Saturday, December 31, 2005

Do the Numbers

My SIL is doing some sort of New Years Fitness Challenge for the first quarter of 2006. Part of this involves measuring body fat so she was going around yesterday pinching us with this little calliper machine. J's body fat is at about 26%. Mine was a whopping 35%. According to the American Council on Exercise this qualifies both of us as being obese. So, I weigh 135# and I generally wear a size 10, sometimes an 8. I'm OBESE?!! Well, I guess I'll have to hit the treadmill and rowing machine a bit harder in the months to come.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Welcome Back!

Well, the Little Miss and I managed to fly 3000 some-odd miles to visit the grandparents in Texas and made the return trip in one piece. There are so many things I could write about spending 8 very long days with my parents (particularly with my mother) but I don't really want to relive them. As for the actual flying trip, it's not something I intend to do anytime soon. The flying part was fine except for the Little Miss wanting to kick the back of the seat (hello, if you put your seat all the way back, the toddler behind you IS going to kick the seat no matter how many times you send exasperated looks her way). Getting in and out of the airports was hassel far beyond what I expected and not something I'd recommend to anyone who wants to remain sane.

So I started a new cycle today. My cycles are getting longer and longer. The last 3 cycles I ovulated on CD 17. This one was CD20. J left for a trip on CD18 , so I suppose success was theoretically possible. I have an appointment with the OB in January but I am going to try to move it up a few days so that it will be before I ovulate. I guess I will also temp and OPK next month so that I can say exactly where in the cycle I am. I have very high hopes for the appointment; I hope it doesn't disappoint.

I am trying to get everything back in sync after being gone for a week. The paperwork piles up as does the laundry. Just getting back into the mode of preparing for meals is a bit challenging at this point. I must be getting old as it didn't used to be this hard.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Signing Out

I'm sitting here waiting for the plumber to come. The problem with old houses is that it seems there's always something breaking. Maybe that's true for new houses too. Anyway, we have a bathroom that was added on about 15 years ago. The original owners left copious notes and it appears that they had problems with the toilet freezing early on. That was apparantly fixed but now it's the shower pipes that are on the fritz. So the very nice plumber man is making a stop here on his way home.

I'll be signing out till next week. The Little Miss and I leave tomorrow morning for a cross country trek to Houston. We'll stay for 8 days. Eight days of my mother. I hope I survive. I also hope that the Little Miss never writes that in her blog someday :-) I'm mostly packed although I did go today and buy the Little Miss her very own suitcase. I figured why stuff everything in mine?! I bought her her very own ticket so that I'd be assured of a place for the carseat; might as well take advantage of being able to check an extra bag.

So, I hope all you out there in BlogLand have a happy holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate. To me, this is a time to focus on family and happy times and you can do that regardless of what faith you profess or what religion you practice.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I finally connected this morning with a hair stylist. I'm about the least photogenic person you'll meet but here's a snapshot of the new do:

The Little Miss and I just returned from a graduation party where I was finally able to corner my BIL for a talk. He's a former OB/Gyn (till the cost of malpractice drove him out of the business a few years ago) and I've been wanting to get his advice on what to do next. He advised me to go see a regular OB as they can do all the basic testing and it will most likely be covered by insurance. He recommended a few in Columbus but then he also mentioned a new doctor in our small town. She's pretty recently minted although she's been working at one of the large hospitals in Columbus for a while. The best thing about her is that she is in the OB practice with which my midwife is affiliated. So I could go to her and it would be easy to then transfer over to the midwife (thinking positively here!). I plan to make an appointment with her tomorrow.

The other interesting thing he told me is about some new research he learned about in a recent seminar. I have hypothyroidism and it was not really an issue with the Little Miss although I did have my Synthroid dosage adjusted numerous times upward during the pregnancy. BIL says that the newest research indicates that thyroid issues play a larger role in infertility and early loses than previously thought. So he said as soon as I get a positive HPT to start getting the thyroid tested right away.

For whatever reason, I'm feeling more hopeful and optimistic than I have in a long time. Maybe it's the magic of Christmas; seeing it through my daughter's eyes puts a whole new spin on life.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Roadmap to God Knows Where

I did a bit of mindless surfing around BlogLand today looking for new blogs to add to my list. I have my favs - people's lives that I feel like I'm a part of by looking in on them ocassionally but who don't know I'm there. A bit voyeuristic but there you have it. I guess it all started in grade school and a fascination with Harriet The Spy.

Anyway, while surfing around all these blogs I realized an intrinsic problem with BlogLand. You can look into someone's window and see what they're doing right then and there. But it's up to you to wonder how they got there and what things have influenced the scene you see there.

There have been some blogs that I've bookmarked thinking that they had come from a similar situation and might have some insight into how I can navigate mine. Some of my favorites have turned out to do just that. Others have turned out to be real duds that I can't delete quick enough.

But back to my point: it would be nice to have a roadmap of sorts on any blog you went to so that you could see where the person has been and where they're going. So I thought I would start and see if I could create a trend (trendy person that I am ;->)

Here goes....
At the beginning of 2003 my biological clock was ringing too loudly to ignore so I stopped 7 years of birth control pills and got pregnant the second cycle out. I had not a single problem during the pregnancy and produced the Little Miss without a single drug (okay, I'm bragging but I deserve a little something for all that pain, don't I?!). Shortly after she was born I got a Mirena IUD, not knowing if/when I would want to have more. At the beginning of 2005 I decided I would like to have another one, so I had the IUD removed. 2 weeks later..... ooops. I was supposed to wait 3 months but, well, ooops. I had trouble from the start and lost the baby at 10 weeks. I waited about 3 months to start trying again - which puts us to June 2005. We've been trying diligently since then with no results. I plan to seek some sort of fertility treatments at the beginning of next year. In the meantime I have struggled with my feelings about God and religion and the purpose of all this pain and anguish. I'll let you know if I stumble upon any profoundly insightful solutions.

Edit 2/28/2006: I had my second miscarriage a few days ago. This one was a blighted ovum which was discovered when I started spotting at 7 weeks. I passed everything naturally at 8 weeks. I am currently waiting for my hormone levels to get back to 0 so that we can do an HSG and then hopefully start trying again.

Edit 05/07/2006: An HSG earlier this week revealed that I have what is likely a septum. I have an appointment next week with a fertility specialist to hopefully schedule a quick removal of it.

Edit 06/13/2006: I had surgery a few weeks ago to remove the septum and the doctor says that everything looks good. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Happy Birthday...

To me! Today is the big 37. Or, as a dear friend pointed out to me, only 2 more to go till the big 4-0. Thanks, T.

Ever since the Little Miss was born, I've had this fantasy that birthdays should be about the mother. We should have a big party celebrating the fact that a woman got that huge of an object out of that small of a passage. I think I should get the gifts on the Little Miss' birthday. I've not shared that with my mother. If we were closer I might even have given her a gift today. Maybe next year.

I have to say, December birthdays suck. My pet peeves are greeting cards that wish Happy Birthday right along with Merry Christmas. Yes, they do make such things. I've received a few in my life. Then there are the gifts that serve the dual purposes of both occassions.

Speaking of gifts, my only birthday gift this year is of the dual purpose type. J bought me a laptop a few weeks ago. Rather, I bought it with his best wishes. So I splurged and treated myself to Subway for lunch today. Went all out and even got chips and a coke.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 16, 2005


I remember when the Little Miss was just a wee thing and she would cry and cry and cry and cry and cry....., well you get the picture. It was at such times that I would seriously question my desire to be a mother. I got a stark reminder of that today. Not with the Little Miss but with the 7 month old daughter of a friend of mine.

My friend L wanted to do a bit of cross country skiing and J was game, so she dropped her daughter S off this morning and off they went. S was fine for about 10 minutes and then the realization set in: MOMMY HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. At one point she was screaming so hard that she puked. Baby Einstein helped for a few minutes as did peek-a-boo in the mirror. But mostly she was just crying.

Don't get me wrong: I have never regretted having the Little Miss and obviously I want another one. But I could really do without all the crying of the first year or so. Thank god the Little Miss is very vocal and started expressing herself early. I may have to limit my sentences to 2 syllables and 3 words but at least she can tell me that she wants milk with her boots on and dolly in the chair.

What S wanted (besides her mommy) I will never know.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Can I go back to bed now?

Ever have one of those days where you just want to crawl back in bed?

So first off, the lady who was supposed to cut my hair called in sick today. She's the sister of a friend of mine and was going to do it at her house but called this morning to say she was too sick. She might can do it this weekend but I don't know if things will work out. I am in the right frame of mind to just take scissors to it myself but so far I have refrained. I was just really looking forward to getting something different today.

Then I tried to make an appointment with an RE clinic in town and it turns out they don't take my insurance. Yes, I probably should have checked first but stupid me did not. I went to my insurance's website then and it turns out there is only one RE covered and she is not board certified. I can't figure out if she has a practice or is affliated with one of the hospitals here. I'm not sure how that works. So I'm back to square one: decide if I should pursue the one RE or try to find recommendations for an OB who can do basic fertility testing. Did I mention that this whole day has sucked?

And to top it all off we are covered in about 6-8" of snow. I don't mind it really but today I would just rather not be snowed in.

Where is my blankie???

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I predict that this time tomorrow my husband will have killed me. Or, at the very least, he's going to be very, very angry with me. I have an appointment to get my hair cut at 2 tomorrow.

I've never really understood what it is with men and long hair. I vividly remember from my childhood my mom getting fed up with washing and combing my long hair and hauling me off to the beauty shop. I'd emerge looking like a little boy. My dad would come home from work and just give her one of those looks that could wither the heartiest of souls. He loved me having long hair. So mom would let it grow out again until she got tired of it. I guess that set the stage for my own adult treatment of my hair.

J is the same as my dad: he gets upset every time I get it trimmed, much less cut. So I just told him that I'm going out for a while tomorrow afternoon and I need him to watch the Little Miss. It is driving him absolutely nuts trying to figure out what I'm up to. That's probably going to make him that much angrier when he sees what I've done. Oh well.

I guess I've entered another 2 week wait. There's a chance that we hit the fertile days if I ovulated on or after the day I've been ovulating. I hate waiting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hair, Beautiful Hair

The life of my hair has been a lot like a roller coaster ride: let it grow out, cut it short, let it grow out, cut it short, repeat ad infinum. A few years ago I got my long hair cut short; really short. As in people called me sir for a long time after that. So I let it grow out again. I think that was about 4 years ago. I've had it trimmed a couple times since then but not cut short. The last couple of days I haven't had time to brush it out. BIG HUGE mistake. I spent about an hour last night getting the knots out.

I recall a Cathy comic strip where she gets tired of her hair and wants to get it cut. Everyone hides the scissors from her. That's me to a "T". I get to a certain frustration level and decide to do something hugely different. I haven't done it yet but I'm going to this week. As soon as I find someone with scissors.

This is my hair right now: a good 6-7" past my shoulders.

Stay tuned for the shorter version. Coming soon!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Whole Lotta Copying And Pasting Goin' On

I've been wanting to play with my blogger template for some time now. Several times I've found interesting ones but it's such a pain to modify them to work with blogger. Even this one had the blogger elements built in but it still took me an hour or so to arrive at this. But never mind. This is my new look. What do you think? I liked it because it looks just a little bit bohemian and that definitely describes me.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Goal #1: Simplify

I've always been something of a clutterbug. I think it's genetic as my grandfather was the same way. Or maybe his came from being a child of the Depression when you didn't throw anything away of necessity.

In 2001, we made a crosscountry move from Texas to Ohio. Our Uhaul was positively stuffed and even then we left stuff behind. I had lived in the same 3 bedroom townhouse for almost 12 years. I was good at accumlating and justified it by being incredibly organized at it. Boxes were labeled and lists indicated which box everything was in. Oh yes, I was good.

When we moved, we went from a fairly large place to a somewhat smaller place with no storage. We could almost get our Miata in the 2-car garage if we parked really carefully. If you got up in the middle of the night you had to be careful to step around all the boxes. It was getting pretty bad even if it was organized.

One day at the library, on a whim, I picked up a copy of Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life! by Don Aslett. I still remember reading it: I went to bed early on a Friday evening (J was at work) and started reading. I finished about 10pm. I got out of bed and started de-cluttering. Man, that book changed my life. I worked until the wee hours of the morning, took a nap, went back at it, slept a little more, and finally finished late Sunday night. I went to work Monday exhausted but with a huge sense of accomplishment. A friend came over Monday afternoon and three times we packed up (and I do mean packed) my Xterra to the gills and made a run to three different Goodwills to drop it off. I was so embarrased by the amount of accumlated stuff that I didn't want to go back to the same place!

J came back after his trip and was absolutely astonished. We could now fit both cars in the garage AND not have to trip over boxes in the house. It was great.

In the 4 years since then, I've slipped back into my clutter habits. I still justify it by being very organized about it. Old habits die hard. I can't really blame it on the Little Miss. She has a lot of toys and I do buy clothes and things for her in advance that I store up. But that's small-time compared to my clutter.

So, one of goals for 2006 is to declutter and simplify again. I'm hoping that we will stay in this house for a very long time and that once I get it under control I can keep it under control. Or maybe I should just schedule myself to re-read the book every 3 or 4 years.

I'm off to the library to get that book again.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Plan For Gifts

I have a confession to make: I like to scrapbook. I also like to read the "industry" magazines on scrapbooking although I must say that their ideas of a good scrapbook often don't match mine. The magazines are full of layouts with one or two pictures. Given the fact that I took almost 400 pictures in November (and that's a below-average month), I can usually come up with more than a couple photos a month to scrapbook.

My favorite magazine is Creating Keepsakes as they actually tend to have useful layout ideas. In the latest issue (January 2006) they had lots of good ideas for "new year" scrapbooks. One of the ideas was to create a book to answer a list of questions about the past year. They pointed to a list of sample questions at this site - I thought it was a good idea and am looking forward to making a little book to answer them. If nothing else it will get me thinking. Plus I think it will be a fun thing to look back on years from now.

While looking around the above mentioned website, I found a good article on gift-giving and kids. I have good memories of gift-giving at Christmas time as a child. I didn't get a ton of stuff but I remember getting one "big" present and some smaller presents. This article (A Plan For Gifts) I thought was a really good way to shop for the kids. Basically the author suggests giving:

  • something to read
  • something to cuddle
  • something to play with
  • something to make
  • something as a keepsake
  • something hand-made
  • a video,board,card,or electronic game

I wanted to pass along the link because I think this is a great idea. Even if you modify it for your own situation, just the idea of having a plan behind your gift-giving is great. So many kids get so much stuff these days and I think so much of it goes unappreciated. Keeping it simple while still allowing for a splurge is the way I plan to go as the Little Miss gets older.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Really Feeling It Today

Several months ago, I started a message board post on looking for "buddies" to wait out the 2ww with me. That month one of our group of 4 got a positive. We kept the thread alive and the next month another got a positive. Now, you know where this is going right? What makes us go looking at stuff that we know is going to depress us? Of course, the other woman of the group got a positive yesterday. Between that and the talk with my friend today, I am just really feeling it. Here it is the end of the year and I am no closer to having a baby. I conceived the one I lost this past Jan. 18. I never really thought I would pass that anniversary date without being pregnant. Now reality is setting in. I hate this whole game of trying/waiting/failing. Can I just forfeit?

Getting it off my chest

I talked to my best friend T today - our weekly phone call. She has 5 kids and has experienced 2 losses. Plus she's been my friend since we were roommates in college, so she knows where I've been. I think she must track my cycles on my calendar because she always knows when to ask me stuff. Without really intending to, I ended up pouring out my anger and grief to her. I realize that in a lot of ways I'm still grieving, not necessarily for my lost child but also for my lost innocence. I'm angry at God that we may never have another child and, as an only child myself, I do not want that for my child. I have been hesitant before to tell my friend T how I was feeling because she is the most spiritual person I know. If anyone has a direct line to God, it would be her. But in true best friend fashion, she listened without passing judgement. We didn't resolve anything; I didn't have any "breakthroughs". But it was a relief to hash over it with someone.

J left today for a 5 day trip. I will probably ovulate sometime between now and when he gets back. I had intended to "get together" with him this afternoon just in case but events conspired against us and it just didn't work out. Funny - even though I said I wasn't really trying this month I am disappointed that we didn't at least get to try. Another month; another roller coaster ride.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Real Life

The problem with letting the Little Miss stay with friends for a night is that she comes back seemingly having forgotten the usual house limits. I don't expect my friend to enforce rules the way I do. When the Little Miss is over there, she gets 100% attention 100% of the time by a crowd of people who are entranced by her. If she so much as sniffles there is someone by her side to see to her supposed need.

I'm cool with that. I think it's good for everyone to have that experience every once in a while. But she's learning the flip side of that lesson: namely that it's a once-in-a-while thing. This is everyday life.

So she comes home this morning and immediately begins testing the boundaries. Every single one of them I'm sure.

The other problem with being away from my Little Miss is that when she comes back, even though it's only been 24 hours, I can see that she has grown. I guess it's that little bit of distance that makes me see her with new eyes. Plus she learns new words over there and there are lots of other people's mannerisms to pick up. My "baby" is less and less of a "baby" every day. I see now why so many people space their kids about 2 years apart. Some days I just want to turn her back into the cute, cuddly baby she was mere months ago.

Alas, time marches on. The biological clock ticks louder and louder every day. I'm approaching another ovulation. It's been somewhat freeing this month not to temp or plan to use OPKs. I haven't really thought about it much. According to fertility friend, I should ovulate on the 14th. J gets back from a trip the evening of the 13th. So we theoretically have a shot at it this month. Most of the 2WW will be consumed with holiday activities and my test date would be about the day I get back from visiting family over Christmas. I'm still researching a specialist and waiting for recommendations. I hope to have an appointment made early next week.

I love being able to make plans and feeling like I'm in control of something. Anything.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Not a Typical Day

Today has been quite the day. It started out with a relaxation massage at the Y. If you've never had a massage I would wholly recommend it. I used to get them regularly when I typed 14-16 hours a day. I haven't had one since well before the Little Miss came along so it was high time. Since I wasn't near as tense in the shoulders as I used to be, he was able to work on my whole body which felt great. I'm a little sore but it's a good kind of sore.

After that I hurried home to meet a good friend of mine for lunch. She then took the Little Miss home with her for the night. Little Miss absolutely loves to go over there: her cousins are there plus lots of other people in and out. It's an absolute zoo and drives me bonkers but the Little Miss is in her element. Plus they have dogs which is a huge plus! J and I spent out free time window shopping computer equipment (what geeks we are!) and indulging in a margarita grande. It was nice to have some adult conversation, even if it was a little sloshed there at the end.

Last night we watched The Skeleton Key. I'm not usually up for movies of this type. IMDB classifies it as horror but it's more of a psychological thriller. There is only one scene that was really gross. The rest of it is just left up to your imagination. I won't spoil the plot if you haven't seen it but it's worth watching.

Monday, December 05, 2005

From My New Toy

It finally came in the mail: my new Dell laptop! J got it for me for my birthday/Christmas present (my birthday being the week before Christmas). I have a nice desktop system that's only 2 years old but I had been having laptop envy whenever I see J surfing at the kitchen table. Which happens much more frequently now that our kitchen remodel is done and this is a much nicer place to sit and surf. The other thing I wanted it for is movie watching - it's got a 15.4" widescreen display. If you've read many of my other posts, you'll know that I'm somewhat of a movie buff and my favorite place to watch is in bed late at night. So now rather than dragging the big 13" TV out (!) I can just pop open the laptop. The little TV gets passed on to the Little Miss for Baby Einstein viewing and the laptop that she has been using will get passed on to the basement. I thought about donating it to some good cause; anyone out there have any recommendations?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sure glad that's over

We had our Open House today. Sure glad that's over. Last year we'd only been in the house a few months when we had our First Open House and, although we're not sure of an exact count, there were probably in the neighborhood of 60-70 people. Probably more. This year, we might have topped 20. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. Especially since I ordered 150 cookies for the event. Does anyone know what to do with 100+ cookies that we don't really need?

At any rate, it was a good excuse to get the house clean and we did enjoy visiting with the few who showed up.

I actually went to church yesterday. I had intended to go to every Advent Mass but I realized while there that I missed the first one. Oh well. The Bible readings were about deserts and the priest said something that stuck with me: Sometimes you have to go through the desert to find God. I guess that's what I'm in right now: a dry, barren (pun not intended) desert. Sure is hot in here.

My BIL is a former OBGyn and I got to talk with him for a brief moment this afternoon. He has promised to give me a couple of referrals about where to go next. As soon as I get the names and figure out which ones are on the insurance I will be making an appointment with someone. It's good to feel like I'm doing something, anything to get things going. There were several older folks there today and 3 different people had to ask me when I was going to have another one. I can take it better from old people but it's still hard to smile and say something benign.

Well, it's amazing what a mess 20-someodd people can make. I'm thinking pizza for dinner. I sure ain't cookin' tonight.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

Last night I watched Kingdom of Heaven (2005). Great movie! I love reading historical fiction and I'm always thrilled to find good movie adapations of that genre.

First off, I could really identify with the main character, Balian (played by Orlando Bloom), in his search for God. He starts the movie having lost everything dear to him and in the end I'm not sure that he believes he has found God. He tells one character in the movie "God does not speak to me..... I am outside God's grace..... It seems I have lost my religion".

One things I find fascinating about the crusades is what drove these men to do what they did. I'm sure some were driven by true love for God and believing that what they were doing was right. Others were driven by greed and money. I think Balian was depicted in this movie as being driven by the desire to find God and figure Him out.

Another great quote from the movie was from the Princess of Jerusalem, Sybilla:
There'll be a day when you will wish you had done a little evil to do a greater good

She says this to Balian upon learning that he has refused the crown of the King of Jerusalem because it would mean killing Sybilla's husband. I like that foray into the question of black & white; good & evil. Life is rarely ever either or. There is always a grey area. Is it better to kill one man in the natural order of things or allow hundreds of thousands to die in a senseless war?

The battle scenes in this movie are as you would expect: a little epic and gory. But the music is wonderful and the scenery is breathtaking. I'm looking forward to more movies from newcomer Eva Green who played Sybilla.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fall is Gone

One of next year's resolutions? Rake the leaves before the snow comes!

Our neighbor next door is absolutely asinine about his yard. The minute a storm is over he will be out there picking up sticks. As soon as the leaves start falling, he is out there every single day raking them up.

Figuring I can never compete with him, I take a more lackadaisical approach to the yard. Mainly, I let all the leaves get done falling before bothing to rake any of them up. Last year this worked pretty good, probably because they fell early and I had time to get them raked before the wet weather set in. This year was not the case. So we started yesterday raking up wet, rotting piles of leaves and dragging them on a tarp to the curb for pickup. Let me tell you: wet leaves are HEAVY! I haven't been able to get to the Y the last 2 days but I certainly made up for it with this project.

The worst part of it is that I can't even enjoy my leaf-free lawn because now it's covered in snow.

Well, Aunt Flo is on her way out. We have a narrow window of opportunity this month. I decided not to temp or OPK. I have 4 months of temperature charts that show I've been ovulating. I'm doing my research to find a good specialist. I haven't written December off but I'm not going to obsess about it. Last month I tried soy and a slew of vitamins and robitussin. I'm continuing to take Vitamin C and the aspirin but that's it. I was hoping to speed up ovulation with the soy (no go) and lengthen my luteal phase with the vitamins (also a no go). As for the tussin, I don't know about that..... Ever since the D&C, I've had a constant, steady supply of fertile CM. I mean as in every day I have it, all cycle long. This cycle was somewhat less and I don't know what caused that. It might just be a situation that's correcting itself on its own. At any rate, I'm keeping it simple and low key this month. My biggest challenge will be to convince J to skip a ski trip at The Time. He said he might if I make it worth his while. Guess I'll have to go ponder how to do that ;->