Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lab rat

I've begun the pee-collecting part of the pregnancy study.  I've also begun using the ovulation sticks for the first time in my life.  It's definitely not something I thought I'd ever have to do.
The back of my toilet for the next three months, possibly longer

I have no idea why I was so nervous using the ovulation sticks for the first time.  I must have read the instructions at least five times, studying them, wanting to make sure I didn't do anything to jeopardize the result.  It was all, if you insert the stick wrong, you won't get a correct result.  If you get the tester wet, you won't get a correct result.  If you hold it in your urine for too long, you won't get a correct result.  Not long enough, you won't get a correct result.  This is waaay more complicated than a pregnancy test.  It just goes to show that it's much harder when you're actually trying.

Right now my biggest fear is that I'll get the happy face telling me I'm fertile and Drew will be out of town.  I *think* I'll be fertile next week and he will be in town but he leaves again on March 5th.  What if there's something off with my cycle and I'm not fertile till he's gone?  Then we've lost a month and the mere thought of losing time makes me cranky.  However, I'm trying not to borrow trouble and I'm hoping that everything will turn out okay.

The other thing about being in this study is that if I do get pregnant in the next three months, I'm going to know instantly.  They've worked out my expected start dates for my next three periods and I'm to take a pregnancy test on those days, regardless of whether or not I've actually started.  Last time I didn't test until I was almost a week late.  Not so this time.  

It will be strange to get the happy face.  The happy face means you're in your two most fertile days which means you need to have sex right then.  But what of this sex-on-demand business?  It's even weird when I tell Drew about the group of days that my app on my phone says I'm fertile.  It definitely takes the spontaneity out of sex but you have to do it regardless.  Something about it seems false when you both know that the act is somewhat scheduled.  

I'm working on my mindset, telling myself that we're creating our family.  It's a hurdle that we're both working to overcome.  I've been trying not to do too much infertility searching on the internet because I kind feel like I shouldn't yet - that it's only for those who have been trying for six months or more or who have been given an official diagnosis.  I guess technically we're still trying to conceive and not yet infertile.  I don't know - this whole thing is all new and uncomfortable for me.  YOU try peeing in a cup that's too small first thing in the morning!

I really hope these sticks work.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Let there be light!

After I finished the kitchen curtains I sent a picture of them to Drew.  Two seconds later my phone rings.  "What did you do?" in the exasperated, how-much-money-did-you-spend voice.  I told him it was beautiful and that he would love it.  Then I played dirty.  "But baby, the curtains make me happy.  And you want me to be happy don't you?  Isn't my happiness the most important thing in the world to you?"  He and both vomited a little and then I told him I wanted to put the window film on the rest of the windows in the house.  "Go for it" he said.

Did y'all hear that?  He said "Go for it".  Meaning, go ahead and do it.

The SECOND I hung up the phone I RAN to Home Depot to buy the rest of the window film.  Drew NEVER gives the okay to spend money that easily and I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  After measuring the windows, I dashed out the door, praying that he wouldn't come to his senses until I'd already bought it and burned the receipt.

At Home Depot I found the window film I wanted - same brand, larger size.  I sat on the floor in front of the display with my notebook and calculator on my phone to determine how many rolls I would need.  I was sketching and writing measurements when a Home Depot boy came by.  "Can I help you with anything?"  "I'm good, thank you!" (said with eye contact and a friendly smile - I'm working on my people skills since strangers make me hyperventilate and I don't usually look them in the eye.  I'm growing y'all!)

When the second then THIRD Home Depot boy came by I began to wonder if I was the only one who ever came in there with a notebook and sat on the floor.  Anyway, I determined I'd need three rolls, which seriously hurt my feelings since they were thirty bucks a pop.  But there were several packages that were damaged, although the rolls themselves were fine.  I called the third Home Depot boy back over to ask him if I could get a discount on the damaged packages if I took them.  He said yes!!!

However, then the Home Depot boy starting chatting me up, asking me my name, where I lived, if I was from around there, where did I go to school.  That's above and beyond customer service y'all.  I tried to be polite but I never know how to handle those situations.  I don't want to be a bitch because maybe he is just being friendly, but I really just wanted to leave and get started on my windows!  He gave me my out when he asked if I was married.  I was like (thank GOD) "Yeah, I am" and practically ran away.  I was about ten feet away when he calls out "Desiree!" (I should have given him a fake name) "Yes?"  "You're really pretty." (in a very earnest, almost creepy voice) "Thank you." (still smiling, but now a little creeped out and walking away just a teeny bit faster)

It was flattering, especially since I'd come from a massage (Christmas present from our neighbor) and my hair was JACKED UP, I had zero make-up on and I was sporting the BIGGEST zit on my chin!  Either he was hard-up or I still got it - I prefer to think I still got it.

That was Tuesday - this morning I got started!  I began with the breakfast nook.
Check out the bottom right - that is a SINK y'all.  I couldn't make this up if I tried.

This time it was a little slower because the windows were painted shut and I had to take a blade to get the paint off the edges of the windows.  Once that was done, it went pretty quickly.  I discovered that if I used my smoother as a guide, I could cut a straight line much faster.  In the kitchen I tried to free-cut and my line wasn't as straight.  However, it's barely noticeable and anyone who points it out should probably get a life.
Smoother as guide - see, this is why I need another person.  I held the smoother in my left hand and cut with my right but I had to improvise to take the picture.  
Y'all are smart - you get the idea.

Breakfast nook after - so much better!  

I moved to the dining room next.  It's the darkest room in the house, both because of the dark furniture and the lack of light.

Out the dining room window.  
This is their idea of privacy shades.  My idea is much better.
My favorite is the garden hose - I doubt they even know it's there.
I had to lighten this picture with Picnik - even though the room is much brighter now that I can open the shades, it's still pretty dark.

Then I took a lunch break.  Kesha came over last night after yoga to hang out and I made a celery soup for her.  She's doing a fruit and veggie fast and I had all this celery for some reason.  I added some butter for flavor and put brown rice in my bowl.  We sauteed some spinach and peppers and had a fruit bowl for dessert.  It was so easy and tasty and it was even better the next day!
Soup recipe here.  See, Drew's not the only chef in the family - wait, don't tell him I said that, he'll make me start cooking.  
Actually, the soup sucked.  It was poison.  I suck at cooking.

After lunch, I started on the windows in the front room.  Two windows left - I'm in the home stretch!  
Front room, right side.  
Notice the overturned drink cooler on the front porch.  Gotta love it.

And then the dog gods heard me.
Maya was doing well the whole day, just wandering around not really bothering me.  Again, this is why two people are better than one.  In the breakfast nook and dining room, I could put the paper that the film was stuck to on one of the tables out of her reach.  In the front room, there was no such table so I had to just drop the paper on the floor since I had to hold the film with both hands.  Well, that was just too great a temptation.  She grabbed the paper and ran to the sitting room and there was nothing I could do.  I stuck the film on the window, smoothed out the bubbles and went to investigate.
I'm getting used to messes like these - I didn't even yell at her.

Where are you going to hide, punk?
You can't look innocent with the evidence in your MOUTH.

I cornered her, got her to drop the paper and went to finish the last window.

At least there are trees somewhat obscuring the view at this window but I can still see the ridiculous-ness that is their FRONT PORCH.  
The only drag about covering the windows is that you can't see if you have company. 

I started at 10:30 in the morning and finished with the six windows a little before three.  These windows were more difficult because I'd wager the previous owners didn't open the blinds the entire time they lived in the house.  I certainly don't blame them, but the windows were a bit messy and I had to scrape a lot of paint off of them.
Lighter, brighter and no more ugly views!
Maya was very impressed.

I love having all that light in the house now - the difference is night and day!  wah wah waaaaah
Sorry, I couldn't resist.  The only problem is all that light is highlighting all the DUST on the floors and furniture.  I'm going to have to sweep and mop FOR REAL to get at all the nooks and crannies I can now see quite plainly.

I'll think about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy little polka dots (with a couple more pictures!)

We moved into our house in May and from the moment we walked in the door I loved everything about the house.  It was as though it was decorated with me in mind - with one exception.

I never understood the kitchen curtains.  The whole rest of the house is light and airy, with white plantation shutters throughout.  Then you get to the light airy kitchen and you've got this dark, heavy curtain that matches nothing.  The back of the curtain was lined so it was always extra dark in there and I could never understand it. I had been telling Drew that I wanted to change it ever since we moved in.

Now, the dark heavy curtain does have a function.  It obscures the view of our neighbor's backyard.
 What you would see if you raised the curtain.
I swear, if their ratty kids don't quit throwing shit in my yard they're going to hear from me.  
I have a DOG you jerks!  
My backyard does NOT need to look like yours - quit throwing shit over the fence!
At any rate, seeing the tutorial at Young House Love inspired me to tackle the kitchen.  So I went to Home Depot and got some window film.
John and Sherry's tutorial recommended the Gila brand but Gila only had big rolls and I didn't want to be wasteful.  Gila sells a kit that has the smoother, the box cutter and drop cloths but I already had all that stuff so I passed.  I did buy the adhesive solution but Artscape brand window film says just to use soap and water to adhere the film.  I didn't know this until I opened the packaging so I very quickly returned the adhesive solution to Home Depot today.  Besides, it was just water and some chemical.  I like the idea of soap and water better.

Next I went to the fabric store for the curtains.  There's a fabric outlet near my house where I got the fabric to recover my chairs in the breakfast nook and sitting room.  They have great fabric at low prices so it was a no-brainer to go back there.  Again, they didn't disappoint - I had a clear idea of what I wanted and no sooner had I walked in I found it!  A neutral fabric with a pop of red!  Drew loves red and we have red touches throughout the kitchen, which totally did not go with the dark blue curtain.  I did a happy dance right there in the store.  Now, I'd never done this before so I had no clue how much fabric to ask for.  I gave the guy the measurements for the windows, told him to give me some error room and he gave me two and a half yards of fabric.  I prayed that would be enough and went to Target for a rod.

I also knew I wanted a tension rod because I didn't want to mess with screws and all that nonsense.  I wanted this to be an easy, no-sew, no tools project.  However, none of the tension rods were stylish nor were they long enough.  I's worth a shot.  AW YEAH!!!!

Y'all!  I found my rod and guess what!  It's a shower curtain rod!  I don't care who knows it, I was beyond tickled and shower curtain rods are pretty stylish these days.  I'd already gotten clip rings from Home Depot so I headed home to start my project.

I got home and got started.  This is where you need two people - one to do the work and the other to take pictures.  But, I was by myself so you have to use your imagination.

The first thing I did was put the film over the bottom half of the windows.  It was so freakin easy that even I couldn't mess it up.  Put soap and water in a spray bottle.  Spray the window a whole bunch.  Peel the film apart, stick it on the window.  Smooth out the bubbles.  Seriously, that's it.
Smoother, courtesy of from this project.  Thank God I didn't throw it out - although you really just need a flat surface.  I bet a stiff spatula would work in a pinch.
 Bubbles, pre-smoothing.  Most importantly, the Whiskey Tango backyard is obscured!!
That part didn't take hardly any time - probably about fifteen minutes.  The curtains though??  That took forever!!  I wanted to cut as little as possible to minimize the chance of mistakes.  I made exactly ONE cut - I folded the fabric in half length-wise and cut it down the middle.  Thankfully, I had a repeating pattern to work with so it was pretty simple.  I didn't want to mess with trying to measure the curtains so I folded those too and ironed them in place with my trusty hem tape.
Making sure you don't have to sew since 1958.  Actually, I have no idea when hem tape was invented - I just know I love it.

I had leftover hem tape from a project I did almost ten years ago.  No lie y'all - I did another happy dance when I realized I wouldn't have to buy more.  I just folded the edge over with the hem tape in between and ironed a crisp pretty hem.  I did that on the other two sides and folded up the bottom so I wouldn't have to measure and possibly mess up and end up with curtains of different sizes.  The bonus is it makes the curtains heavier looking (read: more expensive) yet lets the light in on top which gives it some interest.

The picture in the middle we had - it's Drew's Chinese zodiac.  The year of the rat, I think.  It had red paper around the mat but it was the wrong color red so I took it off.  The bonus on that was the mat was the same color as the window trim!  And of course, you can't ever beat free art!

I started at 3:45 and finished everything just before 7pm.  Not bad right?  I wasn't sure about the pattern, but when it was up I instantly fell in love.  The light from the kitchen windows is awesome and I went back to Home Depot today to get more film to do the rest of the windows on that side of the house.  I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner!

So what do you think of my happy little polka dots?
Right after I finished and rearranged the appliances and grabbed stuff from other rooms to 'stage' my kitchen.  I'm lame - you don't have to tell me.
This morning - I was playing with the ISO on my camera and apparently this setting makes the flash go off.
This ISO makes everything yelllowish so just look at the top of the curtains where you can see how I just folded it up but it actually looks decent.  
It sucks not having a computer at home I tell ya - but you get the idea.
How bout a side by side?  Much better right?

My pretty curtains are ready for their close-up

Shower curtain rod detail - I told you it was stylish!
Tan walls, tan fabric.  Black dot, black frames.  White dot, white window trim.  Gray dot, gray backsplash.  Red dot, red blender.  It's like it was MADE for our kitchen!
Getting that nasty curtain out of the way makes all the difference in the world and thank GAWD it was only held up there with just two screws!  I was so scared it would be a nightmare to take down, that thing had pulleys and strings and everything!  I took it down in one piece, rolled it up and shoved it in a closet.  That way if someone comes along and they really just want that curtain back up they can have it!  

I'll keep my happy little polka dots thank you very much!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Expanding my comfort zone

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom regarding my last post.  And a big huge squishy rib-crunching hug goes out to Jolie for taking time out of your day to give me honest thought about my situation.  You're a peach and I'm totally taking your advice to heart.  I use my blog for everything else, why not use it to flesh out my job desires?  Who knows, I might be able to help someone else.  I've learned that I'm not alone in my happiness, sadness, good times or bad and God KNOWS I'm not the only one out there looking for a job.  So here goes.

But first, a little 'I hate that fucking dog' moment.  Not a whole lot of time goes by around here without having one of those.  

The dog has now learned how to open doors that are not completely shut.  She has learned to nudge it open with her nose to go wherever she pleases.  We try to be vigilant about making sure the bathroom and closet doors stay closed so she can't get in the trash or grab our shoes.  We are not always successful and she has destroyed my slippers in the past.  Drew's mom got me another pair of slippers in New York and the dog destroyed THOSE too.  I wish I could put something on all my shoes that would shock the shit out of her the second she put them in her mouth.

This morning I awoke to the unmistakable sound of her chewing on rubber.  The squeaking noise didn't register at first, but then my sleepy brain told me that she has rubber rings.  Except the rubber rings were in the front room.  I woke up all the way at that realization.
I hate that fucking dog.

My Rainbows!!!!!!  I got those shortly after I started college in 2004!!!!!  They mold to your feet and they're super soft and I loved them!!!!!  And they're EXPENSIVE!  I had to step outside to breathe on that one.  My chest was all tight and I wanted to cause grievous harm to that dog and I hadn't felt that in a while.
I was ready to chalk the whole day when I got Jolie's comment.  I read it like five times and it changed my mindset.  It got me thinking.  And planning.  Soon I was calm and simply decided to replace my Rainbows.  I got dressed and made a list of errands to run today, including the Rainbows-replacement-store.

I got everything on my list crossed off and with it came a huge sense of accomplishment.  I didn't figure out what I want to do with my life but I was productive and that counts.  It gave me the fuel to come here to the library at my school and complete some of the job-related tasks I set for myself.  Among them is a baby step towards networking.

I hate the word, the concept and the thought of meeting total strangers gives me panic attacks.  Even networking sites like LinkedIn are too intimidating for me.  Then I had my a-ha moment.  LinkedIn isn't the only site!  So I posted a couple of ads on craigslist offering my services as a Spanish and French tutor as well as another for yoga classes.  I can meet people who are interested in those things because at least we'll have that in common.

Then I found  I knew it existed but only in an abstract sense.  I entered my zipcode to see what would come up and I was floored!  There are ALL KINDS of groups out there.  I joined all the Spanish and French language groups that looked cool and even RSVP'd to a couple of their events.  I'm telling y'all this so I can remain accountable.  I promise I'll tell you if I don't go and I don't want to have to do that.  I joined some professional women's groups and wrote that I was looking for a mentor.  I even joined some yoga groups and some 'meet fun girlfriends' groups.  

THIS is what could work for me.  I could meet people in a softer type environment rather than some hard-core "networking event" and go about looking for a job that way!  I'm excited about it and feel really good about this first step.  And it's because of you - you who commented and you who sent good vibes gave me the strength to find something new and try it.

All on a day that started out super terrible!  Oh, and I decided not to get a replacement pair of Rainbows.  I actually have a similar pair with thicker soles and I decided to spend the money I would have spent on wooden hangers for the closet.  We went shopping last weekend for some new work clothes for Drew and Nordstrom Rack had a set of 8 wooden hangers for $5!!  I love how they look and I begged Drew to get them for me.  He got me three sets and I hung them before I left the house this morning.  I loved them so much I had to get more, so I got the rest today.  I'm totally patting myself on the back because a new pair of Rainbows would have been $50 and I spent $40 on the hangers.  Yea me!

Thanks again you guys.  You rock!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two months

I have been unemployed for two months today.  I thought it would be something that I could feel positive about - I had plans y'all.  However, in practice it turns out those plans are much harder to execute.

Negative situations have a way of consuming you to where you are paralyzed into inaction.  Unfortunately I have found myself in that position.  Drew has accepted his position and now travels 150% more than he used to, and he was already traveling more than I preferred.  Through mid-March, he is pretty much going to be gone during the week, coming home on the weekends.  This SUCKS.  And surprise surprise, I'm not handling it well.  When I don't handle things well, I pick fights.  I'm not proud of it, it's not right, and I know I'm not the only one who does it.  It usually starts with a valid concern, but it is delivered in such a way that Drew has no choice but to get defensive with me.  Then I get pissed because how dare my husband stand up for himself, he should cower, cower I say! because he is indeed wrong and needs to take it!  Sometimes we switch it up and Drew will say something sideways to me and then I stand up for myself because how dare my husband pick on me, I'm UNEMPLOYED!  He should be more SENSITIVE!

Unemployment is stressful, not just for the person that's not working.  I get so down and feel so sorry for myself that I forget that Drew is in this too.  I lash out at him - *sniff* What does he know, he HAS a job.  *sniff* He doesn't even CARE that I'm depressed and sit at home with this stupid dog all day.  All he does is yell at me all day telling me I suck and I'm lazy and I need to get a job. *sniff*  This is what I think when he calls and says "So what did you do today?"  As if I can't read between the lines.  I know you think I'm lazy!  I know you think I'm freeloading off of you!  You don't have to lie!  I know you hate me!  I know you wish you had married somebody else! *sigh*

It's hard being Drew these days.  If he asks me what I'm doing, I bite his head off.  If he doesn't ask, I whine and cry because I think he's forgotten about me and doesn't care because he's off in San Jose living it up and having a great time in his new job without me.  I mean, I'm thankful that I'm receiving unemployment, but Drew is worried about what we're going to do when it runs out.  He tries to express that worry to me, but we just end up fighting.

You know, tell me I'm ugly and I'll laugh in your face.  Tell me I'm dumb and I'll laugh harder.  Tell me that the only job I'll ever be qualified to have is a receptionist and I'm never going to get anywhere professionally and I will fall on the floor, curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out.  You can only hurt someone if they already believe it about themselves.

I know, I know, I know Drew doesn't mean it.  I know he's just worried about money - most men are.  I know he's upset because he feels like he believes in me more than I believe in myself.  He's frustrated with me in the way that only someone who knows you're capable of more can be frustrated.  But that doesn't change that when he hits that soft spot, or attempts to 'tough-love' me in order to rouse my 'I'll show you' spirit, he's going to get it with both barrels.  

Put the other stress on top of the present situation, and it's been rough in our house for the past week.  Oh yeah, we fought on Valentine's Day which is always fun.  Great for the self-esteem I tell ya.

HOWEVER, we had a very good conversation last night and we got through a couple of conversations this morning.  I should make a sign and put it up on the refrigerator.
We could have one for 'days without a fight.'  
Except I don't have any photo editing programs.  Or a printer.  But it's a good idea.

I spent some time with a couple of my girlfriends who each shared their insight.  I'm very careful about who I talk to and how I tell other people about what's going on in my life.  I only share the badness with those who will NOT say "Girl, I would not put up with that shit if I were you!  NO MAN would EVER talk to me like that!  You should LEAVE his ass!"  People like that suck and are not truly your friends.  I also try not to bash Drew to other people.  I mean, how does that look on me - I'm the one who married him!  Editorializing and making the other person out to be the bad guy won't help.  I try to simply say "I am having a problem that I can't solve.  I respect your opinions and know that you have my best interest at heart.  Can you help me?"

I have gotten some great insight that I really respect and I'm excited to put it into practice.  Drew and I both have flaws and we are masters at pushing each others buttons and pulling out the big guns to battle when we do.  But really, what does it prove?  Yeah, I can use my words to cut you to the quick.  I can destroy your self-esteem with a single glance.  He can make me cry.  He can make me feel bad about myself.  Is that something you're supposed to be proud of?  Is that something I'M supposed to be proud of?  I know just what to say to Drew to make him feel like dirt.  Hey guess what?  THEN I SHOULD NEVER SAY THOSE THINGS.  When you love someone you use your powers for good, not evil.

Being unemployed sucks.  I'm down on myself and I hate it when Drew tough loves me.  It's hard on him that I'm not working, I know that.  I know that he has only the best intentions and I have to remind myself of that, especially when I feel like he's picking on me or his words don't come out quite right.  It's not easy but something has to give.  Battling is hard and the longer you do it, the harder it is to make peace when it's finally over.

We don't know when we're moving.  They've hired another girl in his office so it's not as urgent for him to get out there, but eventually it's going to have to happen.  I'm not down with this kind of travel.  He and his bosses will revisit the relocation discussion in July and it's possible that they will say that we need to be in San Jose August 30th.  Or September.  Or sometime.  I'm confident that by the end of the year we'll be there.  But then again things could change, who the heck knows.  Meanwhile, what am I supposed to do?  Unemployment will run out, I get that.  But what are my choices?  I can get super-serious about looking for a job and finally find something that I absolutely love.  For what?  To have to quit three months after I start because we have to move?  It doesn't make sense.  OR, I can get another receptionist-type gig and want to slit my wrists every day I go to work.  There have got to be other choices - that can't be it.

One thing I do know, I have to stop fighting with Drew.  It's draining me, it's wearing on him and soon we will mess up and say something that you can't take back.  It's only a matter of time before the fighting gets dirty - it's inevitable.  You get tired and you get sloppy and you start talking about people's mamas.  
*Not that he or I ever have - just making a journalistic illustration.  That's it.   

Note to self - try being nice to your husband and maybe he'll be nice to you.  Screaming at him like a banshee and telling him why he sucks isn't doing the trick.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Since reading Katie's last two posts I've been thinking about lurking.  I'm not a huge fan of the word but it is what it is, so I move on.  BTW Katie, I put my email address on my profile.  So now I've got TWO ways for people to contact me - my blog email and my real email!  Keep pregnant girls happy y'all - that's the rule.  Oh yeah, go read what she wrote about lurkers - that way my post will make a little more sense and you can act accordingly.

So back to people who read your blog without telling you, i.e. leaving a comment/email.  On one hand, of course I want to know who is reading what I write.  I feel less alone, more validated when someone comes on and says "I know what you're going through" or "Hang in there" or "Pretty mirror!" 

We all like validation and we all want to connect with others, otherwise we wouldn't have/read blogs.  For me, I like knowing that I'm not the only one in the world with an imperfect marriage, or who's struggling with infertility, or simply that I'm not the only one who thinks the world is funny.  So many times I'm alone and something ridiculously funny happens to me and for a moment I think that was so crazy!  I wish someone could have been here with me to see that!  Then I remember that I have a blog and if I tell the story right, it will be like you were there! 

I would looove to know who is out there, who is reading, who thinks I'm funny, who cries with me, who is happy with me.  That would be cool, but I don't think it's entirely necessary.  I do the same thing - I hop around on tons of other blogs, reading their stories but not commenting because I don't want to sound like an idiot by leaving a comment like I was here, cool story because sometimes that's all I have to say.  Other times I leave long, novel-like comments because I'm that moved and I want the writer to know.

It's a funny thing, this blogging and commenting and lurking.  I would love to have a cool blog with a slick layout and kabillions of followers because who doesn't?  Even if the people who read my blog clicked 'follow' after reading only one post and have since not read anything I've written, I touched them that one time.  Wait, that didn't sound right.  They liked me enough in that one instance to click 'follow' and that is super awesome and I thank you all.  And I loooove comments just like the next girl - with each comment back and forth I feel like we're forging a friendship.  I love hearing from those who read what I write, hands down.

However, those that read and don't click 'follow' and don't leave comments - you're awesome too!  I'm happy that you bear witness to my life because that matters to me.  Scratch that, it means so very much to me.  It warms my heart - no lie.

So if you want to stay in the shadows and never comment or email me, I'm actually okay with that.  Somehow, some way, I know you're out there and that's enough.  In fact....

*this is me moving an imaginary internet tree to give you a little more shade*

How's that?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love heroin

There's a scene in Notting Hill where after Hugh Grant has fallen in love with Julia Roberts and they've fought and she's left him, he tells his friend "I feel as though I've been given a shot of love heroin and I can't ever have it again."

That's what comes to mind when I think about this whole baby-making business.

I struggle not to sound ungrateful - there are so many who can't even get pregnant at all.  However, the pain of trying to conceive after having been pregnant is almost too much to bear.  Infertility is horribly painful on its own, but maybe it's more bearable if you've never known pregnancy - only in the way that you don't truly miss what you've never had.  I feel like something has been taken from me and I'm trying so desperately to get it back.  Would it be easier to bear if I'd never had it in the first place?  Each month I feel that this could be the month that the nightmare begins to go away and each month, with each slash of red on the toilet paper, it's renewed.

The joke is that early pregnancy feels a lot like PMS.  Mood swings, breast tenderness, feeling full in your belly.   I was bawling my eyes out last Thursday, but even through my tears I knew it was plain ol PMS, not The Worst PMS Of My Life - the kind I felt when I found out I was pregnant.  I can pinpoint each time in the past three months that I've been nauseated.  I didn't used to get nauseated - that started in December.  I also didn't used to cramp before my period and both times I was pregnant before, I felt the Implantation Cramp.  Now I cramp before my period all the time.  In fact, that's why I'm up at 6:40 in the morning - I was supposed to start on Sunday and I've been on edge, waiting to start, hoping not to.  I just started.

Each month, each twinge I think 'Is this it?  Will I finally begin to heal?'  And each month I get a big fat NO.

I try - maybe God is making me stronger for the battle ahead.  I've entered a pregnancy research study that perhaps will help.  Our neighbor told me about it - ClearBlue Easy is developing a pregnancy device that will not only tell you if you're pregnant, but how far along you are.  It's for three months and it's just a pee study (no needles, thank God) and if you get pregnant while in the study they pay you $175 and you get a free ultrasound as part of it.  Of course I'm not doing it for those reasons, but it's a bonus.  They gave me the ovulation sticks to pinpoint my fertile days (even though I have an app on my phone that I check obsessively) and if I don't get pregnant after the study, I get three months of ovulation sticks as a consolation prize to help me conceive.  

If I don't get pregnant after the study, we're going to see a doctor.  My 34th birthday is in two weeks and I don't want to lose any more time - maybe God is doing this so I can be stronger for the potential journey of IVF.  I don't know - I just yearn for a reason for my tears.


I was due on April 19.  I wanted to be pregnant on my due date - in my mind, being pregnant again would make that day hurt less.  When it was further away it seemed possible, that the pain of the miscarriage would sting less if I got pregnant again within that nine months.  That the loss would be more of a hiccup than a situation.  Now with it a little more than two months away, my confidence is faltering.  I know it's still a possibility, but my cycle is becoming irregular.  I used to be able to set a clock by my cycle, knowing within hours when I would start.  The days between them now are no longer regular - hopefully the ovulation sticks will help with that, but an irregular cycle is just another obstacle to conception.

I know there's no measuring stick when it comes to infertility - all of our pain is valid in it's own right.  I just can't help but wonder if it would easier to bear if I simply couldn't get pregnant at all.  If the door had never been opened to me, if it just weren't an option.  Then it would just be off the table and we'd go down the adoption road, or whatever other path.  But it was opened to me - twice.  I closed the door the first time and still don't regret that.  But the second time.  The second time was right, it was wanted and it was taken away.  

I don't shake my fist at the sky and I don't say why me.  I truly know better than that.  I just wish I knew the purpose of my pain - what does it serve?  What am I supposed to learn from this?  If I knew why I was feeling this way, why I was going through this, maybe the pain would be a little more bearable.

And yet, I know better than that too.  I may never know the purpose of my pain.  I know that it's not for me to know, it's simply for me to have faith.  But honestly, I want to say You really don't have to take away my children, I promise I'll be good.  Can You teach me in another way?  Can I become a better stronger person by different means?  Please? 

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have have an extremely hard past two days.  Hard, bad days.  Days where I haven't been able to stop crying.  Childhood and young adult wounds have been opened, causing all manner of pain and self-doubt to rush in.  Then I found this.

I like reading The Bloggess.  Some days she's so super funny - other days her 'look at me, I haven't taken my medication, look how crazy I am' can be a little much to bear.  But when she finds things like this, it makes me feel so much better.  And that is why she and the internet are so cool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I blame my swine flu

Saturday morning we volunteered at a run/walk that our friends Nic and David put together.  David and his friend Chad came up with the idea over drinks and nine months later the Dash for the Beads was born.  We were happy to help, it was for a good cause, all that stuff.  But it was COLD!!!!  And we had to be there at 7AM!!!! On a Saturday!!!  Luckily, they gave us food and lots of drinks so it was all good.

It may or may not have been because of the cold weather, but Sunday morning I woke up feeling like garbage.  My head felt like it had swollen to three times its normal size and I felt achy all over.  I took Drew to the airport and spent Sunday night self-medicating with everything that said 'flu' that was in the medicine cabinet.  For the past three days I have been laying on the sofa, coughing my brains out, blowing my nose and breathing through my mouth.  I'm glad I've been alone.  Add to that a near-total lack of sleep because laying on my side makes all the nastiness drain and then I can't breathe, so I roll over to the other side for a few minutes until it drains to THAT side suffocating me again, leading to the most bee-yoo-ti-ful circles under my eyes and I'm convinced I have the swine flu.  It's probably mixed with some ebola.

Today, I FINALLY made it out of the house to run errands because the dog has no sympathy for my hacking and sneezing.  If anything, she's curious about this strange occurrence and was constantly in my face, sniffing me.  I wanted to show you guys something.

With my head all swollen and stuffy-feeling I couldn't bear to braid my hair or do anything with it while I slept because the pressure was killing me.  Thanks to my braid-out fail my hair was super fuzzy and sleeping with it out didn't help matters.  Yesterday I felt a tiny bit better so I turned my attention to the frizz atop my head.
You know how they have 'the face of the swine flu?'  Well, this is the hair of swine flu.  And yes, I'm wearing the same nightgown.  Get off me, I'm sick.

The thought of standing in the shower and starting all over again was enough to make me cry but I had to do something with my hair.  I was catching mouthfuls of it when I rolled from side to side at night.  Between the dog practically sitting on my head, the twelve thousand pillows on the bed and not being able to breathe, I seriously think I got three hours of sleep a night.  Hence the camera in front of my face.  I looked baaaaaad y'all.

So can someone please tell me why I thought straightening my hair would be less labor-intensive than re-washing it?  I blame the excessive quantities of Nyquil I ingested.  Nevertheless, I blew the dust off my CHI, scrounged up my last few drops of flat-iron-defend spray and straightened my hair.

It took about thirty minutes, which surprised me.  I was prepared for it to be hours and hours - afterward I sat down with my shears and did a search and destroy for aaaaaaallll the split ends that my straight hair now highlighted.  I've been curly and heat-free for over a year now so I don't know where they came from - but they're gone now!  

Straight hair also highlights all my gray hair - yippee.  I started going gray when I was 24 and it never bothered me.  I would just color my hair for fun - my hair has been every color in the book.  I stopped coloring it a few years ago because it was getting too long to mess with and at that time, it wasn't that bad.  Now?  Yeah, I've got a Bride of Frankenstein streak going on that is oh so chic.  It'll be really interesting when my entire length is gray - right now it's about two inches.  At any rate, I don't think I'll be straightening my hair again anytime soon so check it out!
The longest part is juuuust above my waist!  How cool is that!
I already miss my curly hair and will probably wash it tonight or tomorrow after yoga.  I keep catching myself in the mirror because it's really weird to see myself with straight hair.  It's so ironic because in the old days, I wouldn't be caught dead without stick-straight hair.  I truly was a slave to my flat iron.  Even today traces of the old me came back as I was fighting with my shower cap to keep my hairline dry.  Of course I wasn't successful and my baby hairs at my temple are back to their curly selves.  
I let them be, telling them that the rest of my hair would be joining them soon.  

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Braid-out FAIL!

The thing that sucks about curly hair is if you mess up, you have to start all over again.  There is no brushing it out and putting it back in a ponytail.  Unless you have two more hours that you want to waste re-washing is at best, a pain in the ass.  At worst, out of the question.

Soaking wet, my hair is approaching my waist.  This is awesome in and of itself, but care and maintenance have become rather cumbersome.  The only thing I can do with it anymore is a wash and go, a la Teri's method.  It works and now that I've gotten the hang of it, I can do my hair only once a week.  

Yesterday I experimented - the wash-n-go works but I wanted to see if I could do something else.  The answer is NO.
I washed my hair as usual and soaked it with conditioner before I got out of the shower.  I've found that if I detange once I'm out of the shower with my vented brush I have virtually no shedding.  After the hairball from Hell I was frantic to try something else that wouldn't leave me bald, so at least there's that.  

I started by separating my hair into a bunch of sections and braiding them.  There was no rhyme or reason, I just grabbed some hair and braided.  I 'sealed' the ends with shea butter and twirled them around because I didn't want to hunt around for tiny elastics that would leave a crimp in my hair anyway.  They stayed pretty well but my hair isn't curly enough for the ends to completely stay together.  I don't sleep with a scarf or anything because I am a crazy sleeper and anything I put on my head ends up tangled in the sheets by morning.  I also don't use a satin pillowcase because I'm way too OCD to have a non-matching pillowcase on the bed.  So the picture above is of my braids after I slept on them, raw and uncovered.  
That was around seven Thursday night.  I had a dentist appointment this morning at 10:30, so I didn't take my braids out till about 10:15 - I wanted them to have as much time as possible to dry.  However, all that time wasn't enough - my hair still wasn't 100% dry, which is crucial for braid-outs.  Observe.
Kind of fuzzy - I like more definition than this.
The waves look okay, but this was seconds after I took the braids out.
Incidentally, it's really freakin hard to take pictures of your hair without looking like an idiot.
Notice the fuzz in the back - not awesome.

There wasn't the height at the front and crown like I prefer, so I tried to mess up the part I'd made so it didn't look so flat.  I don't know if it's the nature of my hair or all the years of straightening it, but if I were to pull my wet hair into a ponytail, only the ponytail part would stay curly.  That's basically what happened at the front of my hair.  I'd pulled it to the side to start the braid and the two inches right in front were pretty much stick straight.  
Puffy frizz at about nine pm
It wasn't even that windy outside today
Big nasty undefined fuzz

The key is to take the braids out when your hair is 150% dry.  It can't be the slightest tiniest bit damp otherwise you end up with fuzz.  However 7pm-10am?  What is that?  *counting on fingers*  Fifteen hours?  HOURS?  And my hair STILL isn't dry?  I don't have that kind of time and I am *not* going out of the house with a head full of braids!  Not even a little bit!  The other option is a dryer but I don't have one and plus, the whole idea behind curly/natural hair is to use heat as little as possible if at all.  Besides, I can just see me having to sit still with a dryer/bonnet on my head - the dog would leave me/it alone for about 2.3 seconds before I'd have to shoo her away from me.  Then she'd go off and rip/dig/destroy something and I'd have to chase after her.....

Nope, no dryers for me.  I truly need a wash and go style.  I would just like to do something different every now and then you know?  For example, this style rocks my world and I would love love love to know how she did it.
  image courtesy HoneyBrownSugar 
And Mya's bi-racial so I know I could do it too!  Maybe rollers or something?  
See how her bangs are kinda straight - mine do that too.  
Must. figure. out. hairstyle!!

Until I have more than fifteen hours in which I don't have to leave my house this marks the last braid-out I do.  What do you think?  Do you use bonnets?  Dryers?  Roller-sets?  What are those anyway?  And how do you sleep in rollers without them giving you a massive headache?  Do tell!


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