Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh, but the universe is funny

That's right. The universe has not lost its sense of humor. Remember all the fussing and fuming of 16 days ago? Remember the decision to "not try" this month? Well, I'd backed down on that decision. I thought, heck, I'm on the Clomid, we might as well make use of it. Or at least not prevent it. I wasn't doing OPKs or checking for certain icky bodily fluids or any such thing, so I really have no clue when I ovulated. But it doesn't really matter. (Here's where the sense of humor kicks in) The "trying" that occurred on CD13 left me with a urinary tract infection which has made any targeted "trying" on the key CD14-17 impossible. Til today, CD18. So unless we had a really early or really late egg, I don't have to waste my energy worrying about it this month. Huzzah. Let's hear it for the death of the 2ww. Or the postponement, at least.

And don't start stuffing my head with nonsense like, "well, sperm can live inside the body for up to two days, so there's a chance it might have worked anyhow." I know at least what continents you all live on, I will find you, and I will club you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

First of all,

My dear party of 7 at table 83,
Thank you for the $30 tip.
Thank you for being generous to me. Thank you for forgiving me for the less than standard service I feel I gave you. Thank you for understanding that there was a larger picture at work that made my job difficult that night. Thank you for not making me tell you why. The money itself is very helpful this time of year, but more than that, thank you for reminding me of something crucial: We don't always get what we deserve. It's very easy to recognize the times that injustices have been committed against us. We rail. We complain. We gripe. But there are so many times that injustice works in our favor, and I forget that sometimes. "I do not deserve the bad things that happen to me, but by gum, I deserve the good things." Really? It's Christmas time, and now more than ever, I remember that some 2000 years ago we got precisely what we did not deserve.

Your server.

More later. Dinner's ready...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I tell you what, Clomid is a wacky trip. The first month I was on it, I had the pleasure of enjoying many of the side effects the pamphlets warned about. Hot flashes, visual disturbances, dizziness, vertigo (yes they're different), insomnia, headaches, etc etc. The second month wasn't too bad at all. This one, after a month long respite, has brought with it all the excitement of the first month, PLUS *drumroll* hallucinations! I'm not sure hallucinations are a common side effect of the drug, but the paperwork is right upstairs and I'll go look at it soon. Til then I will say it was WEIRD and partially responsible for me getting a mere 2 hours of sleep last night. Every time I shut my eyes, the vertigo would set in like mad, followed by what I can only describe as a sensory hallucination. At first, it just felt like something huge was pressing me from the side - and by huge, I mean huge and spherical almost. Then, after a while, it started to feel like my arms and legs were huge, or at least surrounded by something huge, and incredibly heavy. So for a couple hours I was spinning through space in a huge and heavy rubber suit. Almost.

No, I've never taken a "drug". I'm aware that marijuana is a leaf, and I gather from the jokes that cocaine looks like powdered sugar. I couldn't really venture a guess about what the rest might even look like. But I know what a trip is like now.

The rest of the reason for no sleep is a small child who threw up 3 times overnight, and woke up shrieking several other times that he thought he was going to throw up. Poor kid. He's better now and keeping food down for the moment.

What concerns me at present is that this is the third week in a row we've gotten him from his mother and he's had stomach problems. Is he re-infecting himself somehow? Is it just three weeks of bad luck at his preschool? Some sort of food allergy like glutens or something? That one doesn't seem likely. But I wonder.

I have other things to say, but I'll stop back later tonight or tomorrow or something. Must go food shopping.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I think I'm starting to bob to the surface. *sigh* Talked to the doc. We're going back on the Clomid this cycle, though I'm not counting days, taking OPKs or any such thing. Christmas day is CD13, and that's all I need to know. I don't have to wonder, count, plan, etc. I can expect the cycle to end somewhere around Jan 12-14. No counting. No thinking. No countdowns. No wondering. I can have wine on Christmas Eve, Port on Christmas Day, Champagne on New Years. Huzzah hooray.

I didn't want an August baby anyhow. Ruins too many plans ya know.

So anyhow.

I haven't had much I wanted to say to my tables lately, oddly enough. They've been pretty run of the mill.

Has anyone seen Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares? Gold.

Still have a little Christmas shopping to do and an absolute bucketload of Christmas sewing to do. Heaven help me. We all went shopping yesterday afternoon as a family and had a great time. The kids did a good job shopping for each other. They remembered to think of their sibling and not themselves. Big step. We were very proud of them.

I have one more thing to buy the hubby. Pretty excited about it.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hope drips

It's an interesting thing, watching hope drip out of your body. Oddly poetic that it should drip (sorry to be gross) into the toilet, no? It's just rife with poetic justice that this very stuff started in my heart and travelled through my body to form a nest in my womb. And it's not needed. Again. And so I flush it away.

I've been a headcase for the last day and a half and I'm not sure why. I still half-insane-hormonal. Everything makes me want to cry. Is it just because the "want" was in every cell of me, and so the disappointment is then in every cell of me? I don't think that's it. It feels more chemical than that. But I've never had emotions like this with PMS.

Nevertheless, it's CD1 again. It's the only day I will count this time I think. I need a break. I need to know going in that it won't work, and I need to have chosen it, and I need a month where I don't wonder every day of it, stronger and stronger through the last days of it, if "this" is the time.

Tomorrow maybe, or maybe the day after tomorrow, I will find my bootstraps and wrap them around my hands and pull myself up again. But tonight, I plan to lay in the dark, stare at the wall, tell my God that I'm not angry and that I love Him, ask for help loving my family tomorrow, ask that I might not dream tonight, and then just go to sleep.

Everything's gonna be all right... rockabye.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heads popping off

To absolute hell with all the profundity. My head's about to come off. I'm an absolute mess. Let's just say that hormones of some sort are having a hay-day with my head and I've been crying for the last hour or so. That, after being rather impatient with my stepkids and distinctly uncharitable towards my husband. Who the bleeping hell has taken over my body???

If I'm not pregnant this time, I think I might want to take next month off. No meds, no tracking, no sex week 2. I cannot handle this again. I'm totally drained. It sucks and I'm upset and if you asked me today (which you haven't, but I'm going to tell you anyway), I'd say that I'd rather know going in that it's just a puddle of blood that's going to show up at the end of the month, and not have to bother wondering about it.

No, nothing has shown up yet. But I'm a flaming mess. I hate this. I'm not a happy camper. Is there any other way to say it? I think you've caught my drift.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Don't say that, that's yogurt

My stepson says the most amusing things, every. single. day. I just rarely remember them. This one I texted from my phone to my email address to be sure I didn't forget it. We were in the middle of redefining the word "interminable" (read: elementary school band and choir concert) on a set of bleachers with probably the narrowest seats in the world (no joke. no, it's not my expanding butt that makes me say that, either, so knock off the snickering) and he was sitting on my lap. I leaned over and said to my husband, "My butt hurts." The tot heard me say it, and turning to me, said quite seriously, "Don't say that, that's yogurt." "That's what?" his daddy asked him. "Yo-gur" was the clearer response. "Vulgar?" daddy said. "*sigh* Yes, daddy, that word is yogur and you should not say it."

He's four. His vocabulary is astonishing. His minor speech impediments are phenomenal.

We've made it safely through CD28. I'm nursing these last few days of hope like they're the last sips from an awesome bottle of wine. I'm starting to stress. A bit. I think I might be. I think it's possible. Unlike last time, when I knew I wasn't. The biggie? The girls. Literally. I'm a porn star guys. Or could be. (No, there are no video cameras anywhere in the house or yard or car...) I'm also a little afraid. I don't relish the thought of being knocked back on my a** (yes, self-censorship. there may be innocent eyes reading this). Again. I can sit with my legs crossed or stand on my head all I want. But if it worked, it worked already. And if it didn't, there's nothing I can do today.

I think that's a big part of this. I'm really learning the meaning of the word "frustration". Frustration is not beating the daylights out of a fussy printer when it eats yet another page. Frustration is not stubbing your toe. Frustration is beating your fists uselessly against biology, which gives no excuses for itself, no reasons for its rebellion, and no comforting promises. I know Fear stands at the doorway to all good adventures, but as I approach Fear again, I don't know if it will open the door to a brand new life, or just another antechamber.

I hope this fast I'm in will help me cope. I'm struggling with it (the fast), but that's the point, I think. Sure, you can run a mile, but can you run a mile with 10-lb weights strapped to your ankles? Sure, you're a nice person, but can you be a nice person when you're a little hungry? It can be pretty hard to do. Believe me, I know. I'm a waitress. I've seen what a piece of bread can do to someone's mood. Now I'm on the other side. But, alternatively, I am noticing my shortcomings, and I am actually motivated to do something about them. I've been fasting for... um... 10 days? (you tell me, how long ago was the 6 day mark?) and I'm falling back in love with it. I'm looking forward to the feasting of Christmas, believe you me. But there is something wonderful and bright here... in the waiting.

Oh wait. The waiting. :) Hm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Killing time

Magnetic poetry online. Fun. :)

throw your music here
balance life & dream
compose grace
capture joy
let a song sing you through the smears
you are icon and dust
dazzle and ash
art is old and young
and never more abstract than flesh and paint


OK. So. Nothing much is happening.

The crazy lady I work for is causing some trouble now that I'm asking to be paid for the last three weeks worth of work. She's trying to pay me less than half what we talked about. Ug. We're in the middle of the discussion. I hope it works out. I'm a little concerned though because she owns a B&B and many of the reviews of the place itself complain about the financial dishonesty of the owner. Ruh-roh. So we'll see.

I'm on CD27 and trying not to think about it. Last month, I pretty much knew it was a no-go. This time, I really can't say. Of course, it's too early to say anyhow, but still. The girls are behaving rather strangely. I'm going to give it another 5 days at least. None of this getting excited on CD28 anymore. Done that. Someone *pointing at self* has an absurdly long luteal phase. This is good. It provides lots of time for little embryos to implant and lots of yummy blood for the little vampires to attach themselves to. So, I'm trying to be thankful for that instead of shaking my fist at the 3 week wait.

Hmmm. *drumming fingers*

That's all I've got. It's cold, dark and rainy here today. So gross. I have 2 quilts I'm working on as Christmas gifts that I really need to get back to.

Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I wasn't going to write about this. Mostly because I don't really know enough to really say anything of value about it. But I think I will. A little. I'm cold and tired and that should abbreviate things a little. I don't want to forget this place in my life. I hope someday I'm old and wise and look back and can say, "Yes, that was the road I was on..." and whatever else old wise people say.

I am a Christian refugee. I have officially left the Protestant church and don't see the trajectory I'm on ever bringing me back to it. Who knows. I don't have a crystal ball. But that's not important, really. What I mean to say is that my husband and I are refugees of the splintered church of the Protest, but we've not yet found homes anywhere else. He is rather inclined to consider Roman Catholicism. Though I have no real objections to the RCC any more, I am much more drawn to the Eastern Orthodox. He is gracious, sees the value there, and so we attend a Greek Orthodox church nearby. I love it. I love how it is actually rooted in antiquity. It doesn't have to reach back, around, or past an inconvenient history. It breathes ancient air here and now and that air is beautiful. The service is beautiful. The liturgy is beautiful. It doesn't end when you leave the building - it is carried throughout the week, throughout the year, and it's not contrived.

We are halfway through Advent, more or less. It's the season of preparation prior to the Incarnation. The Orthodox fast all through Advent, in exactly the same way as they do in Lent. Fast prior to Christmas? It seems so strange. This is the first year I've tried to do it, and I'm coming in quite late. It took a bit of self-convincing before I decided to actually give it a go. I had to remind myself of how much I loved Lent and how, oddly, I missed it, even after the Feast of Pascha (Easter). I am 6 days into my fast.

Now, to define the Orthodox fast. Basically, you don't eat anything that came from a creature with a spine. That's the easiest way for me to remember it. Plants are OK. Carbs are OK (God help me). Lobster, crabs, oysters, etc are OK. Basically, no meat or dairy. More basically yet, you become vegan. Oh, and no oil. :) I am not strong enough to give up oil. 75% of what we eat is prepared with an oil of some variety, usually olive. Maybe someday I'll be so strong. But it's a muscle I'll need to work on.

Why fast? I don't know all the reasons yet, though I am glimpsing some of them. You know how you feel when you're sick on the couch, all feverish, achy and cold? Someone suggests, "Hey, why don't you take a nice hot shower?" So you do. You know how miserable those minutes are when you're dragging yourself up the stairs, peeling off your clothes, standing in the frigid bathroom, and even those first minutes under the water? That's like the beginning of the fast. Several times, I've looked myself in the eye (in the mirror, nothing creepy here) and said, "It's supposed to be hard." But then, after a couple minutes, the ache starts to go away, you can stand up straight, and you're not shivering any more. That's like the fast. It cleans away a lot of "yuck" somehow (and I don't quite understand how yet) so by the end, you feel so clean, and so ready to actually fully greet the holiday that is upon you.

There's also a certain sharpening of focus. Every time the tummy rumbles, or every time you think, "Dang, I could really go for a roast beef sandwich, or pizza, or ravioli, or even some stinking butter" you remember why you're not going to have those things. And it's really cool. It's like the difference between carrying around a picture of your lover and actually being with your lover. The picture is cool and all, but it's so much better to be able to talk to him. Or, I guess, more vividly, there's this picture: there are all kinds of couples that come into the restaurant where I work. Some of them sit and stare at their plates and hardly talk. But the happy ones talk to each other. They remember the other one is there, and they delight in it. That's what the fast is like.

I'm six days in.

Oh. Another thing I love is the breathing-in and breathing-out that the Orthodox take part in. There is a fast, then a feast, then a time of permission but not extravagence, then the fast again, then the feast again... and so on. It so well mirrors the world we live in, the bodies we live in. We have winter, spring, summer and fall. Women have periods of shedding, periods of building, periods of fertility and periods of waiting.

There is a real objection to be raised, given the fact that we are TTC. Yes, I might be pregnant right now. No, it's not a really good idea to deny the body basic nutrients. I'm not. There are alternate sources of all the things you get from meat and dairy. I'm working very hard to be diligent in that regard. On the other hand, some part of me thinks it would be really cool to find out I'm pregnant in the middle of a fast I'm observing. Not because it would be some sort of reward, but because I want my children to grow up with their faith warm between their toes, soft on their skin, and woven into the fabric of their being. I want them to know the God I love, and nothing would thrill me more than to be the first one to teach them.

I am very happy I decided not to neglect the fast.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How do they know?

I think my breasts are the smartest part of my body, aside from my brain. No other solitary organ knows what cycle day it is but them. Well, to be fair, maybe the others know what day it is. But they certainly haven't got a clue what they're supposed to do on certain cycle days. But when it comes to "the girls" I don't even have to check my calendar. I know when CD20 has arrived because they start throwing absolute fits. The doc said it was a side effect of the Clomid to have particularly whiny girls. I'm not on the Clomid this time. So maybe it's just in the nature of the beasts. Really, who would have thought that sacks of fat could create this much ruckus? In any case, they sure are punctual. To be optimistic, I suppose this bodes well for the time management skills of my future children.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Days go by...

I've been meaning to blog, but have been finding myself at a certain shortage of time. We had all kinds of extra people in our house around Thanksgiving. It was lovely to have them here. It just doesn't afford much blogging time, you know?

In the TTC world, I went in to get blood drawn yesterday. I JUST heard from the doc. You need at least a 3 to indicate ovulation. Over the summer, I had a 2 the first time. Then, on Clomid, I got 38. This cycle... all on my own... no meds... 11!!!! Yay body! Way to pop out an egg!! *dance dance dance dance dance*

So the question to be answered in the next couple weeks is, if I'm not pregnant this time, should we go off the Clomid? Hm. We'll see how things go.

I'm almost beside myself. Ah!

I've been thinking this last week. A lot. Because ever since I suspected ovulation, my spirits and optimism have totally gone way up. I feel like I can take the waiting so long as there's still hope. The fact that my last period was so wacky really freaked me out. I was feeling like, "Oh great, so now there's something ELSE wrong." But with hope, there's more patience. I've been wondering about this and feeling sort of... umm... weak? about it. Like, shouldn't I be able to be patient and content even when things aren't the way I would have scripted them? Maybe. I think there's a great good to be found there. But at the same time, I think that hope is a gift. To take that gift and use it well is also a good thing. It's not only one of the three theological virtues but also a promise that's been given to us. New mercies every morning. A return of all the years that the locust have eaten. (Isn't that a cool image for us TTCers who have tried and tried and face month after month of emptiness... and yet another Christmas without the thing we long for most. Those years will be returned to us.) Yes, it's better to keep walking through the desert. But it's not a shameful thing to drink deeply of an oasis. It's a good thing. It's a gift given. Maybe I'm weak, but I'm not alone.

I've been listening to The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis and read by Joss Ackland on CD. I listen to it all the way through once every six months or so. It's amazing. Every time, there's something I hear that makes me think, "Yes, yes, yes. That is something I need to change." And something else that makes me say, "Wow." My favorite bit has always been (oh, and for those unfamiliar with the book, it's a fictional series of letters written from one "Senior Temptor" to a young devil in charge of one human soul. So the "cause" discussed is the cause of Hell, and the Enemy is in fact our greatest Friend): "Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending to do the Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys." It's a useful thing to cling to. And then of course there's also the bit where the Church is described as she is, not as she seems to be. Not the shattered and fragmentary conglomeration of hypocrites and sinning saints, but as "spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners". Chills.

There's something else I wanted to say *drum drum drum fingers*

*sigh* I should get back to work. Heaven knows I have plenty of it spread out in front of me.

Have I mentioned this new job yet? I'm not only a server, but a web writer/publicist too. Freelance. Work at home in jammies. Awesome deal. The problem is that the person I work for is, at least in writing, horribly disorganized. This does not work well for me. I am one of those few supremely rational and intelligent people *snicker* that stride the earth and are constantly confused and annoyed by inconsistency, vaguery, poor grammar, inanity, and disorganization. If you want me to run you, that's fine. Just tell me. Otherwise, I'm fine being an employee. But really. Please make sense in your communications. Be clear. Employ the backspace key if you wrote something you don't mean. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy the job, I really like the lady, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity. My head just sometimes spins around.

White wine helps. God help me if I'm pregnant and can't have my white wine for 9 months+breastfeeding time. Scratch that. God help everyone else. ;)