Friday, May 30, 2008

Lipstick for my blog

Flabalanche. Today at work I was productively emailing back and forth with a coworker of mine who lives in California. The topics at hand: C-section scars and baby weight. She introduced me to the word flabalanche. I'm not sure if this is a common term and I'm just the last to hear it, or if it's a unique creation from her humorous mind. But those of you pregnancy and childbirth veterans may know what it refers to -- that lovely dangle of skin that forms a kind of "ledge" on your lower tummy. An avalanche of flab just waiting for you to OD on donuts so it can happily tumble over and ruin your entire wardrobe. Yes, I am still obsessing about getting back into my clothes for our trip home in July. Obsessing, yes... doing anything positive to fix the problem, no. But I have been seeing a million commercials lately for the LAP-BAND system. Unfortunately, you must be at least 100 lbs overweight to use it. Which got me wondering, is it easier to lose 15 lbs, or gain 85? I'm not sure, but I like the challenge. My coworker's advice to me, though, was to just go shopping and buy clothes that fit me now. Sensible. She also suggested getting a new lipstick color to give myself a boost. It's been probably two years since I've gotten any new make-up, as that hasn't fit with my whole letting-myself-go plan, so it is probably time for a tune up. Which leads me to...

New header. Body image issues aside, I decided to get new "lipstick" for my blog. Are you loving the new header? I employed the skills of Calliope at Creating Motherhood. She was ever so patient as I changed my mind on things (I'm a female, after all), and I think she did an awesome job. She initially started doing headers to raise funds for a frozen embryo transfer (FET). But since then, with the help of U.T.E.R.U.S. (seriously read about this -- it will restore any faith you've lost in humanity), she's achieved her goal! She'll be doing her FET this summer, and I am hoping that my contribution goes to a cute little outfit like this or this for the little bean when s/he arrives. I'd love get one of those for Bean, but they are too expensive for me... Hey, anyone need a new header??

Leave my pooch alone! Now changing moods to a very serious subject. Someone is messing with my pooch and I don't like it ONE BIT! In my last post, I mentioned how our gate to the fenced-in backyard was "mysteriously" opened, allowing the dog to roam free. DH suspected it was done on purpose by a neighbor, but I thought he was just being paranoid. Well, it looks like he was right! We had pushed the heavy garbage can in front of the gate, and when DH came home on Tuesday, the gate was wide open again, which required pushing the garbage can aside first. No way that was done by the wind or a faulty latch. The only other possibility is that I have dissociative identity disorder (split personalities) and there's a part of me that wishes harm on the pooch. Which is absurd... of course all of my other personalities would be devastated if anything happened to her. Anyway, I rushed out to get a padlock for the gate, and we've had no incidences since then. Our neighbors have all been really friendly -- other than whoever broke my car window and stole my GPS last month -- but it won't be too soon that I can get out of this neighborhood. Apparently someone else feels the same way. In other serious dog news, there was a casualty in our house this week. DH wondered who the stuffing came from, Evey Louise or the fish.

Inspection. Only 24 days until we close on the new house! I have a countdown ticker at the bottom of the page... I couldn't find one that fit nicely into the sidebar like my Bean Counter does. Oh well. We had the inspection on Tuesday and it went very well. Here are some pics of my favorite features.

The front. (Duh.) I'm not a huge fan of the color, we will be getting an estimate from house painters. There are some nice dark green and slate blue colors to pick from in the neighborhood.

Finally, we'll have a flat backyard! Perfect for playing washers, Missouri style. This yard is HUGE compared to most houses we looked at, believe it or not.

The family room, kitchen, and breakfast nook have a nice flow. A doorwall (or sliding glass door, for all you non-Michiganders) leads out to the backyard. The door from the kitchen leads to a pantry/mudroom/laundry room and then out to the garage. There is also a formal living room, dining room, and bathroom on the first floor near the front of the house.

There are three bedrooms upstairs, and then this loft, which can be turned into a bedroom and a loft or two bedrooms if desired.
Off the master, there is a quaint sitting area with a gas fireplace. Through that door is the master bathroom.
Bean was enthralled with the whole inspection process.

Plans. Looking ahead at June, there is one word that comes to mind: insanity. My to-do list, like my email inbox, has officially gotten out of control. I have absolutely no idea how all of this stuff is going to get done. We did have a moving company come by yesterday to give an estimate on moving our furniture. I'm hoping we can use them for at least part of the move. We will just have gotten all of our stuff into the new house when it's time for our trip to Michigan. I can't decide if that's good timing or horrible timing. Hopefully my mom will be coming back to Seattle with me to help us settle in and decorate the joint. You may be shocked to hear, but the thought of organizing kitchen utensils again sends me into a fit. I spend most of my time avoiding those objects anyway! Hopefully we'll have some time to start enjoying the beautiful spring weather. DH is going to the Mariners/Tigers baseball game tonight with a friend from college who recently moved here. (Kinda interesting story... this friend moved to St. Louis from Michigan shortly after we did to work for DH's employer, then he recently transferred out here also with DH's employer. Maybe HE'S the one opening our gate...) Anyway, lucky me, I get to spend all evening snuggling with this sweet little man. Netflix on the menu: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Good stuff.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Who let the dog out?

It's a good thing our dog has no real concept of "running away," or we'd be down one dog. Twice.

The first time was early in the morning last week when DH was getting ready to leave for work. We knew something was wrong when she didn't respond to sure-fire cues: DH yelling "treat," and after that was met with silence, ringing our doorbell. He went to the backyard and noticed the gate was wide open. He found her quickly, she was two lots down at the small playground. She ran up to DH with her tail wagging, thrilled that he came out to play with her. She bounded back into the house ahead of him, totally unaware of any worry she'd caused us. I think one of us didn't latch the gate properly, as it was rather windy. But DH's theory is that one of the neighbors opened it, finally tiring of her incessant barking. Who could blame them?

The second time, which was earlier today, she raced out the doggy door, barking like mad at whatever certain danger she detected outside. A couple of minutes later, our doorbell rang. We opened the door to find two neighbors standing on the porch with Evey following at their feet, still barking at them furiously. They said she had slipped under the fence. Really? We thanked them and then went outside to check it out. There was only one possible spot where she could have conceivably gotten under the fence, but it was super narrow. To test her, DH went to the driveway with treats, while Evey and I stayed behind closed the fence. We got her all worked up trying to get DH and the treats, waiting to see the miracle of her getting through that tiny space to claim the reward. Well, this is no stupid pooch, she wasn't about to show us her secret. I'm still baffled. But the garbage can is now blocking the space, nevertheless.

Otherwise, we've had a nice long weekend, following the excitement of having our offer on the new house accepted on Friday afternoon. After DH got off work, we went to our realtor's office to drop off the earnest money to show the sellers we are serious about the contract. Because nothing screams "serious" like a check with SpongeBob SquarePants on it.

Then I was invited out with two of DH's coworkers wives on Saturday morning. They wanted to take me to brunch and shopping downtown for a little escape from the baby. How nice of them! I enjoyed tiramisu french toast -- pushing that Ann Taylor dress a bit more out of reach -- and got tipsy from half of a mimosa. (My first alcoholic drink in more than a year!) Unfortunately, we were only able to accomplish the brunch part before I needed to head home. DH was armed with loads of expressed milk for Bean, but it's no good for me to carry "exploding cantalopes" (our pediatrician's term) around on my chest all afternoon. Leaking exploding cantalopes, at that. The wives, not mothers yet themselves, were traumatized to learn that when you breastfeed, you can't be away from the baby for more than a few hours before you need to pump. "For your sake you need to pump, not to feed the baby?" one of them asked incredulously. The horror in their faces was priceless! DH's coworker lamented that I had set their plans for parenthood back a few more years. Just doin' my part to educate the public.

And of course we had to drive by our new house again. It already feels like ours, I just wish those strange people would get out of it. It is starting to sink in that we are going to have to move ALL of our stuff into this new place, while caring for our 4 month old baby. Minus the help of family or good friends or -- best yet -- DH's employer. I am already trying to get DH to bribe his coworkers with various treats to take pity on us and lend a hand. He feels uncomfortable about it, but I think he'll be more uncomfortable trying to get the piano into a rental truck all by his lonesome. If anyone has any moving tips, I'd much appreciate them. This is only our second move as adults that DH's employer didn't manage -- and the first time we did it alone, our nicest piece of furniture was a kitchen table set from 1982. What's even more sad? We still use it. Seriously.

I had a request for more Bean pics, so for your viewing pleasure...

"Dad, you change my diaper SO much better than Mom does. You should do it more often."

"Ta da, a freshly bathed baby with a clean diap!"

"I like how the blue in my outfit brings out my eyes."

"Who are you again?"

"Hilarious! Tina Fey's got nothing on you, Mom."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drumroll please...


I am so excited, DH has to scrape me off the ceiling every few hours.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

And to a certain bloggin' Pittsburgh Penguins fan, good luck tonight. You'll need it. ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008

So you think you can blog

You may have noticed a link to NaComLeavMo on the sidebar of my blog. Shame on me, I haven't explained it yet. This "National Comment Leaving Month" is spearheaded by Mel, everyone's favorite IF blogger over at Stirrup Queens. There are nearly 200 of us participating, and we all pledge to leave at least 5 comments on other blogs from the list and reply to 1 comment from our own blog every day for one month, beginning this Sunday. Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about that. Hopefully you'll notice a few new commenters on my blog in the next month, and hopefully I won't bore everyone to tears. I love a challenge.

Speaking of hope, that was the runner up for the title of this post. The reason I haven't posted in over a week is because we've been busy schlepping Bean around town with our realtor looking at neighborhood after neighborhood, house after house. Well, there's hope... we have put an offer on a new home, which the owners have accepted, and now we are waiting to get approval from their relocation company. (Two relocation companies involved in this transaction, our realtor deserves a medal! Or is that a Grammy?) I absolutely LOVE this home. It's closer to being my dream home than I ever could have imagined we'd be able to find (i.e. afford) here in Seattle. I will be absolutely crushed if we don't get it, so please think good thoughts for us. We could find out the answer as soon as this afternoon.

Now that the house hunt may be over (don't want to jinx it), I was thinking about how different my life is today than it was one year ago. Last year we lived in St. Louis, I was building my private practice in counseling, and we were being held hostage by infertility. This year the scenery is completely different from here in Seattle, my counseling career has been put on hold, and infertility is forced to lurk in the dark corners of my mind while I enjoy the gurgles and coos of motherhood. Last year we were beginning our final round of injections and IUIs before having to look to IVF or adoption, a subject on which DH and I could not agree.

It was the most utterly hopeless time in my life. Sure, I'd been depressed and down at times before, and felt hopeless about certain things (such as my English course on William Blake -- my prof was gracious enough to give me a B- although I deserved worse). But the feeling that I would never become a mother, something that seemed so obvious and just plain given, left me feeling like an empty shell much of the time. When we started that last IUI cycle, I was certain it wouldn't work. Same protocol as the previous failed cycle, with no explanations as to why our perfectly formed parts were not making the whole. (Our wonderful doc simply commented that "nature is inefficient," although I could point to a dozen cases to disprove that theory.) We are hard workers, DH and I, and this was the first time that no amount of effort could guarantee that eventual success.

As you know, that final attempt did the trick despite my disbelief, and we are now the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy. He has my chin and DH's mouth; my hair and DH's eyes. Every time I kiss his soft little head (about 1,000 times a day), I think of how he almost wasn't. He existed in my heart for years, but he almost never existed to the world at all. Every ounce of that sweet baby is a gift to me from God. Even when he's screaming about some unknown wrong, or melting my heart with a sleepy smile, I am never far from the scars of infertility and the gift of pregnancy.

In the whirlwind of the past year -- or perhaps past three years -- we are finally ready to settle down. As we celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary this summer, it feels like we are starting over. A new baby, a new city, a new house, a new job, new friends (but we love the old ones too!). Although our rewards also required a healthy dose of luck, we did work hard for this, and I am proud of where we are today. I have hope again for the first time in a long time. Hope that we can now take some time to enjoy everything we've achieved: our family. It's a new kind of hope, one tempered with more experience, more reality. And I know that our battle with infertility isn't over yet, just laying dormant until Bean and pooch are ready for another sibling. But as a counselor, I know that happiness is rarely achieved without hope. So here's to hope for us, and hope for you, whatever you are searching for today.

Last but not least, I hope you watched the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance last night. It was awesome.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fatty fatty two by four

I did something horrible and stupid the other day. But first, some quick background. In early July, we will be heading to the lovely mitten state to baptize Bean at DH's family church. He's going to meet his aunts and uncles and great-grandparents etc. for the first time, we all can't wait. Anyway, I was thinking about what to wear to the baptism. I have this Ann Taylor dress that I bought last spring to wear to some weddings, and it would be perfect. I remember it was a bit loose on me back then, so I actually believed there was a chance it might fit me now, even with the baby weight. You can see where this is going. Well, lo and behold, I couldn't even zip it up. SOB! I checked the tag: size four. How deep is my delusion that I actually thought this dress might fit me? Scary. I blame sleep deprivation. My days of being a size four are sadly gone forever, although it's worth it to be this little guy's mommy.

So now I am faced with a problem. My stomach apparently thinks I am still four months pregnant. Meanwhile, the weather is warming up, and since most of my maternity clothes are for fall and winter, I have absolutely NOTHING to wear. Really. Nothing. While in the past I might have dreamed of throwing out my wardrobe and replacing everything a la What Not To Wear, I didn't really mean it. I'm wondering, how long does it usually take to lose the preggo belly once the baby has made his exit? I realize I'll still have some extra pounds, but the muscles still have some tightening to do at 10 weeks postpartum, right? PLEASE? If you have had a baby and can remember how long before your stomach no longer looked like a deflated balloon, please respond in the comments. You don't need a google account to leave a remark. Or just email me if you like that way better. And be honest, I need to know before I hit the mall. In the meantime, Netflix is sending me Postnatal Power: the Tae Bo Workout. Not only will I be getting back in shape, but I'll be able to kick some ass too. Awesome.

In other news, we are going to try day care option #2 for Bean. His last day at his current center is June 6. Hooray, only 10 more drop offs and pick ups! Then we have found that precious person who loves kids enough to work for peanuts, and she'll be coming over to our house to stay with Bean while I work in the office. (No, my mom is not moving to Seattle, although we'd love that.) We are still running background checks and calling references, but it's looking promising. I've also reduced my hours slightly to three 7-hour days so I'm just above 20 hours a week. This new arrangement will potentially save our breastfeeding relationship, as Bean's been consuming a bit more in day care than poor old Bessie can pump during the day. Thank goodness for freezer stashes. The best part of all this, of course, is that I get to see this sweet little face any time I want to.

I considered staying home full time, but when it came down to pulling the trigger on that, it just didn't feel right for me for some reason. My mom told me to trust my gut, and my gut was telling me not to let go of my job. I work from home part-time providing assistance to families who relocate with corporate transfers. Can it get any more perfect for me right now than that? Having it all: take two.

Our house hunt has picked up considerably since switching real estate agents. He really is an expert in the area and was able to direct us to some neighborhoods that we hadn't even considered yet. I'm afraid that "firing" our last realtor must have given the impression that we are difficult clients, because he seems to be going out of his way to please us. (I mean, who could believe that our first realtor would be unresponsive to a buyer in a market like this?) I've tried to be as easygoing as possible, but since he's given us third-row seats to a Mariner's game, I'm thinking maybe it will pay off to play the fussy, hard-to-please wife after all. Fortunately, considering my email goof last week, he has a good sense of humor. He shared this web site with me, and I recommend you check it out when you need a laugh. Click on "photo galleries" and then the various numbers. The captions are priceless.

Last but not least, my grandma had surgery earlier this week, so please pray for a speedy recovery. She's doing great, but a few extra get-well-soons never hurt. I wanted to take a picture of Bean for her hospital room, and I will share the photo shoot below. Maybe you had to be there, but all those faces... he cracks me up.

And... we're done!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another tag: Fun things

I was just tagged by Kathy to list some fun things about myself, so here it goes. (I was also tagged by Mary last month, but that one is much harder, so it's still in draft form. I'll try to finish it soon.)

Here goes!

Four things I did 10 years ago:

1. Graduated from high school at the top of my class. You decide: wasted potential, or brilliant avoidance of pesky high-powered career?

2. Temped as a administrative assistant at a State Farm Insurance claims office. In a moment of panic with a confusing multi-line phone system, I accidentally connected two customers with each other instead of with their respective claims adjusters. Upon realizing my mistake, I shut down the switchboard for five minutes because I didn't want to explain what happened to the customers when they called back. (Doesn't say much for my high school, does it?)

3. Watched the series finale of Seinfeld with DH. Didn't really get that whole jail thing. We still watch the show every weeknight at 10 pm on channel 11. I pretend not to think it's still funny, but DH knows I'm not really laughing at something else I was thinking about.

4. Sustained a head injury and spent three months in a coma. Okay, not really. But since I'm having trouble remembering anything that happened 10 years ago, I may as well have.

Four things I did 5 years ago:

1. Moved to St. Louis for DH's job. I swore it would be the first and last time I moved anywhere I didn't want to go. WRONG! But I grew to love the 'Lou, with its muddy rivers and affordable housing, and now I already appreciate that I never have to shave my legs due to the mild temps of the Pacific Northwest.

2. Hired into my current employer, where I trained to become a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Five years and hundreds of resumes later, and my own resume still sucks.

3. Abandoned my journalism career before it started to pursue my interest in counseling. Luckily my dad still hasn't mailed me a bill for my $120K bachelor's degree. But I made up for it by offering each family member a mental health diagnosis and funneling my journalism training into a blog. Totally worth it!

4. Learned that I am definitely a "hotel" person. DH took me to a bed and breakfast in Missouri's wine country for our first wedding anniversary. Great idea, but I felt like I was at my great-grandma's house and ended up whispering the whole time. Not really the romance either one of us was hoping for.

Four things I did yesterday:

1. Sang my original song "Someone's Got Poopy in His Diaper" to a delighted Bean while changing his diaper. (To the tune of "Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah." Lyrics available upon request.)

2. Googled the difference between fennel and anise. When we tried to get fennel at the grocery store on Sunday, all we could find was a veggie labeled as "anise" that we had previously purchased under the label of fennel. Of course as we were checking out, the clerk asked what kind of veggie it was so he could ring it up. We told him we weren't sure. (Yeah, we had "any random unknown vegetable" on our grocery list.) Another clerk was able to give him the correct code. As we grabbed our bags to leave, our clerk called to us, "Good luck with that vegetable!"

3. Pretended to understand DH when he explained the new group rotation plan that he and his boss have developed for him at work. I may not have had any clue what he was saying, but he was obviously flattered and excited by the plan, and that's all that really matters to me!

4. Fell asleep watching the movie Dune. DH is no longer allowed to select movies for our Netflix rotation.

Four shows I love to watch:

1. So You Think You Can Dance. New season starts May 22. Watch it!

2. Top Chef. I may not like to cook, but I love to eat.

3. Family Guy. A little low-brow humor never hurt anyone.

4. People's Court. It was a loan. No, it was a gift!

Four things that make me happy:

1. Going on a date with DH. Luckily it's not the only thing that makes me happy, or I'd be rocking some hardcore antidepressants.

2. Helping people. I do it for selfish reasons -- it feels good. (It's obviously not for the pay!)

3. The feeling of ultra clean teeth when you leave the dentist's office. Especially after a bubble-gum flavored fluoride treatment.

4. And last but definitely not least, my heart reaches new levels of happiness every time Bean smiles at me.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Even with Joey the Devil Dog peeing on the carpet twice this morning (anyone want a dog? free to a good home), I've had a lovely Mother's Day so far. Bean made me a picture at day care on Friday...

... DH made pancakes for me this morning (and is going to treat me to a spa day soon)...

... and my Dad sent me a beautiful (and hardy so I don't kill it) plant to commemorate my first Mother's Day with Bean.

I even got a card from the pooch! How thoughtful. And the rest of the day promises more fun -- Joey's parents will pick him up, praise the lord, and DH is taking me to the restaurant where I went into labor just over two months ago. And of course, we'll get a chocolate covered marshmallow from Godiva for dessert! No rushing this time.

I wanted to take a moment to send a Happy Mother's Day to...

... my Mom, who never stops giving to her family. She doesn't even know how incredible of a mother she has been for the past 28 years.

... my Mother-In-Law, who not only raised the most wonderful person I've ever met, but who has always encouraged and supported me.

... my Grandma, who raised four successful children, spoiled seven fabulous grandchildren, and now lives life to the fullest at 80+ like it's the new 50.

... my Grandma-In-Laws, two women with huge hearts and infectious laughs.

... my Aunts, who I really enjoyed spending time with while growing up, whether we were headed to Boblo Island, decorating Christmas cookies, or enjoying homemade bear bread.

... my "in real life" friends, who are such amazing mothers that it's intimidating to me (keep the advice coming, ladies).

... my online friends, who kept me sane and connected during the most difficult time in my life, and now help me celebrate my greatest triumph.

... and to all the women currently on the bumpy road of infertility. Someone told me during my treatment that I was already a mother, because a mom by definition is willing to go to any lengths for her child, and that's exactly what I was doing. So whether at the end of your journey you are a mother to your biological child, your adopted child, your pet, or your DH (you know we all are sometimes), Happy Mother's Day, mama.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Doggy day care

Speaking of day care, we are dog sitting this weekend while DH's coworker and his wife celebrate their anniversary at a B&B in Oregon. They have a Jack Russell Terrier named Joey. He's an intense little dog; he's already destroyed two of Evey's toys after being here a few hours. Watch your back, evil squeakers! He also sleeps under the covers at the foot of our bed. I was worried that he would suffocate, but he sure enough, he survived to wiggle himself out this morning. Nothing like having your legs licked by someone else's dog while you are sleeping. Ewwww! The dogs get along really well; as always, Evey shares her toys and treats without so much as a yip. They've had a lazy morning so far. Joey settled behind the couch (which we moved away from the wall because the dogs kept trying to jump onto the kitchen counter).

Evey saw Bean in this pose while he was waiting for his daddy to take him to day care...

... and decided that the boppy pillow was the place for her.

Then Joey chose a new place in family room -- sitting on top of the back of this chair (I don't have a picture of it, see the black circle):

This has long been one of Evey's favorite spots in the house, so it must be extra cushy. Unfortunately, this also warps the back of the chair, so Evey knows that she's not allowed up there. (Which doesn't stop her of course; she just waits until I go upstairs. Then I hear her jump down when I come down the stairs, only to find her standing next to the chair and looking at me with innocent eyes as if I won't notice the huge smoosh on the back.) Anyway, as soon as I shooed one of them off the chair, the other one would jump up. In order to actually be able to go back upstairs to work, I tipped over the chair like this.

Next time I came down, I found this:

I give up.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day care pictures

It was a little easier yesterday to drop off and pick up Bean at day care. I think having a day to cuddle with him in between work days is a big help. We are still exploring our options, but at least we'll be reasonably comfortable while we make some decisions. The teacher emailed us these pictures of Bean enjoying the cloudy Seattle day. Is he a stud in the stroller or what?!

Also a quick review of the Amby Baby hammock for anyone who's interested. While I don't think I'd go so far as to call it a miracle -- he's still not sleeping through the night, that would be a miracle -- it's definitely been a big help to me. During the day, he'll actually take a nap in it, instead of immediately waking up as he does when I try to put him down anywhere else. We've also been successful in getting him to sleep in it for at least part of the night. I miss having Bean next to me in bed, but I'm loving the cuddle time with DH. I wish we had it when he was a newborn, we'll definitely use it right away if God blesses us with another baby. Here's a couple pictures of my sweet little man sleeping in the Amby as I type this:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I think the dog is jealous

I was searching everywhere for Bean's binky. It was in his car seat just an hour before. Then I heard the swish of the doggy door. In pranced the pooch, who boldly dropped something on the living room carpet.

This is a binky.

This is a binky on Evey.

Any questions?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Know when to fold 'em

We folded with our first realtor and let her know we are officially moving on. She was heartbroken. (Actually, she said she was "relieved." But let's pretend she was heartbroken, because I don't like what she's implying. We are easy clients, really!) Anyway, we got another referral, and I'm impressed with him so far. He happens to have the exact same name as a famous country singer, which has caused much delight and embarrassment around our house. Let me explain.

Immediately caught up in the spirit, I downloaded "The Gambler" from iTunes and have been singing it for several days now. My mom asked if I giggled when the realtor introduced himself. And DH joked, "I can't wait to ask him how we know when to walk away, and when to run." Yesterday I got an email from the realtor, and in his professional signature block, directly under his name, there is a small line that says "...not the singer!" I smiled and immediately forwarded it to my mom, saying I thought she'd get a kick out of that, and sharing DH's humor on the subject. A few minutes later, I got a response to my email... from the realtor! I had accidentally hit "reply" instead of "forward." *doh* Are there any songs about crawling under a rock?

Yesterday was my first day back at work. Which really means my first day back to spending time in the spare bedroom wearing sweats and using the desktop computer. Just as I suspected, it was wonderful and horrible at the same time. DH was traumatized leaving Bean at the day care in the morning -- when I spoke with the director and the teacher later, they both said all the teachers were worried about him after he left. Meanwhile, safely at home away from that part of the experience, I enjoyed my 8 hours of "freedom." (Since when is working considered freedom? Wow, I've changed a lot!) I actually got 4 loads of laundry done and picked up the house while sorting through 378 emails and conversing with actual adults about grown-up concerns. I thought about Bean all day and couldn't wait to go pick him up, but it gave me something fun to look forward to rather than feeling like a terrible panic. However, when I arrived at the day care center, it was my turn to be traumatized. Bean himself was napping and immediately smiled when I picked him up. The teachers are very nice and the center is lovely. But the sight of all those babies with just a couple of caregivers -- I nearly barfed. So far this is NOT having it all. DH and I were up late last night talking about alternatives. Our first mission is to try to find someone to come to our house and watch Bean while I work upstairs. Most important quality: must love babies. Second most important quality: must be willing to work for peanuts. Know anyone?

I would be remiss in not pointing out this article, which documents what DH and I have said for years... first borns have it harder. It's a plight, really. A downright plight. DH and I are both first children from families of all middles and youngests. Oh what injustices we have endured! We are now accepting gratitude from our younger sibbies for "exhausting" our parents into relaxing the rules. You're welcome. Will it be different for Bean, who is the first born of two first borns? He's obviously at high risk for a type A personality and an anxiety disorder. I wonder how the dog fits into the birth order equation, as really it's her who gets away with murder around our house. Her most recent scam is to sneak out her doggy door with household items and strew them across the lawn, from Bean's stuffed animals to dry erase markers to my breast pump.

Speaking of Bean, he had his two month check-up today. Two months! He's now officially been alive longer than most Hollywood marriages last. He weighs 12 lbs 10 oz and is 23 1/2 inches long, both in the 75th percentile. Way to go Bean! The pediatrician switched his GERD medication, so hopefully that will help more with the reflux. He was a champ throughout the appointment and while getting his vaccinations -- the doc said she can't imagine that he's ever fussy. I plan to give her a call at home this evening to prove otherwise. He's hitting all his developmental milestones, too, which is fabulous. Smiling, following objects with his eyes, turning his head to look at us, cooing, and holding his head up for a brief time. His new favorite pastime is looking at the white tag on the bouncy seat and cracking up. I'm not sure if I should be worried that he's more interested in that than the bright green turtle hanging next to it, or proud that he's already showing an aptitude at reading, just like his mommy. It really is a hilarious tag, what with the "Made in China" and care instructions and all. Maybe I'll figure out how to post a video so you can share the fun. (Let's hope he gets his technology aptitude from his father.)

Now I have a prayer request -- very sad, read on at your own risk! One of my coworkers is 30 weeks pregnant. I have reason to suspect she struggled with IF, although we've never talked about it. About the time she found out they were expecting, her husband was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. He recently passed away at home after being in hospice care. I cannot even imagine how horrible this must be for her, life is so difficult to understand sometimes. Prayers up.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pregnancy is not contagious, and why I hate red lights

When you are a member of the infertility club, you've likely been the recipient of many a suggestion on how to get pregnant. While these nuggets are typically offered by a well-meaning fertile, a precious few of the tips have merit (charting ovulation, for example) but most of them... well, don't (vacations do NOT get you pregnant, for the record). And we've all heard jokes about "something being in the water" when a large number of women in a particular work place find themselves knocked up. But if there's one fact of which IFers are painfully aware, it's that pregnancy is not contagious. If it were, I would not have struggled with hormone shots and follie checks while my friends and coworkers were popping out babies right and left. But I'm getting off track. Let me start over.

Today, DH and I had plans to meet at a restaurant for lunch so that his coworkers could meet Bean. The day started off rough when Bean decided that 3:30 am was the new 7:30 am, and it was time for us to wake up. By 5 am, I was ready to call the local psych ward and request a padded room, so DH blessedly took Bean downstairs so I could get some sleep. I remember gaining momentary consciousness around 7 when DH was leaving for work, and he deposited the car seat with a sleeping Bean on the floor next to my side of the bed. (He can't remember how he accomplished this incredible feat of magic. I'm devastated!) Next I knew it was 8:30, when Bean indicated it was time for his breakfast. As I fed him, I was feeling good about getting some rest until I did the math in my head -- only two and a half hours until Bean and I had to walk out the door for the lunch! Now, the pre-Bean C would have been able to shower, get dressed, put on makeup, dry and straighten my hair, eat breakfast, run and empty the dishwasher, walk the dog, respond to emails, do two loads of laundry, pay bills, wash the car, and organize my purse before walking out the door in 2 hours and 25 minutes. But post-Bean, it's a momentous effort to get myself and the baby simply fed and wearing clean clothes in less than 3 hours.

I immediately jumped into action, not wanting to embarrass DH with a disheveled wife and baby when we met his coworkers (some were new introductions for me). Bean was not cooperating, screaming at the top of his lungs whenever I would put him down. And it's not easy to squeeze into pants while holding a squirming eight week old. My plan was to pump some milk right before we left and bring it with me, as he didn't seem hungry just then so I knew he would be during lunch. But due to the screaming-when-not-held factor, it was too difficult to get a decent pump while comforting the little guy. So I decided to top him off and hope for the best, knowing I could always feed him on the go if I really needed to. Now Bean, like most males, will never refuse a boob if offered. So hungry or not, the little man nuzzled up to the tap. But the danger with topping him off is that the extra milk has to go somewhere -- and it certainly did. I picked him up to burp him and found myself immediately covered in lovely white baby spit-up. Damn the useless burp cloth! It was hard enough to find something to wear in the first place, as I've got that fabulous tummy flab that continues to render most of my closet obsolete, and now it was back to the drawing board. Fortunately, Bean was very pleased with himself at the time and sat quietly while I changed. (Maybe he was hungry after all, who knows.)

Finally time to leave. Although he was smiling when we walked out of the house, Bean decided he was furious about something on the drive to the restaurant (someone else doesn't appreciate my CD collection, I guess), and he commenced screaming. He was so fervent in his cries that I had to keep looking back to make sure no one had jumped in the car and cut off his arm while I was driving. Making it all the more unbearable, he was further incensed when the car had to slow and stop... meaning we hit every single red light as we crawled along the valley. *sigh* But we finally arrived, and as soon as I sat down in the lobby area and could pick him up again, he was calm and cute (remaining so throughout the lunch, thank goodness).

Soon joining us was DH and six of his coworkers -- all men. Now sure, DH works in a male dominated field. But he does have some female coworkers, one of whom I was particularly looking forward to seeing again. I asked where she was, and DH said that she decided not to come. He theorized that she was avoiding the baby, because she'd recently mentioned a fear of getting pregnant and thus incurring daycare costs while she and her DH are in the process of buying an expensive house. So between her and the wife of his other coworker (the one who is not ready for kids -- and exclaimed with displeasure upon learning of the coworker's offer to babysit Bean), there is apparently a misconception out there about conception. Repeat after me: pregnancy is not contagious!

Perhaps feeling insulted , Bean's good mood melted away at the end of lunch, and he cried on the ride home. But luckily the afternoon improved from there. I put Bean in a fresh diaper and sleeper, and we cuddled up together to watch the movie 27 Dresses. We both love love loved it! We laughed (okay, Bean was chuckling in his sleep) and we cried (okay, only Bean cried, and it was gas). The best part was that the movie ended just in time for me to grab the baby and dog and race down the street to hand the envelope to the mailman. That means my next movie will be arriving on Saturday. I'm hoping for The Golden Compass, but Netflix says there's a short wait for it, so it will probably be Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. I know, surprisingly there's no wait on that one. Meanwhile, we still have a second movie at home to watch -- Jabberwocky. I'm trying to race through our movie list before we are limited to flicks that are either animated (and I'm not talking The Simpsons Movie) or involve four effeminate men dancing around a stage wearing bright primary colors. Maybe this infant stage isn't all bad.