Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye and Hello

Dear 2007,

I've been writing this letter in my head to you for a while now, but it gets all jumbled about halfway through, so pardon me if this gets a little confusing.

2007, it's time for us to part ways. I've been thinking about a way to salvage our relationship and you know what? It's not worth it. Yeah, you've had your moments, but let's be honest here, some last-minute good deeds from you really can't make up for the craptastic way you've treated me and mine.

Put it this way: it's not me, it's you.

In so many ways, 2007, you really deserve to be taken into a dark alley and have the crap kicked out of you.

Yeah, you've delivered some good news--happy healthy babies (Maisie, Zoe, Elspeth, Teo, Lewis, Adam, Ellie)--but note those were to other people. You promised me a whole lot right up front, 2007, and then totally reneged in the worst way possible. Don't try to say this is made up for now, because it's not and it won't be. 2008 is totally gonna get credit for this--knock wood--so don't even try it.

You, 2007, are responsible for so much crap that it's a wonder you even dare show your calendar pages. And what you've done to my friends? No. The damage is irreperable.

So don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Sincerely, oh, so very sincerely,

Dear 2008,

The bar was set pretty low for you. Just be better than 2007, and you'll be, like, the best year ever.

Bring some cancer-free days for my friend, some anxiety-free days for my grandmother, some care-free days for my mother, and you're off to a great start. And there might be one or two special deliveries this spring that you could bring to make me your biggest fan ever.

Pretty please? Because after this past year? Totally deserve it.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The verdict is in.

So... what do you think? Boy or girl?


When I got pregnant--and stayed pregnant--I swore this time I'd pick a good doctor. Not a doctor, who, upon hearing you were bleeding, sticks a dildo cam in you and then, making eye contact with the ultrasound screen, says, "Well, it's empty all right." For example. No, I was going to pick a good doctor.

I did research. I knew I wanted to be at a place near my home. There's a big ginormous hospital that's twenty blocks from our home, and I knew I wanted to be there. So I searched and searched for any recomendations of any office that did work there. And I got a name and a rec for an office there, where people said, "Get Dr. X, but if you can't, their whole office is great." So I called the office, just on the off chance they were accepting new patients. And not only where they, but when I asked which doctor I'd be seeing, the receptionist said, "Dr. X!" I said, "Reeeeally?" and the receptionist said, "Yeah, she actually has an opening, so I thought I'd slot you in there. And since you're a teacher--" we'd been talking for quite a while at this point, we were buds, almost... "since you're a teacher, why don't I just schedule you out as far as I can so that we can grab those afternoon slots for you? You can always cancel them later."

So this doctor, Dr. X, with her sporty self, has been my dream doctor. Her office, my dream office. Dreamy dreamy dreamy.


I was in for my 3rd monthly appointment, just like a regular prego. I got to see what the non-expensive way to hear the baby was like--like a wee transistor radio! with a microphone! that's CRAZY! and see the inanity of the first few months appointments. You mean... I come in, pee in a cup, get weighed (actually, annoyingly enough: it's usually the other way around), get my blood pressure taken and then as a reward hear the heartbeat... and that's IT? No blood, no prescription, no internal ultrasound or dyes or tests or... I can leave my pants ON? (except, of course, while peeing)


Anyway. So Dr. X is going over how the appointments work... "...and then you'll come in and we'll do a first ultrasound." "Actually, it'll be like my fifth." "Well, yeah, there's that, but it'll be the first one here." "That's where we find out if it's a boy or girl?!?!" "Um, usually we use it to look at, you know, is the heart working properly and there's two ARMS and two LEGS, is there a BRAIN AT ALL... nothing very IMPORTANT." "Yeah, yeah, yeah, AND THEN WE FIND OUT THE GENDER!"


Completely, deadpan: "So, I take it you'll want to know then."

I heart her, very very much.


The ultrasound tech is a hyped up whippet thin woman who is in constant motion. She wields the roll-on-deodorant-like magic thingy with the assured hand of someone who's done this twenty times a day for ten years. Swooping left and right, up and down, curving and winding in to get the best view, she whips through a tour of our baking baby. "See that? Kidneys... and here... that's the stomach, full of fluid. And that grey line... right... there that's the diaphragm..." Andrew and I look at each other and grin. "if you say so!" I say. "I keep making this stuff up and no one's caught me yet," she grins.

We wander through our baby's anatomy. Spine, ghostly ribs, faint but rhythmic heart, like a fist clenching and unclenching faster than I could imagine. And then: the money shot.

"You sure you want to know?"


So are your bets in? What do you think?


We spent the last ten minutes of the appointment just watching our baby, at rest and then in motion. Arching spine one minute, faintly swimming the next, striking an American Idol pose the next. The foot, she said, measures one and a half inches. Are you doing what I did? Have you lifted your hand to put your thumb and finger an inch and a half apart? Are you imagining a tiny little foot, with tiny little toes, stretching between your fingers?


He's gonna have big feet. :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007


We settled down to watch a movie (a really really boring one, as it turned out), Andrew had started a fire in the fireplace, the Christmas lights were on the front porch, and the room smelled like fire smoke and cinnamon.

"We have a pretty good life," Andrew said, a little dreamily.

We pretty much do.


I was sitting at my computer when suddenly a sharp pain knifed through my right side. A few quick ripples, like aftershocks, then it was gone as if it had never been. Andrew's head whipped around at my gasp, at the ready to do whatever I needed--bandaids! call 911! catch me as I fainted!--but all I could do was tilt my head, my hand at my side.

I think--I think I just felt the baby!

He couldn't have come over faster than if I had actually fainted. Really? he wanted to know. Where? What did it feel like?

I put my hand up his sweatshirt, palm facing out, and then fluttered my fingertips against the fleecy inside of his shirt, three, four times. A little like that. He put his hands against my abdomen, a little below my ribcage. Is this normal? A little early, I told him. And now I may not feel anything for days. But I did. I felt it.

After a while, he went back to what he'd been working on before, I returned to my blogroll. And just then I gasped again, as that flutter punch came back.

His head whipped around again, worried, until he saw me smiling like a goof.

Stop gasping like that, it scares me!

You try being punched from the inside and see how you gasp.

He looked at me and smiled. Good point.


I haven't written for days because I'm not sure where I am. After so long having identy as Can't Get (or Rather, Stay) Pregnant, I haven't yet grown into Pregnant. Pregnant is still other people.

School is one long maddening hell right now. I don't know what it is this year--different kids, more tired, whatever--I'm just not enjoying it at all. We're twelve weeks into the year, 24 more weeks to go, and I feel like I will never be caught up. For type A little ol me, that's a big fat recipe for stress dreams (wherein it's been discovered that a clerical error means I don't have credit for high school geometry and must take it to retain my college degree and the teacher I'm taking it from refuses to teach me and all the kids say, "See? this is why we don't like YOU as a teacher either!") and heartburn.

And I'm in a weird stage. I can't go out and get a glass of wine (or even faux-wine) with friends or even really stay out late anymore (I'm wiped by 10:30), but also I'm not yet a mother and so still open to the "Just wait and see!" that well-meaning already-parenting friends and family like to pour. Just wait and see... how tiring the first three months are ... how hard it is to leave your child and go to work ... how much weight you gain. I know they mean well--or at least, most do.

Oddly enough, though, the "Just wait and see!" game is never about happy things.

I had one teacher come up to me, out of nowhere, and tell me, "Oh, don't worry hon, before I was done, I weighed 197 pounds!" I was refilling my water bottle in the staff workroom at the time. Note that I was NOT talking to anyone about pregnancy, weight, or pregnancy weight. Plus--"Oh, hon, I weighed more than 197 pounds before I got pregnant, so I'm pretty sure I'll be more." And then I left the room.

There's still a weird chasm between those who have kids and me, where with rare exception (*cough*Em*cough*Leah*cough*) communication feels really one-sided. And I'm worried about losing touch with the friends who don't have kids. And plus, I just feel really uninteresting right now. My world is eating, sleeping, and grading. Who enjoys that?


Despite my bitching--because what else is a blog for?--we are really happy. This past week, we made a tour of daycare centers in Portland. Yes, I'm not even five months pregnant, and we were touring daycare centers. Note that of the three we went to, only one could guarantee us a spot for next fall. Staying home, at this time, isn't really a great choice for our family unit and as much as I know it'll suck and I'll cry and feel like a horrible person and probably reexamine how much I really want to teach, we want to be prepared with daycare. And we've got one place for sure, and will likely get into the much better place as well. Just a few checks (the first of many, I know, but after the major bucks we've spent to get this far, really, we laugh! we laugh at these puny checks!) and we've guaranteed our spots on the waiting lists.

Andrew is over the moon about everything, and likes nothing more than to chart the daily progress of my belly, my bellybutton, my breasts. At Thanksgiving, at our annual Go Around of What Are You Thankful For (that almost everybody, mostly guys, moan and groan about, but I think everyone secretly really likes), we all got to be thankful. Andrew summed it up nicely. "I'm thankful for all my friends and family. I'm thankful for maternity pants. And larger bras."

I'm thankful too. I'm thankful for the smell of fire smoke and cinnamon, and for maternity pants and larger bras. I'm thankful for friends who get the weird netherworld I'm in at the moment and meet halfway. I'm thankful that Christmas break is three weeks away. I'm thankful for the first communication from our little mystery package. I'm beyond thankful that I get to struggle to find my place in this identity at all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We Are Family 2
Originally uploaded by karijean
Yes, I finally did it. My pictures from September and October are on Flickr. Click for some Teo Goodness, family madness, and Andrew cuteness.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Help--I'm drowning in CSA

What a... nice Thanksgiving gift!

We got home today and our hippie box was on our front porch, all full of organic goodness. And there was a note.

"Your bin was packed as a Large, at no extra charge. Happy Thanksgiving!"

What a great idea! Now, if only we didn't have trouble using all our crap from our usual small box, it's be perfect!

Seriously, we are having true troubles using everything up before its all limp and liquidy. And I'm not talking about the rootabegas and the leeks. I'm talking average stuff. Carrots. Organic carrots get really limp and... well, limp if you don't eat them fast enough. And the onions! Dear GOD does anyone want organic onions? We get two to three a week, use one or two, so they build and build and build so we had like ten (after giving away a bunch last week) and NOW we get FIVE MORE! FIVE more ONIONS! Is there a way to make, like, onion pasta with a side of onions? (my students, they would looooove it! and andrew's coworkers! Ooooo, and his darts team! we'd be suuuper popular!)

I get that kale and chard are staples, so I'm prepared for those, but I think I need to reassess my approach to this whole thing.

I will say: I've never eaten so healthy in my entire damn life.

Anyone want an organic onion? Or two?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And then, in BIZARRO land..

One kid in my 4th period class, upon learning that I was pregnant:

"Is there something they can give the baby so that it, you know, grows really fast?"

" What do you mean?"

"You know, like, make it grow so fast that it would, like, explode out of you?"

"Well, just... I. Can't tell you. But I'm not likely to find out."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Out from under.

I don't know what it is right now. I thought it would be nine months of awesome, but instead it's turning into a slow and painful slog. I'm exhausted all the time and constantly worried that I'm just failing.

What? No, I meant the school year.

I honestly don't know what it is this year. I really thought I was sitting pretty. For my first year as a teacher, I had no new classes--everything was something I'd taught before. I had lesson plans drawn up and the year charted out. I knew what needed to be tweaked and what was pretty good looking.

Okay, yeah, the year got off to a bad start, and then I'm missing a few (ha!) days here and there for some (totally stupid, irrelevant, and time-sucking) training. But still. I've had that before too.

My students say I can blame The Pregnant for it, but I don't like to do that. I just honestly haven't felt caught up yet this year. And I feel like I've NEVER felt this un-caught up.

And today? Veteran's Day, a sacred holiday when we remember touching stories about all sorts of war-ish stuff (or anyway, that's how the school treats it)? It's not so much a holiday as a completely full day of grading--just, unpaid.

And I'm still not caught up.

I'm not worried, though. There's Thanksgiving, four completely unpaid days in a row, right around the corner.

Ah, the glamorous life of teaching.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And now I'm going to bed.

I'm hitting a milestone of sorts, the first of many (I hope). Week fifteen tomorrow. I can't believe it, still. I can't believe it's really true and I'm really pregnant. With each appointment, I hear a voice in the back of my head that says, "This is where you find out it's all been a horrible lie and something is very wrong." But each time where we still hear a baby's heartbeat I build a little more faith, one doppler at a time.

And damn, I don't know how any 2nd children are ever born without the first one dying of neglect. I get up, go to work, come home and sleep. I get up for dinner, and then go back to sleep. I'm behind on emails, phone calls, uploading pictures, cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, everything. We have a half-finished closet in the bedroom (put together just enough to put my shoes away, of course) and I have four generations of family photos spread across the basement and I have framed pictures waiting to be hung and I have a new niece to welcome and make gifts for. If Andrew weren't the superstarrest of superstars, I'd be naked, starving, and asleep.

And all I do--ALL I do--is sleep. I must calmly sleep now. And sleep for a few more days.

I haven't had any other symptoms, really. I have a wee tiny belly, and I've felt some stretching, but no real morning sickness or nausea. I told Emily I would gladly take a little nausea for more energy. She looked at me like I was eight kinds of crazy, but then she's had the Nausea From Hell with her pregnancy, so perhaps she's excused. She'd probably gladly give me her nausea. So I guess I can't believe I've been this lucky, that Extreme Tiredness Extraordinaire has been my only real symptom. Or would it be called a side effect? Anyway.

I'm told this ends, although estimates vary. Some say by week fifteen (excellent!) and others say, for sure by the time they go to college.

My dad says not even then.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Eight years and three days ago we had our second first date. Technically, it was our first second date, but we don't really think of it that way, we think of it as our second first date. On our first first date, we really didn't like each other. He thought I was a flake. I thought all he did was talk about his car. Plus, he looked a little...dorky.

That date ended abruptly.

But then I changed jobs, and I emailed all my email contacts that I was changing offices, and surprise! I was going to be working next door to him! We should meet for drinks!

Having nothing else to do on a Monday night, and never one to turn down drinks, I agreed to meet him. As I rode down the escalator to our designated meeting point, I saw this tall, broad-shouldered kinda-hottie there, obviously waiting. Was that him? It didn't match at all with my memories of the car-obsessesed suburban guy. (Discussing it later: he'd gotten new glasses... and a better haircut. Apparently that made all the difference.)

So, eight years and three days ago we had our second first date. That led to our first second date. And so on.

Six years and a day ago, we got married, in the best party I've ever thrown in my life. I felt gorgeous, my friends were all gorgeous, my new husband was absolutely delicious.

Five years and a day ago, I dropped him, our dog, a suitcase, a small box of essentials and our Civic off in Portland after a marathon day-and-a-half drive out from Chicago. We left downtown Chicago at 5:30 on a Friday and for the next twenty-four hours, only stopped to refuel and pee (both us and the dog). We finally fell into a bed in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday night. We woke up, hopped in the car, and met our new apartment in Northeast Portland on our first anniversary. After six hours together, I got on a plane that night to go back to Chicago for two months: wrap up my job, sell the condo, and find a job in Portland.

A day ago, we went out to dinner. The waitress brought our food, and tentatively asked, "Are you guys celebrating anything?" He cocked his head and thought, "Well, she's pregnant, and my book just came out, but..." He smiled. "It's our sixth anniversary." "Congratulations!" she said. She comped our dessert.

Happy anniversary, hon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The TV is my companion.

I miss him already.

Andrew's off to California for some training in some platform that has something to do with computers and the internet(gah, you'd never know, when I write like this, that I'm actually pretty bright and even used to work in computers once--I really did used to know what my husband did, once upon a time).

A week.

It kind of sucks.

Not that I've been awake much for the past few weeks, but still. It was nice to share pizza with someone (even if he did only leave me once piece). And he's been a super star with getting stuff done around the house lately. And I miss someone asking me at the end of each day, "How was school?" (even though I haven't had a school day without him yet--he just left this morning.)

Now, as a side note, I haven't exactly been following this fire crap, other than a, "yeah, so sad, burned houses" kind of way. But suddently I'm much more interested. I found some cool thermal sattelite images, but then I remember I have no idea about California geography. Is San Jose near San Diego? Why does everything start with San? And the answer is, thankfully, no, San Jose isn't anywhere near San Diego.

Anyway, I'm home, alone, for probably the last really nice weekend of the fall. There's nothing but crappy football on TV (c.f. any game with the Miami Dolphins or St. Louis Rams; also, guess what? Patriots win! snooooze... sometimes football from the West Coast really blows). Six days till he comes back.

Andrew, if your book comes before you get back, I may just open it before you get here. So hurry back.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ya, Sure, You betcha

Finally, the Minnesota in my accent (an odd amalgamation of Tennessee, Chicago and Minnesota, which leads me to say things that come out like, "Y'all need to talk to dose guys over dere, ya knoooow?") comes to good use.

I am taking Norwegian class. It's awesome. I can say all those funny vowels, like the a-with-a-halo (å). Basically, all I have to do is pull out the Minnesotan in my voice, mix it with a little Swedish Chef, and I'm good. For instance, å is like saying a super Minnesotan "Minnesoooota", only leave out the "t". That last vowelly bit, after the s? That's å.

So, "jaså" (a sort of, "oh, really?" interjection) ends up sounding reeeeally Minnesotan, in both tone and meaning.

Of course, there's also a few million other ways to say o and u, and they're all slightly different, and then there's the other "extra" vowels, like æ (a really really flat a sound) and ø (sort of like a cow with heartburn) but I'm working on them, and they're coming pretty naturally.

I don't know if you've noticed my name here before, but it's Kari. Not your typical every day American spelling. Atypical enough, in fact, that whenever anyone else could find a personalized keychain, license plate or stuffed animal, I had nothing.

It is, however, a fairly typical Norwegian spelling. So Norwegian, in fact, that every other dialogue involves some poor girl named Kari. "Is her name Kari? No, her name is not Kari. Her name is Anne." "Is your name Kari? Yes, my name is Kari. How do you spell it? I spell it K-A-R-I." "Is Kari a student? Yes, she goes to University. What does she study? Kari studies biology and chemistry."

Yes, it's not exactly rocket science (clearly. Who's ever heard of a Norwegian rocket scientist?) but it certainly keeps me paying attention in class.

What I like best, though, is that if you go by the vocabulary we've learned so far, Norwegians are THE politest people on the planet. For instance, at the end of a conversation, instead of saying something like, "See you later!" we've learned that you say, "Takk for nå," meaning, literally, "Thanks for now." Like, "Thanks for this most recent time we've spent together, chatting." It's like the ultimate way to live in the moment, you know?

Or our professor ends every class with "Takk for i dag," meaning, Thanks for today. Us! Thanking us, the students! I love it.

I have class tomorrow, and I've already done my homework, written my flash cards, and practiced my dialogues. I'm such a geek.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A note before I leave.

This whole "coming clean" thing is hard. I don't want to be all, Lookit Me I'm Pregnant! to every person I see--or even to most of them--but, uh... well... it's starting to get obvious. And now I don't know if there's people I should be like, "Hey, how's it going Sally? Cute new shoes today. Oh, and I'm pregnant." Like the secretaries in the main office, who are totally awesome and if you're smart you make them your best friends in the whole school because they can save your butt. Do I tell them? Or is it just too... too? Or my students. "...and that's how we solve a system of equations. And, I'm pregnant, due in May, so don't worry, I'll be here most of the year." It's just odd.

It's great that I have this to worry over!

I leave or a ginormous Family Wedding Event, or as ginourmous as our family gets. It'll be the first time I meet my new nephew which I'm positively delighted about. Everyone at school agrees that he is quite possibly the cutest baby since cameras were invented, but I need to test this hypothesis in person.

Moreover, it'll be good to get away and just be for a couple days. We have no obligations past a dinner on Thursday and a wedding on Saturday. I don't know what I'm going to do with all this time!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Out of the closet...

I've been psyching myself up for this, so here goes.

I'm pregnant.

It's official. It's real. Woo hoo!

Yeah, that birthday party? You got me: I wasn't drinking because I was pregnant. That wedding? Every glass of wine I had got left, full, somewhere. Often next to my partner in crime, who was able to finish it for me (a noble, noble sacrifice). You were right, I was totally pregnant. And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for not asking me or bringing it up with me and waiting until I did (Ahem, ladies, I'm looking at YOU). You guys are the BEST.

And mostly, I just don't want to talk about it. Which is a weird thing to say at the beginning of a (em, rather long) blog entry that's pretty much destined to be all about being pregnant, but let me try to explain.

First, there's the hormone thing. Apparently progesterone is really really important to staying pregnant. "Pro", as in "in favor of" and "gesterone", as in "gestation". I'm pretty pro-gestation myself, intellectually speaking. Apparently my uterus wasn't on board. The tests I had six weeks ago found that I was low on progesterone. Now, it hasn't been confirmed, but I suspect that this is why I miscarried last time. The timing fits: if you aren't making enough progesterone, you aren't making enough placenta, and then when the little egg-baby has to switch from it's egg-baby-yolk to the baby-making placenta for nutrition, there just isn't enough healthy placenta to get fed and, well, the end result is pretty obvious. And that's at about, oh, 8 to 10 weeks. Which would be the right timing for my miscarriage.

So, about six weeks ago, apparently this was happening to me. Those were the tests I referred to, earlier.

The treatment for low progesterone is a progesterone supplement, but apparently the mouth is too far away from the uterus to take it orally and for it to be effective. So... Yes, my friends, I have had really nasty ladybits for the past six weeks. It's been great. And it's been great twice a day. And the worst part about the treatment is, the only way you'd know it was working is that you didn't miscarry.

So it hasn't exactly been a relaxing six weeks. So there's that.

One thing you don't really know until you're doing this infertility treatment stuff is that you'll never go to the bathroom the same again. Every time you get in there in the morning, you wonder if you're supposed to be peeing on something. Is it ovulation time? Pee on a stick! or maybe, could I be, pregnant? I know, Pee on a Stick! The thought nags you, because if you forget to pee on a stick with that FMU (first morning urine! I love the infertility TLA's...remind me to share some sometime), well, it's a while till you have enough pee again to pee on the stick properly, and even then, no pee is more concentrated than your FMU, so there's always the chance that it should be giving you the stripe/plus/smileyface but you just had pee that was too watery....

See? It's a whole thing.

But worse is the blood. Because when you're not peeing on sticks, you're expecting blood. And dreading it. Or cursing it.

I had thought when I got pregnant last winter, that's it! No more having to do something when I pee. And then the blood started, which shocked the shit outta me.

And we all know how that turned out.

So now, here I am pregnant again, and I'm dreading the blood. I can't even imagine those NPP (normal pregnant people) who just take it on faith that they're pregnant and will stay pregnant. I can't even imagine that kind of security. A sureness that for that next X weeks, you don't need to fear going to the bathroom. That you don't fear your underpants. Which, by the way, is the name of my punk band when I get one together.

Don't, I beg you, tell me "it'll be fine." Last time I'd had all the markers of being fine: heartbeat, images, measurements on track. And it still ended. It wasn't like I'd just found out I was pregnant--I'd had images, little fuzzy images. That was supposed to be the signal.

So now, I don't trust the signals. And I don't really trust anyone else to tell me "it'll be fine."

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled as hell to be pregnant. It's just I'm also really still scared that this won't stick either. It's really really really hard to tell people, and harder still to talk about it. It feels like I'm jinxing everything. My mom is thrilled for me, which yay, but it also makes me feel really super uncomfortable to get emails from my aunt and my cousins and my mom's friends (none of whom *I* told, and I had no idea that my mom was going to tell everyone) about how happy my mom is, and congratulations! Andrew is adorably excited, but when I went to his work party Wednesday night, the first word out of every single one of his coworkers' mouths was "Congratulations!" Including his boss. And his boss's wife. And his boss's boss. I'm sure if his boss's boss had a wife (or a girlfriend, or for that matter, a date) I would have heard it from her too. (Did he announce it at a company meeting? An "all users" email? it was really odd.) It was a little intimdating and a lot uncomfortable. Not because of anything they did, because everyone was genuinely nice about, but just because.

I know people do this because they care. Maybe it was just the volume of people that I didn't know knew, all at once, one after the other, congratulating me.

I don't know if this is making sense. I suspect that the friends I've had that have seen me through this year understand. I suspect others may think I'm being ungrateful. And my response to that is: I'm not ungrateful, but I'm not grateful. Yet.

But I know I have friends and family who are genuinely caring and interested, and I know you're probably chomping at the bit for the details.

So here's the scoop. I'm 11 weeks today. We've seen the wee niblet's heart--twice--and heard it three times, and we've seen it's brain; we watched it dance, a little like this, and apparently my uterus decided to get on board with this whole "in favor of gestation" thing because I know way more about my placenta and umbilical cord than probably most pregnant ladies. And they're both there and fine and healthy. Yes, we're going to find out the sex of the baby (and yes, I think people who wait are a little weird). I'm due May 4th, although I'll have to have a Caesarian; due to my surgery last summer, I'm at a high risk of uterine rupture and rumor has it that's a wee bit uncomfortable (in the DEAD kind of way). So I'll probably be wheeled in about a week before I'm due. And yes, it's totally awesome timing, speaking as a teacher. No natural childbirth for me--it's drugs for SURE! No midwives, water births, hypnosis, or "eee-eee" breathing. And no annoying debates about the relative merits of any of it (or how you just have to do it this way or that way because otherwise you're not really giving birth), because I really don't have a choice*, which is sort of the silver lining, because I have an instant "Shut the fuck up" card to play when that discussion starts. Yes, I'm going back to work next year, mostly because I'm not crazy now, but staying home all the time, I sure would be soon.

Did I miss any questions?

So, yay! I'm pregnant. And yes, I'm a little prickly about it. I'm scared absolutely shitless that I'll get this far and lose it next week. Hopefully, eventually, I'll relax into the thing and be able to enjoy it. Probably around, oh, week 35 or so.

But definitely, tell me to "just relax and enjoy being pregnant." That'll totally help.

*Please don't say VBAC, since I'm not eligible--it hasn't been long enough. See? still not an option. Yay for no options!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Why is it...

... that no matter how many times I've gone to a doctor who's going to look up my lady bits, no matter what instrument is in use (speculum? dildo-cam? scope of some other type?) or the purpose (oh, the myriad and many reasons I've had a doctor in that region)...

...I still feel the need to hide my underwear after I get undressed?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Fun Never Stops 'Round Here

You know what's fun?

I'll tell you what's fun!

Parent-teacher conferences! They're fun!

Dad in fatigues and combat boots getting down on his daughter for her test anxiety! That's fun!

Mother of difficult son explaining that said son "just doesn't learn well from women teachers" and that's why he's doing poorly, not because he sits in class with his book closed and his paper put away! That's funner!

Mother of stubborn son explaining that he's not doing well in class because he's "mad at" me and that's why he failed the test and then crumpled it up and threw it at me! Almost the funnest!

But the funnest is whizzing through forty parents in three hours--so, let's see, that is, hmmm, carry the one,... less that five minutes per conference and in the middle of that, being pulled aside by an administrator and told that someone asked her to tell me to move it a long a little faster! That's the absolute funnest!

Actually, I hadn't done the math at the time (there may be some irony in that statement) but now that I have, I'm dwelling on it and getting pisseder and pisseder at her. I saw 40 parents. I talked for three hours straight. They can't honestly expect me to have spoken LESS than five minutes with those parents. As it was I was ending conversations quickly. How much faster should I have gone?


She can bite me.

I'm going to go to bed now, and dream sweet sweet dreams of staying very very quiet and not talking to anyone for three, maybe four days. Ahhhh...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Coming out from under

I've been sick this week. It started off with a "No, I'll be fine... soon..." and ended with a whimper. I finally called in sick on Thursday. And then I slept till noon. And went back to bed at eight. Apparently I'd been sicker than I thought.

I'm still not 100%, but I'd say I'm about 98%. Anyway, that is both my excuse and my reason for not posting this week. Excuse, because "I've been siiiiick", but also reason because: well, I've been sick, so really, very little interesting has made it past the concrete in my head to make much of an impression.

This next week is the Week O' Appointments. One on Wednesday, one on Friday--probably. As these things go. And the only time the Friday one could be scheduled was midday, so I'm burning more sick time then. Life would be so much easier if I were a lady of leisure. I'd be batshit crazy by now, but I wouldn't have to worry about using up sick days and making sub plans and rearranging lesson plans for doctor's appointments.

And while I'm at it: we're paying these dudes enough, really--couldn't they have appointment times AFTER, oh, 3:30? I'm just saying.

These are kind of high-stakes appointments, so I'm kind of trying not to think about them for right now. Kind of. Denial! Operation Distracts-a-Lot: go get makeovers with Emily! Go car shopping and test drive new cars! Go to the convention center and see the Home Remodelers Show! Watch a lot of netflix! Cook! Gah, even grading was a good distraction for a couple hours today.

And of course, while wandering these hallowed halls of American consumerism, I manage to run into my fertile collegues with spousal units in tow. One, Miss I Need MILK for My HEARTBURN, while she was coming out of Motherhood Maternity (not awkward! not awkward at ALL!), and the other at the convention center, wrangling her boys and her little girl.

Because sometimes, apparently the Powers That Be don't want me distracted.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Congratulations! You've Had a Baby! 1940s-style.

Part of the Paperwork Onslaught from Operation Granparents included a book the hospital gave my grandmother when my mom was born.

It's a gem. Now, as we all know, I don't have kids. So while I can't attest to the hilarity that this might induce, I do want everyone to know what the world perpetrated on mothers in the 1940's.

First, you open the book to great, creep-tastic Wartime ads.

No pressure, there, sport.

Then there are "articles":

Do's and Don'ts (my comments are next to the text)

Do: Keep your baby on an exact time schedule as far as possible.
Do: Bathe your baby every day. In hot weather, he should also be sponged two or three times a day. (really? two to three times a day? who does this?)
Do: Be sure the baby gets at least sixteen hours sleep a day the first year and from twenty to twenty-two hours sleep the first month. (I hear the hooting from here.)
Do: Give the baby complete quiet at feeding and sleeping hours. (It's like early Scientology!)
Don't: If you feed your baby out of a silver mug, be careful that the cup is not too hot.
Don't: give the baby tea, coffee, beer or wine of any kind, fried foods, pickles (?!), pie, lollypops, candy of any kind, nuts, pancakes, berries, ice cream cones (???), rich cakes, puddings, or meat gravies. (also: don't pound them in the head with hammer, feed them rancid meat, or let them eat out of the kitty litter box. Also: no radishes. But raw yolk is okay (see next article))
Don't rock or jounce your baby unncessarily. (DAMN that unnecessary jouncing.)
Don't let nayone kiss your baby if you can avoid it but if you cannot, let the kissing be done on the back of the baby's neck. (No, no wait! don't do that! Here, let me turn him over first: NOW you can kiss him!)
Though he cries, don't pick up your baby if he is well. A good lusty cry is excellent exercise. (Because I'm sure that's what'll run through your head: At least this is good exercise...)
Don't wash out your baby's mouth unless your doctor tells you to. (Whew! And to think: I was about to wash out my baby's mouth! WITH VODKA!)
Don't leave safety pins open. (I especially like the last one, because NORMALLY I think it's a good idea to leave safety pins open and about. However, once you have a baby, that's a bad idea. Only then.)

"This is How We Spend Our Day"
This is how the schedule starts:

5:55 a.m.: Diaper and night gown changed so that breakfast be better enjoyed.
(My friend Leah: "I don't think I dressed my kid for the first month. Or me.")
6:00 a.m.: Breakfast served--a la breast or via bottle
6:25 a.m.: Diaper replacement due.
6:30 a.m.: Back to bed for a snooze (we hope)
8:50 a.m.: (if awake) Orange juice. If sleeping, of course, do not disturb.
9:10 a.m.: Clothes off--all save the diaper-and into his crip or onto the top of his bathtub, safely strapped, for setting-up exercises of his choosing ("I'd really prefer the pilates today, mother."). Cod liver oil served "in the nude" saves spotting of clothing and is acceptable just before being dressed. (AFTER being dressed, however, it's worse than wearing white shoes after Labor Day.)

And so it goes... "10:30 a.m.: Nap, preferably out of doors." Um, really?

"2:00 p.m.: Refreshments; milk of course; egg yolk and other solids." Apparently, they didn't have that pesky salmonella back then.

And so on, until "10:00 p.m: Liquid refreshments--if infant and doctor insist. Diaper changing and back to sleep until 5:50 a.m."

Heh heh. That's exactly how I've heard of it working.

Now, this, of course, is predicated on the "6-to-6" schedule, but if you prefer, you can train your baby to the "8-to-8" schedule "if you're persistant."

"We guarantee it will sound fine to the man of the house who will not be awakened daily before break of dawn."

"His eating at 12 noon, would leave you free to keep your 1 p.m. luncheon engagements." Because I know those luncheon engagements (where does baby go? with you? I didn't know there was a baby-keeping place at luncheons) are of utmost importance to new mama's. Over, say, dressing. Or showering. Or maybe napping.

Also included in the book: all the updates from my mother's pediatrician appointments.

When Mom left the hospital, she was eight days old. And included on the "Instructions for Mothers" is
--The baby should nurse for not longer than twenty minutes
--Offer warm, b oiled water between feedings when the baby is awake.
--The formula recipe is: Carnation milk, 5 ounces, boiled water, 9 ounces, and Dark Karo CORN SYRUP, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons.

One month later:
--You can discontinue the nursing now.
--Make a formula using One large can of Carnation milk, 23 oz of water, 3.5 tbls. of Karo
--Offer 4 1/2-5 oz of this formula every 4 hours, 5 times daily
--After feedings occasionally, offer 1-2 eas. of water, to keep the mouth rinsed out.
--Give 3 drops of the Percomorphum oil twice daily. Drop this on the back of her tongue.
--At the same times that you give the oild rops, give 1/2 oz of strained orange juice diluted in 1/2 oz of water. Sweeten if necessary (sweeten????).

But really, it's in the back, where the ads get really good.

Look! It's the essentials for your baby! That include: strapping your baby in bed! Because that's totally safe! Safer than letting them ROLL AROUND LIKE COMMUNISTS! And also! a stuffed animal absolutely COVERED in chewable bite-sized buttons! BY DESIGN! It's even CALLED the "Button Buddy!" Your child's choking hazards should be portable! Now, they're conveniently attached to a dog-shaped...thing!

No, really, rub your baby's head with this bottle of... uh... stuff... seriously, we make chocolate, and that's good and tasty, right? And babies with curly hair are cute! so... no, there's no chocolate in this, but you trust us, right? And it's only a dollar!

You can't think about toilet training too early, so this ad, in this magazine given to you JUST AFTER YOU'VE GIVEN BIRTH, before you've probably pooped in a toilet yourself, is perfectly placed! But moreover, checck out our extra super special detail: yes, about half-way down, it's the TOIDEYETTE: "tall plastic shield and deflector".... Even better, strapping your child into a training potty WILL NOT GIVE THEM A TOILET COMPLEX IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER, WE SWEAR.

Apparently they were really into strapping those kidlets down at every available opportunity. Look at this ad, from a seemingly innocent Qtips:

Yay! Qtips and a baby! It's cute! Look, it even says, "It's Fun!" "There's a cotton tip at each end of the stick to save you time." (Uh, I added that emphasis.) But all is not so innocent--no! Take another look at that Mama and happy baby:

Scary Mommy! Scary Mommy, threatening Giganto Baby with Pointy Thing! Giganto Baby, strapped in, can't escape!

I think this explains a lot about our parents, don't you?


Just a quick note. That test I was talking about? WAS NOT a pregnancy test. The results of said test probably explain why I miscarried last winter, that's what I was trying to get across. I'll talk more about it soon. But right now, the treatment kind of sucks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

General Updates

A barrel of laughs
Originally uploaded by karijean
This is an example of the what I found in my grandparents' basement.

I'm working my way through the OOODLES and OOODLES of irreplaceable and emotionally resonant family documents. But some of them are just mysterious. Take a look. And hey--if you notice anyone you recognize from YOUR family history? Two things: (a) we might be related! and (b) let me know!

I mean, I know we come from Norwegians. But apparently we come from dour, sour, cranky Norwegians. Look at those cheery cheery faces! Now I just need to NAME them.

In other updates: not much to update on the Dr. Doogie front. I got some test results last week that may explain a lot of things. I'm not being intentionally mysterious, it's just I'm not really at a place to be all, Hey Internet, Lookit Me! about it just yet. As always, though, Andrew is 100% my rock. He's helping me work through the solution. He's worked out a System. With a timetable. And alarms.

I will say, though, this is apparently the year when EVERYONE I WORK WITH is getting knocked up. I was in the lunch line with another teacher (that I work with but isn't exactly my BFF) who was all, "Hmmm, should I get milk for my heartburn?" pause pause expectant pause "Oh, maybe you don't know. I just found out that I'm pregnant."

I mean, really? Literally, this woman was, oh, seven weeks pregnant. (Scary that I know this? Yes.) And I understand when it's at the top of your mind and you feel you want to tell everyone in the world, I've been there. But you need to tell me so bad you tell me in the lunch line? I had already picked up the subtle hint about the heartburn.


So school is running merrily apace. I was hoping for funny stories, but the past two weeks have been spent trying to get back up to speed, because I not only had to miss a week for my grandfather's services, but then I had to miss another day for the doctor's appointments. But I'm caught up now, so yay. Funny stories for another day.

In the meantime--can anyone ID my relatives? Thanks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Endings/Beginnings II

My mom was an only child, so we were the only grandchildren for my Minnesotan grandparents. Not only that, Grandma was an only child too, and Grampa's only sibling had passed away in the sixties, childless. We were it, for family.

We'd visit, as often as we could. That's probably a little white lie; we could have visited more often, technically. But they were in Cold As Hell Minnesota, and we gradually spread as a family over nine time zones (although, curiously enough, pretty much all at the 45th parallel, lattitudinally speaking). As children, we went up in car trips (bookstore trip before we went, stop at Tomah for McDonalds, fight over the middle seat in the caravan). As adults we would try to visit when we were in the vicinity (which was anywhere in a five hour driving radius, because, really, when are any of us in the vicinity of Duluth? it was tough enough to be THAT close).

At the end of each visit, as we backed up out of the driveway and pointed the car towards the freeway, Grandma and Grandpa would stand, arm in arm, large and solid Grampa, tiny bird-like Grandma, forlornly waving until the car was out of sight. Even as new cars (or rental cars) had tinted windows and they couldn't tell if we were waving back (or looking at all), they would wave and wave and wave. Not frenetically, but gently, continuously, graciously.

Last Sunday, my brother, Andrew and I each packed up our clothes and whatever family pictures or documents we were salvaging from years of fruit crates. Fortunately, we had only brought one carry on suitcase, so we also grabbed a suitcase (oh, so ancient suitcase) from the collection of suitcases in the basement for our piles of precious cargo, figuring we could check it on the way back.

Mom had spent the previous day helping Grandma pack up clothes. At one point, Grandma had turned to me, showing me one of her trademark Classy Lady jackets, tailored, timeless, (in fact, the one she wore to our wedding), red and black houndstooth-checked, with subtle gold buttons, asking me if it "widows wear such things."

"Grandma," I said, "widows wear whatever they want to."

"Oh," she said faintly.

"Do you feel pretty in it?" I asked.

She looked at the jacket, with her head tilted. "Howard always liked me in it."

"It comes with us, then," Mom said decisively, and folded it gently into the suitcase that had been requisitioned for this trip.

Grandma is nearly blind, partly deaf, can't drive, and has very little short term memory and is losing her long-term memory. Convincing her that she couldn't stay in the house she and her husband had built fifty years ago was a traumatic and heart-breaking process, because she couldn't always remember which parts of the conversation she'd already had. She would be sitting quietly at breakfast, and then turn to Mom and say, "You know, dear, I think I should just stay here," as if she were politely refusing an invitation to winter in Michigan. Even after we reminded her that her doctor, the reverend at her church, and her friends all said she could not stay in her house by herself, all were relieved to know that Mom wanted to bring Grandma back with her, she would find a new reason to stay. Or rehash an old one. Again and again and again.

But there is no way possible. And each time we have to remind her of that, it's incredibly hard not to cry. Or grind our teeth into oblivion. Because it's tragic and frustrating all at the same time.

So when the time came Sunday morning for Mom and Dad to be off (they had a two-day car trip), the car was packed and all it took was getting everyone into the car. Andrew and I didn't fly out of Minneapolis until after 7 that night, and my brother's flight wasn't until that afternoon either, so we were leaving a little later. The plan was, we would do thing things to close up the house, those little things that would have been terrible for Grandma to witness. Toss any remaining food in the fridge (some of the eggs, by the way? "Use by 2006"). Take out live plants. Lock all doors, close all curtains. That kind of thing.

But first, Grandma was leaving.

We all went to the door, out into the yard. Grandma took Andrew's arm as she negotiated the steps down to the driveway. He walked slowly with her, not taking a step until he was sure of her footing. Mom tried hard not to look like she was crying. Dad forced himself to walk patiently behind the procession. Surprisingly, no last minute petitions to stay. Maybe it was the influence of walking on a man's arm, but she was graceful as she sat in the car and waved at us, her grandchildren, staying behind.

They loaded themselves into the car, Grandma in front, Mom in back with the dog, Dad driving. As they backed slowly out of the driveway, and pointed the car towards the freeway, my brother, Andrew and I stood in the driveway, waving good-bye, long past when we could tell if anyone was waving back. Or looking at all. Waving until the car was out of sight.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


It seems weird to be in this house and not have him asleep in the chair across the room. Not have him about to walk in the door after having taken the dog for a walk. Not have him hold Grandma's hand.

Sixty eight years. That's how long they were married. We found old birthday cards, old anniversary cards, addressed "To my bride of fifty eight years", signed "You're ever-lovin' guy." We also found every check he's ever written since August 2, 1940. Every income tax return since 1955. And every piece of mailing he's ever received having to do with medicare, his bank account, or the masonic lodge he had been a part of in the fifties. No, seriously. Literally. Every. Mailing. Every newsletter, every bill, every invoice.

We found the invoice for heating repair in 1962.

This week has been a flurry of trying to find all the necessary paperwork for Grampa's accounts--insurance, social security, etc. The man was a serious packrat. On the bright side, though, that meant we found my great-grandfather's ticket from Norway to the US, and my great-grandmother's Norwegian baptismal certificate. We also found every single one of my mother's grade reports--all twelve. Including the one that said, "Mary needs to talk less with her neighbors." For a man who didn't like to talk about the past a lot, he sure kept it around. In triplicate. Just in case.

It's a conflict of bittersweet and tenderness, what I've found filed around the house. I've found itineraries and fliers for trips planned, but never taken. But I've also found every single letter my mom wrote to them, bundled and stored in a fruit crate. I've even found the letters my brother and sister and I have written to them. Of course, they were stored in a cabinet in the bathroom, but still. They were saved. (But then, so was the invoice for the bathroom tile. That was laid in 1957.)

It's bizarre, seeing a life from this vantage point. Reading letters about things he never talked about (apparently his retirement wasn't quite as gracious as he liked to talk about). Identifying the dreams that were realized--the house that they designed and built themselves, that they documented, every step of the way, that they lived in for 49 years. But also noticing that they never did visit their friends in Scotland like they wanted to. Or retire to Sun City, like they had talked about (apparently, going by the voluminous paperwork they had filed).

I'm leaving for home tomorrow, taking with me a suitcase full of irreplacable family history. Leaving behind a houseful more.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Good bye

Originally uploaded by karijean
I don't know what I expected, I just know the mix of surprise and inevitability when my mother's phone call woke us up Monday morning. Inevitable because I knew it was coming. He's 92, for Jeebus' sake. Surprise because... not today. Not Grampa.

I'm leaving tomorrow to say good bye to him. Considering how hard it's been to get out there, and how rarely I've been able to go, I'm so so glad I was there two weeks ago to be able to say one more time, a million more times, how much I love him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy birthday

Originally uploaded by karijean
So that thing? That I was doing with a friend? That's my friend there, with his son. And together, we put up a basketball hoop for Andrew.

That's right, we were smarter than a basketball hoop. And it might not even fall down! What's more, it might not even pull the garage down with it.

Putting up the hoop was a two-day cavalcade of "What the hell?" and "Who builds a garage with studs that are 21-and-a-half inches apart?" and "Ah shit--do we go back and fix that, or keep going and pretend we didn't see it?"

Amazingly enough, Andrew has tested it (with his brand new basketball) and it hasn't fallen down yet. It went exactly as I'd hoped, by the way. As we were driving home, Andrew was chattering about his brother said this, his father did that, and so on and so forth, until we turned into our driveway.... it went something like this:

"So Don said that he was never going to--HEEEEYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!"

That was a good "Hey!", just FYI.

I feel quite satisfied.

And as an aside: I checked, and I still suck at basketball.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mountain and river from airplane

I'm back. I've actually been back for two days, but they've been busy days. I (along with someone else) have been preparing a surprise for Andrew's birthday tomorrow.

Because he's not here.

We missed each other by about 30 minutes at the airport on Friday. He left just before we landed. Very very frustrating. I suppose, though, since his step-grandmother had passed away and there was a funeral and everything, you know, I suppose I don't come first. Annoyingly enough. Because I miss him like a severed limb right now. Even if he did leave a nearly completely empty fridge. A fridge so empty it's like a postmodern piece of art. Empty but for kale. Which is the next best thing to empty.

So anyway. Aggie, I will totally catch you next time I'm in the cities, but this trip was saved to meet Miss Maisie Jean. Who is so much cuter than her pictures, it's almost ridiculous. And then Miss Maisie's Mama, Leah, and Caroline and I had to catch up. I want to come up with the perfect punchline to, "So, a teacher, a lawyer and a doctor go into a bar..."

This trip was... it was good. As good as it could be. Aside from the night in the cities, none of it was really for myself. It was one of those trips that you make because you know you should. I love my grandparents, but man oh man oh man, am I glad to be back. Parts of the trip were painful, because it was easier to have no conversation at all than deal with my grandmother's confusion, but then you feel like a heel for thinking that, but then you have to explain to her AGAIN that yes, Perkins is probably this crowded because it's NOON, and that's what happens... I know the trip was the right thing to do. Bleahghgh.

So, yeah, to see pictures from the trip, click on the view from the airplane. I'm pretty proud of some of those pictures, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In Duluth...

When I played rugby, we had one of those singing-forever songs, where you make up verses as you go, that had everything occuring "in Duluth." ("Oh, there's keyholes in the doors and knotholes in the floors in Duluth...")

Let me tell you, not much occurs in Duluth.

Yesterday, we spent about forty-five minutes talking about the grocery stores in the area. Because one had been updated, "and let me tell you, that is the nicest grocery store I've ever been in." And then we compared it to every grocery store in the area.

And then we ate.

That is the major activity here. If we're not eating, we're planning to eat. If we're not planning to eat, we're planning to snack. And so on. I'm falling into the soporific speed. It's 2:00 and my major accomplishment is that I'm dressed.

But I'm seeing my grandparents (92 and still living on their own, in the house my mom lived in when she was a teenager!) and that's good, and it's all good. Plus I got to change my schedule so that I can stop of in Minneapolis and see some of the best women in the world.

As soon as we decide where to eat.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Originally uploaded by karijean
We were supposed to go camping.

That's what was supposed to happen.

Yes, it's Put Everything On Hold week, and so normally this wouldn't have been the type of week where we could make plans, but the campsite is 45 minutes from Portland, and we thought that even if I had to come in to the doctor, we could do it.

And we reeeeally wanted to go camping. All the moreso because we haven't had a chance to go camping by ourselves. Don't get me wrong: I LOOOOVE camping with my friends, but Andrew and I haven't gone camping with just each other and we really wanted to. Andrew has FINISHED HIS BOOK (Thank the sweet little baby jeebus) and I start up teachery stuff next week for real and...

Like I said, we reeeally wanted to go camping.

Apparently, so did EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THE ENTIRE STATES OF WASHINGTON AND OREGON. After coming back home from the campsite of choice (first come first served, and apparently we weren't there early enough), Andrew went online and I manned the phones. And I'm only slightly exagerrating when I say there was not one available campsite in either Washington or Oregon. Because there were two. One was north of Seattle, and the other was south of Bend. In the middle of a baseball field. Aside from the horrid idea of camping in the middle of a baseball field, that would seriously impede our Saturday morning doctory plans.

So THAT sucked.

So Saturday after the doctory stuff, we decided, you know what? Fuck it. We tossed a picnic in the car and headed off to wine country. Our favorite vinyard was holding two bottles of one of our favorite wines for us, it was a gorgeous day for sipping wine and eating cheese, and so we did. And while we were out there, we figured, hey, what else could we do? So we hopped back into the car and just kept on driving, on to the coast. And then we drove home through the Tillamook forest. Every car we passed that had camping or outdoor gear we said, "They're probably camping this weekend. Assholes." But instead, we went geocaching and exploring and "Well, why not go left?" up the coast, and I'm not sure, but we might have had a better time than if we'd gone camping.

I'm going to like this Andrew's Done With His Book thing.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I love to be a student.

So, that conference.

One of the few benefits from my school dsitrict is that they will reimburse up to $550 or so a year of expenses, and if you don't spend it, it rolls over. Since I haven't spent anything for two years, I've got some bucks saved up, and I decided that since I like this AP Stats gig, I might as well really go for it. The folks that own the AP brand (and, seriously, make no mistake: it is a brand, just like American Eagle, Hollister, Dell, and Converse) run institutes all across the country and so I signed up.

I took one of these last year, up in northern Washington, which--uck, so much suckitude, other than the fact I got to hang with a dear dear friend of mine and his wife.

(speaking of which: mental note--they have a baby due. Is it a boy or a girl? Must check into that.)

But I figured this institute was in driving range, and wouldn't fuck (tooo much) with our Make A Goddamn Baby plans for the summer and I could still, you know, progress as a teacher, so hey! Everyone wins!

And of course, it falls right in the week of every cycle that is the Put Everything On Hold week. When calculating weeks and shit in the spring, I thought the PEOH week would be NEXT week, but apparently I miscounted. PEOH week is, um, FUN (or not), but I'll talk about that some other time.

Anyway, I'm in this training.

And. Um. I LOVE it.

Yeah, sure, I'll bitch about the class, about the 25% who have no idea what they're talking about but still insist on FUCKING TALKING. And maybe I'll bitch about the teacher, who isn't very good at getting people in line and making them shut up. And sure, I know, Teachers Make The Worst Students (ask me sometime about the Freedom Finger learning experience...). But I love being a student.

I love it.

I am actually learning some cool projects that I could do as a 1-day or 2-day thing that really do make the "Ah-ha!" light go on (or at least they did for me). Hard concepts, like transformations, or how to explain R-squared, or whatever Stats-associated topic may come up... this instructor has some great material. It makes me think, and I actually do understand some things better because of what I've learne.d I will be a better teacher because of this class. And soon I have to do some homework for it, but first I'll finish this because...

Also? Hee. I ran into another teacher from my district. Not from my school--there aren't any (which actually is a surprise). But this teacher (who rocks, ROCKS!) and I know each other from some post-grad classes we took together. Turns out she's going to be teacing some of the same classes as me and asked how AP Stats had gone. Oh, I said, I had a 90% success rate. THAT WAS YOU?!?!?! she asked.


Apparently there is some talking. At the district level. ABOUT ME. That she overheard. Because an influential parent said, "LOOK at this teacher with the 90% passing rate: you can't TELL me that teaching doesn't affect that." Emphasis, by the way, on influential.


So yeah, despite that PEOH factor of this week, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm a rocking teacher, and I'M GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Um, hello?

"Hi, Kari? This is Dr. Doogie's office. Yeah, your 8:45 appointment is... well, he's on vacation and so won't be in that morning, so will a 10:45 appointment be okay? In fact, I'm just going to put you down for that, so if it's not okay, can you call us? 'kay, thanks, byeee!"

Um, no? It's so very NOT okay? Because I'm supposed to be twenty miles north of here at that time? And my ovaries kind of feel like two inflated balloons so I kind of have to get in for this appointment tomorrow some time? And so it's great that the Doogster can take a vacation with his family and all, but if there was doubt about whether he'd take appointments in the morning after coming back, could you ahve scheduled me for another time? AAaaannd you've pretty much fucked my ability to attend this conference, thereby probably fucking my ability to get the $600 refunded? So fuck you very much? 'kay, thanks, byeeeee!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

This thing we're doing

So, for that brief time I was pregnant, and basically ever since then, I've been putting a lot more thought into what I eat. Not losing-weight wise, because I am doing too damn much to my body right now to fight a two-front war with it. I'm on meds that make me gain weight, I gained weight while pregnant that a miscarriage doesn't help with losing, depression does great things for one's waistline, whatever, I'm trying to let that go.

What I am trying to do is pay more attention on the fresh vs. packaged, local vs. organic vs. conventional, enhanced vs. not debate. Not necessarily picking sides, but at least being aware of the payoffs and costs. I guess what struck a chord was reading one of the many THINGS YOU HAVE TO BE AWARE OF NOW THAT YOU'RE A HUMAN INCUBATOR books and it said, "You should be trying to each as much organic food as possible." Now, that might be dirty-hippy lies, but whatever it is, it resonated with me.

As Em said once, there weren't choices a generation ago that we have now, but there also wasn't the massive amounts of additives either. And we need to think about the growth hormones, the perservatives, the corn syrup, the partially hydroginated di-methyl siloxane or whatever. I'm not saying don't buy movie popcorn, because hello? Have you gone to a movie with me? I guess I'm saying, it makes sense that some of this stuff may be affecting us in ways that we won't ever know.

So Andrew and I--okay, mostly at my urging--have signed up for this great thing, Organics To You, that delivers fresh produce to us each week.

We call it the Hippie Box.

This is me, who hasn't cooked with fresh food much in her life (and whose favorite recipe is a casserole that has exactly 1 ingredient that's fresh--who's midwestern????) It's kind of giving me a hard time, because, well, for instance, here's next week's box:

1-6oz. Blueberries - *LOCAL, farm direct*
4-5 Nectarines
1lb. Apricots - *LOCAL*
3-5 Pluots - 'A Plum-Apricot Hybrid'
1lb. YukonGold Potatoes - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 Romaine Lettuce - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 bunch Kale or Chard - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1/2lb. Snow Peas - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 bunch Green Onions - *LOCAL, farm direct*
6-7oz. Crimini Mushrooms - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 bunch Beets - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1-2 sm. Red Peppers - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1 bunch Broccoli - *LOCAL, farm direct*
1/2lb. 'french filet' Green Beans - *LOCAL, farm direct*

Okay, the first few are easy: fruits! And fresh fruits! And Pluots? SO FREAKING TASTY. And the potatoes, well--mashed is easy. Lettuce--uh, salads, sandwiches? And then we start getting into what I call the "uh-oh!" territory. Kale or Chard? Yeah, I'm googling recipes for that. Snow peas? Beets? I have never ever cooked with these. I mean, I know how to cook broccoli, but seriously, how much cooking of fresh vegetables do I do? Well, now I do quite a lot.

We get the Hippie box each Tuesday, but I can look up what I'm going to get on Saturday, so that I spend most of Saturday and Sunday figuring out what I can make. I'm making a lot of stir-frys--I had to go out and buy a wok finally--because that's easy, healthy, and uses a LOT of veggies.

But we get either chard or kale, or--lucky day!--both once a week, and I am running out of ways to make that shit tasty.

End of Summer.

I have been spectacularly unproductive this week. About the most useful things I've done are: I gave blood, and I squeegeed the new storm door.

I had to use my new 99-cent IKEA squeegee which by the way has a name. It's the LETTEN. So even a 99-cent squeegee has a goofy Swedish name.

And in trying to google what the name of the squeegee is, I found folks who are selling the squeegee! On Ebay! For $2.99!!!! That's some markup.

Anyway, my summer is basically over--next week I'm in AP training again. I know, your pity is overwhelming. But it's part relief and part disappointment. I get to have a purpose every day again, a reason to shower and get dressed again. On the other hand, I haven't reorganized the basement like I had planned to, cleaned out the garage like I had planned to.

I did this training last year, but I did it in waaaaaay northern Washington, so I had to sleep in a hotel every night. It basically sucked. Now I get to do this training here and come home every night which is way cool. Plus, I couldn't have gone away this week anyway, because I'll have at least one if not two doctor's appointments this week which would have been difficult from waaaaaaay northern Washington.

So, bye bye summer, hello fall. Hello Back to School clothes (thank you Mommy!), reasons to wear new super cute shoes, and homework. Good bye aimless lonely days, copious free time, and America's Next Top Model marathons. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I never lived there, but I visited often.

I have family there. I have friends there. I've checked in with everyone I can think of, or checked in with someone who checked in with them. God bless Teh Internets, because when cell phones go down, you can still post to a site.

I'm glad everyone I can think of is okay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007



There were two 1's (neither a surprise) and two 2's (only one was really a surprise), but every other stats student passed their AP Exam (including the two who weren't even in the class, but whatever).

Holy CRAP!

There were a couple surprises, a 4 from someone I would have sworn would get a 5, a couple 3's from some people who I was pretty sure would get 4's, but there were surprises the other way too: two people passed that I didn't think had a snowball's chance in hell; three people got 4's that I'm sure weren't expecting to (including my sister's favorite: go Cowbell!). Both of my twins passed, but one got a 5 and one got a 3--but that doesn't really surprise me. And you know what? A 3 counts for credit, so it's just as good as a 5, functionally speaking.

But SERIOUSLY. I now have DOCUMENTED PROOF of exactly HOW MUCH I ROCK. Oh, and that my students were the greatest bunch of students ever.

NINETY PERCENT PASS RATE, SUCKAS! National average: 60%.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I had an oops.

I don't feel guilty. Conversations like this have been going on all over the greater Portland metro area since Wednesday.

Him: What’s this?

Me: A squeegee.

A what?

A squeegee!

Why do we have a squeegee!

It was ninety-nine cents! At IKEA!

I thought you were going to IKEA with Emily on Friday.

Well, yes, but I just stopped by today. I’m sooooo bored, and plus I needed a shelf for the bathroom.

So you went to IKEA, and you bought a shelf and a squeegee?

And a salad spinner.

And a salad spinner.

It was right by the checkout! And we have all that lettuce.

So if I looked all over this house, all I would find is a shelf, a squeegee, and a salad spinner.

Yes, I only bought stuff if it started with an s.



So, that’s it, though?

Oh, yeah, I was great! Well, that, and the mirror that’s still in the car.

A mirror.

Yeah, and some hooks.

So a shelf, a squeegee, a salad spinner, a mirror and some hooks.

Yeah, and I’m going back on Friday with Emily. We totally need some shelving for the basement.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The cuteness. The CUTENESS

In my neighborhood

This morning I went to the farmer's market. Normally, this would not be a big deal: Portland is awash in farmer's markets. Organic farmer's markets, farmer's co-op markets, year-round farmer's markets. You name it, if it's granola enough, there's a farmer's market for it.

But this one was different. It's brand new, and it's down the street from me.

When we moved in to this neighborhood, the wee little neighborhood strip was a four-block long strip of mostly empty storefronts. There was a dusty, dark, and usually closed Hippie Emporium, selling "herbs" (it's closed now: shocker!), but otherwise, all other operating shops were an auto upholstery shop, two auto-body shops, a billiards hall, a specialty lumber yard, and three slightly sketchy taverns.

As I walked to the farmer's market--it's wee, really, not a huge number of stalls--along the four-block walk, more and more people joined me on the sidewalks. A block ahead of me, three families--whole families!--were walking together, stroller and dogs included. Behind me, two hipster couples shuffled along, holding hands and sipping coffee.

Since we've moved in, our neighborhood has been going through some amazing change. A coffee shop has opened up, the kind with fresh-made pastries, that doesn't have that familiar green-and-white mermaid logo. The "herbarium" disappeared; now we have a wine shop and a crafty paper/art store. The old drug store finally got leased; half of it is this super awesome, reasonably priced, rotating menu of American food restaurant. The movie theater that had been closed since the 70's has been through a makeover and now plays recent-release movies for $3 a pop. Oh, and serves beer, wine, and tasty tasty pizza from the pizzaria next door.

Standing at the farmer's market, all I could think was: who knew all of these families with these wee little kids lived within walking distance? I bought some golden raspberries and a margarita melon (less alcoholic than it sounds), sipped my Ethiopian Fair Trade Shade Grown coffee while munching on a ham-and-gruyere croissant and realized I was standing next to the auto-body shop and across the street from the billiards hall.

I love my neighborhood. I can't wait to see what we get next.

Monday, July 23, 2007


So, how's everyone doing with my last few doses of Extra Special Bitter?

Good? Or a little too hoppy?

Yeah, I know.

So, on a brighter note: ANDREW'S FINISHED HIS FIRST DRAFT! WOOO HOO! I might actually get to socialize with him again one day SOON! Yeah, Andrew, go!

I don't think I've talked enough about how proud I am of his endeavor. Frustrated as all hell because I miss the shit out of him (evenings, weekends, that kind of thing), but also proud as shit. You can search his name on Amazon: he has a page on Amazon! My husband! It's like proud by vicarious nearness.

Or something.

Also, I rearranged the living room today. Again.

In related news, I have three total unplanned weeks left of this summer. Remind me of the cabin fever when I'm stressed as hell next April, willya?


False Promises.

Well-meaning people, people who love me, people I love, have a common refrain that really, truly rubs me the wrong way.

It will happen.

My mom, I love her, but that's her refrain when there's another failed cycle. And we've had our differences about how to communicate lately, but finally last month I just had to stop her.

I know this will work out in the end, she said.

And she meant well. But.

No, mom, I said, you don't know it. You hope it. That's the thing. It may not happen.

It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't dangled at that precipice, that panicky realization that it really truly may not happen. Yeah, we're using IUI right now, and that may happen, and there are other options, the next step is IVF--but that's expensive/risky/just may not happen. Adoption (oh, boy, is THAT a topic for a future Oh The Things People Say!) is expensive/intensive/just may not happen. And while the fact that Nothing In Life Is Guaranteed is a truism, no one ever thinks it applies to them, not about having children. Until suddenly it does. Some ART-folks maintain their optimism, and my own optimism rises and falls (usually in concert with the levels of clomid in my system, odd, huh?), but personally as I keep going, pragmatism and realism (some might say pessimism) creeps in.

It Might Not Happen. We might not get lucky. That's not me inviting pity (much) or even self pity (well, a little). That's me acknowledging a truth that really honestly kind of sucks, but it's a truth, along the lines of "Actually, no, I never WILL be a supermodel" and "I really wasn't meant to be an athlete". We'll still keep going, try again next month, and probably the month after that, et cetera and so forth, because I want this more than I've ever wanted anything and I will keep trying until we've exhausted ourselves. But that doesn't mean it will happen.

And I can't help at getting irritated at people (usually women) who got pregnant by, of all things, having sex, telling me that I should be patient, it'll happen.

There are two things so very very wrong with that statement. First of all: Look, we've been seeing doctors on and off for almost four years now, and steadily, monthly, bimonthly, almost weekly and sometimes biweekly, for over a year. This is just a drop in the bucket to some ART couples, I know, but seriously, you don't think I know about patience by now? If I could have hurried things up, don't you think I would have by now? I don't have a choice about patience.

Second, you don't know it'll happen. Last I checked, your ESP didn't include reading the tea leaves. That's just an empty empty Thing to Say, comforting you far far more than it comforts me. It's all very well and good to say that from the easy place of having had your child/children, but every time you say that, no matter how difficult your own process was, it is a reminder that you are on the other side of a bright shining line that so far I've been denied.

What could you say instead, you ask?

Most likely--and here's the sucky part for you--nothing. Each failed cycle is a little less carefree than the last, you see, so it hits a little harder. Being there and listening is the best possible thing a friend could do when another cycle fails. Or, being there and distracting if I don't want to talk about it.

If you find yourself in that place where the words are on the tip of your tongue, no matter how firmly you believe it will happen or is meant to happen or God whispered in your ear one night or the chicken bones aligned or whatever!, keep it between yourself and your chicken bones. I'm glad--for you--that you feel that way, but that's your faith. I have my reality to deal with.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This is the reality of IUI.

So you sit down to take your test and you caution yourself. And it's not like you don't have practice cautioning yourself, because you've taken this particular test a squizillion times.

I don't feel any symptoms, you say to yourself. My boobs don't hurt, they aren't bigger, someone told me I'd have Porn Star Nipples and I definitely don't have those, nothing.

Plus, you remind yourself, this is early. Good ol' Aunt Flo isn't due here till, like, Thursday, so really, chances are super slim that even if I was pregnant, that it'd register.

And really, no matter how many times we've tried, it's still like, a 10 to 15% chance that any particular month will work, you tell yourself. So, really, you remind yourself, the odds are not in our favor.

And you're still crushed when that second line doesn't appear, when there's no plus sign, when the wee computer doesn't tell give you that ten-dollar sign.

The cruelty is that you still have a blood test waiting for you, but it's not for three days, so that if you really wanted to, you could keep peeing. And you will.

Ahh... a quiet, silky voice from the back of your mind reminds you, remember? That one time you actually were pregnant? Remember how you got a not pregnant one day and a pregnant the next? That could happen. You never know. Because that damn silky voice comes back, day after day after day.

And so you get to be crushed tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, until Aunt Flo actually comes and you get to start planning your appointments for the next month.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

PKW event

I got an email from my mom for a "Pamper Kari Week" event. I guess I'd sounded a little pathetic on the phone on Thursday.

Okay, maybe a lot pathetic.

"You're doing much better this month!" Em had said.

Apparently I'm crying less in public. This is good. But I still have crippling self-pity, though, that sneaks up on me. Yeah, it's still self-pity, so I'm not proud it's there, but regardless, it comes out of nowhere (a JC Penny's ad, a picture, a thought) and then I want to do nothing ever again.

So on Thursday I sounded really sorry for myself. On Friday, Mom emailed me for a chance to be pampered at her home in Michigan. They'd pay the freight.

It's novel, really, to be in my thirties and a guest in my parents home by myself: no siblings, no husband, no crisis for a change. And aside from some snippieness when we were on the way to the movie but MIGHT be LATE, MARY, WHY DID WE CHOOSE TO EAT AT A RESTAURANT ACROSS THE CITY FROM THE MOVIE THEATER, but we'll ONLY MISS THE PREVIEWS, KEN (me in the back: LALALA I'M NOT LISTENING) type of tomfoolery, it's been a really mellow week.

I helped Mom with her newsletter formatting which unexpectedly turned into a lot of laughter. Dad and I have watched the Tour de France and taken the dog on walks through their Faux French Provincial Community. Mom and I went to the Ann Arbor Art Fair and counted people who bought art on sticks. And might have maybe perhaps bought some shoes.


I miss Andrew (hi hon!) but maybe he can USE THIS TIME TO FINISH HIS DAMN BOOK so that I'll see him some when I get back. (hi hon!)

I can dig this PKW event.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

At least...

I just wanted to start a little service for those who are going through ART (assisted reproductive technology). More specifically, this is for those who know someone else who is going through it.

If you are going through ART know this here and now: otherwise well-meaning, sympathetic and intelligent people will say some dumb-ass shit. Family, friends, coworkers--some may know what you're going through, some may not, depending on how open you are--doesn't matter. They don't mean to, but they will.

And it will hurt. I mean, it may be a small pinprick, or it may be a raw seeping wound, depending on the day, the person saying it, and the clomid levels, but somebody will say something that will bother you. In fact, several somebodies, and they'll all say different things.

The truth is, they have no idea what to say. And the painful truth is, many won't do research on the emotional aspects of how to deal with a friend with fertility problems. And the real truth is, almost none will know how to ask you what you need, nor will they know how to react when you talk about it.

When you find the friends or family who know how to ask you questions frankly yet sympathetically? Who follow your lead when you do or don't want to talk about it? Coat them in gold and chain them in your basement. You won't find many, so hold on to the ones you do. I have three chained up down there right now. It's being able to go downstairs and visit those three that get me through the bonehead shit that other people say. And then I occasionally toss them a treat.

That said, I wanted to start a small recurring feature of They'll Say It, But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Like It. I just want to cover what I've heard and why it sucks, and what some viable alternatives may be.

Today's entry:

"At least you know you can get pregnant!"

You will here this after a miscarriage. Guaranteed. You will hear this after every miscarriage. You will hear this in the down times between miscarriages. You will hear this in the empty times between doctor's appointments--assuming, of oourse, that you've been pregnant at least once, whether you actually gave birth or not. You will hear this while waiting after your last IUI for your beta blood tests. It's often the go-to thing to say for people who want to comfort, and they will say it any time you admit to feeling anything less that optimistic.

And you know what? It's not comforting.

Can everyone who only wants to get pregnant, but doesn't want the baby, can you stand up?


The goal is to stay pregnant. Right? I mean, you'd tell me if I was wrong, wouldn't you? The thing is, every fertility story is different, and so yes, some people have difficulty at the getting pregnant stage, while others have diffiulty at the staying pregnant stage. Some lucky winners (!!!) have difficulty with both. But I'm fairly certain, even without doing clinial research, that it isn't anyone's ultimate goal to just get pregnant, even for the women who have problems getting that far.

And besides, how on earth is that comforting? "At least the one event that no one has control over can happen!"

It's a little like comforting your newly divorced sister by saying, "Well, at least you know you can get through a wedding! Now next time you just need the marriage to stick!"

If you find these words allllmost coming out of your mouth, ever, for the love of all the fluffy kittens in the world, stuff your fist in your mouth before these words come out. Check yourself: does this person you're talking to really want comfort, or do they want a sympathetic ear so they can just not be Susie Fucking Sunshine all the time? If they really want comfort, don't give them false promises (more on those in a future installment!), ask. Ask, ask, ask: "How can I help?" If they want sympathy, try something crazy: just be sympathetic.

And if someone says that to you? I'm sorry, not if, but when? God, I wish I knew. If you had a good response, please let me know, because I'm still searching for one that doesn't make everyone want to stop talking to me altogether.

Next up: Variations on a theme: False promises.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Slippety Doo Dah

So, the White Spot.

Beyond that being the name of my first punk album, I have an update. Of sorts.

To recap: in my last few dildo-cam appointments (oh the joy of that being plural! Can you get frequent flier points or something, some kind of coffee club card for those? A dozen ultrasounds, and your next one is free! They could even use some sperm-shaped hole puncher, just for continuity.), the doctor has paused with the oh-so-reassuring sound of, "Huh." Not precisely what you want to hear when assessing the health of the uteral areas.

Last year, this time, I was waiting to have a fibroid removed. They'd tried to do it the non-invasive way--well, they're still sending cutting implements up my happy chute, so it's still pretty damn invasive--but that was ultimately unsuccessful, so we'd gone the surgical route. Wheee! A caesarian for Phil, my fibroid.

So was this white spot a new growth, or unfinished bidness from the Phil-ectomy, or something entirely harmless? The dildo-cam would no longer suffice, it was time for the big guns: radioactive elements.

For the past month, I've been pretty mellow about all of it because, hell, The White Spot was there. If it was harmless, it was still harmless, if it was screwing up our chances of growing a baby, it was already doing that, and besides, ain't nothing fertilizing up in those parts anyway. The past few days, though: not so much. The sort of overwhelming feeling of This Is It was sneaking up on me. It's some horrid growth, left over from my miscarriage. It was The Son of Phil, back for a sequel, and I'd need to schedule surgury for August. Again. It was cancer and I'd need to lose the entire Happy Fun Uterus.

That is to say, I was slightly pessimistic.

I had an appointment for an HSG: a hystero schmemememe gram. Hystero: uterus. Shmemememe: something about scoping or sono or something. Whatever. The upshot (heh) works something like this.

Have you ever cleaned out a bottle or some long-necked thing where you can't get a sponge the entire way in? So you swish soapy water around in the bottom? We did that, only substitute "uterus" and "radioactive dye". Fill it up till it hurts, make me roll around on a table that moves like an animatronic Disney creation from hell, and then shoot the xray machine at me when the correct anatomy is under the mutation-inducing lens. It's like America's Next Top Model of My Uterus. "Okay, now we need a 3/4 angle... shoot that! Great. Okay, now roll the other way, shift the table up a little, Great! Shoot that."

And it's oh so much less fun than it sounds. I know, right? I'm just hoping I don't get eliminated.

Of course, my geeky side can't help but be slightly awed by the images that show up. You kknow those drawings we all saw in middle school, how the ovaries are attached to the uterus? Picture that as, say, a water slide. An egg's last little fun as it descends into the uterus. The drawings in middle school all have the water slide that looks like this:
See the dude at the top? He's the egg, about to slide into the pool of my uterus.

Stick with me here, this weird analogy will pay off. Okay, maybe, I make no promises, but stick with me anyway.

Well, as we swish the dye around my insides (fun! fun! fun!) I got to see as it snakes up through my fallopian tubes. This is good, since it means my eggs, when the pills and the shots make them do their thing, actually have someplace to go and a way to get there, and that's part of the point of this particularly fun test. But what strikes me is those waterslides. They're no direct shot, they're really more like this:
That's one crazy ride those eggs are taking before settling into life of babyhood. No wonder most don't make it.

And about that White Spot? No idea. Didn't find any homonculous-type Head of Satan staring at me from the 3-D images, so that's a plus. Experts get to pore over the negatives and tell me if we're screwed or what. I meet with my Doogie Howser doctor tomorrow (another punch on my dildo card! eeeee!) and I suppose we'll find out. My ovaries feel almost ready to explode out of my abdomen right now (thank you, Senor Clomid!) and if we're going to do another IUI this cycle, it'll be this week, so yeah.

Like everything about this whole damn shit: it's all wait and see.

But I really think now I want to go to the water park.