That other 2% of the time

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The other day I remarked that for 98% of the time, dealing with our fertility challenges isn’t really a big deal. We go to parks and swing, we go to amusement parks, we visit the animals at the zoo — we have plenty of things to keep ourselves occupied during all the waiting. We love our little girl so much, and we cherish all these wonderful things we get to share with her right now.

But that other 2% of the time…it’s sometimes a dark place to be.

I hate that we even have to do all this to have another child — not the fact that we have to go to the doctor at all (which, whatever, I’m fine with), but more the fact that it worked fine on our own — with a completely normal number of cycles — the first time.

I hate seeing so many other people get pregnant so easily — often before they were even trying. And then act so freaked out by it.

I hate that it seems like every time I go to pick up Baby B at daycare, I cringe whenever I see a new pregnant belly lurking. I’ve seen three in the past three school days.

I hate that we don’t have infertility coverage on our health insurance and have to pay for every last thing out of pocket.

I hate spending all this money for treatments, only for it to be completely pointless at this point.

I hate that we don’t have the financial means available for more advanced treatments.

I hate that there’s absolutely no one to blame any of this on, and the fact that there’s only so much in the process that we can control.

I hate that we’re quickly running out of options.

I hate that I can’t stand to hear what comes across to me as insignificant pregnancy complaints: “I had a tough day and want a glass of wine but I can’t have one…WAAAAH!” or “I gained THREE POUNDS since my appointment a month ago.” Cry me a river.

I hate the knowledge that if we’d had success our first month, we could have a five-month-old right now.

I hate that our garage is cluttered with baby gear that we’re keeping to use the next time — not knowing when “next time” will come — and I hate the thought of making the decision to get rid of it all if it ever comes to it.

I hate when I see families with dads who are kind of slackers on the parenting front who reproduce easily, while The Husband is an awesome father and we can’t find our way to the good side of luck.

I hate that I plan all these fun trips and things to do as a way of coping with all of this, and each time I think, “Well, surely I’ll be pregnant by then” — then it comes and goes without that ever happening.

I hate that I know how to give myself shots.

I hate that each month I dream of that moment where I see the positive pregnancy test. Will I be shocked? Relieved? In denial? Cry? Laugh? All of the above? Sadly, I never find out.

I hate that I feel so dramatic when I think or say things like, “I don’t know if we’ll ever have a second child” — but sadly, it’s true.

I hate the blow that I’ve taken to my self-esteem and self-confidence.

I hate that even when I do get pregnant, a baby is not guaranteed. One thing I can guarantee: If I manage to lose the baby after becoming pregnant after all this time, I’m going to be one pissed off lady. Sad too, I’m sure, but mostly seething.

I hate that all of this makes me irrational sometimes — and often not very nice to my good friends and The Husband.

I hate that it feels like I’m stuck on a treadmill, never getting anywhere, while it feels like others are running marathons, MILES ahead of me. Literally and figuratively.

I hate that I even compare myself in relation to other people. It’s not helpful, but it’s unavoidable.

I hate that I have to say things like, “Maybe cycle 17 will be the lucky one.”

I hate that, while I try to live my life as normally as possible and still make plans to do fun things, there are still just some plans I can’t make too far ahead of time “just in case.”

I hate that I’ve become a cynical, jaded, and jealous person at times. None of those represents the real me.

I hate that with each month that passes, it takes digging even deeper to find happiness for those who have passed me yet again.

I hate that it gets harder and harder with each failure to find the hope for myself that I had before. At moments it feels long gone.

I hate that I even have to make lame posts like this.


In case you couldn’t tell, IUI #2 was a failure.

Negative test yesterday at 13 days after.

I hate that there’s not better news to share.


Wordless Wednesday: Someone’s in the kitchen

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Now we’re cookin’

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I truly think my passion for cooking and baking came from all the hours I spent helping my mom and my dad in the kitchen when I was growing up. For as long as I can remember, I was their special assistant when it came to making tasty meals or yummy desserts, and I loved the sense of importance I felt as I completed the tasks they assigned me — tasks that were essential to completing the dish.

So, while we have many important things to teach Baby B as she grows up, I think one of the most important is to teach her how to be competent in the kitchen, and to show her that both mommies and daddies can be good at cooking and baking. I just really don’t want her to turn into one of those girls who is so proud of the fact that, “Yeah, I don’t cook.” That’s not to say that she has to love it — certainly not everyone does — but I want to make sure she’s armed with the skills necessary to do it. So every chance we have, we offer her the opportunity to be our helper in the kitchen, and we assign her tasks that range from something to just keep her busy to something that’s crucial to the outcome of the dish, depending on what we’re making. I love that she loves to help us, and I just hope that excitement continues.

Ten things you probably didn’t know about Baby B

Monday, April 26, 2010

1. Baby B almost never sleeps in her bed. She will usually ask us to make her some kind of fort or castle or nest with pillows and blankets — but usually on the floor. Even if the castle is made on the bed, she still usually cuddles up to go to sleep with The Dog on the floor. I do not have a problem with this. I choose to pick my battles wisely, and her sleeping on the floor is doing no one harm, so I do not see a problem with it. I know it’s just a stage that she’ll outgrow at some point, and it’s highly unlikely she’ll still be sleeping on the floor in college.

2. Baby B has type A+ blood. (I am O+ and The Husband is AB+.)

3. Baby B loves odd things (for a kid) like Brussels sprouts (dipped in apple cider vinegar), chicken livers, and raw onions — yet she won’t touch typical kid favorites like macaroni and cheese.

4. Baby B used to hate having her hair washed, until we started letting her take a shower by herself. Now she doesn’t put up a fight at all.

5. Baby B gets these magazines in the mail (all gift subscriptions from family): Baby Bug, Lady Bug, National Geographic for Kids, and High Five by Highlights. High Five is, by far, her favorite. She loves the feature where you look for the hidden objects in a picture, and also the one called “That’s Silly!” where you look in the picture for things that defy logic.

6. Baby B loves to watch Wonder Pets (we do too!), and anytime we’re all doing something together, she busts out into, “What’s gonna work? TEAM work! What’s gonna work? TEAM work!” I love that she gets the basic concept of teamwork, even at this age.

7. For some reason, Baby B calls her black ballerina-style shoes her “party shoes.” I’m pretty sure she’s never attended a party wearing them.

8. Even though she can ride in a regular swing just fine, Baby B still currently prefers the baby swings because she tells us she wants to “go way, way, way, way, WAY up in the sky!” and that’s not nearly as possible at this point on the regular swing.

9. Baby B currently wears size 7 or 7.5 shoes. She’s about to outgrow those, so we’ll probably move up to 8 or 8.5 as needed.

10.  I don’t remember the last time Baby B sat in a stroller. For sure at 18 months, and maybe one or two times since then, but it’s been at least a year, I’d guess.

Take my breath away

Friday, April 23, 2010

Most of the time I deal with our secondary infertility issues pretty well. I’d say probably 98% of the time, I just go about living my normal life — and I’m so thankful to have such fun times with  Baby B and The Husband as a distraction — and really don’t think about it until it’s time to pop a pill or head to the clinic for an appointment. It is not something I think about constantly, nor anything I obsess about. (One advantage of secondary infertility as opposed to primary. I can’t say I’d necessarily be this peaceful if we didn’t have our first child.)

But then something out of the blue happens and it’s enough to knock the wind right out of you, paralyzing you temporarily.

Like when I notice siblings having fun playing together at the park, and realize that at the very least, our children will be four years apart. Hardly peers at all. They will never attend high school at the same time.

Or when I run into the mom of a girl in Baby B’s daycare class (the girls are just days apart in age) that I haven’t seen in a long time, and she’s sporting an about-to-pop pregnant belly. But this child isn’t her second. No, it’s her third. She has a 16-month-old daughter at home, as well. Feel free to do that math. Perhaps there’s something I’m not aware of, but my suspicion is there are no fertility issues in that home. While I don’t begrudge her tremendous reproductive fortune (okay, well, maybe a little), it’s yet another reminder of our inability to complete our family. I know no one else’s super-fertility is causing my infertility — no one is “taking away” my mythical child — but it’s difficult to put so much time and effort into having another child when it comes so easily to others. Such is life, I suppose.

So all I can really do is pick up the pieces, put one foot in front of the other, and follow the path that we must follow and hope luck visits us eventually.

And maybe secretly wish for some major discomfort for Daycare Mom in her final weeks of pregnancy. 😉

Costume contest

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Confession #1: Baby B knows the Easter Bunny isn’t real. She knows it is just a person in a costume. She knows it was not the Easter Bunny who came on Easter morning to leave treats in her basket.

Confession #2: She knows all this because we were the ones who told her.

Like most kids, Baby B has had an intense fear of costumed characters. She even grabbed onto another mom’s legs when she panicked at the sight of Monkey Joe one day. We were presented with two options: 1) keep pretending they were real and continue to reassure her, hoping she overcame the fear at some point; or 2) explain to her that it was just a person in a costume (like at Halloween) and that’s why it wasn’t something to be afraid of. We chose option 2, even though it meant losing the childhood “magic” of things like the Easter Bunny and (if we ever go to Disney World) all the Disney characters, for example.

It was a fantastic decision. She still doesn’t want to approach the costumed characters (and we certainly don’t make her), but she just says calmly, “It’s just a costume. There’s a person inside there,” and she doesn’t freak out about it. Soon we should probably let her in on the fact that she shouldn’t blow the secret for other kids — though that might specifically make her want to tell everyone, so perhaps it’s better to just let it go.

One could probably ask, “Well, why continue the illusion of something like Santa Claus if you’ve already ruined the Easter Bunny for her?” I can see the point, but there’s one main difference: She’s not scared of Santa Claus. (At least not at this point in time.) If she ever becomes scared of the jolly old elf, we’ll reconsider.

Thinking about costumes led to Baby B asking me the other day, “What’s inside me? Am I a costume?” I thought that was an interesting way for her to think about herself, because if you think about it, our outer appearance really is a costume that presents a certain image while masking other parts of yourself. I didn’t get that deep with her, of course, but we did start talking about things like her heart, lungs, and bones. Boy wasn’t she fascinated when she learned there’s a whole skeleton inside of her! 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: Total amusement

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One of the drawbacks to our neighborhood is that, for some reason, the adults seem to be hermits and never spend time outside the house, so we’ve never really gotten to know any of our neighbors in the 4 1/2 years we’ve lived there.

However, the opposite is true of the kids on our street: They are outside playing all the time. Baby B is now at an age where she enjoys playing with The Neighborhood Kids (particular three or four girls whom we call, appropriately, The Girls), and The Neighborhood Kids love to play with her. If we’re not outside, several times a week someone will come to our door and see if Baby B can come out to play. I love this, as it finally feels like we’re connecting with the neighbors (even if it’s the kids and not the adults), but it does raise a few issues.

Most of the kids are in the 7-8 age range, though a few of them are as young as 4 or 5. Apparently all the other parents are okay letting their kids roam the street without their direct supervision (even the four-year-old), but Baby B is just 3, so that is not happening for her anytime soon. We’re at the point where we’ll let her play unsupervised in our fenced-in backyard, but the thought of letting her play without us in our yard — or at a neighbor’s yard — does not make me comfortable. I’m not sure when I’ll be comfortable with that, but I can say it’s not anytime soon. So what that means is that either The Husband (usually him, as The Girls adore him) or I have to stay with Baby B and watch her, meaning we are thrust into the role of temporary surrogate parent of all these other kids. I don’t mind playing that role for my own child, but I don’t want the responsibility for the other kids to fall on my shoulders by default while the other parents hole up in their houses.

The other problem is that apparently none of the other kids has any sort of regular routines, so they think it’s strange when they come to our door at 6:30 and we tell them we can’t come out to play because we’re eating dinner, as we do at that time every night. So they still come to the door, Baby B gets excited and wants to play instead of eating, and unhappiness ensues when she’s not allowed to.

I love that The Neighborhood Kids like playing with Baby B. Even though most of the kids are twice her age and not really her peers, she still learns a lot from them and that interaction is good for her. However, I’ll admit that one day last week I was feeling a bit smothered by them, and I drove into our neighborhood the front way (I usually come in the back) so The Neighborhood Kids wouldn’t see us coming home and maybe we could just play in our backyard before dinner. No such luck: When I turned onto our street, I saw The Girls standing in our driveway with The Husband, waiting for us. FAIL.

So the next night I took control. It was a nice evening, so I took advantage and Baby B and I met The Husband at the playground after work, and I’ll admit it was partly so we would have some time together just as a family of three — and avoid The Neighborhood Kids. Being surrogate parents to The Neighborhood Kids is exhausting, and I just wanted a one-night break from it.

But considering the alternative — that none of The Neighborhood Kids want to play with Baby B — our current situation is pretty great. Now if the adults would just start being more neighborly like their children.


Monday, April 19, 2010

There are times in raising a child where you can see them grow up right in front of your eyes. Many of those moments are the obvious milestones that everyone expects — learning to crawl, taking those first steps, saying those first words.

But there are other times that sneak-attack you and you can do nothing but stand there and watch it unfold in front of you, a bit stunned: Asking to pour the milk for the first time. Using the big-girl swings. Insisting she can go into the bathroom stall all by herself while you stand guard outside the door.

And, apparently, when she gets off the bumper cars for probably the third time and excitedly — and confidently — leaves the exit and immediately makes a beeline for the entrance to ride again, without giving a second glance up at Mom or Dad to go with her and get her settled in the car. She can do it all by herself, and you feel such pride that she’s independent enough to achieve this milestone that you’ll never see in any parenting books.

That was our experience on Saturday when we took Baby B to Kings Island amusement park for the first time. I’ve gone there nearly every year since I was born, though we hadn’t been since before I was pregnant with Baby B. However, this year she was tall enough to ride a lot of the kids’ rides (many of them have a 36-inch minimum), so we decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather and lesser crowds and go early in the season. She’s always been a thrill seeker, so we suspected she would like the park, and we were so amused when our suspicions were confirmed and she had a BLAST.

Knowing our days of staying at the park from open (10 a.m.) until close (10 p.m.) were a thing of the past with a young child, we left our house a little after 10 a.m. and drove the 2 hours to Kings Island, just north of Cincinnati. Instead of paying approximately $72 per person for amusement park food for lunch, we decided to stop for lunch at a restaurant nearby (much more reasonably priced), then arrived at Kings Island at 1:30 p.m. We decided we’d love to stay long enough to see the nightly fireworks at 10 p.m., but mostly we just wanted to stay as long as Baby B wanted to. We certainly weren’t going to insist we stay until close if she was a tired, cranky mess. Playing it by ear was the order of the day.

The weather was perfect: blue skies, an abundance of sun, and temps in the low 60s. We let Baby B take in the sights and sounds when we walked into the park, where you’re greeted by a huge fountain down the middle and a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, then we headed to the kids’ section, themed as Planet Snoopy. Some rides she was tall enough to ride by herself, like the swings, while other rides she was tall enough to ride but needed an adult to ride with her. After the tame swings, we went to the Kite-Eating Tree, a free-fall ride for kids that actually tickled my tummy as we rode it. Baby B LOVED it! She wasn’t scared of the height of the ride, and every time the ride would thrust us down, she would break out into giggles that were quite contagious and would declare, “That tickles by belly!”

Next up was the little kid roller coaster, which I insisted on riding with her since I wanted to share the first roller coaster experience with her. After this, she was begging to go on the ADULT roller coasters — and I really think she would have loved them! She was too short for all of the adult coasters, and the kids area has a bigger wooden coaster (the Beastie, for those who know Kings Island, though it’s the Woodstock Express now) that I thought she was tall enough to ride, but it requires a height of 40 inches, so she just barely wasn’t tall enough for that. Next year. I really think she would have ridden it repeatedly if given the chance.

Anyway, at this point, I took off to go ride Firehawk, the coaster that suspends you horizontally so it’s like you’re flying, since I’d never ridden that one before and really wanted to. I said if I rode nothing else myself that day, that’s all I wanted, so I escaped for an hour and a half to wait for that. (It was awesome! So worth it!) Baby B and The Husband had a great time together in the kids’ area, and once I joined them again, we had some blue ice cream (used to be Smurf ice cream back when the kids’ area was Hanna-Barbera themed, but it’s just called blue ice cream now). After that, The Husband took off to ride another new (to us) coaster, Diamondback, and the first thing Baby B and I did was take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. She thought that was exciting, everything from the elevator ride up and down, to running circles around the observational deck. It was quite windy up there (and I’m not so great with heights and the fact that if you stand still you can feel the tower moving slightly), so I wasn’t disappointed when Baby B was ready to go back down after probably 5 minutes up there. We headed over to the Grand Carousel next, then went back to the kids’ coaster when The Husband met up with us again.

One of the adult rides that Baby B was tall enough for was the Scrambler, the one that goes in circles so that everyone is squished into the person sitting on the outside. We decided to do that one before (as opposed to after) dinner, just in case food and rides didn’t mix for Baby B, and it was another that Baby B loved. Again she kept laughing about how much her tummy tickled (me too!). Overall it’s a pretty mild ride for an adult, but I imagine its effects are much greater on a kid, and she’s a tough one to have enjoyed it so much.

We enjoyed a dinner of Skyline hot dogs and fries, then shared a funnel cake. (Usually I like to get the funnel cake to eat during fireworks, but the sun was going down and it was started to get colder out, so I figured it’d be more enjoyable after dinner.) Oh, and speaking of the cold, score some Mom Points for me: I figured Baby B’s hands would get cold at the end of the night, so I brought a pair of her gloves along with us, and I’m so glad I did. Next time I need to think to bring my own gloves, though!

After devouring the funnel cake, we headed back to Planet Snoopy, where we thought we’d let Baby B try out the bumper cars. The first time doing it, she wasn’t quite sure what to do (despite our instructions beforehand), so I was a bit surprised when she came off the ride saying, “I loved it!” and wanting to ride again. And again. And again. All told, I bet she rode it ten times, as by this point it was 9 p.m. and the kids’ area had cleared out and there wasn’t a line at all, so she could get off and right back on. The more she rode it, the more she adored it. CRASH! BOOM! and the giggles were released. I think she also liked it because it was the only ride she could control, unlike all of the other kids’ rides that just run on a track controlled by the ride operators. To watch her ride the bumper cars repeatedly just brought me so much joy and, as cheesy as it sounds, made my heart smile. I don’t feel sadness at the fact that she’s growing up right in front of my eyes, but instead feel a sense of gratitude that I get to witness these important moments in her life.

We ended the night with a helicopter ride (kids’ ride, not real) and then watched the fireworks display at 10 p.m. Baby B succumbed to The Husband’s arms on the walk to the car, and she was fast asleep within ten minutes in the car. All told, we spent 8 1/2 hours at the park, and Baby B behaved wonderfully. She listened to us. She ate well. She did not misbehave at all. She briefly protested when we finally left the bumper cars (think that was her favorite?), but we resolved it within seconds and moved along to the next thing with no issue.

I asked Baby B on our last ride together what her favorite thing was that day. With both satisfaction and passion, she exclaimed: “EVERYFING!”

I was quite amused. 🙂

Shower me with insults

Friday, April 16, 2010

Last night Baby B was resisting going to bed, as happens about every other night. She kept coming out enough times that we made The Dog leave her room, which upset her greatly. She threw at us one of the best personal jabs I’ve ever heard. With all seriousness, she said, “Well, FINE, you go TAKE a SHOWER and leave me ALONE!” Yes, it was as random to us as it sounds to everyone else.

Baby B was standing at her door when she said this (multiple times), and The Husband and I were out of her view in the living room. We’re usually pretty good about not laughing at such times, but this was clearly beyond ridiculous, and we were convulsing while trying to hold the laughter in. My eyes started watering because it was so funny.

Since when is taking a shower an insult? Funny part is that it’s not even a bad thing to her…she loves her showers, and even more now that we let her do it by herself. Oh, to figure out the mind of a three-year-old!

Second verse, same as the first

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I went to the RE for IUI #2 today, and it went well. I arrived right at 9, and I was taken back after just a couple of minutes. Which was a good thing because I was annoyed at the woman (and her husband? father?) who brought along their probably one-year-old daughter, huge-ass stroller, and two overstuffed diaper bags. The only thing missing were the marquee lights all around shouting, “HEY! LOOK AT MY BABY!” I know some people just don’t have a choice as far as bringing their kids to the RE when they’re trying for subsequent children, and having the kid there really didn’t bother me, per se, but I know it bothers a lot of other patients.

Mostly I was bothered by the fact that she was apparently trying to draw every bit of attention in the room to her daughter. She pulled out her checkbook and apparently her daughter tried to grab it, and she said, “Oh, do you want all the money? Do you want it? (turns to me) Did you see her? She wants to take all my money!” Um, I’m just here for an IUI, lady.

But anyway, I was relieved of Pay Attention to My Child Duty after a few minutes and went to the IUI room and got undressed from the waist down. The RE came in and had a different doctor-in-training sorta person with him than last month, though I had met her when I had my ultrasound on Tuesday. Before we got started, I asked to see the name written on the cannula and the paperwork attached to it to make sure it was the right sample. I laughed and said, “I feel kind of paranoid asking about that, but I’d rather ask and feel silly than not ask and wish I had.” (The first time I didn’t specifically ask to see it because I could see the name when he held everything when standing beside me.) He said, “No, we definitely understand and don’t mind a bit.” During the procedure, he went on to tell me about some of the precautions they take there to avoid any kind of mix-up, including using names on the samples and paperwork (as opposed to assigning them a number for privacy reasons, which some clinics do) and scheduling only one IUI at a time (so if our appointments were at 8 and 9 a.m., the next ones would be at 10 and 11 a.m., for example). Was just an interesting topic to get his thoughts on.

He was happy with the washed sample count (they look for 12 million or higher, and it was at 27.5 million. I believe it was 28 million last month).

The RE tried having the doctor-in-training chick do the procedure, but she tried and tried but couldn’t get it positioned with the speculum, which is what happened when the other assistant doctor person tried with IUI #1. As before, The RE took over and had it done within seconds, never having to resort to the tenaculum. I guess that’s why we pay him the big bucks.

As before, I stayed laying down for five minutes, and had a little cramping during that time, but nothing worse than before. I then got up and got dressed before going out to pay. I chatted for a bit with the receptionist, whom I just LOVE. She’s so friendly and personable and really makes going there so much more pleasant than it might otherwise be. Whenever I’m through going there, I plan to write a letter to the office to let them know how good she’s been.

So now, it’s back to waiting as usual. Fingers continue to be crossed (though I’m sure they were never uncrossed in the first place).

Wordless Wednesday: Pretty + silly = pretty silly

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going on an egg hunt

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I had my CD 11 ultrasound today to check the status of my follicles. (Seriously, how many other women at my work could tell you that on their lunch break they found out the current status of their follicles? I’d venture to say not a majority.)

I’ve got two follicles, one on each side: 16.9 mm (right) and 20 mm (left).

I do my trigger shot today between 4 and 8 p.m.

The Husband goes for his andrology appointment on Thursday at 8 a.m., and I go for my IUI at 9 a.m.

Have child, will send away for travel

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

About a year ago, The Father-in-Law mentioned that as soon as Baby B was potty trained at night, he would love for us to send her up to their house to visit without us so they could spend a week with her. (As background, we live in Kentucky, and they are in Connecticut, so this is a pretty big trip for her.)

With no  night accidents in more than four months, it looks like that time has come.

So The Husband called his dad over the weekend to let him know that we’re ready to begin planning this adventure for Baby B, and he was so excited to hear this. He said he’s going to talk to other members of the family who might want to come and see her, and we can figure out a date from there. July doesn’t work well for us, but we said we were open to June or August, and I think he’s leaning toward August since the water will be warmer if they go to a beach.

The logistics of getting her up to Connecticut are a bit challenging, but we’re figuring it out as we go along. Flying up would be ideal, but the cost of that is not so ideal. Even if only one of us travels with her each way, it’s still $1,200 just to do that. So as of right now, I think we’re looking at driving up to around Scranton (about 10 1/2 hours) on a Friday, spending the night there, then meeting The Father-in-Law somewhere in that area probably around late morning, or whenever he gets there after his 2 1/2-hour drive. (I would meet closer to us, but this just works out the best logistically for a variety of boring reasons I won’t go into.) She would stay with them for the week, and the following Friday we would drive up again to Scranton, spend the night there, and again make the switch on Saturday morning after The Father-in-Law drives down to meet us.

So, it involves a lot of time in the car for us — and probably traveling 10 1/2 hours up there by myself with her since it’s not likely The Husband can take off two Fridays in a row and he’ll probably want to be there to pick her up (I’m off Fridays, so that’s not a problem) — but it’s worth it to us to avoid paying $1,200 for airfare. At most we’ll have gas, hotel costs for two nights, and food on the road, which shouldn’t come anywhere near the cost to fly. And after our July road trip to South Florida (probably 15+ hours), driving to Scranton will feel like a breeze.

Although I think The Husband is a bit sad at this point at the thought of a week without Baby B, I’m very excited that she’s going to get to do this. My grandparents were always much older and I don’t remember ever spending more than two nights with them alone without my parents (and that was just one time when my parents went out of town), so I’m very glad she’s going to have this chance. Yeah, it’ll be strange to still be in our house and going about our normal routines without her there, but I think it’ll be good for everyone.

In the hair and now

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Last year, when we got Baby B’s hair cut for the first (and then second) time, we had them fashion it in a cute above-the-chin bob. I think the hairstyle suited her well, and it sort of separated her from all the other girls her age who have hair down to their shoulder blades.

A couple months after the last cut, I kept saying we were going to take her to get it cut again, as we had before, but things got busy, then we got into a long spell of at least one of us being sick, and we never did it.

Fast-forward to now, when we get comments all the time about how long her hair is. (Which, really, it isn’t that long. It comes a little below the tops of her shoulders. But it’s a lot longer than this time last year.) It wasn’t really intentional to let her hair grow out; it’s not really something I ever envisioned doing. But somewhere along the way, she started having opinions about her appearance — strong opinions — and one of those is that she wants to let her hair grow.

And, you know, why not, if that’s what she wants? There are so many things in her life that Mom and Dad control, so why not let her have something like this? It’s not necessarily what I would choose for her, but as a parent I have to accept that she’s going to make choices for herself that veer from what I might have decided. And that’s okay.

So for now we’re going with long hair. Secretly, I’m kind of glad about her choice because it’s a nice reminder of how far she’s come on the hair front, seeing as she was bald for quite a while and didn’t have her first haircut until after age 2. We didn’t previously have such choices, so I appreciate that we’re able to now.

Wordless Wednesday: Some things change … meanwhile other things stay the same

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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Horsing around

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last Wednesday evening, Baby B had a slight cough and runny nose before going to bed, then before I went to sleep, I checked her temperature and she had a fever slightly over 102. The Husband and I decided to go ahead and keep her home on Thursday, so we worked out a split of the day that had him at home in the morning and me at home in the afternoon.

She woke up on Thursday morning without a fever and acting 100% normal, but we decided to err on the side of keeping her home, partly in an effort for her to rest and feel better because she had some Easter events (a party and an egg hunt) at daycare on Friday that I didn’t want her to miss.

I left the office at noon, and I was greeted with a picture-perfect spring day: clear, blue sky; no humidity; temps in the low 70s.

Well, with Baby B not really showing signs of being sick, I decided it was too nice of a day to spend inside. Yeah, I felt a little bad since I was supposed to be at home with a sick child, but work was in good shape as of when I left, so I didn’t feel too bad. Under the guise of needing to go out to get snacks for her to take to her party, Baby B and I headed out first to do that, then we made a stop at the gourmet cupcake bakery to grab some cupcakes to take home. (My choice: lemon supreme. Her choice: “the pink one.”)

After that, I wanted to go to a park, but I didn’t want to go to our usual park. So on the way home we stopped in at Thoroughbred Park downtown, which has a fountain, some horse racing statues, and some more horse statues in a grassy area. Mostly I just wanted to take some pictures of Baby B at the park, and I figured we’d just spend 10 minutes there doing that, since there isn’t any playground equipment there to keep her occupied.

Well, 45 minutes later, I had to use all the parenting tools in my bag to lure her back to the car so we could go home. The promise of cupcakes wasn’t even enough to pry her away! She had a great time, and I had a blast spending some unexpected time with her on such a beautiful day. Spring is just the best here, and days like that are a great reminder of why we live here. I have a great appreciation for our city and like to get out and enjoy the things it has to offer, and I hope to instill that in Baby B, as well.

Un-eggs-pected fun

Monday, April 5, 2010

Last year we were  unable to attend our city’s biggest Easter egg hunt, held at a large local park, for two reasons: 1) It was held from 4 to 6 p.m. and Baby B was still napping at the time (ah, those were the days!); and 2) Baby B had her cast this time last year, and I’ve heard how egg hunts can be super-crazy, both with the kids and adults, and I was unsure about letting her loose among those crazies with her cast on. (Though she often used that cast as a weapon, so I’m thinking in hindsight she would have been fine.)

So this year we were looking forward to attending. I checked the Parks and Rec website to confirm the time, which again said 4 to 6 p.m. Perfect! The weather forecast looked pretty good, so we started talking to Baby B about it, and she was very excited, especially after she’d had her Easter egg hunt at daycare on Friday. We dressed her in a casual but supercute dress, grabbed her supercute pink basket, and we headed to the park, arriving around 3:30.

We were greeted with a sign at the entrance: “EGGSTRAVAGANZA 1 to 3 PM”

Wait a minute.

Excuse me?

But…but…the website said 4 to 6 p.m.

We arrived just as they were cleaning up, as Baby B was still excitedly talking about how many eggs she was going to get. (Answer: Five and five and five and five and five and FIVE!)

How do you explain this to your three-year-old?!

I told Baby B that we missed it, would look for some eggs later at home, and would try again next year, but then I was too upset (like, crying upset) to talk to her about it anymore, so I had The Husband take her to the playground while I collected myself since I didn’t want to upset her further.

As she played (without a care in the world, mind you), I kept thinking, “But I KNOW the website said 4 to 6 p.m. I know it did. Didn’t it?”

I felt a little better when I overheard some of the parents at the playground talking about expecting a 4 p.m. hunt, too. And when I returned home later that night, a check of the website again revealed that I was correct for seeing that it said 4 to 6.

I went out that night, and The Husband set out to find another egg hunt on Easter Day, but he was having trouble finding any that might work. So he saw the zoo was having some Easter events, and he declared that we were going there on Sunday. (I normally work Sundays, but I do get Easter off.) I usually am the one to suggest the things we do, so I was happy that he’d decided this for us. A check of the weather revealed that we would have perfect conditions for a zoo trip, so we went to bed and set our clocks for early Sunday morning.

We got up, got ready, purchased our tickets online, packed a simple picnic lunch, and hit the road for the hour-long jaunt to the zoo. We got there soon after they opened and received the instructions for an egg scavenger hunt throughout the zoo. But instead of looking for little plastic eggs, we were given hints that would take us to eight exhibits of egg-laying animals, and we had to write down which animal answered the clue. Once we filled in the sheet, we could turn it in for our prize (a ton of candy, which we ended up just taking a few pieces each since we really don’t need extra candy).

Our day at the zoo was perfect. Perfect weather, Baby B was an angel (not the devil three-year-old that sometimes makes an appearance), we had a great picnic lunch, we shared some treats in the afternoon, and we left there — 6 1/2 hours later — happy and content as a family. (And tired — Baby B fell asleep in the car at 5 p.m. and never woke up after we got home, so she stayed asleep for the night. In her bed, of course. We didn’t just leave her in the car overnight or anything.)

It was the first time we’d been to the zoo since Baby B had been potty trained, so we didn’t have to cart around a diaper bag, and we didn’t have to drag along stroller (which we used two years ago) or a wagon (which we took last year). We could roam the zoo, just the three of us, without a single care.

This time Baby B especially loved the tigers and the gorillas — and she rode the carousel twice and each time had to sit on the giraffe with the purple on it. (NOT the one with blue, in case you were wondering. Those are apparently Very Different Animals.)

So I’m glad to report that this story has a happy ending — especially since The Husband received a voice mail from the Parks and Rec people he’d written to, and they admitted fault for the error — and was another reminder that frustrations can turn into good situations. And it was a good reminder, as we struggle to expand our family, that we can still manage to have plenty of fun as a family of three, in case that’s all we ever are.

Who’s the fool now?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today marks 13 days since the IUI.

A pregnancy test should very likely turn positive by now if it’s ever going to.

Today’s post should have gone like this: I would have shared that the long-awaited test was negative — grrrrr, darn it! But then later in the day, or the next day, well, April Fools! It was really positive! Chuckle, chuckle! I have my “surprise, I’m pregnant!” moment back!

Well, except for the fact that the test really was negative, both yesterday and today. They don’t come more negative than this.

And there will be no additional post indicating this was an April Fools joke.

Turns out the joke is on me.