Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking forward

I'm climbing out of the pit. I'm trying to convince myself that, while I've made mistakes in my life (like, not trying to get pregnant 5 years earlier, and many various and sundry other things), that doesn't mean that the rest of my life should or will suck. I can move on from the mistakes and find joy in life. I can become a mother even if it doesn't involve a genetic link. I'm not a failure just because I'm too busy right now to get through the adoption class or because the orientation was depressing. I can find a way.

I've been dwelling a lot on historical figures. A review of a scented candle, of all things, brought me to a French royal mistress (linky) - a minor figure that I'd never even heard of. Anyhoo, she had six children, only two of whom survived childhood. Of the two, one died at the age of 16 in his first military campaign. The other married, but didn't have children and her husband died of smallpox 5 years into the marriage. So, not only did the woman go through the pain of so many children dying, she never got to make her genetic mark on the world because neither of her surviving children managed to have kids either. And that got me thinking about all the millions of people since the world began who didn't get to successfully reproduce, through accident or death or disease or whatever. Millions of people, if not billions. Why should I think that I deserve any different? OK, so nowadays we deal with more infertility and fewer children dying in childhood, but the end result is the same. And it's not like women haven't been barren through the ages, or ended up in convents or as old maids because there was no other option to them. If you think about it, it's monumentally lucky that our particular genetic combinations arrived on the planet at all, because it was through so many lucky and random circumstances that we have the genes that we do. So the future of humanity clearly doesn't depend on me carrying on my particular genes. I can still make a difference by raising a child with love and can pass on my beliefs, family histories, silly habits, and the like.

Having said that, it's only natural to want to have your "own" children. Children related by flesh and blood. Because that's all that humans have known for millenia. Either you have children or you are barren, and if you're a lucky barren person, you get to adopt. That was it. So it's no wonder that we have this inbuilt drive. It doesn't mean that I don't think that adopted (or DE or whatever) children aren't fated, aren't our own. I do truly believe that if and when I become a mother, that child will be my perfect child, meant to teach me lessons that I need to learn. [By perfect, you realize, I am not talking physically or behaviorally or mentally perfect, but the one that I am supposed to be with.] However, believing that still doesn't stop me mourning my dreams, mourning my idiot mistakes and choices, mourning the simple lack, the failure to achieve motherhood the way that I believe we are all driven to do. And mourning the 50lbs I let pile onto my arse along the way.

I have lots of good things to come in 2009. I will find a way to attend the adoption classes. I will get my home study done. I am going to go to acu school (in less than a week!). According to my horoscope, I have the best opportunity in a decade to meet my true love. I can lose weight if I put my mind to it. I will hopefully make some new friends at school. I may or may not become a mother this year, but I will become an honorary auntie to several of my infertility buddy's kids as 2009 will involve a veritable baby boom (yes, you may not realize this or even want me to be honorary auntie, but I am claiming your unborn children). There is so much to look forward to.

Happy New Year, one and all.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I am feeling melancholic, so haven't been posting. It's all to do with the holidays, and no kids, and failure on so many levels. And well, I know you all get it, so there's no need for me to elaborate.

I'm sure I'll cheer up as the excitement of starting acu school rolls around, and I can look forward instead of backward or what-never-was-ward.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I bring you a Christmas gift of poop

I actually said those words this morning. To the vet. Ha ha ha. They wanted a cat poop sample, and they've got it. Of course, they should have had it on Monday, but Atkins-induced constipation and wilfull hunger strikes led to a delay.

Thanks for the thoughts about yesterday. I do feel like I expect too much of myself, sometimes. But it took me SO freakin' long to stop doing IVFs. So many people were (and are) all: "just get over it, already, and MOVE ON." So every time I struggle with moving on, even though on a day-to-day level I am at peace, it stings. Because I feel like a failure that I haven't "got over it" completely, that it took me so long to even get where I am today.

Then again, I probably never will get over it completely. My mother died nearly 30 years ago. I don't cry over her death any more. I don't actively grieve over it. But it is always there with me. It always brings me to a wistful pause when I think about how life could have been, would have been, should have been if she had not been taken away from us so young. I expect that unresolved infertility is like that. It will never leave. Even if I become a mother in another way, I expect there will always be some underlying grieving, angst and/or wistfulness. I know, I know, the child will be MY child, my true destined child, the child that I would not have had but for infertility leading me down that path. But that's not to say that I won't grieve over the fact that that child wasn't the second or third child, meant to complete my family, but instead is the only child, found after a long fought battle. I don't think the scars from the battle will ever truly heal.

May you all have a wonderful holiday. And if you are dealing with your own IF battle scars, may it not be too painful. May you find some joy and light in the darkness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm a big kid now

I went back to my old OB/Gyn today. I'd stopped going because they were useless about getting the pap results done quickly and to my RE, so the RE had been doing my pap for the last few years. And the physical. And all that. But it was time to get back to reality. And time to get papped up for another year.

I switched to a new doc, because I previously used to have a midwife do my paps (don't ask why, I don't know myself - all I know is that I asked for a woman back in the day, before multiple IVFs destroyed my modesty in that area once and for all, and got put with a CNM, then got bounced from CNM to CNM until one finally stuck around for a while). Of course, the midwife, being mostly there to deliver babies was always off...delivering babies. So I would have to wait for an eternity in that damn waiting room, surrounded by swollen bellies. Torture, I tell you. So now I'm with a doc who has a more varied practice, although it's in the same giant OB/Gyn group that half the city goes to.

And it was all going very well. I managed to squeeze my lengthy Gyn history since my last visit into the very small space provided on the form. They called me back to the exam room quickly, and the doc seemed nice. And then she asked about the fertility stuff and if I was OK with stopping the treatment. And big old toughie that I am, who is all "evolved" and "at peace" with ending my IVF career...I couldn't answer. My voice cracked, my eyes instantly filled with tears and I stuttered and spluttered. To which she looked suitably panicked and said quickly "well, I mean, you're accepting of ending it?" Yes, yes, I accept it. I accept that my eggs are crap. I accept that I have finished treatment. But it appears that I am not OK with it. Still. I still wish it had just fucking worked, and I wonder how it can be that it works for other people but not for me. We briefly talked about adoption, she said that that was great, and moved on to how I need to get a yearly mammogram now that I have hit the big four-oh. Then she did the exam and off she went.

I got back to my car and had a little cry. Damn. I guess this is going to be a very long, drawn out process. Maybe the holidays have made me wistful. Or maybe I'm just not as OK with everything as I thought I was.

I made my mammogram appointment, though. I suppose I really am a big kid now. Too old to have babies, old enough to have to get mammograms and have high cholesterol. Sigh.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy New Year!

Does celebrating the New Year on January 1st seem completely arbitrary to anyone else? Particularly midnight on January 1st? I mean, how often is midnight actually the middle of the night if you don't live on the equator? Also, what on earth is January 1st connected to? It's just some arbitrary date and time, it seems.  I have been nurturing such thoughts for years, and stopped celebrating at midnight, preferring instead to get up and see the dawn. But it seems to me that the new year really begins today, after the solstice, after the longest night of the year, so now I'm inclined to stop celebrating New Year on January 1st at all, apart from acknowledging that it's the start of the new calendar year. Or something.

As I want to get (even) more in tune with my crunchy granola side, I've been looking to ways to celebrate the solstices more. So I now put up my "Christmas" decorations on December 21st, which I did yesterday. I mean, I do celebrate Christmas with the family. I do go to church then. I was raised Christian and at various times have tried to be a good Christian. But when push comes to shove, I just don't believe a lot of it and the older I get the less inclined I am to try, preferring instead to concentrate on Buddhism and other teachings. Not that I won't celebrate and give thanks for Christ's birth, being as he was a great spiritual teacher - I just don't think he was all that different from Buddha or Mohammed in the grand scheme of things (it's the whole "only son of God" and virgin birth thing I have a problem with, oh, and the Easter thing, not the underlying message of his teachings). AND, he wasn't really born on December 25th, was he? The Christians just co-opted the old pagan winter solstice celebrations and moved 'em a few days. Where was I? Oh yes, so really my decorations are winter solstice/Christmas decorations. So that's when I put them up, to light up the longest night of the year. I'm trying to make it my official start of my holidays, which, yes, will encompass Christmas and New Year's Day, but I think a 2-week period starting on the solstice is a good time period.

Which brings me neatly to New Year's Resolutions. I love me some resolutions. I love that feeling of renewal, of promising to be a better person, of taking some time to reflect and see what it is that I really should be doing better in my life. Not that I always follow through and complete them, but at least I spend some time thinking.  And I have decided that if I'm moving my New Year celebration to December 22nd, and kicking off the holidays now, then today is a good time to formally start my New Year's Resolutions too (I often start them early anyway, as soon as I think of what it is that I want to do). Not that I won't overeat and overdrink on Christmas day, you understand!

Thusly -

I resolve this coming year to:

1. Floss. At least 6 days a week. Over the last couple of years I've got my flossing up from non-existent to sporadic to semi-regular. Now I want to elevate it to a not-to-be-missed every day routine. So far I am up to a week straight of doing it every morning.

2. Walk. At least 6 days a week, for at least 30 minutes. This year has been my worst for exercise. The exercise started going downhill with IVF cycles, and then just continued sliding, with occasional bursts of remorseful over-exertion coupled with various ankle and/or back pain issues. But I must get back to consistent, regular, moderate exercise, which I can use as a baseline for more if I want to, but I must not allow myself to do less. I've walked for 3 days so far since starting this resolution.

3. Eat more mindfully. My weight is an ever present concern. And although this year I didn't manage to lose weight, I do feel that in the last half of the year I have slowly got more in touch with eating healthily. I mean, my diet is and always has been mostly healthy. I just eat way too much, and blow it on a regular basis by giving in to chocolate, chips, ice cream, pizza and/or booze.  So I need to celebrate the good parts while being mindful about keeping the indulgences to a minimum, rather than being all "woe is me, I'm such a failure with my diet, I must lose 50 lbs by spring."

4. Do more yoga. Back in the day, many many years ago, I was a bendy yogini. And then I moved, and couldn't find a good class or teacher in the new city, and moved again. Ditto. And again. And still could never find anything I was happy with. And I stiffened up, got fat and got lazy. I really want to get back to a regular yoga practice. I've been looking hard for something suitable and finally found that my local studio (which I'd stopped going to because of time and money issues in addition to laziness issues) is now offering a Friday night $5 one hour class. It'll be a bitch to get to it at 5.30 as it'll mean leaving work early but I really want to do it. The class is with student yoga teachers, and they want you to give feedback to help them learn. I guess it won't be every single week, but I have got to make the effort to get to this as often as it is held, especially as their normal classes are $20, and that's too spendy for me these days.

5. Review, revise and renew my resolutions every solstice. This gives me four times a year to keep myself on track, not just once.

6. Be more social.

7. Meditate. Err, not sure how I'm going to fit this one in, but I'm putting it out there as a goal.

Do you do resolutions? Got any thoughts for this year? Anyway, Happy winter, one and all. I hope those of you up north are keeping warm.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The fatness of her catness

I took the gatito (gatita?) for her yearly check up at the vets yesterday. And they spent most of the time telling me how fat she is. But, but, but..., thinks I, she was just as fat last year. And the year before that too. Actually, she's a little bit thinner than last year, having lost 0.35 pounds thanks to my half-hearted dieting efforts. I thought I deserved a pat on the back for that, but no, they tell me she needs to lose 3 more pounds. Sigh. So they took lots of blood with dire warnings about diabetes and kidney failure, and how she's a geriatric now so I have to be extra careful. And they said she has bad teeth so I have to take her in for a teeth cleaning in the new year.

I exaggerate, actually. They were and are lovely, and I really like everyone there.  And they're right - she is fat. Thing is, she was 7 when I got her, and was enormous then, and I felt like with the shock of changing families it wasn't right for me to make her lose weight too quickly. She's lost nearly 2 pounds since I've had her, but OK, I've had her for 6 years and I could have done a lot better.  1.5 pounds was probably lost in her first year with me, so I've clearly been slacking for the last 5 years. And they probably did mention the fatness last year, but I've probably glossed over it in my mind.

So Miss Kitteh is now on Atkins, per the vet's instructions. No more dry food, and no leaving food out for her. Not quite sure how this will work with my new crazy school schedule, but I guess it will just have to. We will just have to diet together, even if she complains bitterly. Incidentally, when I made that feeble little joke to the vet, he recommended Atkins for me too. Except when I said I was a vegetarian he just said "oh! It will be very hard for you to lose weight then." Ass. It's a good thing he's super nice generally, cute, and great with the animals, otherwise I wouldn't put up with it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yay me

Guess who's on the President's List of the local CC? Little ole me. 4.0, baby, 4.0.

In other news, I have decided that I will skip the adoption classes for this semester. I think I need time to adjust to the new school schedule and it will be too hard if I am taking up another night with a different class, even if I find one that is not on a Tuesday. I'm going to try to find one for next semester instead. And who knows, maybe if I get my request in early enough, perhaps the adoption agency will listen and run one on a Monday night instead.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The interview

I went with the dress. See, it is a jersey knit and has pockets which probably wasn't obvious from the previous link, so wasn't quite as fancy as all that. And I always intended to wear it with a camisole so it wouldn't be too revealing. But I decided on a grey camisole rather than a black one, for a bit of visual interest.  Anyway, I thought the outfit was the right pick for the day and I felt confident in it.

The interview went well. It was with two Chinese ladies, the Dean and someone whose position I didn't quite catch. They pored over my embarrassing transcript from my Bachelor's degree.  "What this? 40C? What this mean? It's a C?" "Uh, no, it's a compensated pass, meaning I failed that course but gained enough in other courses to get the bare pass grade of 40. This one at 53 is a C. But look! That one's an A! See, over 70 is an A, that's an 84!"  I felt like I was doing the "Look! Puppies!" thing, but really, that transcript is from another age. It's not me any more. But they didn't really care in the end. They even said I didn't need to have done quite so many Community College classes - yeah, thanks for letting me know that now. We talked a bit about acu, my current job, immigration, the school, etc. They seemed to like me and at the end of the interview said "How can we not offer you a place? Congratulations!"

Then I sat with the admissions lady, and went over a lot of the stuff I missed from orientation. Including going off to try on various sizes of scrubs, as I have to wear school scrubs every day. But I'll be attending 4 days a week and they only give you 3 sets of scrubs (+ 2 lab coats).  I felt like going "ewwww, stinky" but I guess it's 2 eight-hour days and 2 four-hour days so I can just wear the same scrubs for the shorter sessions if I really can't get my act together enough to do laundry that often.  I should have asked for another set of scrubs, but she kept going on about liking to do everyone's order together and how she has a system, so I kept my mouth shut. She has a system over ordering the books too which I didn't quite get, but essentially I'm supposed to turn up early on day 1 and pick them all up. I think. Something like that, anyway. And the parking pass. And the library pass. And, and, and. Too many things to keep up with.

Strangely they didn't want any money. I kept asking if they were sure, but she said they charge everything to my student account and then it's my job to keep up with payments. Hmmm. I never got to talk to the finance lady because I'm not taking a loan so I think there was probably more to it than that, although they seem laid back about the whole thing so I'm sure if I do something wrong they'll cut me some slack.

The school was a bit shabby, but they stressed how they are a non-profit school and they charge the lowest tuition in the area, because they want to keep things affordable. So a bit of shabbiness is to be expected, I guess. But it was a nice atmosphere. There were a few students wandering around, using the library, etc, and they all looked friendly. I think I'm going to enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just realized that the CC grades aren't going to be available until Friday, not tomorrow as I'd been erroneously thinking all along. So I called the acu school to see if this will be a problem. The admissions lady said I could change my interview to next week if I'd like. 

Says I: "Ah, no, I'd prefer to do it tomorrow if possible, seeing as everything is arranged, but if you need my grades, then it'd be no problem to switch."  
Says she: "Well, I'll have to check with the Dean, but if you'd like to switch, then we can." 
"Um, no, like I said, I'd prefer to come tomorrow if possible." 
"Well, we can switch it to Tuesday if you'd like." 
"You know? I think I'd prefer to come tomorrow, but why don't you check with the Dean, and if he really needs to see the grades, we can switch the appointment, but if he doesn't, maybe we could leave it as is?" 
"OK, I'll check and call you back."


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Le Community College est fini!

I am fairly confident regarding my grades, which will be out on Thursday. Let's just say that the English teacher whispered as I handed in my exam today: "Thank you for taking this class. It's so nice to teach someone with a brain."  I could have kissed him. Community College rocks when you're an adult.

Onwards and upwards...

Monday, December 15, 2008


Got my cholesterol down from 251 to 234 in 4 weeks. Yay me. There's lots more I can be doing, so I am going to try to step it up even more to try really hard to get it under 200.

I guess this proves that the dairy really is what was doing it, not the IVF meds. I haven't completely given up dairy and eggs, just cut way back. I suppose when I was thinner my body was more tolerant of high fat dairy, but now I'm chunkier it reacts more.

Except...I just checked my old posts, and my lowest cholesterol level recently was while I was following the full fat dairy infertility diet, with cream-on-the-top milk and yogurt. Am confused.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Things always look better in the morning

Although I had a long, depressed nap yesterday, it didn't make me feel any better. I just felt very deflated and defeated, like I was not going to ever manage to adopt an infant.  But I want to thank you for your comments, particularly the one referring me to WACAP (thanks Hedgetoad!).  Because after a night of sleep, things are looking better.

It's just that that room took me right back to the pain of infertility. There were 3 white couples. All of a certain age. All looking beaten down. All of a type that is so familiar from RE waiting rooms all over the country - the ones like me who have watched all the pert young IVF patients get pregnant, and have been left crying and broke. I knew they'd all tried and failed to have kids, maybe even if they hadn't done IVF, they all looked beaten down. The woman next to me was bubbly and the only one that didn't give off a depressed energy. She was on her own so I initially thought she was single like me, but when we all had to fill in a sign-in sheet, she put a spouse's name down so I guess he just couldn't go. I don't know, of course, but I got the impression that she was doing this to help the poor kiddies. She was African-American and, I don't know, maybe she was doing her Christian duty or something. All just impressions, of course, but the energy coming off her was so different I just didn't think she had been through infertility. Then there was another woman on her own, but she was in the wrong place - she had her niece and nephew and wanted to adopt them, but had already done the parenting class, etc. She didn't appear too bright.  Anyway, there was that IVF-waiting room contrast thing going on - the depressed ones and the not-so-depressed ones. The desperate and the excited. And it just took me back to all the feelings of failure, and wondering why it is so damn difficult.

Anyhoo, the WACAP African-American infant program arranges private adoptions for $10-$13k. Which is a lot cheaper than other private adoptions (although it is depressing that those children are not as valued, which is a sad reflection on us as a society, but we won't go there today). So it helped me see that I do have an alternative even though the stock market tanking has wiped out a good chunk of my savings. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured I didn't want to do it right now because of the crazy school/work schedule. So I am going to hold that in reserve as my option for if this adopting from the state lark doesn't work out. It'll be my talisman when things are looking bleak - that I can pursue that as soon as I am done with school, and have a baby (hopefully) within a year. I'll be 44 probably by then - hopefully I'll still have enough energy to keep up with a small child!

So, given that my schedule is not ideal right now anyway, why not forge ahead with my initial plan of trying to hold out for a safe haven newborn even if the wait is 2-3 years. In fact, I prefer a long wait, so I shouldn't let the adoption ladies put me off. They are doing their job, trying to steer everyone to the older kids and I shouldn't let myself get completely depressed when they make the chances of what I want to do look so bleak. AND I can use the home study and the MAPP classes (or can update the home study easier later on) for if I bail out and pursue another avenue of adoption.

Right, so first thing I have to do is call the adoption agency and ask them about the possibility of newborn adoption. And stand firm even when they try to put me off. Then I have to call each of the 10 or so different fostering and private adoption agencies that run the parenting classes, to find one that has them on a Monday night. And if nobody does, then I'll just have to go back to the adoption agency and figure something out, like paying for private classes or something.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I want to vomit.

I want to drink myself into oblivion.

I want to just...stop life and get off it for a little bit.

I want...I don't know what I want, but it's not this.

I went to the adoption orientation. There was a lady from the adoption-only agency, and a lady from the foster agency. It seems that since privatization there is now an alphabet soup of different agencies. The adoption-only lady said that the children available to be adopted are usually above the age of 8, and have issues such as behavioral issues, health issues, whatever. Because the children available in the adoption program have already been offered to their foster parents and to their relatives and weren't wanted. 

Then the foster lady told us about being foster parents, and how we can sometimes adopt from that, but their big goal is to get the children back to their parents. But if we do do that, as foster parents we'd get second refusal on adopting the children in our care (first refusal going to relatives).

I tried asking about adopting a child under 8 - do they come up in the adoption-only agency, or do we have to do foster parenting if we want an infant. And she said that with foster care it might take 3 or 4 placements before we are allowed to adopt, because those 3 or 4 might all go back to their parents or we might get lucky and our first placement might become available for adoption. 

I'm completely confused. I don't know what agency I'm supposed to go with, what I'm supposed to do. They said all the questions would be answered in the 10-week parenting course we're supposed to do. And at that point we can specify if we only want babies, or toddlers, or school-age children. But then they said that we should try to go to the course that is being run at the agency that we want to sign up with, because we'll develop a relationship with the people there. But if you don't know which agency to go with, how do you pick which class to go to?  They kept saying that the syllabus is the same, but they cover slightly different things, so we could go to a different agency's classes but we should try not to.  WTF?

Except that both of these two agencies run their courses on Tuesday nights. I asked what if we couldn't make Tuesday night, could we do the course elsewhere? And they said of course if there's a night we couldn't make we could do that week's class elsewhere. I was like "no, what if we can't make ANY Tuesday night, doesn't anyone have classes on another night?" The woman next to me nodded, saying "I work on Tuesday nights." The two ladies didn't seem to answer that. 

They gave us a lot of information, and none of it really answered what I wanted to know. I know they have a duty to try to steer us towards the teens and school-age kids. I know those kids really need care, I know. But I just felt flattened.

I just don't know any more. I can't seem to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I can't get to a class on Tuesday night because I'll be at acu school probably. I don't know if I'm supposed to sign up with the adoption agency and ask for newborns but if they never have them then am I supposed to sign up with the foster agency?  I suppose I should call them and try to speak to someone but the orientation was supposed to answer those questions, and it didn't.

I came out of there wanting to hurl.

Friday, December 12, 2008


By the way, does anyone watch/listen to the BBC news? They seem convinced that our president-elect is some guy named Baracko Bama. It has a nice alliterative ring to it, I guess.


Too-ooh-mowwow, tomowwow, I wuv ya, tomowwow, you're only a daaaaay aahhh-waaaaaay.

That's my best Annie imitation.

The adoption orientation is in the morning. I will finally be setting foot on that path. After 4+ years I will finally be moving on. I will be taking the first concrete step toward the rest of my life. Not that my life will be any different when I walk out the door after the orientation, but at least I'll have some more information. Little by little, I'll make it happen somehow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Perverse delights

Do you shop at CVS? Specifically, do you shop for razor blades at CVS? Are not the plastic security thingies that are supposed to prevent you from stealing the oh-so-valuable razors the most ridunkulous things you have ever come across? Or perhaps your CVS trusts you not to swipe the valuables so you know not of which I speak?

I used to get annoyed at these things. You have to press the button under the type of razor you want, wait for the little clockwork toy windy thing to push it upwards, and then you have to pull on the drawer thing to gain access. It takes for-evah. And what inevitably happens? The clockwork thing starts wheezing like a geriatric on speed, and the razor blade cartridge gets stuck. And hence does not dispense into the drawer. Oh, boy, did this used to annoy me. I'd huff and puff, and sometimes I'd stalk off in a huff, intending to buy my razors elsewhere. Except of course that elsewhere like at the supermarket they don't have the razors in logical places so I would invariably forget, and end up slinking back into CVS several weeks later all stubbly legged from trying to shave for far too long with the same blunt blade. And the second time around, when the razor draw thing didn't work, I'd slink over to the cashier and ask ever so nicely for help.

I assumed that CVS would quickly realize the error of its ways and replace these foul apparatuses. But no, they've had the damn things for years. And they still. don't. fucking. work. Evah.

Fucking fucktards with their fucking defective equipment.

So, these days, I have to admit that I take a perverse delight in fucking the things up. I go in, jab at the buttons, yank at the drawer a few times until several of them get well and truly jammed and stomp over to the cash register demanding help, all the while loudly muttering about the damn drawers being the worst damn piece of retail equipment I have ever come across. And if I can get the manager to help me, so much the better so that he can hear my tirade rather than wasting it on the mere assistants.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. But they deserved it, I promise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The plan

On the interview outfit:

I am going to put together about 3 outfits, ranging from formal (the dress) to casual, cute and sassy, make sure they are ALL clean and ironed, and decide on the day which makes me feel more confident. To which end I have decided to go jeans shopping on Saturday. Eeek! I hate jeans shopping with a passion, but it'll be worth it to have a nice pair that fits.

On the adoption fun:

The adoption orientation is this Saturday too. I am convincing myself again that it is pointless to even put myself on the list this year because I can't possibly adopt while at school. Which is stupid, as of course I'd take a maternity leave for the first semester and I'd figure out the work/school situation somehow. I can work from home if necessary with just an occasional trip to the office, so I'm sure it would be doable. Somehow. Except, the panic level rises up again and makes me wonder what the hell I have been thinking.

Oh well, first things first. Go to the orientation. It might even take me a year to be able to attend the parenting course because it might not be at times that I can make. So I might not go on the list for a while and then who knows how long it'll take to get to the top of the list of the people that are waiting for a healthy infant.

Oh, and anyone watch House yesterday? Cuddy's lawyer says it is easy - become a foster parent and adopt new baby left by dying teenager... so it must be easy in real life, right?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Po-Po

I did my first two final exams today for community college. And then I had to go to Art Appreciation, to listen to the most annoying professor in the history of the world drone on about god knows what. And I found myself daydreaming in class about drinking whiskey. I'm not a big liquor drinker, being more of a red wine chugger. In fact, I have liquor bottles left over from a party that I gave about 5 years ago still sitting in the cabinet. The only liquor I have from time to time is whiskey, and then usually when I've got a cold and want to make a hot toddy. 

It is not normal for me, but as I've thought a few times over the last few weeks how nice a tot of whiskey would be, I thought I may as well go and buy a bottle and treat myself to a wee dram. See, unlike with wine where one glass makes me want to drink the whole bottle, one glass of whiskey is usually more than enough.  So, especially given the stress of exams and listening to idiots that I've suffered today, I thought I deserved it. So I did it, I bought a bottle on the way back. And I get home at 5pm and fix myself a drink. And scarfed it down. 

Then, as I'm sitting surfing at about 5.30, feeling nicely and somewhat naughtily buzzed, the po-po turn up outside.  And two officers get out of the squad car and start walking to the neighbors house. Where there are two other squad cars and four officers standing around that I hadn't even noticed. We've had a spate of burglaries so I thought maybe their alarm went off, although I didn't hear it so maybe it's a silent alarm. Then all six police officers draw their guns and go off to check out my neighbors house. I start having palpitations about having to explain to them with whiskey sodden breath that I was home but heard nothing. Not to mention the whole thing about OMG there are men with fucking guns drawn at the fucking neighbors house issue. I pictured the reputation I was about to get as the neighborhood drunk when I started jabbering in fright if the police guys asked me any questions.

Luckily, it appeared to be a false alarm. The police checked the place out, the neighbors zoomed home all aflutter, and everything calmed down. And nobody asked me for my opinion on anything.

But isn't that always the way? The one time you treat yourself and do some slightly risque is the one time that you might have to interact with the authorities...

[And I have the results back of one of the exams I did today. The result? Totally aced it...]

Monday, December 08, 2008

The interview outfit

Oh, if only I knew how to do polls.

Picture this: acupuncture school. Cool looking, slightly chunky girl turns up for interview (perhaps a teensy bit intimidated with thoughts that acupuncturists are supposed to be skinny and project an aura of being 100% healthy). What should she be dressed in to make the best impression? Obviously, it's a college, so one doesn't want to go all out formal, and yet it's respectful to dress nicely to any interview situation. And one wants to show a little creativity in the outfit because we're not talking law school here, so nothing too corporate.

I have a nice black dress that hasn't been worn yet (I got it using a birthday gift card to wear to my company's holiday party that is now canceled). I have the necessary spanx to go with. I also just acquired some killer red shoes that I happen to be wearing today also.

What do you think? I would wear it with a cute cardigan, of course (not a jacket, as that'd be way too formal). But I can't decide on the color of the cardigan - I have teal, bright pink, orange, or a multicolored floral one that includes some red to match the shoes but which has a base color of ecru/cream. I may have a blue one somewhere around. And of course black and grey, but they seem too somber when I want to make it a bit more fun. I'm thinking the floral one is good. Unless I should go out and buy a different cardie? I'll probably have a light green handbag, as featured here.

Is it too formal? And yes, I'm deliberately going for lots of colors to make the outfit more fun. I think the cardigan is key to that, so definitely not a black cardigan. The outfit's got to be functional, as I may be touring the campus, etc. The shoes are definitely ones I can walk in. Should I be in pants instead? The only problem being that all my pants are getting a bit worn out, and I'd rather not buy new right now, in the hope that I will finally drop a size at some point. Or maybe I should just bite the bullet, and get some nice looking jeans that I could wear with the killer red shoes? Maybe jeans dressed up with the cute cardigan and the killer shoes would be smart enough?

ETA: Ooh, actually, I have some casual-ish light grey pants that also haven't been worn yet (sale bargain that I need to be ~5lbs thinner to wear) - maybe I should try them on with the spanx to see if they look OK with everything sucked in. AND try to lose a couple pounds before the interview so I'm not in danger of camel toe issues.

Advice, please, innernets.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Are you one of those people, like me, who gets insanely busy every now and then, and thinks "I must simply have a beautifully planned and operational To Do list right now, this minute, otherwise I shall forget the 6 million things running around my head that I must absolutely not forget." Or something. 

It seems that, over the years, I have tried so many different ways of organizing myself, and each one gets taken up with enthusiasm and then dropped when I get a teensy bit less busy. But I've been seriously spazzing lately, and fretting over my final exams at community college, and then about real school, which is coming up quickly. So I spent a little bit of time yesterday perusing planners, and I couldn't find any that I liked. The electronic ones I have used haven't worked so well, because they all seemed designed for people who have umpteen appointments every day, rather than someone that has umpteen things to do, some of which have drop-dead deadlines, some of which really should get done and some of which can be allowed to slide in a pinch (usually the ones involving cleaning the house). Some of the task lists I have used even stop showing the task once you have gone past the deadline. I mean, hello? If I haven't completed it, it needs to stay on the top of the list, not just slink away pretending that it's all just fine if I never do it.

Gah. So I finally spent some time Googling, and found a free internet based task list that looks good, and that I can access from my B-berry. But I am not expecting miracles (although if it works well, I'll post a link/recommendation). However, as a fallback position in case I hate it, if you currently use a good organizer program or even old-fashioned paper based planner that is designed for busy procrastinators and you absolutely love it, let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 05, 2008

The adoption packet arrived in the mail!

Finally! It's been weeks and I was about to call and inquire if they forgot about me.

Except it wasn't an adoption packet, it was a foster care packet. Saying all about how there's a really desperate need for foster families for teens.  Uh, yeah, I know, but I'm sorry, I don't have the ability to do that at this point in my life.

But, I did manage to glean from it that a) the orientations are walk-ins, no pre-registration is needed, b) there's only one county agency that is listed as being for adoptions (which I figured out from the state website), and c) there's only one orientation in December that's listed as being for adoptions (which I also figured out from the state website).

So, I did learn something new, and now know that I can just turn up to the orientation on the assigned day and find out more.  Which is a week tomorrow, by the way.

Photo Friday

In honor of the newly resurrected Photo Friday over at Creating Motherhood, here are some photos on the theme of old Holiday pics.

First, the obligatory gift opening shot. This is early January 1975, with my Granny. We usually did a secondary Christmas some time around New Year with my mother's parents, having done real Christmas on the correct day with my father's parents. I'm not quite sure why my brother looks like the butler here, or perhaps little lord Fauntleroy, depending on your viewpoint. Note the delightful fashions. Yes, that's a long nightie I'm wearing. I particularly like the clash between bro's pj's and robe. Stylin'. And, yes, we were posing. And quite convinced that whatever Granny got us would be worthy and boring, and really not worth having. That's why we hadn't just ripped all the wrapping paper off, and instead looked all restrained and polite.

Next is me posing the next day, with my favorite toy of the moment, Sindy. See how I wanted to match Sindy's long party dress with my long party dress. God, I loved Sindy. She was the cheap, British version of Barbie. But she had dark hair. And, OMG, looked justlikeme! I'm pretty sure I got Sindy at "real Christmas" not "boring Granny Christmas" because Sindy is not something that Granny would probably have thought worthy. Actually, she probably got me the party dress...

And wouldya just look at all those antiques waiting to be knocked over or broken. Visits to Granny's were always fraught occasions as my parents would try to stop us rampaging around and breaking things, Granny would almost faint with fright at the thought of damage to things, and we were usually kind of pissed off at being scolded so much. Luckily, Granny mellowed a lot in her later years!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Interview Schminterview

I got a call from the acu school. They wanted to know how community college was going, and when I would be able to supply the transcript. So I told them when I'd be able to print out an unofficial transcript (the 18th) and that I'd order an official transcript the same day but it'd probably take a little while to get to them.

So they said I have to have an interview, which they initially suggested for Dec. 23rd, and then we decided that I could go on the 18th, with my printed-out unofficial transcript in hand, because the earlier the better. All fine and dandy, except they've had months in which to arrange an interview. I mean, did they really need to wait for this transcript? Did they really think I wouldn't be able to pass a few community college courses? I guess maybe they did. Anyhoo, it's not like it's Harvard Law or anything where there's a risk of them not letting me in because I'm not impressive enough. So I doubt if the interview will be anything more than a quick "so why do you want to study acupuncture?" session. And maybe a "how will you be paying us?" session.

But then the lady said that because I'll have missed the orientation, I'll have to stay for a couple of hours so they can go over everything with me and have me complete lots of forms, etc. But again, wtf? They've known I was coming for months. They couldn't let me go to orientation with everyone else and leave a couple of forms pending for when they got my community college transcript?

Urgh. I am more irritated by this than I have any rational right to be. It's not like anything will be really delayed in the end. But there's something about it that just tickles my annoyment bone.

AND the adoption lady hasn't called me back, and I am impatient about that. I guess I will leave her another message about the adoption orientation.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Shop till your fingers bleed

I am bad.

No, wait, I am supporting the economy.

You know how today is Cyber Monday, when we're all supposed to shop madly online? Yeah, well, I'm a big online shopper. And today my inbox was crowded with special offers and special coupons and all sorts of tempting things. So while I came in to work this morning determined to resist, my resolve has been slipping the longer the day has worn on, and I started shopping. Of course, the sensible thing would be to do my Christmas shopping, and in fact on my first shopping expedition today, I did just that. Plus a little stocking stuffer for moi. But I have degenerated to shopping purely for myself and seem to be finding all sorts of little treats that I just have to have while they're 20% off. And oh, if I buy just one more thing, I can qualify for free shipping...

Damn it, I'm supposed to be being frugal!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


me: Yeah, my cholesterol shot up again, so I'm cutting back on cheese and eggs again, and trying to bump up the exercise.

aunt: Well, it's probably because you've gained weight.

me: Uh, yeah, but my cholesterol was 164 earlier this year, and I was heavier then, so I don't think it's as simple as that.

aunt: You should lose weight, though, because it's got to be contributing.

me: I know, but I don't think it's strictly a weight thing, otherwise my cholesterol would have stayed high all year. I am trying to lose weight, slowly, but I seem to have best luck with the cholesterol by cutting out dairy and eggs.

aunt: Yes, but you should lose weight. And exercise. What are you eating for breakfast?

me: Oatmeal, six days a week.

aunt: Oh, well that should have helped. And then what?

me: A frozen thing for lunch usually, or a sandwich.

aunt: So, that's calorie controlled. You need to watch the calories to lose weight. 

me: Uh huh. I know. 

aunt: Then what do you eat?

me: Well, I admit, at work, I often have a snack from the vending machine mid-afternoon. 

aunt: Ah-ha! Well, you've got to stop that. Take a small apple and some almonds to work and have those. That'll help you lose weight.

me:...I know I have to lose weight. And I'm sure now that I'm no longer going through the depression of failed IVFs and eating a pint of ice cream for dinner, it'll come off me slowly, but I don't want to diet because I always end up gaining it all back again, and then some.

aunt: Oh, you must stop eating ice cream.

me: I know. I have.

aunt: Because you'll never lose weight if you keep eating ice cream.

me: Unnnngh. 

Friday, November 28, 2008


I am in the big city to the south of where I live. I'll give you a starts with "mi" and ends with "ami."  This is where the couple of family members that I have in this country live. And I have kind of a weird love/hate thing going on with it. I know that my aunt will never leave, and if I want to be near her (and I do) then I have to move here at some point. Especially if/when I adopt. When I first thought of moving to the States, this is where I wanted to be. But I didn't find a job here that would get my visa for me, and got stuck elsewhere waiting for my green card. Then, as often happens, where I lived started growing on me. I liked that it was smaller and quieter than the big city. I liked that it was less hectic. I liked that the property prices were lower so I didn't have to live in a tiny apartment the size of a shoebox. I liked a lot of things. And I guess with many places that have bigger and better known neighbors, there are a lot of people were I live that don't like the city, or have a chip on their shoulder about it, or whatever. So I constantly hear people saying that they don't like it, and giving one reason or another why not. It started to sink in, so I started finding fault with the place.

And yet, I am always reminded when I come here that there are so many more things to do in a big city. So many more cultural opportunities. So many more food opportunities (oh the yummy croissant I had for breakfast this morning, straight from the French bakery). So many more people to mingle with. So half the time I come here, I come away thinking that moving wouldn't be so bad. 

Anyway, we had a fabulous Thanksgiving picnic, in a park, by the water. I wore a floppy hat because the sun was beating down. There aren't many places in the country where you can do that in late November. That should remind me that the place I fight and rail against moving to is actually pretty darn nice.  We had a couple of young kids around, and this was the first year for a long time that it didn't strike like a knife through my heart. I was able to enjoy them without pain.  I'm thankful that I finally have peace over infertility, although I can't help but be reminded that last Thanksgiving I was in New York doing an IVF cycle. Oh well, live and learn.

I'm having a nice time. I'm thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Florida gay adoption ban ruled unconstitutional.

Impulse strikes again

I bought a knife.  So much for careful deliberation and thinking through my purchases so I'll only buy things that I will have a lifetime.

Well, umm, it was shiny?

I went to that fancy kitchen store to play with the fancy kitchen knives. I made the sales associate let me get each brand out of the fancy locked knife cabinets. I hefted them, I felt their weight, I considered how their handles felt in my hands, I made practice chopping actions.  I wasn't intending on buying any.

But oh my lord, I fell in love. And not with the knives that I thought I would fall in love with. One of the ranges was just so dang pretty, and felt so right in my hand. They weren't too heavy or off-balanced. The handle could have been designed just with my particular palm in mind. I knew right then and there that there would be no other knife for me, and that I may as well just cough up. It was a shit load of money. But what can I say? It was like I got this big whoosh of adrenaline when I picked up the right one and knew I had to have it. I can see why shopping can be addictive if people get that whoosh on a regular basis.

I bought one all-purpose knife. Hopefully over time I'll figure out what I really need so I can have one or two or maybe three, and that's it. Maybe like a chef's knife and a bread knife along with the utility knife.

I have immediately set aside 20 kitchen items to take to Goodwill in penance.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The "good" stuff

Do you use the "good" dishes in your house? The "good" silverware? Or do they sit gathering dust in a cabinet somewhere?

I have been musing over the concept for the last few days. It started with a knife. Someone posted to a board about this amazingly fancy and expensive kitchen knife. And I looked. And lusted. And that reminded me that I'd lusted after some (slightly less expensive) knives made by this company previously. And then I went off on a little window shopping tangent, thinking about what knives I would buy if I was in the market for that sort of thing. Which of course made me think about how much I hate my kitchen knives, and how they were only supposed to be a cheap, temporary stopgap measure and yet have been used (and hated) for years. So in the end, I might actually buy some nice new knives to use instead. But only two, because as a vegetarian I surely don't need a set of fancy knives for all sorts of meat dismembering when all I ever do is chop a few veggies and occasionally slice a loaf of bread. And I would have to immediately donate all the old crappy knives to Goodwill, because otherwise I know the "good" knives will end up in their box not getting used, just because they need to be hand washed. Yet, it feels like frivolous extravagance, especially in this economic climate to think about splurging - although there's a part of me that thinks it is my duty to the economy to spend money while I can afford it, because not everybody can and we really don't need to head in to a depression.

But while thinking about knives and such, I thought I'd check the silverware that I have, in case there was a carving set there. Or a bread knife. Or something. So that perhaps I would only need one fancy sharp knife. Because I have this enormous set of "good" knives and forks and spoons that pretty much never gets used. It was my parents set that they got for their wedding or some such occasion. I actually really like it, and I'm not entirely sure how I ended up with it - there may have been some theft involved on my part, coupled with a father who has absolutely no interest in such thing and who was remarrying someone who presumably couldn't care less about my mother's soup spoons. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I have this set, and hardly use it, and that seems a shame. Except you can't dishwash that set either, so I don't want to damage it by using it all the time in case I accidentally throw a knife in the dishwasher and ruin it, thereby ruining the entire set. Darn wooden handles! And I do also have quite a nice set of every day silverware that my aunt gave to me when she inherited a super nice "good" set of silverware so she moved her previous "good" set to her every day set, and gave me the old every day set. And I put MY old every day "set" of mis-matched cutlery that I had cobbled together since my student days in my guest cottage, which my tenant now uses.

Aha, I thought, well, my "good" stuff is presumably worth something now that it has been babied for 40 years or so, so I googled it. And, well, we're talking less than 50 cents a spoon. Substantially less. So my mother and I have coddled these things, not used them, saved them for special occasions, and for what? So they can accumulate dust and be worth less than new silverware?  There's something about that that I find very sad. I don't have a separate set of "good" dishes, but instead spent my money on good solid stoneware that is nice for every day but can also take a beating. And of course, I haven't had a wedding to register for all sorts of fancy china. But this set of silverware sits there, waiting to perform its function, doing nothing 364 days a year.

But why do we do this? Why do we think that every day is not special enough to celebrate by using the good china or the good tableware?

There's a description in a novel I read many years ago (and have since re-read multiple times: Shroud for a Nightingale by PD James) about a woman - a murder victim, actually. But it has always stayed with me, and there are so many ways in which I have wanted to be this woman, and still regard it as an ideal - without the 'murdered' part, of course.

It was the room of a woman who preferred to be unemcumbered. It contained the necessary basic comforts and one or two carefully chosen embellishments.  It was as if she had itemized her needs and provided for them expensively but precisely and without extravagance. The thick rug by the bed was not, he thought, provided by the Hospital Management Committee. There was one picture but that was an original watercolour, a charming landscape by Robert Hills, hung where the light from the window lit it most effectively.  On the window sill was the only ornament, a Staffordshire pottery figure of John Wesley preaching from his pulpit. Dalgliesh turned it in his hands. It was perfect; a collector's piece. But there were none of the small trivial impedimenta which those living in institutions often dispose about them to provide comfort or reassurance.


He opened the small left-hand drawer. It held her make-up, the jars and tubes neatly arranged on a small papier-mache tray. There was a great deal more than he had expected to find: cleansing cream, a box of tissues, foundation cream, pressed powder, eye shadow, mascara. She had obviously made up with care. But there was only one of each item. No experiments, no impulse buying, no half-used and discarded tubes with the make-up congealed around the stopper. The collection said: 'This is what suits me. This is what I need. No more and no less.'


He moved on to the wardrobe and examined again the collection of clothes. Three pairs of slacks. Cashmere jumpers. A winter coat in bright red tweed. Four well-cut dresses in fine wool. They all spoke of quality. It was an expensive wardrobe for a student nurse.

I omitted a couple of paragraphs, but included the points that resonated the most. I bet that woman wouldn't have"good" knives or "good" china that she never used. She would have selected a small number of items with care, and would use them every day. She would have figured out exactly what she liked and would have stuck with it. Why can't I be more like her, instead of someone who is surrounded by the baggage of ill-thought out impulse buys or cheap, quick-and-dirty temporary solutions to things that ended up becoming permanent? Why is it hard for me, even now, to just use the damn "good" silverware? Why can't I not worry that "good" china might get broken and just use it anyway and enjoy it for what it was meant to be? Or pare down my large knife collection of cheap, ineffective knives to just one or two really nice pieces?  

I would love to be able to reduce my possessions to only a few select pieces of good quality. I mean, even with a kid in the house should it matter? Should it matter if they break a Wedgewood plate as opposed to a Target plate? Should I have two super sharp fancy knives that are kept in a special place out of the reach of small hands and yet are used all the time as opposed to many cheap knives scattered all over the kitchen that I can't keep track of but which still can cause injury? Why do we feel the need to surround ourselves with junk just because it might get damaged or because we don't want to spend the money on fewer, nicer objects?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

...Florida style.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ah, no.

Sorry, not going to be posting preferred names for kids on here. See, while my real name is, in fact, Sarah, and I post it for all to see, I reassure myself a little bit that Sarah is a common name and you can't really find me just by some random googling - you need additional information about me to add to the name. I am sure that if you were really motivated, you can find me without too much trouble (and please, don't do it to prove to me that you can and then post my social security number in the comments, because I'll be a bit miffed at that - I trust that you could if you really wanted to). However, I'm thinking more of the not-terribly-motivated nosy neighbor or frenemy here.

And I figure once I start adding more names, I become much easier to google. If it suddenly becomes Sarah + Ermintrude + Genghis then a family is more easy to track down. And if you were the nosy neighbor across the street, suddenly you're coming up with the entire history. Which I'm not sure I want you to have if you're my kid's 9 year old frenemy.

So I'll probably use pseudonyms.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On boys vs. girls

So, a couple of you commented about me putting down girls names. No, I don't think I'll get a girl necessarily. No, girls aren't more common than boys. No, I'm not only fantasizing about girls and playing dress up and all that. I did write the following:

Not boys names at the moment as my preferred boy name already seems fairly multi-purpose.

Which I thought summed it up. But I guess it was kind of hidden! My preferred boy's names are already multi-purpose. I think I could use them for any boy. Well, maybe they're not so typically hispanic, but somehow they wouldn't seem like a bad choice even then. So I'm sticking with the boy's names I already thought of. But my preferred girl's names were/are very girly and anglo, and suddenly neither of them seemed right.

So that's why I was only musing about girls names!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Can we talk names?

OK, right from the outset I want to say that I don't want any comments on how I'm overthinking things, or worrying too much. I'm not overthinking, or worrying. I'm musing. There's a difference. I'm musing because I'm not even going to the adoption orientation seminar for a couple of weeks, and I've got nothing else to muse over. It means nothing. I may or may not act on my musing, but to me, it's a harmless diversion. A bit of fun. Something to think about.

Right, with that out of the way, I'd like to talk names. Over the years that I was TTC, one of my favorite 2WW diversions was thinking of baby names, which helped keep me positive. They changed a bit over the years, and the boy name especially went through various incarnations. But with the girl names I had two early favorites and they stayed favorites. However, I'm now not so sure.

See, here's the thing, I wouldn't name a child until I saw them. I would wait for inspiration as to what I thought was a good name that "fit" that little person. But I want to have 2 or 3 (or 5) front runners for choices that I would go to first to try on for size. Now that I have decided to adopt, in all likelihood I won't be specifying a preferred race. But the thing that I keep musing over is if a child is placed with me of, say, Haitian heritage or Guatemalan heritage (two BIG local groups), whether giving that child a really "Anglo" name would seem as if I want to try to ignore that heritage. I would want to be sensitive to whatever ethnic background a child has, and try to include something from their culture into our lives as they grow up. Same as if I adopted from China, I'd want to, I don't know, take the child to Chinese language lessons, buy some cute silk Chinese PJs, eat lots of yummy Chinese food and have a name that either at least has some sort of Chinese "ring" to it, or reference, or a Chinese middle name (presumably the child's birth name that I might not necessarily want to keep as their first name). That sort of thing. I want to be able to celebrate and incorporate the child's cultural or ethnic background into our family.

Of course, by adopting from the State I won't have much notice of when the child is coming or what ethnic background they are. They may or may not already have a given name (presumably a safe haven child would not but others would). I may or may not want to change that or switch it to be the middle name. And, more importantly, I wouldn't have much time to make the name decision. I am one of those people whose minds tend to go completely blank if I have to come up with a decision quickly. And I don't want to make a decision on the spur of the moment that I might regret later. Of course, it may all be a moot point. It's probable that I'd have absolutely no information on their background anyway. The kid may be a white kid who could be named a very anglo-sounding name without a second thought. I don't even know if I should care anyway, but I am clear in my mind that I want to celebrate a child's heritage not just pretend it doesn't exist.

So it would be nice to have a selection of names ready to go that could be varied slightly to give a nod to a child's ethnic background. Or an all-purpose name that works for anyone. But what names are good all-purpose names? I'm looking for ideas! [Not boys names at the moment as my preferred boy name already seems fairly multi-purpose.]

Here's an example of my thinking.

Charlotte - a bit Anglo. Would it be right to name a Guatemalan-looking kid Charlotte? I don't like Carlotta so much so don't necessarily want to just vary it.
Josephine - nice French ring to it, would be lovely for a Haitian background kid as well as plenty of others. Could be changed slightly to Josefina for a hispanic kid. Josie is a cute nickname.
Juliana - seems more all-purpose - could use for any kid.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bah humbug, and other grumbling

I tested my cholesterol this morning, getting ready to go the docs to get a checkup in advance of potentially having no health insurance.  There goes my theory of my cholesterol being high due to IVF medications. I haven't taken anything for months and it was way high again (251). But I just don't understand how it can bounce around so much - I mean, it'll swing like 100 points - it was 164 a few months ago.

Anyway, I've been a slacker on exercise lately, although I exercised Thursday, Saturday and now today as well so I'm going to pick it back up again. I guess I shall have to go vegan again to try to bring the level down.  Sigh.  And I've been having oatmeal for breakfast consistently as well, so I expected it to be good. Bah frickin' humbug.

I'm being very bah humbug on faceb**k too. Honestly, what is so good about it? Every time I log on (which is rarely) I have several dozen little things people have sent me. OK, so it's mostly the same 2 or 3 people sending stuff - clearly everyone else has better things to do. But. Ugh. 

And finally, what is UP with the weather? Yesterday it was 88 degrees. Today it is going down to 50. What a swing. Although clearly I prefer this to being in California - every time I read about those fires, my heart sinks. I hope all my bloggy friends are safe!

Yours, grouchily...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you all

Thanks for all the kind thoughts on my next adventure. Of course, there'll be a lot of "hurry up and wait" about the whole thing, but that's OK. I feel like I can finally look forward to this actually working one day, than always have to couch things in terms of "IF" I ever become a mother.


In the meantime, I am as ever, concerned about the size of my arse, how much of terrible procrastinator I am, providing a nice home for my tenant, and various other things. I feel like I'm entering into the home stretch with college - only 4 more weeks or so of serious classes, another week of exams and then I'm done with that part. Then it's on to the more strenuous college, but this at least feels like it it winding down. 

I've also started yet another new "diet." I'm calling this one the sandwich diet. After having various things stick in my mind over the years about just how little skinny people eat, like: "oh, I just have half a sandwich and a cup of soup for dinner and that fills me up!" I started thinking if *I* could possibly get by on so little. Clearly the answer is "no," but equally clearly, I need to eat less than I do now. So I am aiming to reduce my consumption, and the first step as a temporary measure is to try to make at least one meal a day a sandwich. I'll put anything on it, yes, even real mayonnaise, and I will make it tasty but it has to fit between two regular slices of bread, and I will try not to have sides like chips. Or dessert. And a fried fat-laden 5-cheese blend sandwich doesn't count. Or I will have a bowl of soup. Or a SMALL bowl or plate of something.  Yesterday I had a sandwich, a small salad and a small cup of noodle soup because the sandwich alone left me hungry. I will try to work my way down.  Today for lunch I had a sandwich and am kinda peckish now. OK, I am hungry.  But essentially, I'm trying to go for high quality, lower quantity. 

We'll see how long it lasts...

Monday, November 10, 2008

That thing

What? What do you mean there's a big elephant in the room? I don't quite understand what you're getting at.

Oh, wait, you mean that elephant? That giant one where I promised to post about my decision on future motherhood, and then went completely silent and changed the subject? Ah. Yes. That one.

We'll, I'll spill.

I've had time to sit with my decision. To roll it around, play with the idea, think about pros and cons. Think about whether it is really what I want, and whether I'm excited about it. And yes, I am excited. So now I'm ready to reveal all.


I have decided to adopt from the state.

I do not necessarily want to do foster-adopt, although that is the program I guess I will have to go through. My biggest issue is to be allowed to have a newborn whose parental rights are either already or about to be terminated. Or a safe haven newborn. I don't want to have to deal with heart-wrenching custody hearings and family members trying to get the child back. I don't even know if I can register the criteria that I want, but I am going to find out. If there's no way to do it, then I will rethink, but given that I don't mind waiting, I would rather wait for an infant where I can know that that child will be mine from day one than remain in painful limbo.

My state has a four-step process to be able to do foster-adopt - you have to attend an orientation first, then do a 10-week parenting course, then have the home study, and then you are approved and finally go on the list. I've figured out the orientation I want to attend, and tried calling this morning to book myself a slot, but getting through the crazy phone system was proving difficult so I think I will wait until I am at home tomorrow before spending a bit more energy on it.

I am concerned about the course, as it's usually arranged on Saturdays or on weeknights, and most of mine will be taken up with acu school. So maybe I'll have to drive a long way to find one I can attend, or maybe I'll just have to only go on Saturdays when school is out. Or something. But I can find a way to do it somehow.

And of course I'm concerned that the time I am spending in school/work/commuting will be a detriment. But I think if I can show that I can cut my hours down even further, work from home, and arrange care easily (for example, I am sure my aunt would be able to do all day on Saturdays for me) then I hope it will not be a big issue that I'm going to school. And if it is, well, I'll just have to wait until I've finished school. But I'll never know unless I start going down the road to find out, so that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get moving on it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The tears

Before I went through infertility, I was not the crying type. I actually cried very little. I mean, sure, some books or movies would have me leaking a few tears. Getting really angry and frustrated would cause a few sobs. But that was it.

Now? Now it's not yet 9am on a Saturday morning and I have already cried twice. Once at a scene in "The Subtle Knife" by Philip Pullman that makes me dissolve into sobs every time I read it. And I've read it probably 5-6 times by now - maybe more. And once at a speech on AIDS by Mary Fisher. Delivered at the 1992 Rep. Convention. Yes, I was researching for a paper I have to write for college. God, it made me cry.

I don't know whether to laugh at myself or cry some more...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Not quite sure where all the money's coming from

I seem to be rolling in cash at the moment. It's a bit disconcerting to say the least, seeing that I cut my hours down so I'm only working 3 days a week. Not that I want you all to hit me up for a donation, don't get me wrong. I am trying to sock money away for tuition for next year, seeing as the stock market decline has wiped out a fair amount of what I was going to use. And then there's the little matter that I'll probably lose health insurance coverage in January too, if I cut my hours at work even further once I am doing more hours at college. So I need to build in a buffer for that. And I am about to start paying on a loan for the solar panels (which I don't have yet).


It has really brought home to me just how much money I was spending on fertility pursuits. First there was the $333 (pre-tax) per 2-week paycheck for my flexible spending account. Which went towards an IVF, of course. Then on top of that there was all the other IVF-related spending. $400 for an u/s and bloodwork here, $500 for some flights there, a little something-something on vitamins, or pregnancy tests, or ovulation tests, another $250 for another blood test. It all added up to a staggering sum of money. Just staggering. My credit card bill alone was routinely four times as much as it has been for the last couple of months. Four times!

And yes, I am trying to be fairly frugal, so maybe that has something to do with it. But it isn't like I've cut out all spending. I'm still buying myself a treat here and there. Still not quite grocery shopping at Aldi. Still not as frugal as I could be.

Still, I'm fairly amazed at the financial drain that fertility treatments were having on my life. Actually, I had to be somewhat frugal while undergoing treatment, so I could pay for everything, so it has probably greatly eased my transition to my current income level. And, not that I'm complaining, please don't get me wrong. I was and am immensely lucky that I had the funds available to continue for paying for fertility treatments for as long as I did. I wanted to keep doing treatments, and I am glad that I was able to get to the end of that road in my own time (which as many of you know, is slooooow), rather than being forced to stop treatment early solely due to the financial aspect of it all.

But. Wow. Holy crap, and all that.

I'm even actually starting to give to charities again, which is a great feeling. It was one of the (many) wrenching aspects of fertility treatment - to get the begging letters and emails from causes I used to support, and to have to make the decision not to send them anything.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bleary eyed

Oh yes, I stayed up far too late last night. But it was so damn exciting. I started the night at a results watching party. Where I sat next to a cute single guy who seemed interested in me. We twinkled eyes at each other, bumped arms every time one of us excitedly pointed at a TV screen with results coming in, and tried out out-liberal each other with our various political statements. Neither of us succeeded with the out-liberalling, so that was good. And we both got up to leave at exactly the same time, so ended up leaving together. But then got awkward and just said quick goodbyes. But maybe there's potential there - he's a coworker of a friend of my coworker so we can definitely find contact information if interested. I might even not play the usual coy thing and shoot him an email. He's probably ridiculously young, though.

Then I wended my way home during a lull in the results calling, but stayed up late late late watching, and then listening, to the speeches. I fell asleep to NPR burbling commentary into my dreams.

And I'm so proud of my county which came in VERY solidly blue. I'm proud of my state too, which turned from red to blue. While my part of the state is usually solid blue, I'm proud of some of the cities to the north which also made a big impact. 15 counties out of 67 were blue last night, but that was enough to carry the whole state. More to the point, given where I live, I'm proud that we got our electoral act together and didn't make fools of ourselves.

But I'm mostly just happy. This is a historic, giant step forward. I am so proud of us all, America.

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's almost over

The election is tomorrow. The campaigning is almost done. Thank the lawd! Even though I have been trying to avoid TV for the last 3 months, I can't help myself and turn it on every now and then, and then I can't stand the damn ads. One local congressional race in particular is highly irritating - the R's are running one single negative ad non-stop. I have not even seen an ad from the D candidate - I don't think she has any money for ads, but her name is mentioned without fail every single ad break with the same message repeated ad nauseum. I think if I hear "job killing taxes" one more time, I shall scream.

Anyway, please, go out and vote tomorrow if you haven't done it already. Even if you think your vote doesn't matter or won't count, please vote. For a lot of us, even having the ability to vote was a hard fought, hard won concession. Women were not allowed the vote until 1920 or thereabout - my own grandmothers were born before women in America were able to vote. It's shocking really, how long it took. And it seriously chafes that I am not entitled to vote because I am not (yet) a citizen. And why am I not a citizen? Because of damn government bureaucracy, that's why. So I need you all to do me a favor, and go and vote on my behalf because I am not able to. Even though I pay my taxes and am otherwise an upstanding law abiding (non-) citizen.

Yes, even if you vote for the R's, I will thank you, because you will have exercised your duty as a citizen. At least, *I* think it's a duty. It's certain something we should do to pay honor to the women and men who fought so hard for universal suffrage.

But I shall thank you even harder if you vote for Obama. I tuned in to his infomercial on Wednesday, and it brought me to tears. I truly believe that voting in Obama is vital for the future of humanity and the planet as a whole. No, I'm not exaggerating. At the risk of coming across as a loon, I confess that I have definite new age tendencies, and there are people out there who believe that there really will be a change in the world in 2012, as predicted by the Mayan calender, and that we are on the brink of a major shift - either to peace and a new evolution of the human race, or to destruction and war. Given that the stakes are so high, I'm willing to give these theories the benefit of the doubt, and to work as hard as I can towards greater peace over the next four years, just in case [- after all, if they're wrong, what have I lost? A few hours of meditation and sending loving thoughts out there, a few hours of community service - those are good things to do anyway]. I believe Obama is the only one who can bring this country back to greatness, back to peace, prosperity and stability, and who will care for the environment and reverse the staggering carbon emissions we have. Please vote for him. If you're undecided, if you're being swayed by the negativity and some of the scary (untrue) things being said about him - please give hope and peace a chance. He can't do any worse than Bush, right? So give him a chance. Vote for Obama.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I realized this morning that I might have suddenly come to a decision on future motherhood. All of a sudden I have this peace about one particular course of action, and it seems like the right thing to do.

Haha, maybe you did me a favor, Anonymous*. Maybe my unconscious was working on all of this while I slept, following your nudging. Which makes me assume that my unconscious brain obviously responds better to bullying and insults than my conscious brain does. Or maybe it's been percolating all along - I knew I would come to a decision at some point soon, and that it was only a matter of time.

I'm not going to say what it is, as I want to sit with the decision on my own, at least over the weekend. I want to roll it around, try it on mentally for size and all those other things.

*I'm still going to delete your comments though, so don't bother posting a self-congratulatory essay or anything.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's my pity party and I'll cry if I want to. Or not.

Anonymous thinks that I like my friends, and don't like House because I only want people to feed into my pity party that has been going on for years.

Actually, I think you'll find very little self pitying on this blog. Sure, there's some. I defy anyone to go through the hell of infertility and not feel sorry for themselves now and again. But pity party? Please. I think I've done pretty damn well at accepting my lot in life. Just because I don't know if I want to do DE doesn't mean that I'm delusional or wallowing in self-pity about anything.

Then she/he wants to know how many years I'm willing to devote to this ambivalence while my life ticks away. Well, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not exactly wasting my life. I'm far too busy right now to want to plan to deal with a baby on my own. Busy because I am out there doing things. You know, living my life. In fact, in my post about ambivalence I stated that it was probably because I was too busy doing other things. As in, "due to," "as a consequence of," and such other meanings.  See, Anonymous, I actually take charge of my own life, and make decisions that suit me. I take full responsibility for those decisions, and yes, some of them take a while for me to make. But each decision is carefully thought out. That's not to say I don't do things spontaneously or don't ever take risks. I have probably taken way more risks and made more momentous changes in my life than you could ever imagine. Lemme see, have you been to Vladivostock, Anonymous? Been in the pyramids? Done business in Mumbai? Hiked a glacier? Moved to a different continent? Gone out of a plane on the emergency slide? Been evacuated out of a country during a terrorist incident? Gone around the world? Changed your career? Hung out in Borneo? Said a prayer at the peace park in Hiroshima? Aced the Mensa test? Sailed a small yacht through a ferocious storm at night-time? Day-tripped to Paris to do some shopping? I have. I think I can safely say that I do not waste my life, letting it tick away waiting for things to happen. While my quest for a child is what this blog is all about, don't imagine that it's the only thing that I'm about.

Anonymous tells me that the real friend, the real supporter, the genuinely caring person tells it like it is. Ah, but this is where Anonymous is sadly mistaken thinking that he/she IS that person, that she/he knows what "it" is. You are not, and you do not. You don't know anything about me because you choose to put your own spin on everything that I say.  As an illustration, Anonymous, you use a funny little example about how I want to be encouraged in my dream to be an astrophysicist even though I've been abysmal in science and math. Implying that I want encouragement in things that are unattainable. Well, I have to admit that that particular example made me chortle. Let's just say that I am pretty safe in assuming that only one of us has actually studied interstellar matter and galactic dynamics.  OK, I'll grant you that my singing voice may be like William Hung, but no, I wouldn't expect anyone to encourage me in wanting to sing opera. I do not sit around and wait for encouragement to do unattainable things. If I want something I go ahead and try. And if I fail, I take it on the chin.

Anonymous thinks I should be grateful that she/he is my real friend and is steering me away from a path that will never yield fruit. Well, Anonymous, where are all the false friends who are trying to push me down the path to do another IVF with my own eggs? I see precisely zero of them. My real friends would support me if I wanted to do that. They would support me if I wanted to do home insems. They know as well as I do that nobody can truly predict when every single last egg that you possess is defunct, unless you're actually in menopause. They know as well as I do that you can never say that someone in my situation will never conceive naturally. They would also support me if I choose donor eggs or adoption. I have several DE mom friends, who tell me how happy they are and how they know I would be happy too if I did that. But they also know that I will make the right decision for me when the time comes.  The difference is that none of my real friends are pushing an agenda on me. None of them believes in motherhood at all costs, but for the right solution for me and my future kid.

Did I not enjoy House this week because I only want to hear the good things, to hear things that will buy in to my own personal delusions? No, I didn't enjoy it because he was saying vile things like "second-hand children" and other such hurtful and inappropriate nonsense. Nonsense similar to that which you spew, Anonymous.

I trust that at some point you will come to know the error of your ways. I hope it will be in this lifetime, but sadly I don't think it will be.

I told you to eff off. Now do it. Your last comment is the last one that will remain on this blog. All future comments like that will be deleted. I've resisted deleting comments up to now because you were mildly amusing for a while but you've become a stuck record.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TV time

Did anyone watch House last night? Cuddy was about to adopt as an SMC and House just spent the entire episode saying vile things to her about adoption, being an SMC, raising kids, working mothers. Everything. Bleh. I know it's only for dramatic effect, and we all know House is supposed to be a pretty vile character, but some of the attacks stung.

And then the adoption failed, and she said she couldn't go through with it again so House called her a quitter, like she quit IVF. Hmmm. Thanks dude. Sometimes it takes courage to try and then to know when to quit.

Well, I suppose I should be happy that at least a TV show is being somewhat realistic about fertility treatments and how difficult it is to become a mother the non-traditional way. At least one show is showing that it doesn't always work and sometimes we're left with nothing, and that sometimes it hurts too much to keep going.

But it all kind of depressed me seeing as I really haven't watched much TV at all lately - this is perhaps the second show I've watched in over a month, apart from the occasional news program, so it was a bit much to take. Oh, and the other show? Yeah, the main character got pregnant in that one. So I'm batting two for two of themes I didn't really want in my hour of escapism.


p.s. to Anonymous - I'm glad I've finally made you happy. Now eff off.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Sigh. We had major computer issues at work yesterday, so I gave up and went home. And I came all the way in today to find that the computer issues are not fixed. But hey, they sent an email to tell us that the email is not working! Except, mine seems to be working sporadically, but not the document saving or accessing part. Hey ho. My boss will no doubt continue to be pissed at me, but I will try to take some stuff home and work on it there.


I have been having all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head about motherhood, and plowing on with the TTC'ing stuff. And I have been reluctant to post because, well, they're not fully formed thoughts. And I don't want people jumping down my throat at something I say (or don't say) when I don't even really know what I mean myself. Does that make any sense at all?

Like, example:

I have been thinking lately that I don't want to be a single mother by choice. That I only want to have a kid if I have a partner in tow, to help with it all. And then I wonder if I was always ambivalent and if my very ambivalence helped to prevent me from conceiving (in addition to the crap eggs, you understand). But then I think that that thought is not true. I don't want to be a single mother by choice right now. My life is too crazy with the whole going back to college and changing career business. Right now, it would be damn hard, although I could probably cope with a child if I had a partner along to help and/or the housing market picked up so I could sell my house and move close to the college and/or I didn't work so many damn hours and/or many other things. But I'm sure that once I have completed college and got my life a little bit settled again, things will change, and I will once again go back to wanting to be a mother either with or without a partner.

So because of all of that, the chances of me doing any home insems is getting smaller by the day. The chances of me doing anything at all get smaller by the day. But then I think I should still get myself on a waiting list or two. I mean, if it takes years to be able to adopt a baby from the state, why not waste those years at a time when I don't think I have the time to spare to look after a baby anyway. However, in order to get on a waiting list, you've got to make your mind up which waiting list you want to get on, and I'm still not really decided on donor embryo or adoption. Or anything really. And even then, how is a home study going to look if I am never at home, don't earn much money and am a full time student? Will they be accepting of promises that in a year or two things will improve for the better? Or is it just pointless to do a home study without a steady job? So I feel like I am frozen in place. Not doing, not deciding, not even wanting to think about it all. And the longer it goes on, the more I get used to the idea of just remaining childless and putting my energies into something else.