Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Need to Bleed

Disclaimer: No, I can't believe that I am discussing my little visitor - who, at the moment, seems to be stuck in traffic - with all the internets. But, evidently, I am. So, I shall continue to do so.

What the ever-lovin' fuck?

For months, my womanly structures have been ticking along like clockwork. Oh, there was the occassional twenty-surprise!-seven or twenty-wuh?-nine day cycle, but that was what passed for irregularity in these my parts.

For months, I've been bragging about my inner tick-tockiness (not to be confused, of course, with the deafening tick-tock of my biological clock preparing to strike 40) and about how I always know when I ovulate.

For months, my baby-factory has had nothing to do but chug along, popping out a sad and lonely little egg once a month (no job = no insurance = no gentleman callers to great her as she emerges) then sending her on her way two weeks later, washed away in the crimson tide.

For months, I've calculated and recalculated a year's worth of expected ovulation dates, as well as due-dates-if-it-works-that-month and we-should-know-if-it-worked-by-then dates.

Then . . .

Last month, I was told to call and schedule the HSG as soon as I received Mother Nature's gift, so what happened?

On Day 26, I started feeling a bit crampy, and thought the lady in the red dress would be arriving a bit early. Ok, I can live with that.

No dice.

After midnight, Day 28, I had a little spotting. "Aha!" says I. "The curse." "I should be riding the cotton pony by morning."

Nope. More spotting all day long. It was the next day before I felt justified in declaring it leak week, and calling in to to the HSG-scheduling-lady.

I think that was the wierdest, slowest-starting lady-time I have had in all the years that I've been saddling Old Rusty.

Then, I think I've already discussed the saga of the surgeless pee-sticks a couple of weeks ago.

My newest theory is that I quit testing too soon because, evidently, I didn't ovulate until at least day 16 or so.

Again this month, I started feeling crampy as far back as day 26.

(More evidence, I thought, that I'd ovulated early. Ha!)

As you know, I've gotten the go-ahead to inseminate the next time I ovulate.

As soon as my red-headed cousin from down south shows up, we'll be able to estimate (well, one would think!) when to expect that, and I'll order the sperm.

Needless to say, we're rather looking forward to that.

So, of course, I'm now at day 31 or 32 (depending on when we officially say the misery began last month), still cramping off and on and still nothing to show for it.

Again I say, What the fuck?

Could it be the stress of waiting to for the Red Sox to come to town, then waiting to ovulate, then waiting to raise the red flag again, that's delaying those things from happening?

You know, the old "watched uterus never bleeds" theory?

(Would that I could keep it from bleeding by sheer will-power next month!)

Yeah, and that's wierd, too - I'm anxiously waiting for my cup to overflow, but this is the last month that I'll actually want to order l'omelette rouge for quite a while.

I'm starting to freak out a bit, wondering if something is wrong, but Shrike reminds me that I just had everything checked out, and how could something have possibly gone wrong in a couple of weeks.

I'm also freaked about the possibility that my next ovulation is going to be all fucked up with its timing, and I won't know when to expect it and we'll miss the surge, or mis-time the sperm order or something.

Shrike also suggests that, perhaps, her pheremones are messing with me.

Nine years, we've lived together and I think we've surfed the crimson wave together maybe twice in all that time.

(On the other hand, she regularly has her technical difficulties in sync with the women at work. Of course, she's around them more.)

So, my body picks this month to listen to her?

What the fuck?

Or maybe this is just nature's way of reminding me that these things are not predictable and that I am not the one in control here.

And, maybe, to keep me from making assumptions and jumping to conclusions too quickly once pregnancy is a possibility.

If last month's slow arrival of the Red Witch had happened during a cycle in which I'd inseminated, I would have been convinced that I was pregnant and having implantation bleeding.

And you know I'd have been all over this month's late beginning of the nosebleed in Australia.

Now, I don't know that I'll trust moon time wierdness as any kind of a promising sign, given what I've seen the past couple of months.

What I do know, though, is that we've been waiting an awful damn long time for this, and we're ready to get this baby-making show on the road.

Which can't happen until I ovulate - which can't happen until I have the painters in, which is going to happen when-the-fuck?

Needless to say, this is getting a bit frustrating.

On the other hand, I am seeking some solace in the fact that I'm jonesing for chocolate, so maybe Aunt Ruby is not too far away?

(Although, when am I not jonesing for chocolate?)

And, when Shrike gets home from work with the candy bar that she promised me, I'll take solace in the chocolate itself.

Which, I'm sure, will make everything muuuuch better.

A big, bloody thanks to Aunt Flow's World of Menstrual Euphemisms!

Thursday Thirteen #13

This is the last of original topic suggestions; does anyone have any ideas for me?

13 Parties / Events That I've Hosted At Our House In The Past Year or So
  1. May 21, 2007 - Meeting to recruit people to lobby for upcoming gay rights legislation in Blue State

  2. April 8, 2007 - Easter with Shrike's Family

  3. February 17, 2007 - Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Party

  4. February 4, 2007 - Dinner Party with 2 Friends & Their Son

  5. January 23, 2007 - State of the Union Watch Party

  6. January 6, 2007 - Democratic "Majority Party"

  7. December 16, 2006 - "An Inconvenient Truth" Viewing Party

  8. December 9, 2007 - Christmas Party

  9. October 28, 2007 - Halloween Party

  10. September 16, 2007 - Barbeque Fundraiser for Congressional Candidate

  11. July 12, 2007 - Houseparty for US Senate Candidate

  12. May 14, 2007 - Mother's Day Cookout with Shrike's Family

  13. May 7, 2007 - "Welcome Spring" Cookout
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ABC Meme: Shrike's Turn

Here are my honey's answers to the ABC Meme questions:

  • A - Available/Taken? Extremely Taken with my wife
  • B - Best Friend? Whozat and my sister
  • C - Cake or Pie? Peanut Butter Pie or cheesecake (almost any variety)
  • D - Drink Of Choice? Beer, beer and more beer. The good kind. In a family setting, I will settle for a Coke
  • E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Shower!!!
  • F - Favorite Color? Red
  • G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? If I had to pick, I would choose gummi bears but I would rather have skittles
  • H - Hometown? Central Pa.
  • I - Indulgence? Video games or movies
  • J - January Or February? February
  • K - Kids & Their Names? I would love to name her Genevieve. Just have no idea what goes with it.
  • L - Life Is Incomplete Without? Love and family
  • M - Marriage date? February 10, 2001.
  • N- Number Of Siblings? 1 sister
  • O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples. Oranges have yucky pulp and have to be peeled
  • P - Phobias/Fears? Claustrophobic especially with crowds
  • Q - Favorite Quote? "Ginger Rodgers did everything
    Fred Astaire did. Just backwards and in high heels" and "It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."
  • R - Reason to Smile? So many and so many different smiles. I am lucky like that. I imagine I am going to have an even bigger reason to smile soon.
  • S - Season? Spring and Fall. I don't like it too hot or too cold
  • T - Tag somebody? Nah, this is our little secret
  • U - Unknown Fact About Me - In an effort to pad my resume while I was in high school, me who is not even remotely close to being any type of joiner (good or bad), joined everything in sight, including Teens for Jesus. Yeah, whatever. It worked.
  • V - Vegetable you don't like? Cauliflower. It looks
    like brains and peas. They're gross and I had a bad childhood experience with them.
  • W - Worst Habit? I have a constant list of things in my head I "should" be doing. Doesn't mean I do it, it just means I stress out about it.
  • X-rays You've Had? Dental Xrays and Xrays of my wrist. Not broken, just old and abused
  • Y - Your Favorite Food? Chinese buffet. I love them!!!
  • Z - Zodiac Sign? Taurus

Wordless Wednesday #11: What the Hell is This?

This is a plant in our yard. Does anyone know what it is?

This photo shows one of the little purple flowers (mostly gone now) and what appear to be oval leaves. . .

. . . but are actually some sort of seed pod.
Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

ABC Meme

Really, nothing of consequence happened here today, so I thought I’d do this silly meme that I’ve been seeing around for a while.

  • A - Available/Taken? Very Taken
  • B - Best Friend? Shrike
  • C - Cake or Pie? Peanut Butter Pie, or Chocolate Cake w/Chocolate Icing
  • D - Drink Of Choice? Wine, Kool-Aid, Carnation Instant Breakfast
  • E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? Computer
  • F - Favorite Color? Cobalt Blue
  • G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? Neither
  • H - Hometown? Southeast Texas
  • I - Indulgence? Bubble Bath
  • J - January Or February? February
  • K - Kids & Their Names? Hopefully soon. We're 99% sure on names?
  • L - Life Is Incomplete Without? Love
  • M - Marriage date? February 10, 2001.
  • N- Number Of Siblings? 1 sister, 1 brother
  • O - Oranges Or Apples? Apples
  • P - Phobias/Fears? R-word bugs (can't even type it!); Heights
  • Q - Favorite Quote? "Learn from other people's mistakes; you don't have time to make them all yourself."
  • R - Reason to Smile? A lazy Sunday with my honey.
  • S - Season? Spring
  • T - Tag somebody? Shrike, Alice, Toni
  • U - Unknown Fact About Me - When Shrike and I met, my hair was really long - past my waist.
  • V - Vegetable you don't like? Broccoli
  • W - Worst Habit? I'm a big, lazy slob.
  • X-rays You've Had? Most recently, my uterus and Fallopian tubes
  • Y - Your Favorite Food? Chocolate, Cheese, Mexican
  • Z - Zodiac Sign? Taurus

Monday, May 28, 2007


Why no, there is not anything in the universe more fascinating than my uterus and her associates. Thanks for asking.

Since it's well into the evening of CD (cycle day) 29, with nary a drop of blood in sight, I've decided that the reason I didn't see an LH surge a couple of weeks ago was not, as I'd suspected, because surged before I started testing on CD 12, then ovulated early.

Rather, I've realized that I probably just missed it because I didn't follow the instructions on the ovulation predictor kit (OPK).

I couldn't believe that it really wanted me to pee on the sticks at 2 pm, rather than first thing in the morning, so I just ignored that part.

Yeah, I'm kind of a dumbass know-it-all that way.

(Shut up, Shrike.)

I did some more reading today, and learned that most women experience the actual hormonal surge in the morning, but since it takes a few hours for the LH to get into the urine, it's most effective to test in the early afternoon, preferably after "holding it" for at least four hours.

That makes all kinds of sense, actually.

I suppose the folks writing the instructions knew what they were talking about, after all. Huh.

Good thing I've told my boss about our plans, as it seems that I'll be peeing on sticks at work.

I'm kind of freaking about about making sure that I "catch" the surge, since it really matters this time.

Further research tells me that I when deciding when to start testing, I should base it on my shortest cycle in the past six months.

That was 26 days, which translates to peeing on the sticks starting on CD 9. So, I figure I'll start on CD 8, just to be safe.

Or maybe CD 7.

Or, possibly, as soon as I stop bleeding.

I'm also thinking of testing twice a day (the same research suggests 2 pm and 8 pm, if you go that route) to make sure.

I'd rather avoid the ambiguity of "is that line darker than the other one?" so I've about decided to buy the digital sticks, which give you either a circle (no surge) or a smiley-face (surge).

At least two kits, so I have enough sticks to test twice daily for several days.

After all this waiting, if we've got the little swimmers paid for and sitting on ice waiting for that egg to drop, I'd God damned well better not miss the announcement that she's on her way!

(Did I mention that we're springing for the additional $40 to ship them in a tank that stays frozen for 14 days instead of 7? Because I'm freaking out about the timing. Oh, had you noticed that already?)

I would feel so much more confident about this if I'd seen a surge last month, and knew what to expect.

Then again, there's a whole lot of this process that I'd feel a lot more confident about if I knew what to expect!

After spending basically my whole life knowing that I want to have a child "some day" and the majority of the past nine or so years wondering if we'd ever make the decision to actually try, then the past six months talking and planning and waiting to be able to start, it's pretty damn freaky to know that we're really about to do this.

On the one hand, we've lived with the decision for so long already that it's kind of become part of our reality, even before it's a reality, if that makes sense.

We talk about "when I'm pregnant" and "when the baby is here," not "if I get pregnant."

I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

I am trying to go into this with the assumption that, given my age and the frozen sperm and the one-try-per-month and everything else involved, it's highly probable that we'll be at it for a while before we have any success.

I'm also trying to go into it with the knowledge that, especially at my age, a positive pregnancy test is no guarantee of a baby.

But it sure is hard not to think that "all those bad things happen to other people," and "we'll be just fine," and "maybe we'll get lucky the first time."

On the other hand,

I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that we will actually be inseminating in about two weeks, and a month from now, I'll be sitting around hoping for my period not to start, rather than looking for it, like I am right now.

In a month, we could be finding out that I'm pregnant.

Or, we could be experiencing the first of who knows how many disappointments.

And there's no way to know which it will be.

Does anyone have a nifty trick for fast-forwarding life, so we can just skip past all this uncertainty and get on with the good part?


Shortly after posting my photos from yesterday's Wine & Arts Festival, I went over to TN Chick's blog to see what the next few Photo Hunter topics are going to be.

June 2: Art

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Lovely Day

Shrike and I spent the afternoon at a Wine and Arts Festival about forty-five minutes from home. It was really nice - not too crowded, not to spread out for walking, lots of wines to taste, some art and crafts to see (and buy), music to listen to and tons of really cute kids to watch!

Here are some of the best photos:

Along the entrance was a display of several giant paint palettes, decorated a la the "cow parades" that several cities have done. These were some of our favorites.

This mosaic is made of jelly beans!

Shrike, looking at the world through rosé colored glasses.
I tried on this hat (mostly for the camera) but did not buy it because I have a tiny, tiny head.

Week in Review: Part the Second, In Which Whozat Tells All At Work

Well, that post was getting rather long, so I figured I ought to break it up a bit.

Moving on . . . .

Starting this Wednesday, Director is off work for about a week, having knee surgery, so I'm "on my own."

Note the quotation marks. Luckily, the EDs have arranged their schedules to make sure that one or both of them is around, in case I have questions.

(I have plenty of questions.)

I have, however, been doing a lot of things on my own this week, and I'm feeling a lot more confident.

This week, I've had several parent conferences. These generally only take about 10 minutes, and you just go over how the kid's been doing, and what they've been learning.

On Wednesday, one of the moms that I talked to brought along her teeny-tiny newly adopted baby. He is eight weeks old, but was born at about 31 weeks, so he really should still be in utero.

He was about 3 lbs at birth, but is up to around 7 lbs now, but is still tiny, and still has a bit of a fetal look about him. In the most precious way imaginable, of course.

She was planning to pay her June invoice while she was there, so she had a credit card - which just happened to be a Rainbow Card - sitting on the table the whole time we were talking. A clue! A clue!

At some point in the conversation, she said something that allowed me to confirm my suspicions, and to come out to her, as well. Very cool.

Also, I practically begged her to let me hold the baby, which she did. He was fussing, I was juggling him, trying to find a position to make him happy, the whole time we were talking.

I believe I may have mentioned to her that, "Man, I gotta get me one of those!"

On Friday, ED2 and I had a conference with a gay male couple who is enrolling their son. At some point there was mention of him having been picked on about ". . . his potential orientation."

I'm not sure if he's questioning, or if the teasing is based on his dads' orientation, or what. He's certainly not effeminate at all, so I doubt kids would peg him as gay, just out of the blue. At any rate, I took that as an opportunity to come out to them as well.

(I say this as though I think there's any way that I'd not already set off these people's gaydar!)

I also told them to feel free to out me to the kid, and to tell him to come to me directly if he has any problems.

After that meeting, I was telling ED2 about that part of the conversation (there was another person involved in the conference, and she was talking to him when that exchange occurred).

She seemed very pleased that I'd done that, and that the kid will have someone whom he knows he can come to about such things.

Then, I told her about the earlier conference, and was talking about the baby, and was going on about that, and I realized that this was really as good a time as any to share my plans with her.

I'd been thinking I'd talk to her about it right before the end of the day, but it seemed like a perfect seque.

So, I said, "That actually reminds me, there's something I wanted to talk to you about. Can we do that now?"

She seemed to have an inkling where I was going with it, and had a sort of, "I know what you're going to say!" look on her face - in a good way.

So, I told her that, "Normally one wouldn't bring this up with their boss at this stage of the game, but given the circumstances, I feel like I need to. I'm about to start trying to get pregnant." Then went on to explain in more detail, and tell her that I'll probably need to miss some work, on pretty short notice.

She said all of the "congratulations. . . good luck. . . that's very exciting" things that one would hope to hear, and voiced no concerns about how it all might affect my work.


Then she told me that she'd conceived all of her children - the 10 year old and the 5 year old twins - in vitro, so she's been through all the testing, and drugs and such, and totally understands both the timing issues, and the urgency, given my age.

I told her that there's a reproductive endocrinlogist very close to work, whom I hope to use if we go that route. She had to drive an hour or two when she was doing this, so I think she was relieved to hear that.

And, of course, I am very relieved to have that out of the way, and that it went so well. I still need to talk to Director about it, but that will just be a matter of logistics, rather than worrying about being "in trouble!"

In more directly-baby-related news, we're still waiting for "cd (cycle day) 1" to arrive. (That's "ttc" (trying to conceive) talk for "I haven't started my period yet.")

As soon as it does, we'll be able to place our order with the sperm bank.


At the moment, it looks like Doc is out of stock, Popeye and NewGuy are in stock and BowTie is "call for availability." I suppose that could change in the next couple of weeks.

Given that the bank is most likely closed tomorrow and Monday, and that I should see "AF" (ok, that is the first, last and only time you'll see me use that stupid euphemism: AF = "Aunt Flo" = my period) within the next couple of days, I suspect that I'll be placing the order on Tuesday.

We've decided to pony up the extra $40 to upgrade to a 14-day tank (from 7 days) so that we can have it arrive earlier than we think we'll possibly need it, and the little guys will still be frozen way past when we think we'll need them. Just so I can quit freaking out about the timing.

Shipping takes two days, and the doctor wants it there one or two days before we need it, so there goes half the seven-day lifespan already! That only leaves about three days leeway in our estimated ovulation date.

If this continues for a while, I suspect I'll get more confident about knowing exactly when I'll ovulate, but since we've never actually confirmed that, I'm a little hesitant to bank on a very narrow window. It's well worth the forty dollars for that extra peace of mind.

So, what else happened this week?

We got together for dinner with some friends on Friday - none of whom we've seen lately, and none of whom knew about the baby plans. So, of course, we told them! They all said the appropriate things, of course. And then we drank too much.

Tomorrow, I think we're going to a wine and arts festival about forty-five minutes from here.

(Actually, it's in the town where I thought TutoringCenter wanted me to work, before the decided to hire me for the location that's an hour away.)

Wine, music, art, crafts, food. Should be great - I'll try to remember to take the camera.

But first, it's time for bed!

Week in Review: Part the First, In Which Whozat Gushes About Her Doctor

Since starting my new job, I have somehow managed to continue posting daily, but I will admit that my writing has been a lot more perfunctory and a lot less scintillating than before.

Shut up. It was too scintillating.

So, I've decided that, in addition to my too-brief daily posts, I will try to do a more detailed wrap-up over the weekend, when I've got a bit more time on my hands.

This week started, as you know, with our final pre-conception appointment with my OB/Gyn, Dr. B.

I've already written about how that went, but I want to take a moment to talk about how wonderful Dr. B. is.

We first met her several years ago, in the emergency room. I was having an issue that I don't really care to discuss in detail, except to say that it was quite minor, in the grand scheme, yet quite painful, and rather on the icky side.

It certainly was not an "emergency" except that it was early on a Saturday morning when I decided that I could not stand the pain until Monday, when I could get to my own Gyn, so the ER was our only choice.

Dr. B. was called in from her nice, warm, bed (I assume) to resolve my issue. I apologized profusely for that. I'm sure she's used to being called to the hospital at all hours, but I would guess that there's usually some baby-catching involved.

At any rate, she took care of the problem, and we were so impressed with her bed-side manner that we decided, then and there, that if either of us ever had insurance that covered her, we'd switch immediately. And we did.

Two things really impressed me about her that day. One was that, after checking things out "down under" and determining what needed to be done, she covered me back up, and rolled her little stool around to the side of the bed, so she could talk to me, not my crotch.

I also appreciated that she talked to both me and Shrike about what she was going to be doing to me. When I introduced Shrike as my partner, she immediately assumed that she was to be part of any decision-making that would be going on.

I must confess that, although I technically switched to her shortly after that, I had not actually been in to see her until we went for our first consultation a few months ago.

When I introduced myself, she said that she remembered having seen me in the ER. I'm assuming that she was reminded of that when she reviewed my chart, but she sure sounded like she actually had some memory of it.

I also love that she so thoroughly explains everything that she's going to be doing, in unbelievable detail.

She always warns me that, "Now, you're going to feel my hand," and during the HSG, she even said, "You'll feel some warmth; it's this light." Wow.

Of course, we were thrilled with the news that I seem to be in working order, and that we'll be able to inseminate in June!

That afternoon, we had an appointment with Dr. T., our shrink. This was the first time I'd seen her since I started the job, and since she told us that she's pregnant. (She's definitely showing now!)

We caught her up on everything that's happened over the last month, and had a good session, all in all.

We're scheduled to go back in late June, on a day that I'll be going in to work at 11:30. If everthing stays on schedule, we should have known for a couple of days whether our June insemination worked.

Either way, we could probably use a shrink about then.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday Special #10: Your Brand Is Showing

  1. Food: Do you buy brand names or go for the cheaper store name brand?
    I mostly buy store brands when they are available, but will splurge on name brands for certain things, like Heinz Ketchup.
  2. Clothes: Wear designer jeans/slacks with a brand name or regular department store jeans/slacks?
    I do prefer Levi's jeans, but I'm more likely to buy what I can find at the consignment shop. For "fancy pants" I have no brand preferences and, again, will buy whatever I find to fit at the consignment shop.
  3. Handbags: Buy a designer bag or look for a less expensive copy?
    I don't carry a purse at all these days (I do carry a briefcase-ish bag to work, though) but when I did, I certainly never cared about brands. My favorite purse was a "ergonomic" one.
  4. Shoes: You got the drift, designer or a cheaper copy?
    Again, I'm all about the cheap. For daily wear, I like big black boots (because I'm a dyke and all) but I'm all about the K-Mart Route 66 brand, not Doc Martins or Skechers.
Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Photo Hunter #9: Colorful

Take a look at these colorful plants and flowers in our yard

Roses - They just started blooming this week!

Hanging plant on the patio - Does anyone know what it's called?

Bleeding Hearts
Azaleas - A bit past their prime, but still colorful!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

The Big Talk

I told one of my bosses (ED2) about our baby plans today, and she couldn't be more supportive!

It turns out that not only her twins, but also her 10 year old, were conceived in vitro. She's been through Clomid and injectible fertility drugs and daily monitoring and being over forty and the whole she-bang, so she has first-hand understanding of all the issues and complications (well, all but that one big one) that we're dealing with.

The conversation really could not have gone better; I don't know what I was so worried about!

Copy Cat

GirlCat lent a paw with the invitations, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12

I'm nearing the end of my original topic suggestions, so I guess I'd better start thinking up some more. Any requests?

Most of these photos were taken right after we moved in, almost four years ago, but they give you the gist of it. Just imagin everything a little shabbier, a lot more cluttered, and covered with pet hair and bodily fluids.

13 Photos of Our Home / Yard

  1. Bedroom
  2. Hall Bath
  3. Sunroom (Dogs' Room)
  4. Kitchen: Fiestaware
  5. Patio: Wind Chimes
  6. Backyard: Bird House
  7. Living Room
  8. Living Room
  9. Living Room: Christmas Decorations
  10. Kitchen: Christmas Decorations
  11. Kitchen
  12. Kitchen
  13. Kitchen Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #10: Party Animal

BigGaloot "helping" with the invitations to Grandma and Grandpa's big 50th anniversary bash.

Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Per the discussion with my ob/gyn, which I recounted in my previous post, I'd appreciate feedback/input from anyone who's had experience with Clomid.

I've heard that the side effects can be kind of rough, so I'd like to know what I'm getting myself into if we decide to go that route.


Monday, May 21, 2007

All Systems Go!

My appointment went well, and we've got the go-ahead to inseminate with my next ovulation, which should be in about three weeks.

For those wondering, here are the answers to the questions listed in my previous post:

  1. Just a Pap smear today. I'll have results in 2 - 4 weeks, but we're not waiting on that to try.
  2. No other tests; we're good to go.
  3. We are definitely trying in June! After I start my period, I can order the sperm, to arrive around day 12 (1 - 2 days before we'll need it).
  4. Start peeing on sticks around day 12. I will probably start more like day 10, because I did it this past month, starting on day 12 and think I missed it. Any brand is ok, just "don't go to the Dollar Store."
  5. When I "surge" (get a positive result on the ovulation predictor pee stick) call Dr. B. to schedule the insemination. Probably the next morning, or possibly that evening.
  6. Yes, I can drink on June 8.
  7. I didn't specifically ask this question, but more on that below.
She suggested that we consider going through a reproductive endocrinologist and using Clomid, because they have the means to closely monitor (blood, ultrasound) my hormone levels and follicle (egg) development, then to give me a shot to trigger ovulation at a particular time. The advantage would be that we could be more precise with the timing. Given that we only get one chance a month, this could increase a chances.

For June, we're going to go with a "natural" cycle (as "natural" as one can consider artificial insemination to be!) and if that doesn't work, we'll consider doing a Clomid cylce in July, and go from there.

If we don't do that in July, we may not be able to try at all that month. Left to my own devices, I'll probably ovulate while we're in Texas for my parents' 50th anniversary. Also, Dr. B. will be away much of that month and she's the only one in her practice that does inseminations.

So, we might go for the extra help that month, if no other reason, to schedule it for when we're home and to have a different doctor (who will be in town) do it.

I'll have to look into whether there's an RE close to work. We're located in a big business park with tons of doctors' offices, just about any specialty you could possibly want. (In fact, there's an OB right next door!)

It might be a bitch for Shrike to drive down there for inseminations, but if I'm going to have daily blood / ultrasounds, it seems best to be walking distance from work.

Speaking of, I think I'm going to try to talk to ED2 about my plans, either this week or next. I will have to tell both her and Director, since I might be missing work.

(Of course, telling them will insure that I ovulate on the weekend and don't have to miss work, afterall. Not telling them will insure that it's a Friday or Monday, when I work 8:30 am - 5:00 pm!)

Starting Wednesday, Director is out for a week, having knee surgery, so I think I'll try to tell her during that time, so that I can wait a bit before talking to him, and it won't turn into a big two-on-one thing. Maybe Friday, right before 5 pm, so when I'm done, I can just run away?

Did I mention that ED2 is at least 47 years old and has five-year-old twins? I'm hoping that means that she's sympathetic to a> the urgency, given my age and 2> the hoops through which I might have to jump (in addition to the whole no-sperm-in-this-relationship thing!)

I just can't believe that everything is falling into place (so far) and that we will be inseminating in less than three weeks.

Woo Hoo!

Also. Oh shit!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I've got a "naked" appointment with my OB/Gyn tomorrow, where I hope we'll be doing the last of my preconception testing!

Here are the highlights from the two pages of questions that I've printed out to be sure and ask her about!

  1. What tests are we doing today, and when can we expect to find out the results?
  2. Do I need any other tests, or assuming no problems are discovered, can we inseminate in June?
  3. When will we know if we're trying in June, so we can order sperm?
  4. What’s the protocol for doing the ovulation predictor pee-sticks? When do I start testing? How often? Recommended brand of kit?
  5. Once I surge, when do we inseminate? How wide is the window of opportunity to inseminate?
  6. If I’ve not surged yet, but expect to soon, is it ok to drink Friday June 8? What if I’ve surged, but not inseminating until Saturday afternoon? (I'm going to a party that night. :-) )
  7. How long should we try this way before considering other options?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Special: #7 - #9 (Catching Up!)

Oh my, I've completely neglected the Saturday Special for the past few weeks. I'm getting all caught up now!

May 5: Art Imagination

  1. If you could paint a landscape what would it be?
    One of the views that I used to see on my way to work, driving through the state forest. Maybe a four-part series, showing the same scene in each season.
  2. If you could paint a portrait who would it be?
  3. If you could paint a geometrical form what would it be?
    What the hell? I could probably handle painting a cube, or sphere or maybe even a cone in real life. Why would I need to fantasize about it?
  4. If you could paint any object what would it be?Some of the beautiful spring flowers that are blooming now.
This is a kind of dumb one.

May 12: If Only. . . (Fill in the blank)
  1. If only I went back to work a few months ago, because I might be
    pregnant by now
  2. If only I bought more snack bars at the grocery store last week, because I'm out of them already.
  3. If only I gave Shrike better birthday gifts, because she does a
    really good job with mine.
  4. If only I looked like I'm awake at work after lunch, when it's clearly nap time.
Wow, this was a hard one. I was kind of stretching to come up with these answers. I guess I don't have as many regrets as I might have thought. I suppose that's a good thing.

May 19: TV
  1. Favorite TV Chef
    I really don't watch cooking shows, so I don't have
    one, sorry.
  2. Favorite TV Cooking Personality
    Isn't that the same as question
  3. Favorite TV Dinner
    Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese
  4. Favorite Watching TV Movie SnackHmm, Popcorn?
This was was pretty hard, too. I don't really watch much TV these days, or eat many TV dinners.
Learn more about the Saturday Special.

Photo Hunter #8: Cooked/Cooking

Here are some "action shots" of my latest concoction, which is cooking in the crockpot as I type.

If it turns out to be any good, I'll post the actual recipe.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What a Week

Whew! This week has just been a bear.

As you know, Shrike usually works evenings (leaves around 2:45 pm, gets home around 1:30 am) but occassionally works a 9-ish to 5-ish schedule or, even more rarely, 6:00 am - 2:00 pm.

She's on the God-awful-early shift this week.

So, of course, this is the week that I worked until 7:00 or 8:00 every freaking evening but Friday.

"Normally" (in quotes, as I've only been there four weeks, and I think I've only actually worked this schedule one of them) I work 8:30 am - 5:00 pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The other two evenings, I am there during the instructional hours and close things up, which means that I'm working 10:30 am - 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and 11:30 am - 8:30 pm on Wednesdays.

This week, I went in at those times, but stayed until 7:00 pm on Monday and Thursday as well, to make up some of the hours that I'm missing for doctors appointments, and to observe some parent conferences that Director's been doing on this nights to work.

I am wiped out, Shrike is wiped out, and we've barely seen each other all week, because she's going to bed as I get home in the evenings, and is gone long before I'm up in the mornings.

We did get some time together last evening, when we went out for drinks with a few people, and stayed out way later than we should have. We did have a nice time, though, including a visit with NewFriend in the parking lot after, so it was worth losing a bit of sleep.

(Easy for me to say, I didn't get up at 4:30 am, like some people!)

We thought we'd get to come home and collapse this evening, but Shrike's grandparents just moved into their new house today, so we went over to see it, then all had dinner at her sister's house, which is just a couple of blocks from the grandparents.

That was very nice, and it was good to see everyone, and our damn-near-seven-year-old (when the hell did that happen?!?) niece sat in my lap for dinner, which was very sweet, but oh man, coming home and collapsing had sounded so nice.

Tomorrow, I have to work again, 8:30 am to around 1:30 or so.

(This is the "one Saturday a month" thing that I was trying not to think about when I decided to take the job.)

From there, I'll go straight to our niece's ballet recital, home for a short rest, and then over to TrigGuy's house for two hours of tutoring.

Shrike is working tomorrow evening, so I'm on my own from there.

If I've got anything left in me by then, I'll try to start on my two big projects for the weekend - printing and assembling the invitations for my parents 50th anniversary and getting the house in some sort of decent order for a meeting that I'm hosting here on Monday evening.

Oh, yeah, Monday:

  • 11:00 am - Appointment with Dr. B. (OB/Gyn)
  • 2:00 pm - Appointment with Dr. T. (our shrink)
  • 6:30 pm - Political meeting at our house
Then, Tuesday is a late late day, 11:30 - 8:00 becuase we have a staff meeting that evening, and starting Wednesday, Director is out for about a week, having knee surgery, and I'm kind of on my own.

I would assume that at least one of the EDs will probably be around most of the time while he's out, and there are other folks who are usually around who can answer questions, etc, but technically, I'll be kind of in charge.

Yikey schnikeys.

In the meantime, though, it's time for bed!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

I think that even more items for this list might have arisen since I originally suggested it. Some are medical issues, others are just plain wierd.

13 Weird Things About Our Pets
  1. MamaCat is epileptic, but her seizures aren't very frequent, so she's not on any medication for it.

  2. MamaCat only has claws on one foot. I had her electively declawed in the front, but she had to have the claws on her back right foot removed after ripped most of them out when she caught them in a miniblind during a seizure. (She was sitting on the back of a couch, against the window.)

  3. More than once, MamaCat has bitten through her tongue during a seizure, and gotten it stuck on one of her canine teeth.

  4. BoyCat is bulimic. Well, not exactly, but he does throw up a lot. The vet says it's nothing to worry about. Tell that to our carpets.

  5. GirlCat is quite overweight. (I'm hoping for someone to invent kitty gastric bypass.)

  6. Because of her weight, GirlCat is not as agile as your average cat, so she's got some grooming issues that are better left to the imagination.

  7. Or to BigGaloot. 'Nuff said.

  8. PerfectPup has hip dysplasia. We discovered it about a week before she was supposed to start an agility class. Obviously, we cancelled the class, since she's not allowed to jump.

  9. PerfectPup has some sort of digestive issues, and has to eat special "low residue" food, or she cries when she poops. "Cries" is a rather mild term for it; she yelps like she's being killed.

  10. We discovered the hip dysplasia with an x-ray intended to check her digestive system.

  11. PerfectPup is very "flinchy" about noises, especially the sound of a bag rattling - including her own food bag.

  12. BigGaloot is obsessed with poop. He will eat it from any species except dog.

  13. Big Galoot is still young, so we've not yet discovered any wierd medical issues with him, but I suspect we will. I just hope it's nothing serious. Or expensive.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #9: I Got The (Cobalt) Blues

My collection of all things cobalt blue

Miscellaneous Glass Pieces

Compost Crock and Soap Dispenser / Sponge Holder

Light Fixture, Soffit, Valance

Wind Chimes and Such

The Newest Addition - a Birthday Gift from Shrike

Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You Ain't See Nothing Yet

I've been having fits with my internets tonight, so I've just got time for a real quick note before bed.

In the comments about my new crock pot, "Anonymous" mentioned my "obsession" with cobalt blue things.

I realized that I've mentioned several items that I own in this color, but have never shown my collection. I took a few photos tonight and, if my connection is cooperating, I plan to post a few tomorrow, for "Wordless Wednesday."

A couple of questions for Anonymous before I call it a night:

  • Are you someone I know, going incognito?
  • Did you really buy the cobalt camera?
  • Did you really base your decision on my obsession?
  • Where can I find a cobalt blue digital camera?!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Now We're Cookin'

Happy birthday to me!

I should have gotten a photo of the shiny, new (cobalt blue!) crock pot while it was still shiny and new, but this photo with it's inaugural pot roast inside (and a few pot roast juice dribbles down the outside) will have to do.

I'm really glad to have this, since my cooking time is so limited now that I'm working. I set up the pot roast last night, and Shrike turned it on this afternoon.

Of course, ever the smart-ass, when I was telling her when to turn it on and for how long, she asked, "And how exactly do I get the cord in between the two parts?"

I'll probably try to do something else in it later this week. Suggestions are welcome!

Vanilla Grass

Toni asked about vanilla grass, so here's some information about it. The two small plants that we bought yesterday are pictured to the right.

Vanilla Grass, also known as Sweet Vernal Grass (scientific name is Anthoxanthum odoratum), is "a dense, clumpy grass that releases a strong vanilla fragrance when cut and dried. Useful in potpourri as it retains its scent for years. Needs full sun." (Dave's Garden)
"Vanilla Grass is especially appealing to dogs. However, like all good things, it should be offered in moderate quantities. Usually letting the dog graze is sufficient control, because the dog knows when he has had enough. Often they go to sleep afterwards. But, then dogs do that, don't they!" (Mountain Valley Growers)
Several of our neighbors have what we think is vanilla grass in their front yards, and our pups always stop to sniff it as we walk by.

Galoot ran off with one of the plants while Shrike was trying to get it in the ground, so I think he's definitely a fan.

She ended up putting them in pots and setting them out front, so they'll have a chance to get established before he destroys them.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


In case you're wondering: A 39-year-old body, falling from a height of approximately two feet, does not bounce.

It's simple physics, really.

Let me explain . . . .

Yesterday morning, Shrike and I were each sitting in front of our own computers, as we are wont to do.

BoyCat hopped up in my lap for a snuggle, as he is wont to do.

Galoot came in and started harrassing BoyCat, as he is wont to do.

The thing is, BoyCat hates the dogs. Actually, we think he's probably scared of them.

(He's a bit of a p-word. So to speak.)

So, BoyCat is hissing and spitting and smacking Galoot on the nose, and Galoot is being a galoot, trying to get in my lap with the cat.

Shrike, trying to help out, suggested that "If you'll get Galoot, I'll get BoyCat."

This, as you can imagine, is a pretty standard procedure around these parts. One of us tackles Galoot and holds him back, while the other airlifts a cat to safety.

Now, she could've offered to hold onto Galoot while I took BoyCat to the other room, but she wanted to be nice and not make me get up.

It was a nice thought.

I grabbed Galoot's collar and held on for all I was worth, as she picked up BoyCat from my lap, and tried to get out of the room with him.

Galoot was trying to jump at him, trying to follow her, trying to basically do anything but sit quietly while I held onto him.

Now, remember, I'm sitting in my spinny computer chair, holding onto a dog that's going nuts.

The next thing I know, my chair has spun and then toppled over, and I'm lying on my back in the floor, still in the chair, in sitting position.

I was laughing so hard that it took a minute to realize that I'd whacked the shit out of my right forearm, just south of my elbow, on the base of Shrike's chair when I landed.

When it finally registered, it hurt badly enough that I did the whole "can I move it?" and "does anything feel like it's in the wrong place?" thing, but nothing seems to be broken, just bruised.

(The primary thought that kept going through my head, before I determined that it wasn't broken: "At least I have health insurance now!")

The worst part is that while I can feel a big ol' knot on my arm, it doesn't really show and although it hurts to touch it, it's really not discolored at all, so there's no point in posting photos here. So much for the cyber-sympathy.

I iced it pretty well for a while (probably what prevented the visible bruising, dammit) and it felt a lot better within an hour or so, not hurting unless I touch it, or do something stupid like leaning on that arm.

By evening, though, my leg, hip and back started aching and I realized that, despite having the chair there to cushion me, I'd hit the ground pretty hard and these old bones just didn't like it at all.

Shrike apologized profusely for trying to be nice, not making me get up to move the cat.

She also said, "Remind me not to be solicitous of you when you're pregnant. You could be killed!"

It's Plantin' Time, Sprout!

We've had quite a productive day here at the Shrike-Whozat homestead.

In addition to a much-needed trip to the grocery store (21.35% savings, thankyouverymuch) we finally got our container veggie garden started.

I got a gift certificate to a local garden center for my birthday, and we just about did it in, buying:

  • tomato plants (6 pack)
  • bell pepper plants (6 pack)
  • vanilla grass (2; Shrike says the dogs like it)
  • hanging plant
  • red onions
  • potting soil (2)
  • cobalt blue pots (2)
The hanging plant went into a pretty basket that we bought a couple of years ago, and we're pretty confident about its chances, because it's out of reach of the pups.

The Wee Baby Moon hangy twisty thing with the cobalt ball, pictured to the left of the plant, is one of my birthday gifts from Shrike. It's the one that she forgot was in her trunk when she opened it for me to put some things in a couple of weeks ago. So, I've had it for a while.

The two cobalt pots are now each home to a couple of bulbs, which we hope will soon be calla lilies. I gave the bulbs to Shrike for her birthday last year, so I'm hoping they're still good.

We dumped out our old tomato and pepper pots and put the new plants in them, three to a pot. We also planted the onions in a "trough" type planter, which is probably intended to be a window box.

Because we know what BigGaloot will do to these plants if he get his paws on them, we erected a little protective corral around them, using stakes and snowfencing.

We're a little concerned that it will block too much sun, but we have some bunny wire in the shed if they don't like their current setup. It just seemed a lot tougher to work with than the plastic, so we're trying this first.

It's not the most attractive set-up in the world, but we're hoping the plants will at least survive this way.

After everything was planted we each called our moms for Mother's Day, and then grilled up some teriyaki chicken and potato-kabobs for dinner.

A lovely day, all around.