Friday, December 31, 2004

We'll start with this.

We saw the heartbeat! It's amazing. This baby, now fondly called "raspberry" by Bryan because we read that he/she is the size of a raspberry right now, has only been fertilized for 30 days and "raspberry" already has a heartbeat. We were marveled at the doctor's office when we saw it on the ultrasound. How incredible! We could hear it, too. This thing, which honestly looks like an alien in my stomach right now, is a miracle.

Am I normal?

Every little thing that I'm feeling in this pregnancy I'm so paranoid about what's "normal". I'm so afraid to rejoyce in this pregnancy because of the paranoia. I'm having trouble embracing the nausea, the fatigue, the excitement. Maybe it is because we tried for four years before we got pregnant, I don't know. I hate to use that as an excuse. There was a woman I used to know from church that always talked about how her kid was more "precious" because he cost "$70,000" because they had to do invitro. What a hag. That always pissed me off. And I don't want to sound like that AT ALL. But I'm so paranoid that this is another cruel joke. Another test from God. A mean tease. So much so that as excited as I am, in the back of my head I'm scared to DEATH to enjoy it too much. And then I worry that my negative thoughts will cause bad things.

I keep thinking everything is too perfect. It is perfect that the baby is due in August. It is perfect that I'll be quitting my job in May, a month before we move. It is perfect that I'll have two months after we move before the baby is born. My husband is perfect. My life is perfect. Why am I not marveling in the joy of it all? In the blessings? I guess I can answer that. Maybe I don't feel like I deserve this. Who am I? I've never done anything good. I certainly do not deserve this.

Is my sore right ovary normal? Is the occassional slight pain? What IS normal anyway? It doesn't help that my marathon running/fast talking doctor is constantly reminding me the chances of miscarriage. I suppose I shouldn't hold it against him, because he IS an infertility/high risk doctor. He probably sees it a lot. (although I'm told I'm not high risk at this point) The good news is I went from a 20% chance last week to a 10% chance this week. Why does he have to tell me that? In three weeks I'll be down to a 1% chance. I keep thinking, though, that the doc only gave me an 8% chance of getting pregnant the first month after the surgery.

But, hey, the baby doesn't know statistics. Right? My friend Jerri who lost her baby when she was 30 weeks pregnant didn't care about her statistics. 1% meant nothing to her. It was 100%. And the millions of babies who make it. Their chances are 0%.

I need to be positive. My mom is a very negative person. It is difficult to be around someone who is so negative. Although, I haven't really voiced this to anyone, but negativity radiates. You can just tell. OK, remember what I said about the art of positive thinking? From now on I'll be positive. I HAVE to be positive.

I'm HAVING A BABY! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now everyone knows.

We told our family Christmas eve about the baby. Our Christmas eve tradition is to have a light dinner, go to church, and open gifts. In the days before we went over and over how we were going to tell. We thought maybe we would put the ultrasound in a frame and wrap it for the parents, wrapping up a "baby's first Christmas" ornament and writing "coming 2005". Lots of things. Finally we just decided to tell them. We were going to do it after everyone opened gifts, but we just couldn't wait. So, we decided to do it when we ate dinner.

When we sat down Bryan was asked to say the blessing. He said "before I say the blessing Carol and I have something to tell you. We are going to have another person at the table next Christmas. Carol and I are going to be parents".

Bryan's mom squealed. Everyone else gasped. They were really excited. We told them about how we found out and everything. It's about time this family had a little one!!

I had told my sister a few days before. She kept saying "oh, my God" over and over. You'd think it was HER that was going to be pregnant!

Bryan's brother Criag was the only one that reacted like a jerk. He has always been jealous of Bryan (even though Bryan's mom admitted that he was her favorite when they were growing up. But that's another story). He didn't say a word. When someone said to him "you're going to be an uncle" his only response was "a lot of people call me uncle". Jerk.

Bryan spent Christmas day calling the other relatives. He was so cute, telling everyone. His brother Eric reacted the most unexpectedly. He is Mr. Texan Red-Neck and always swore he would never have kids. When we told him, though, he was so excited! He even said he wants to try to take a week or two off when the baby is born to come and help and see the baby!

Who would have thought??

Who would have thought I would be happy about severe nausea, sore boobs, fatigue and moodyness? If I don't have symptoms I worry. All of this is such a cool experience. Who would have thought?

I'm still in shock, I think. It hasn't sunk in. Even with the nausea. lol. Holy crap!

I'm going to be a MOM!

OMG! I am so excited. I've known for two and a half weeks, but we were waiting to tell the folks on Christmas so I didn't want to squeal.

On December 13th, the day before my birthday, I was supposed to start. I woke up that morning and went to the bathroom as usual. I don't know what posessed me to take the test. I had an expired test under the sink and, I guess I figured it was expired so what the heck. Anyway, I took it and IT WAS POSITIVE! I couldn't believe it. I stood there and stared at it for a good two or three minutes. I dug the instructions out of the trash to read again. And again I stared. Finally I decided it wasn't sleep in my eyes or anything I ate that was causing hallucinations. I ran out to the bedroom and showed the stick to Bryan. He had no idea I was taking the test. He said "We're pregnant?" I said Yes, but the test was expired. We didn't want to get too excited until we took a non-expired test. So, we got dressed and went to the store and bought a three pack. They confirmed it!!

Bryan I think was letting it sink in. Well, we both really were. I called the doctor and they said if I came in that morning they could have the test back by the afternoon. I told them I was in Edom, four hours away. They were kind enough to fax the orders to the hospital in Tyler and we went there. By 4pm they called and said "congratulations!".

We're due August 22nd. As of today, I'm 61/2 weeks along.

Holy moly. I can't believe it. Wooooooooooo Hooooooooooooo!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

OK, OK, I've learned my lesson!

The kids in the church talked me into having a lock in. I decided I must have inhaled something funky that I didn't realize would make me do crazy things when I agreed to do it. At least I had the sense to make it a "Christmas Lock-In" so I didn't have to do a Christmas party AND a lock in. AT LEAST I had that much sense.

So, my friend Angie gave me some links to some great games to play with the kids. (I asked her because she has as whole mess of kids. Four to be exact. So, I figured she would know some good games, and she did!).

The lock in was last night. The kids were really great kids. Fifteen of them in all. We had a few 18 year olds that helped as junior chaperones and four adults took turns doing shifts. I don't think I could have managed without my sister helping and another lady. As well as Bryan, of course. It was a long 12 hours, though. It was fun, but I am FREAKIN' tired.

Now, I know enough to RUN if kids ever ask me to do another lock in!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I guess parents never stop embarassing their kids.

Our church gives Christmas gifts to the elderly in this nursing home that do not have family. We had a list of names, and the coordinator of this project stood up in church and said she needed more volunteers to take names and buy stuff. After service I told her I would take one. There were two left. She handed me one and took the other. I understand why she gave me that one. The woman whose name was on the card wore a 4x size.

Not to complain, but you can't just go anywhere and find that size. Thank God I go to Houston by weekday. There's a specialty store for large women here. My parents happened to be visiting, and it was my mom's birthday, and we were eating dinner next to the store, so I asked if they minded stopping in there before we left. No problem.

Dad stayed outside, and mom and I went in. We started looking for clothes, but none of them really looked like nursing home material so we were just kind of wandering aimlessly. A clerk asked if she could help us, and, here's the embarassing part, mom blurts out "we're looking for clothes for an OLD, FAT woman". LOL! OMG. I wanted to crawl under the table. I said "Mom, we don't use that word". Like my mom is 5 and she just said "shut up" or something. The clerk had the last laugh, though. She said to my mom "Oh, believe me, you aren't fat". ROFL

Monday, December 06, 2004

My mother just informed me...

That the last two times she saw me I was wearing all black.

She said I should wear another color besides black.

Well, I have to say that is a coincidence, because I DO wear other colors besides black. But a pantsuit generally has the same color top and bottom. So, if she happened to see me both times in a pant suit that was black, that's just how it is.

Although, I have to admit, I have worn MORE black lately because I've gotten so freakin' FAT. Maybe I'll just wear black until I lose those 10 or 20 pounds I spoke of earlier. Yea, that will thrill mom.

Why can't I lose weight?

I need to lose 10 pounds to be happy and 20 to be ecstatic. In the larger scheme of things it's not that much. I SHOULD be able to do it with my eyes closed. After all, I see "so and so lost 100 pounds in 10 weeks" or other rediculous ads all the time. But on a more realistic level, if I put my mind to it I could shed 10 to 15 easily in 6 weeks or so.

So, why don't I do it?

It isn't that I forget about it. I obsess over it all the time. When I get dressed every morning I go into a state of depression. When I go to the bathroom I obsess over it. When I eat I obsess over it. When I look in the mirror, see an old friend, work with someone I haven't worked with in a while, go shopping. It is CONSTANTLY in the back of my mind. When I have sex (I know, too much information) that's all I think about, and if I have to go clothes shopping, well, just don't come near me for at least several hours unless you want to be in a bad mood, too.

But I don't do it.

I eat the crap anyway.

Oprah (oh, yes, Oprah) says there's a reason more than the fact that the food tastes good that people overeat. If that's the case, then what the hell is MY reason? I wasn't abused as a child, my parents didn't divorce, I never felt overly ridiculed and I always knew my father (like Wynnona Judd says is her reason).

Just lose the freakin' 10 to 20 pounds already! Get off the I-hate-myself bandwagon! Can't be that complicated!

Geez, I'm such a loser.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Another funny story about Jerri Lynn

Jerri had a husband who was a snuff-chewing good 'ol boy. She told me once about a time they went to K-Mart together (back when there still WAS a K-Mart in Texas).

Jerri loved Icees. There were many a day we would go to K-Mart together and get an icee and sit and chat. We drank those things as our social drink just like most people drink coffee. This particular day her husband and she went to K-mart together and she got her usual icee. They walked around the store and shopped while she drank her icee. She finished most of it, and asked Stephen if he wanted the rest. He took it and they resumed shopping. They stopped to look at something and Stephen asked her to hold the cup while he picked something up. She did, and proceeded to take a sip from the straw. Little did she know he FINISHED the icee and was now using it as a spitoon for his snuff tobacco!!

AAAKKKK! I'm gagging thinking about it!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Jerri Lynn

Speaking of people you lose contact with, do you ever have anyone you regret losing touch with? I had a great friend in college. Her name was Jerri Lynn. To best describe her personality, I'd have to say she was a cross between an East Texas hick and a hippy. Which I know sounds like an oxymoron, but it describes her in a nutshell. Her family were mostly hickish. In fact, they always used both her names and said them together like one word...Jerrilynn.

It's kind of funny how we met. In college I was a Chemistry major and was a lab TA. I taught the labs for Chemistry for non majors (aka. cowboy chem), General Chemistry for science majors, and Analytical Chemistry. It was the second class of my General Chemistry lab, and we had just begun. This girl walks in late and says, "Sorry. Oh, and I wasn't here last week so I'm going to have to make it up". Of course, I'm thinking "yea, this girl is a loser".

A week or two later she and I happen to walk out of the Chemistry buidling at the same time and our cars were both parked across the parking lot way far away. So, we walked together. As I said before, it's funny what you remember about conversations with people. She had a half of a coconut and was eating it. I remember her telling me that coconuts were never meant to be ingested, you are supposed to suck on a chunk and enjoy the flavor, then spit it out. Anyway, during that walk to our cars, I found out she lived in Conroe, too, and commuted the 30 minutes to school every day like I did. So, we agreed to save money and start car pooling.

We became fast friends. We talked every day. In fact, I was there when her first son was born. She had called my house because her water had broken and her husband was out of town. I was still up at the school. Bryan answered the phone, but she didn't tell him what she wanted. She just asked if I was there and he said "no, she's at school". She said "OK, thanks" and hung up. Bryan called me at the school to ask me something and mentioned Jerri called. I don't know what possessed me to call her back right then, really. I probably wanted to ask her if she wanted to go somewhere with me or something and had a few minutes. I called and she asked what I was doing. I told her. I asked why she called and she said "Oh, my water broke and Stephen is out of town. I was going to ask if you could drive me to the hospital, but it sounds like you are busy. I can drive myself, it's no big deal". OMG! I ran to my car and drove 90 miles an hour all the way there. I got there in 20 minutes and rushed her to the hospital. Silly girl! I could have killed her. Unfortunately, her husband didn't make it back to see the birth. That part was sad.

She was hilarious without trying to be. She was a lot of fun.

Anyway, she quit college and became a stay-at-home mom. I graduated from college and became a career woman. We lost touch. I haven't talked to her in over 6 years. Now I'm sad. Maybe I'll look her up on the internet and send her a Christmas card if I can find her.

Small World

When I graduated from College I was a Research Associate (which is a fancy word for a Lab Tech with a Bachelors degree) for (ironically) a fertility research lab. I had a boss named Mitzi, PhD, DVM.

With my position now I go into various and sundry labs visiting. I had a meeting with a gentleman at a particular company. As we were going into the conference room, he says "I have invited Mitzi, one of our VP's to join us. She should be here shortly". My ears perked up, because, geez, I haven't met another Mitzi in my life, much less another PhD reserach scientist named Mitzi.

Lo and behold, she walks in. The meeting turned from a business meeting to a reunion. It was so nice to see her. We ended up going to lunch and catching up on what we've been up to the last 8 years.

One of my rants. Don't mind me.

I saw an article in the Dallas Morning News on, I think it was Friday, about teen pregnancy. I've thought about it every day since. The article focused on a family and three generations of unwed teen mothers. The grandmother had a child as a teenager, and the child, in turn, did the same thing. Then she dumped her baby off on the grandmother while she would disappear for days with her man of the month. That baby in turn had FIVE kids as a teenager (granted four were quadruplets, but still). None of the fathers were around. They mainly focused on the girl with the quadruples and another baby. She had no high school diploma, no job and was on welfare.

That story infuriated me. I'm not sure what the author was trying to do. Make me feel sorry for her? I don't. It sickens more than anything. It is one thing to make that mistake ONCE. But then to go out and do it AGAIN! And she was quoted as saying "I want to make sure my kids don't repeat what I've done, I want them to go to college and then get married". I just DON'T UNDERSTAND how this person can do this and then not put the kids up for adoption. If she truly wanted that for her children then IMHO she would have made sure a two-parent household who lived on something other than welfare adopted the baby. How selfish can you be???? There are well established families out there with hard working parents who maybe aren't rich, but desperately want children. The waiting time to adopt an infant in the United States is over TWO YEARS. There are so few available. (Yes, I'll admit I have vested interest in this.) It would be one thing if this girl had a steady boyfriend who wanted to marry her and try to make it work. Or even a job.

Better yet, don't have sex at all. Especially after the first "oops" you would think she would learn her lesson. SEX IS NOT NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL. It is NOT. As much as it feels good at the time, it is NOT NECESSARY. People CAN obstain. They do it all the time. Get a vibrator if you "need" it! They are a lot less cheaper than a baby.

I do not feel sorry for this woman. I feel sorry for her five kids who could have very little chance to do anything but what she's done. People who make mistakes in this country have ample opportunity to fix their mistakes. And they chose not to.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

All things in perspective

The local news did a story tonight on a soldier that has a blog. They said he has this blog to let his friends and family know that he is alive and OK, since he can't call, write, or e-mail each of them every day. It is very interesting reading, especially the bottom of the first page that has an entry titled "I wasn't gonna post about this at first, but...".

This guy has a blog to let his family know he isn't dead, and I just complain about Wal-Mart clerks. It sure puts things in perspective.


Why is it when people don't want to be somewhere they lie? They make an excuse to get out of it? 90% of the time the excuse isn't even a good one. I know you didn't have to stay home to teach your kid the harmonica, clean your belly button lint, or floss the cat.

Yea, yea. They don't want to hurt people feelings. But c'mon. I can take it if you just don't want to. I don't want to do a lot of things, either.

Please phrase it in the form of a question.

The one question I hate answering, which everyone you meet inevitably asks, is "Where are you from". It seems like such an innocent question to the asker. Yet, it so complicated for me.

I was born in a suburb of Erie, Pennsylvania. I moved to Waco when I was 10. Lived there until I was 18 and went to college in Huntsville, Texas. Then moved to Conroe, TX which is I guess where I consider "home" because I miss it and all of my friends are there. We lived there 8 years and moved to Richardson, a suburb of Dallas until a year ago.

Even if they are asking it in a present tense, I don't know what to say. On weekends I'm now close to Tyler, Texas, but by weekday I'm in Houston.

If they are asking in a "where did you grow up" way, I don't know what to say, either, because I was in Pennsylvania halfway AND Texas halfway. When people ask it I generally say "That's a hard one". They will often come back and say "Well, where do your parents live". That's not so easy either. They lived in West Virginia the last 8 years, where I've only visited maybe 4 times. And now they are full-time RVers , so essentially they are homeLESS.

I guess I'm just from Texas. Maybe I can even narrow it down to East Texas. There.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Why I hate Wal-Mart reason #693

Last year my sister gave to me a picture of the two of us for Christmas. Not just any picture, mind you, a really goofy picture of us when I was probably 4 and she was probably 7. Its hilarious and sits on my nightstand so I can have a good chuckle before bedtime.

I thought a good Christmas gift for my sister this year, to reciprocate, would be a copy of a picture of us from 1975. I was only three, but I actually remember this picture being taken. The photographer made us KISS eachother on the lips. Ewwww. Even as an adult I look at the picture and think "who thought this was a good idea?". But, I thought it would be funny to get a copy and frame it for her this year for another good laugh.

The picture is 30 years old, it was taken in Pennsylvania and I now live in Texas, it has no copywright info on it whatsoever, and even if I wanted to there's probably no way I could find the person who took it. I remember the guy came to our living room to take it. I had a temperature of 102. (I didn't remember the exact temp, my mom told me, but I remember I felt as sick as a dog). Anyway....I went to Wal-Mart to make a copy, but since it's a professional I thought I'd ask if they would let me. The woman behind the counter said it looked old enough...she thought it was OK if it were over 25 years.

So, I wait in line at the little picture maker thing. A woman was at the thingie doing her digital pictures. I kept thinking, certainly this is her last picture. But 112 FREAKIN' PICTURES later, ONE HOUR of standing there, and my blood at about boiling point, she gets finished (I wasn't about to drive all the way back home. I live in the middle of nowhere and its 45 minutes to Wal-Mart).

I make the copy and go to the counter to pick it up. Meanwhile, the lady I spoke to earlier was nowhere to be found and this geek is at the counter. The conversation went like this:

Snotty geek: "You can't copy that"
Carol (also a geek but not snotty): "Why not? The lady said I could if it were over 25 years old"
Snotty Geek: "She was wrong, it is 75 years"
Carol: "But I waited in line an hour"
Snotty Geek (In a I-am-really-not-sorry tone): "Sorry"

I think I would have been able to take it if they hadn't told me one thing in the first place, or if I hadn't waited in line an hour, but really if the guy was nice about it I definitely would have been nice back. But, at this point, I lost it.

Carol: (In a very loud outside voice) "BUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER GUY IS DEAD"
Snotty Geek (Again in a not-my-problem attitude): "Sorry"
Carol (under her breath): "I hate Wal-Mart"

I turned on my heals and left.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Rude Awakening

At 7am this morning the alarm went off. Bryan proceeded directly into the bathroom to get ready for the day. I sleepily pulled the dog closer for warmth (it actually got below 60 last night!) and tried to pry my eyes open but couldn't seem to do a good job of it. Then, it happened. A piercing, screaching sound started and I jumped out of bed like a cannonbal shot from a cannon. Bryan came running out of the bathroom naked with shaving cream dripping from his face. Apparently the smoke detector went off because we left a candle burning all night. A very LARGE candle. The wick got too long and it started to smoke. The entire living room was filled with smoke.

Bryan tried to turn the darn alarm off, but they don't make it that easy. You would think there would be a simple button he could push, but, alas, no button. That may have been because this house is a 45 year old parsonage and the smoke detectors were probably hand-me-downs even at that point (I know, I know, I should be glad they gave us a smoke detector at all). Anyway, he had to practically disassemble the wiring to get it to stop. (OK, he only took the battery out but when you are so rudely awakened it seems like it took FOREVER for that to happen).

At that point the dog was no longer so cuddly and I was already out of the covers in the cold, so I got up. I went to the bathroom to blow my nose, and along with the usual gook, a bunch of black soot came out. I'm not talking a little. A LOT! So, my guess is everything in the house probably has an invisible, or not so inivisble depending on its color, layer of soot now. I almost put a cotton swab up the dogs nose to see if she had soot in there, too, just out of curiosity. But she was traumatized enough with the smoke alarm so I thought better of it.

My thought is, if it took THAT LONG for the smoke detector to go off, I mean, long enough for my lungs and nose to filter the soot, if we had a real fire wouldn't I have burned up long ago? After all, the detector was only about 10 feet from the candle in the SAME room. I was down a hallway to the other end of the house sleeping. Maybe I'll go buy year 2004 smoke detectors instead of these 1960 ones.

We aren't doing very good at my house with fire.

My husband, the minister, serves two churches. One gets kind of forgotten because it only has about 12 members who are all pushing 80 and rarely stay awake during the service. The other church has about 200 members. But, Bryan serves both. He tends to be very sensitive about the little church getting left out in the cold.

I don't know if all denominations do it, but the United Methodist church has an Advent Wreath at the altar during the Advent/Christmas season. It has three purple candles and a pink candle around the wreath, and a large white candle in the middle. One candle is lit each Sunday in advent, until Christmas Eve, when the big "Christ Candle" is lit. Each candle signifies something and when it is ceremoniously lit during service the person reads what it means, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, the little church hasn't had an Advent wreath in years. So, when Bryan first started serving that church he said that wouldn't do. He borrowed a cheap, unused, plastic holly wreath from the big church, a wooden advent candleholder, and some used candles. The little church was very appreciative and enjoyed them until....

About the third week in Advent last year they lit the third candle. The candles were already low because they were hand-me-downs used in years past. At the end of the service as Bryan was walking down the aisle giving the benediction and all heads were bowed, he gets to the end of the aisle at the back of the church, turns around and sees the apparently highly flammable plastic wreath on the altar catch fire. He abruptly finishes his benediction and RUNS down the aisle and desperately blows and stomps out the wreath/advent fire. He did get it out with little damage to the altar, although I believe a few of the pacemakers in that bunch of people had to be reset.

We went last night to look for the now melted advent wreath, hoping to salvage some of it. We were hoping at least the holder could be mended and used. They apparently threw it away. In retrospect, I think that was a hint. Even though we didn't find it we threw together some candleholders from the house and a new, hopefully non-flammable wreath. Today when the old folks walked in, Bryan mentioned the advent wreath now in the center of the altar again. Well, this is probably a you-had-to-be-there thing, but the look on their faces was hilarious! I've never seen such terror in an 80 year old man's face in my life. You would have thought we told they were getting drafted into war again.

We did light it and it did not catch fire. Yet. I will say, the did not fall asleep during THIS service. They were on the edge of their seat the entire time!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Night Crows

Staying up at night is something I enjoy. Actually, my best thinking is done at 10pm to 1am. I usually get done with work at the normal hour, eat dinner, watch a couple of prime-time TV shows and about 10pm I get my second wind. I start working and generally work a couple more hours, until about midnight. Then I get ready for bed and shut the lights off about 1am.

Since I do that, I generally like getting up at 8 or 9am. However, the world doesn't work that way. The world works on an 8 to 5 workday, which means you really need to get up at 6 or 6:30 depending on your commute. In fact, if you DO sleep past 7am, if someone calls you, generally you have to pretend you were awake to save the embarrassment.

In fact, growing up I had this uncle. He would always show up at our door at 7:30 or 8am on a Saturday morning for a visit. Of course, we all would still be in bed. After all, I think my parents are closet night owls, too, they would often stay up until midnight. But when my uncle showed up my parents would get dressed in a hurry and welcome him in like they had been up for hours. Then my uncle, being obvious that they haven't been up for hours, would inevitably say something obnoxious like "Are you going to sleep all day?" and make comments at how most business decisions are made before 9am. He would act like he was doing us a favor by waking us up. My dad would laugh and agree with him, and then they would go on with their visit.

What's funny is, if we went to visit this same uncle on a Saturday afternoon he inevitably was taking a NAP.

Why is it that "Night Owls" aren't treated like wise old owls at all? They're treated more like pesky pigeons or crows. If you sleep past 8am people lable you as "lazy". It doesn't matter if you stayed up until 2am writing your dissertation or finding a cure for cancer.

And as far as the "most business decisions are made before 9am", well, night owls make them before THAT. They make them at midnight, well before the 9am smart-business-decision deadline.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Are you ever embarrassed...

That you watch a certain TV show? To the point that you hide it?

I love those wife/mom swapping shows. They are hilarious. I can not believe these people don't know what they are getting into. If you are rather extreme about a certain issue, can't you just assume that if you sign up for that show you are going to be paired with a family that has the opposite extreme view?

Which makes me wonder if people who have extreme views know they have extreme views. Does everyone think they are normal?

Oh, Lordy. Just not so loud.

One of my pet peeves is religious bumper stickers. I was behind a car today that had about 7 of them. They said things like "My boss is a Jewish Carpenter", and "Christians aren't Perfect, Just forgiven". Really, I have issues with anyone who wears their faith on their sleeve. I appreciate the fact that they are so passionate about their faith. However, the way I look at it, putting religious bumper stickers on your car and slipping in God in every sentance is more of a turn off than something that brings people toward God.

My relationship with God is very personal to me. The way I look at it, screaming that you are a Christian through bumper stickers is like two people necking on the streetcorner. I mean, I love my husband. I am very passoinate about our relationship. But seeing two people sucking face on the streetcorner, in full view, makes me want to tell them to get a room and then go clense myself. It does NOT make me want to run and kiss my husband. While this act of "love" is a beautiful thing between two people, when anyone other than those two people have to witness it, it becomes gross. Same with the God bumper stickers. The relationship that person has with God is a beautiful thing, if they keep it between them and God. But to shove it in everyone else's face cheapens it.

Those little fish on the back of the car...they don't bother me quite as much. To me they are more like a little peck or holding hands. But, geez, please don't shove it in my face.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Inquiry minds want to know

My mom always taught me if you make cookies put them in a sealed container with a piece of bread to keep them moist. It's true! Somehow the cookies stay moist for weeks but the bread turns hard.

So, what I want to know is: Why doesn't the bread stay moist and the cookies turn hard? I mean, why can't the moisture go from the cookie to the bread? Why is it the bread has to sacrifice IT'S life for the cookie? How does it know that's its job??

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The art of positive thinking

I started my period today. I know, I know, you didn't ask to hear the details of my menstrual cycle.

The thing is, I thought I would freak out and bawl uncontrollably when that happened this month. But I didn't. It was more of a "**Sigh** Well, shit." response. I'm not sure if that means I've given up hope or if it means I'm optimistic because I have 3 to 5 more months where the doctor said I still have a remote chance after the surgery. Either way, I was proud of me.

So, I decided today I need to think positively. Not just about that, but about everything. I've been in a bad funk lately and it just feeds itself with negativity. If I'm positive then maybe I'll get out of the funk.

So, I will say, I used to have horrible cramps with my period. But, this being the first period after the surgery, I'm virtually cramp free!!! I can't believe it! And if the surgery did nothing else, I've got to say I'm happy about that.

Monday, November 15, 2004


I tell my husband that I got married so I would have someone to kill bugs. He thinks I'm joking, but I have to admit it's probably in my top ten of the things I appreciate about being married. You know, comfort, support, love, sex, kill bugs.

Tonight I was sitting here and this HUGE spider crawls across the floor. I mean, it was HUGE. Of course, Bryan wasn't here (Actually I AM at "his" house, but he is at a meeting). I ran to find a shoe. (Don't ask ME how he catches them with a paper towel and smooshes them in his hand with it because he doesn't want it smooshed in the carpet. ICK!! If I have to feel the thing crush through the paper towel, or even move under the paper towel for that matter, I think I would spew, and that's harder to get out of carpet.)

So, because he takes care of me so well when it comes to bugs, is it wrong that when forced to kill one myself, when I ran to get a shoe to kill it I chose one of HIS shoes so the bug guts didn't get on MY shoes?

Bachelors of Science in Chemistry for sale...Cheap.

The other day I was at that church garage sale of which I spoke earlier. A woman came up to one of the youth that just started college this year and the woman asked her the typical questions...what are you studying, what do you want to do, where are you going. Then she turned to me and says "Now, you have your degree already, right?...what do you plan on doing with it?" I was taken a little off guard. I mean, I've been "Doing with it" for the last 9 years. Truth be told, I'm tired of "doing with it". I'd like to NOT "do with it" for a while. I think I studdered a minute, and then said "For the past NINE YEARS (trying not to emphasize too much) I've been in the Biotech field...." blah, blah, blah. I didn't take what she said as BAD. I was just surprised. I mean, that's like asking someone who just finished a marathon if they plan on training for a 5K. OK, maybe that isn't the best analogy but I can't come up with anything else. Big Smile I actually have had quite a few people think I was quite a bit younger than I am lately. I'm sure that's what she thought. It's a good problem to have. I hope I still have that problem 10 years from now.

Anyway, we've decided I am quitting my job in May. I (we, but mostly "I" because ultimately it's MY decision, and my husband makes it very clear that he understands that so he doesn't persuade me) have thought long and hard about this. It's will probably be one of the hardest things I've had to do. I mean, I've worked damn hard for this career. I make a generous amount of money. Most people would think I am downright CRAZY for giving up this job to live on a preacher's salary. But, I thought, what's important here? The two most important things to me are FAMILY and HEALTH. My job interferes with both. I am sure that the job stress has contributed to our infertility. And even if it hasn't, being away from my husband 80% of the time is not helping either of us and our relationship. Not to mention it is really hard to plan sex during ovulation when I live 4 hours away and only see him two days a week. And as far as health goes, well, working 10 to 12 hours days makes it difficult to exercise or eat right. My cholesterol was 243 so, I need to start eating right and exercising NOW.

Truth is, I feel kind of like a lazy-ass for making that decision, and I'm trying to cope with it. My entire life I've been told working hard was the most important attribute you can have. People are proud of you if you work hard. People don't respect you unless you work hard. I hope the fact that I could make this decision means I'm growing as a person. But the back of my mind I hear myself saying what a lazy-ass, worthless person I am.

All that being said, I think it's time. My husband graduates in May. As much as I'd like to do it now, it will be most practical then. Hopefully I'll be pregnant by then. If not, maybe I'll find something not so stressful that I can do AND live with my husband. After all, even if we don't get pregnant, we'll adopt. We WILL have kids soon.

The sad thing is, it's easy to have "senioritis" when you know it's just a matter of time.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth.

If you are the fattest you've ever been, and you see someone you haven't seen for a long time and they say "You look great! Have you lost weight?" Does that mean you looked REALLY crappy before?

God does NOT work at McDonalds.

Everyone has trying times. I think that's probably the understatement of the year. They say tough times make you stronger. For me, it makes me question. Maybe it is because I didn't grow up in church that I question God more that other people. Maybe it is because my faith isn't as strong. Heck, maybe everyone questions and it's just not considered kosher so they keep their mouthes shut about it (I tend to believe the ladder, but that's another topic entirely). Either way, good Christian or not, I do question God and his motives.

If you know me know I'm a Little House on the Prairie freak. There was an episode, The Lord is My Shepard, where Ma and Pa have a baby boy. Laura is so jealous of the attention they give him, she wants the baby to go away. The baby dies, and Laura is riddled with guilt. She goes to Rev. Alden to ask how to get prayers answered. He says "Get close to God". She takes him literally and climbs a mountain where she is met by a man (who we later learn is an angel). Laura was praying for God to take her in exchange for her brother. When Larua's Pa finds her she's upset because her prayers weren't answered yet. The man tells Laura God wants her on earth with her Pa. Her prayers WERE answered. The gist of the story is God had his plan, and he had it that way for a reason. Even though you may think your prayers aren't being answered, they are. They just may not be YOUR idea of what should happen. It's best with HIS plan, not ours.

I think that's the hardest lesson I have to learn as a Chrisitan. I am not in control. I want to be in control. I need to be in control. I lose sleep if I'm not in control. I get mad, and whine and cry, and question, and want to hit something. But, ultimately God is in control.

Often we want God to be a McDonald's server. We show up at the coutner, give him our order for a Big Mac, and two seconds later in front of us we expect that two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun, just the way we want it. But, if we trust that God knows best, he knows that will only clog our arteries. He will give us the salad with low-fat dressing. We may not like it at first, but later we see it's best for us, some way, some how.

If only it was that easy for me to accept.

How could I be so dense?

I was driving by Reliant Stadium Friday where the Houston Texans play. I realized all of these cars going into Reliant Stadium are filled with women. So, I think to myself, something good has got to be going on, right? I mean, all these women. I'm a woman. I have to like what they like.

As my car slowly inches I read the billboard at Reliant Stadium and I see "Nutcracker Market". So, I think it must be some kind of nutcracker show. Maybe like a doll show but more specialized. Wow, a lot of women collect nutcrackers. I blow it off and finally get home.

Today Bryan and I were in The Woodlands (as a side note, we used to live up that way. I miss it terribly), and we ran into an old friend, John. His wife is one of my best friends. He mentions to me that Chacy is at the Nutcracker Market. Now, I start thinking I AM missing something, as I know Chacy doesn't collect nutcrackers. Through prying, I found out from John it's the biggest FREAKIN' CRAFT SHOW in the state (OK, I made up that statistic, but there are 500 vendors. It's gotta be up there). And it ran from Friday through Sunday.

Poor Bryan. Guess where he gets to take me tomorrow?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

If I let this out all of my friends and relatives will disown me.

My friend Angie has an entry on her blog that goes to a Political compass survey . This thing tells you how far to the left or to the right you are.

I took the thing a few days ago. And (*sigh*), I have been trying to cope ever since. You see, it said I was more on the LEFT than RIGHT. I took it a second time yesterday hoping I had a brief period of insanity, perhaps sparked by feeling sorry for the Kerry left wing who can't come up with anything to say except "The right are so stupid". But it put me even slightly more LEFT the second time. How can that be??? My whole identity is shaken. I think I'll need to go shave my head, cleanse myself of my sins, hug a tree, and take the test again. Certianly it's wrong.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Carmelized onions look like worms

I wonder if you could use them for fishing. Do fish go by sight or by smell? They don't have noses.

Ketchup for free

Do you ever have conversations with someone, and something that the other person said sticks with you a long time? I'm not talking about an earthshattering conversation, or anything like that. I'm talking about ones that probably seemed very minor to that person and they'd never think about it a second later much less years later , but yet something they said makes you think.

I had one conversation with my friend Joy (not my sister, my friend who used to live across the street from me) about four or five years ago. I was at her house one day and her pantry door was open. I saw a ton of ketchup bottles in there. I asked her why she had so much ketchup. I mean, geez, she could have bathed her kids in the stuff and still had enough for dinner. She said she gets it for free. She clips coupons out of the paper on Sunday. Ketchup coupons are usually for $.030 cents off, ketchup costs less than a buck, so she goes to triple coupon day, gets $0.90 cents off. They often end up owing HER a nickel. Nickel

How ingenious?? So, I started thinking...I should do that. And what else could I get for free?

I never did get the ketchup for free. Whiskey But every time I buy ketchup, which really isn't that often, I feel guilty. What a lazy ass I am for not bothering to simply clip the coupon and bring it with me when I need ketchup. I say I don't have time to clip coupons, I work a full time plus job. I say I'll do it when I'm a stay-at-home mom. Yet, I have time on most Sundays to take my much looked forward to nap. And I spend time typing on this blog. So, I have time if I find it's a priority.

I'm going to start making a list of the things I say I'm going to do when I'm a stay at home mom. I sure do say it alot. OK:

1. Clip coupons and get my ketchup for free.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

That feeling of Panic

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and get a shot of panic that runs through you? That happens to me more than it really should. Usually its stupid stuff, like I sent a baby gift to a coworker who lives across the country and used the company FedEx number to do it. I woke up thinking that was 'wrong' and what if someone found out?? I mean, the recipient IS a co worker. I wouldn't have sent it if I didn't work with them. So, it's justified, right? But, I digress...

Anyway, last night I woke up with a real panic. Yesterday at the doctor's office I thought I'd ask, becuase I'm anal about being prepared, how much invitro fertilization costs. The doctor said $12,000 to $15,000. When I got home I looked on the internet at some costs for adoption. The site I went to said "special needs" kids (ie. mentally retarded, older, behavioral issues) are about $2,500 to adopt and "normal" 0-6 month baby adoptions range from $15,000 to $30,000.

I realize I'm jumping the gun. I mean, the doctor told me that infertile persons who have this surgery generally have a 7-8% chance of getting pregnant per cycle in the next 4-6 months. (normal people have a 15% chance per cycle. Unless, of course, they are my super-fertile friend Angie and her husband super-sperm Dave who has a 98% chance of getting pregnant per cycle. Happy Hi Ang!). So, I should focus on my 7-8% and go with it. It doesn't help to panic about the what if's. But, unfortunately, that's what I'm made of.

So, my wake up in a panic thought was if we don't get pregnant by March it's never going to happen. We can't afford 3 rounds of artificial insemination at $2,500 a pop and THEN the $15,000 per round of IVF. And THEN, if we must adopt, the $20,000 there. We will be living on a preacher's salary for God sakes. And then I think if we can't have kids, what's my purpose?

Calm down, Carol. You probably won't even need to go there. You're making things worse by thinking of it. Think positively.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Dr. Mills. Olan, that is!

I went for my post-operative checkup today. Basically, the doctor set this appointment up for me to look at the pictures of my insides that they took. I walked into his office and he lays the pictures out on his desk. I almost said "I'd like 2- 8x10's and 5 wallets", but the doctor didn't seem to be in much of a mood for my tomfoolery. So, I just looked at them. Fallopian tubes are bigger than I thought they were. They are actually quite large! Leave it to MY eggs not to be able to find them. Actually, I told Bryan the other day it isn't a wonder that his sperm hasn't found my eggs with his lack of a sense of direction! He didn't think that was funny. In fact, he said his sperm probably didnt want to be anywhere NEAR my eggs because they were nagging his sperm about their terrible swimming.
Scuba Diving

Sunday, November 07, 2004



This weekend we had a church wide garage sale to benefit the youth and their mission trip and church camp this summer. I use the term "we" loosely, as I was the only adult there, with five teenagers. Holy crap! (Well, there was a lot of crap, and it was for the church, so it had to be holy!). We had so much stuff! Twenty six-foot tables were piled 2 feet high with junk. We made $550. which I thought was pretty darn good considering it was on average priced at$0.25. The kids worked their butts off. It's really great to see kids work hard so they can go somewhere and work even harder for someone who needs it. They will be going in June to another town to spend a week reparing houses and building wheelchair ramp for persons who can't afford it or can't physically do it themselves.

I am so sore, though. Which tells me I must be really out of shape, or getting old, or both. I did a lot of lifting heavy things and we moved all twenty tables piled 2 foot high from inside the church to the church parking lot, but still. I should't be sore. Tired, well, I won't beat myself up for that. I worked until late on Friday pricing the junk, and got up at 5:30 Saturday to open the garage sale.

Bryan's parents came down Friday and spent the weekend, too. They brought our niece, Krystal, who lives 2 hours away but participates in the youth activities when she can.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

We've hit the rock bottom

My husband and I struggle with infertility. It's frustrating on many aspects, as you can very well imagine. We've been trying for about four years now with no luck. It's true that you never know what people are going through until you've been there.

We've been married twelve (Yes, can you believe it? Twelve!) years in January. So, as you can imagine, people have asked over and over again "when are you having kids?". At first we avoided the issue, saying things like "When the time is right" or other generic answers. But, as time goes on, relatives and complete strangers start to press. Just about a month ago someone said "Are you guys having kids?" and Bryan said his ususal "Yes, someday" (which is a lot easier to say than "None of your damn business!"), and the person said "Well, don't wait too long, it will be too late! You only have a certain amount of time". I don't hold it against this person. She didn't know. She was a complete stranger making small talk.

Anyway, needless to say anyone who knows us at all knows by now. We've only told a few people, but word gets around. It's a little difficult to keep secret, and, truth be told, the support and knowing people are praying is nice. One thing though, I didn't expect is advice from everyone and their mother. I really don't mind the advice. Some of it is comical (someone suggested we sleep with the light on, they read it makes you more fertile). Although I must admit we often get people, usually in the older generation, that ask obvious questions that are a little irritating. I mean, here I am about to go through an artificial insemination session one person asks if we tried taking my temperature monthly. And when I got out of surgery for a laser laparoscopy to get rid of my endometriosis, and someone asks if they checked my hormone levels. (Oh! DUH! We never thought about that! Well, why did we cut her open then?).

Ahem. Anyway, all of those things didn't make me feel like we hit rock bottom when it comes to dealing with others and our fertility but something that happened today did. We got a letter from Bryan's 83 year old very Lutheran grandmother. She gave us "sex tips" such as I should be on bottom and suggested after having sex to lay on the bed for a while to let the sperm swim up. **shudder**

I'm going to go shower now.

My dog is hiding food.

My dog, yea, the cute one below, is hiding her food. She hasn't done that since we rescued her from the Humane Society back in 1993. I'm thinking she's getting confused becasuse we keep toting her from one place to another while Bryan and I are in different cities. Poor little baby. I guess it's good I don't have kids right now. Think of how badly I'd be screwing them up.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A foot high to do pile

If you have a foot high to do pile on your desk, and a month later you still have that same foot high to do pile on your desk, shouldn't you decide either it isn't getting done or it's not important enough to worry about in the first place? OK, people, I'm digging in. If I don't make it out in the next day or two come in after me.

Well the Election is over

Thank GOD! I am so tired of the election lob glob. People who are otherwise sane got absolutely loopy about this election. And those who were already insane, well, they were just incoherent at that point.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Isn't she the CUTEST? Posted by Hello

The year of the Rat?

Looking at my profile here I learned I was born in the year of the rat. The Rat??? OK, what does that say about me?

I'll just pretend my profile also says I'm from India. Yea, that's it. They worship rats. We'll just leave it at that.