Monday, November 20, 2006

Almost Brilliant

In the last couple of months Jack has started trying to sound out words and read labels or signs. Sometimes during his bath, I will write words on the wall in bath crayons and have him practice reading Last night I was giving Jack a bath, and we had a bunch of words written on the wall. Jack decided it was time to switch gears to play-cleaning, so he started to wipe down all the walls with a washcloth. Then he stopped suddenly, realizing he was erasing his words, and said “heeeyyyyy, where is my J-A-C-K spells Mama?!”

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Brush with Infertility Scared my Ovaries Into Action

I've been gnawing on this secret for three weeks and my defenses are wearing thin. I'm happy to announce that I am pregnant with baby #2! This joyful news has turned me into a hermit as I have tried to balance caution with the fact that pregnancy tends to turn me into a one-track-mind kind of gal. When friends call and say "What's New?", I'll stammer "uh, um, nothing..." (lie!lie!lie!). So I've dropped off the face of the planet and havn't been calling friends or returning their calls. I tell them via email I'm *really* busy right now. A few friends have actually demanded I honor our pre-existing dinners or engagements and they have found out within 30 seconds that I'm knocked up when I tried to causally say "oh, nothing for me, I'm not drinking tonight". "Oh my god, you re pregnant!" they exclaim. Why did I have to be such a lush? It has given me no cover whatsoever.

And this has been an epic pregnancy in the making. Good lord, all that money wasted on birth control pills in my 20's, when I should have been saving for my reproductive endocrinologist fees. After 9 months of trying without too much stress, I went to my OB for a little help, due to my "advancing age" (33). They naturally filled me to the brim with Clomid for 5 months, which increased the stress level of trying a bit and never landed me a successful pregnancy. Off to the reproductive endocrinologist (RE) for more help.

I don't know what I THOUGHT infertility treatments were like, and honestly I didn't give it much consideration beyond chatting with some unlucky friends, because *I* would never have to go that route, of course. And usually I think everything bad can happen to me, I'm not a "it wont be me" kind of person, so I don't know why I wasn't worried about infertility YEARS ago. I could have gotten a really good head start on my panic.

After one month of infertility diagnostic tests, which included lot of pain, time, money, more pain, annoyance and frustration, they found nothing wrong. I however, by this point, had absolutely convinced myself I would never conceive again. Surely not even IVF would work for a case as bad as mine. Cursed! Why did I wait so long?!

Then I wrecked the schedule for the next months of tests and had to sit it out. And I kept sitting, and sitting, and sitting. I thought: this has been a really long month. And just like that, I was pregnant. 16 months later.

I had my 6.5 week ultrasound earlier this week and the baby was there (good), heartbeat was there (good), more than one baby not there (devastating to my husband, who thinks twins would be "fun"). I have another ultrasound next week, after which I might emerge from seclusion if it still looks good. I don't know why I'm hiding this from friends except I know the minute I tell one, it will make it around the world like a flash fire in some Crisco. We just love our gossip!

So that's my news. It's interesting that this pregnancy is so different from my first, but more on that later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shopping Mania

I went to the shopping mall recently with a friend to buy a new dress for a wedding she was attending. She's the type that you really have no choice but to drop everything and accompany, because a true crime against humanity could occur if she was left to her own devices. You would no sooner let this friend pick out her own dress than you would allow your two year old vacation at Disney World unattended, it's just not done.

In any event, as I was doing this selfless act of charity, I had a lot of time on my hands, mostly spent standing outside dressing room doors. I was able to observe some truly suprising sociological trends. Clearly there are some very different philosophies on shopping out there. I couldn’t believe the number of women in "outfits" and stilettos at the mall. I guess I never noticed this before. Why are women dressing up to go to a mall? To impress the other chicks? To catch the eye of the Mall Walking Seniors brigade?

In my mind, shopping is an athletic event. It calls for easy on, easy off clothing (ok yes, specifically a velour sweat suit), and tennis shoes. And it calls for Focus. As in, going shopping should never be construed as code for "let's eat". I've never been a big eating/shopping combo type girl, but since I have had a child, the mere logistics of getting out the door Without Said Child calls for the event to be carefully planned and time, absolutely maximized. No matter how many weekend bachelor parties my husband goes away for or how many months his nighttime intramural league runs, he seemingly has no recollection of all my single parenting whenever I tell him I want to go shopping with the girls (maybe three time a year). It turns into An Ordeal, where he finally gives in saying "Fine! Go Go" and actually, I believe, pouts.

So I finally escape into the car with my girlfriend(s) after all of the drama to leave the house, visions of racks of clothes I can speed walk through sensing the fabric and fit with the tips of my fingertips, planning to cover 10 maybe 15 stores, when inevitably one of them turns to me and says "are you hungry?". It never fails, which is why I've developed somewhat of a reputation for being anti-hunger-friendly. If I have 3 hours to do 4 months of shopping, I do not want to spend it dawdling in a bistro. Dawdling in a Bistro is a perfectly legitimate activity if that is what you set out to do. But not if you set out to buy new leather boots because yours have holes in the bottom and your socks are constantly wet.

I will hesitate before responding, my teeth grinding audibly, and the friend will usually start to back off realizing their mistake. They will say things like "oh ok, well let's just go through Taco Bell, then huh? Ok?" And I will, with the warmth of an Ice Queen, say "Fine.", still internally calculating the diversions cost in time. And they will say, "What do you want?" And if I am starving to death I will say, "Nothing.". Because it’s the principal really.

Speaking of shopping, I had this incredible idea recently to do all my Christmas shopping in November this year. This would replace my pathetic arguments to my relatives and friends in mid December where, after realizing that I, who refuses to stand in long check out lines, have no hope of getting gifts out in time, argues that Christmas is out of control and we shouldn’t exchange gifts this year. Yes, I know it makes sense for adults, but even I, who propagates this argument, have to admit its pretty lame not to get my young nieces and nephews anything. Or my son for that matter.

Imagine my surprise when I ventured out in November to find the stores packed! I felt violated in a way. Sort of like the time I came up with the idea of a device that you could attach to pets or children that would sound an alarm if they fell into a pool, and which I did nothing about, and 6 years later it came out in stores. So, pretty much like my idea was stolen! So much for early shopping. It looks like I will have to shop the internet, which for some reason makes me obsessive about price as I comparison shop across 10 sites and spend a half hour searching online for promo codes for a $20 item. I wonder how long it will take me to get frustrated with that...maybe I should just begin writing...

"Dear Friends and Family,

I've been thinking..."