Monday, May 31, 2010

You gotta want it

The Monday after our reception, I went to my OB to have my bloodwork done.  I got the 'habitual aborter' panel - isn't that a great label?  I didn't know that they're called abortions no matter what.  Elective, missed, spontaneous - all abortions, there's no distinction.  As if I'm doing this on purpose.  Miscarriage isn't much better - as if I'm doing something wrong, like I'm not following the directions.  I know it's just medical terminology, but it stings just the same.

I'm proud to report that I didn't freak out as badly with this blood draw as I have in the past.  The good thing about having the same doctor is that they can get to know you and make allowances for your idiosyncrasies.  In my case, they put me in an exam room so that I can lie down and no one can hear me hyperventilate and cry and carry on.  Although, I do wonder if they do it more for me or for the other patients - not that I really care.  I definitely wish I could be one of those people that can calmly sit and have blood sucked out of my body.  I hate that I go into a mild state of shock every time.  It always takes a solid ten minutes to stop shaking and I wish I were stronger.  At any rate, I got through the blood draw with minimal drama.  I didn't cry until after he finished and I took my time waiting for the room to stop spinning and for the feeling to return to my face.

A few weeks later, she called with the results.  My bloodwork came back 'funky' - her exact words.  My homocysteine and Protein C levels were a little outside the range of normal but she didn't want to try and interpret those since she wasn't a hematologist.  Of course, I consulted Dr. Google and those are markers for clotting disorders.  I was realllly hoping that it wasn't that particular issue because I knew what that meant.

More needles.  I hate needles.

This past Thursday I went to a hematologist so that he could give me a more accurate read of my levels - although I appreciate my OB, I'd really like a better diagnosis than 'funky' levels.  I was so nervous to have more blood drawn.  I didn't see the point - can't they just do with what they already have?  

The hematologist was really nice and he became nicer in my eyes when he told me that I wouldn't need more blood drawn.  Thank GAWD!  However, it's because he didn't think it would do any good since my levels weren't far enough outside the range of normal to give an accurate diagnosis.  In other words, he didn't know why I was having miscarriages either but he didn't think it was because I have a clotting disorder.  Awesome.

Since I'm losing them so early, there's not a clear indicator as to the proper course of action.  His recommendation is to go ahead with LMWH - low molecular weight heparin.  It's a blood thinner, on the off chance that my body is producing microscopic clots that prevent an embryo from attaching properly or receiving a good oxygen supply.

We left the office with no more answers than before.  The blood thinners are not clearly medically indicated and it's a once-a-day thing for the entire time I would be pregnant.  Needles.  In the lower abdomen - the ute.  Every day for ten months.  I got prollems with that.

However, if I don't take the shots and have another miscarriage, y'all will get a front row seat for my ride to the loony bin because the what ifs will end me - would I have had a fourth loss if I'd done the shots?  Did my inability to man up cost me another child?  Did my selfishness ruin me?  Not pretty to contemplate.

I would have to start the shots the second I get pregnant again.  I'm not looking forward to it and I have an appointment with a fertility specialist to get his take on things.  I just don't feel I have much of a choice because risking another loss is not a gamble I'm willing to take.  I can't be okay with knowing there was something I could have done, even though the early losses mean there's no real way to tell if this is indeed the cause.

I never thought I'd have to answer that question - how bad do you want this?  I never thought I'd have to decide how far I'm willing to go to be a mother.  I know there are countless women that have stood in my exact spot and they have gone to the ends of the earth to have a child, and others that have gracefully accepted their childless fate, and still others who have gone down kicking and screaming but have gone down nonetheless.

Which one is me?  How bad do I want this?  How far will I go?  How many more losses can I endure?  I feel like I'm taking the first step into a battle and I'm still not sure if I'm willing to fight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Accessorizing - with an able assist

As soon as I finished writing about the guest bedroom Sunday night, I began brainstorming ways to accessorize it.  Monday morning, I unpacked the final box of odds and ends that I cleverly hid in the pictures and put everything in its proper place.  Then I went shopping - I hit a couple of thrift stores hoping to find a chair to re-do, but to no avail.  I bought fabric for the seat cover, I printed some pictures for some frames, I bought spray paint and I found my nightstand!  I'd been looking for a nightstand for the bedside but wasn't having much luck since the platform bed was so low.  I knew I'd need something non-traditional and thought a garden stool might work.  I found one at Target and crossed my fingers.
The one I got was similar to this one and only $50.
 I can't believe it's almost $200 online!

Unfortunately, once home I discovered that the stool was too small for that space.  When I returned it, I stopped at the Ross next door and just about did a happy dance in the aisle when I found a woven storage cube that was just the right size - plus it was only $30!  Holla!  Along with my trusty assistant Maya, I spent today decorating!

First up were the picture frames I found in the box - there was nothing wrong with them that a little black and white spray paint couldn't fix.
  I don't even remember where that gold frame came from and
the brown frame is Drew's.  Since all the frames in the house are black,
these too must be assimilated!
I sprayed the mats white to match the rest of 
the mats in the house.

Remember when I said spray paint is not my friend?  Turns out I was just using the wrong kind!  
It goes on smooth, the nozzle doesn't clog and I'm pretty much in love.

I sprayed the frames black and while those dried, I turned to the seat cover.  Black and white no longer fit the room, so I went back to my favorite fabric store to find a neutral fabric with some blue.  It's like they knew I was coming!  Either that, or I'm not very unique and everybody's decorating in neutral tones with a bit of blue.  I don't care - I found a great fabric at a great price so I was happy.  You remember how much trouble I had covering the seat the first time?  Well, I got smart this time!  Thanks to a YouTube video, my problem was solved!  Forgive me if y'all already know this and I'm tardy to the party but I was giddy - giddy when I saw that video.  Last time I messed up by trying to staple an entire side before moving on, making my pattern all wonky each time I finished a side.  I ended up with a crooked pattern and I was not pleased.  But I learned this time!

It's so simple - secure the fabric with one staple at each side so your pattern won't slip as you staple!  Revolutionary!  Changed my life!  And it went soooo much faster!
New fabric - I even used more batting to plump up the seat!
Before, when it was in the sitting room
After, in the guest bedroom
The fabric is a little greener than the walls, but I don't 
mind that it doesn't match perfectly.
I'm just tickled that the pattern is straight.
Maya making sure that it meets with her approval
I like it Mom!

Next was the storage cube.  Having checked that the white spray paint wasn't too bright, I went after it.
Yeah Mom, I think this will work.
I know, I bought it.  Can you please move so I can get a before shot?
Oh, sorry.
Thank you.
Perfect size, just too dark.  Luckily, I can fix that!
Awaiting transformation
First coat - please hold while I run to Lowe's for some more spray paint

By this time, the frames had dried and I assembled them while I waited for the cube.  Once that was done, it was back to the guest room to address the cord issue.  In Target, I had an a-ha moment and thought about hanging hooks to the underside of the desk to hide the cords.  I got some $2 mug hooks and hoped it would work.
I hope those work Mom!
Yeah me too.
Messy cords
No more messy cords!
Obviously there's still the one for the power strip, but I can deal with that.
The cord on the desk is for Drew's computer and if 
I were really anal I suppose I could tuck it behind the boxes.  
But I'm not, and this is good enough for me.

By this time, the cube was dry enough and I wanted some after pictures!  
Much better!
Accessorized with some tealights, a magnolia bloom from our backyard
and a photo from our trip to Santa Fe.
The other frame is in the dining room with a picture from 
Paris and the gardens where we got married.

Next on the list was the clog in the bathroom.  While that's not really decorating, spending all that time in the bathtub made me realize how grody our shower curtain liner was so I bought a new fabric one.  But back to the clog.
Yup, that sure is nasty Mom.
Yes I know - it's actually your fault.

About a week ago, when I wasn't home, my darling husband decided that he would give the dog a bath since she'd gotten muddy on their walk.  He bathed her inside the house.  In the bathtub.  And then looked surprised when the drain got clogged.  And then asked me to do something about it since he was out of town.

From now on, the dog gets hosed off outside or she goes to the groomer.  That's the rule.
Sorry Mom.  Dad said it was okay.
I know he did and we're having a conversation when he gets home.
I'm bored - can we play?
In a minute.

I tried everything they said on YHL.  I did the baking soda and vinegar.  I plunged like it was my job and I was working overtime.  I pulled out nasty grody disgusting hairballs.  I did more baking soda and vinegar and plunged some more.  It drained, just painfully slowly.  I finally gave up and went to Target for some Liquid Plumr foam stuff - which did absolutely nothing.  I poured the whole bottle down the drain, waited and then took a shower, only to end up standing in ankle-deep water.  Thirty minutes later it drained, leaving behind all my sweat and paint and general nastiness, (I jogged with the dog today!  Me!  And I lived to tell the tale!) which I had to clean all over again.  This time I went to Lowe's since I had to return the extra can of spray paint I got and bought some Drano Max gel.  Once again, I poured the bottle down the drain and I'm praying to the baby Jesus that it's okay by morning.

I'm really happy with the way my accessories turned out for the bedroom.  I'm still looking for my chair and I'm confident I'll find it.  I found a couple on craigslist but they were selling for three and four hundred dollars!  Look, if you're listing something on craigslist you have no business charging for it like it's new.  My other favorite is when people say 'I paid $4000 for this so I'm selling it at a loss for $400.'  No one cares what you paid - all that matters is what it's worth now.  Telling someone what you paid for it is just an attempt to justify a high asking price.  Yet, I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth because we paid a pretty penny for our dining room table from craigslist - but that I could swallow.  It's very unique and very well made, so I was okay with the price.  It's the junk that gets me!  Stuff that's ripped, dated and raggedy - and they want $375 for it.  Not for real!

However, I refuse to give up hope that the chair I want can be had for cheap.  I've already got a few more thrift stores on my list and I'm sure I'll find it!

Tomorrow - turning in the sexy sports car and getting more blood drawn.  One yippee, one boo hiss!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The sincerest form of flattery

Interior design/home decorating was never an interest of mine until we moved to our house - suddenly I was all over the internet, looking at design blogs, brainstorming what would work in our house and stopping at nearly every thrift store and garage sale I saw.  I've gone from being insanely intimidated to shrugging my shoulders and plunging right in - sometimes with great results, and sometimes with decent results and much cursing.

Hands down, the website I turn to again and again is Young House Love.  John and Sherry (see how I talk like I know them?  It's an act.  I would probably dissolve into a pile of rainbows and glitter if I ever met them) have an older house somewhat similar to ours.  Because of them, I've learned how to paint furniture, I've made a gift-wrapping station, I got boxes for our desk, I frosted our windows and I'm about to tackle the clog in our bathroom.  My name is Desiree, and I am a Young House-aholic.

The latest in my Young House adulation is the dresser in our guest bedroom.  The first time I cleaned it out was in preparation for Drew's parents to visit.  Prior to that, it was a catch-all room for all junk and leftover boxes that I hadn't gotten around to unpacking and sorting.  Whenever we had guests, that door stayed closed.  

Having his parents over was a great motivation to straighten and finally decorate it, because once I cleaned it out the only thing in the room was a bed and my office cabinet.  It looked so bare and sad, so I jumped on craigslist to find a dresser.  Imagine my giddiness when I found a dresser identical to the one John and Sherry redid for their nursery!  I contacted the guy and rushed out to buy it because thanks to them, I already knew the dimensions and knew it would fit perfectly in our guest bedroom.
I paid more for mine than they did - even on craigslist,
things are more expensive in the big city.
I wanted to stain the dresser to match our
 cherry-colored platform bed .

I'd never worked with stain before, but I had no fear because they do such detailed tutorials that it's really hard to mess up.  Drew and I hauled it out to the garage and I got to work.
Sanded to within an inch of its life.  
By hand - I want an electric sander next time.
Staining the drawers - it's a pretty good match!
I used Cabot stain - Minwax's cherry wasn't the right color.

I also decided to paint the top of the dresser white, like they did.  When Drew is in town he works from home, using the white desk in the sitting room.  However, he really needed to be able to shut the door when he was on calls so we moved it to the guest bedroom.  With the white desk and the cherry bed, I figured a cherry dresser with a white top would tie the two together nicely.  I was right!  Check it out!
I love the three stripes on the side.  
They didn't show up until I stained it and it was such a cool bonus!
The plant was a housewarming gift from Kristina and I haven't killed it!  Yea me!
Standing in the doorway.  
Maya came in and hopped on the bed
but she was too much of a diva to look at the camera.
I would love to hide the cords and have a home for our printer 
like they do, but I'm too OCD to sit off to one side of the desk.
I'm also going to recover the seat of the chair since the black
and white fabric doesn't go with the warm tones of the wood.
This corner needs something.

Now that the dresser is the only thing on this wall, you can really tell that it needs accesorizing.  I'd like to find a chair to put in that corner - maybe a floor lamp as well?  My new favorite blog, Better After did a post on chairs today that has me itching to hit the thrift stores!  I want something like this.
Image source
I love the lines of this chair - I would paint it white
and do a neutral fabric with some blue in it. 
I feel like the picture above the dresser needs to be a little lower. 
What do y'all think?

I'm so happy that the guest bedroom is finished, and by finished I mean we can actually show this room as part of our house tour when we have company.  I still have to get a small accent table for the side of the bed and I'm now on the hunt for a chair!  

Most importantly, Maya has another throne to claim.
She likes every bed but the one we bought especially for her.
Go figure.

PS - Check out how I finished the room!  

Friday, May 21, 2010

In my house

The time has come.  I knew it would but I didn't know how long it would take and what I would do when it happened.  

I said something on my blog that upset someone enough to take time out of their life to write a negative comment to tell me about myself.  Actually, it was a couple people.  And everyone knows that if one person is saying something, there are a handful more that are thinking it.  So, in this instance, on this day, I will address it. 

To my anonymous commenters  I say:  You got me.

You are right.  I get angry.  I have touchy spots that when they are triggered, I get angry.  I'm not a crier, someone who will cower and look at you with weepy eyes saying 'why did you do that?' - I'm a screamer, a crasher, a kicker, a thrower of plates, a below-the-belter, a slammer of doors, a cusser and a breaker-of-your-shit.  I will sit in the corner and cry but only after I'm spent from all of the above activities or I've broken something.

I'm not proud of that - not in the slightest tiny bit.  It's not okay to be crazy - ever.  It's not okay to indulge the dark side of your personality - there is no excuse ever.  We are civilized human beings and the only thing that separates us from lower animals is the ability to control our reactions, be they physical, verbal or otherwise.  I have a very good girlfriend who is just like me and two calmer, more level-headed people you will never meet.  It's because we both know the chaos and damage we are capable of and we seek to control it at all times because to indulge it is unequivocally unacceptable.

However, I'm human and I am flawed and I still have my Achilles heel.  Presently, it is my inability to sustain a pregnancy and my inability to cope well with the fact that my new husband travels five days a week and I talk to him an average of 15 minutes a day - and that's a 24 hour day, not a workday.  Touch those spots, inadvertently or not and I get vicious.  It's not okay and I work on it every day.  I don't just do yoga for my health - it has been hugely instrumental in helping me control and diffuse my anger.  I pray to God to give me the strength to be better.

Having a pregnant girl in my house on Mother's Day a mere four weeks since my second miscarriage was more than I could handle.  I said nothing out loud and no one knew my struggle because I have gotten very good at talking myself down, yet inside and on my blog was a full-blown rage.  It was fueled by the addition of three more children, and further fueled by the drug aspect.  She had been clean for only a year - with children aged 6, 3 and 1 the math alone was enough to make me angry.

And no, I don't believe she deserved to have yet another child.  I stand by that statement.  We have children for what we can offer them, not for what they can do for us.  When you are homeless and a drug addict, you cannot offer anything to your children.  I do not live in the land of rainbows and fairies, believing that love is enough.  Children need way more than love and when you're strung out, you are useless to them.  Yet, discussing whether or not people deserve to procreate can only ever be philosophical because no one has the power to make those kinds of decisions.

As for the homeless part?  I have strong opinions about that as well, but never having been homeless I can't truly speak on it.  I just know that there are four shelters in Dallas with immediate availability that will give you three hot meals a day, a clean warm bed, clothing, showers, and job assistance, all while you stay as long as you want at no cost to you.  In my opinion, it's hard to justify living under a bridge or harassing people at red lights when those options are available.  I thank God every day that I don't have to explore those options and that's where I leave that.

The wedding exposed another of my weaknesses.  To say I get cranky when I can't spend time with my husband is polite - I can get vicious.  And again, it's not okay.  However, when I feel I'm being kept from him for no good reason - well, that's more than I can handle.  That evening, I felt my time and availability was being taken for granted by someone who knew my situation.  In recounting that story, I tried to keep it focused on me in that I was uncomfortable dancing with someone as their wife angrily looked on.  I was mortified at giving a speech that I wasn't supposed to give.  I was unhappy that I was separated from my husband, and I took issue with insensitive comments that I should have dismissed.  I was remorseful that my friend's day didn't go perfectly, but I was also realistic about such lofty expectations.  As for the LG, the gloves came off between us last July.  Yes, I was less than mature but I'm still working on steeling myself against those who are so flippant about their ability to sustain life.  It's not their fault that they can and I can't.  However, trust me when I say there is far more to that story and that's where I'm leaving that.

Now, the next part.  Have you ever been in a situation where boundaries have not been established between you and another person and they overstep those boundaries and you have to have that conversation outlining where and how that line was crossed so it doesn't happen again?  Consider us having that conversation.

This little piece of the internet is my space, my home if you will.  Anyone who comes here and reads what I write is a welcome and honored guest.  Yet, you are a guest - just as I am when I visit your part of the world through your blog.  In my house, I share just about everything.  Just about.  I am fully aware that what I say is sometimes cringe-worthy and I'm okay with that.  I'm real and authentic and flawed and messy and I'm okay with that too.  I'm also okay with being checked.  When I was all wacked-out and all over the place and viciously angry during my first miscarriage, my friend Cori checked me so sincerely and correctly that I stopped mid-tirade.  I mean, the plate was in my hand, aimed for the wall and I put it down because she checked me and she was right.  And this was on my blog and through email, not in person.  I am still grateful to her for that.

I have no problem with anyone asking me what I meant or telling me they take issue with something I've said.  However, the least you can do is be intelligent about it, tell me your name, and use proper spelling and grammar so you can retain some credibility.  After all, you're in my house - wouldn't you want to introduce yourself?  We can have a discussion and as long as it's relevant, I have no problem explaining myself.  What would be even better is if you included your email so I can personally respond.  I always feel terrible when someone comments on my blog and I can't reply via email and they have no blog.  When I get a negative comment and there's no email or blog, well then I just think you're mean and useless and I would politely ask you to leave my house.

You are an honored and welcome guest in my house - I simply ask that you respect that and act accordingly.

Now, *smoothing my skirt*  would you like to see the dresser I've redone?  You would?  

Right this way...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Ugly Dress party

Saturday morning we got up early.  Rather, Drew got up early and I dragged ass for an hour after I got out of bed.  We were going to Galveston for the weekend for Steve's 40th birthday party and we were taking the dog.  We've traveled with her before, but I just didn't remember it being this hectic!  I forgot everything and of course blamed Drew.  That didn't make for a pleasant drive down but once I let out all the cranky, I was able to enjoy myself.
I'm so thankful she does well on car rides!
I'm so thankful he does well on car rides!

Drew and Steve have been friends for several years and I just love him!  Steve is such a genuine person and I was really looking forward to the getaway.  And you can never go wrong with an Ugly Dress party!

Galveston is a really cute beach town.  I loved the houses and architecture and was really bummed that we didn't have the chance to drive around and take pictures.  But this was a party weekend and we came to party!  We arrived with a few hours to spare before the evening got started.  After a quick spat (when I'm cranky there's no avoiding a fight - it's best to just get it over with and move on), we were ready to get the party started.  We each donned our ugly dresses for the evening and I started snapping pictures!
The three of us
My ugly dress, courtesy of Thrift World!  
Because when your best friend asks you to put on a dress,
you put on a dress!
These dresses were so fantastically bad y'all!
I mean really bad!
Yikes to the wow!
Steve has only been in Galveston about nine months, yet his apartment was packed with really nice people in really bad dresses!  The whole community there is really close and I was so impressed that they went all out for him.  When it was time to go, we went outside to the pink trolley that was going to take us bar-hopping.
All aboard!
We need one of these in Dallas!

We hit all the fun bars in Galveston - can you imagine a gang of people storming your bar, all in ugly dresses?  We were a sight to behold!
Showing some leg!
Singing happy birthday to Steve
Trying to look sexy on the way to the next spot
I wish I knew what was so funny!
The boys doing their best Romy and Michelle impression
The humidity taking its toll on my hair -
good thing I'm tipsy and I don't care!
As the night wore on, we were picking up everybody!
You didn't even have to wear an ugly dress by then.
Yeah, so that happened.

Unfortunately, I don't remember anything else after this point.  I'm such a lightweight and my cocktails hit me all at once and like a ton of bricks.  Apparently, I passed out laid down on the sofa at the last place and Drew and Patrick took me home.

The next morning, I woke up with a nasty hangover and did a frantic check for my ID, credit card and camera.  I couldn't carry a purse so my cards were in my bra and my camera had been around my wrist.  Thanks to my awesome hubster, I had all three!  He's the greatest!
Now that's a good night!

The next morning, we dragged ourselves to brunch.  We got there early (I have no idea how) and Patrick and I amused ourselves while we waited.
  He wanted to steal this and 'shoot' people ahead of him 
in the brunch line.
Brunch at the Hotel Galvez
Patrick's eggs benedict with chocolate sprinkles.
I almost threw up at the table.

After brunch, we loaded the cars once again and headed to the beach.  It was so much fun to hang out with Drew in the ocean and it was really heartwarming to see how much he enjoyed himself.  He really needed this down-time.  Even though the traveling doesn't really bother him, it's hard nonetheless.  He and Maya had a blast rolling around in the surf.

Right after I took this, I yelled at Drew "You're out too far!"
I don't think she minded - too much.

We all slept like logs when we came home.  We got up for dinner and came right home and went back to bed!  Monday morning I drove Drew to Houston Hobby airport since he had to fly to a meeting in San Antonio before coming back to Dallas.  Poor baby - I need to do something nice for him, he travels so much.

As for me - when I arrived home I had fifty thousand loads of laundry to do, errands to run and get readjusted to home life again.  There were dishes to do, bills to pay, appointments to make and a doggie who needed her shots.  We did that yesterday and that poor animal hates needles almost as much as I do!

We have nothing planned for this weekend - I'm curious to see how long that lasts!


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