's not what I am in it for. Being a Christian does impact my viewpoint, and I will not try to hide that here. But I will not try to shove it down someone's throat either. My opinions are my opinions and my blog is full of my opinions.

Okay, end of soapbox. (Cut the background music.) For now.


Adventures in Infertility

I alluded to this in previous posts, but for the last 6 1/2 years J & I have tried to conceive a baby.

Infertility can really mess with your mind. It seems as the whole world, and even your own body is working against you. You see all of your friends having kids and instead of being happy for them, all you can think about is your own loss. Those closest to you avoid telling you that they are expecting because they don't want to rub it in.

You see teenage girls, movie stars and careless adults having children left and right with seemingly no obstacles, and not even pausing to understand the miracle that they have been blessed with. You begin to wonder why drug addicts and people on welfare can reproduce so efficiently, and why there are so many unwanted children.

Abortion, abandonment and the parents yelling at their children at the grocery store leave you filled with unexplicable anger.

You begin to hate Mother's Day and Father's Day, and hate your local shopping centers for cramming those days down your throat.

You being to fill so overwhelmed with a roller coaster of emotions - anger, frustration, depression, anxiety - that you can no longer see what is straight in front of you.

Today I sat in a church pew and held back tears for 45 minutes. The message was on parenting. Next Sunday there will be a service honoring all the Mothers. I will not be attending. I cannot bear another year of this.


Lingering Diaper Duty

I am not a diaper changer.

When my nephew, Farmer C, was a baby, he hated to lay down. He would SCREAM and SCREAM and SCREAM. When you picked him up, the SCREAMing would cease immediately.

So one day, he needed a diaper change. Of course, all the rest of the family had vacated the premises, and I was the only one around available to change the poor kid.

So I laid him down and he commenced the SCREAMing. I got the dirty diaper off, and had the new one ready to go. Or so I thought. No one told me that diapers now come with velcro. Furthermore, the velcro is hard to see. I could not get the diaper to stick, and the SCREAMing continued.

Enter my oldest niece, who helped me discover that these diapers were actually pretty easy to manage. You know, once you figure that velcro thing out.

And Farmer C - he screamed during the whole "How a Diaper Works" lesson.

So today, I had diaper duty for Meltdown. She is potty-training, which made it fun. She "had to go potty" at least 379 times, even though she really just wanted to sit on the potty while Aunt A had to hold her in place. I did have to change her three times throughout the day, and I was feeling pretty satisfied that her clothes were still in tact, there were no diaper disfunctions and she was still in one piece when her parents came to get her.

Before she left my house, Meltdown pronounced "I have to go potty". Her mom stepped up to take her, and to my utter shock, Meltdown pushed her away. "No Mommy - A". Me? I am the desired potty help? I cannot help but be touched. And yet, I hope she gets over it soon.

Chasing a Two Year Old

Today I am spending my day chasing my two-year-old niece, Meltdown.

Meltdown & I have a special relationship, because I am one of the few people that she actually likes. She is extremely opinionated, and will let you know immediately if something is not the way she wants it. First, her lip quivers slightly and her eyebrows raise with a look of innocence. Then, three...two...one...SCREAMING! And CRYING! Hence the name - Meltdown.

I have discovered her secret. If I pick her up and hug her tightly she calms down almost immediately. Then she becomes the cutest little kid EVER. Did I mention that bribery (ice cream? popcorn?) also helps?

So we have played on the playground (sorry I had to miss your soccer game, Toaster, even though I was there - I had to watch your sister, and wow does she like to climb on things I cannot reach), "watched" movies, eaten grilled cheese sandwichs and lots and lots of Goldfish and finally, finally taken a nap.


Long Haired Dogs and Silver Hoop Earrings Do Not Mix

Tonight when I got home, I picked up Molly and started to carry her in the other room with me. As I was putting her down, I felt a violent tug on my ear.

Molly's hair got caught in my earring. My expression of discomfort caused her to want to wiggle more and get away, which just pulled on it more.

After J's help unwinding, my dog, my ear and my earring have been salvaged with minimal blood (mine) and minimal hair loss (Molly). Now, my dog & I will retreat to dissolving our anxiety in the world of last night's "Lost".

TP Changer Pro

Why, oh why am I always the one that has to replace the toilet paper?

Two different bathrooms today - I had to change both. First time, the roll was absolutely bare. Second bathroom, 1 square. You know, the square that is so stuck to the center cylinder that by the time you pull it off you only have a 1/2 piece 1-ply square?

The cabinets are easy enough to reach. If you use it up, replace it. This is a law written down (way down) in the books somewhere, I feel sure.

I can tell it has been a really long week when something like this makes me want to sneak back in after everyone leaves and toilet paper the whole office. Maybe I will. Or most likely, since I am too lazy to actually do that, I will go home and forget about it throughout the entire weekend until I have to come back into the office on Monday and wind up changing it again.


Thoughts on My DONE List

It's May, and it is so pretty outside that it must be a crime to be at work all day. Actually, the last few days have been really busy at work for me, and I am trying really hard not to get stressed out.

I will admit, though, that taking the time to write my DONE list (part 1 & 2) helped me a lot. There is a lot of experiences that I have had that I don't want to think about again, and those are the ones that tend to haunt me. I did not list any of those. I did list some unpleasant things, but only if it profoundly affected me in some way.

Thinking about the experiences that I listed was enlightening to me. Many of the experiences that I put on my list were just things that I had simply forgotten about that came to me in brainstorming. Some I had not thought about in a long time, and that makes remembering them extra-special.