Thursday, August 30, 2007


It's the beginning of the school year. Life is crazy and creativity is short. So, um, here. Watch this.
(Jen switched the settings on me. I have now corrected that. Try again.)

More Fountain Fun! from Jen and Cait and Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Your Turn

What carseat or seats would you recommend to your child's grandparent who wanted to have a seat in her car? The reality is, Natalie will only ride with them exceedingly rarely, so the seat will get minimal use. That makes me uncomfortable about suggesting a Britax, Recaro, or Radian, even though they would otherwise be my top suggestions. I really don't know what to do except perhaps give them several suggestions in a range of prices. If I am going to do that, though, I'm not sure which seats to reco for the mid- and low-end. I would have said the Cosco Scenera, but there seem to be two of them out there (one with a shield and one without - but they have the same name!), and that confuses me, let alone them! Also, has anyone tried a Fisher Price Safe Voyage? Is it worth the extra money over a super-low price seat or is it a case of in for a penny, in for a Britax? Your input is greatly welcomed!

PS - If I thought I could talk them into letting us "store" the seat for them, it would be great, as we'd have an extra seat for playdates, etc. But I don't think they'll go for it....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Deja Vu

I am not meaning to belittle the experiences of those with medical infertility or SIF, and I hope I am not offending any readers. If I am, please accept my apology in advance.

I felt like we were infertile before we'd even started actively trying to have a baby, and I'm starting to feel like we've got secondary infertility before we're actually inseminating for #2.

Cait and I have both known that we wanted children for what seems like our entire lives (and I mean that literally - neither of us can remember, even at the youngest ages, NOT knowing). By the time I was 24 I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to have kids despite my single status, my efficiency apartment, and my minuscule salary. But it took nine more years before sperm ever even had a chance to meet egg - nine years of wanting, yearning, aching - and then, of course, we had that little sidebar where TWO SPERM met the one egg and all the molar mess that followed. Thankfully, after another torturous wait, we did welcome Natalie, and having her in our lives is spectacular. We are truly, truly grateful for the joy, hilarity, and wonder --heck, even the exhaustion -- she brings to our lives. (And, oh, how we wish that others, who have had longer waits, and more torturous losses, could join us on the other side. It just fucking sucks that anyone who wants children should have to endure waiting and loss.)

I should be spending my time and my brain cells enjoying our delightful girl (and in truth, most of the spare time/energy/thoughts I have ARE devoted to her... except the ones worrying about plastic and toys from China and organic vs. local food and... oops, I digress) but for the past several months , my thoughts and energy have been increasingly consumed by thoughts of a second child. There was never any doubt that we wanted more than one child. That certain self-knowledge from the youngest age involved being a mother to multiple if not many children, and I know the same was true for Cait. Our conversations about how many children we want have always focused on how many is too many. (I suppose that's what all conversations regarding numbers of children are about but in our case the foundational assumption is that there will be more than one.) I stunned our doula the day after Natalie's birth by talking about looking forward to another home birth. "Wow," she said. "Most women who've had unmedicated births don't even want to think about baby #2 for at least 6 weeks, if not 6 months!" But even then I was dreaming about the time when we'd* be pregnant again... and in my imaginings, that time was now.

We do, of course, know the fallacy of trying to plan or time pregnancies, having waited longer than either of us could have forseen for our first child. But hope is like a damn jack-in-the-box, popping up again and again, whether or not you're sick and tired of the plinkety-plink little tune. And so, to my frustration and consternation, not only am I not pregnant yet, but I don't even appear to be ovulating. Making that whole pregnant thing pretty (excuse the pun) fucking difficult. Meanwhile, friends are anxiously awaiting babies, making plans for baby #2, and/or gathering up all that TTC equipment again.

And wouldn't you know, just as we start to feel like we're missing the TTC train, IRL people all around us start popping up pregnant. The planned-for and worked-for ones are a bit of a stumbling block, but the accidental ones? OOF! There's that old familiar gut-punch again.

But there's an interesting twist this time. Unlike the first two years in which we were attempting to bring home a baby without success, this time I have direct control over one significant element of the process. I am still nursing Natalie, and I know that's impeding my fertility. I don't want to wean her just so I can get pregnant. But I really would like to be able to get pregnant, so I feel really, really ambivalent and stuck. (And then there are all the women on my extended breastfeeding listserv who keep turning up with surprise pregnancies, making me frustrated yet again at our limited and expensive access to sperm.)

Agh. I don't even know how to end this rambling, disjointed whining. Except to confess that we bought a whole bunch of cheap OPKs last month and I've been peeing on sticks (sometimes twice a day) for more than two weeks now in hopes that we can achieve the lesbian equivalent of an oops I never got my period back pregnancy.

Wouldn't it be nice?

*At that point, it wasn't clear whether it would be Cait or me trying to get pregnant, although in the intervening time, we've decided on me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

He's Here

I am so thrilled at the news that Beckett Ace has arrived safely! Congratulations Bri & Wes, and a great big welcome from all of us at AddProb. Natalie (and moms) can't wait to meet you!

Taxation without Representation

We live in Washington, and I love it here. My family and friends are here, there are wonderful parks, museums, restaurants and cultural opportunities, and in the sense that the personal is the political, it's a great place to live. Most people share our views on marriage rights, the environment, education, and the other issues that matter to us. We were able to complete a second parent adoption, unlike many of our friends. Our employers both offer domestic partnership benefits, and we have set up powers of attorney and other documents to provide ourselves some of the rights we'd get if we could marry.

But even so, it can be quite frustrating to live here, because there's really not a damn thing we can do to change anything we don't like, even local matters, because DC is not a state and is therefore powerless in Congress. It's the national issues that are most problematic. Write your Senator, they always say. Call your Congressperson. Well, we don't have one. (Yes, yes, there's Eleanor Holmes Norton, and she is wonderful, but I prefer to leave her alone so she can spend her time working on Statehood.) So I am asking all of you who DO have congressional representation to help out.

I got a message today in my inbox alerting me to the fact that Bush is working towards appointing another hideous judge to the Federal bench. Judge Leslie Southwick of Missouri is virulently racist and anti-gay, and has handed down decisions that make my skin crawl. If you have a Senator, please write her or him and try to stop this horror from being perpetuated upon us all. I can't do it, so consider it a two-fer if you do.

Doppel Birth Day!

It looks like today's the day for TK! Send love, strength, energy and joy towards Brooklyn where exciting events are unfolding even as I type. And unless things go unexpectedly (I mean, we are talking about Bri here) and there turns out to be a long labor, we will sing Happy Birthday to TK tonight, on Natalie's 1 1/3 birthday (and the 3rd birthday of one of her donor half-sibs). Doppelly goodness indeed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


We're back from road trip #2. I think Natalie may go nuts if we ever take her near her carseat again, but she was as patient as one could expect a 15-month-old to be with the summer of long drives. A brief summary of our trip:
  • We visited Shelli, Narda, and Malka on our way to Cape Cod. This was the first visit where Natalie and Malka were using the same means of locomotion, and it was fun to see how that affected their interactions. They were really able to follow each other around and get into things together in new ways. Future visits are definitely necessary.
  • The house Jen's mom rented on the Cape was on a pond. As in, the backyard was a little beach. Natalie was in heaven, and spent much time in the water or playing in the sand.
  • We were able to go up to P-Town to experience a little bit of Family Week. We met up with a few internet friends, and spent an interesting afternoon being thwarted in various plans by toddlers who needed to sleep. At totally different times, of course. We did, however, take a nice stroll through Provincetown, buy a hammock, and have a lovely time visiting and laughing at the antics of our children.
  • Shortly after sending encouraging words to a friend about baby poop and cloth diapers, we ditched the cloth and bought disposables for out of control, unmanageable in places not our home, diarrhea.
  • The day after P-Town, Natalie came down with a cold, which she promptly passed on to us. I still sound like I swallowed a frog.
  • A few days later, after a mostly sleepless night of wailing and coughing and wheezing, we took Natalie to a local walk-in clinic, where she was diagnosed with a double ear infection and sinus infection. Now that she's doing better, we wonder if she was fighting something for longer than we realized. The picky eating, impossible sleep in NY, unusual moments of crankiness, and ongoing intestinal grossness may not have been teething or travel-induced as we had assumed. She even let me put her hair in pigtails with nary a complaint today. Apparently it was extra-painful before. Good mommies, eh?
  • Despite illness, Natalie learned several new tricks, which are keeping us laughing.
    • After seeing Malka jump, and spending much time jumping in the water, Natalie is convinced she can jump. She bends her knees, then straightens up, picking up her right foot and stomping it. This is also an acceptable form of dancing, as far as she is concerned.
    • She says her own name. If we point to her and ask, "who's this?" she says "Na-Na." This also works with pictures of herself.
    • She has learned to say "YEAH!" with a sort of gleeful enthusiasm. This is her response to most questions these days, unless the answer is clearly NO. "Natalie, do you want to play with your ball?" "YEAH!" "Should we go outside?" "YEAH!" "Where are you going?" "YEAH!" "Will you give us your first million dollars?" "YEAH!"
    • However, she is quick to reject things that do not meet her standards. Singing to her has become a challenge, because she only wants certain songs, and if we are not singing those, she will vehemently shake her head and say "uh-uh." She was also panicked when I tried to put her new buckwheat pillow into a pillowcase, and howled "OUT! OUTOUTOUTOUTOUT!" until I removed it.
    • She has developed a fascination with bags. She picks up anything with a handle (even if it's so big she has to drag it), waves at us, says "Bah!" (bye) and walks away. She returns after a minute or so with a cheerful "Hi!"
  • After leaving the Cape, we stopped in Boston to visit a good friend who has recently relocated. To keep me from totally losing it as we drove away, Jen and I began making a list of Natalie's words and signs, as she has picked up many new ones on each of our trips. We were astonished at the results.
  • There really is no place like home. That, or we've become totally stodgy old farts. Either is possible, based on how happy we were to get back to our own shower, our own washing machine, our own filtered water*, and our beds. Yep. Spoiled old yuppie farts, Jen thinks. However, Natalie was also quite happy to get home, and rocketed from one toy to the next, saying "Yay! Yay! Yay!"
And now we return to real life. Jen goes back to work tomorrow. I go back in a week. Bah Humbug.

*At least there's a reason for this one besides general paranoia. Turns out while we were out of town, the Environmental Working Group released the results of their analysis of DC tap water. Our home was one of the test sites and it fared badly (look for "residence with infant") so it's a damn good thing we filter our water. Oh, hey, while you're there, fill out their survey on children's personal care products if it's relevant to you.
** Many more cute pictures are in the Cape Cod set on flickr. It's friends only, though, due to skinny dipping pics. If you're not already friended, send us an email.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Dog Ate My Library Book

I could blame it on limited computer access, too much family, too little privacy, an attention-demanding toddler, the inertia of summer vacation, or global warming melting by brain (and almost all of those excuses would be true) but the truth of the matter is that I missed Bri's Blogshower because I was scared. Scared I wouldn't say something "good enough". Scared I wouldn't be funny. Scared nobody actually reads this blog anymore. Scared I would screw it up one way or another... which of course I did, by being oh, A WEEK LATE. For that, I apologize deeply. Know that I was thinking of you last week and ever since, even if I couldn't get it together until today.

I'm still having a lot of trouble coming up with what to say, other than this: I am so happy for you and Wes, and can't wait until TK is in your arms, bringing you to the end of one journey and launching you on another one full of bliss, bleary eyes, boobs, and poop. Oh, and cloth diapers. :) And I *really* can't wait to read about it, because you are one of the best, funniest, and most honest writers I know.

I'm even sorrier that I waited until now to write this, because you're facing yet another challenge on your road to the baby of your dreams. I hope that the bed rest, frustrating and scary as it is, does what it's supposed to and that you are able to go into labor on your own (after the photo shoot, of course). And dear God, I hope your labor is NOTHING like Melissa's (no offense, Melissa, whom I don't even know).

But more than anything, I hope that the doppleness continues at least one step further, and that TK is every bit as wonderful as Natalie is, and helps the agony of the past years fade into a dull ache that is usually forgotten in the quiet beauty of the present. And he will be.