Thursday, November 30, 2006

Worst Case Scenario

Codi is in critical condition. J took her to the vet this morning and it turned out that she had a pleural effusion (I know I'm not spelling that right, but I don't care) which means that there was a buildup of fluid in her chest. They drained about a cup and then sent her home with J. Well, she went downhill really quickly, and J called me while I was driving home to let me know that he was taking her back to the vet. The vet did an x-ray and discovered that she now has pulmonary edema, or fluid buildup inside her lungs. Basically, she's probably going into heart failure.

The vet is keeping her overnight (he's actually taking her home with him so he can monitor her heart) and will call us if things get worse. He's giving her a 50% chance of surviving this, and J and I are just beside ourselves. There's a chance that the edema could be a result of how quickly they drained the original fluid--apparently it happens a lot in humans--but the vet didn't want us to get our hopes up.

Anyway, if you can send any healthy thoughts or prayers Codi's way, we'd really appreciate it.

What the...

It's 26 degrees here this morning. TWENTY-SIX DEGREES! Brrrrrrrr! So much for an easy winter.

Codi's appointment is later this morning, and I'll post an update tonight. Thank you all who left well wishes for her in the comments on Tuesday.

Oh, and on a final (somewhat disjointed) note, does everyone see how effed up my template is now? I switched to Blogger Beta, and the navbar at the top looks like it's taking over my masthead when I open up the blog. Does it look this way to you guys? If so, I'll try to fix it over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


So, I haven't posted about this before because I kept trying to tell myself that it was nothing, but Codi is clearly sick. She's behaving normally (well, as normal as Codi ever behaves) but has dropped at least 3 lbs. in the last month or two. We did switch her and Arcadia to diet food awhile back, but there's just no way that diet food alone would account for this weight loss, and we've both finally realized that she needs to go to the vet for tests. Lots of tests. J is taking her in on Thursday, and my guess is that we won't know anything until sometime next week.

Anyway, this is a big part of the reason why I haven't been posting much. Writing about it makes it seem real, and the idea of my baby kitty really being sick scares the crap out of me. Any good or healthy thoughts you can send her way would be much appreciated.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to work

The last week has been heavenly. I've worked a bit, spent a lot of time re-bonding with Jasper, and generally just relaxed as much as possible. The semester will be over in three weeks (when Christmas break begins) and it seems like time is just zipping by. Where did November go? For that matter, what happened to June, July, and August?

Well, regardless, I'm heading back to the classroom tomorrow. I can't say that I'm exactly looking forward to waking up at 6:00 in the morning for the first time in nine days, but I am looking forward to seeing my kids again. Plus, I can't wait to wear the cute new outfits that I picked up on Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My mother will be so proud

Guess whose blog comes up on the first page when you Google "babysitting disaster stories"? Just guess.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm thankful for many things this holiday season, but the ability to laugh at myself really has to top the list.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Well, it's about freaking time

Remember this? Well, I finally got a call from my OB/GYN this afternoon. FINALLY! I told him that we'd done a lot of soul-searching and that we decided that we wanted to at least get the appointment scheduled in case we're not pregnant by the time it comes around. Since it should take at least 2-3 months to actually get seen, and we'll be almost 6 months post-lap by then, he agreed that making the appointment now was a good idea.

I still have to wait for our insurance to process the request (which probably won't happen for 2-3 weeks) but after then I can make the appointment. I wish things were moving faster at this point, but for now I'm satisfied that the referral is in the pipeline and that we should be in a position to have an RE appointment by my birthday. More than anything else, I hope we end up not having to meet with the RE, but it's going to be nice to have this appointment to fall back on in case it becomes necessary.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Speaking Up

Hypothetical question: Say you're infertile. Say that you share this information with a (formerly) close friend, share your blog address, and in doing so share all your deep, innermost secret thoughts about how it's killing you not to be able to get pregnant. Say this friend essentially cuts off all contact with you for six months, then shows up again out of the blue. Say that after exchanging a few e-mails she tells you that she's pregnant and then disappears again. What do you do?

If you're me, you let it eat at you for months before deciding to write a blog post about it.

Here's the thing--I don't want to be treated like a pariah. I don't want people to feel like they have to cut off all contact with me if they get pregnant before I do. That's not friendship. If you don't know what to say, ask me. If you feel uncomfortable, tell me. If you're just not sure how to act around me, start a conversation. Don't just abandon me. Don't just pretend we were never close.

I don't even know if the person I'm writing about even still reads this blog. Part of me hopes that she doesn't because of how much sensitive information I post here. I don't want someone who doesn't value our friendship to know some of these things. Then again, part of me hopes that she does occasionally check in because I need her to know how I feel. I need her to know that her actions had repercussions, and that she's hurt me. Deeply.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't knock it until you've tried it

We're all guilty of doing it, but I have to say that one of my biggest pet peeves is hearing people put down places or things that they've never actually experienced. Restaurants, schools, hobbies, and (particularly for this post) cities.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share of city-bashing. There are reasons why I don't ever want to live in Salt Lake again, reasons why I'm hesitant to move back to the DC area, and reasons why I don't love El Paso 100 percent of the time, but those reasons are all based on experiences. I've lived in these cities and formed my opinions based on the years I spent in them. If you don't like a city after living there for several years, then you plain don't like it. Move somewhere else, end of story. If you just think you don't like a place but have never actually experienced life there (and no, a weekend trip in college doesn't count) then, in my humble opinion, you have no business telling other people that it's not a nice place to live.

In case you were wondering, this rant isn't coming out of thin air. I've now lived in El Paso long enough to form a very definite opinion about whether or not I like it (the answer is yes) and it really bothers me when I see people who have never lived here say disparaging things about it. For example, the author of a blog I read is considering a move here. A number of people replied to the post and encouraged her to move somewhere else. They didn't give reasons or personal experiences, just flat-out told her that she'd be happier elsewhere. I can't even tell you how much this bugs me.

True, if you don't like the idea of living so close to the Mexican border, El Paso may not be the city for you. If you're not willing to learn conversational Spanish, you might want to move elsewhere. If you don't like the desert, friendly people, or beautiful sunsets, this is not the city for you. These people didn't think about those things, though. Instead they made stupid, prejudicial, and flat-out wrong assumptions about El Paso.

In the interest of full disclosure, I made a lot of those same assumptions before our move. I didn't think I would like El Paso, didn't think I'd be able to find a job without learning Spanish, and didn't think I'd ever feel at home here. I was wrong. It's a mistake that I won't be making again, and one that I wish more people would stop committing.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...

I was planning to be productive today, I swear. All I had on my agenda was cleaning and lesson planning. That was it. For its part, the cleaning went great. We scoured the house from top to bottom, and it ended up looking better than it has in weeks. I paid special attention to the kitchen since it's spent most of the last month looking like it's been hit by a tornado.

After we finished, we realized that we were almost completely out of food, so we took a break to go grocery shopping. I happened to make an offhand comment to J about wanting to make some special hot chocolate tonight after dinner. This hot chocolate comes in incredibly hard chocolate wheels, which then have to be broken apart and blended with hot milk in a blender. It's delicious, but a PITA to make.

J half-jokingly commented that if I wanted hot chocolate we should probably buy a new blender since our current one was on its last legs. Seeing as how I'd owned the blender since college (and it had been a hand-me-down from my aunt before that) I didn't argue with him. We took the groceries home then headed back out to Linens N Things for a blender. Just a blender.

Well, if you're anything like me, you can't walk into Linens N Things without seeing at least a dozen household gadgets that you simply must have. I can usually resist the temptation to buy most of these things, but today I saw the ONE gadget that I'd secretly been pining for since I'd first seen it on an infomercial last year.

Bake and Fill cake pans!!!

If you haven't seen the infomercial, the purpose of these pans is to make cakes with more than one filling. For example:

They are possibly the coolest cake pans ever, and I've been sorely tempted to call the 1-800 number and order a set for myself on more than one occasion. Now, here they were right in front of me. Naturally, I grabbed J's arm and proceeded to tell him what a fabulous product this was and that I absolutely MUST have one. J, who knows better than to argue with me when I'm like this, told me to toss it in the cart, and, for good measure, to get the miniature set too. You know, just in case we ever need to make 10,000 filled cakes at the same time.

Well, since we were now buying these amazing cake pans, we obviously needed some cake mix and frosting. Back to the grocery store!

(pay no attention to the Snausages--we decided it wasn't fair for us to get treats if Jasper didn't get to have any)

By this point our whole schedule for the day was shot. It was late afternoon and I hadn't done an iota of lesson planning. Still, I wasn't about to let a little thing like my job get in the way of trying out my new toys. I proceeded to spend the next TWO HOURS in the kitchen, baking. I didn't get to my lesson planning until after 7:00, but I did end up with all of these goodies:

(for those of you wondering just WTF I baked, the ones on the left are miniature Funfetti cakes filled with vanilla pudding, the one in the middle is a Devil's Food cake filled with yellow cake, and the cupcakes on the right are just cupcakes.)

Oh, and my nice, clean kitchen? The kitchen I spent so much time scouring this morning? It once again looked like it had been hit by a tornado. A tornado that likes to bake.

Guess this means that I'll have to spend another morning cleaning it very soon. And then I might need to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Month in Review

Well, I've just finished my first month of teaching. It's really flown by, though simultaneously I almost can't believe it's only been a month.

Overall, I couldn't be happier. I'm excited to go to work every morning and to see my students and coworkers. While I do have a few "problem" kids, most of them are incredibly sweet and fun, and (shockingly) I now know all of their names. To be honest, I didn't expect to feel this good about teaching after just one month. At my last job, I felt completely overwhelmed and out of my element at the one-month mark. My boss was great, but I just didn't feel like I knew what I was doing. I don't have any of those feelings about teaching. Sure, I worry that I might be missing something in my lectures and I'm concerned that my kids might not be getting the best possible instruction because I'm so new, but teaching feels incredibly natural to me. I never run out of things to say or questions to ask. I never feel out of my element. It's wonderful.

I'm so incredibly thankful that I got this position. So incredibly thankful. Not only am I more professionally fulfilled than I've ever been before, but I'm not constantly obsessing about infertility. Being infertile doesn't define who I am right now. It's a big part of my life, but not the most important part anymore. I feel like I've been given an incredible gift, and I still can't believe it's really happening to me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Grrr Argh

My OB/GYN appears to be ignoring my phone call. Either that or he's out of town and his nurse didn't bother to mention it when I called yesterday. Ugh. I finally try to get the ball rolling and immediately I hit another roadblock. The clinic is closed tomorrow for a long weekend, so I probably won't be able to get in touch with him again until Tuesday.

In other news, I have a cold. Ick.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I really don't know what to celebrate first.

In other news, I placed a call to my OB/GYN today to get the ball rolling on that RE referral and he hasn't called me back yet. Anti-climactic, but that's where we are.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Planning to vote?

I love Election Day. I love choosing my favorite candidates, love getting that "I Voted!" sticker, and ESPECIALLY love watching the returns come in. When I was a kid, Election Day meant coming home from school and spending the rest of the night in front of the TV with my dad, waiting to see if any Democrats were actually elected in the state of Utah. It was always a fun night, and now that I'm all grown up, I have my own little Election Day traditions. Namely, I go to a party if there is one (and there were always parties when we lived in DC) or I stay at home with yummy takeout and flip channels all night to see which networks are calling which states for which candidates.

I am such a geek.

J tolerates my political junkie tendancies, but is far more interested in the drama surrounding possible vote tampering with the new electronic voting machines. As I type this, he's sitting on the other side of the family room, watching an HBO short film on the security (or lack thereof) of Diebold's machines. He (if you haven't been able to figure it out already) is also a geek. Ah, love.

Naturally, we're both pretty excited about tomorrow's election since it could mean a shift back to a Democratic Congress. My fingers and toes are crossed for victories in the House and the Senate. If the Dems do regain power, I know that part of me will feel a small pang for my old job back in DC. A Democratic Congress would have made so many things easier for my company over the last few years. Regardless, I'm looking forward to tomorrow night and can't wait to talk to my dad and my old boss about the results once they're all in.

So, happy Election Day tomorrow, everyone! Vote early and often!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Thank you all for the kind comments and e-mails you sent in response to my last post. It ended up being a really rough day personally and professionally, and reading those messages when I got home made a world of difference.

I did my best to stay busy and distracted this weekend so I wouldn't dwell on yet another failed cycle. J and I watched the entire sixth season of Gilmore Girls, I knitted up a storm, did lesson planning for the next two weeks, and even finished all of my reading and homework for my two grad classes. As Sunday night comes to a close, I'm feeling much more productive and in control than I was late last week, and some of my lost perspective on the whole situation has come back.

Regarding the RE, my reaction to the end of this last cycle has made it blatantly obvious to me that I need to pick up the phone and get that ball rolling. My gut is once again telling me that natural cycles just aren't going to work for us, and I'm no longer feeling any hesitation over moving on to treatments. So, I'm taking the number in to work with me tomorrow and making the call during my morning conference period. I'm under no illusions about how long it's going to take to get the referral from my current OB/GYN, and realistically I probably won't see the RE until February or possibly March (he has an incredibly long wait list for first appointments) but at least it'll be something to look forward to while we continue to try on our own. Given J's and my work schedules and my current lack of accumulated sick days, I doubt we'd be able to do IVF (if it comes to that) until the summer anyway, so waiting until the spring to see the doctor doesn't necessarily feel like a bad thing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Perspective on the precipice

I'm 13 days past ovulation. Tomorrow I should know one way or the other if I'm pregnant. If not, I'll move to Cycle 20. Today I'm standing on the edge of 20 months since we started trying to conceive. Twenty months of negative pregnancy tests, anger, and disappointment. Twenty months of hope, and 20 months of anger.

Thinking about this, I know I have to hold on to three things. First, we (finally) have a diagnosis. Second, I have a wonderful husband, wonderful pets, and an all-around wonderful life aside from infertility. Third, I, not infertility, control my life and my attitude. I have to look for the silver lining because otherwise what's the point? I've said it before and I'll say it again--this entire exercise, all the things I've gone through thanks to the basic desire to build a family with J, is pointless if I destroy all the good things I have in the quest for a child. There's no getting around that.

I've never stopped believing that someday I will be a mother. Someday this will all be behind me. When that day arrives, I want to have a life to go back to. I want to be proud of the things I've accomplished, proud of the way I handled myself during this time, and proud of the person I am. Today, as I'm staring 20 months in the face, I have to put things in perspective.