Saturday, January 31, 2009

Facebook etiquette quandary

Right around Christmas, I got a "friend suggestion" from a girl I went to college with- for my ex-boyfriend.

M and I dated for almost 6 years- through most of college for me and then into my "adult life". It was a good relationship, but an immature one. We both thought we'd get married. Then his dad got sick and he moved 800 miles away to help take care of him. Two and a half years later, his dad died. A year later he broke up with me. A year after that, he was engaged to a girl he met on the internet- they were married 9 months later.

So when I got the friend suggestion I wasn't sure what to do. Over the last 6 years or so, we've had email contact maybe two or three times. So I ultimately decided to send him a message through facebook that basically said I wasn't sure what the facebook etiquette was about "friending" your ex-boyfriend, but that I was okay with it and would let him decide what his comfort level was. The next day he sent me a friend request.

It's been a month, and this week I scanned and uploaded about 50 pictures from elementary school through my first year of teaching to share on facebook. I have so many pictures with M in them, but decided, in most cases, to keep those to myself. I did tag him in 3 pictures, only one of which I am in. All of them were group pictures.

Today I looked at his facebook page (which, by the way, I think he has me on a "limited profile" for, since I can't see any of the pictures he's been tagged in, by me or anyone else) and his wife had posted ON HIS WALL "It's always nice to see you tagged in pictures with A...." (A is obviously me. And she wrote that: "A". As if half the people on his facebook friends list wouldn't know who A is?)

So now I'm having a combination of feelings of irritation and guilt. Maybe I shouldn't have tagged him at all.... or posted the pictures... but we had all the same friends in college and were in all the same activities, so he is in so many of my pictures. I understand being wary of your spouse's ex- For me I don't know if I'd say I'm "wary" but there is definitely a curiosity about the girls III dated before me. (I think it's a girl thing- lots of women I have talked to seem to feel this way...) It's possible she could be kidding... but the way I found out M was married- 4 years ago I went to Italy and posted a link to my KodakGallery on the website I used to have, which was a completely public site. In my "guestbook" on KG, was his wife's name and address. She had apparently been looking at my website and then gone to look at the pictures of me.

Now for the obnoxious part- it kind of made me feel good. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but I have this worry that guys I dated with forget about me and that implies that they didn't really care about me or I wasn't worth it. Isn't it funny how our rational minds can be at such odds with the irrational part of our brains? I RATIONALLY know that M loved me and that for a long time the relationship was good for both of us. I RATIONALLY know that I'm better off with III than I ever was with M, and I celebrate the difference of having an ADULT relationship. But I still want him to think about me. And the fact that his wife sought out my website and looked at my pictures (especially the wife he got engaged to less than a year after our break up after knowing her for only a few months) implies to me that I was an important person in his life, just like he was in mine. I want to always mean something to the people in my life. Maybe that is a part of my own insecurities.

Anyway, to get back to the topic on hand... I definitely don't want to make things uncomfortable with his wife. Which is why I left the friending up to him. I certainly won't tag him in any more pictures, but I feel like it would be really conspicuous to UNtag him... I figure I'll leave that up to him.

There's probably so much more I could say on this topic, but this post is far long enough already, and I have plans with a friend, so I will stop there and just ruminate on it more in my head. ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The way to his heart...

III has been in a awful mood. I don't know why, but he's been miserable to be around. I can't tell if it's the cold he has, work stuff, or if he's irritated with me. (We have a very different tolerance for 'mess' - mine being higher than his - which sometimes leads to irritation...)

So in an attempt to change the mood I made lasagna tonight, and bought some of that Caeser salad in a bag and some frosted cookies.

And it worked!!! He seems much better now. He did get home early from work, so that may have helped, and the cleaners came today too, so I'm sure that contributed. But I like to think it was my lasagna. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

F is for....

Frenchie has extended her friend's blog challenge to me. She came up with 10 favorite things that start with C, and now it's my turn to share my 10 favorite F words.

1. Fourteen. That's the age of the students I teach. There are days that they drive me crazy, but it is generally a very fun age to teach.

2. Financially independent. My greatest pride is that I achieved this on my own at a fairly young age.

3. Friends. I am lucky to have some very good ones.

4. Furry, because two of my best friends are. ;)

5. Fireplace. I have informed III that every house we ever live in from now on must have one. Love it.

6. Flirt. I used to love to flirt. And I was good at it! I am now in retirement (except with my husband, of course).

7. Fotos. Okay, so I cheated. But I do love photos and am trying to improve my photography skills.

8. Flowers. In the two years or so, I've started buying cut flowers at the grocery store to put in my kitchen. This past summer I planted a garden for the first time, which was semi-successful. I'm hoping to do better this year. :)

9. Festive. It's fun to be festive.

10. Fantastic! Just because it's a happy word and fun to say. :)

What's your favorite F word?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Home alone.

Sometimes I hate III's job.

He loves what he does. He doesn't always love it day-to-day because of the red tape that goes along with any government job, but he believes in what he's doing and is happy he decided to take that path.

I don't always like what he does. As a LEO who works in the field, he is sometimes in potentially unsafe situations. He also is periodically called out at the last minute (although not as much as when he was on his old squad).

On Friday night he told me he was going to a training on Saturday afternoon. I asked "When did you find out?" and the answer was "Several weeks ago." I told him that I would prefer he tell me when he finds out. I see the weekends as time we get to spend together. If I know he is going to have to work, I can try to make other plans. This month he has also volunteered to work on a case that is not related to his squad. He told me he'd have to work Friday night, next Saturday night, and the following week on Saturday afternoon. Then last night, he told me he had to work tonight too! He has to work 2 nights a week for at least this month.

Grrr. I know there are people who work a lot more than that, I just want to spend time with him. And I worry how it will work once we have kids. And, to be completely honest, I don't love where we live. I have grown to love our house, but I don't really like location. Before I met III, I lived in a city neighborhood. I loved my condo and I loved my neighborhood. I had to walk B-dog every day, but it was good for me exercise wise, and I think also mentally, to get outside and walk around. Our neighborhood now, though it is in the suburbs, is just not walkable. There are not sidewalks on every street, and even when there are, people often park on them or they are blocked in some other way (snow, a tree that has overgrown, construction). It's not a very interesting place to walk. And there are no stores or restaurants that I can walk to. If I want to go anywhere, I have to get in my car. I gained ten pounds after moving there!!! We have a yard that the dogs use as their potty, but I know it would benefit my dogs to walk them more. However, it's so unenjoyable (especially with two 70lb dogs in a sidewalk-challenged area) that I have a hard time motivating myself to do it.

So I feel very isolated when I'm home alone. KB lives on the other side of the metro-area. I don't have any friends nearby and my neighbors, while very nice, are not people with whom I have much in common. We moved to the 'burbs as a compromise- III does not like the state we live in or the city we live near and would like to move to a completely different region. So I compromised by moving outside of the city. Six weeks later, he was sent to DC for two months for work. At least now he's home most of the nights. I know he has to do his job, and it's important to him that he work hard at it and do it well. But still- when he's working so much, it makes me unhappy.

Exaggerating the frustration around that situation is the fertility stuff. There are so many mommies' groups that are usually organized by neighborhood or town. KB has met so many women through those, as well as the daycare at her gym. But I don't have a baby.

There are also lots of singles groups- I belonged to those when I was single. But, at least in our area, I haven't been able to find a young couples' group. Plus, III has a bit of social anxiety (ironic, considering what he does) and gets nervous meeting new people. As much as he likes his job, he doesn't like to talk about work, and people usually ask. He's not great at small talk. So groups like that can be hard.

So I guess I'm lonely. When he's not home, I'm lonely. I have always been a very independent person who didn't mind being on my own- so it's really frustrating to feel this way. It goes against the picture I have of myself in my mind.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I'm in awe of people who write novels. (Actually, I'm in awe of people who write novels well.)

I have a serious addiction to books. (Although, owning a DVR has put a real dent in my reading... There's just not enough time in the day!!!) I keep buying bigger bookshelves because I run out of room to house my collection. I've been like that since I was a kid. My mom couldn't punish me by sending me to my room because I was plenty happy to just sit and read.

When I read a good book that has a great plotline, I'm always amazed at how it comes together. I recognize that there are many edits that go into a novel, and it's not a linear process, but I still think it's such a talent to be able to do that.

I read the Twilight series this year. Even though it's technically a young adult series, the story is so intricate. ***(If you haven't read all four books in the series and are planning to, there is a spoiler ahead. Highlight the big blank spot to read...)*** For example, I wonder if Stephenie Meyer knew when she wrote the first book and Bella's mind was the only one Edward couldn't read that Bella would have a "shield power" when she became a vampire. What kind of forethought must that take!? And what kind of organization? Do you keep a journal where you jot down ideas or reminders? Do you map the whole series out beforehand, and if so, how do you deal with new ideas that come up while you're writing?

I used to read just about anything. Now I've become much more ADD in my reading and sometimes can't get through a book and quit. I'm always on the lookout for books to *love*. My all time favorite is The Time Traveler's Wife. Another really intricate plot- did Audrey Niffenegger write that book linearly by page, or linearly by time, or something else?

I also loved Bel Canto by Ann Patchett as well as the Magician's Assistant. But her other books I didn't like as much, although they were readable. I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, but Riding Lessons didn't have the same impact on me.

I have a stack of books at home waiting to be read (some I bought and some I rented from Bookswim). Hopefully, a favorite will be among them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Insemination 1: check.

IUI today. (I have a 2nd one tomorrow.) I had a super chatty nurse. Not just chatty about stuff, but walking me through EVERY SINGLE STEP of the IUI. Granted, I'd rather that than the alternative I guess. (Like when I got my first facial. I had no idea what she was doing and she didn't tell me, so when she started squeezing my pores I was like WTF???) She told me she likes to inseminate
S L O W L Y to make sure it all gets in there and to make it more comfortable for me. I don't know how to explain it- it may be a kind of had-to-be-there thing- but it was humorous.

I feel bad for III with this process. Maybe I shouldn't, because I'm the one who has to go to at least 4 appointments a month and be poked and prodded and have blood taken and things inserted into me... but I do.

III was raised in a VERY religious Roman Catholic home. Sex was not discussed, aside from him being told as a pre-teen that, while his dad would always love him, if he had sex with a girlfriend she would not be welcome in their home. When he did start having sex (which wasn't until he was 24 years old- he was a virgin until 24!) and his mom realized it, she dealt with it by handing him a pamphlet on chastity. And while he's never commented to me on their take on masturbation, from what I've heard about Catholicism and knowing his family, I can certainly imagine.

So the whole getting-off-in-a-cup thing I think makes him uncomfortable. And I KNOW delivering the sample makes him uncomfortable. Hopefully this time was easier because he knew the process... But I think he just feels awkward about it. And it makes me feel bad for him. :(

Of course, I have a running tally going on for how many new people have seen my coochie in the past six months. (It's seven, in case you were curious.)

So today starts the "two week wait" as they call it. Here's hoping for a positive outcome.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Even and odd

So I'm definitely in a slump. I wish I wasn't so blue lately...

I'm 33. Maybe it's a coincidence but it seems like for the last 8 years when I'm even it's a good year, and when I'm odd it's not.

My boyfriend of 6 years broke up with me when I was 25. That was a hard transition.

But then 26 was a lot of fun- I started dating and met KB.

27 was rough. Between a disappointment with a specific guy and the start of KB's relationship with her husband (I like him a lot now, but the beginning of their relationship caused some major ripples in ours), I had some difficult times.

28 was awesome. Probably the best year of my adult life. I bought my condo. I was super social. I was enjoying dating and hanging out with friends. Two thumbs up for 28.

29- ugh. That was my rough year. I guess it all started when I was 28, but that was just a couple of months, and then most of 29 was tough, tough, tough. (Although I did get B-Dog that year, and towards the end of 29 met III.)

30- I had a fabulous 30th birthday in DC, then I got engaged, then I got married! Can't beat that.

31- Just after I turned 31, I found out... ugh, it's a long story, which I'm sure will come up at some point. But III had some issues before we met that I was unaware of until 2 days before Christmas. It caused some real angst for both of us... on top of that, he was living in DC for 2 months... Ugh.

32- was pretty good. I was enjoying marriage, enjoying our house, enjoying our dogs... happy. We were at the beginning of the TTC stuff, but not yet far enough along that it was a concern.

So here I am at 33. The infertility shit has hit the fan. (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. But it definitely is getting to me.) B-Dog has cancer. School sucks. *sigh*

As a winter baby, I have another 11 months of 33... hopefully it will get better. If tomorrow's IUI goes well, maybe 33 will start looking up....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hope and change

III makes fun of the whole "hope and change" message that has been so focused on during this election. Granted, he's pretty cynical. And he's a LEO (law enforcement officer) working directly with criminals, so he sees the worst side of humanity. And he's a non-democrat. (5 years ago, he probably would have identified as a republican, and though I believe he's still registered as such, I think he'd identify more as a moderate.)

I want to hope. I want to believe there can be change. But I don't want to be a naif. Is it unrealistic to believe that, with as difficult as things currently are, that Obama can usher in change? (I say "usher in" because I am not so naive that I believe that Obama himself can make all of the necessary changes.)

I've been thinking a lot about hope lately, Is it better to be hopeful and find yourself disappointed, or better to be doubting but go around in a fairly constant state of negativity and possible despair? I don't know the answer.

I had an ultrasound today to determine whether my follicles are ready for ovulation trigger. So that means sometime this week we will have 2 IUIs in hopes of getting pregnant. The first month, even though realistically I knew I may not get pregnant, I was hopeful. I saw my doctor a week after my IUI and he told me that, while he couldn't guarantee I would get pregnant, my numbers (size of follicles, Estradiol levels) were exactly what they should look like when someone does get pregnant. That made me even more hopeful. The day before my blood test, I took an HPT. Then the next morning I had a blood test. Needless to say, they were both negative. Though we'd been trying for over a year at that point, that was the first time that I was disappointed enough that I got a pit in my stomach. Disappointed enough that I cried when I went to bed that night. That sucked.

Last month we did the meds but not the IUI- it was Christmas and we were away during the days we would have needed to do the procedure. I was less hopeful- the timing of the trigger wasn't great and the chances without IUI are obviously less. But I felt pretty bummed out for the full two week wait- not as bad as the previous month with my dashed hopes, but for longer.

So I don't know what's best- keep my chin up and hope for the desired outcome? Assume that the outcome won't be what I want and then I'll be pleasantly surprised when I do get pregnant?

(During the time it has taken me to write this- its been a lot of stop and go- my lab results have gone up online. I only have one measurable follicle on my left side, but 5-10 smaller follicles on my right... But my estradiol is higher than it was the first month, so I'm guessing they'll have me trigger tonight. That is a bummer for 2 reasons- first of all, I only will have one egg. I know it only takes one, but considering my eggs haven't been super reliable for the last sixteen months.... second reason is my teaching schedule on Thursdays is not conducive to having a morning doctor's appointment. Ugh. And I feel like I've already missed so much school....)

As for our new president, I think I prefer to continue to give him the benefit of the doubt and be hopeful that he can help the country accomplish the goals he has set for us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I may be becoming a domestic goddess.

When single, I could make pasta with sauce out of a jar, chili, and broiled chicken.

Tonight, I made pizza from scratch- EVEN THE CRUST!!!

Not just that, but my old roommate (who really is a domestic goddess) gave me a recipe for pizza crust. When I went to make it today, I only had one cup of white flour- so I used a lesser amount of wheat flour (because the last time I used the wheat flour it was just too dense). I also added a little more oil. And it turned out well! I "doctored" the recipe AND IT WORKED.


Of course, the pile of bills and bank statements on top of the file cabinet in my office (a file cabinet with working drawers and folders inside of it) may need to be remedied before I can be given the title of "domestic goddess".

Maybe pizza bitch. Yeah. I like that. :)

(I really wanted to write about the inauguration today, but I have no words. I watched it in a room full of squirrely eighth graders and alternated between shushing them and trying to hold back tears. I hope for great things from Obama. I'm trying to be optimistic without being naive...)

Monday, January 19, 2009

At organizational odds

You know when you were a kid, and the teacher would get up in front of the whole class and lecture about how somebody had done something but didn't specify who that somebody was? I was rarely that somebody, but I always felt guilty. Even if I had no idea what the teacher was talking about. I was that kid.

Sometimes I feel that way with III. He has a quick temper about little things. Right now, he's made at the credit report companies because of an issue with a new store credit card he got five years ago whose (first and only) bill never got forwarded to him. So the $50 on the card was sent to a collection agency and he paid it, but now it left his credit score <700.

I came home from bringing B-dog to the vet and he was upstairs on my computer to use the printer. I could tell when I walked it he was pissed. I didn't yet know why (I thought it was possibly because I had un-trashed some stuff he had put in the garbage... more about that in a minute). But now that I do know why, I'm avoiding him. I know he's not mad at me, but I don't like when he is like this so I'm going to hide out until he's in a better mood. Maybe he'll come down to his PS3 and shoot some things and that will make him feel better....

III and I have very different levels of tolerance for mess. I can make dinner, and I'm comfortable leaving the dishes in the sink for 24-48 hours as long as there's no overflow. III likes to come home to a clean sink. I am happy to crawl under the mussed covers when I go to bed at night. III has to crawl into a bed with hospital corners- he'll make the bed at 10pm to go to bed at 10:02.

So yesterday he decided to clean out some of our closets. He left a few piles and a big bag of garbage in the "office" (one of our spare bedrooms) and asked me to go through the piles today. While doing that, the bag (which was actually a huge gift bag) that had the trash in it ripped. This allowed me to see that he'd thrown out a bunch of gift bags and boxes- ones I had saved to reuse. And I do- I use them! I reused several boxes this Christmas on gifts and sometimes need to grab a gift bag on my way to a party. Also, in the bag I found a cardboard sleeve that contained one of the class pictures from one of my years of teaching (I'm up to 10 years worth).

This is not the first time he's thrown something out of mine. He tries to be careful, but it still happens. I didn't even say anything to him this time- I just pulled out and reorganized the stuff I wanted to keep. As irritated as I get with him for throwing out stuff I want to keep, I'm pretty sure he gets as irritated with me because of all my piles.

But seriously. Couldn't we find a happy medium between "pack rat" and "absolute purger"?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Much needed ego boost.

Last night was 'date night'. III and I drove to a nearby city to attend a basketball game. (It was his Christmas gift- I bought him the tickets because the local school was playing his alma mater.)

At dinner before the game, we were chatting about body type, exercising and food. I was telling him that I was frustrated with my body and that, until recently, I hadn't really had to worry about exercising a lot or eating a certain way. I know that some of that is because of aging, but there are other pieces in my case. Before we got married, I lived in the city with a good sized dog- which meant at least 2 walks of significant distance a day. Now we have a yard and live in a neighborhood that doesn't lend itself to walking. Also, though I didn't know it at the time, I had a small intestine bacterial overgrowth that had been misdiagnosed as IBS. Once that was discovered and treated, I immediately gained 10 pounds.

So anyway. I told III that when we met I know my body, and especially my abs, looked good, but at the time I didn't appreciate it. I said that part of my wishes they had never looked like that, because then I wouldn't be comparing it to now.

III told me "The first time we slept together I remember thinking 'She's has the best body of anyone I've ever seen naked.'" Woohoo! That was a real ego boost, even though I know that my body has gone downhill since then. I told him that I just didn't want him to be disappointed that my body didn't look like that anymore, and he said "Well, did it seem like it was a problem on [the last time we had sex]?" No. Definitely not. :)

I still really want to find a routine that works for me, and I'd like to get more toned and maybe even lose a little weight. But I was reminded that I'm not at an unhealthy weight, and my husband finds me attractive- those are both important things.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bitch and Moan

So this post is likely to be the exact opposite of Wednesday's post...

For the past 24 hours or so I have been in a wicked mood. I don't know what triggered it or how to make it go away. When III (my husband**) came home I told him "I am in a bad mood!" Later he asked me why... after some contemplation this is what I determined: I am feeling like everything just kind of sucks right now.

Don't get me wrong, I am still grateful for all those same things I listed on Wednesday. But some of the other shit is getting me down.

  • My work is not feeling at all fulfilling right now, and hasn't for a while. I'm beginning to question whether this is the right job for me and whether I'm even good at it.
  • The weather sucks. It's January. Ugh. It's freezing cold out and windy. And the dark kills me. At least we're past the equinox or whatever, so little by little we have more light each day.
  • I am not happy with my body right now but am having a hard time finding the energy to work out. I know it is supposed to give you more energy once you start working out, but getting into the cycle has been hard for me.
  • I just turned 33, which I know is not that old, but for some reason I am all of a sudden hyper-aware that I can no longer put on good-ass-jeans and a cute top, go out dancing, and pick up a cute, inappropriate guy at a bar. I love my husband, and I have no interest in going to pick up another guy, appropriate or inappropriate. It's just the knowledge that I wouldn't be able to even if I wanted to that bothers me.
  • My dog is sick. I'm glad she is temporarily doing better and am soaking up every moment I can of cuddles and dog kisses. But she is going to die, sooner rather than later, from lymphoma and I don't know what I'm going to do when that happens.
  • I am still not pregnant. When I went for my first IUI, the doctor told me my ultrasound and hormone levels were perfect. That, when people do get pregnant, their levels look like mine. But I didn't. And I didn't last month either (even though we didn't do the IUI we did do the medication). So we're smack in the middle of another cycle (ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday with 2 IUIs sometime before the weekend ends). Meanwhile, everyone else around me is getting pregnant. With more than one baby in some cases.
I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I know I have lots of good stuff going on and there are people who have it much worse than me, but that doesn't make me feel less crabby, it makes me feel MORE crabby because then I feel like a selfish person for moping around about my issues.

I guess I'm going to go read my list of things I'm grateful for. Maybe it will make me feel better. :(

**I want to stop typing "my husband" every time I talk about "my husband"... I know the standard is DH. One of the blogs I read calls her husband TH (trophy husband) which I think is hysterical. Another called her husband by some initials that are based on a nickname she had for him. I'm not feeling especially clever. My husband is a "third" (as in John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt the third) and III is easy to type. So from this point on, he will be known as III.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grown up house.

I am not a morning person. I have a terrible time getting up at 5:30 am for my job, and it takes me twice as long to get ready as it would if I could get up at 8:30. My brain doesn't work properly at that hour, and I often forget things I need or end up making several trips upstairs because I forgot something (my watch, my earrings, a hair clip, my socks, my shoes...). I am, as my husband so eloquently puts it, a soup sandwich in the mornings. (On really bad mornings, I am what he calls a soup sandwich wrapped in oatmeal.)

So this morning was unique in that I felt like it was a pretty smooth preparation for my day. It may be because I woke up on my own about 10 minutes before my alarm went off (well, actually about 45 minutes before. Then about 30 minutes before. Then about 22 minutes before....) instead of being shocked awake by KISS's morning crew.

As I made coffee and a bowl of cereal and actually sat down at the kitchen table with my breakfast and a chapter of my book, and as I prepared my lunch and packed my bag for the day, I looked around my kitchen and thought "Wow. I live in a grown up house."

Four years ago I was convinced by a friend to attend my high school reunion. At the time, my life looked very different. I was single, living on my own in a 600 sq ft condo in the city that I had worked my ass off to buy. I was enjoying the single life, going out dancing with friends, having lots of dates with various guys to cool restaurants, concerts and sporting events.... This was something that was not very unique to the women in my age group where I was living. However, 1500 miles away in my hometown, most of my former classmates had been married for quite some time and had at least one child.

The day after our reunion (which, contrary to my own predictions, was tons of fun- especially since I looked fabulous, if I do say so myself. Something that was NOT often true about me in high school...) I was invited with some other former classmates to Michelle's house. Michelle was a girl with who I was friends only in my senior year when we participated in very selective class. (There were only 13 of us in the class and we got very close for that year.) Michelle had married a man who was about 12 years older than her and they had 2 sons. They both had successful jobs in some sort of financial work and their house was in a "community" on a golf course.

I remember walking into their gorgeous house, with it's oriental rugs and matching furniture, and thinking "Wow. This is really a grown up house." You know, the kind you think of your parents owning, not your peers.

Four years and a whirlwind later, it appears I have my own grown up house. We don't have oriental rugs (not really my style). We're still working on the matching furniture (though we do have a very nice living room set and our kitchen is awesome). And as for kids- well, I've discussed that already. But we definitely have set up quite a grown up house. I guess 33 is a pretty good age to reach that goal. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


While waiting for B-dog to be released from the vet hospital yesterday (she's home and feeling much better for now... it's nice to have my dog back, even if it's for an indeterminate amount of time...) I was watching Oprah. She had people on the show who had some sort of devastating loss- for example, a family who had a son/brother die in a motorcycle accident at the age of 20- and afterward experienced a spiritual awakening.

One of the people she featured on her show was a man named Rabbi Kula. He was discussing how to be more spiritual. A lot of what he said was interesting, and I've been trying to find a transcript or list of his suggestions.

However, I do remember that one of the things he said was to end your day with a list of ten things for which you are grateful. I like that idea (thought I admit I think ten is a lot to list every day). A friend of mine at work and I, when we'd had a bad day or were just in a grumpy mood, would insist that each of us list three things to be happy about on that day.

So here is a list of things I am grateful for today:

1) B-dog is home and not in pain. She even cuddled with me today.
2) She also ate her dinner which makes it much easier to administer her medicine.
3) My husband is doing the dishes right now because I made dinner. It's not that I'm so grateful about the dishes (though it is a chore I don't enjoy) but because overall I have an extremely thoughtful husband who loves me deeply. He's been a huge support for me through this situation with B.
4) My best friend, KB. I'm just really grateful she's in my life and that our relationship has progressed to such a deep, adult friendship in the last seven years.
5) My husband and I are both in good health.
6) We are both employed in jobs that will always have work to do.
7) We also have a nice chunk of savings and parents (his) that are financially well off as well as generous. I know this is such a difficult time financially for people and feel very lucky about our situation.
8) I am grateful that my parents are still living and enjoying life as they venture into their sixties.
9) Though it is frustrating to deal with this infertility situation, we are very lucky to live near a city that has many wonderful options for treating infertility.
10) I am also grateful to live in a state that mandates insurance pay for fertility treatments.

So there are ten- not as hard as I thought! It definitely lifts my spirits to be reminded that I am a very lucky woman. :)

***ETA: After further research, I was able to find this on Oprah's site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

B-dog update

So after a very rough weekend, the worst being Sunday night (neither B nor I slept much at all), B-dog was diagnosed with stage 5 lymphoma (likely T-cell, which is harder to treat than B-cell).

They've given her some treatments, including steroids, which have made her feel a lot better. (She had a very high calcium level in her blood, and the treatments have reduced that so that it is back to normal- that's what was causing her so much pain.) Part of the treatment is a chemotherapy. I remember, pre-dog, thinking people who gave their dogs chemo were crazy and cruel. However, now that I have a dog, I can see why people make that choice. For us, the main part of the choice was that dogs, unlike humans, often feel BETTER while on chemo. And sure enough, when I visited B yesterday at the vet (she was there for 2 nights- I get to pick her up tonight) she was moving better and having very little pain (though still some muscle weakness).

It's also been hard because people at work know I'm upset, but if they're not dog people I feel stupid saying "Oh, my dog's really sick" because some people are probably thinking "That's all? At least it's not your child/husband/mother/etc." But for me, this experience is probably close to what would happen if it was one of those people (knock on wood it never will be). I had the panic, the grief, the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness... What can I say? I'm a dog person- and that's probably an understatement.

At this point, we know that B will die from the lymphoma, but we just have no idea when. Considering that I thought that we were going to have to put her to sleep this week, because she was in such misery over the weekend, I am grateful for any additional time we get to spend with her. Our plan is to just take it week by week, and hopefully she will respond well to the medication they have given her. I don't know if we have weeks, months, or a year, but I plan to love her up for as long as we have her.

My old roommate told me "She is so, so lucky that you found her," but I know that I'm the lucky one. I couldn't have asked for a better dog to have for my first dog- she is, as cliched as this is, my best friend, my love, my baby.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today has been a very bad day.

I can't remember the last time I cried so much.

B-dog is so miserable. They gave us meds to give her, but they seem to make her uncomfortable in other ways. She lays there and breathes shallowly and whimpers. It's awful. It's also hard when she needs to go out because we have stairs at every door.

One of the meds she is taking makes her lose her appetite, which in turn makes it hard to give her her meds. For a while today she would eat peanut butter. I got her to eat a little bit of dinner by mixing a bunch of stuff she likes together. (Gross to a human, but apparently appetizing to a dog.)

But then we just had a very rough medicine moment... She wouldn't take even peanut butter, so I had to force the meds. I did what I would usually do when that's the case and opened her mouth to put the meds on the back of her tongue. She freaked out- I know her neck is sore so I don't know if that is part of it- and she started screaming and, the worst part- she tried to bite me. B-dog has never, never, never even come close to biting a person, even when playing. And certainly not me. She then went to her bed and my husband was petting her. I went over and saw a little piece of something that I was concerned might be part of a pill in her bed (I wasn't even going to attempt to give it to her again, I just didn't want M-dog to eat it) and she snapped at me again. I cried and cried and cried. She seems to have forgiven me and cuddled her head into my hands while laying down. But it was horrific- she is probably going to die and I do not want some of our last moments to be like that. If they want us to continue meds after tomorrow, I will have to ask them if there is another way to administer them.

I don't know what to do about work tomorrow. She will be at the vet all day. I could just take first period off since I don't teach second or third and then go to school. I could take the whole day, but then what? I will sit at home and cry? Husband has offered to take her- a big reason I feel like I should go to school is if the news is bad (and all info points to that outcome) we may find ourselves needing to take a day off to have her put to sleep... Ugh. I can't believe this is happening. I was really hoping to have a couple more years with her. I can not fathom our home without her.

I'm devestated.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


B-dog is really sick. This morning, my husband was giving her one of his vigorous belly rubs and she cried out in pain. I took her to the doggy ER and, after five hours there, was informed she has a number of issues, the worst being a mass in her chest.

I've cried so much my face hurts. I don't know what to do with myself.

She goes back on Monday to have the mass aspirated and/or biopsied.

She's sound asleep now, totally doped up on meds. She's not herself on on these pain medications and it breaks my heart that, if it turns out this is really, really bad, this might be what she is like until the end.... that I may have seen the last of the B-dog that I know and love, and will need to say goodbye to this shell of her. As sad as that makes me, I'd rather that than have her in pain.

I love her so much.

Friday, January 9, 2009

She loves me best.

I think I am unnaturally attached to my dog.

I got B-dog during the same time I needed that last secret blog. I had been in such a slump- a don't-want-to-get-out-of-bed-cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat-desperately-need-my-weekly-therapy slump. I had looked into doing an apartment swap in some other part of the country or world, and I almost had one in Greece, but my best friend was getting married and so I decided to stay home. So I got a dog instead.

I had always wanted a dog, but my parents are not animal lovers (and my mom has tons of allergies). I don't know where I hatched from. Instead of having an imaginary friend, I had imaginary pets. A menagerie even. Every time we went past a pet store with the puppies in the window, or to a friend or family member who's dog had puppies, I cried and cried. Then I was in college, living in the dorms, then I was dead broke, then I lived in apartments with landlords who didn't allow dogs... finally, at 27 I bought my own place. A year later, I adopted B-dog from a rescue.

As I said, I was in a shitty, shitty place when I got her. And she had her own problems- used as a puppy-factory and kept outside all of the time, she was taken from the only "home" she'd known (and from the other dog she lived with and had been bred with). She had severe separation anxiety and was a lot of work in the beginning.

But she's a love. She's still an anxious pup, but she's mine and we're very, very attached. She loves everyone, but I'm hers. She loves my husband and prefers him for play time and belly rubs, but if she needs a cuddle or if she's feeling anxious or upset, it's my feet she comes to sit on.

She's 8 1/2 now, which for a large dog is getting up there. She recently has been having some sort of kidney problem, which the vets have yet to figure out. In the last month of so, I've really noticed her slowing down- she is walking more gingerly and seems to be much stiffer. I don't know if old age is catching up with her, if the cold weather is getting to her, or if there is something seriously wrong. She was still running around like a puppy this summer. But it breaks my heart to know that she will not always be with me. I have as much anxiety (if not more) around her health as I do around my own!

Is it normal to be this attached to a dog? I have another dog (M-dog) and I love him and cried like a baby when I thought he was seriously ill, but it's still not the same as with B-dog. She's my best friend, as cliched as that is. She loves me more than anyone loves me. A friend once told me that a friend of hers talked about her late pet as her "doggy soul mate" and B-dog is definitely that for me.

I have this desire to believe in reincarnation (I'm sure that will come up again at some point here) and I desperately hope that, not only will I see my husband and my best friend (BFF) in future lives, but that B-dog will be there with me too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Secret blog.

This is my secret blog. I have a blog for my family and friends to read. I have a few blogs with friends to keep us exercising. But I find it interesting to read blogs where people are using it to express their feelings or even almost as therapy. I actually had a blog like that before to deal with a specific problem I was having trouble processing.... anyway. I thought I'd like to use that, but it's the type of thing that I didn't want anyone I know to be reading it- at least not while knowing it was me. :-)

So here I am.

I found out today that I am not pregnant. Again. Still. When my period starts, that will mark the beginning of month 16 of "trying". We did a medicated IUI in November and, since Christmas interfered with the timing of the IUI (just my luck) we did the medicated part, but then just had what my doctor called "relations" after the trigger. I think the trigger was too early (due to our travel) so I wasn't optimistic.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for her) a friend of mine has also been trying for the past three months and found out yesterday she is pregnant. Happy for her. Bummed for me. There also is the bitter (bitch) part of myself- last year, a month before she got married (and a year and a half after I had been married) she told a mutual friend that she hoped I didn't get pregnant before her. Nice. Well, she got her wish. And so, while I'm trying not be bitchy about it, knowing she made that comment makes it hard.

So that's all I have for now. I'm sure I'll be back soon!!! ;-)