Saturday, July 31, 2010

Home From Branson

Just home from Branson and there's so much to tell. First and most importantly, Mary at the clinic called with reports on my donor each day. Things are looking good. The follicles are progressing nicely and it looks like they'll probably take the eggs tomorrow. My transfer could be Thursday or Friday of next week.
Wow! I just burst into tears for a few minutes. Glad to be home, happy about my donor, completely overwhelmed at the fact that it's finally, finally here, wondering how I'll wait for another week for MY part. I'm exhausted from vacation. I got good reports on my donor and was so very delighted! But since the girls were there, I couldn't really talk about it except for a couple sentences here and there to my mom who was as busy and distracted as I was. Although I was constantly thinking about it, I couldn't really think about it. Weird dual thoughts going on in my brain at all times.

Vacation Paige: Oh, look at those cool tshirts.
Mom-to-Be Paige: Why hasn't Mary called?
Vacation Paige: Wonder if they have plus sizes?
Mom-to-Be Paige: Is my phone on? Did I hear it ring?
Vacation Paige: Where's DollFace? Oh, there looking at key chains.
Mom-to-Be Paige: Surely I'll get another good donor report today.

Being on vacation put a whole other spin on things. Yesterday, while we were searching downtown Branson for a certain quilt shop Mom wanted to visit, Mary called with instructions on my medication for the coming week. So we're lurching around in the car, the girls are talking and being silly, I can't find a pen, the only paper I have is an old receipt. It was wild. I'm sitting here looking at this sad little scrap of paper which holds vital information about my future. I've got an email in to Mary to double check things before I start slamming these extra shots into myself.
Branson was great! Ok, I really think it's a giant tourist trap but it was so good to spend this kind of time with my parents and the girls. The first night there we went to the Dixie Stampede. Wonderful! They have stalls around the outside of the building so you can look at the horses before the show. After we looked at all of them, Dollface asked if it was over, were we going home now. The pre-show was a funny Japanese comedian and juggler. Great sophisticated comedy and very clever juggling tricks. He ended by balancing a golf club horizontally on his chin, a golf ball on top of that and another club vertically on that. Amazing!

The show itself was very good. Musical reenactment of the Civil War and wild west through history, cowboys, Native Americans, the gold rush and so on. Cute things in between like little pigs racing and miniature horses racing with little dolls on their backs. The food was ok, we ate with our fingers because it was the wild west. What was amazing to me was to see how the servers served this great amount of food up and down the rows almost with military precision, even to the point of pushing the glasses back so nothing would spill during this flag passing thing we did toward the end.

The first night there Dad, who hates water, says he'll take the girls for a quick dip before the Dixie Stampede. He busted out of the bathroom in his Air Force swim trunks. My dad was in the National Guard 40 years ago, in the 70's. I just had to ask him if those were, indeed, the Air Force swim trunks I remembered from my childhood vacations. He said, yes and there was no need to spend good money on something you only use once a year and there was nothing wrong with them! We all actually had a good laugh about it.

At one point, on the first day there, I noticed a rank odor in the car when we were all together. At first, I thought I would need to have a little talk with Stretch about using deodorant and wondered why her mom didn't have her using it already. I finally figured out that it was her shoes. The longer we were at Branson, the worse this stench got. I mean I could smell it even if Stretch was 6 feet away and it stayed in my nose even if she wasn't around. It was like the Seinfeld episode when the stink took over the car. Poor Stretch took some good natured ribbing but wouldn't let Mom buy her some new shoes, sighting problems with each pair that was suggested. Finally the stanky shoes got relegated to the trunk if we were in the car or the balcony of the hotel.

Thursday we went to Silver Dollar City. The girls had fun. The place is really spread out and it was a lot of hot walking and standing in line and you couldn't walk 50 feet without encountering some sort of junk they were selling. Like I said, the girls had fun. Dad had been promising Stretch for weeks that he would go on roller coasters with her. He went on the smallest one with her and Dollface and then said he wasn't going to wait around for anymore rides but was going to walk around and look at things on his own. It was kind of strange. He spent most of the day away from us, walking around or sitting and watching the people. At lunch time I asked him to take DollFace on some smaller rides so that I could take Stretch on the bigger coasters. He said he didn't want to walk that far but would meet us at the enterance of the park. So it was up to Mom and me to take the girls on rides and everything else. Mom got on one ride that simulates a river raft and she was done. Didn't want to ride any more rides and had a bit of a hard time with all the walking but did keep up. Truthfully, I think she was miserable most of the day.

So, I thought I should try to go on some of the bigger coasters with Stretch even though I hate those things and haven't been on one in years. I was annoyed at Dad for abandoning us and bailing on Stretch. I really wanted her to have fun. Well, we get to the coaster and thank goodness now they have a model of the seats at the start of the lines. Of course, I was too damn fat to fit, but Stretch wanted to go anyway. It was a really huge coaster that goes upside down and drops 110 feet. I was really proud of her for going by herself. I think it scared her. She didn't want to go on anymore after that.

Later on Dad told me that the little roller coaster had made him physically sick. I think he was a little embarrassed. Not sure if that's why he took off like that for most of the day. It was really unusual for him to do something like that.

Friday we had 10:30am tickets to the Shoji Tabuchi Show. Dad had gotten a recommendation for this show and had been talking and talking about going. Kind of unusual to have tickets in the morning like that but when we arrived in Branson, I learned that Mom had only booked the hotel, nothing else, so I had to call around and got us into this one. At first, I thought it was kind of weird and cheesy. These dancers came out and the only way I can describe them is wholesome...knee length costumes, big, big smiles. They started singing Proud Mary and dancing in such a clean cut way then they sang Don't Stand Too Close To Me. It was just a weird contrast with the wholesomeness paired with the sexy music. I wondered what we had gotten into. It got much better though after Shoji came out with his violin. Each section had a theme like Broadway, Jukebox music, Orange Blossom Special, Japanese drums, Hawaiian Music/dancing and some regular violin music. Every time I looked at my parents, they both had big grins and I was very glad that we had come.

What was cool was that this Shoji had heard some bluegrass music when he was young in Japan and came to America with $500 and the dream to play bluegrass. What America is truly about, right? He explained each segment in his cute accent and was funny. The last segment was patriotic music dedicated to American veterans. As we left the theater, Dad said something about that kind of music was hard on him. I looked over and he had tears in his eyes. The only other time I've seen my dad cry was at my brother's wedding.

The rest of that day we went to the old town part of Branson and shopped in some flea markets and a cute, old fashioned 5 and dime. Then, Mom took the girls miniature golfing, thank goodness because they had been asking about that for days. Dad took me on a winery tour.

I have to say the girls were extremely well behaved. I wondered if we would have bickering or if Dollface would be over tired and whiny or throw tantrums or if Stretch would cop an attitude. They were both delightful and we had a lot of fun together. My parents wanted the girls to have good memories of a vacation with their grandparents. They will have great memories of Branson with their Maw Maw and Paw Paw.

Today we drove home and now I sit here in the sweet quiet and wonder about the next few days and weeks. Embryo transfer. On the brain and in the heart always. But also, school starting, who our principal will be, how hot it will be in our unairconditioned school. Will my babies be able to take that? And the stress?

I'm so happy to be home!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Ultrasound

My lining is 10mm, triple stripe! Not sure exactly what that means but it seems to be very good!

Dr. A said he was excited! Before he could say anything else...I said that I was excited too! And then dork that I am, I may have giggled like a little girl and then slapped my hand over my mouth to stop myself.

I didn't realize it but I have been holding my breath for 3 months. On the drive home, I began to breath again and then I felt it. The return of excitement and true hope. The thought that this really could happen. This really will happen. Hold on baby...I'm almost there.

Dollface has gone home and even in my few hours of solitude I miss her. I won't be missing her long though. Mom and Dad are taking the girls to Branson, MO and I'm going too. When E and C came to pick DollFace up she started crying and said she didn't want to go home and that she thought she was going on a trip with Maw Maw and Paw Paw today.

I know we'll have fun. My mom who is a novice computer user booked everything. I just hope that Dad remembers that he's traveling with two children who can't drive for 5 hours straight without stopping or walk all day in the heat of a Missouri summer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Donor Ultrasound

The clinic just called to tell me that my lovely donor has 18-20 good sized follicles at this time.

I'm so relieved to make it to this stage.

The neverending summer is almost over.

Please pray for us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


My niece is asleep on the couch and I will soon follow. I'm struck by how happy and busy it is with them here. Every time I clean something up, two more things fall on the floor or spill. Every time I answer a question, three more are asked. I'm so enjoying talking and playing with my girls. I didn't know I was craving this kind of quality and quantity of time with them. We've had a great couple of days. I find myself smiling even just hearing her in the other room at her quiet play.

Stretch is spending the nights with Maw Maw and Paw Paw. She's been kind, helpful and respectful the entire time. I'm sure she likes staying over there because she has more freedom and can sleep in.

I'll miss them when it's time for them to go home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Splash Down

I took the girls to Raging Rivers which is a local water park. I got the tickets for free because they offer a reading incentive and I coordinated the program at my school this year. The full price would have been $17! This is a small water park and I really couldn't believe that price. Anyway, Stretch is her mother's daughter and immediately ran into a friend. She spent the day with mostly with him which was a mixed blessing. One one hand I know that she had way more fun with someone her own age but on the other they took off and I didn't see her for most of the day. This was an unfamiliar anxiety for me. The water park isn't that big but, sheesh, anything could happen.

Poor Dollface was left with me...her fat old aunt. We did have fun but Dollface is a 5 year old daredevil and wanted to try some water slides. Great, I did the first smallest one with her and screamed all the way down. I looked at the bigger ones and couldn't bring myself to go on them with her. Partially fear, partially self-conscious about my size. Stretch took her the first time and after that she went on them by herself. All by herself. She had a blast and as soon as she splashed down from one, was in line for another turn.

I sent a five year old child on biggish water slides by herself. I choked with guilt as I watched her go up the hill time and time again but just couldn't bring myself to actually go on the water slide.

Fear of motherhood inadequacies abounding. By the time my kid gets old enough to do this kind of stuff I'll probably be too fat and old to even think about putting on a bathing suit much less boogying on down a big slide. My poor kid...what else will they miss out on because I chose to become their mother?

We had fun and returned home tired, sunburned and happy. That is what counts....that really is what counts.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vacation Recovery

I had to wake up at 8 for an acupuncture appointment. I really wanted to stay home and recover from vacation but talked myself out of canceling. When I got to the clinic, Kristen took one feel of my pulse and asked me if I was having digestive problems. Amazing that she can do that. I told her I had been on vacation and had trouble going to the bathroom when I travel. Unhealthy eating and not drinking enough water. About ten minutes after she put the needles into my body, my tummy started gurgling and rumbling. I left as usual, with such a relaxed sense of peace but I also tooted and burped all the way to the car. I'm still really in awe of acupuncture. How can a needle in my leg or arm help my tummy? I'm so glad it does. Still no action as far as actual ummm .... movement goes but hoping for the kettle to whistle soon!

E and C are going to Mexico. C has been there many times but E never has. I think he's a little nervous about traveling outside the US. Stretch and Dollface are coming tonight and spending 5 days with me. I'm thrilled of course but wondering how I'll keep them entertained for all that time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming Home

I decided that I needed a plan for coming home on the plane. I didn't want to be so uncomfortable again. I decided to try to sit next to a child or at least someone who was very small and who looked nice. I ended up sitting with an amazing family. The brave, brave mother was traveling with her five children, their ages were seven years old to seven weeks old. The mother was sitting with the four year old, the two year old and the baby and the seven year old and 5 year old were in front of her. I was able to sit with two older children who were lovely and charming.

Benzi was the talkative five year old and told me all about how they were flying to Chicago to see their grandparents. He told me all about their family, school, baseball. Dina was quieter but I won her over by teaching her a few songs and word games. They were so sweet and extremely well-behaved. At one point, they started tickling each other and the mother said there would be no tickling on the plane and they immediately stopped. There was no whining or temper or boredom. Never did the mother have to be stern or bribe or even correct them. At one point, behind me I heard the mother explaining to the four year old the difference between a layover and a delay. They were Jewish and explained why they couldn't eat certain snacks from the stewardess. They tried to teach me a few Hebrew words but I'm sure they thought I was a little slow on the uptake. I was very taken with this family and could have stuck one or two of the children in my carry on.

After a layover in Denver and an airport supper of ice cream, I finally got home at 2am. So good to sleep in my own bed! I love vacation but one of the best parts is coming home.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Califonia Trip, Day 3

We were getting ready for the day when Erin and Gina knocked on our door from their adjoining room. Big news! Gina had gotten a text from another coworker saying that our principal had accepted a job in a nearby Missouri district. She was leaving us and taking some of our staff with her. Rumor? Gossip? We weren't sure. This news immediately threw us into a tailspin. Personally, I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under me. Mrs. H. has worked very hard the past three years to raise achievement in our school, we've done some very cutting edge things that work and felt like we were on our way from being a ghetto school to a blue ribbon school. She always said she was with us for the long haul. Now she's leaving without any kind of warning?

Of course, a couple of the girls I was with are very young and dramatic so we had a lot of dramatic discussion and conjecture along with mad texting to coworkers at home. Melissa was one of the people who we heard was going with Mrs. H so we weren't sure how or if we should talk to her about it. We did know that she was away from our group often and on her phone talking to her friend, Desiree, who was also thought to be going with Mrs. H. We really knew nothing for sure. The younger girls devised this covert way of bringing it up in the car. I personally wanted to just ask her straight out if it was true and what she knew, but before I could ask, the performance had begun. There was mad texting going on between the four of us in the back of the car. I'm sure Melissa knew that we knew the gig was up. Melissa didn't say a word but encouraged us to go to the source and ended up texting Mrs. H herself. It was clear to me from how nervous and tense she was acting that she was going too or at least knew what was up.

At some point in the morning, we all got a Facebook email from a coworker stating that Mrs. H was inviting us to a staff dinner at Red Lobster on Thursday for an announcement. A facebook email? Not even from Mrs. H herself? Really? Could this have been done in a more UNprofessional manner? I don't think so.

We decided to adopt the same plan. One session and then do something fun. The presentation on technology was entertaining but really didn't deliver any new information for us. We went to Pink's Hot Dog Stand for lunch where famous people are supposed to go often. Good hot dogs but no famous people.

While at lunch we all got a text from Mrs. H. A text. Saying that she'd accepted an offer in another district but that we'd always be family and that we'd all keep in touch because she'd still be our mentor. What? Could this get any more bizarre? We all felt totally betrayed. I'm sure Mrs. H has been working on this for a while and I think it's wrong to act like we're all so close and that she will be there for us while she's working on getting away and taking staff with her. I was not asked to go....what's her real opinion of me? I'll never know.

After the text announcement, I'm glad to say we were all able to forget about the school drama and just enjoy being tourists. We stopped at a bakery and got cupcakes which we planned to eat at the Hollywood sign to celebrate Gina's birthday. It was quite a trek getting to a good place to view the sign. Narrow streets with short curves and switchbacks. Cute houses tucked into the hill, so close I felt like I could reach out and touch them. We were too taken by the sign to eat the cupcakes, just enjoyed the view and had fun posing for pics. If I had worn different shoes I would have been up for hiking all the way up.

Then we went to Hollywood Boulevard and Vine to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At first we were in an older part, great old stars but kind of a skanky area. We knew we weren't going to find a park or picnic tables at this point so we just sang to Gina and ate our cupcakes right there on the street. Very laughable!

We found the newer touristy part of Hollywood Boulevard and had so much fun gawking at Trousseau's Wax Museum, the Kodak Theater, and all the stars on the sidewalk. I was especially thrilled when we found Grauman's' Chinese Theater. How to explain? There seemed to be a special vibe there. Those stars had actually been there! It was like they were there with us! It was all very nostalgic and I felt a special link to the Hollywood royalty.

We then drove through West Hollywood. Colorful and beautiful. Creative, artsy shops and restaurants. Rainbow flags everywhere. I would have liked to stop and walk around but we just didn't have time to do everything. And we were on our way to ....

Rodeo Drive, Baby! Beverly Hills! Wow! I'm not usually one to be impressed by possessions or money or status. But that place really is like a different world. Everything is so beautiful, clean and sort of... shiny? Even the people walking around were beautiful. I wanted to stop them and ask what acting job they were on their way to. I've never seen so many BMWs and Mercedes in one place. We all screamed as we turned onto Rodeo Drive!

As we turned, I spotted a gorgeous couple walking with their family. Not sure if they were Arab or Indian but they were wrapped in beautiful garments that made me think they possibly were. The woman was carrying a real Fendi bag! That is something I never thought I would see in real life! It was quite a thrill for this farm girl. Keep in mind I'm not into designer stuff at all and I only know about Fendi from Sex in the City but it was like I couldn't believe my eyes. A real life woman carrying a fabulous bag that to have cost a few thousand dollars. Right after that we spotted a sleek, black Lotus just cruising along. A Lotus. On Rodeo Drive. And then we passed the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I'm telling you I felt like I had entered the movie Pretty Woman.

We went back to our hotel (NOT the Beverly Wilshire but still very nice) and went to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner. I had a great steak with crab stuffed shrimp and a fancy drink called a Chocolate Macaroon. Very good!

I'm so tickled we were able to do and see so much despite the school drama going on. My eyes were practically popping out of my head most of the day. I kept thinking that seeing these things was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We certainly made the most of it and experienced everything we could.

Monday, July 19, 2010

California Trip, Day 2

We decided to have a light breakfast attend one session and then go to the beach! It's a very good thing we were seeing Anita Archer who is a very engaging speaker, or we wouldn't have been able to keep our minds on the session.

On the way to Huntington Beach, we all felt so happy and carefree! I'm not usually the type of person to skip out on conference sessions so it felt kind of rebellious in a good way. I'm a vacation dork so I get a thrill from simple things like driving on the Pacific Coast Highway and seeing palm trees lining the streets. Just a group of six girls, tossing duty to the wind and heading out for a day at the beach.

We ate at Dwight's Beach Concession, home of World Famous Cheese Strips. We struggled to figure out exactly what they were. It was kind of like nachos, tortilla chips with shredded cheese on top with a sweet tomato sauce. Unusual but good. While we were eating and marveling at the ocean, some sea gulls approached. Poor Ramonda is terrified of birds! This is a very calm, quiet, sweet girl so it was out of character for her to freak out. She threw down her food and started yelling, "I'm leaving! I'm done! Can I have the car keys?" It became funny because we all started scarfing down our food so we could calm her down and get away from the birds with her.

We really had fun playing at the beach. Taking some photos as though we were running down the beach like Baywatch girls. Playing in the waves. Watching what seemed like hundreds of red suited tweens who were in some sort of lifeguard camp. As we were leaving, the lifeguard dashed into the water to save someone. Turned out it was a drill but still cool to see.

Amanda had really wanted to go to Disneyland and we had said that if it didn't cost too much we would go even if only for a few hours. For one day it was $72.00 so we thought that was too expensive but after the beach, Amanda, Ramonda and I found our way into Downtown Disney. This is a touristy area with shops and restaurants, just outside the actual park. We did some shopping at World of Disney. This place was huge, smaller than a Wal-mart but not by much and very crowded. Everything you could possibly imagine was there in Disney form. I did buy a few souvenirs there but I probably would have bought more if there hadn't been so, so many people.

We ate at a restaurant in Downtown Disney called Katal. A nice place with a fancier menu. I think some of the girls had a hard time finding things they thought they could eat on the menu because it was kind of gourmet. Most of them had steaks. I had a wonderful arugula salad with manchego cheese and an entree of sausage made from lamb. I had never eaten lamb before. Delicious. Very cool to actually eat some of the things I've seen on food network.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

California Trip, Day 1

When I met up with my coworkers at the airport, Melissa S. told us that the principal and the reading coach would not be going and that she, Melissa, had the district credit card for meals and incidentals. These two would have been the "parents" on the trip. She also said that when she talked to the principal she told us all to have a good time, spend some time on the beach and try to learn a little. We all reacted a bit like little kids being told they have free reign to do what they want. I started looking even more forward to what was ahead.

The flight out there was pretty tight. I was extremely uncomfortable and had to ask for a seat belt extender. Luckily, I was able to sit next to a grandmotherly type who was very kind about it. I actually had bruises on my hips from the arm rests. Also, because of how we loaded I sat by myself so didn't have to ask for the extender in front of my friends.

As I sat there on the plane with my eyes closed, I could hear two of my coworkers, Ramonda and Amanda, in the seats in front of me. They were so relaxed, laughing and talking. And not the stressed out laughter of..."oh my report cards, assessments and records are due tomorrow but I haven't started on them yet..hehehe." but relaxed natural laughter.

After checking into the hotel, we just walked around the convention area and scoped things out. Our hotel, was within walking distance of DISNEYLAND! We didn't know prices or if we'd be able to spend anytime there though. We ended up eating at a Cheesecake Factory. I was kind of disappointed because we have those at home but it was late and everything else had a long wait. The food and the company was good. And there was cheesecake! Which I ended up eating for breakfast. What's vacation without a little cheesecake in the morning?

California Here I Come

Zoe is home! This morning she was waiting to be let in. She came in, at a big breakfast and then slipped out again! I guess she's become a little adventurer, only stopping in at home for provisions.

I'm leaving this afternoon for a big reading conference in California. There are 7 of us going from school. I'm excited to see that part of the country and to learn a lot and spend some fun time with my co-workers.

I'm nervous for the flight there though. Flying isn't too pleasant for me as a very large person. I flew last summer and had no troubles but this time I'm flying on an airline that is known for asking fat customers on the spot to buy another seat. I don't want to be humiliated in front of my co-workers. I'm also worried about traveling with injectable medication. I know people travel with this stuff all the time but I keep envisioning some big search scene or that I'll have to explain in front of my co-workers what it's for.

Be back Wednesday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Misc.

DollFace was riding the tractor with her Daddy in the field next to my house and decided she wanted to walk over to see me. She was crying because she saw her sister ride the 4-wheeler to a neighbor's to swim but we soon got involved in practicing writing and playing in the basement while I attempted to continue organizing and cleaning. C came to pick her up. Neither of us said much about the cupcake incident but C did say something to the effect that I had to understand her position. Whatever! is what I thought. What I said was that we should just put it behind us. I was also able to talk to Stretch and I think I convinced her to stay with me at least part of the time her parents are out of town. Feels like we've moved past it. Whew. When they're staying with me the menu will be: All Cupcakes, All The Time! LOL

My sweet kitty, Zoe, is missing. She slips outside many evenings but usually is ready to come back inside by bedtime. Two nights ago she slipped out and hasn't come back. They have been working in the fields around my house mowing, raking and baling hay. I'm worried she got run over by some of the big equipment. Or she ran away. My poor Zoe.

Update on my list of To Dos for this summer:

  • enter CPUs in the board of ed website
  • clean up porch
  • paint and recover chair and stool
  • paint and hang picture ledge
  • frame pictures
  • wash windows
  • organize pantry
  • organize and clean basement (begun)
  • clean out little dresser in bedroom
  • sweep and clean garage
  • wipe cabinets and deep scrub kitchen
  • paint hallway
  • figure out how to get music from ipod to new 'puter
  • sell old books and CDs on Amazon (I've sold one!)
  • dispose of old computer and set up "new" desk area

16 or so days until possible embryo transfer. The summer is somehow passing. I must say I'm enjoying the leisurely pace of the days. Nice slow start to the days. No schedule to keep, doing what I want to do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

115 degrees in 1954

On this date in 1954, the temperature soared to 115 degrees in the Midwest and stayed there for 3 days. To this day, this is a record temperature. I know this because every year around this date my father tells about how lush and green everything was. Until the hot northwest wind started blowing. In three days everything turned brown and dried up. My father and his cousin were 10 years old that year. My dad's nickname was Cottontop for his white blond hair and his cousin's name was Butch for his buzzcut. My dad tells about how the crops that year were baked to almost nothing. Dad and his cousin harvested the entire crop of corn in their coaster wagons. They made trip after trip and fed the dried up ears to the livestock. There was nothing of quality or quantity to sell that year. I can almost see them in my mind's eye. Dust rolling off the wagon's wheels, two sweaty little boys doing what they could to help the farm.

I know the rest of the year must have been a struggle with no corn crop to support the rest of the seasons. I can only imagine the impression this must have made on a 10 year old child. I'm sure my grandpa wore out a lot of pencils stretching what resources there were that year to provide for the family and the farm. I'm sure my grandma's mama wondered why she married a farmer. I'm proud to know that I come from such a strong family and I can't wait to pass along this kind of tenacity to my children.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Listen Up, Universe

Maybe it's because I had acupuncture today. :)

Or it could because I weighed in and lost another 2 pounds. (Go, ME!)

Maybe it's because I had a couple drinks at a pool party (How awesome is being a teacher with teacher friends who can have pool parties in the middle of the week?)

Probably, it's the crazy drugs I'm taking.

All my troubles seem very far away today...
I'm feeling so....high on life.

Positive that my little ones will show up.

I keep envisioning our family and the kick ass mom I will be.


Do you hear that universe?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Update on TTD

Update on my list of To Dos for this summer:

  • enter CPUs in the board of ed website
  • clean up porch
  • paint and recover chair and stool
  • paint and hang picture ledge
  • frame pictures
  • wash windows (begun)
  • organize pantry
  • organize and clean basement
  • clean out little dresser in bedroom
  • sweep and clean garage
  • wipe cabinets and deep scrub kitchen
  • paint hallway
  • figure out how to get music from ipod to new 'puter
  • sell old books and CDs on Amazon
  • dispose of old computer and set up "new" desk area

Special places I wanted to take my special girls:(Might not be able to complete this one because of the Cupcake Incident)

  • Zoo
  • Butterfly House
  • Kramer's Marionettes
  • Magic House
  • Splash City
  • Drive In Movies
Before and after pics of my redone chair and stool:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovely Day Until...

I took the girls and my mom to the Butterfly House. It really was great. The girls and I had been there two years ago and I went a few months ago with the kindergartners at our school but it was Mom's first time there. She was especially delighted and cute. Every time she took a picture of a butterfly she told it "Thank you". They also have a section of exotic bugs and DollFace was really fascinated by them. We rode on the carousel they have in the same park. It was a good time.

Then we went to Jilly's Cupcakes for lunch. Stretch is a very picky eater who has been indulged by her parents. Stretch said she wasn't eating anything because there was nothing on the menu she liked, but she would have a vanilla cupcake. And then....I made a big mistake. Without even thinking about it I said if she wasn't eating lunch, there was no way she was going to eat just a cupcake. This place has amazing huge cupcakes that are stuffed and topped with two kinds of icing. Anyway, this threw Stretch into an attitude and stupid me thought that since I'd said that I had to carry through. Stretch went to the bathroom and called her mom on the sly. C asked to speak to my mom and proceed to yell at her about me "starving" her child who had not had anything to eat all day. Ummm sorry, hon, it's NOT my fault you did not feed your kid breakfast. They have the poorest nutrition in that house. If you ask C about it she'll tell you her kids just aren't big breakfast eaters. Hello? Who is in charge of breakfast? Are the kids mature enough to decide if they are breakfast eaters or not?

Mom said I should let her have the cupcake and so after pushing the issue and saying things I probably shouldn't have, I did. I asked Stretch what her mom would have done if they had gone into a place where there was nothing Stretch liked. She said they would leave and go somewhere else. I just don't agree with that. When is the girl ever going to learn to eat something besides chicken nuggets.

Mom said that C was very mad and I could probably forget taking Stretch anywhere else this summer. I really felt badly that Mom got put into the middle like that. Damn C...I've about had it with her! She just makes it too hard on everyone for me to take them places. I'm sure she thinks I'm the one causing all the problems. I agree that I should not have forced the issue like that and it's certainly not my job to fix the nutritional problem they have created with their child. I'm supposed to be the fun aunt. But I always mess it up.

I'm supposed to watch the children when C and E go to Mexico later this month. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I imagine she will have her parents watch them now or at least Stretch will stay there or with a friend. I feel as though I'm really losing Stretch. I'm really disliking my sister in law right now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Attack Of The Crayons

Well, I turned the corner at Target and there they were. I nearly had an anxiety attack on the spot. School supplies. I've barely had one week off! Can't I get a break? I was not prepared for a sneak attack of waxy smelling crayons, crisp new notebooks and the cutest Scooby Doo lunch box in the shape of the Mystery Machine. I didn't buy anything, though. I'm really not ready to face a new year. Especially teaching a grade I'm not excited about.

My friend L from work had a little get together for lunch at 54th Street Grill for her birthday. Nice for everyone to get together during summer break.

L just found out she'll be teaching first grade next year. She's been teaching kindergarten for 10 years and loves it. She's not excited either. Personally, I think she's a little burned out in kindergarten but doesn't want to admit it. Guess we'll be in the bitter boat together next year. Where's a shot of "make the best of it"? Hit me! With a double!

Speaking of shots....I began injectables today. Ho hum. A non-event that I almost didn't mention. I'm a little closer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Busted Butt, Busted Tire

S is one week out of surgery and doing well. Sh, R and I were able to visit her today at her parent's house where she's been staying. She had to go back to the hospital Monday for low potassium and hemoglobin but other than those mild complications, she's doing well. She's in good spirits and seems really happy. Excited about the future.

And I'm glad to say I'm happy for her. I think I've moved through my negative emotions for the most part and realized...yes, she'll be skinny and able to wear cute clothes and I'll probably be a little jealous of that. Most importantly her health will improve. She's already halved her blood sugar levels and hopes to be off insulin soon. That is what is most important here.

She's already lost 40 pounds including the pre-surgery protein shake diet weight loss. It took me most of last year to lose that much. But I'm happy for her....really!

I've been busting my butt for the last week and only lost 1.8 pounds. Literally busting my butt on that bike seat! It's a loss and that's great but I have been working really hard both on exercise and nutrition. I expected a bigger loss.

I've been busting my butt and tonight my butt busted my bike tire. My first flat as an adult. Thankfully only 3 miles out and I was able to walk it home. Pushing a bike is good exercise too! My dad dug right into fixing it. It was so pleasant to be there outside the warehouse chatting while he tried to fix the tire. Beautiful cool breeze, nice break in the humid weather. But the tire had given it's all. Dad took me right into town to get a new one and treated me to supper at the Bread Company. For some reason, I feel like I should treasure the memory of this night.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How I Told My Parents

This post is going out by request to Inbetween:

I had intended to keep my plans to start a family top secret. I knew my family would be happy and supportive about a grandchild on the way but I didn't know how they would react about the process. I didn't want their opinions to sway my thoughts about going forward. I used a known donor for a while and it's pretty high on the ick factor to bring up that Mr. X is over here banging me multiple times during a certain time of the month. Also, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would take so long to bring my dream to life. When I began to see what a struggle it would be, I wanted to spare them some of the heartbreak I was going through each month. It's hard to keep a big secret that effects every facet of your life for so long.

Eventually I got to the IUI with donor sperm stage. At one point, I had a very long wait at the doctor's office and I was supposed to pick up my niece. I had left my phone in the car so asked the nurse if I could use the office phone to call my mom and ask her to pick up my niece. My mother didn't even say hello. Just, "Why are you calling from the doctor's?" Curses! Caller ID. So I'd sort of given up my secret by mistake. I didn't tell her on the phone, but later that night when I got to Mom's she said, "Tell me you're not dying or something." My pessimistic mother. I was glad to have an opening to tell her. She was extremely surprised but responded with joy and support. It was good to have someone who was on my side to know something about the struggle. After that, she asked every chance she got for an update on how the process was going. Almost to my annoyance, but I was hungry to share it and have support.

Dad? Neither my mother or I told my dad. A few months after I told my mom, I went to an RE and he told me that my eggs were nearly non-existent, dried up and useless to me. I was so devastated and heartbroken. I knew after 24 hours of crying that I wouldn't be able to keep it from them. We are a pretty close family and see each other often. So I went over there and just blurted everything out. My mother reacted with disbelieve, sadness and a little anger. My father said he was sorry to hear that and asked why it took the first doctor so long to get me to a specialist. So I had to tell them about trying for a year with a known donor and then an anonymous donor. After that he said very little, but I know he was concerned that I was so broken hearted. Since then he NEVER brings it up but responds with support if I do.

In the words of Shrek, "Better out, than in". It has been much better going through this with the people I love knowing, and able to show support and concern for me. Since I'm going it alone, I needed someone on my side. It's much easier not having to constantly watch what I say when many times there is one thing and one thing only on my mind.

I still have vivid daydreams about telling my parents that their next grandchild is on the way.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Magic House

Lovely day with the girls at the Magic House. Stretch did say that her mother forced her to go, she didn't want to get up that early and her attitude did start out like this:

The Magic House is a children's museum. This section was devoted to the environment and they had a little mock re-sell-it shop so the children could learn about reuse. There was also a section with a real Smart car, a mock town with grocery store etc. There was a pond where the children could fish with magnetic fishing poles and then they could release the "fish" in a different pond and watch it swim in a creek that they could see under the floor through glass. Also, a construction section, bubbles, water. Very cool

Eventually Stretch warmed up and we all had a good time.
The three story slide and the electric ball are traditions at the Magic House

DollFace seemed to like the rougher areas like construction and climbing. Stretch liked the more creative areas like mask making and science experiments. I have to hand it to Stretch a little. This is really a place for younger kids and once she warmed up she showed DollFace things and helped me keep track of her.

At one point, I was in a play kitchen with DollFace making "soup". I looked away for a second and when I turned back she had the spoon right there by my mouth. When I opened my mouth to speak she shoved the spoon right in. Uhhhgggg!! I can't help but think about the thousands of children who have had that thing in their hands and mouths. Ugghhggg. I wouldn't be surprised if I came down with whopping cough, tuberculosis or the plague by next week. Mouth sanitizer? Thank goodness, I have the immunity of a school teacher.

DollFace surprised me by ordering a mint oreo shake at Steak n Shake and eating the whole thing. I wouldn't think mint would be something a little kid would like. Stretch surprised me by ordering a banana milkshake and then barely touching it. I ordered a patty melt and was horrified when I got home and looked up the calorie info: 1013.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Conversation With Dad

Dad and I were talking about medicine. He was saying it's such a blessing if you're healthy and don't have to take any medication. I made a remark about all the junk I'll be dumping into my body really soon to prepare for the embryo transfer. Dad said, "Now, listen, I don't want you to get down in the mouth if that doesn't happen." Later in the conversation when I mentioned that the doctor said I had a 75% chance of being successful. He said he thought that number was very optimistic and the chances probably weren't that good.

Ummm "down in the mouth"?? I'll be devestated maybe destroyed, if this is not successful. It is extremely unlike my father to be less than 110% optimistic about any situation. He's usually the Pollyanna Papa.

I understand my dad is very old school and it must be high on the ick factor to think about or discuss the method by which one's daughter may become pregnant. He never asks questions or expresses curiosity. He hasn't said much at all about my situation either in encouragement or concern or anything at all. Does he think it's a mistake? Or that I can't handle it? Not that what he or anyone thinks will affect my going forward, I'm way past that point now.

I spoke to E about it and he told me that this was probably as much of a pep talk as I'll get from Dad. He mentioned how stoic our father is and sometimes hard to figure out.

I know he supports me in anything I do, he always has. I'm guessing this awkward conversation was the best he could do in expressing concern for me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

TTD while TTC

I'm making a list in hopes of motivating myself to stay busy and keeping myself accountable. It is so easy for me to fall into the habit of just laying around watching TV or reading all day. Part of the reason I got so fat.

  • enter CPUs in the board of ed website
  • clean up porch
  • paint and recover chair and stool
  • paint and hang picture ledge
  • frame pictures
  • wash windows
  • organize pantry
  • organize and clean basement
  • clean out little dresser in bedroom
  • sweep and clean garage
  • wipe cabinets and deep scrub kitchen
  • paint hallway
  • figure out how to get music from ipod to new 'puter
  • sell old books and CDs on Amazon
  • dispose of old computer and set up "new" desk area

Wow, I realize this list looks like I live in a pig sty. Oh well, I am pretty messy and things pile up during the school year, time to shovel out and get "in the corners" clean.

I would also like to take my special girls someplace each week.

  • Zoo
  • Butterfly House
  • Kramer's Marionettes
  • Magic House
  • Splash City
  • Drive In Movies

I have a goal of exercising at least 5 days a week. Bike ride or walk or water aerobics. I would really like to lose at least 10 more pounds before my embryo transfer in one month.

One month from today I will be turning 39. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I'd still be childless at 39. Even when I started TTC over 2 years ago, I never thought I would be arriving at this birthday without my child in my arms. Please, please, please let me receive the greatest gift of my life in one month. Please.

Friday, July 2, 2010

No Longer An Acupuncture Virgin

I love acupuncture! I haven't felt a sense of well-being like this in a very long time. The acupuncturist, Kristen, talked to me for a long time about my cycle, drugs I would be on, what I was eating, my weight loss efforts, my stress levels and explained a little about Chinese medicine. Then, she looked at my tongue and felt my pulses at my wrists. She found a deficiency in the spleen system. This backs up what I've been reading online.

Needles went into my feet, legs, arms, stomach, ear and top of my head. The one on my head hurt a little going in. I don't know how to explain what I felt when the others went in. It was as if I had guitar strings going through my body and when she put a needle in it was like she strummed one of the strings. Then she told me to breathe "from the bottom of my feet" and envision blood going to my uterus and nourishing it.

What a trippy experience! I had the strangest thoughts while I was breathing from my feet. It was like a fertility version of a Disney fantasy sequence. I tried to concentrate on my ute but I couldn't quite control my own thoughts. I kept envisioning hearts going into and out of it. I'm telling you, trippy! At some point I found myself weepy. Kristen said that was very good. It meant the energy was moving in my body. I left feeling so relaxed and energized. I could get hooked on this. I can see myself shaking Kristen down for my next hit of the needles.

Afterwards, I went to Historic St. Charles with my friend, B. We ate lunch at a microbrewery and had fun going into all the little shops and boutiques. It was a bright but not to hot or humid day. Perfect for a day of walking, talking and shopping.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eventually....The Zoo

I was so looking forward to spending today with DollFace at the zoo. Unfortunately, this morning when I tried to call her dumbass flaky selfish mother, it went straight to voice mail. When I finally got hold of E he said that C had spent the night at her sisters. In the past, this has been code for "too drunk to drive herself home". And DollFace was with her. E would try to get in touch with her via the sister. GRRR!! I was very hurt and pissed off. Once again Aunt Paige is treated as though her plans are unimportant and she has no life so she can just wait around for stupid C to get her act together.

I have to interrupt myself here and say that I was so hurt. I really felt like binging. But I sat with the feelings. I ate a normal breakfast. I curled up in a ball for a while and pouted. But I did not binge. Eventually, I was able to force myself into action rather than eating. Although emotionally, this is a pretty minor incident, I am proud of that. One small step for fatkind.

Well, after about two hours, C gets around to calling me and leaves a message (I was still too busy being angry and pouting to talk to her). The message does not sound in the least bit regretful. It was actually quite snippy and full of excuses. And ended with saying that if I still wanted to take DollFace to the zoo it was open till 9pm and I should call her but otherwise she was going to daycare.

GRRR! I argued and argued with myself. Parking would be a nightmare by now, it was the hottest part of the day. Why should I let on that I'm sitting around waiting for C to throw me a freaking bone.

But why should DollFace miss out on something I've been promising her because of her mother's idiocy? Why should I miss out on time with DollFace? I kept coming back to that. Many afternoons when I picked DollFace up from school she would ask if we could go to the zoo. I didn't want to let her down so I called. C was still full of excuses but was actually very apologetic on the phone. Ok but it's still not excusable and not enough. This happens time and time again and I'm not sure how to change that.

Driving there was horrific with lots of construction delays, parking was indeed a nightmare. Thank God, it was a little cooler today and walking around wasn't so bad. Many animals were out and moving around and I think DollFace had a good time. We especially liked seeing the tigers twitching their ears and the hippos were very active swimming in their see through tank and interesting to watch. There was an absolutely beautiful peacock walking around loose. It was feeding time at the monkey house which was an unusual thing to see. I was surprised that DollFace really loved the reptile house. Ugh. We must have seen every snake, lizard and frog three times. I didn't know she liked that sort of thing.

It reminded me of the time I took Stretch to the zoo when she was about this age. She liked the reptile house too. While there she found a snake she really liked and stood by the cage, joyously announcing to everyone who passed, "SEE THAT 'NAKE IN THERE?!" I couldn't get her away from that special snake for about 15 minutes. Guess love of snakes runs in the family...NOT in my genes though.

Outside the reptile house is a brass turtle with it's mouth open so you can throw coins in as donations. When we got to it, I told DollFace not to put her fingers inside the mouth or it might bite. Of course she had to do it, and while she did, I pinched her from behind and made her flinch. I've done this with many students and Stretch and it's always funny to me and to them. But not for DollFace. She started crying! I guess she's a little too young for that trick. I eventually calmed her down and as you can see she made friends with the turtle.

Unfortunately, the zoo closes at 5pm, NOT 9, as someone had suggested. I was planning to stay there at least until after rush hour so driving home sucked crapass. But we saw a lot of animals and had a good time together. We have a list to see the next time when we take Stretch (who is visiting cousins in Memphis). Penguins, bunnies, stingrays and seals will have to wait for our next visit.

Of course I had to visit these guys while I was at the zoo.

The storks!

I threw a few fertile thoughts skyward as we looked at them.

I start acupuncture tomorrow.