Friday, November 30, 2007

NoMoPoMo

(I wonder how many other people came up with that title?)

Phew. It's done. It was definitely a change of pace to blog daily, even multiple times a day. I hope that I'll stay in the habit of blogging regularly, though I am certain it won't be daily! At times it was overwhelming to have so many posts to read on other blogs, but I really enjoyed getting to hear from some friends and bloggers who, like me, had been posting less and less frequently prior to this month. And it was fun figuring out how to blog from my phone (which came in handy when I got unexpected test results and had no Internet access).

Even though I still think it's nuts to do NaBloPoMo in November when the holiday treadmill begins, in a way it got me conditioned for the madness that is December, even if my "spare time" (ha!) in December will be consumed with cards, baking, wrapping, crafting, etc., instead of blogging.

Buh-bye, November, and buh-bye NaBloPoMo!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

When All Else Fails, Post a TTC Update

I guess it happens to everyone who's doing NaBloPoMo, but at least I made it for 28 days first.

I've got nothing to say. Nada. The brain is buzzing and hissing like AM radio in the middle of nowhere.

So I will resort to telling you that we have indeed done three HPTs so far, but in our defense we are "testing out" the trigger. There is still some residual hCG in my system but not much - there was a pretty faint line two days ago and very faint lines yesterday and today. Unfortunately, we don't know what the dose was of the shot so can't do truly obsessive calculations to predict when we should get no line. Meaning we will keep testing. All in the name of science, of course.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

But If I Were Julie...

... that last post would have been some hysterically funny commentary on fashion choices at the RE's, complete with new fabric designs. Because no one who works at a REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGIST'S should wear scrubs with cute, pastel, swaddled, giggly babies on them.

What would be appropriate patterns for Julie to create?

I think a nice array of needles, bandaids, and crumpled tissues would be a big hit.

What are your ideas?

Noted

We had our consult with Dr. Smiley today, and we emerged feeling pretty good, considering that all is not sunshine and rainbows. I had a list of questions that we took with us -- and one of the reasons I left feeling good is that he complimented me on the thoroughness of the list! -- and rather than try to develop a tight narrative that stuns you with its precision and beauty, I'm going to copy over my questions and scrawled notes.

Thanks to Shelli and Liza who reviewed the list before the appointment, making suggestions for improvement, and Shannon* who tipped me off to AMH testing, which earned me BIG smartypants points with Dr. S!

Is the elevated FSH a real problem or possibly a fluke?
Perhaps both. Anything over 10.2 worrisome, but FSH "pulsile hormone": can't ever know whether you caught it at peak, low, or somewhere in between. Stressed that researchers hypothesize high FSH may indicate fewer eggs, but no way to determine egg quality. FSH levels not adversely affected by stress, diet, other lifestyle factors.

Could prolactin be interfering with the FSH level?
Prolactin only lowers FSH levels. Not a factor after 6+ months of breastfeeding. He is totally unconcerned by nursing. (Note to self: did not ask about nursing while on injectables or other IVF meds!)

Is there any point in checking other things – inhibin B? AMH/MIF? Antrals? Thyroid? Clomid challenge? [Ed. note: no fucking way am I going near clomid after so many stories of psychosis!!!!]
All crude measures which (except Clomid challenge) could corroborate diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). No point in Clomid challenge if FSH is already ^. Injectables can serve both as a response to DOR and a way to determine how bad it is. If respond with 3-4+ follicles, reserve is OK. If respond poorly (0-2), screwed.

Generally speaking, what do you do to address elevated FSH?
Not Clomid (see above) [Ed: Yay!] W/ ^FSH, tends not to help ovulation but does usu. mess up lining.
Injectables, but beware risk of multiples.
Best plan: IVF because reduces risk of +++s

Mother’s fertility as predictor? Impact of previous pregnancy on odds of success?
Mother's fert can only be used as negative predictor
Previous pregnancy indicates presence of some good quality eggs [Ed: Except that whole molar mess.]
In my case, Mom's fert. at 40+ and my own fert history is encouraging but not necessarily predictive.

Let’s develop a plan to maximize odds for the 87 remaining vials:If needed, repeat FSH testing on CD3 next cycle. No need for AMH or inhibin B testing yet. Check antrals.
If either reveals further problems, ramp up plan to next step. Perhaps test anti-thyroid antibodies.
If FSH no worse and decent antrals, keep on keepin on 2-3 mo.
Then, inj. and/or IVF.


*Get a blog, woman! You are too damn funny not to be blogging!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Damn

When I learned that Hope and I would be trying to get pregnant at the exact same time, I was so excited -- we were due only days apart with Quinn and Natalie -- and also apprehensive. "If we are trying together, it makes the odds worse," I said to Hope. "Instead of one good and one bad possibility, now there will be three potential negative outcomes and only one positive."

I've been thinking about those words a lot lately, because I was wrong, so wrong. Even though it was hard to hear that they were pregnant while we were not, I was still happy for them and glad that conception had gone smoothly a second time. But my error went farther than that, because I'd only been thinking about getting pregnant, not staying pregnant. This outcome is far worse than anything I was envisioning in August. The tables are turned, too, because now we're in the midst of another TWW with the possibility that we will emerge pregnant while Hope and Megan are not.

I so wish that things were different, that Hope were still pregnant and getting sicker all the time, while I turned just the palest hint of envious green. But the crappy truth is quite the opposite, and all I can do is send my love and apologies out across the ether, and whisper a sad goodbye to the littlest eggplant. You will be loved and missed, little one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Knitters, Help!

I really don't get picking up stitches. I can do it, but the whole process of figuring out how to pick them up evenly is incredibly frustrating and seems like I am making it MUCH harder than it has to be.

Furious Scribblings

This is a picture of my most recent attempt - I took a whole sheet of paper to calculate and recalculate what pattern of skipping and picking up stitches would yield the target. And in the end I winged (wung?) it.

Please share any wisdom you have about picking up stitches.

PS - These calculations were made during the Jim Trelease seminar, hence the note about HP (for you, Jody!)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Keeping the Toaster


New Disposal, originally uploaded by jrustdc.

Cait fulfilled her annual Dyke Point Quota this afternoon installing a new, bigger and more powerful disposal to replace the one that left our kitchen smelling gross. Disposals are a two-fer: water AND electrical!

The Installation

(Meanwhile I earned OCD points by painstakingly restoring some damaged board books, organizing our photo CDs, and packing away old baby bottles.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why we shouldn't be entrusted with our daughter's moral education

Somehow I doubt that participating in Buy Nothing Day really counts if you then go out the next day and spend a horrifying amount of money. Even if it was kind of by accident....

And, if truth be told, we did end up buying stuff on Friday, too, although it was 11:56 pm. (I wasn't actually trying to wait until Saturday - it just worked out that way.) So really, I was a complete failure at the whole BND thing.

How did we spend, um, thousands of dollars sort of by accident? Well, it was a little something like this. First of all, the purchases late Friday night were suggested by Cait as a way to cut down on the amount of running around we had to do this weekend. We did have plans to pick up some supplies for a baby shower we are hosting in a couple of weeks -- the only shopping we intended to do at all this weekend -- but Cait thought we could save ourselves some aggravation and avoid the post-Thanksgiving insanity by shopping online. She proposed this idea around 9 pm on Friday, by which time I'd basically forgotten that it was BND. I didn't think about it at all until the order confirmation email showed up timestamped 11:56.*

The rest of the purchases can be traced back to one word: stink. We've been working towards buying a new washer & dryer because the washer just doesn't work that well anymore (our clothes often smell mildewed and the cloth diapers have been getting downright funky), and last week we discovered that our disposal is only doing a half-assed job: it grinds the food but so coarsely that it won't go down the drain, resulting in a pulverized, rotting swamp. Not wanting to be wasteful members of our disposable society, we looked into getting all three appliances repaired, but research indicated it wouldn't be cost-effective for any of them. However, by the weekend, the various smells hung over the house like a dank cloud, and we started out this morning by looking at the advertising circulars to see if any of the models we were interested in were on sale. Cait was so frustrated by our odiferous house that she wanted to go out and by something, anything, NOW! to improve the situation.

Being the major tightwad AND research hound in our relationship (and also having forgotten to take my antianxiety meds two days in a row) I was not as enthusiastic** but agreed we could go out to a couple of big box stores to research the washer and dryer although I wanted to wait for a big sale before buying anything.

Well, even if I hadn't given it away in the first sentence, you'd surely be able to guess the rest of the story. We did do some price comparison (and I had done a fair amount of research beforehand) but we*** got suckered in by a couple of rebate offers and did upgrade to the ridiculously snazzy machine that will do everything including file our taxes for us. Cait is going to go for some major dyke cred tomorrow by installing a new disposal, and our laundry lives will be revolutionized in early December when our insanely expensive and cool new washer & dryer arrive and are installed. Assuming, of course, that they will FIT into the laundry closet. But that's another post.

Anyway, I'm not willing to calculate the monetary total of our absurd shopping spree for fear I would spontaneously combust right here on the couch. I will, however, list for you the ridiculous inventory of the day's take:
  • Stuff for the baby shower
  • Natalie's Christmas gifts (puzzle, bath toy, art paper)
  • A tank of gas
  • A latte, a chai, and 2 scones
  • Krazy Glue
  • Vent covers
  • Spray paint
  • Disposal, plumber's putty & plumber's dope
  • 5.5 lbs of M&Ms
  • Hair elastics & hairbands
  • Coke and pizza
  • Teakettle
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Ice cream
I guess it doesn't look that bad without the dollar figures. And we need almost all of it (maybe not the Krazy Glue). It should also be noted that due in large part to a generous pre-holiday gift from my grandmother we can afford this, just barely. But I didn't INTEND to buy any of it except the baby shower stuff this weekend.

Ah well, doing our part for the economy. Or something.


*For the record, I don't think I've ever succeeded at BND but I've never had a failure so colossal - I usually end up buying groceries or kleenex or something that's more of a necessity.
**Understatement of the decade.
***Cait says it was ME, not we, who decided to go for the upgrade.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving

As Natalie and I "hungled" (snuggled) before her nap this morning, my mind wandered through bits and pieces of the last 19 months. I held her a little longer than I needed to, feeling her body relax, noticing her eyelashes, her smooth cheeks, and the untamed curls around her face. If we never have another child, I will always feel incredibly lucky. This is not a thought unique to today. Every day there is some moment in which the hugeness of it all hits me full force. This amazing child is ours. I don't know how we got so lucky. But somehow, we did.

This does not change the wanting of a second. Sometimes it makes me feel greedy to ask for another when we already have so much. I'm still asking though. But wherever the quest for a sibling leads, I hope I can always keep this feeling of luck and gratitude.

But if this cycle works, I'm naming the kid Tofurkey.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

JoyFull

Dear Natalie,

As I reflect on the things for which I am thankful this year, I am particularly pleased and grateful that you were able to share in the holiday cooking this year. Thanksgiving is a very meaningful holiday to me because it emphasizes two things that are important to me: family and food, with a special focus on gratitude.

You have been born into a family of cooks, or perhaps I should say many families of many cooks! We (by which I mean the wide circle of cooks) are not always good at expressing our feelings or our love in words -- although your Mama and I work hard to change that in ourselves, and we think we're pretty successful -- but we can serve up delicious meals packed full of all the love that's in our hearts.

This year you helped make the cornbread that was in the stuffing we ate today, and for weeks this summer you helped me water the chives that were in the sweet potatoes. You already enjoy cooking (and you've learned that cooks get to sample things along the way) and have even begun experimenting with your own methodologies, no matter how much Mama tells you that you don't need to keep moving the flour back and forth between the bowls.

We had a crazy day, with two complete dinners at both of your local grandparents' houses, but you held up well. You got to see and play with so many of your favorite relatives, and although you eschewed both of the holiday meals, you ate what you wanted when you wanted and thoroughly enjoyed it, which is the spirit of the day indeed. And everyone loved the cornbread stuffing and the sweet potatoes with chives, so you've assumed your place among the family chefs already.

I look forward to many more years and Thanksgivings with you, full of love, food, and fun.

Mommy

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Um, Hello?

Today's mail brought a jury duty summons for a person whose name no longer exists. In the past 21 months, I have been to the DC Courthouse no fewer than five times (and perhaps more, I have lost count) to change my name and participate in Cait's second parent adoption of my biological child. Yet this same courthouse, which has numerous documents with both my names on them, just sent me a jury summons in MY OLD NAME.

They keep saying they're cleaning up the bureaucracy in DC. I don't believe them.

Pick Me! Pick Meme!

Here's a meme with a twist: Nordette Adams, an editor at BlogHer, hopes to interview 100 parenting bloggers in the next year and profile them on BlogHer. Your participation in the meme is more or less an audition or application to be interviewed, and you also get to suggest three other bloggers for consideration. As memes go, it's pretty quick and it has the potential to bring you new readers!

1.) I'm Jen, one of two moms writing here at Addition Problems about the ups and downs of lesbian family creation and lesbian family life.
2.) I would like to be profiled on BlogHer as a family blogger because a) I always love new readers and b) (so much more importantly) I want to continue to increase the visibility of lesbian families as part of the Me and Mine 100.
3.) Addition Problems is my first blog, and I started it two and a half years ago while waiting for my partial molar pregnancy (otherwise known as The World's Longest Miscarriage TM) to resolve.
4.) Hmmm. Now we get to the trickiest part, tapping three other bloggers to share in the memey goodness. I'll go with Jody, Art, and Bri. (Please, if I didn't pick you, don't be offended - it was pretty random, except for Bri whom I chose because I want to further her in her campaign to be a big famous blogger!)

Differentiation/insemination

We've decided to spin the TTC events of recent weeks and months thusly: Child #2 wants firmly to establish her or himself as wholly separate and different from Natalie even prior to conception. If today's attempt works it will have been nearly diametrically opposed to the insemination that brought us Natalie.


THEN

NOW

Location

Home

RE’s office

Time

Night

Midafternoon

Ambience

Tranquil

Clinical

Pharmaceuticals

None

Trigger shot

Cycle

3

4

People present

Jen, Cait, midwife

Jen, Cait, NP, RE, Natalie*

Known reproductive issues

Recent molar pregnancy

Elevated FSH

Monitoring

Internet OPKs, CBFM

Internet OPKs, CBFM, ultrasound, bloodwork


Last month we were hoping that the similarity of the third try would be our lucky charm. This month we're pinning it on the differences. Whatever it is, please let it work.

*A weird consequence of assisted reproduction is that one can be present at the conception of one's (hoped-for-but-not-assumed) sibling without quite the same ick factor!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bang!

We've all been shot. Er, given shots. It's been a busy and somewhat painful morning. But all appears to be well.

Yesterday, when calling the RE's office about holiday hours, Jen mentioned to Nurse Cheery that she'd been getting highs on the monitor since the end of last week. Nurse Cheery, somewhat concerned, invited her in for a wanding. On the house. You know things are looking rough when they offer you the free ultrasounds. Luckily, everything looked good in Jen's ovaries, and since this morning's OPK was heading toward positive, we decided to trigger. So, IUI sometime tomorrow afternoon, narrowly missing the holiday closures. My theory about the six days of high readings is that perhaps Jen's estrogen has been somewhat low the last two cycles, and is finally headed into a more normal pattern now. Which certainly would confuse the poor little monitor, and cause it to spit out weird readings.

This morning was also Natalie's 18 month appointment with the pediatrician. Pay no attention to the fact that she's already 19 months old. She demanded her "hicker" (sticker) almost immediately upon entering the exam room, and was slightly peeved that she had to wait. She reached full outrage during the measuring and weighing process, but came in at a healthy 33 inches and 30 lbs. 6 oz.! (I'll post growth curves for the geeks among us later this afternoon) The NP we saw was wonderfully sweet with her, and chuckled to herself that she certainly didn't need to ask if Natalie had 7-10 words, as she heard more than that within a minute of entering the room. Natalie got her last immunizations for a while, and of course was outraged again. She continued to sadly mention, "arms. hurt." after returning home, but is happily napping now.

I got a flu shot while we were there (Jen and Natalie had gotten them a few weeks ago when she took Natalie in for a random high fever), and we discovered a new complication of being a two-mom household. The office was busy, so a woman who normally doesn't do check-outs did our paperwork and took our payment. I held a still-whimpering Natalie and paid while Jen scheduled our two year appointment at the front desk. Sadly, I realized far too late into the process that the flu shot had been billed as going to Jen. Since we can't get insurance reimbursement for two flu shots to Jen, I spent the drive home on the phone with the billing office straightening out the mistake. (Entertaining side note: The paperwork the shot nurse came in with instructed her to give the flu shot to "Mom. Brown shirt, no glasses." Sometimes it's just fun to keep people on their toes.)

Sometimes it's the little things. Today I am grateful for a parking space right across from the sandwich place, money on the meter, free samples.

Monday, November 19, 2007

You know TTC has taken over your life when after using the lavatory, you look at the can and think, Damn, that's some good pee I just wasted!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Notes from the Fray

We've been changing our shopping habits around here over the past few months, trying to make a more concerted effort to buy organic and/or local food when we can, and to shop more at the co-op and farmers' market. We enjoy it greatly, especially on the weeks when we can walk to the co-op and the market on Sunday morning. However, we're nowhere near ready to sever our ties to the big grocery stores entirely, and end up there annoyingly often. Thus, I found myself at our non-neighborhood Giant today (it's the closest Giant to us but not the closest store - that non-honor goes to a Safeway that has prettied itself up but still has piss-poor customer service).

What the hell was I thinking? I was there at 2:00 pm on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So was everyone else on the planet. It could have been far worse, as we had gone to the co-op and farmers' market in the morning (and Cait ended up at the Safeway later in the day to pick up a prescription because they're the only ones with the generic -- so this shop local thing isn't really working for us in terms of curtailing our fossil fuel use!) meaning that I had a relatively short shopping list. I also ran into another school librarian and we chatted while we stood in line forever.

The trip almost went ENTIRELY down the tubes when it was time to pay. I'd gone to this store primarily because the last time I'd gone I'd gotten a fistful of register coupons for TWO DOLLARS OFF any health and beauty item. And you know what that means! Cheaper HPTs! Cheaper prenatals! Cheaper flaxseed oil capsules! And cheaper tampons! (Cover all the bases, you know.) When I handed the coupons to the cashier, she said, "I think you'll only be able to use one of these at a time." TILT! Whoop! Whoop! My internal fury system was tripped - I'd checked the coupons more than once before heading to the store and nowhere on them did it say that they could not be combined or were limited to one per transaction! She tried to scan in two, and the register rejected the second.

I'm very proud of myself - I did not lose it at that point, but paid for my groceries, collected my receipt (and another damn stack of $2 coupons) and marched over to customer service. I explained, forcefully but civilly, that the only reason I had come to the store was to use these coupons and I wanted $10 back. And?

The senior customer service person told the guy at the desk, "Give her the money."

Hallelujah! I don't usually win these kind of situations.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This Is Not Your Mother's Ovary

By Tuesday of this week, NaBloPoMo was starting to get to me. I felt overwhelmed trying to keep up with all of my fellow NBPMers' daily postings, and I was personally really running out of things about which to write.... I *really* need to stop having thoughts like that!

The less-than-stellar FSH results this past week really threw me for a loop. One of the main reasons is that I have always harbored an ill-founded belief that I was unlikely to have trouble with my eggs because my mom got pregnant twice after age 40. I never had any illusions about other aspects of my fertility and would not have been at all surprised to have trouble with endo, PCOS, tubal issues, repeat miscarriages (especially since one of my mom's two pregnancies over 40 did end in a miscarriage, her second), or almost any other problem on the road to biological parenthood.* Intellectually, I knew that my mother's fertility was no guarantee of my own, but at that subconscious, gut level, I always assumed somewhat glibly that conception wouldn't be particularly difficult for me. I wasn't stupid, and I knew that the likelihood of conception would diminish with age, but I never expected to be ahead of the curve. The ease with which I conceived the first two pregnancies would seem to have borne out this belief (and the chemical pregnancies and the mole bolstered the correlary that I might have other problems).

Listening to my voicemail and hearing the nurse say my FSH was over 11 was a sucker-punch to the solar plexus and literally took my breath away. From friends' experiences and my general fact-filing I knew it was potentially bad, but I was uncertain as to the amount of doom portended. My hands shook on and off for the remainder of the afternoon and my ability to concentrate during the meeting I was attending was utterly shot. As a librarian and an inveterate data-hound it was utterly frustrating to be trapped in a meeting for hours after receiving the call, without access to the support and information available on the Internet. I was able to call Cait a few times and we have both been online as much as possible since Wednesday.

Our responses to the FSH results are the most divergent they've ever been in the four years of our fertility pursuits. Cait is inclined to believe that this is one bad number, possibly due to general post-partum, extended breastfeeding hormonal factors, and that the rest of my signs and statistics still look good, giving us no overwhelming reason to think we'll have huge difficulty conceiving. She is still very much interested in inseminating this cycle. By contrast, I have been pretty gloomy, contemplating taking a month off to get more testing done, and (as I am wont) attempting to devise plans and strategies to address the issue while at the same time panicking and worrying that Natalie is the only biological child I will have.** I think our differing perspectives are a direct result of the biology factor. It's my body that is misbehaving, and I am having trouble being objective or optimistic. Cait, on the outside, is more able to maintain an even keel and look at the whole picture.

Either one of us could be right. The undesirable FSH level could be explained by something as simple as lab error or odd hormonal interplay from nursing. It may be that we simply have too much information - perhaps my FSH (and my mother's, for that matter) tends to run high but I still ovulate good eggs with some regularity and will get pregnant sometime in the next several cycles. It's also still quite likely that my ovarian reserve is diminishing somewhat prematurely but that I will still conceive, with or without intervention.

The compounding factor is, of course, that we are using donor sperm, unlike my mother***. We have only eight vials left of our current donor. Neither of us has a huge attachment to biology, particularly given our own higgledy-piggledy families full of halves, steps, adopted and other sisters/cousins/aunts, but we like the way Natalie turned out. More seriously, we would like to provide as much genetic connection as possible for our kids given that they are/will be donor-conceived and at some future point may want to know more about their donor heritage. With an unknown donor, siblings or half siblings can help mitigate feelings of disconnection or loss. If we run through these 8 vials without success, we may have to switch donors. It won't be the end of the world, but it's another hurdle we'd like to avoid if we can. Not to mention the financial aspect of acquiring more sperm.

At any rate, four days after receiving the test results we have not acquired much in the way of hard information, but it has forced us to think through some of the hazy questions at the edges of our fertility plans. It's become quite clear to us that it is really important to me to try for one more biological child and even with possible fertility problems on my part, Cait is no more inclined to try than she was before this information. Our conversations this week have reinforced our belief that full biological siblinghood is not essential but it is something we do value. Cait's desire to have a child sooner rather than later has been made even stronger, so we will go ahead with an insemination this month, although in a twist MOST maddening, it appears that we do indeed have an appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Smiley but it turns out to be Wednesday Nov. 28!! So there is NO possibility of a detailed conversation with the doctor prior to ovulation at this point.

At least we've definitely gotten some NaBloPoMoFo(dder) out of the matter.

*I was also caught off guard by a molar pregnancy because they're SO goddamn rare I'd barely heard of them, but that's different.
**I would be thrilled to have another child by any method (me pregnant, Cait pregnant, adoption) but each option is a different experience and presents logistical and emotional repercussions that I am entitled to work through.
***And stepfather, of course, but even typing that is skirting too close to that about which I would rather not think.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Comic Relief

We were out later than usual tonight at a family potluck for my class. When we got home, Natalie devoured mass quantities of "wodit" and then was ready to PLAY! We informed her that it was time to go upstairs and either take a bath or go directly to bed. She walked away saying something to the effect of, "mumblemumbleBUSYmumblemumbleMINUTE!" Jen and I gave each other a look of "did she really just say what I think she did?" and sat, dumbfounded, for a moment or two.

I decided to try again. "Natalie, it's time to go upstairs and take a bath." She looked at me intently and said in a calm but firm voice, "TIMER."

Yes folks, my daughter just told me there was no way she was going upstairs without fair warning and the appropriate allotment of time.

The teenage years are SO going to suck.

She Said/She Said

I guess I should check the blog before I post! Enjoy reading both versions of the same story.

Scrambled with a Side of Hash

In the spirit of NaBloPoMo, I have a little more to offer you on the State of the Ovaries. I have been thinking a lot more about this and have much more I could say but limited time. In a month where I was not trying to post every day, I'd probably stew on it a bit longer and then never get around to posting it. Instead, you'll get a hastily written and half thought out post. There's a joke in here about six of one and half a dozen of the other but I don't find eggs very funny right now.

Today's update is that I got a high on the CBFM. This would be interesting in and of itself, as I have NOT gotten a high reading for the past two months - it's gone 0 to 60, low to peak with no high in between. So a high reading today could be good, as yet another sign that my cycles are normalizing, or it could be bad, as in confirmation that my ovaries are going downhill (high FSH can lead to early ovulation, sometimes early enough that eggs are underripe). Based on the one or two previous CBFM cycles I've had (pre-Natalie) with a high reading, I may get a + OPK as early as Saturday night or Sunday, which would mean ovulation on day 10, which is earlier than some REs like.

The (mostly) good news is that we were able to set up a consult with the RE. Unfortunately, it won't be until Wednesday. That is good for us in terms of work schedules, but probably bad in terms of reproductive scheduling - chances are high that I will already have ovulated. We'd rather have a consult before inseminating because we don't know if time is more important or treatment is - e.g. do we do this cycle because we don't want to wait and let things get worse, or do we wait until next cycle when we could incorporate some kind of treatment (if that's even indicated).

It all comes down to the intersection between possibly diminished fertility and limited quantities of sperm. If we had all the sperm in the world I wouldn't care. We'd just insem every month and figure it would work sooner or later, because chances are (even with elevated FSH) that it will. My mom had a baby at 43 (more on that later when I have time). But we only have 8 vials of this guy left so we are looking at some hard decisions (including how important is a full, or even half genetic connection).

Much more can be said but it will have to be said later.

Today's Adventures

High reading on the monitor this morning.

The good news? We haven't had a high reading yet--only lows and sudden peaks. So this could indicate that hormones are doing what they need to.

The bad news? It's CD 7. That's pretty damn early.

Of course, there's no telling how many days of high we'll have before peak, but it's gonna be early. Both Natalie and Coqui were conceived with ovulation on day 11, so early is sort of the norm for Jen. However, we may be looking at before day 10, which seems a little iffy. Maybe.

Appointment with RE next Wednesday. We had hoped to schedule before O, but it seems that will not be happening.

Oh, and we have confirmed O with temps at least once since starting up again, so I think it's likely that ovulation is actually happening. Temps were screwy last cycle, and seem to be a little weird this cycle, so I don't really know what's going on now.

Sorry, Jen if you were going to post this. :)

Gotta get back to the class...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Version with Paragraphs (and more info)

Thanks for the support and info, guys.

Now that I have access to a computer with a keyboard, here's the full scoop:

Estrogen - 42.9
Prolactin - 9.8
FSH - 11.6

(The above is quoted directly from my voicemail - I don't know whether they tested estradiol or not, because she said "estrogen". I'll call tomorrow.) Nurse Cheery also said, with regard to the FSH, "this is in the gray area, but it does mean you'll want to start LH testing earlier". In my state of shock, when I called back, I mostly focused on this statement. It ended up being one of the least informative and most irritating interactions I've ever had with her, even though she was trying to be reassuring.

Me: What do you mean, "gray area"? From the little that's bouncing around in my brain, I thought 11 was a BAD number.
NC: Well, it's not great, but it's not horrible. It doesn't mean you're not going to get pregnant.
Me: Ok.... What do you mean, "start testing earlier" and why?
NC: When you have elevated FSH you can have trouble popping out the eggs. Sometimes you will ovulate earlier than expected. Other times it can be later. It just means you're going to pee on a lot of sticks.
Me: I already do that and we think we've been catching the surge. Would we want to supercede a natural surge and do a trigger?
NC: Not necessarily. We want to make sure we don't miss anything. And again, it doesn't mean you're not going to get pregnant. We should have you come in for an ultrasound around CD10 to see if there's a follicle developing.
Me: We already did that and saw the follicle each of the last two cycles.
NC: (no response)

We went on like that for a few more minutes but all I could really get out of her was that we have no idea if my eggs are good or not but I may or may not have trouble ovulating. Which isn't a helluva lot more information than we already had. In fact, it's less... since going into this testing we all (including the RE) thought it was pretty likely I was ovulating based on OPKs, ultrasounds and the first prolactin results.

Anyway, Nurse Cheery is not our final answer, of course, but we haven't been able to schedule a consult with the RE yet. We're Googling madly and trying to figure out whether this means we need to do a major reworking of our plans or just a bump in the road that we have to cope with.

This is DEFINITELY not how I thought I'd be spending this evening when I woke up this morning.

CD3 b/w results: prolactin? Fine. ?! FSH?! 11.2. Not expecting this. Kinda freaking out. And stuck in mtg w no internet. Shit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Petty Little Things that Drive Me Nuts

Being anal and being a mom are not always compatible. (Not always? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!) Here's the latest list of things that get under my skin:
  • When Playdough colors get mixed together (by my MIL! not even by the kid!!)
  • The way the smell of Playdough sticks around forever after you've put it away, even if you wash your hands compulsively
Gee, when I started this post, I thought I had more. I guess it should be called "Why Playdough Pisses Me Off".

It ought to go without saying that of course having a kid is worth all the petty annoyances, but you never know if someone is waiting out there in Blogland to lecture you. Anyway, the best redeeming factor in all this is that Natalie seems to have inherited my sense of order (and outrage). We are in an informal music playgroup where the families contribute favorite songs and one mom makes a mix CD that we use for a sing-along. We just got the second "edition" and it includes a few favorites from the first CD. Natalie CANNOT STAND IT when the old songs come on, presumably because they are out of order. We'll be driving along and an old song will start. All of a sudden, the screams begin in the back seat. "No no no! NONONONONONO!" until I finally give in and skip to the next song. It is simultaneously totally annoying and totally hysterical.

I love this kid.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

$%&%$* Coke Machine Is Empty

That is all I have to say.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Look Like Captain Crunch!

Thanksgiving is such an interesting holiday in our families. For starters, we have SO MUCH family between us that it's always a source of stress for us to figure out where we're going and who we'll see (and who'll get the short end of the stick). Then there's the vegetarian factor, although 1) some of us are less vegetarian than we used to be and 2) Thanksgiving can be the easiest holiday at which to be veg because of the wonderful array of side dishes (I almost wrote "side issues"!). Third, it's a holiday which revolves around food and eating, which hits old nerves about food and body issues ("food is love" and "Fat! Fat! Fat!" battling it out over and over again). These days (and for this - the mom part, anyway - we are truly THANKFUL!) we get to add in the working-moms-time crunch, too, trying to figure out just when we'll do that grocery shopping and food prep. And let's not forget the politics of Thanksgiving.

But each year once we wade through the morass, we always get to a wonderful place where we're eating great food with at least some of the many people we love, laughing over somebody's family stories and enjoying the time to slow down and spend a little time with people we just don't get to see enough.

Dana at Mombian asked folks to share favorite Thanksgiving recipes , so I thought I would put up the easiest one I've got. It also happens to be damn tasty and gets compliments and recipe requests every time I make it, so I think it's a good one to share. And it's an alternative to those god-awful marshmallow-topped horrors on so many Thanksgiving tables!

SIMPLEST SAVORY SWEET POTATOES
Scrub 4-6 large sweet potatoes and poke each with a fork. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 400 degrees (or until they are very soft and oozing weird black crusty stuff). Allow them to cool enough that you can handle them. Pick one up and squeeze it over a bowl until the insides burst out of the skin. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth (you can use a hand masher, a ricer or a stick blender but don't overdo with a stick blender) and stir in sour cream and chopped chives to taste. Add salt and pepper if desired.

So damn good and so, so, so easy I want to weep with joy.

I'm Jennifer AddProb, and I Approve of That Message

While it's true that Cait wrote most of yesterday's post, I did review it and I added one paragraph. Therefore, I believe it satisfies the NaBloPoMo requirements in true DC style.

My challenge to you, fair readers: can you pick out which paragraph I wrote? Can you detect the subtle difference in voice and verbal tics? I'm curious.

And I just covered another day of NaBloPoMo! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Clarification

We are SOOOOOOO not considering weaning. A few people thought that's what I was getting at in the last post, but that's actually being held as a very, very end of the road option. None of us is ready for that, and we probably would take a significant break before doing it. Just thinking about weaning Natalie makes me want to cry, and I'm not even the one with the milk.

Jen's prolactin was actually tested about a month ago, and since the RE didn't call us to discuss problems (he said he'd only call if anything was off), we're assuming it's fine. Her lining has also been checked when we were looking for follies, and it has been nice and thick. But I've encountered both research and personal accounts of people with normal prolactin levels (who are ovulating and seemingly doing everything right) having difficulty conceiving while breastfeeding and then getting pregnant very quickly after ultimately weaning. It seems like maybe some people are just more sensitive to low levels or fluctuations (or something else that I just don't know enough about). This is why I was especially interested in the mention of the HCG booster or progesterone in one article I read--it's a way to work around the problem without weaning.

So if we don't want to wean, why are we asking? Well, we do have a limited number of vials left of this donor, so there will come a point when we either have to take some time off to save vials until we do wean, or switch bodies. But we don't know if that's necessary, and that's what we're trying to figure out.

As far as spacing goes, yes, I know it's not the most important thing in the world. But our hope was for our kids to be about two years apart. If it ends up being more like 2.5, 3, 10...fine. But our hope was as close to two as possible. Each cycle takes us farther from that at this point, which is not the end of the world at all, but you can't blame us for wanting to keep trying, right?

(Jen edited and contributed thoughts to this post. Therefore it counts as her NaBloPoMo post of the day.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Theory

OK folks, what do you know about breastfeeding and conception? At this point, Natalie typically nurses 2-3 times a day (before bed, before naps when Jen is home, and in the morning). Our RE said that prolactin levels shouldn't be rising when she nurses at this point, and we were happy to hear that at the time. However, we are now wondering if that is actually true.

Here's the thing-- in the last two cycles, there have been early indicators of success--things that only happened during the cycles in which Coqui and Natalie were conceived. By 7-9 dpo or so, it seemed pretty likely that Jen was pregnant. However, in both cycles, the symptoms waned, and the cycle eventually failed. It could be all in our heads, too.

Prolactin is generally thought to cause problems with ovulation. However, we have seen the ready to pop follie each time, gotten a positive OPK, and seen a temp rise indicating that ovulation did, in fact, occur. I have found a few references to prolactin interfering with implantation, but this does not seem to be a widely held opinion. It does seem to fit what is happening to us, though. It seems as if conception is happening, but for one reason or another implantation isn't working right. Any thoughts about this?

I read a few things that suggested a HCG booster around 5 dpo, or supplementing with progesterone to override prolactin. Everything I've read seems to indicate that once implantation is complete, prolactin should no longer be an issue. Again, your thoughts?

Our plan at this point is CD 3 bloodwork on Monday, schedule an appointment with the RE ASAP, and move forward with an insem for this cycle, assuming bloodwork and RE agree that is makes sense. I really do not want to skip this cycle, even though we had discussed doing so. Yes, we have only tried 3 times, and there is plenty of time left to have a second child, but we already had to wait 5 extra months to even start trying again, so every failed cycle and every delay just takes us that much farther away from the sibling spacing we had hoped for. In that sense, it seems silly to wait.

Ha.

Even as I typed that last post, I did have the faintest damp sensation and I thought there might be a very rapid postscript. Indeed, sludgy spotting has presented itself as a harbinger of The End.

There are however, despite whatever Anonymous* might think, a few things for which I am grateful.
  • A period without PMS. That is some comfort, however small.
  • Of course, Natalie and Cait. That goes without saying. They are the best things in my life without question. But that doesn't mean we can't want something more and be justified in our frustration that it's not happening.
  • A 14 day luteal phase, and the hope that means my cycle is normalizing and our odds of conception are on the rise.
  • Friends on the Internet who have supported us through the ups and downs of the past four years
  • A fridge full of chocolate chip cookie dough
So I am off to bake cookies and contemplate next steps. Thank god for cookies. :)

*Really, if you're going to tell someone, in essence, to suck it up, have the balls common courtesy to sign your comment, 'mkay?

Visitors

Grandma is here for the weekend (really) but the only Aunt we've seen so far today is Aunt L, and she was phoning it in via Skype from Hong Kong. No Aunt Flo or any other ridiculous euphemism YET, but also a complete lack of any symptoms. Interestingly, I feel neither pregnant nor PMS-y. We've only got one test left and won't use it before tonight at the earliest. I do NOT think that anything good looms on the horizon but wanted to keep y'all informed as I am getting nearly as many e-mails and PMs as I did when waiting for Natalie to be born! Rest assured that if there is ever anything to tell, you friends in Blogland will be second only to Cait and me in hearing about it!

Friday, November 09, 2007

No News but Not Looking Good

Well, today is 14 DPO and we're in stasis. No bleeding, no symptoms, no positive test. I'm pretty sure this will change soon and the cycle will be over. The good news is that my cycles seem to be getting more normal: 11 day LP in cycle 1, 12 day LP in cycle 2 and 13 or more this cycle, depending when bleeding commences.

Yes, I know it's possible that I could still be pregnant. But I really have no reason to believe that. What's that principle about the simplest explanation? Every pregnancy and chemical pregnancy I've had in the past has shown up on a test WAY BEFORE 14 dpo. It is remotely possible that I am pregnant but just haven't gotten a positive test, but the far more likely answer is that I am not and that's why the tests lay on the counter with their single lines smirking sullenly in our general direction.

We've had The Talk a couple of times in the past few days and although we don't know exactly where we want to go from here, we're pretty clear that we're not ready to force Natalie to wean (and dear god it would be a battle. this child LOVES to nurse. mere words cannot express), but we are worried that breastfeeding is part of the equation even though the RE is unconcerned. The most likely outcome is that we'll take a break for a month or two (most likely two because I am likely to ovulate in December when we'd be out of town for the holidays).

So that's the glum report from our house.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The NataLexicon

Natalie is a talker. She repeats everything we say and pops up with all kinds of words we had no idea she knows. Her pronunciation is getting better all the time (to the point that she and I had a conversation of sorts on the phone yesterday - it was so clear it was disconcerting!) but there are still a lot of words that have their own Natalie twist to them. I want to capture some of the best before they, too, go the way of some words that have already settled into standard pronunciation so quickly that we can't remember the Natalie version.

dost! = ghost. dosts say boo! it took us a while to figure out that she was overgeneralizing ghost, so dost actually means anything non-pumpkin that she recognizes as halloween-related (e.g. witches, scarecrows, monsters). more dost! she says whenever she finds halloween remnants at home or in the neighborhood
minnie = music. said with great delight or as a very imperious command
Peebah = Caleb. His name was originally Dahdah, then Bahbah but last week became Peebah. And we LOVE IT. Writing it out cannot begin to capture the cuteness.
wodit! = yogurt. for a few days we were calling her "the girl who cried wodit" because for days on end she would ask for yogurt and then turn it down. once she got over the cold last week she returned to her usual wodit-loving ways
pahbdee = strawberry. sometimes it sounds an AWFUL lot like potty, which is disconcerting
beeper = diaper. it used to be bipuh, but morphed recently
pees and hankoo = please and thank you. she also burped recently and said foosme (she has an unfortunate amount of role modeling in the burping department, but at least the role models are polite!)
beebir = large yellow bird on Sesame Street (via youtube clips)
fug (also sometimes fuck) = you know, that green guy that sometimes hangs out with beebir
bomma - bottom
peeem (as in what you put on her bomma if it's rashy)
hinky and hicky (stinky and sticky)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Summary of the Day's Events

Edited to correct really dumb-ass grammar mistakes. I must be really tired!

Forthwith, my report on the seminar I attended today. "News" of interest to non-librarians (or librarian-wanna-bes) is at the end.

Who is this Guy Anyway?

If you aren't familiar with Jim Trelease and you have any contact with children at all (or hopes for future children) it's a name well worth learning. He is the most passionate promoter of reading and the power of reading aloud to children whom I've ever encountered. Now in its 6th edition, his book The Read Aloud Handbook was a NYT bestseller for several months in '83 but it's been updated and extended and is still fantastic and totally relevant today. His website compiles and links to even more resources, data, and anecdotes. I highly recommend them both.

He spends much of his life today on the lecture circuit. The seminar I attended today was one for school personnel and was attended by about 60-70 librarians and teachers (more than 2/3 librarians). He reviewed his fundamental theories about teaching reading and creating enthusiastic readers and recommended dozens of books with which to "catch" readers.

The Five Books I Am Most Interested in Ordering
These aren't necessarily new books but they were new to me.
The Neighborhood Mother Goose (Nina Crews) This one is going on Natalie's Christmas list. The nursery rhymes are the familiar text, but they are illustrated with photos of modern day children (who happen to be in Brooklyn).
The Star of Kazan (Eva Ibbotson) Trelease's description was great. "Imagine that Frances Hodgson Burnett had come back to life and was writing again. Only while she was dead she learned to write tighter, more concise sentences."
The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating (A. W. Flaherty) A very entertaining explanation of the origins of the LNM....
The Escape of Oney Judge (Emily Arnold McCully) The true story of Martha Washington's slave's escape (and Washington's subsequent unsuccessful lifelong vendetta).
The Truth about Poop (Susan E. Goodman) No, this is not Everybody Poops. This one is fairly detailed picture book non-fiction, and Trelease said not only will it hook in the MOST reluctant of readers, but the writing is also very good and quite informative.

Plus a couple of books I have at school have moved to the top of my I Need to Read This list: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Water Horse (Dick King-Smith, movie coming out 12/25) and (I am embarrassed to admit this) Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Biggest Surprise of the Day
Except not so surprising when you think about it. Trelease announced that he is retiring from speaking at the end of the year, although he will fulfill the 20 or so commitments he already has. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to hear him (twice actually, as he gave a shorter lecture at a professional meeting I attended last year). I encourage anyone who's interested to check his lecture schedule on the website to find out when your last chance to see him speak might be.

In unrelated matters,
The Pants Report
No untoward occurrences in my nethers today. However, an equal lack of anything good on a pregnancy test this evening. Will keep you informed as events continue to unfold or not unfold.

A Day without a Computer

Oh, the horrors! I'll be spending today in a hotel breakout room with a bunch of strangers. Today of all days, too, when Cali should be getting her results (Cait has strict instructions to text me when anything is posted). To add to the fun, today is CD12 and Cait reminded me that for both of the last two cycles, I started bleeding on CD12.

The good news is that I am very much looking forward to the content of this seminar. jim trelease, THE reading guru will be sharing strategies for promoting readiNG. ID DO LINKS AND STUFFBUT NATALIE IS THREATENING A REVOLT. SEE YA LATER!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Blogiveaway

So I couldn't quite figure out how to make a blog yardsale work. We took a bunch of stuff to the swap table in our community instead. However, we had a couple of books I just couldn't consign to the forlorn bookshelf in the swap area. Instead I am offering them here to the first commenter to request them.

Both are wedding-planning books which were very helpful to us in planning our commitment ceremony four years ago. There's one for the spiritual/romantic aspect and another that is more practical.
  • I Do: A Guide to Creating Your Own Unique Wedding Ceremony by Sydney Barbara Metrick - this was very helpful to us in thinking through what our actual ceremony would entail
  • Bridal Bargains (6th Ed.) by Denise and Alan Fields - I found this immensely helpful* and did save money using some strategies contained in the book.
No payment is required- but since we are heading into the waning days of the TWW with no lines in sight, how about you tell me a joke if you're interested in one of the books. Heck, even if you don't want a book, tell me your favorite joke!

If you do want a book, I can't promise it will be sent immediately but we are amassing quite a stack of (non-perishable!) packages needing to be mailed so we'll make it to the P.O. sooner or later.


*I was, for the record, less thrilled with Baby Bargains, but still found it useful as well. I guess our copy of Baby Bargains is also up for grabs. I don't have it here so I can't tell you what edition - I'd guess a 2004 or 05 copyright.

Insurance Policy

Somewhere in all the blopping, I forgot to let you know that the seven additional vials of our donor did arrive safely at our RE's office (and have at least in theory been transferred properly to our account). On Friday, the day the shipment arrived, I was sure that this was the $3000 reason I would definitely be pregnant this cycle. Today I am not so sure, but it is comforting to know that we have nine vials waiting if we need them.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Because Jen Asked Me to Explain...

I'm actually having one of those days that makes me wonder why on earth we want another child. No, I don't really mean that. I absolutely want another, so much so that during one of the many wakings last night, I snuggled Natalie and daydreamed (can it be daydreaming if it's 3 AM?) blissfully about newborns. What I really mean is, I'm exhausted, the house is totaled, and the second Monday toddler is refusing to nap more than 20 minute stretches without me resettling him. And of course, every time he wakes up, I'm terrified he'll wake Natalie up, and, well, that's NEVER a good thing. So this post will be written in fragments and may make little to no sense by the time it's done. Seeing as the boy is awake again, aforementioned finishing may never happen.

He's down again. No telling how long. So I'll cut to the chase. Why the early testing? The logical answers are:
  1. We've gotten early positives before. Both Coqui and Natalie were detected around 10 dpo. And...
  2. Jen has been experiencing some slightly suspicious symptoms.
But the bigger part, and the bit that finally caused Jen to cave is this-- it's not my body, and there are times when that's hard. Jen would have been content to wait a few more days, allowing herself to feel a little hopeful because of how her body was feeling. Unable to feel what she's feeling, and lacking in any data whatsoever, I end up in an anxiety-filled limbo. I'm not really explaining this right. There are times when it's hard to have something so important happening or not happening and be physically disconnected from it. Yes, I know men have done this for ages, but part of me wonders if it's different from a female perspective. Obviously, testing doesn't really change that. But having an answer would at least let me know which set of anxieties to pick up: the oh-my-god-you're-pregnant-what-if-something- goes-wrong-is-your-progesterone-high-enough-how-long-until-our-beta set or the why-isn't-this-working-should-we-be-weaning/trying-something-different set. And there's always the faint, stupid hope that the test will be positive.

Also, I have a really annoying ability to create lines where none exist. So I get to spend a few hours going back to the test to play the "is it or isn't it?" game. Good distraction. Except when it convinces me that the next test will be positive, and then it isn't.

The boy is awake for good now, and thinks my laptop (with pretty purple cable!) looks like a fun toy. I think actual toys might be a better option, so we're going to go find some now.

Distract Us, Please!

Another day, another negative test. If Cait gets a chance to write at all today she may talk more about why we are testing so early. In the meantime, rest assured that we DO know it's crazy early.

On to the post I've been meaning to write about this time each of the last two months. I keep putting it off because I don't have the time to sit down and write the thoughtful, detailed post I want. But the idea of NaBloPoMo, at least for me, is that I can't wait for the perfect moment; I just have to do it.

Cait and I have discovered that the secret to staying awake on long car trips is to have difficult conversations. The distraction and emotionally charged discussions are more invigorating than a grande extra shot Americano, at least for me, and it serves the double purpose of getting some unfinished business addressed. It's how we finally decided to have a commitment ceremony, what we would do about last names, and narrowed down our prospective list of first names, among other things.

We are having some trouble staying awake these days (damn Daylight Savings - artificial construct that is meaningless to toddlers!) but our more pressing need for distraction and
though-provoking conversation is due to the waning days of the TWW. So I am turning to you, friends in the computer. Help keep our minds off tests and the contents of my uterus, and ALSO help me wrestle with an ethical dilemma.

What do I do with all the plastic and Teflon and other potentially deadly everyday objects that I am trying to clear out of our lives? In particular, I'm concerned about the HUGE stash of Dr. Brown's bottles we have amassed. Landfilling them seems incredibly wasteful, but giving them away to someone else seems morally wrong: if they're too dangerous for my family, how can they be ok for another family? On the other hand, another family may not have money for any baby bottles, let alone the yuppie bottle du jour, Born Free. And then there's the arrogance of trying to "protect" the less fortunate, as if I have the paternalistic right to make decisions for them. I'm sure there are many other angles on this question, so please jump in and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Damn 'net mess continues. So, shorthand. TWW w/o temping OK 4 me; hard on Cait. C pestered, I caved. Neg, of course: 9 DPO. Tomorrow another day.

Wahoo! I set up the blog so I can post from my phone. Let the mad posting begin! *Our stupid 'net connection has been flaking again. :-P *

Test

Saturday, November 03, 2007

But Wait, There's More!

No, not more free stuff (yet), although I am thinking of having a blog yard sale if I could just work out the logistics. There is so much stuff I want to clear out of our house but I know a lot of it is stuff other people could make use of. But I digress. The more in this case refers to more posting! It's the wonder of NBPM!

I am a reasonably scientific thinker, but every now and again there are concepts that I just CANNOT get my head around -- related rates, anyone? It still boggles my mind that different parts of the same object can be moving at different speeds. I mean at some level I get it but at another it's just wrong. Ooops, I digress again. Anyway, my current scientific confusion is about temperature.

We keep our house at 72 degrees in the summer (Sorry, Katie, I know you are dying at the thought!) and 70-72 in the winter (depends who is winning the thermostat argument). Don't flip out - we are lucky enough to have geothermal heating and cooling and our costs/energy use are primarily for the electricity needed for the pump and blower - pretty negligible compared to most other heating/cooling systems. It's only recently begun to get cold in our part of the country, and it isn't yet chilly enough that the heater is even kicking on. So the house is about 72-73 these days, which is what it's been all summer (or a degree warmer). But it FEELS much colder. Poor Cait, who has circulatory and temperature perception problems probably due to post-Lyme effects, huddles under blankets around the clock. Natalie and I have cold feet (literally). But we were fine a few weeks ago when it was exactly the same temperature in our house. I don't get it.

Can someone please explain this to me?

You Know You Want Them

Ahh, discipline. NaBloPoMo is already benefitting me, as the post-per-day requirement has me in the mindset of posting and it's also giving me reason to clear out a backlog of posts I "owe" people. So here's the first. Early last week, Chicory posted a little giveaway meme and I was lucky enough to be one of the first responders (sucker than I am for free stuff!). The only requirement was that I pass on the bloggy love.

The first 5 commenters here will get a small gift in the mail from me. All you have to do is post this on your own blog and promise to gift the first 5 commenters on your post if they promise to gift the first 5 commenters on their posts… you see how it goes.

Longtime readers will be stunned to learn that I plan to send out AddProb cookies. Mmmm. You could opt for a loaf of the yummy bread instead if you prefer. Anyway, first five commenters get the goods. Baked goods, that is.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Assorted Updates

Day 2 and Already Whining
One of the reasons I hesitated to become a Blopper (term credit: LOD) is that I knew many of my favorite bloggers would also be Blopping and that would mean not only would I have to increase my time spent writing but also my reading time. Although I am excited to have so many new posts to read, my Bloglines is frighteningly full today.

Another NaBloPoMo-related cause for whining is that the NBPM site is blocked by the filter at work so I can't access the group pages or comments or other fun stuff except from home. Oh, wait, am I supposed to be WORKING while I am here? ;)

And finally, our Internet connection at home, which was finally working a lot better due to sustained effort on the part of the cohousing tech whiz kids, crapped out again this morning. Of course.

On to Better Things
I am happy to report that we are still bread-baking fiends around our house and over the past year of baking we've really gotten to know the Laziest Recipe Ever quite well. I discovered yesterday that it will even tolerate being stashed in the refrigerator after the long rise if you don't have time to bake it. We started a loaf on Tuesday evening which would have required baking on Wednesday night (what the hell was I thinking?!?) and, well, that didn't happen. So it spent Halloween night in the fridge and we baked it last night. It came out beautifully and you never would have known that it was abused thusly. Another thing we have discovered is that it works best if the dough is pretty damn wet - I had taken the advice of some of the commenters on the original recipe and cut back on the water but that resulted in a flatter loaf. The best loaves we've had have been those that were visibly wet at the beginning of the first rise.

That Which Will Not Be Named
We're trying to keep ourselves from going berzerk with this month's attempted conception, and we're doing pretty well. We stopped temping after ovulation again, and that really does help preserve sanity. I don't seem to be having too many freakish pseudosymptoms yet, although the boobs are pretty sensitive and it does seem to be different than the preceeding two attempts. The "third time's a charm" mentality is very seductive but we are going to try and hold out on testing until at least 12 D.P.O. As Cait pointed out this morning, we've never made it past 10, so that would be quite an achievement!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

With Trepidation...

...I am being sucked into the NaBloPoMo vortex! I am pretty doubtful that I can pull it off but I am going to give it a try, thanks to the friends who are leading the way (too many for links... you know who you are). I do have a number of postlets that have been rolling around in my brain; hopefully, this will inspire me to commit some of them to the ether. I have to say I'd be happier if NBPM was at a less-frantic time of year - wouldn't it be great in February when the world (at least in this hemisphere) gets drab and dreary? Or July when no one seems to be blogging? Ah, well, I will Po in No, as those are the rules!

And if they are all as scintillating as this, my stats will plummet by month's end. :)