Monday, June 30, 2008

Saturday Night

Saturday night, we went to a street dance with a bunch of friends from work. It was a fabulous evening.

My dear friends M & J announced they are expecing their 4th child. And I was genuinely 'stoked' about this news. I was so happy that there would be one more of them around. They are fabulous parents, and their children are not perfect but they are pretty darn close. In public. At home. Even on road trips. They are just amazing children.

They have a 4-year old daughter who wore me out with chasing and dancing and tickling and giggling and I sincerely am not exaggerating when I say that I could never tire of making her laugh. She is a joy to entertain and gives back way more than she gets. What a wonderful evening we had, DH and I, with these friends that night. A cherished evening indeed!

Also that night, I had a great conversation with my friend G's wife about foster care and the improvements they are making at their home to become licensed. She gave me some great advice about what brand of child locks to buy, what kind of furniture and car seats she has purchased, etc. and how the process has been going with them. She showed me pictures of the kids they have been providing respite care for, and was genuinely sad that I could not adopt them. She explained how she is having difficulty right now, because their soon-to-be adoptive parents have renamed the kids who are 4, 2, and infant. She says it is most difficult for the 4-year-old, as you might imagine, who has forever been called something and will now be called something completely different. I cannot fathom renaming these children It just seems wrong to me, so selfish, in this case anyway. I feel bad for the kids, and also feel bad for my friend's wife, who will be losing these children when they move into their adoptive parents' home here in a few weeks.

I'm still worried about the basement issue and so I broke down and emailed the agency today to see if we couldn't discuss the basement, so I could either feel confident that it will be all right, or start freaking out and looking for a new home. Also, G's wife has suggested her agency and really feels they would be better for us, so I called and left a message for their foster care worker. But the voicemail on her phone wasn't her talking , it was just an automated cell phone service repeating back the number, so now I'm paranoid I've called and left a message at the wrong number. Must be patient and hope for the best tomorrow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last night was Girls Night In this time hosted by my friend, L. It's always a different mix, but last night there were several nurses there. I wasn't there long before I figured out that they work at the surgery center where I will have my Egg Retrieval. I wasn't going to volunteer anything, because they started complaining about the upcoming IVF cycle and how they can't take any vacation days because all the nurses have to be on call during those two weeks (my RE's office only does 4 cycles each year). Knowing glances from others in the room as this goes on until another friend totally outs me. So, the complaining about IVF time was aborted and instead we played 20 questions with the infertile, which was fine, but interesting to note that those nurses at the surgery center have no idea what all has occurred before you get to retrieval.

To demonstrate this, I will share only this - they didn't know that I had to give myself injections! They didn't even know that we get injections. They seriously have zero idea about what happens, because they are surgery nurses. Their more frequent patients are random normal surgeries, like hemorrhoids or carpal tunnel.

Anyway, I ended up being glad I was outed and had the opportunity to learn more about their jobs. And now, if one of them is working when I have my ER, it will be like a little reunion. So, I'm kind of hoping I get one of them!

My week has been a whirlwind of events most evenings, and last night was no exception. Monday night, I took co-workers from out of state out for dinner. And again on Tuesday night after our annual stockholders meeting. Wednesday night I vegged out at home. Thursday night, I saw some band at the zoo. Some friends from work and I participated in the Final Fridays Art Crawl downtown, which involves the galleries being open later and offering refreshments - including free wine and cheese. Wahoo! After we got tired of walking, we all went our separate ways, so I was only about 90 minutes late to girls night. Tonight we are supposed to go to this street dance in Kechi where a friend from work's band will be playing. has been raining all day, so I'm not sure if that will go as planned. I keep thinking my social life is crazy right now and I've got to slow down, but I know that in exactly 4 weeks I will be starting my stims and so will be going nowhere. I guess I'm just trying to pack my whole summer into these last few weeks.
This morning, some friends from church and I distributed toiletries to the homeless downtown.
We had spent a couple hours before that making our 'girl' kits into 'boy' kits because there seem to be more men than women at these things. In total, I think we had 40 men kits and 5 for women. And they were gone about 10 seconds after we walked in to the place where others from our church were serving a free lunch. The kits contain toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, a comb or brush, plus a poncho, two pairs of socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, bottled water, two snack packs, McD's gift card, gas station gift card, and 5 bus passes. So, they're quite popular and although they're certainly not going to save someone's life or get them off the street, they hopefully will make the next few days a little more comfortable. It really didn't take much of my time, and was good fellowship with friends from church. I didn't particularly bond with anyone in particular, or really feel anything emotional. But I also didn't think about myself for those few hours. I didn't worry about the stressful week I will have at my job or infertility or car payments or the conversations I had yesterday. I was focused on something other than myself, which feels really good.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sloth visits the RE

I had my HIV test at lunch today, which I think is hilarious to tell people. I have to have one every 6 months for our fertility treatments, but seriously, its too funny. They also re-tested me for Hep-B and Hep-C but I crack myself up, talking loud at my desk amongst new co-workers who have no idea what's going on in my life, shouting out how I "had" to go get an HIV test at lunch. Makes me chuckle each time I think about it!

Well, at first, the nurse showed me the picture of me and DH from her file, which is H.I.D.E.O.U.S and I am looking at the floor, kind of half smiling, half getting pissed because I don’t want my picture taken. DH is just spacing off. I guess they use the picture to make sure they don’t give out sperm or eggs or anything to the wrong people. But anyway, she shows me this picture where I look like Sloth from the Goonies, and I’m mortified. But she just keeps talking about how DH owns the company he owns, which she figured out b/c his profile says business owner and in the picture he’s wearing a polo shirt with their logo. I love M. and think she was just trying to make conversation, but once I saw this picture, I stopped listening. I had never seen it before, and it was taken over a year ago when we first had our initial consultation.

As we’re reviewing a bunch of things, I am still worried about this picture, and ask if they refer to me as the girl with the eye problems. Seriously, the picture is THAT bad. But she just laughs it off and says none of them are any good.

So, Nurse M. goes out of the lab and the technician comes to take my blood and while she’s drawing my blood M. comes back and says, “We were just talking about how beautiful you are. I was just asking the girls up front, and they all agreed that there’s just something about you. Your look. It’s striking.”

I thanked her, blushed, and thought about accepting the compliment, but really couldn’t take her seriously. I was still obsessed with that picture.

So, I asked if it would be okay if I brought in a better picture of me and DH for their file. She didn’t say no. She just said not to hire a professional photographer. So, you can bet your bottom that I will be sporting a photo of us from home at my next appointment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Midweek Mahem

NCLM is almost over, and although I can't say I've fulfilled my commitment every single day, I've still left way more comments than I ever would have before, and have discovered so many great new women and their blogs. Seriously, its been the most amazing month and I'm so very happy I did it. I would sincerely like to thank anyone who left me a comment this past month. I am so flattered that you read my rambling thoughts and found it worthwhile. Thank you.


DH had to work late tonight, and I've been out the past two nights for work functions, so I'm vegging out in the most comfortable bed E.V.E.R., watching Denise Richards: It's Complicated on Tivo (can I just say that I like her so much more than I ever thought I would? And also that I do have some standards. For example, after two episodes I decided I was just way too evolved to waste my time with Living Lohan. And I also cannot stand the cast of the Real World: Hollywood and am now boycotting the rest of this season. See! I have standards!).

After Denise, I'm going to watch some Jon & Kate Plus 8. I just finished a frozen pizza and a beer, and will soon be inhaling a ... Choco Taco.

Our local Bell stopped selling this delicacy last year, and I was missing me some Choco Taco. So, with the recent ice cream weather the search has been on to find them again. I knew I had seen them somewhere so I had been retracing my steps for a few weeks. I finally broke down and searched online for variations of Choco Taco, Choco Taco Distributors, etc. Finally, I learned via the Klondike website that their distributors are not tracked because CT's are considered impulse items and are packaged for individual sale at convenience stores. Stopped by QT on my way home from work tonight, and voila, I am now the proud owner of 4 CT's .... soon to be 3.

While my frozen pizza was cooking, I pulled out my IVF notebook, the holy document of all information related to my blood work, lining measurements, questions and answers from appointments. And so, I have begun my entries for this cycle. I noticed that I bought this notebook back on August 12, 2007 as I was preparing to move home from Houston. I still had one month before our IVF orientation class. But I was putting together a care package for myself, buying books and meditations on CD. I was anxious to get started. It seems like a million years ago.

But that wasn't my point. My point with the whole notebook bringing up thing was to tell you that I'm doing something. Or, rather, I'm getting ready to do something. Seriously, I don't know why I'm putting this off, but I just think what's the rush?

I'm thinking of calling the RE's office tomorrow with my litany of questions. I need to tell her what meds I have leftover, so I can get my new meds ordered. I actually did this inventory back on June 7th but just haven't gotten around to calling. And really? What's the rush? I can't start injecting myself with all these headache-giving (but also hopefully life-giving) hormones until the 18th. But I need to schedule my bloodwork. And I need to confirm some things in her last note to me that seem wrong, but probably aren't. So, I'm going to try to bite the bullet and call tomorrow. Of course, organizing all of my questions for one phone call most surely will give me extra points in this year's contest. And we all know how important Fav Patient of the Year is to me.

Otherwise, there is nothin doin with my infertility right now. Just waiting for Saturday to get here, so I can start my last month of BCP's before stims.

Also, no news regarding our foster care licensing, except that I keep telling more people about it and the more I tell, the more mixed responses I get. Half of the people are pleased and say we'll do great, the other half seem concerned for our safety. Maybe I'll pray for those people. Maybe we can inspire them, because although I know this will be a challenge, I feel even stronger that this is E.X.A.C.T.L.Y what I'm supposed to do right now.

Ok, gotta go. That darn Choco Taco is calling me!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let's Get Personal

Infertility's affect on a couple's sex life.

Now there's a depressing topic!

I have been thinking about it a lot this week for some reason. And even though I'll tell you all about my psychotic emotional breakdowns, cervical mucus, bikini wax, and my girlie bits - its really uncomfortable to talk about my sex life.

But I think I want to. Because telling you things helps me work through them, and to feel better, so here we go ...

My sex life sucks. (stares at blinking cursor thinking to self, what more is there to say?)

Ok, I just wrote about 50 paragraphs and then deleted it. No matter how anonymous I wish this is, or how much I want to just get this feeling off my chest, my sex life with my husband is sacred, and I can't tell you all the things that make it suck so bad.

I don't think he'll leave me over it, and I don't think he would cheat. But it bothers me that this area of our marriage is so shitty right now, and has been off and on during the TTC journey. I want it to be better, I want to work on it, but my sex drive is so in the toilet. It's abysmal. It's like totally non-existent.

Ok, ladies, I don't want details, but seriously, am I the only one who cannot even remember the last time she had sex? Or the only one who has felt the impact of IF in this area? I don't remember anyone ever warning me about this.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Has it really been since Monday since I wrote something? Shame on me.

Day 1 of the garage sale was a tremendous success. The spare bedroom which will be the bedroom for our foster child (if we are approved via the basement loophole) is now empty and ready to be decorated for a child. And everything that was in there falls into one of the following categories 1) sold and is gone forever; 2) will be sold tomorrow between 8 and 12; or 3) will shortly thereafter be taken to Goodwill because its not freaking coming back here E.V.E.R.

Yes, I'm feeling the purge. And the purge is good.

But I have one confession. Living away from here was not all bad. I lived with two co-workers. We drank heavily most every night. We grilled out. We sat by the pool. We swam and danced and ate and sang and lived this carefree life away from home with no bills. And last night, while packing up the last of those 'apartment' things to take to my boss's house for the garage sale, I got a whiff of a scent. Let's call it 'apartmentesque.'

I have a strong sense of smell. Always have. And so I have emotional reactions to smells.

And so last night, the wind was knocked out of my sails by this smell on a blanket that had been in a storage tub since January. It smelled like my work apartment. And I was immediately flooded with this emotional sense of everything good and bad that that apartment has represented. I smelled it again several times today just to go back to that place in my mind. I made my boss smell it. I made her son smell it. They didn't really get it, but humored me. I told my old roommate about it on the phone, and he had experienced the same phenomenon a week or so ago when he finally unpacked some of his things from our apartment. So, I felt validated. That smell means something to him, too. And when I left tonight, the blanket still had not sold, so if I allow one thing to come back, it will be that blanket. Because, I like the way it smells.

In Foster Care news, the big news is the empty spare bedroom which is now ready to be painted and to be furnished with a crib/todder bed and toys and books and diapers. And when I say empty, I mean, one mirror and one drying rack. E.M.P.T.Y. - like my uterus. I still have not heard from the agency who is supposed to be calling to schedule our home visit. But I have marked all the MAPP classes on my calendar and have planned business trips around them.

In IVF news, today was my last day of BCP for this pack. I start the next pack on NEXT Saturday - which means AF will be here any day. Let the cramping and hormonal rages begin!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sometimes I Hate Being a Girl

1. No, I did not take that picture of the tornado. But I wish I had. I bet its worth some moola. It was emailed to me by a friend who claimed it was the tornado that hit in Chapman, KS last week. However, according to the AP, it was taken by some old lady in Iowa. But a surreal snapshot nonetheless and I'm glad others were as taken by it as me.

2. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is in charge of creating the regulations for foster care homes. And as I am as of yet unsure about my loophole, I am going to hold judgement. But if I'm denied because of this basement bull crap, then there may be picketing. And letter writing.

3. Resisted urge to call agency today to pre-discuss basement woes. Am being strong, using my 2ww-must-resist-urge-to-pee-on-a-stick skills to not dial her up. Which is worse - person with basement, or psycho who calls daily because she won't simply wait for her home visit?

4. Had emotional breakdown at lunch today. Eyes welled up with tears. Tears rolled down cheeks. And all over this ridiculous song that is not even remotely about children or love or soldiers dying or any of the other usual suspects. It was "Multiply" by Jamie Liddell (see video below) which is a groovy little tune. So seriously, must be wacky crazy hormonal-ness.

I knew I was blue in the morning, so procured a steak quesadilla and chocolate shake for some emotional eating and was headed to my friend M's office. He had called me at lunch and asked for some help. So, I had planned to stop by his office and eat my lunch with him. And I kept thinking on the drive how I would open up and tell him how grateful I was to be helping him, to have an excuse to do something different, and to thank him for saving me from facing my office. I just couldn't sit in there all day. I just needed a change of scenery for some reason. But when I got to his office, there were two other guys in there. He wasn't patient enough for me to get back to the office, but had asked a male co-worker. And I felt like I had just walked into the boys club, a secret meeting without me. Which on any other day I would have kicked up my feet and joined them, but today, I was needy and strangely weepy, so I needed his undivided attention. So, I said, Oh, you don't need me, and left and then I ate alone in my office.

But later, after I was done being ridiculous, went back to my friend's office and explained my strange reaction. And all is well. He says to me, I'm glad we didn't go to bed mad. Seems he knew I was upset, but couldn't tell why, but figured it was somehow the presence of the others. I hate that he had to see me this way. I hate that I was so put off by such a simple thing. Sometimes I hate being a girl.

And am now tearing up again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wretched basement woes

Found following in article from local station news from April when the new regs were passed into law:

Previously, houses with basements were less likely to be approved,
which often ruled out good parents. New regulations now ease up on the type of
home an approved parent can share. "The homes that we weren't able to license,
we're going to be able to back and see if they meet the standard's now and
then could potentially open up the number of homes we have for kids.

I didn't know that homes with basements were less likely to be approved. I understand, they don't want kids living in crawl spaces (neither do I - there are spiders and mildew and creepy crawly things in those places!), but I think this regulation seems extreme. And it frightens me that a basement would prevent me from doing something that I feel so compelled to do right now, would prevent me from helping a child in need.

Um, HELLO!!!!, this is KANSAS!!! home of Dorothy. I think homes WITHOUT basements should be banned. Can anyone at the state say T.O.R.N.A.D.O.???

But then I read this in the actual regulations:

"Living space" means the rooms in a family foster home that are used for
family activities, including the living room, dining room, family room, game or
television room, and sleeping rooms. This term shall not include bathrooms,
laundry rooms, and garages.

And I think to myself....if I take out all the actual furniture in our downstairs family room and office, then all that leaves in the finished portion is DH's bathroom and the laundry room. So, maybe we can get around this by moving our office upstairs to one of our other spare bedrooms and selling the hideous sectional and t.v. with the green "bruise" in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I would gladly give up that, and it would cost me nothing except the argument that will certainly occur if DH and I attempt to move furniture, together, up the stairs, again.

I think I will wait for the home visit instead of freaking out. I may have just found myself a loop hole....
It's Sunday morning. We made a family decision to skip church, and I fell back to sleep. I think its allergies. Adult onset allergies. As if IF wasn't enough!

DH brings me Starbucks (which I will rant about below) and a bagel, so I wedge myself up on pillows, catch up on my daily NCLM quota and watch some tivo'd 20/20. DH goes outside to mow.

Mysteriously, we can't get our act together. When I'm goal-oriented, he's spacey. And when he's fired up, I'm taking a nap. But I digress...

Innocently self-medicating with blogs, I hear the unmistakable sound of a chainsaw firing up.

I first think to myself, How can he do this? I need to be ready to take him to the emergency room in a situation like this and I'm not even wearing a bra! And then I think I bet he's not even wearing safety glasses. But then finally settled on I'd better get my camera. This could be good!

All the episodes of Ax Men I've endured have paid off in education, I guess. Because he did not hurt himself or the house. The limb was 'felled' (I am pleased and dismayed that my vocabulary has been expanded in this way. Thank you, History Channel). And we can now set up the badminton net for the BC Underground Athletic Society.

Warning! Prepare youself to be blinded by the whiteness of my husband's legs. We don't call him Powder for nothin!

And now. I believe you were promised a rant about Starbucks:
You may recall the press Starbucks got when it shut down every single store for a couple of hours one night back in February. Unfortunately, this extra training given to all employees so that they could all brew the perfect cup of joe was wasted time for the folks at MY Starbucks. Exhibit A: This morning's hazelnut latte contained zero hazelnut. Fortunately, we keep some syrup on hand for our own espresso machine, but seriously?! the little syrup box was clearly marked with an H. Exhibit B: when I was allergy-sleepy earlier in the week I stopped at the same Starbucks for an iced raspberry no whip mocha which arrived pinker than normal, which could be attributed to the fact that it had no mocha, making it in fact, a latte. I was able to overcome this obstacle by some leftover Hershey's syrup found in the back of the fridge at work, but I dare say I was endangering my own life by putting anything found in that cess pool near my mouth! Now, for $4 a pop, you would think they could at least include all of the ingredients. Grrrrrr to Starbucks. These are the last few drops of caffeine I will be enjoying before my IVF cycle, my last few weeks of that sweet sickly taste that allows me to drag my arse out of bed, and they are ruining it!!!!

For those of you on pins and needles wondering about my to do list from yesterday, that also was ruined, but not by Starbucks, that I know of. No, they were ruined by the fear that our home may not be up to foster care code.
See, I was purusing the state regulations for foster care, because being the over-achiever that I am, I would like to have everything done in advance of the home visit, so there would be no to-do list. And I am now fearful our home will not qualify because the new regulations (established in March) make it mandatory that any floor with living space (kitchen, bath, living room, office, etc.) have two exits directly to the outside. Our basement has zero.
Sure, our basement has a staircase that leads to the first floor. And two 'daylight' windows, but exits need to be only 44" from the floor. Ours are about 6 feet from the floor.
So, I am maybe over-reacting, but I'm worried our house won't qualify and we will have to either a) install escape windows which will cost us thousands, or b) move to a home that has exit windows in the basement. I like our house, make that love our house. We have just recently got it to where we love it, after years of updates and improvements. To buy a home of similar quality would break us, or at least make us 'house poor'. So, I'm afraid of this, and so did nothing on my list for fear that it would all be for naught.
Lest I appear like a stalker, I am resisting calling the agency tomorrow for details. But I probably will, because this is killing me. DH says we should wait until the home visit, but I am not famous for my patience, and so will probably call. I'm bummed about this potential setback, and hoping for the best, like some grant from some generous agency to make our house meet the regs, or that I'm a doofus and missed some clause that fabulous people like us are exempt.
Other possible solutions: promise never to take the child downstairs? 'unfinish' the finished portion of our basement thus rendering our resale value toilet worthy?
BFF S. says there is no way this will disqualify us. How many homes would meet this clause? No one in a home older than the late 1990's in our part of the country anyway. Any home with any portion finished would need to have two windows / fire exits or a walk out basement. And how sad is it that a TRAILER could be licensed, and my beloved home could not?
Instead spent yesterday afternoon laying on a float-y with BFF S at mutual friend L's home while she is on vacation. It's a tough job checking the chemicals and watering her plants, but someone had to do it. Enjoyed adult bevies (accurately mixed by moi - perhaps I should train those losers at Starbucks!). Read People and other high-quality publications. Dished on everything. Felt like we were on vacation!!!
P.S. Dear Blogger, Just because I added some pics to this post does not mean I want you to forget everything you know about formatting. I did indeed want those extra spaces between paragraphs. We are SO in a fight!
P.P.S. Sorry for the snarky post. I'm really not in a bad mood, but sometimes its fun to rant.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Foster Care Information

So, T and I attended a Foster Care Informational Meeting on Tuesday night. There were 7 other people there. I'll just go around the tables:

Persons 1 & 2) a couple about our age and apparent socio-economic status, who have been TTC for 2 years unsuccessfully and are now expanding their definition of family. I was kind of hoping we could make friends with them. I pictured us going out for coffee after the class and bonding together, but although they were sweet looking, I was too shy to even give the girl my card.

Person 3) a 20-year old girl who was legal custodian for her cousin who is now turning 18 and leaving the home. The 20-year old thought she would find another young person to live with her, because she was doing okay on her home and thought her house would be quiet if she was all alone.

Persons 4 & 5) two older ladies from the same church who were switching agencies. They didn't say much. And ...

Persons 6 & 7) scummy couple about whom you will now hear.

I am not a snob. Well, okay, I am kind of a snob. But its only because I'm so darn competitive and I strive to be better than everyone else. So, please don't hate me for being super judgemental and critical about these two. I just wouldn't want my child to have to live with them if I died.

I noticed right away that this couple appeared to be below the povery level themselves - they were adorned in cut off jeans and faded, hole-y tees, but I tried to assume the best of them. I was a bit concerned when they mentioned that they already had 6 children living in their home. I looked past the blue tooth in the woman's right ear during the whole meeting (which is not a sign of poverty, just poor manners). I pretended that her dye job was professional, or at least recent. I ignored her obvious prison tattoo. But I will admit that I began to question whether or not I thought they would be accepted as foster parents (please God, say it a'int so!!!) when they got into a heated argument during the meeting. She literally hit him at one point during their discussion.

Lest I appear completely un-Christian, I was blown away, I mean totally and completely inspired by the 20-year old who was there. When I was her age, I was more concerned with where I would be getting my alcohol that night or gathering enough tips to cover the 'minimum payment' on my credit cards. And here she is, taking care of other peoples' families. Truly amazing. And I was honored just to have been in the same room with her. Wow.

The next day, I had the opportunity to go on a road trip with my friend from work who has just completed his foster care classes. He is always a riot, and it was a good day of work. We got to talking about his classes, and my experience the night before, and he tells us (there were others in the car) about one of his classes when they were being prepared for unusual behavior:
Teacher: What would you think if you came home and saw your foster child riffling through your mail?
Friend: (says to self, but not out loud so as not to get in trouble from his wife) I'd think the little bastard was trying to rob me, find my credit card numbers or something.
Teacher: Whatever you're thinking, you'd be wrong. Children may sometimes rifle through the mail looking for utility bills to be sure you've paid them. They're so used to their power being turned off, and having to move, that they live in constant fear of the utilities being shut off.
Can we all pause for a moment to let this sink in? Because we in the car were awe-struck.
He went on to tell us about how the simple act of lighting a candle can frighten some foster children, because that can be taken as a sign of the power being off. Candles?!
I am sure I will hear many many more gut-wrenching stories like this in the coming weeks as we begin our classes. And I may even witness these behaviors in the children who will come to share our home. But it was very sobering to hear this story and to have my world realigned like this.
Overall, I am so very happy that T and I are going to do this. I feel so empowered by my confidence in this decision. And I feel strong. Like I can do this, like we are right for this, like it was meant to be. I have no doubts. And it feels so amazing to be doing something that feels absolutely spot on.
At the same time, it feels good to be able to work toward a goal. So many times in our TTC journey, we haven't had any control. It's been hurry up and wait, over and over and over again. But now, its fill out this form. Buy this thing. Go to this class. I can do this. I can control this. And it feels good to be headed toward a goal and to feel like there's something I can do that will impact the outcome. We obviously don't have that in the IF world.
So, this weekend, I hope to begin some foster care preparations around the house, in advance of our first, unofficial home visit from our chosen agency. They are small things, but good to get them started, since I can't tackle the spare bedroom until after the garage sale. I hope that by writing them down, I will kind of commit to them and force myself to at least get started. There is a lot to do. So, here goes:
  1. Install smoke detectors in all bedrooms on the first floor. Currently, we only have one in the hallway and I have N.E.V.E.R. once checked the battery. Yes, I'm lucky I haven't been killed. We have lived here almost 6 years. Yikes!
  2. Install CO2 detector in hallway on first floor.
  3. Purchase hand rail for basement staircase. If needed, stain to match rest of woodwork in home.
  4. Purchase and install plugs for wall outlets throughout home. This, of course, is step B, after the all important step A: count wall outlets throughout home.
  5. Purchase and install baby gate for top of basement stairs.


In IVF news, there is no news! Another day, another BCP. Should probably call RE's office on Monday to update them on leftover drug inventory and schedule blood work for communicable diseases check.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Random Updates

Still taking BCP's. Took an inventory of leftover meds. I have a ton of Menopur, PIO, and antibiotics for DH. Received statement with charges for DH's genetic testing from December. Called RE's office. Have I ever mentioned what a PITA it is that RE's office statement bills? I realize this saves them postage, but I need actual codes and invoices that show insurance denied or applied to deductible before I can get the funds from my HSA or FSA, so it pretty much guarantees that I have to call S. who is I think going to tell the nurses about my calls, and that will pretty much take me out of the running for fav patient of 08. She will check into it. If they charge me interest, I will scream.

Foster Care
Am still trying to decide which agency we will take our certification classes at. I finally got ahold of several different people, none of whom seem to coordinate services with the other agencies very well, or seem to be very on the ball. One woman could barely form sentences. Oh wait, I'll just copy and paste her email here. Keep in mind, I had emailed her twice, once since she got back from vacation, and this was my first ever communication from her:

no you are fine, yes i got back from vacation what a nice time, seattle. :)
you are right the nixt info meeting is june 10th at 6pm.. here at the XX office. will you be ablt to attend this? are you able to chat tomorrow sometime over the phone?

Not my typos. Hers. She was evasive when she called and I asked for an exact street address for the office, or an entrance, parking instructions, room number, etc. Apparently, this will all be in the 'packet' and she will call me 'before' or 'after' the meeting next week. Hmmmmm.

I know this entire process (not just getting licensed, but actually being a foster parent) will be an exercise in patience for me and it will be gut wrenching and nothing worth doing is ever easy. But I worry that this is the kind of service I can expect from these agencies when I'm in need and there's a wee little person living in my home. I also would just like a little higher level of professionalism from anyone I deal with in life, always. But, no more complaining, I'm going to try to keep an open mind. I am really looking forward to getting started with this meeting next week. I am anxious to move forward with the process.

My Weekend
DH is off work, yes that's right, he is not working, today or tomorrow, which has us so giddy that we can't decide what to do. (Although, I should mention that while I slept in this morning, he did go provide roadside assistance to a stranded company vehicle, but that's just the kind of guy he is). He is currently outside, supposed to be mowing the yard, but its awfully quiet so I'm afraid he's repairing some lawn equipment, which will probably necessitate a trip to the 'poh (home depot).

I would like us to go to Barnes and Noble and buy some new books. I'm thinking Such a Pretty Fat or Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (buying books is a treat for us, since start IF treatments, one way we've cut back is by using the library more). We could maybe have a coffee there. A nice dinner date, just the two of us tonight. He suggested a movie. Now that will be a date! Of course there's church tomorrow. Maybe a few hours in the sun with my new book to perfect my tan. He wants to get a pedicure, and who am I to hold him back from his dreams? I also should roam around the house scanning for more items to sell in our garage sale. Only 2 more weeks to purge the house. Oh, and maybe a nap!

Garage Sale
I haven't mentioned the garage sale here before, but its kind of a monumental undertaking, so I thought I'd explain, so in future references, it will be more meaningful to everyone. Yes, garage sales can have meaning.

You see, for all of 2007, even though we were planning and having IF treatments and an IVF cycle, I did not live at home. I was on work assignments for in other states (back to back - 6 months in Houston, 6 months in KC), and I only came home every other weekend, unless I had an RE appointment, in which case, I flew home for that and promptly left again. And when I was away, my company had an apartment for me and a roommate or two. And when these assignments were complete and the apartments were no longer needed, there was a ton of furniture and housewares leftover. So, being the fabulous team player that I am, I volunteered to store these items in our spare bedroom until warmer weather arrived and my boss and I could sell them. We're also going to sell off some of our own possessions while we're at it.

It is at this point in the story that I would like to clarify that I work at the corporate office for a mid-sized corporation. A family-owned corporation with a tight-knit group of people who feel like we are stakeholders in the success of the enterprise, who are willing to do whatever it takes to add value to the organization. Our sales last year were over $200 million. And now, the VP of Admin and Org Dev Mgr (that's me!) are hosting a garage sale to sell off company assets. So, yes, we are a big deal. But we are also humble and cost-cutting. And willing to do ridiculously cheap-looking things to keep our net profit high.

Back to the meaningful part. I saw my husband for 4-5 days a month from February to February. It was a tremendous opportunity for my career and for my development as a leader. And it was also financially rewarding. But I'm sure if you think IF is tough, add to that, the physical distance between us, and the stress of kind of half-living at home, half-living in an apartment with a co-worker or two, and you can see why I am happy to be moving forward with my life.

So, for me, selling off this stuff, and putting our marriage back in its rightful place as priority #1, is H.U.G.E! Also, getting that crap out of our house will allow us to regain our spare bedroom so we can turn it into a bedroom for a foster child. It's like the final thing holding me back right now. One more big thing that I haven't been able to control, that I just had to let run its course. For some reason, this garage sale feels like letting go of the past and moving into the future, and it feels like a new beginning. It feels like freedom somehow.

So, when I talk about the garage sale, I'm not just talking about getting a few hundred dollars in cash, or making extra space in my basement. I'm talking about regaining my life. Finally being able to do something with my life, when I so often feel like I'm in this powerless purgatory, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fashion Rules to Live By

  1. Do not mix leathers -if you wear black leather shoes, you'd better not even THINK about that brown leather belt!

  2. Do wear shoes that match your pants (makes you look taller and thinner, thank you Oprah, circa 1990)

  3. Do not mix metals (i.e. silver and gold) Blech!

  4. Do not wear black with blue (one exception: you can wear black with denim).

  5. Do wear black whenever possible.

  6. Do avoid patterns at all costs. Solids are classic. And define class.

  7. Do not give it all away. If you're showing some up top, wear pants. If you're in a short skirt, put the girls away. A mystery is always in style. A floozy is not.

  8. Do not ever, yes, that's right, never, leave home in sandals without a pedicure. Don't even get me started on sandals with socks! And when it comes to pedi's, french is timeless and never clashes.

  9. Do not wear jeans with a high waist. Burn any jeans that have a 'yoke'. (In other words, no mom jeans... "But these are Lee's." )

  10. Throw away all of the above if you are undergoing IF treatments. Then, drag out your baggiest and rattiest comfy sweatshirt and those elastic-waist-band pants. It would help if you gained 5-10 pounds in your boobs, front butt, and face to maximize the 'swollen' look. Of course, you can't forget the granny panties with the requisite light day pad for all the cervical mucus and/or progesterone suppository residue. And true IF fashion whores will even discontinue the application of makeup and wear their hair in what is commonly referred to as a "pony tail."

These are just some of MY fashion rules, what are yours?

Monday, June 2, 2008

In Other News...

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend! It's amazing that since I came out of my coma (read: took some time off from IF treatments) that I 1) actually have friends; and 2) they want to spend time with me.

We have some good friends at church who are moving later this month, and this weekend was the last time we were going to be seeing them. M. (the husband, recent seminary graduate, pastor) gave the sermon this weekend, so I went to church on Saturday night to see their fam and hear his sermon (did I mention I had a computer conversion and had to work on Sunday? Good thing we had beer!). The reading was from Jeremiah and was one he had had on his blog a few weeks back and asked friends to comment on, so I was familiar with the text. Basically, God is empowering Jeremiah, and he says back to God, I am just a boy, and God gives Jeremiah the word of God and watches over him.

M.'s sermon had to do with discerning his own call to become an ordained pastor and several times in his life when someone or God had asked him to do something and his response had been "You want me to do WHAT?" I started to space off as I am want to do during sermons, but had the most surreal experience that jerked me back to reality. I heard M. say "whether that call is to seminary or to being a foster parent or something else..." So, either M. said something random and I just heard foster parent, or he was totally talking about me in his sermon that was otherwise, for as far as I could tell, about him. (I should mention we ate dinner together the night before and discussed our intent to become foster parents, and that M. himself had been in foster care himself for 6 months as an infant before he was adopted). Either way, in light of the text and the whole God touching Jeremiah's mouth and giving him the word of God, I feel even stronger now that we are absolutely meant to be foster parents, and that God put His word in M.'s heart to encourage me and empower me to continue on this path. So, if nothing else happened all weekend, this was some pretty powerful stuff.

So, today, I called the foster care agency of choice and left a message with S. to call me back because I need to be sure we get into the class I want this summer. I'm leaning toward the 7-week class now, because I'm just more and more anxious to begin this ministry. So cool.

I received my protocol in the mail from RE's office. Looks like I will start stims on July 19th. Yes, thanks for asking, that does seem like FOREVER from now. But it also means I can make enjoy parade adult beverages and antics over the 4th of July with my college friends, on DH and I's annual trek to the holy land (i.e. Minnesota).
The best news about my protocol so far, is that I will NOT be taking Lupron! Hooray! Down with hot flashes! Down with hot flashes! I have a feeling that I was 'over suppressed' during my first, cancelled IVF cycle but I never said anything about it. Actually, this is a theory that I worked up in my own head over the past two weeks, not back when it happened. So, I am a medical genius, if you didn't know, and apparently I am able to predict what RE will recommend without even telling them my opinion. I love it when a plan comes together! But I digress ... I responded so much better during my two IUI's and so they have me on the same stim schedule as I had for my last IUI. It's seriously like 5 days of a low dose of gonal-f. I'm sure I will still have headaches, but seriously?!, will be such a simple stim.
And because they did not put me on Lupron, I am once again, still in the running for Best Patient of the Year, because I was totally going to have to call and question them on that. And then they would have to think I was a crazy lunatic patient who thought she was a medical genius.