Thursday, May 15, 2014


Katherine has developed a fear of bees. Also, all insects that sound like bees. Or fly. Or are insects. There were three ants on our doorstep this evening and she immediately changed her mind about wanting to go outside.

(Don't be distracted by the cuteness of this picture. She's totally whining about grass. Or bees. 
Or something outdoorsy. Caroline in this exact moment, is saying, "Don't worry! She looks cute!")

Such a *girl*, that child.

We won't be visiting the local butterfly garden any time soon.

Rob is not helping the cause because he's terrified of bees and any buzzing insect that might sound like bees. Sigh. My Family. ;)

However, in a hilarious turn of events, while she's sobbing about:
"Bees! Bees! Scared! Mommieeeee! No want it!!" 
she also now says, "It's okay... " (unconvincingly). 
It's kind of the best thing ever. 
...And last week, as we were listing people to pray for at the end of night-time prayers, she added "Bees." in her very matter-of-fact little girl voice. Pray for your enemy, I guess?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unicorns and Fairy Godmothers

We had our first appointment with Dr. Hemphill today. It was... overwhelming. She'd like to throw every medical test imaginable at my uterus... including exploratory surgery... and we're just... wow.

So while 98% of my brain spends some time processing THAT... let's talk about curtains.

Bold, Beautiful, Perfect curtains!!

Lisa, from Trapped in North Jersey, emailed me randomly the other day asking permission to box up and ship me yards and yards and yards of gorgeous fabric. I almost fell out of my chair. I'd drooled over these curtains for YEARS.

Lisa's style has HEAVILY influenced my decorating choices. She knows how to have fun with decorating. Her blog gave me permission to use ALL THE COLORS in my living room. I love her. :)

So a giant box of curtains appeared on my door step and I spent the next 2 weeks petting them and hanging them in various locales. Their first stop was the master bedroom. Unfortunately, Rob informed me that numerous double-blind studies have shown that giant floral curtains negatively impact male testosterone levels. Not one to question *science* in baby making, I relocated them to the guest bedroom. (Therefore, if you are visiting us while ovulating, don't count on making any babies while you are here. ;))

I LOVE THEM in there. I actually clipped them on top of the (horribly boring) sage green blackout curtains, so it's like a  beautifully decorated, very comfortable CAVE in there in the morning. Perfect for slumbering.

Katherine also benefited from Lisa's generosity... her reading nook now includes a fantastic "fort". I safety-pinned a few curtains on to a hula hoop and anchored it to the ceiling with electrical conduit straps. (Meanwhile, Katherine found the hammer in the tool box and helpfully banged on the chair I was standing on. DIY with toddlers. Not for the faint of heart) I am in love with it. It's fun to read our books in a tent!

Thank you SO MUCH, Lisa!!!! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Womb for Rent

So, it begins again. 

Katherine's turning two and we were never NOT trying to make her a sibling. In fact, I've spent several months peeing on ovulation sticks and writing things down on my secret, hot pink Google Calender... the one that's snarkily labeled: "Sarah's High-Tech Period Tracking System". I amuse myself.

There are internet rumors and little old ladies that lean in and tell you that Babies Beget Babies: that something magical happens when you grow a human being in your womb. Maybe while that tiny person grows into an enormous, big-headed baby, she also might whisper sweet nothings to your ovaries and give pep talks to your endometrium. I don't deny that's true. I've seen it happen many times. However, I think Katherine was busy playing X-box and planning world domination during that part of her gestation. ;)

Fear not! I am so much less of a basketcase right now than I was while we were trying to conceive Katherine. Comparatively, I'd say I'm downright relaxed! The thought of "no siblings" is INFINITELY less devastating than the thought of "no babies". Katherine fixed a lot of things - just not my reproductive system.

I couldn't have planned it this way if I'd tried, but my annual pap happened to fall on the same day that I got a positive ovulation test last month. I was ecstatic. I printed out my charts and labeled the hell out of them. I had them analyzed, highlighted, and memorized the way some people can rattle off baseball stats. But my OB... my favorite physician in the world... could not have been less interested. She didn't even look at my charts before reassuring me that everything was fine (it's not), and I was kind of crushed.

Infertility is not her jam. She is the best obstetric cheerleader and baby deliverer ever of all time. And if I had a normally functioning reproductive system, I'd see her until I walked with a cane and my old arthritic hips wouldn't go up in those stirrups anymore.

Half an hour south of Richmond, there's a Pro-Life OB/GYN group that SPECIALIZES in FERTILITY. Where no one thinks you're crazy if you don't want to grow babies in a petri dish or take birth control pills. In the words of my sister-in-law: "A pro-life fertility doc?! That's awesome!!! She's like a unicorn. Magical and rare. She'll probably just touch you and magically impregnate you with her rainbow powers!!!! (I'm not being facetious. Very excited about this.)"

So Katherine was walking around shushing her baby dolls, and it was getting to me. At the dinner table one evening, Rob asked her if she wanted a brother.
"Yes. Brudder." she said.
"...Or a SISTER?!" I said... giving Rob my best Stabby Eyes.
"Brudder." she said.

I couldn't take it anymore. I called them. They sent me 20 pages of information and forms to complete. 20 pages.

On the first page was this:

"Our practice never uses the diagnosis of infertility, and we suggest that you eliminate it from your vocabulary, too!"

At first, I snorted. How cheesy.

But then I considered this for a second. If they never use the diagnosis of infertility, that means my insurance will pay for this evaluation. If they never use the diagnosis of infertility, it means they actually *want* to get to the bottom of that damn question that no one has ever been interested in answering: WHY!

And I couldn't help it. I burst into tears.

Katherine has never cared if I cried before, and she surprised me by suddenly noticing: "Crying! Mommy? Crying! Time Out!" She took my hand and lead me to her Time Out spot, so I could get my shit together. Rob wandered in and asked why I was sitting in the middle of Katherine's room crying/laughing. Katherine answered, "Time Out." pointing at me.

You see? Fertility problems post-baby? SO MUCH BETTER!

This new office has signed me up for a lesson this weekend on a new (to me) charting system: The Creighton Model, and once I have 60 days of charting, I'll go meet Dr. Hemphill. She will actually look at my charts. Whether Dr. Hemphill is secretly a Unicorn and whether or not a rainbow baby magically appears in my womb, we shall see. That would be nice, but let's not be greedy. ;)

Monday, April 7, 2014


Dear Katherine, 

You are One-and-Three-Quarters of a Year Old and life is awesome. 

My favorite part of the day is snuggling with your daddy before falling asleep at night and recounting all the funny things you've done that day. Some Snippets:

"Back-yout" : Vacuum.
Despite saying almost every other word in your enormous vocabulary almost entirely perfectly, you insist on calling the Vacuum: "Back-yout". If we try to correct you: "Katherine, it's: Vac-uum!" you will listen intently, blink, and then say "Back-yout!", nodding in reply.
We giggle a lot at that one.

"Mok" : Milk
Your Daddy wants me to stop egging you on with this one, because we KNOW you can say "Milk" properly. We've heard you do it. But, I don't know, it's just so funny when my usually eloquent toddler goes on and on about, "Mok? MOK! Upstairs? MOK!!" I usually snort and play along, "Where IS your Mok, Katherine?? MOOOOOK!! WHERE ARE YOU, MOK???"

We've started saying prayers with you before putting you to bed. You kneel with us next to your crib as we say the Our Father or a Hail Mary. Then we pray for everyone who comes to mind. You like to name your cousins "Joseph! Juliana!" and your friends from church: "Michael! Jeffrey!" Sometimes you fold your little hands. As I'm crossing myself, saying: "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.", you sometimes chime in: "Father-Amen." Sometimes before dinner - especially if you're very excited about what we're having - you fold your hands and say "Father-Amen!!!" - trying to get us to hurry up so we can eat.

Jumping - Oh my sweet girl, you are so terrible at gross motor. Not in a concerning way anymore, since you're running and climbing and doing all the toddler things. But you'll be reciting soliloquies long before you join the track team. Your grandparents tried to teach you to jump one weekend when they stole you away. You returned to us so proud of yourself and COMPLETELY CONVINCED that you were doing it. You bend your knees, and then extend them quickly while giggling and saying "Jumpin! Jumpin!" Silly Thing, your feet never leave the earth. ;)

Time Out - This has been one of our few parenting wins. You need time outs for mental health, and more and more often you've actually been putting yourself in time out lately. You get so upset over silly little things (because you're a toddler and that's the way it goes), but if given some space and the opportunity to do some emotional math, you emerge 30 seconds later with a smile and a hug for Mommy. It only really works when we're at home, and I'm sure it won't last, but it's the Best Thing Ever right now.

You think your creatures, baby dolls, and bears need to do some emotional math on a regular basis. You collect them all, putting them in "Time Out! Bad! Shh!": having a FABULOUS time disciplining them far more harshly than we ever do to you. Your Mo-Mo (my Mom) was visiting, and after 20 minutes of watching you methodically and sternly put every creature you own in time out she asked, "Are they good now? Katherine? I think they can come out now?"
"NO!! BAAAD! TIME OUT!" came your quick reply.
Your daddy and I wonder: if you ever have a sibling... will you try to put the baby in time out?

You are apparently really really a girl with ovaries and such. You have suddenly decided that you love your baby dolls and bears, and you go around holding them, shushing them, patting them on the back, and giving them sips of pretend water. This gives me All The Feelings.

You LOVE reading, and hands down my *second* favorite moment of every day is reading you books before bed. Your favorite book right now is "The Pout Pout Fish" a gift from my blog-friend, Lyndsey. I realized last night that I can now recite it without actually looking at the pages. Hah! We lounge back on the giant stuffed pillow I made, and you rest your head on my chest, your crazy curls tickling my chin, and we read and read. I smell your sweet baby head, and try to burn every moment of cuddling into my brain.

You can stay this age forever if you want, Baby Girl.

I love you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hoarding Pumpkin

I sometimes wonder if one of the things that will define our generation - like the hoarding of Tinfoil that defined other generations - will be the hoarding of canned pumpkin.

I notice that, often, when someone in my age group posts a recipe involving canned pumpkin, they make a point to note that their canned pumpkin stores are several cans deep. And there's a shotgun in the closet by the front door. So don't even think about breaking in and "borrowing" a can. 

"With God As My Witness, I will Never Run Out of Canned Pumpkin AGAIN!"

I wonder if that pumpkin shortage hit at the perfect time for our age group - when we were all just barely grown ups - just starting to run our own households, do our own baking, and negotiate the grocery store aisles on our own. I know that, on the rare occasion that I'm lost in the grocery store and I wander unwittingly into whatever aisle houses the elusive canned pumpkin (Baking? Canned Veggies? I am obviously not in charge of this at our house.), upon sighting Canned Pumpkin of any sort, I reflexively question, "PUMPKIN! DO WE NEED PUMPKIN?? BUY ALL THE PUMPKIN!"