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!"

Saturday, February 22, 2014


A friend at work told me the other day, "I love your house!" Confused, since I'd never actually given him a tour of our abode, I thanked him, and then, as he handed me a printed out picture of Rob's giant world map and asked for the source, I finally realized what he was talking about.

"Oh, right! That exists!" I said in my head. A very outdated version of our house tour was sitting gathering dust on the ol' blog.  I think it's safe to say that my taste and our furniture collection has evolved since the last time I updated that tour. So I did a little selective cleaning, took a few pictures, and updated some of it. I need more sunny days and a cooperative toddler to update the rest. So... maybe next year. ;)

Anyways, so the full (now only *partially* outdated) tour is on that "House Tour" tab up there ^. I thought I'd share some of the pics I snapped right here. Because, really, who goes to actual blog pages anymore? (Not me. Thank you Google Reader Knockoff. {RIP Google Reader. We miss you!})

I swear I had intentions of regaling you with tales of constructing that giant frame for pictures in the living room, whipping up that enormous beanbag in Katherine's room (for $0! Fabric Hoarders Unite!!), spray painting those pot saucers in the dining room to use them for coasters, and nailing all the holes in the wall above my desk to hang all the pretty paintings that I'd been storing in the attic... but by the time I finish a project, naptime is over... and when faced with the choice of blogging about a past project, or starting a new project... apparently I'd rather start a new project. ;) I won't be winning any blogging awards, but I do really love how our home has evolved.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Disneyworld, whew! That place is intense without babies. With toddlers? ohmygoodness. But also, OMYGOODNESSITWASSOMUCHFUN!!!!! I have a million things I want to remember. Rob and I actually sat down and wrote a list of all the moments we wanted to remember from the week. This is the abbreviated version with pictures. It's still long. I give you permission to skim. ;) 

- Katherine's first ride in Disneyworld was Small World and it broke down while we were on it. She loved every minute and was "singing" nonsense words with the music (before they mercifully turned it off). 10 minutes of creepy, glittery, silently dancing dolls gave Aunt Caroline plenty of time to snap 4 million photos. ;) Who am I kidding. Aunt Caroline would have snapped 4 million photos anyways. I spent that time wondering what craft room was permanently destroyed with all that glitter. I mean, how do you recover from that much glitter? Glitter is, after all, the herpes of arts and crafts. I think the only solution would be dynamite.

- Katherine LOVED the Teacups - cried (dramatically reaching for "TEAAAAAACUUUUPPPPS!!!") as her parents giggled unmercifully and we all exited the ride the first time. We ended up riding the Teacups FIVE TIMES throughout the course of the trip. We made sure to do that as her very last ride of the trip. On the day we came home, she requested "Teacups?" and pointed at the door. Sorry, Baby Girl. I know Rob hasn't been quizzing you on your geography yet, but "Teacups" is FAR. AWAY.

- She maybe said "I love you" to me for the first time ever at The Crystal Palace (it was loud, but I'm almost positive that's what she said). Of course, I'm under no delusions that she actually knows what that means, but it's something I reflexively say as I give her hugs, and I was giving her a hug at the time. Warmed my heart anyways. :)

- She was being suuuper whiny at Chef Mickeys, until I let her choose what kind of cake she wanted to eat from the buffet (Dessert First!?!) and then, cake in-hand, she spotted Mickey Mouse on his way to our table. She decided that Chef Mickey's was fun.

- Minnie was the first character Katherine met. She was excited about Minnie from afar, but when Minnie came over to meet us, Katherine got scared and cried. Poor Minnie Mouse. Katherine got progressively more excited about each character she met. On the last day of our trip, she practically lept into Piglet's arms, and she gave Eeyore a kiss on the nose.

- Rob and I went 10 rounds over what stroller to use in Disneyworld. He was voting for buying a cheap umbrella stroller. I wanted to bring our City Mini. I let Rob win, and darn it, he was right. (WHY is this always the case??) It was so nice to have a totally compact stroller for all those internal Disney bus/boat trips. She LOVED her "seat" (the stroller) and would kick her legs enthusiastically while being strolled. Also, there is nothing in the entire world better than my macho husband happily strolling our tiny tu-tu'd girl in a Disney Princess stroller. NOTHING.

- Katherine encountered a horse up close for the first time... I was all "HORSIE! KATHERINE! LOOK! HORSE!!" and Katherine was kind of underwhelmed. "(eyeroll) Yes, MOM, whatEVER, the horse goes "neigh". Obvs. Hey! Look! Rain!"

- It rained for most of the trip, and Katherine was the only one in the park excited about this - occasionally pointing out to the other guests "RAIN!!" with a smile. No one else shared Katherine's enthusiasm for precipitation, BUT, it meant that when the parks were deserted in the cold evening rain, we were still going strong!

- She periodically demanded "WALK!" and at first when we didn't understand what she was saying, she would get SO MAD. When we finally decoded the toddler speech, she perked up. On our way to Ariel's Grotto she chanted "Go!Go!Go!" as she did an exaggerated jog-walk holding Mommy's hand.

- On one of our "WALK! WALK!"-ing adventures, K lead us into an empty queue for a Fairy Meet and Greet. We walked right up to Tinkerbell and her sister! It was surreal. Katherine handed each fairy her precious stuffed "Doggie" to admire as a peace offering. Cute kid.

- Staying at the Fort Wilderness Cabins with a pretty princess toddler who always always ALWAYS requires a bed for her afternoon naps was hard because the commute back and forth to the cabins is LONG. Between naps and dinner reservations, we saw far less of her cousins (who nap in their strollers or on family members like good little toddlers), and our family than I'd have liked. That was a bummer, but you do what you've gotta do.

- She had NO interest in the Wedway People Mover. We were sure she'd love that one, but it wasn't exciting enough, we guess. I mean, it's no "TEAAAACUPS!!" ;)

- After observing the fish at The Living Seas, Katherine turned to me and pursed her lips out in her version of fish lips. I made a fish face back at her, and Katherine laughed.

- Katherine took her shoes off in line at the airport. We joked that she'd read the sign. She rocked the plane rides both ways... sleeping on my chest. Almost makes me want to take her All The Places. Almost.

- We came home FROM DISNEYWORLD and when she walked into our bathroom she admired the drawers of toiletries and exclaimed, "TOYS!!" Yes, friends, even Disneyworld can't beat reorganizing a drawer of toiletries. ;)

Rob had been to Disneyworld 20+ times, and I'd been 4 times as an adult, so we'd done the grown up Disney trip. With the exception of two glorious Date Nights (thank you for the babysitting, Mom & Dad!!!), this trip was totally different. We were lucky enough to get to go with our family this time, and seeing all the cousins interact when our paths intersected was so. freaking. cute. Our pace was slower because we were limited by naps and tiny toddler attention spans, but  it was nice to focus on finding the parts of Disneyworld that we could give to Katherine. Seeing her face light up for Teacups was totally worth skipping the Rockin' Roller Coaster. We're already mentally planning our next adventure. ;)

*All the pretty (unedited and still freaking gorgeous) pictures above were sweetly taken by Caroline (the bad ones are me fumbling with my cell phone) ;)