Friday, December 28, 2007

The Year of Suspicion

Our niece is 9 this year, and we think this may just be her very last year as a Santa believer. In fact, this is The Year of Suspicion. I think we all had that year, that it is a right of passage for children. You started to hear talk at school or from older siblings, maybe you identified the similarities between Santa's handwriting and your Mom's, or noticed the use of the same wrapping paper on gifts from Santa & from Mom & Dad.

I myself had The Year of Suspicion when my Sunday school leader sent home a letter to parents, requesting they bring "Gifts from Santa" the following Sunday so that the teachers would have time to wrap them before our church party. I was 6, just beginning to read well, and therefore reading everything I could get my hands on (sealed envelope addressed to my parents, be damned!).

This year, the niece greeted us on Christmas Eve with an autograph request. Turns out that she had written a note to Santa to leave with his cookies & milk, that also asked for his autograph. Apparently, the little stinker wanted to compare handwriting samples. I was impressed with her thought process, but Grumpy immediately started plotting a way to get 1 more Year of Belief from her.

...Let me preface this part of the story by telling you all that the Grumpy One, he loves his sleep. He'll nap at any opportunity he gets, he's the king of the snooze button, and he's nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning. In fact, he's napping now, at 7pm on a Friday night, as I sit in the living room and blog. Welcome to our non-existant social life...

My sleep loving husband crafted himself a plan. He decided to borrow his Dad's Santa suit (Dad plays Santa at a charity event every year), and come back to the house in the middle of the night to deliver presents. He'd also sign the note while he was there, in a handwriting style that was completely foreign to his own.

You'd think he could have pulled this off without the suit, or that one of the 3 adults sleeping in that house that night could have managed to take care of the note from Santa in the wee hours of the morning. But, it was his idea, so he wanted to be the one to do it. And the suit? That was just in case he got caught.

The alarm went off at 4am, and the Grumpy One suited up, drove the 15 minutes to his parents house (hoping all the way to get pulled over and have a lovely little early morning chat with the lucky officer, but no dice), left the presents under the tree and the autograph on the note, nibbled on some cookies and drank a little milk, and drove the 15 minutes back home to de-suit and fall back into bed.

God, this man really needs to be a father. Can you help us make that happen?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Maybe we should change her name to Ruby Sue

We got home from a VERY long Christmas Day (hell, a VERY LONG holiday weekend, if I'm going to be honest about it) at around 10:30 Tuesday night. As usual, we were greeted by the 2 furkids, drowsy from sleeping all day, yet very happy to see us.

We loved on them both for a bit, and then Grumpy took Kaylah out to do her business. When he brought her inside, he noticed that her left eye was "weird". I don't know how to explain it... it was kind of bug-eyed and slightly bulging, while at the same time a bit "lazy" (it was out-of-line with the other eye). She was definitely favoring it (tilting her head down to the left), and was no longer her crazy, perky, golden retriever self.

We called our veterinary gurus, and Grumpy did his best to describe what had happened, or rather, what her symptoms were (since we didn't then, and still don't, have any idea what happened). After talking to the receptionist, and a vet tech, and a veterinarian, we decided to make the 90 mile (one-way) drive to have her seen.

Thank goodness we didn't have any weather going on, as the trip only took us about an hour & 20 minutes. We pulled into the clinic between 1 & 1:30 am. As I was getting Kaylah out of the back seat, I took a look at her eye, only to discover that it looked PERFECTLY NORMAL.

But, we had made the drive, so we took her in to be seen. A vet student looked at her, and said she looked ok, but would have the vet come see us. The vet came out, took a look, and said that all seemed well. The vet also said that she'd be happy to do a thorough exam, including some vision tests, but it would be a few hours, as they had some other emergencies coming in.

We thought about it, and talked about it, and decided to take her home and keep an eye on her. She's been fine ever since, and we still have no idea what the hell happened. We're a little worse for the wear, and the truck has a few more miles on it, but our Baby Girl is fine.

But, that's the second time this holiday season that I've felt like I'm living in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The first was when Grumpy's company announced that there would be no Christmas bonuses this year. Now I feel like we should change our puppy's name from Kaylah to Ruby Sue.... "Falls in a well, her eyes go crossed. Gets kicked by a mule, they go straight again...."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas All!

Is it Wednesday yet?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

too blah to title

I wish I had more to say these days, but I don't. Makes for an awfully sad little blog, and for that, I am truly sorry.

It's cd23, and my chart still doesn't show anything that looks like ovulation. Fun fun.

Christmas craziness has me doing all the normal last minute stuff: buying those last few gifts, wrapping what's been bought (which means I must vacuum, because I don't think most people would enjoy unwrapping golden retriever hair with their gift), making sure the Grumps & I both have appropriate clothing for the 2 day madness. Is it Wednesday yet?

Without going into any details, I'm going to ask you all for some prayers. Grumpy's mom is back in the hospital with some complications. She'll be ok, and should in fact be released today or tomorrow, but the added stress within the family might just be enough to crack someone this year. Fortunately, Grumps seems to have the most level head about it throughout his entire family, so I don't fear him being the one to crack. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for everyone else. So, if you have a moment, could you just say a little prayer for Mom's health, and everyone else's sanity?

In case this is my last post before Christmas, Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it. Happy Holidays to all who celebrate something else. And enjoy the paid work holiday to all those who don't celebrate anything!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

warning, lots of cycle babbling ahead

It's CD19 today, which means that I should be ovulating soon. Unfortunately, the evil bbt charting site can't decide if I already ovulated or not.

Up until just now, it showed me ovulating on cd9, making me 10dpo, and putting my official test date on Christmas morning. That's all fun and magical in a fairy tale sort of way, but we all know that's not the way things work for me, right. Here's why I (currently) think the site is fully of shit:

  1. Ovulation on cd9? Come on, now! I am a LATE o'er, not an early one. And frankly, the idea of yet another cycle oddity really kind of pisses me off.
  2. I believe that ovulation day was based solely on a crazy temp spike on cd10. If you look at my chart, you can see that it's not uncommon for me to have a crazy temp spike somewhere in the pre-o phase of my cycle.
  3. We were up north in the camper for the weekend of cd8-10. Temps get colder out there, so that could have caused some kind of change in my chart. More importantly, I left my thermometer there. That's why the cd11 temp is missing. Because of this, I had to go buy a new thermometer. I bought the exact same brand/model/etc, but the temps from cd12 on are with the new thermometer, which could certainly cause a difference in the chart.

When I got back to work after lunch, I decided to play around a bit with my chart, so I added in my CM data. (side note: I don't normally track CM, but if I happen to notice it, then I chart it. And that was probably far more information than you were really interested in, huh? My sincere apologies for over-sharing.)

Once I put in CM data for yesterday & today, the site took away my CLs. Now, even though I firmly believe that this is a much more accurate picture of where I am in my cycle, as a frequent non-o'er, I HATE to lose CLs, even when I know they're bullshit.

All this to say that, as usual, I don't have a clue what my body is (or isn't) doing right now. And apparently, neither does the evil bbt charting site. Do YOU have any ideas?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Meet Me In The Stairwell

I normally wouldn't use my blog as a place to forward emails (even though this is the second time I have done just that in the last week), but this time of year all of our email boxes seem to get flooded with messages reminding us of the important things in life: Family, Friends, and Faith.

The following email touched me, and I wanted to share it with you. I love the very last line... such a simple message, and yet, one that's hard for me to remember. Hopefully this will help to remind me.

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001. Neither will I. I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.
I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said. 'Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now.'
I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.
I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan . I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?
I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me? Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well.

Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are 'ready to go.' I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


Never look down on anybody unless you're helping to pick them up.

Snow day?

It's very cold outside today. We got about 8" of snow for our first real "storm" of the season. Schools are closed all around here, as another not so subtle reminder (to me) of just how sissified this generation of kids has become.

Many of the school districts around me are bus districts, so I can understand why they would choose to take a snow day today. 8" falling in a 12-14 hour period, starting Saturday evening, makes for a LOT of cleanup to do before school on Monday morning. Side streets are the last on the list, so heavy snow + unplowed residential areas = very difficult for school buses. Makes sense.

However, the district that we live in, the one that I grew up in, is not a bus district. Our entire school district is about 4 square miles, with the high school pretty much in the middle. There is a middle school at the east end, and another at the west end. And there are 6 elementary schools scattered throughout. 90% of the homeowners have been responsible about keeping the sidewalks clear, and the 3 schools that I passed on my way to work this morning had been plowed out. So WHY is our district on a snow day today?

Disclaimer: This rant of mine has been blogged while I sit at my desk, wishing that I could have a snow day, too!

Friday, December 14, 2007

7 Random Things

I was tagged by Nancy to share 7 random things about myself, so here goes.

  1. I have lived in the same suburb my entire life. The house my hubby & I bought (from his grandma) is about 2 miles from my Mom's house, and also about 2 miles (in the other direction) from the house she grew up in.
  2. I have never broken a bone or been stung by anything that it stings. I am terrified of both, and run screaming like a banshee away from anything that flies and goes "bzzzzz".
  3. I am a biker-chick-in-training. Hubby has a '85 V65 Magna, and I'm learning to be a good little Bitch Seat Occupant. I'm still nervous as all get out in traffic, but it is getting better.
  4. I have a tendency to jump way ahead of myself when presented with a potential problem. I freak out about the worst case scenario for a while, and then calm myself back down into an approach that's more reasonable, and much more manageable.
  5. In my 29.25 years on this earth, I have spent 6 months without a dog. I don't think a house without a dog could ever feel like home to me.
  6. I believe in God, but am not at all religious. I believe that it is each person's responsibility to do the best they can for themselves, for their family, for their community, and for society as a whole.
  7. I am becoming a terrible passenger seat driver. I'm really trying to work on it, but it takes time. Or, at least, it's taking ME time.

I'm tagging: Chicklet, R&R, Roy, Wendy, Tigger, Andrea Jennine, and Courtney

The Gratitude Campaign

I received this link in an email from a friend, and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. I think the idea is phenomenal, and hope this spreads thru our nation like wildfire. If you have a few minutes, take a peek at this site, it explains everything.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Eleven years

Eleven years today, of loving the same man. Eleven years of weddings and divorces, births and deaths, crazy vacations and lazy Sunday afternoons in bed. Eleven Christmas mornings, eleven New Year's Eves, eleven first snows, and eleven "first Robin of spring"s. Surgeries & trips to the ER, family reunions and traveling with both sets of parents (separately, thank God!), losing old friends and making new ones... He's always been my constant. My support, my court jester, my safe haven, my sanity.

He's also been a gigantic pain in my ass, so don't you all go thinking that I've gotten all soft & smooshy over here.

But I love him, and I am so thankful to have him in my life. For the last eleven years, and I hope for all of them yet to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ways to avoid work...

I know I'm not the only one that occasionally needs a distraction from work. I thought I would share some of *my* favorite distractions. So, here goes...

  1. Obviously, you MUST catch up on your Google Reader (or bloglines, or whatever other feed service you use) and ALL of your email accounts.
  2. Then I check out some of my favorite blog authors' favorite blogs. Link to link to link to link, stumbling my way thru the internet.
  3. I LOVE to play with their gift idea generator. Check it out here.
  4. Update my Queue at Netflix
  5. See what the latest puzzle game is on MSN Zone (yes, I am blushing about this one)
  6. Catch up on the news at CNN, Yahoo! News, or my local NBC site
  7. Play random online games that I've collected over the years. Some favorites are:
    - Boomshine
    - Famousr
    - Elf (the movie) Snowball Fight
    - Escapa!
  8. Play with my Blogger settings, or try to figure out what my next changes will be on my layout.
  9. Stalk my Statcounter and Sitemeter, trying to label IP addresses for folks that I know.
  10. Obsess over my BlogHer earnings reports, and try to think of ways to increase traffic.
  11. Look around online for more recipes that I want to collect and keep here.
  12. See if there is anything interesting on my Myspace or Facebook accounts.

How about you? What are some of your favorite distractions?

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm a terrible infertile...

I have this friend, who's a bit older than I. By about 4 years. And she's nearing that "scary age" as far as fertility goes. You know, the one where you cross over into needing more "aggressive" treatment, and you automatically become "high risk"? Yeah, that age.

So, this friend of mine, has never, ever, EVER been interested in kids. Always put her very demanding career ahead of baby-making. That was the choice that she & her hubby made, and they were happy with it.

Well now, it seems that SHE has changed the plan. SHE has decided (without his knowledge or input) that SHE wants to have a baby next year. So SHE tossed her birth control. Because SHE is a believer that "the pill" has been the ONLY key to NOT getting pregnant.

Here's where me being the terrible infertile comes in...

I heard of her decision (from another mutual friend), and had a haughty little laugh to myself. "As if it's THAT easy... muwahahaha"

And then I find myself fearing that maybe, for her, it will be that easy. Maybe, despite her age, and her prior lack of interest (really, she's not wanted kids at all, up until this recent change of heart), it WILL be that easy for her. And maybe I'll have to deal with another person in my real world, who starts TTC after me (or doesn't start at all) reach the goal before me, even though we've been at it for over 3 and a half years, and this is the ONE THING that I've ALWAYS wanted to do with my life. And maybe I'll be stuck at the starting gate, again, watching as someone else reaches the finish line, again...

whine whine, bitch bitch, mope mope.... pity party anyone?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Kitty

I'm sorry the picture quality is so poor, but I had to try to share this one. See that white stripe coming down from the bright pink light? That's the cat's nose. If you look over to the left of his nose, you can make out his white paws.

He's under the Christmas tree, behind the nativity, where we'll be able to find him any time we want to until somewhere around the first of the year. In the same spot that he claimed the first time we put the tree up. The same spot he claims every year, as soon as we have the tree stand, trunk, tree skirt, and 2-3 branches in the bottom row put up.

He really is my Christmas Kitty.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Help!?!?! **updated at bottom**

I opened my mail today, and found a letter from the hospital group that my ob/gyn belongs to. Looks like my doc (I shall call her Dr B)... the one that found my endo and operated to remove it (and called me the day after surgery, from home, on her DAY OFF, to see how I was doing), the one who prescribed 3 rounds of clomid and then sent us off to the RE because she knew she couldn't do anymore for us and didn't want to hold us up, the one who welcomed me into her NEW practice after she left the old one and I hunted her down, the one that gave me a tentative almost diagnosis of PCOS and put me on Met to give it a try before having to go BACK to the RE... she's leaving her practice, again.

The hospital group included a phone number where Dr B can be reached after she leaves the practice. I did a little searching, and discovered she's going to another ob/gyn practice within the group, but further into the city. The letter also included a list of other docs within the group, and their bios, should her patients be interested in transferring. And the doc I found thru her "can be reached at" phone number... he's on that list.

BUT, I'm not sure I like the bio on him. What do you think?

"Dr C specializes in the treatment of women with pelvic pain and is highly experienced in advanced pelvic surgical procedures. He is certified in Addiction Medicine and is dedicated to providing pregnancy care for women who are chemically dependent."

To me, this sounds like the practice specializes in - for lack of desire to be politically correct - inner city crackheads that are pregnant with dependent babies. I really don't think that's the kind of practice I want to be a patient in.

So, now I think I need to go about finding a new doc. Here's where I need some help. I have a few options about where to look:

  • Talk to my PCP (who is monitoring my thyroid) about a recommendation.
  • Pick a random doc thru the insurance company's provider list.
  • Call the RE (who I've not been to since Jan 06) and see about getting a recommendation from them.
  • Go to my Mom's doc, whom she LOVES, but she's obviously at a different place in life, and therefore has different needs.

I'm really trying to look at this as a good thing. A chance to have a fresh set of eyes run a fresh panel of labs and get a fresh perspective, without having the expense (financial and emotional) of going back to the RE immediately. I would really like New Doc to be infertility aware, even if they aren't qualified to do a whole lot of treatment. Ideally, I'd LOVE to get an official diagnosis instead of the "well, you had an endo cyst 3 years ago, so you must have endo" and "even though you have no other symptoms, your FSH and LH levels are textbook PCOS, so we're going to treat you for that for a while" and "that excruciating pain you had last year that sent you to the ER in the middle of the night? even though we have no proof, and the labs from the ER don't tell me much of anything, we're going to assume it was a ruptured cyst". Is it too much to ask to have a Doc that is ready and able to tell me, definitively, what is wrong with me?

Sorry for that tangent...

So, I need help/advice/opinions. How do I go about finding "the perfect New Doc"? Insurance isn't a concern, as we're fortunate enough to have a plan that just about every doc in the area participates in. But I've never done this before. My PCP is in the practice that my parents went to. I found Dr B through a friend's recommendation. I was referred to the RE by Dr B.

Help, oh Wise and All-Knowing IF Blogosphere Goddesses & Gods. Please, oh Loyal Readers of Mine. HELP!?!?!


I've gotten a couple of referrals from friends (thanks to Mel & Kel). One for a local ob/gyn, and one for a new RE that I might also be able to use for basic gyn stuff. Thanks SO MUCH girls!

An internet snoop friend of mine found this article (thank you Kaci!) that gives the reasoning behind my doctor leaving. As much as I applaud their desire to focus on the plight of patients within the inner city of Detroit, I have no desire to share in that experience, so it's definitely time for me to move on.

I now have to get hold of a copy of our actual insurance policy, and read all the nitty-gritty on IF coverage. (I know last time everything short of procedures was covered, but that *may* have changed. I know there was a slight change in the policy at some point over the last few years, but I can't remember where that timing falls in relation to our last attempt at active treatments.)

And beyond that, I'm going to try to just enjoy the holidays, and really get working on finding the new doc after the first of the year. I know how hard it can be to get into an ob/gyn (especially if they're good), so I want to make sure I'm with someone that I'm comfortable with before my Metformin prescription runs out in mid April.

My updated request for help would be: How do you pick an ob/gyn? I'll research it on the SQ&SPJ all-inclusive list of helpful tidbits, and on other internet sources, but I'd love personal opinions/suggestions, too!

I am now completely addicted

to this game. I'm a sucker for online puzzle games anyway. But this one... THIS ONE is beginning to piss me off.

If you decide to give it a try, let me know what you think. And how far you got. Right now I'm on level 9, Time at 192, with 68 Deaths. IF I ever get to the end of the game, I'll update with final score info.

And yes, I am bored at work today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bloodwork results

My thyroid antibodies are *still* high. All other levels were normal. Apparently, my body is taking its sweet ass time killing my thyroid. It can continue to fuck things up at its own leisurely pace, and I *still* can't do anything about it.


Quiet Contentment

Things are going remarkably, pleasantly, and quietly well right now. The bills are paid, work is starting to pick up a bit (so I'm not bored to tears all day), I'm into a new cycle (which is a relief, knowing that the last one was useless), Grumpy and I are doing well, the Christmas spirit is seeping into me and I'm sucking it up with gusto, family and friends are all healthy.

I could get used to this. Granted, it makes for an incredibly boring blog post. But really, I could get used to this kind of quiet.

Here's to hoping it's not the proverbial "calm before the storm".

So, for lack of any specific grumbling I need to release... Any requests from my handful of readers? Anything you'd like me to write about? Questions to ask? (I do reserve the right not to answer them, hehehe.) Help me out here folks, I'm kind of at a loss.

Monday, December 3, 2007

On to Cycle 31

And I'm ok with that. Honestly, after so obviously NOT ovulating last cycle, I'm pretty happy to be putting it behind me. And the timing on this cycle is pretty nice. Christmas *should* be right in the middle of my 2ww. So, even tho I will (again) miss the opportunity for that Christmas morning announcement, at least I'll have one heck of a distraction for that 2ww.

I was able to get into a little bit of the Christmas spirit this weekend. Grumpy decided Saturday that the weather was as good as it was going to get, so he put up the outside decorations. Once he thawed out, he decided to bring the tree up from the basement. He even vacuumed & rearranged the living room furniture to make room for the tree! We put the tree up together, and put the lights on it, and did a few of the ornaments. I still have LOTS of ornaments to get on there, but at least we have a nice start on it.

And, we went on a Christmas movie marathon this weekend. We watched The Santa Clause, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and Elf. Granted, most of them were on just as background noise while we were decorating, or cleaning, or whatever... but we still had them on, and I really think they helped us both get into the spirit!

I still have a few movies in reserve for my Christmas wrapping marathon. I'll pop in Grinch or Charlie Brown Christmas, spread out all of the gifts and wrapping supplies on the living room floor, and spend an evening wrapping everything... and chasing the dog out of my lap... and the cat away from the ribbon.

Oh, and I broke down and tuned into the "All Christmas All the Time" radio station this weekend, too. Not so much outside, but at least in my heart, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Little Christmas Fun

Go Elf Yourself!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ramblings on a trip to the GP

(The above picture is of our Golden Retriever, who couldn't look that mean on her own unless somebody was trying to harm Grumpy or I. You can actually see a blur of flesh on either side of her nose... those are my fingers, holding up her lips for her "Grrrrrrrrrrrr" Face. Cute, huh?)

I had to go to my general practitioner today for a thyroid follow up. See, my thyroid levels are "a little off", so we've been "keeping an eye on it" for 4 years. "A little off" meaning off enough that it *could* cause problems (like, say, contribute to infertility?), but not *off enough* to be able to treat, yet. "Keeping an eye on it" means that me, and 4 docs, have been regularly watching the levels for THREE FUCKING YEARS, waiting for them to be *off enough* that we can DO SOMETHING about them. So, today was another blood draw, and I should have results early next week.

I walked into the doc's waiting room, and darn near tripped over an infant, in her carseat, sitting on the floor. Adorable little girl (from what I could tell, only allowing myself to peak at her for a few painful seconds). My ten minute wait consisted of me playing chuzzle on my cell phone, trying desperately to not notice the nurse, receptionist, and technicians that kept pouring out of the back office to fawn all over the sweet little child. Fortunately (so I thought), the little bundle of joy and her parents were called in to an exam room a few minutes before me. Whew, public crying jag successfully avoided.

A lovely nurse calls me back to the exam area, by way of the MEAN AND EVIL scale, and then tells me I've gained 4lbs since I was in last. "Didn't want to see that number," I say. "BULLSHIT! It's winter in MI, I blame the clothes difference!" I think to myself. And, I've convinced myself that this is a perfectly reasonable explanation. After all, my last visit was in May; I was probably wearing a lightweight, short-sleeved top, capris, and sandals. Today, I was in jeans, Come Fuck Me Boots (minus the fishnet stockings), and 3 layers of shirts including an over sized fleece jacket type shirt of Grumpy's. TOTALLY 4lbs worth of extra fabric there, right?

So, I'm ushered into the exam room to wait for the doc. I rejoin my chuzzle game, already in progress, and prepare to wait patiently. And then I hear it. In the next room, the distinct wail of a little person in pain. That's right folks, she was in for her first round of shots. She cried, Mom cried, Dad cried... but I didn't. I bit my lip, I shifted uncomfortably in my chair, I slammed my phone closed, I tried to distract myself with a crappy dr office magazine (which, by the way, were ALL baby/family/pregnancy geared), but I DID NOT CRY.

And for that, I am very proud of myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do I look Christmas-y enough?

I am having such a hard time getting into the spirit this year. Not that I've been real successful at it the past few years, but this year feels even worse. I'm not interested in decorating, could care less about shopping, refuse to listen to Christmas songs on the radio (one station here started playing them Nov 1, and went NON-STOP Christmas music on Thanksgiving, thru the end of the year!) - I really don't want any part of it.

SO, since this *used to be* my favorite time of year, I'm trying to force the issue a bit. Grumpy promised that we'd decorate the house this weekend, so in an effort to push (shove?) start my Christmas spirit, I decided to "decorate" the blog. I figure that's a WHOLE lot easier to do than decorating the house, right?

I've started my shopping. Hell, with 17 people to buy for this year (which is down a bit from usual, as we agreed to not exchange with some friends... money is tight everywhere, it seems), I started my shopping in July! I've got a cart full at Amazon, just waiting on wishlists from 2 more cousins and I'll have 8 people done, and the other 9 started (most of whom I do have ideas for). Not too bad, by my standards.

Once the tree is up, and the presents are bought, I'll spend a day or 2 wrapping everything, which I am still looking forward to. I don't know why, but I've always enjoyed wrapping presents. Got any you need me to wrap? Ship 'em over, with the $ to ship them back to ya! ~*~hmmm, perhaps that's a business idea~*~

Step 2 in forcing the Christmas spirit... planning the decorating festivities at Grandma's house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Hot Chicken Salad

My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me several years ago. It's yummy in that way that only true comfort food can be.

Hot Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Miracle Whip works just as well)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Combine chicken, celery, onion, 1 cup slivered almonds, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a 1.5 qt casserole.
  3. Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup slivered almonds.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4-5. We usually serve with a veggie or salad, and some crescent rolls.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Split personality?

I feel like I'm emotionally all over the place these days... Sad, frustrated, then happy, throw some thankful in the mix (just for fun). It's all EXHAUSTING! (Don't believe me? Look back at my most recent posts, other than the recipes. Tell me that's not a bit unbalanced.)

I don't know what to do about it anymore. I don't know if it's true depression, and maybe I should talk to my doc about it? Or maybe I should go back to my counselor for a bit (even though we REALLY can't afford that expense right now)? Is it just my hormones being crazy (because if my chart is any indication, they're certainly not doing what they are SUPPOSED to do)? Am I just overwhelmed right now, what with the holidays, and the bills, and coming up into my busy season at work? Perhaps the fact that I never fully dealt with some things a couple years ago, preferring to take the easy road & "sweep them under the rug" (those things are not IF related, and not open for discussion)?

I do know that something HAS to change. I can't keep bouncing thru emotional peaks & valleys like this. I really need a nice, level plateau. Get me thru the holidays, and to a place where I can figure somethings out (like, perhaps, what our next step in treatments might be, and when we might be able to take it).

I need help, but I don't know who to ask, or where to get it.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Yesterday was a wonderful day for me. Instead of our normal holiday insanity, bouncing between Grumpy's side of the family, my Mom's side of the family, and my Dad, we decided to pick ONE destination for the day. We also took our time getting there, and enjoyed a quiet morning and early afternoon at home.

We slept LATE, had a quiet breakfast of coffee & cinnamon rolls while snuggling on the couch under a blanket, watching a movie. We played with the dog, we laughed, we wrestled... we had FUN! Nice, simple, traditionally "us" fun.

We had dinner at my aunt's house with my Mom's family. Grumpy had to leave early to head for his hunting weekend, so we drove separately so that I could stay as late as I wanted. I didn't end up leaving until after 11, enjoying some family game time with everyone, and a game of "Extreme Uno" with my younger cousins. New nicknames for each other, talking in silly voices, and LOTS of laughter later, and I felt renewed... lighter... happy.

I am significantly older than all of my cousins (3 of them are teenagers, and 3 more that are 4 - 10 years old), and so I tend to have more in common with my Mom's generation than with my own. But, as the "kids" are starting to get older, I find myself really enjoying their company. They are all brilliantly intelligent (yeah, I'm a bit biased... but they really are smart kids), and I just adore the personalities they are developing. I find myself really looking forward to the time when instead of being their older cousin, I can get to be their friend. Spending time with 3 of them last night really reminded me that I need to make more time for them in my life. And not just because I have the opportunity to be a "safe adult" for them to come to (which the 18 year old already does), but because I need to foster those relationships for ME. I'm really good at being an adult, but they let me be a kid sometimes, and remind me that it's ok to be that way. And really, how can I turn down a game of Extreme Uno with Munchkin, the Naughty Nephew, and the Aunt who pees with the door open (after 2 glasses of wine)?

So, long story short, today I'm feeling very thankful... for my wonderful husband, who still gives me butterflies, and can always make me laugh. For my aunts that are incredibly supportive of me as a person, even when they don't agree with the choices that I make. And for the cousins that help me remember to be young, and who I truly hope to call friends as they become adults. And, I'm very thankful for the quiet contentment that yesterday brought me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving (and a cycle update)

Just wanted to wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday! Eat too much, laugh too loud, and enjoy your loved ones!

(and no, I didn't test... the realist in me says its cd36 with no o, so why waste the dollar?)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can somebody knock some sense into me... please?

ok, it's cd35, of what certainly appears to be an anovulatory cycle. Nothing new, I've had them before, I'll probably have them again. Granted, this one is especially disappointing seeing as how I'm still on the Met, and I *thought* it had been working so well. Guess not, huh?

Anyway, I've had a couple of friends suggest that I test. I, personally, think this is ridiculous. My chart shows nothing even remotely resembling ovulation, I had a lighter than normal AF (altho definitely an AF)... I just really don't see HOW I COULD POSSIBLY be pregnant.

And let me just tell you, I feel like such a ridiculous newbie even typing this post... thinking these thoughts...

And yet, Ms Hope (ridiculous as it is), can't help remind me of all the surprise pregnancies out there right now.... and of how I've always DREAMED of a Christmas announcement to family.... and how it'd be pretty fucking awesome to get a POSITIVE TEST on THANKSGIVING DAY....

So, please, help me shut up stupid ass Ms Hope. I know she's out of her mind, YOU know she's out of her mind, but she's not listening to me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Chili

In honor of the deer that Grumpy got over the weekend, and thus the batch of chili I will be making the weekend after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share the chili recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

This recipe started out in a Weight Watchers cookbook (and therefore would've been pretty healthy). I've doctored it a bit to make it my own, and therefore won't make any claims as to how healthy it is or isn't. I will tell you that it's awfully darn good, especially on a cold night.


  • 2lbs ground beef, or 1lb each ground beef & ground venison
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 4 tbls chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes (unseasoned)
  • 2 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
  • 4 tbls tomato paste
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • cheddar gold fish crackers (optional)

  1. Brown ground meat and garlic together. Drain. Add chili powder & cumin, stirring to coat the meat.
  2. Mix all ingredients in 6 qt crock pot, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Cover & cook on high 4-5 hours.

Makes a LOT. We usually have it for dinner 2 nights, and then I freeze the rest. 1 batch gives the 2 of us enough food for about 6 dinners.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I think I've finally put my finger on how I've been feeling these last few weeks. I think I'm just sad, plain & simple.

I'm not angry or enraged, needing to fight the injustice that is infertility, and the torment it causes to all those effected by it.

I'm not depressed, thinking I may never find my way thru, my answer, my solution (altho I will admit that the sadness dips into the depression level from time to time).

I'm certainly not hopeful... not when it's cd33 and I still haven't ovulated. And not when I'm 3 years, 7 months, and 18 days into a journey that I conservatively (and pretty realistically) thought would take us a year.

I have my bitter days, when I fight the notion that I have to be one of the 12.5%. When I'm beaten and bruised that ANYONE has to deal with this, and simply horrified that I am one of those people.

I have my moments when I'm terrified... of what Grumpy & I must have done to deserve this, or that we will never find a treatment that will work for us, or that our "miracle treament" may be out of reach because of the financial considerations involved.

But, mostly I'm just sad. Sad that this is what my life is now. Sad that I see no light ahead, just tunnel. Sad that it's taking the joy out of my 4th Christmas season, when this used to be my absolute favorite time of year. Sad when I watch my husband play with our niece, nephew, cousins... and that voice in the back of my head wonders if he'll ever be able to roll on the floor with OUR child, or be able to put together toys on birthdays & Christmas for OUR child.

I know this isn't anything earth-shattering... it's nothing we haven't all been thru before (and may be again)... and that in itself makes me sad.

Confessions of a Deer Widow, the Aftermath

First, the good news...... GRUMPY GOT A DEER!!!! WOOHOO Happy Dance!!! I have about 20lbs of venison in the fridge, much of which will go in the freezer this week, some of which we'll grind later in the week for use in chili, sauce, etc.

And now, the progress report:

  1. I was supposed to clean the house. I did some housework, but by no stretch of the imagination would it qualify for "cleaning the house". Oh well, the dirt will still be their tomorrow, right?
  2. Laundry... umm....well.... I got most of it washed & dried, about half of that folded, and um... none of it put away. But I admitted up front that I really suck at the putting away part of laundry, so nobody should be too surprised about that.
  3. Reading.. THIS ONE, I did! I got thru an entire book this weekend, and am planning to start another tonight.
  4. This good ol' #4 was cleaning out the car. Yeah, that didn't happen.
  5. I got my haircut! Didn't lose much length, but she added in some layers. It's got a LOT more volume to it, and more "movement" (as my stylist says).
  6. Yoga/exercise routine... nothing. and yes I feel guilty about that, so there will be no snarkiness about it (at least from me).
  7. Family time... another success! I spent Friday evening with my Mom & Grandma. We ordered chinese takeout, played cards, chatted & laughed! Had a WONDERFUL time! I also had a few conversations with my cousin who's away at college. So, I'd say the family time goal was a definite success!
  8. Outside Christmas decorations. Yeah, nothing there. It was cold, I was unmotivated, the couch was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too comfie.
  9. Bedtime routine. I'd say I did about 50/50 here. It's getting there, and I've heard it takes 21 days to create a habit, so I'll keep working on it.
  10. Didn't get ANY Christmas shopping done. Didn't even really think about it. Other than Friday night at Grandma's, there wasn't much leaving the house for me.
  11. I did get the meat that HAD been in the fridge into the freezer. Now, I have MORE meat that has to get repackaged and frozen, so apparently that one is a bit of a revolving goal.

Oh, and a quick cycle update: cd33, still no o, no AF, and no idea what the hell is going on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Chocolate Kahlua Dessert

I stumbled across this recipe online a few years ago. I tried it once, and FELL IN LOVE! It's great to make for parties, as it makes quite a lot, and looks awfully pretty layered in a trifle bowl.

Chocolate Kahlua Dessert

  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix (and all required ingredients to make cake in pkg directions)
  • 2 pkg Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (Jell-O brand Devil's Food or Fudge)
  • 3.5 cups whole milk (can substitute low fat, but why?)
  • 0.5 cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 containers Cool Whip (normal size, not family size)
  • 6 Heath Bars, crushed (I've had better luck finding bags of Heath ball candy in the stores. I use a whole bag, and crush them with a hammer.)
  1. Bake cake as directed in 9x13 pan, cool and cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Prepare pudding with milk first, then add Kahlua.
  3. In a punch, trifle, or other large bowl, layer ½ cake pieces, then ½ pudding mixture, then ½ Cool Whip and Heath Bars. Repeat and refrigerate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Confessions of a Deer Widow

So, the GrumpyOne left last night for his second hunting weekend of the year. First one was in early October for the first weekend of archery season. Today is the kickoff of rifle/long gun season in Michigan, so he HAD to be hunting for opening day. I expect him back Sun evening, hopefully with some yummy ground venison for us to put in the freezer.

Whenever he goes out of town, I always make big Big BIG mental plans for all the things I'm going to do while he's gone. On this weekend's list:

  1. Clean the house
  2. Get the laundry DONE (as in washed, dried, folded, and PUT AWAY! I'm usually good at the first half, but can definitely use some work on the second half.)
  3. Catch up on some reading
  4. Clean out & vacuum my car
  5. Get a much needed haircut
  6. Work on a REAL yoga/exercise routine
  7. Spend some time with Grandma, and other family
  8. Possibly put up the outside Christmas decorations, depending on weather (and next weekend's forecast).
  9. Work on a bedtime routine (you know, make-up off, face washed, teeth brushed & flossed, reading (instead of watching tv) for my pre-sleep downtime)
  10. See what Christmas shopping I can knock out
  11. Get the meat in the fridge repackaged and into the freezer

To me, that looks like a pretty daunting list. Fortunately, I'm off work on Friday, so I have a FULL 3 days to get it done. And I've already made some progress on some things. I've got myself a salon appointment for tomorrow afternoon, so I'll definitely accomplish #5. I went to the library today at lunch, so I'll do something with #3. And I made plans with my Mom and Grandma for a "girls night in" for Friday night, so that takes care of #7.

Now the confession...

Whenever he goes out of town, I fall into a bit of a depression. I may complain about him (much more IRL than I do here, but believe me when I say that I complain), but the truth is, I miss him to pieces when he's not around. I've often spent entire weekends home on the couch, alternating between surfing bad TV (Flavor of Love marathon anyone?), and napping.

Trying to keep myself busy, and productive, is as much about fighting off the depression as it is getting things done that I really have to get done. So, if you can take the time, please say a little prayer for me this weekend, or send me some good thoughts. I'll update on how I did with Monday's post.

Oh, and I'll be posting another recipe for tomorrow's post.

Blogger Flame of Fortitude

I don't want to sound completely ridiculous, or like Sally Fields (You like me! You really really Like Me!!!), so let me just say that I feel incredibly honored to be included here. Thank you Nancy, for the honor of "passing the torch", and for being the first person to introduce me to the blogosphere.

Now, my nominees: (and I know many of them will have already been nominated, or will have already written their post, but I'm saying it anyway, dammit!).

Mel because I honestly believe that without her, there would be no "us". And without "us", I'd be doomed to an awful death, left babbling to myself, yelling about "lying fertility friend" and "sonofabitchin metformin", and well, that just wouldn't be pretty.

Chicklet, Wendy, and R&R because even when I'm at my lowest, those girls can always get a giggle out of me! Their snarky humor allows them to speak out loud the things that I only wish I had the courage to drop from my lips.

Frank because he can find the strangest little tidbits of humor in the insanity that is IF treatment.

Jen for continuing to support those of us in the trenches, even tho she has so much going on in her life.

Smarsh because, dammit, that guy can write! Don't believe me? Check out this post

PJ because her writing speaks to my heart.

Again Nancy, thanks for the nomination. It really does hold a special place in my "blog heart" (if you'll indulge me that last little bit of nonsense)!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Apparently some of the BlogHer advertisers don't care for my last post too much. Best Buy is the only ad that still shows up right now, with the rest of the ad rotation being blank. Oops... umm... sorry BlogHer.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit more human today. Still pissed off and frustrated as hell with my body, with finances, with IF. You know, the usual.

I think I'm just really overwhelmed right now. I (still) have lots in my life that isn't where I want it to be. And none of it is a quick fix, I have no easy buttons. I don't know where to start to make it right, but wallowing in all of it sure isn't going to get me anywhere.

So, it's time to really focus, and pick a battle. Preferably something that with the proper attention, I CAN conquer (so, sadly, IF probably won't be it this first time out). And most importantly, something that I can check off the mental list in a somewhat short time. I need a win here, and I need one quick!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Woe the fuck is me

This is a total "woe is me" post, born of intense frustration. Please don't take offense....

  • its cd27, with no sign of ovulation. apparently, the met isn't working as much as I thought
  • the met is, however, taking away all of my energy. it's worse when I eat high sugar foods. and if I get even a teeny bit off the dosage schedule, I pay for it the entire next day
  • I saw another bfp in the blogosphere this morning. that makes 3 in a week, and that's only on my blogroll. (of COURSE I don't begrudge ANY OF YOU your success, so please please PLEASE don't think that)
  • every bfp I see makes me wonder why the FUCK I haven't seen mine yet
  • worse than that, it makes me think I may never see one
  • which of course leads to the whole "what have I done wrong?" thought pattern, and we all know how much fun THAT can be
  • I'm tired of having to work so fucking hard for this, with no real hope left (right now anyway) for success
  • even if I thought it might be time to move on to the "next step", our finances simply won't allow it. not now, not next year, and maybe not in 2009
  • in 2009 I will be well beyond the age at which I "ideally" wanted to start my family

Woe is me, woe is me... I'm going home early and getting drunk... Woe is me, woe is me... I'm getting so drunk that I pass out and will sleep the day (and hopefully this mood) away

Woe the fuck is me

Monday, November 12, 2007

Help Wanted, Healthy Ovary

Looking to fill TWO positions, ASAP.

Ideal candidate(s) would:

  • Be drug and disease free
  • Be a self-motivated worker
  • Produce and release 1-2 quality eggs every 28-30 days
  • Be goal oriented and able to work within required timeline
  • Maintain appropriate production schedule without the need for outside stimulants

Benefits include:

  • 9 or more months vacation time upon completed project
  • Good health insurance coverage
  • Pay is negotiable
  • Bonus plan eligibility upon project completion
  • Full retirement package after 20 years of dedicated service

Corporate culture:

  • Non-invasive management methods preferred
  • Daily (brief) progress updates required
  • Some toxicity found in workplace, but we are actively working to minimize/remove those risks
  • Work area was thoroughly cleaned of all unnecessary and unwanted physical hazards, using the most up-to-date technology available, approximately 3 years ago. Area has been stringently monitored since then to avoid recurrence of previous hazards.

Does this sound like you? If so, applications are being accepted here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Linda's Taco Salad

Some of you may have noticed that I have a second blog going on. It's nothing fancy, just a collection of recipes that I've found, some that I've even used, and that I want to have access to in the future.

I've had a lot of fun working on it, and still do when I make the time for it. Some of the recipes there are from friends & family, and someday soon I hope to include the recipes I have for the good, "old world" Italian cooking that's been passed on through the generations.

I've decided to occasionally pic one of my favorites, and share it here (since I KNOW I have a whole lot more readers here than on the other blog). Here's the first installment:

Linda's Taco Salad (Linda is my cousin, and she makes this salad for most family gatherings & parties during the summer. She & her brother fight over who actually created the recipe, but she was the one that FINALLY responded to my request for it, so she gets the credit!)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lg head iceburg lettuce, shredded (or 2 bags ready to use shredded iceburg, or 2 16 oz bags of salad greens, chopped smaller)
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz bottle ranch dressing (I prefer sour cream & onion flavored ranch)
  • 1 can pitted black olives (optional), diced/sliced to a size you like
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (use the whites of the onion, too)
  • 1 qt grape tomatoes, diced to a size you like
  • 1 pkg mild taco seasoning mix
  • 1 bag Taco Doritos

  1. Brown the ground beef until just cooked, drain. Return it to frying pan & follow directions on taco seasoning mix. If the mix calls for liquid, drain again once added & cooked (you don't want the beef to be too wet).
  2. Place all ingredients except dressing & Doritos into a large serving bowl, mix well.
  3. Just before serving, add about 1/2 the bottle of dressing and crushed Doritos. Serve with remaining dressing in case people want to add some.

***Note: I try to only mix dressing & Doritos into the salad that I know will get eaten at that serving. The salad keeps ok in the fridge for a few days without them, but once they're in, you've only got about 24 hours before it turns into an icky slimy mess.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The 12.5%, Statistically Speaking

We've spent some time lately in the blogosphere talking about the 12.5% of the population that we represent. I decided to do some research, and see how that 12.5% fits in with some other important health related issues of the day.

According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics:

  • 16.8% of the population (under age 65) was uninsured in 2006.
  • 6.5% of children ages 3-17 have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 14% of adults have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
  • 17% of adolescents (ages 12-19) are overweight.
  • Of kids ages 12-17, 12% had smoked cigarettes in the last month, and 18% had consumed alcohol (data collected in 2004).
  • 17% of adults (over age 20) have high cholesterol.

Now, those may seem like some pretty random numbers. To be honest, they are. But I picked them because:

  1. The percentages are similar to our 12.5%
  2. ALL of the above conditions/concerns get more attention in the media, and in society, than our 12.5%.
  3. None of the above diseases are life threatening in and of themselves (just like infertility), and yet ALL of them are covered by health insurance.

I'm not sure what all of this means in the "big picture", or what, if anything, we can do about it. I do know that even though I'm not a stats expert (hell, I've never even taken a statistics class), those numbers don't lie. And I know that just seeing that all in black & white makes me angry.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blogtavism, My Story

My husband and I, like most couples, are working our way towards living the "American Dream". We have gotten a good start on it, as we are both from very supportive families, both work full time jobs, own our own home (along with the bank, of course), have the requisite 2 cars, as well as lots of the toys that go along with being young adults in today's society. Hell, we even have the picturesque golden retriever prancing around the back yard. All that is missing is children.

We have both always wanted kids. Have talked about "someday" being parents for the entire 11 years we've been together. We have got a niece and nephew on his side, and both of his sisters have asked us to be legal guardians, should the unthinkable ever happen. We have got LOTS of little cousins on my side, all of which are more like nieces & nephews than cousins. We both grew up babysitting, have volunteered as youth mentors, spent weekends with young relatives "just for the fun of it". We have surrounded ourselves and our lives with children because we enjoy their company, the innocence they bring to any situation, the joy we feel watching them experience something for the first time. And yet nature, or God, or biology, has decided that we don't get to have our own (at least not in the conventional, unassisted way).

I thank God every day for the fact that our medical insurance has covered a significant portion of our infertility treatments. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with endometriosis. I have since also been diagnosed as anovulatory, most likely caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS). Because of these diagnoses, it is incredibly unlikely that I will ever be able to get pregnant without medical assistance. So far on our journey through infertility, I've been on 6 different prescription medications, have had 2 HSG tests to insure that there is no blockage to my fallopian tubes, have been through 2 insemination cycles with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), and at least 6 monitored cycles with additional testing. If we did not have infertility coverage through our medical insurance, almost all of this would have been out of our financial reach. Thankfully, all of our testing, surgery, medications, and doctor visits have been covered by insurance, with only the inseminations themselves being a 100% out-of-pocket expense. Had we not had the coverage that we do, we would have been spending at least $1,000 per insemination cycle with the RE. That can certainly be cost-prohibitive for the "average American family". It definitely would have limited our options, and could very well have delayed the more recent diagnoses that I've received, in turn delaying the entire process.

Since we don't yet have children, we still have some decisions to make. I am currently on a medication that seems to be working, so we plan to stick with it for a while longer. Unfortunately, if we need to take that next step, it will mean returning to the RE, and to more invasive procedures. Having more comprehensive coverage would certainly make it easier to plan the next steps in our journey. Taking the oppressive cost of IVF off the table would allow us to explore all of our options, and to make a decision with our doctor based on our medical needs, not our checkbook balance.

For every man, woman, or couple that I've talked to about it, infertility is a difficult road to travel under the best of circumstances. Adding financial limitations into the decision making process does nothing but rub salt in a very open wound. It is infuriating to me that good people, with stable lives and love in their hearts, have to give up the dream of being parents because the cost of treatments is so burdensome. With modern medicine finding reasonable and reliable treatments for this condition, why are those of us dealing with infertility having to make our checkbooks a deciding factor?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Afraid of Success?

I think I'm actually afraid of finally winning at this damn "game". Fear is the only possibility I can cling to that might explain my ridiculous behavior over these past few cycles.

The metformin really does seem to be working (altho you can't tell that from this cycle, yet). I've had 2 definitive ovulation cycles since I've been on it. My cycle length is reducing to something MUCH more respectable. I have an idea of when I *should* ovulate (which I haven't ever had in the whole time we've been doing this, other than the monitored cycles with the RE).

And yet, when it comes down to "doing the deed", I can't muster the energy to do the damned deed. I know, I know, it shouldn't feel that way. But it does... "baby making" sex SUCKS, and anyone that's been in this game long enough knows that.

The last time we were really "trying", hubby said that he felt like a sperm donor, a means to an end. I'm starting to relate to that feeling... starting to feel like a "sperm receptacle", or an egg factory. My life is once again being dictated by the thermometer, and it frustrates the hell out of me. So I rebel... "Fuck it" I say. And then I get that lovely confirmed ovulation on my chart, and I spend the 2 week wait kicking myself, knowing that we're not really "in" for that cycle. And that I have nobody to blame but myself.

Do I need a break? Maybe. Maybe the stress of all of this is too much right now. We have lots of other stuff going on right now, I'm getting into my busy season at work, our finances are a mess, the holidays are coming, our marriage can still certainly use some TLC...

Will I take a break? I doubt it. We're not getting any younger, we're at the perfect time of year to conceive and avoid that busy work season, I've finally found something that makes me ovulate and I don't want to waste those good cycles or go off the med...

Maybe I'll hope that unplanned sex will actually be timed well enough for a *surprise* pregnancy. Maybe really try to get my shit together on all the other stuff I'm feeling so overwhelmed by, and if a baby puts itself in the mix, it'll be a bonus. Maybe just say "fuck it" until after the busy season, and get back to the RE in May.

Or maybe I'll just keep on whining about it all...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vote for Mel!

Ok, seeing as how she is the glue that holds our entire corner of the blogosphere together, I can't NOT include a post about this for her.

I'll summarize the details for you here:

She's been nominated, and is a finalist, for the "Best Medical/Health Issues Blog" on the web. Winners will be determined thru a good ol' fashion vote, so let's STUFF THAT BALLOT BOX!!! Voting closes Nov 8, and you can vote once every 24 hours.

So, go here, scroll down to "Best Medical/Health Issues Blog" under the heading "Topic Area Categories", and vote for Stirrup Queens!

Oh, and if you want to hear what Mel has to say about it, her post is here.'

(And Holy Hell! Her blogroll is up to 1,000!?!?!?!)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happiness??? Oh Happiness???

Well, I just read Lori's post on Happiness, and I'm being a good little blogger and considering myself tagged.

6 Things I pay for that come with Happiness (It's a Bonus!)

  1. Christmas ornaments. I love 'em! And each one I buy, I can manage to look at years later & remember where I got it, what struck me about it, etc.

  2. A piece of Muffaletta from Vito's. Now THAT's Mmmm Mmmm Good!

  3. Our camper. I've talked about it several times already, but I can't wait for the time when it's all ready to go, and we can just "take off" for weekends away, not having to worry about hotels or restaurants or who can watch the dog.

  4. Rimadyl. It's brought our aging Golden Retriever back to her energetic, playful self.

  5. Gas station cappuccino. I don't know why, but I love the stuff. It's a must for an evening road trip, and a treat for any chilly day that we're out and about.

  6. Candles. More specifically, any baking scented candles. Vanilla is a safe staple in the collection, but I love most any of the baking type scents (apple pie, banana nut bread, etc). I love the smell, the way the flames flicker, the soft and warm light they give off, the way they will warm our living room just enough to take the chill out of the air.
6 Things that are Free that come with Happiness

  1. Grandpa's sweatshirts. Being able to curl up on a cold day in one of his sweatshirts always makes me feel safe & warm.

  2. Playing cards with Grandma.

  3. Kisses from the Kaylah puppy, or snuggles from Paisano (the angry cat).

  4. My hubby's sense of humor. And the fact that he's made it his personal mission to get me to laugh (a big hearty laugh) at least once a day.

  5. A cup of coffee out on the patio on a cool, clear morning. So relaxing, so peaceful.

  6. Family nap time. Hubby & I will occassionally take a nap in the evenings, or the middle of a weekend afternoon. We'll call the dog & cat up on the bed, get all snuggled in together, and snooze for a while. Heavenly!

As a side note, it was much easier for me to come up with the free happiness things than the bought happiness. Not quite sure what it means, but I found it interesting.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On the Road Again....

and Again and Again and Again.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE that song? Hate it hate it hate it! My Dad used to sing it as we were heading for the annual reunion on his side of the family. 6 hours in the car (each way) to spend 4 days in a town that I was related to. Yep, the whole town... Kinda scary, isn't it? And did I mention that my Dad can't sing? As he likes to say, he "can't carry a tune in a bucket". So, I always tie that song to memories of those dreaded trips up north to spend time with that side of the family.

Anywho, we're heading out of town, again, tomorrow. Going up to do some more work on the camper, and Mike might even get some hunting in while we're there (altho that is not his priority).

By the end of this weekend, we'll have owned the camper for a total of 16 days. In that time, I'll have put over 2,000 miles on my ass in the truck for trips directly related to the camper. Bear with me while I run the math here for you. And my sincere apologies, as I'm sure my equations will not be properly formatted, but its been a while since I've even attempted algebra, lol.

The first weekend,we went to stay with our friends up north, which is about 125 miles away (250 mile round trip), and we went every day to look at the camper. It was about a 175 mile round trip from where we were staying. 250 + (175 x 3) = 775.

Then, I woke up that Monday morning not remembering if I had closed the roof vent on the camper. And "they" had rain forecasted for the whole week. And we had the only set of keys to the thing. And the camper was still at the sellers house, which is about a 400 mile round trip. So now we're at 400 + 775 = 1175. Still with me?

Then this past weekend (well, Friday of it anyway), we had to go meet up with the sellers. We still owed them the final payment on the camper, and they still had the hitch that they were "throwing in" with the purchase. And they live all the way across the state. We're about 3 miles from the eastern shore, and they're about 1 mile from the western shore, 200 miles from us. Another 400 mile round trip! That makes it 400 + 1175 = 1575.

Saturday was spent getting a new hitch installed, as the one they "threw in" was a rusted piece of crap that won't work on our truck. GRRRR! Another 100ish mile round trip, bringing our grand total to 1675.

Sunday, we got to go pick up the camper. We had to go back to the property the sellers own up north (200 miles away), take it to our friends that are so kind to let us leave it on their property for the winter (90 miles), and then come home (125 miles). 200 + 90 + 125 = 415. 415 + 1575 = 1990. Let's just call that 2,000.

And now tomorrow morning, we leave to go up to the camper again. Back to our friends house. Another 250 mile round trip... 2,250 miles, on my ass, in 16 days!

I so can't wait to put my ass On the Couch Again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

101 Things

I've seen these all over the blogosphere, so I thought I'd start one of my own. It'll prob take me a while to actually get it done, but if I never start I'll never finish, so here goes.

  1. I'm half Italian, half mutt (English, Scottish, Irish, French-Canadian, Native American, German, etc); but when asked, I consider myself Italian.

  2. I wish I could cook a LOT better than I can. Actually practicing might improve that (improves most other things, right?)

  3. I threw an elementary school spelling bee qualification because I was too shy to stand up in front of the whole school & parents & administrators to compete in the school-wide contest. (I misspelled hammer, adding a 3rd "m".)

  4. I smoke, and I hate it, but I haven't yet been able to quit on my own.

  5. I can't function properly without a morning shower, and at least 1 cup of coffee.

  6. I put more of this in my coffee than should be allowed by law.

  7. I believe in God, but am anti-organized religion. My take on it is that each person's relationship with God (or lack thereof) is their own business.

  8. I graduated HS as an honor student, and walked away from a scholarship at a state university because I thought my high school sweetheart was "the one", and I didn't want to live 3 hours from him.

  9. I think I'll kick myself FOREVER for #8.

  10. I miss my Grandpa... every day.

  11. I think I talk to him more now than I did when he was only a phone call away.

  12. He still gives the best advice I've ever gotten.

  13. I'm terrified of never getting to be a Mom.

  14. I over-talk things to the point that it drives my husband nuts, but I only verbalize about 10% of what I think.

  15. I think that I think too much. What do you think?

  16. My "win the lottery" dream is to buy at least 50 acres of land in northern Michigan, and to build a house right in the middle of it. That way I only have to see people when I want to, rather than listening to their daily bullshit outside my kitchen window.

  17. I am a VERY nervous car passenger, but I do my best to not let it show.

  18. I'm good at saving money.

  19. I married a man that LOVES to spend money.

  20. That's not a great combination, and sometimes it makes us want to strangle each other.

  21. As much as I love my kitty, I don't know if I'll own another one. I'm a dog person.

  22. Oh, and I hate the litter box.

  23. I work at a job with absolutely no advancement potential, that I really don't like anymore.

  24. I stay for 3 reasons: 1) I work for my husband's family. 2) Once we have kids, I know I'll have the flexibility to work fewer hours. 3) I work 1.5 miles from my home.

  25. When hubby goes out of town, I sleep with the lights and TV on, the cordless phone and my cell phone on the bed, and the dog on the floor next to me. And I triple check the deadbolts on all 3 doors.

  26. I don't like when hubby goes out of town (even though I sometimes think the break is good for us).

  27. I wish I were less judgmental.

  28. I'm really trying to work on that.

  29. I have made (with the help of family) homemade Italian sausage, tomato sauce, pasta, ravioli, and about a dozen varieties of Italian cookies.

  30. My favorite memories of those marathon family cooking sessions include teaching my younger cousins how to clean the natural sausage casings (the boys loved that), and teaching them how to "snot" ravioli (seal the edges with egg wash). Good times!

  31. I have never colored my hair, and hope to never have to (but as I see more grey coming in, I'm slowly letting go of that hope).

  32. The number 11 runs rampant through my Mom's side of the family. Mom is the oldest of 5 siblings. The youngest is 11 years younger than her. I am the oldest of my generation, and am 11 years younger than my youngest aunt. The next 1st cousin from me is 11 years younger than I am. There is another 1st cousin further down the line that is 11 years younger than her. Let me see if I can simplify that... Mom - 11 years = Aunt P. Aunt P - 11 years = Me. Me - 11 years = cousin G. Cousin G - 11 years = cousin J.

  33. The number 27 runs like that through my Dad's side, but to a lesser degree. Dad is 27 years older than Mom. Dad's parents we're also 27 years apart. My oldest sister (from Dad's 1st marriage) is 27 years older than me.

  34. I briefly substituted on a Midget Racing pit crew. I was the stats girl.

  35. Hubby and I have doomed the language skills of our future children. We mispronounce lots of things, just for fun. Examples: "Yemonade", "Mazagine", "Merote" (as in remote control), "Beeyankie" (for blanket). Most of these have a cute story behind them (at least to us), but I still feel guilty about the damage we're causing to our yet-to-be-conceived kids.

  36. I make "the best brownies EVER", according to a friend of mine.

  37. I disagree with her, as I have another friend who makes far better brownies than me!

  38. I have a horrible habit of giving assvice, but I'm working to break it.

  39. The endo surgery I had in '04 left a scar that looks like a c-section scar... same placement, same size, just no baby to show for it.

  40. Hubby's business, "Grumpy's Garage", is a repair facility. Basically, he'll fix anything with an engine. I handle the books (duh, I work in accounting), and have the title of "Business Bitch".

  41. I gave myself that title.

  42. I love love LOVE cookbooks, but they must have lots & lots of pictures. My food never looks like it does in the picture, but I have to have some visual of what I'm working towards.

  43. I am TERRIBLE at anything having to do with spacial relations. Hubby is a machinist, and can tell if a picture is hanging 3/100ths of an inch off center from 20 feet away. I let him manage those things.

  44. I can give you a pretty damn accurate verbal inventory of the groceries we have on hand (not including condiments... I suck at condiments) at any given moment.

  45. The smell of beer disgusts me (courtesy of a VERY drunken afternoon when I was 15).

  46. Me & Mike are good friends.

  47. My mother-in-law thinks I'm allergic to onion. I'm not, but I let her think that, because it's easier than explaining that I just don't like raw onion (she loves it).

  48. We just bought a camper (read about it here), and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED I can't see straight!!!

  49. I am 5 years and 1 week younger than the Grumpy One (that would be hubby).

  50. I have a tendency to get sucked in to pyramid schemes. In fact, I'm still an inactive consultant for this and this.

  51. I had my 1st cavity when I was 21.

  52. That's also when I got glasses for the 1st time, and when I found my 1st grey hair.

  53. I blame hubby for all of those things (and he lets me).

  54. I would much rather graze on munchies & nibbles than eat an actual meal. Some of my favorites are tortilla chips & queso, pita with hummus, crackers with cheese spread, spinach dip with french bread, etc.

  55. I very rarely get sick, but I take lots of "sick days" at work.

  56. I'm a $ nerd... so much so that I have a spreadsheet for our Christmas shopping. I track who we're buying for, what ideas we have, what we're budgeting, what we actually buy, how much we actually spend, when we've completed their gift, and when it's wrapped.

  57. I enjoy getting Christmas cards, but am too lazy to send them.

  58. I live today in the same suburban city that I've lived in all my life, and that my Mom has lived in all her life.

  59. The GrumpyOne & I traveled to Italy with my Mom & grandparents to visit my family there (that I had never met). We pulled the trip together (including getting passports) in less than 2 weeks. It's the biggest, most spontaneous thing I've ever done, and I LOVED IT! We had an incredible time, and talk about it frequently.

  60. That trip is the reason my hubby refuses to ever travel with my Mom again.

  61. I have lots of other reasons that I shouldn't travel with her, but it's hard to refuse an all expenses paid trip to Italy!

  62. My parents separated when I was 15, but didn't divorce until I was 28.

  63. I absolutely LOVE Christmas ornaments. We already decorate 1 full sized tree and 1 miniature tree, but if I'm not careful with the ornament addiction we'll need another tree!

  64. I worked myself into such a frenzy before my first HSG that I was too freaked out to even walk by myself into the hospital. Afterwards, I felt fine, but couldn't let onto Hubby what a wimp I had been.

  65. I went on a cruise with family (34 of us total) when I was 15. Gloria Estefan & her family were on the same cruise, and my aunt & I spent a 3 hour drive back from an excursion talking to them. I don't remember much detail, but I remember thinking how "normal" she seemed, lol.

  66. After a very, very rough few months, I fell in love with hubby all over again when he took me to Kenny Chesney's concert, and we slow-danced in the concession area of the arena.

  67. When I was in 1st grade, I cracked my head open on the corner of an art room table, requiring 4 stitches. Those are the only stitches I've ever had. (My surgical incision was closed with glue.)

  68. I really enjoy reading, especially crime or courtroom drama. My current favorite authors are John Grisham and John Lescroart

  69. 3 movies I can watch over & over & over again: My Cousin Vinny, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Exocist.

  70. I own a KitchenAid Classic stand mixer, but I'm afraid to use it.

  71. Hubby & I take a Christmas light drive every year, and I think that's my favorite night of the season. We take big ol' mugs of coffee, listen to Christmas music, and drive all over the Metro area looking at decorations. This is the "big money" part of our Metro area, and they have some unbelievable decorations there!

  72. I have never broken a bone (but have had more twisted or sprained ankles than I even want to try & count).

  73. I am my own generation, on both sides of my family. On Mom's side, I'm smack in the middle between her generation and the rest of my generation. On Dad's side, I'm the same age as my 1st cousins' grandchildren. If you look at ages, I don't seem to fit.

  74. I am a member of the local chapter of this volunteer organization, and have been for over 7 years now.

  75. I took a speed reading class in high school. Although I can't read as quickly as I used to, I can still easily get through a 250-300 page book in a day (if it sucks me in), with close to 100% comprehension.

  76. I played slow pitch softball throughout elementary school, holding every position at some point during my 6-year organized sports career.

  77. Hubby & I have had names picked out for our future kids for YEARS. We have 2 boy names decided, our first will be Jacob Marcel, and our 2nd Daniel Paul. We have Rose for a girl's middle name, but are still debating on a first name. Choices are currently Madelyn or Morgan.

  78. Each of the middle names listed above is a family name. Marcel for Hubby's paternal grandfather; Paul for my maternal grandfather & father, and hubby's father; Rose for my maternal great-grandmother & aunt.

  79. Yes, I've always pictured us having 3 kids, boy then girl then boy. Would be nice if we could get started on it, huh?

  80. I can't believe how hard it is to come up with 101 trivia type things about myself. If you've read this far, I hope you're not bored to tears (but wouldn't be offended if you are).

  81. I have never been stung by a bee (or hornet, or wasp, or any other stinging thing), and am absolutely terrified of them.

  82. Of the 350 or so people we *should* have invited to our wedding (I come from a BIG Italian family, with more cousins then I want to try to count), we got away with having the small intimate wedding of our dreams, with less than 50 guests.

  83. It was very important to both of us to have only people that were important in our lives, those that we knew would be their to support our marriage when it needed it and celebrate it when we could, attend our wedding. For the most part, I think we pulled that off flawlessly.

  84. Because of how small the wedding was, we were able to have the ceremony in a quiet wedding chapel (he was raised Catholic, I was raised Presbyterian, but neither of us are "religious" as adults), we had the dinner at a local restaurant that has always been special to us, and afterwards we rented a boat to take a cruise along the Lake St. Clair shoreline and onto the Detroit river. It was PERFECT.

  85. We honeymooned at Walt Disney World, in Florida, driving down & staying for a week. The entire trip was 10 days long, and it's the only vacation we've taken (in almost 11 years) that we didn't bicker at all!

  86. Of the travelling I've done, Italy was by far my favorite vacation destination. I hope to someday be able to go back, and spend about a month touring the country, with a week at the end spent in Sicily with family.

  87. Over the next few years, I hope to take our camper and stay in ALL of the state parks in Michigan.

  88. Once we've seen all of our state, I want to branch out, and eventually camp in each of the 48 continental US states.

  89. I hate my ears, and have often considered having plastic surgery to "pin them back".

  90. I love to play cards & board games, and can easily spend an evening at my Grandma's playing rummy with her. Family functions often involve 10 or so of us (adults & kids) around her dining room table in the basement, playing Sequence, Apples to Apples, or the latest game one of the kids got. On Christmas we sometimes go through 3 or 4 new games received that day.

  91. This love of card games extends to hubby's family as well. We will often spend a weekend evening at his parents house, having dinner and then playing Michigan Rummy (often called Tripoley) or Euchre.

  92. My favorite fast food restaurant is Taco Bell, and I could easily eat it once a week or more.

  93. I check in on all of the blogs in my blogroll at least once a day, and sometimes more often (if the daily-ish updaters haven't updated when I check them in the morning).

  94. I have a second blog, and even tho it doesn't get much "outside traffic", I usually do something with it a couple times a week. If you take a peek, you can see what it's about.

  95. I absolutely love fire, and water. My ideal evening would be spent with Hubby, sitting in front of a bonfire, in front of the river, drinking our cocktails of choice & watching the boats go by.

  96. I am a very impatient person most of the time, but am trying really hard to ease up a bit on my "I want it and I WANT IT NOW" attitude.

  97. I ADORE pumpkin pie! I can sit down with a pumpkin pie, a can of Reddi Wip, and a fork, and eat half a pie in one sitting! (Can you say glutton?) Grumpy & I generally go thru 3-4 pies every year between Halloween & Christmas, in addition to all of the pumpkin pie we eat at holiday dinners. Yummy yummy in my tummy!

  98. In high school, I worked at Burger King, Imperial Sports, Chuck E Cheese, and Murray's. I feel like I learned a lot at Murray's, and best of all, that's where I met Hubby.

  99. When I was in 2nd grade, I won 2nd prize in a Halloween costume contest at my church. Mom had made me a red crayon costume, and I remember being thrilled that I won 2nd prize instead of 1st, since the red ribbon matched my costume!

  100. The email adress I use most frequently, and my instant messenger ID, have my maiden name in them, even though I've been married for over 4 years now. I want to change them, but don't want to go thru the hassle of changing them.

  101. I didn't think I was cut out for this blogging thing, but I really do enjoy it. I'm not nearly as talented as many of the bloggers that I read regularly, but it feels pretty amazing to be part of this community. And it gives me such an incredible release, to be able to document my thoughts, and get feedback on them.