Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alone Time

I love the days when I actually feel awake enough to peel myself out of bed before the kids are up. That hour or so of alone time lays before me, ripe with possibility. I waste too much of the time deciding what I should DO with those precious moments of privacy: Should I shower now? But I'm hoping to go to the gym later... Should I make myself a delicious breakfast and eat on the deck while reading? But then I couldn't hear the kids when they do wake up... Maybe I could pack for my trip this weekend! Oh, but all that banging of drawers will wake the kids up, thus negating all that decadent free time sprawling seductively before me here. Well, should I mop the floor? Probably, yes, this is the best use of my kid-free hour. But, meh, better to leave it til the end of the day. We'll just dirty it up today anyways if we go outside. I'll wash it right before I go to bed tonight so when I leave in the morning it'll be sparkly clean! (Because I am a freak who has to deep clean the house before I LEAVE it instead of when I return to it. Anyone know of a cure for this kind of illogic?)

I settle for painting my toenails, which may seem like an easy enough task to get done with kids around, but in fact is wrought with danger. They want to grab the bottle; they want me to paint their nails but then freak out upon the actual application and demand that the polish be removed at once! They hover over me watching and bump my arm. Then they DO grab the bottle and spill polish all over the table. ET CETERA.

Then I decide, in preparation for my trip, to clean up the bazillion pictures still stored in our digital camera, half of them downloaded, half not, so I can delete them all and start with a clean slate tomorrow!

And also so I can show you my hair, which is not all THAT different- about two inches shorter, thinned considerably, layers cleaned up. And! Now with side bang!

I'd like to state as a disclaimer that it will never look this way again, until maybe when I'm in my sister's wedding next year. When the stylist asked me if I wanted it straightened I felt wild and said, "Not straight. Maybe kind of how yours is?" Which was a few SOFT LOOSE curls. Instead I kind of look like I'm going to prom.

Also, GEEZ, could I could maybe have powdered away the GLARING SHINE off my face before photographing myself? Or tried to cover up the break outs which are popping up everywhere thanks to all those excess hormones coursing through my veins?

Little edit: Here it is this morning after being washed and blow dried. I think I like it better straight. However, I think I like my face with a little eye makeup, as seen above, better. (Also, did I once AGAIN forget to cover up that zit!?? Am possibly some kind of masochist.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not Just A Means To An End. But Maybe Not The End All, Be All, Either

I know a lot of you read Linda already, but if you haven't read her post today about birth and what the experience has come to mean in our culture, please go and read it now. The comment section, too, is fantastic. (Also, you may notice that someone named Sarah commented no less than THREE TIMES in said section...)

Basically, I just want to blow big kisses to Linda and say RIGHT ON. Also, to reiterate what one of her commenters said, and which I SO need to be reminded of sometimes: "We get pregnant to have a BABY, not a birth experience." After watching The Business of Being Born and and reading Dooce and ob-SESSING about both of my births, of in fact continuing to obsess about possible FUTURE births and how I could make them even more natural and perfect and empowering, I have definitely fallen into the trap of thinking that achieving one's ideal birth experience = perfect mom.

Now, I don't intend to imply that the birth experience wasn't meaningful to me or that it's not something I'll remember forever. Nor do I think it shouldn't matter to me, or that I won't hope for a beautiful, straightforward, natural birth the next time. Maybe even a water birth! I also still think lots of women get bullied by the medical system and that it definitely IS valid to do some research and know your options.

I just mean that I think I may have, in my borderline OCD way, turned my past births into something to agonize over and plan and analyze like I would a spreadsheet or a business presentation. I made it something at which I could succeed or fail, which shames me now. It was never meant to be that. If I had developed high blood pressure and been advised to get pitocin to hurry along the birth, or if the baby's heart rate had dipped for quite a while and the doctor had advised a c-section, I have to admit that I would be here, two and four years later, still wondering about whether I could have done something different- better, braver- to change the situation.

I also have to admit that one of the things that scares me the most about the possibility of twins is that I might be forced to have a c-section. My body would be housing and growing TWO WHOLE BABIES and yet, I'm afraid of feeling weak and unwomanly because I might not get to push my babies out the old fashioned way. That? Is just silly.

Here's the thing: you make the best decision you can with the information and the circumstances at hand. And hopefully, you don't look back. Except maybe at your baby's newborn pictures. They're the only details worth obsessing over.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Needed: Maintenance Tips

I felt weirdly ambitious this morning, and I had both the kids and myself dressed and outdoors by nine AM.


I walked them around in their little wagon, first through our neighborhood and then to the school playground that's very close. The sun was blaring right in my eyes, but the kids seemed content, so I figured I should continue with the outing despite all the squinting wrinkles I was embedding in my face. On our way we passed the school's marching band practicing and wow, was Adelay fascinated by that. On our way back they were still at it, so I parked the wagon and we just sat and watched them do a routine. Then we picked some flowers (weeds) that were growing around the practice field before we headed back to the house.

On our way back I was noticing what a lovely little neighborhood we have, old, unassuming, but almost completely kept up and well tended. You can tell a lot of the people have lived there a long time, and really care about their homes. There are flowers and mulch and shrubbery and edging bricks and hanging baskets everywhere.

Everywhere except our house... Well, there ARE those things, but the flowers are few and far between, the mulch is from last year and is mostly blown away, and the shrubs were not the right type for the kind of sun we get in our front yard, and so they are clinging to life, but are not exactly lush or thriving. Anyone have any ideas for easy ways to tidy and spruce up one's yard without, um, much work? Or reassurance that when you have little kids, just keeping your house tidy and spruced up is work enough and I should let my yard rot away guilt free?

And speaking of rot, my nearly two year old son still has a pretty gross case of cradle cap. How is this possible? I mean, his hair gets washed at least every other day. And I do try to massage his scalp and not just suds up the hair. So what's the deal? Do I need to try to get rid of it?

Lastly, I am getting my hair cut tomorrow. I am waffling on an hourly basis between getting a kind of reverse bob like I had before, or just getting the layers trimmed up and thinned again. Basically it's whether the convenience of a ponytail wins out over having a hair that actually has a style. That's provided, of course, I were to style it, which certainly is a lot easier when it's short, but still doesn't happen every day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Serenity Prayer

I'm going to deviate wildly from my usual format: questionably humorous anecdotes from my daily life and/or somewhat obsessive fretting about the state of my ovaries and uterus. So buckle up, 'cause we're jumping from talk about LH surges to talk about... God.

They're actually pretty closely linked in my own experience, though. Dealing with my particular fertility challenges has really caused me to question and grow in my faith lately. There's the obvious issues, such as "Why does God let crack whores get pregnant and then let noble virtuous ME experience difficulty?" and "Why would God allow both Jim and I to strongly desire more children when the process of conception is frustrating and complicated for us? Why couldn't He either make it easy or take away the desire?"

Then there are the deeper questions. "Is He really in control of all of this at all? Does He just pretty much set the world spinning and then stand back and watch? Are difficult circumstances sent to show us that maybe we were wrong about pursuing a certain path, or are they sent to strengthen our resolve, to show us just how much we do, in fact, want that thing?"

There's also the issue of not knowing how to pray. I used to pray, every time we'd try to get pregnant, "Please let this be the month. Please let it happen. Please let me not miscarry. Please give us a healthy child. And please let it be just one child at a time!" Now I only pray this: "Please give me grace to handle whatever happens. Please give us wisdom in each decision, and please give us peace about the outcome." Sometimes I have to pray it over and over again before the peace comes, the peace that what will be, will be, and there's nothing I can do to force God's hand or change His mind. What I desire more now is that God would change mine. I think that's probably what He cares more about, too.

It's not that I no longer believe in God's power, technically speaking, to intervene in even the smallest circumstances. It's just that I'm no longer sure I care to try to sway His power in the direction that seems best to me. I'm not sure that's the kind of praying Jesus meant when He said we should pray always. It seems kind of foolish and unnecessary to me, if I do in fact believe that God has my best interest at heart, to present Him daily with a litany of specific demands. It's making more sense to present Him with open hands, an open heart, and the request only that I can see and hear Him wherever He might be that day. That I could stay open hearted enough to receive His comfort or peace or guidance based on the circumstances I encounter that day.

Basically, I'm trying to let go of the need to control every little part of this process, right down to the part of me that was hoping if I just prayed hard enough, I could create the perfect pregnancy. God is not my fairy godmother. I can take all the drugs and vitamins at all the right times,; I can get sonograms and blood draws and pee on every kind of test the drugstore offers, I can pray the perfect prayers, but when it comes right down to it, I can't make a pregnancy happen, and I can't keep one from slipping away, either. I am not in control. I never was. I am ok with that.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confusion In Fertility Land

Well, I appear to be having a bit of a freak out here, so maybe you can help me. According to the Almighty Pee Sticks, I have now been experiencing an LH surge (meaning impending or current ovulation) for almost four days. However, everything I've read online and heard from my doctor says that once you get a positive, you will ovulate within about 24-36 hours. After that, your egg is viable for about 12-24 hours before it deteriorates. At which point your lutenizing hormone should dissipate. So assuming you catch your surge right when it begins (which I think I probably did,) the longest you should keep getting full-on positive test results is two or three days.

I looked up my question at good old, and she says that if your surge is showing up longer than three days, your body is probably trying to ovulate but is having trouble actually releasing the egg. WTH??

So have I not actually ovulated at all, then? Is the egg still trying to get out of the gate? Did I get the shot too soon or something and the eggs weren't ready after all?

Edit: After getting ANOTHER boldly positive test this morning, I finally called the doctor's answering service and got to talk to an OB. Not my OB, but still. Someone with some knowledge. He listened to my frustrated rant, but once he heard about the hcG shot I got on Tuesday, he was very reassuring. He said that I probably did ovulate just fine, and that the continued positive tests are just a result of the extra hormones from the injection PLUS the hormones my body produced on its own. He said I should disregard any further tests, and assume that the egg (s) got out of the gate just fine. I will start taking the progesterone supplements in a day or two as planned, to make sure there's enough of THAT hormone to allow a successful implantation, and then hopefully in two weeks I'll be posting about a different kind of positive test.

So I guess I'll just settle on down now.

Freshening Up

Look, I've had a makeover! Of the very free, generic, and user-friendly sort, of course, but hey. Now all I need is to work up the nerve for a makeover of my hair, which has gotten so out-of-control thick from all the prenatal vitamins and folate supplements and hormone cocktails and whatnot that every evening by 9PM I end up with a headache from the weight of my ponytail. Um, or maybe I just need to get my hair out of a ponytail and break out the blow dryer and flat iron that are rotting away under the sink.

Well. Like that's gonna happen when I'm busy dinking around on the computer!

Here's some random stuff about kids just to confirm that despite my hip new gray and lime green outfit, this is still just a bore you to tears mommy blog:

-If Addy is awake when I'm on the computer, she is inevitably attached in some way to my body. She is currently crouched behind me, ON the computer chair, crying because I told her that I really do need my arms right now and I can't hold her on my lap. Her usual spot is on my back with her arms wrapped around my neck like a little spider monkey. This could explain the incoherency of some of my posts- I am usually oxygen deprived while writing.

-Sometimes when I notice my hands, tan and kind of hardened from a lot of dish washing and kid wrangling, nails strong and square and short, performing mom tasks, I get a weird, de ja vu-y sense that I am watching my mom's hands do those things.

-Similarly, sometimes when I notice Eli's thighs, I realize that they are exactly my thighs, right down to the generous saddlebags and the little rolls of chub under his knees. Or at least, that's how my thighs used to look before I lifted weights. Now there's a firm, muscular part sandwiched between the layers of chub.

-Adelay is cracking me the heck up lately with all the inappropriately adult expressions that are coming out of her mouth. My WORD. Exhibit a: the other day I was trying to explain something to her and she interrupted me firmly with, "I really don't want to hear it right now!" Exhibit b: I was taking her to the bathroom yesterday and after she got settled on the toilet she announced with gusto, "I really have to take a PISS!"
Um, what? I know I let a few words slip here and there in front of her, but I'm pretty sure I've never said THAT. ("I really don't want to hear it right now" though- I've definitely said that.)

-I've noticed lately that on days when things go smoothly, I've usually started the morning out by complimenting Addy on some behavior of hers that has been cooperative or kind or generous. If I keep up the stream of praise and positivity, she is pretty much golden. It's amazing, actually. I remember reading this book once called "The Power of a Positive Mom" and thinking, "Yeah right, like it's that easy!" But maybe it kind of IS. Except of course that it's only easy if you yourself are capable of mustering up cheeriness and encouragement and positivity all the live-long day. It's scary really, to think that my moods and feelings have that much of a sway over the moods and feelings of my kids. So much power to use for good or evil! I'm not sure I want to contemplate that too long...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Yesterday was my mid-cycle ultrasound. Day 12, if you must know. (You: I don't remember saying that I must...) I had two good sized follicles on one ovary and another kind of small follicle on the other ovary. Which basically means three eggs were preparing to release; probably only two were viable. The two large ones looked about a day from being ready, and my uterine lining was perfect. HOWEVER. I have been doing the OPK's faithfully, and as of yesterday, I was still barely even getting a second line. (OPK's work like this: you test every morning, and as you get near ovulation, you'll see one dark line, which is the control strip that indicates the test is working, and then a second, fainter line. Each day the second line should get darker, and when it is finally as dark or darker than the control line, that means your lutenizing hormone, or LH, is surging, and you'll ovulate within about twenty four hours. Or in other words, it's time to get busy.)

So! The fact that I hadn't gotten a positive yet was bad, 'cause those eggs were ready. The doctor squinted thoughtfully at the screen and said, "I'm going to suggest that if you haven't gotten a positive OPK by tomorrow morning, you need to give yourself the hcG shot we ordered and stimulate ovulation. Otherwise you're risking triplets, because this third egg could be mature, too, by the time you ovulate on your own."

The nurse started to show me how to draw up the medicine, measure a proper distance from my navel and then pinch enough fat in my belly to stick in the needle. I nodded wordlessly, but I must have been looking queasy, because eventually she stopped and said, "Do you want to just come in tomorrow morning and have me do it?" What a quandary... Stab myself in the abdomen with a needle or trust someone else to do it? Still, given that I've never administered an injection, the odds seemed in her favor.

This morning I got a much darker test strip, but it still wasn't as dark as the control line, so not technically a positive. Off to the doctor I went, where the nurse brought me back and started rolling the medicine between her hand to mix it, while informing me cheerily that she "hasn't done a belly shot in a while!" Comforting. I tried to relax as she grabbed an inch of skin and slowly pushed the needle in, a tiny needle the same as they use to give insulin injections, but oh my gosh did that sucker burn. Maybe it was just the hormone burning and not the actual needle, maybe I was just still too tense, maybe I was icked out by the whole process, or maybe she just SUCKED at giving shots, but by the time she pulled the needle out my arms and legs felt like jelly.

It was worth it, however, when I got home later and took another OPK test. The test strip was even darker than the control line. Success! I am now as bona fide fertile as it gets. Thank you, modern medicine.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Random Reviews

Australia: Where to begin? Perhaps with the gratingly sweet aboriginal boy's endless narration, which started out kinda cute but in the end left me, for the first time ever, wanting to punch a kid in the FACE. Or maybe I'll talk about the abrupt jerking around from one genre to another, as though the director was possibly schizophrenic. I could touch on the endless racial stereotypes and cliches, the interminable riding and rounding up of horses, or the laborious and heavy handed attempt at educating us about Australian and WW history. Or maybe I'll just demand of you all: what was up with Nicole Kidman's FACE in that movie? I mean, I know she was pregnant, but does being pregnant make your lips get all wonky and your nose get bigger??

Conclusion: It takes a pretty bad movie to be unredeemed even by a shirtless Hugh Jackman, but Australia achieved it. Easily one of the weirdest and worst movies I've ever seen.

Fight Club: This may be on of the best movies I've ever seen. Coulda done without the whole soap making aspect (can't give away details without a spoiler, but those of you who've seen it are now thinking FAT FAT FAT OMG THE FAT) but overall it was seriously mind blowing. I know I'm possibly the last person under thirty in the world to watch this movie, but bear with me because I'm still processing it in my mind, reviewing all aspects of its sheer genius. It was just so startling and and so true. All over the place, but in a good way, an utterly riveting way. Some of the little comments resonated with me so deeply, I'm still hearing them in my mind hours later. I thought this movie would be all about, y'know, violence and men and how humans are all caged in and suburbia is repressing our animal instincts and we just need to get in touch with our physical side again... Stuff like that. And it is about that, but it's SO much more.

Conclusion: Don't be put off by the blood and gore. The violence isn't the goal or the point at all- there's a really an almost American Beauty quality to the message of this film. Make sure you watch it with the right people and in the right setting though. You can't just pop it in immediately following, say, a Bob the Builder marathon with your kids. The juxtaposition might actually break your brain.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Best Day Of Their Lives

So today I spent ALL morning trying to get work stuff done on my unthinkably, pound-your-head-on-the-desk slow computer, while also trying to keep the kids entertained by repeatedly reminding them, "As soon as Mommy finishes her work, we're going to go SWIMMING! At the WATER PARK!"

They were so good and so patient, and finally we got everybody into their swim suits and packed towels and extra clothes and sippee cups, and our old babysitter even came over to help me corral them, and I got to the bank to get cash and we all drove through McDonalds to get lunch for the kids since I was out of, like, EVERYTHING and hadn't gotten to the store yet, and then we took off for a neighboring town about twenty minutes away where the Glorious Mecca of Childhood Summer fun, aka the sprayground, is located and then we parked on the wrong side of the park and then we lathered everyone in sunscreen and then we had to walk about a quarter of a MILE to get to the entrance, Eli screaming all the way, and then....

They were closed.

I'm pretty sure the kiddee sundaes I bought at Bob Evans didn't quite counteract the crushing disappointment. MY crushing disappointment, I should clarify. I was seriously more bummed than the kids. I tried to persuade the owner to do me a solid and let us in, but no, she remained crisp and businesslike as my shoulders, weighed down with diaper bags and towels and babies, drooped in dismay.

Because, you know, there goes my gold medal for the Highest Number of Fun Outings Involving Sunscreen and Outfit Changes division of the Coolest Mom Olympics.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Long Winded Post = Lots Of Short Posts. Right?

So it seems once a week is about my average for posting the last month or so. There goes my Fairly Adequate Blogger status. I haven't been commenting on many of your blogs either, I know, and I'm sorry but have no explanation other than laziness. Well, and some work stuff, actually. I've been doing some event planning for my family's coffeehouse, and it's actually, you know, TAKING UP SOME TIME and all. And I haven't even been doing it singlehandedly by any means. I have such new respect for my sister in law, who has been handling most of that crap PLUS her three kids PLUS a full time job for the last six years.

Anyhoo, I can't even promise the posting/commenting sitch is going to get better anytime soon, since in a few weeks I will be gone again, two weekends in a ROW, and both times SANS HUSBAND AND KIDS. I KNOW. Let that sink into your brains for a minute. The last weekend of this month my mom and I are flying to Minnesota to visit my younger sister and her fiance. I've only seen her house in pictures and I've never been to the Great White North, so I'm pretty excited. And I get to meet her soon to be stepson, Logan, who is practically EXACTLY Addy's age, which is awesome. I'm always bugging my sisters and brother in law to hurry up and have kids so mine will have more cousins, and now my sister will be providing, via marriage, a kid who is the perfect age! Way to pick 'em, Rach.

Then the weekend after THAT, myself, my little(er) sister and three of our friends are driving to Louisville to meet up with my best friend from high school, who moved to Kentucky a few months ago after she graduated from pharmacy school (YAY RENEE!) And did I mention it's my sister and one of the friend's twenty-first birthdays? So that will probably be a pretty fun trip, I'm thinking.

Um, unless I'm newly pregnant, in which case I'll be doing zero drinking and probably lots of napping and staring queasily at the toilet, playing the "Will I or won't I barf?" game. Or maybe not? That stuff usually doesn't kick in until around five or six weeks, right? Geez, I can't even REMEMBER. Biology is so kind (and SNEAKY) in the way it erases all the gross parts of reproduction from your memory.

Speaking of the getting pregnant biz, man, the Clomid is affecting me a lot less pleasantly this time than the last. I am one grumpy mama already. My patience level is about nil right now, and I feel just FRESH OUT of tolerance for things like playing Spiderman off the back of the couch and wiping boogers on the sofa pillows and throwing the dog food into the water dish for the KATRILLIONTH time in one day. That stuff, and then also the crying and screaming and gnashing of teeth about catastrophes like getting a spot of water on one's sleeve or being unable to find a certain bath toy or getting the wrong color lid with one's sippee cup. These aren't hypothetical examples.

Whining, demanding and overreacting are more frustrating for me by far than outright misbehavior, because it's so much harder to pinpoint the WRONG ACTION that I am upset about. It's easy (theoretically anyways) to explain to an adult that their attitude or tone of voice is incorrect and frustrating, but when I tell Adelay to "talk nicely" she just repeats in an even more shrill screech, "Get me some milk now PLEASE!" Then I say, "Talk more softly," and so she'll hiss the above sentence instead. How do I get her to take the NASTY out of her voice?!

Relatedly, how do I explain to her that while it may be acceptable for an almost two year old to happily yell "Mi'k!" from his high chair and, so long as he has not hurled his cup at the nearest parent, be rewarded with more milk, it is not acceptable for her to do so, especially when her tone of voice is decidedly less cheerful?

Also (and sort of apropos of nothing,) lately when Eli has been particularly ornery and it seems he's been IN time out more often than OUT, Jim has taken to warning him, with a completely straight face, about The Big Time Out In The Sky. I think it is the funniest thing evah.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun Fact Friday!

Because I haven't stolen Tessie's idea in awhile:

-My sister made us a Cocoa Cola Marshmallow Cake the other day. It's very good, but also very weird, and I can only eat it a few bites at a time. So basically there's a pile of chocolate-ish goo sitting in the fridge with random dents dug out of it. It looks like a science project at this point.

-Addy is very into playing baby dolls right now, but dude, she keeps trying to get me to nurse her babies. Which mainly thrills me, because I'm so happy that she knows babies drink breast milk and that there's nothing weird or gross about breasts and RANT RANT RANT AMERICA HAS OVERSEXUALIZED THE BREAST AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET OVER IT ALREADY AND WHIP 'EM OUT IN THE NAME OF INFANT HEALTH etc. BUT. I feel a little weird whipping it out for a plastic doll staring at me with creepy, sightless marble eyes. I'm working on convincing Addy that it's perfectly acceptable to just PRETEND to nurse the baby and still keep my shirt on. So now she's taken to nursing it herself. Whatevs.

-I'm supposed to use an LH detector this month with the Clomid, which I've never done before because I can pretty much tell when I'm ovulating due to the DEEP DEEP STABBING PAIN that lasts for two days afterwards. But the doctor said the pain usually means your peak ovulation time is already passed, so... Whoops. Does anyone have any recommendations on a brand of LH kit? And perhaps an explanation for how exactly one uses an LH kit? Pregnancy tests I have MUCHO experience with, but this other kind of pee stick, not so much.

-Portable DVD players are the best invention ever. We now have TWO. But hey, we don't have cable, so it all evens out.

-Our vegetable garden is really taking off, despite little to no care or attention from us after initial planting. I gave it a good watering today and am a little AFRAID about how much growth might occur tonight.

-I went to a tiny little local grocery store today just for a change of pace, and Eli chose that particular hour to throw the hugest public fit I've ever witnessed. I had to tear into a box of fruit snacks which I wasn't even planning to buy AND carry him the entire time to get him to be even REASONABLY quiet. Yikes. I was totally expecting evil stares, but the older ladies who ran the store were SO nice and sympathetic. They kept suggesting every ailment or illness known to man that could be causing his misery, and reassuring me that, "He just doesn't understand why he doesn't feel good! Kids don't mean to be bad!" This was so nice to hear, compared to the usual nasty stares you get, or occasional comments about DISCIPLINE.

-I am such a disappointment as a mom to Adelay. She is currently losing it because of my colossal fail at making her a fort with pillows and blankets, and also at my pathetic attempt to make HAIR, for the love of pete, for her LEGO doll. I am batting a thousand today, lemme tell ya.

-Just discovered that some persistent and sharp-toothed varmint had a hayday in the garbage bags piled in our garage last night. Most especially with a sealed container of EXPIRED MEAT. There were rubber gloves and Lysol involved in the clean up, let's just say that. But I was tough about it, just got right in there picking up nectarine pits and broken jars and picked-clean meat bones and all, until I got to the MAGGOTS squirming beneath one of the bags. OMG. OMG. OMG. I was pretty much dry heaving after that. And now we'll be having pizza (AND WINE AND SOME LOVELY LOVELY WINE) for dinner because there is no way I can stomach looking at raw meat after that little adventure. Not for quite some time, I think.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Blog Post! About Actual Stuff!

Well, lookee here. I was clicking around the ole Internetz this morning and discovered that I apparently have, like, this blog thing. That I write in regularly. I suspect that this nugget of information slipped through a crack in my brain this last week or so, falling, unnoticed, into the piles of detritus and genuine filth that as of yesterday were still covering the majority of the floor space in our once-lovely Town and Country. The upholstery in that family vehicle has taken quite a hit in the name of family fun this summer, let me tell you.

I kid you not, I spent the bulk of two hours cleaning that van out. And I don't even mean really detailing it, like with Armor All and a squeegee and a can of wax. I mean, throwing armfuls of CRAP out the door, pell mell, until the yard was littered with broken plastic crowns and bent up board books and empty fry containers and lone flip flops and kiddee sized lawn chairs and granola bar wrappers and, strangest of all, random pieces of plastic fruit from our play food collection. Once all the junk was out, I could face the horror of the actual floor, which could barely be seen beneath its carpeting of sand, gravel bits, grass clippings, ground up Pop Tart dust, and of course, innumerable bits of petrified french fry.

I just about broke my vacuum cleaner on that mess, no lie. Or, my vacuum cleaner just about broke me. I probably looked like a cartoon character, wrestling around with it furiously in the driveway, the humidity sproinging my hair up into a crazy lady wig while I futzed around with extension cords and hissed menacingly at the various attachments I was slamming around.

But! That nightmare is behind me, and the van, while not showroom clean by any means, is at least free of the bulk of the dust and food particles previously covering every visible surface. The kids, however, are now covered in snot, as they have both come down with colds just in time for yet another road trip scheduled this Saturday, this time to Michigan for a big joint birthday party. So the car should be back to its usual condition, a veritable Little Shop of Horrors, within a few days.

In other news, Addy has an appointment with a group of eye specialists a few towns away next week because we found out right before we left for Canada that she has intermittent strabismus, sometimes referred to as lazy eye, though it's actually a different problem. Basically the muscles in left eye are weak and have trouble focusing, even though her actual vision in both eyes is perfect. We've noticed her squinting, closing or covering her left eye quite often, particularly when she's trying to focus or trying to look at something far away. And then lately we've begun to actually see her eye travel a bit when she's relaxed. Sometimes she'll blink and correct it, but often, if she's tired, she'll just let her left eye go unfocused. Once I had her in the doctor's office and he was doing the tests, you could really see the problem. She was almost incapable of focusing with that eye alone, and has obviously become used to just not using it when it begins to drift to the side, which of course has only exaggerated its previous weakness.

We're going to begin with treatments to exercise and strengthen her eye. How often and for how long remains to be seen. Many people with this problem end up in surgery, but the doctor here in town was optimistic that we caught it early enough that exercise alone will correct it. So here's hoping. And while you're hoping, maybe also hope that our insurance will decide to help us out a little!

And now I have to go get ready, because I have an ultrasound scheduled in two hours to check my ovaries! And if all seems well, its back on the Clomid I go. Somewhat problematically, I also have an appointment next week with my surgeon to see about having an old hernia repaired. It's one of those little hernias which they often patch with mesh, and the mesh is now weakening and causing pain and probably pulling at scar tissue or something. It's only moderately annoying right now, mainly when I exercise or lay on my stomach or something, but I don't want to let it get any worse and then get pregnant and just have to deal with it for another year.

Back when I had it fixed my doctor said that about one out of every ten hernias will need repaired later on, probably more than that for women who get pregnant after having one. So it's not a total shocker, but still annoying. I THINK I can get squeezed in to have it repaired before I ovulate though, so fret not: I'm not planning on trying to get knocked up and THEN going under anesthesia for an elective surgical procedure. And I'm definitely going to ask her if it's ok to have anesthesia-type drugs after a round of Clomid. If not, then oh well. I'll just deal with it until I CAN get it fixed, and at least I'll have the consult out of the way. But I wouldn't think it would be an issue, so long as I got it done before the actual getting pregnant part, right?

Edited to add: My ovaries are good to go. However, as of this morning, my glorious tan from the beach has turned into a horrible case of brown, molting skin on my forehead, nose and cheekbones. It is sex-AY. Hooray for irreparable sun damage!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Can't Talk! Playing!

You know, it always used to annoy me when bloggers would sort of go MIA during the summer, posting lightly here and there and even then, only with quick, quasi-funny stories or pictures of their kids, followed by the inevitable, "Sorry about infrequent posts- it's the SUMMER and we're so BUSY!"

(Busy preparing to give the Kiss of Life to a fallen comrade, apparently.)

Well. How are the mighty fallen. But I don't even feel too apologetic, because MAN, it's nice to be enjoying a summer during which I am not largely pregnant nor do I have a relatively young, nursing baby, as has been the case for the previous, oh, FOUR summers. Sure, there are still diapers to change, but at least no one is physically lodging under my ribcage, or essentially tied to my body every two or three hours due to the WONDER and BEAUTY of breastfeeding. So look out, world: you are pretty much my oyster!

And now we're off to pack because we're going back to the cottage this weekend- for the third time already since May! The Fourth of July is also my FIL's birthday, so we'll be celebrating our American Independence in Canada this year.

Another picture of sweet kids to lengthen post: