Saturday, March 31, 2007

Random Monday

So seamonkey had his first swimming session. What a hoot. We changed him into his little swim shorts and were hanging around the pool waiting for our time to begin. We met the instructor and handed him over. I was a little disappointed in how they handled the first session – I would have hoped that he would have gotten out of the pool and talked to us first, but we just handed him down into the pool. Made me wonder how they assess the needs of new students. He clearly wasn't expecting a new student, let alone who was 6 months old. It ended up okay though. When we first handed him over the kid (the instructor can't be more than 19 years old) said “Now I’m going to warn you, he’s going to cry”. Uh yeah chief, that’s pretty much a given. And he didn’t just cry, he screamed, and I mean SCREAMED bloody murder for 10 minutes straight. I timed it. During those ten minutes another mother walked by me and said with a scrunchy face “Too young!!” Who asked you and mind your bidness!! But after 10 minutes, he seemed to suddenly realize that he was in one big giant bathtub, and oh hold on here people I LOVE THE BATHTUB. Much splashing and giggling ensued and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Anyway...., I’ve been meaning to tell you about something Melissa over at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters is doing. She has created an “Emoblopedia” (emotional blog encyclopedia) – which is a big collection of blog posts grouped by category – that deal with all the emotional issues surrounding infertility(and adoption) When you are feeling like you are crazy or alone, you can go to this reference guide and hear from all the folks who’ve been there-done that-bought the t-shirt- and have an opinion on the matter. I think it’s an awesome thing. I have a post or two in there (you just ask Mel to add one of your posts, it’s a snap) and I have already read through some of the amazing entries. Just one of the many great resources from this blog. So check it out. Submit an entry for inclusion. Tell your favorite blog authors which posts you think they should submit (any you think I should submit?). We all know that blogging has gotten us through the worst of times...this is another extension of that. A one-stop shop for your emotional bloggy needs!

And while you're there, check out Melissa's entry in the International Infertility Film Festival.

One last thing - the Feds are proposing a increase on filing fees for our beloved adoption paperwork. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more ridiculous - the rates are going up a whopping 66%. Your beloved I171H will now cost you $670. Carrie was nice enough to post about it, go here for more details. The deadline to make comments is today (Monday the 2nd), so if you have a chance, go tell them how ridiculous it is. This really burns my ass. All day I am exposed to young single mothers that have money practically THROWN at them from the federal government to have and care for their babies. Makes me ill.

Happy Monday.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Not much to say

Now it's my turn to be lame. I don't know how you guys post so much. When I have the time, I have nothing interesting to say, and when I think of a post I have no time to write it. And you guys post so much by the time I check bloglines you've got 43 entries and I can't possibly comment on all of them! So I guess I need to stop being a comment whore, huh? I get it, everyone's got a life, be happy when they read you at all.

So today is a "have time but nothing to say" day, but I feel like I need to post something or you'll all desert me. Work is work - no funny stories lately. Although I did see someone on the subway today - a grown woman - wearing an aqua Tinkerbell backpack with the word "Mommy" embroidered across the back. I assume there is a matching one attached to a 5 year old somewhere? Please lady, you shouldn't wear that unless you're with the 5 year old. And even then - it's not as cute as you think it is.

Seamonkey is doing well. He had a little breakdown today - daddy didn't make sure he got his afternoon nap, so he was sleeping at mealtime and I had to wake him up. (Daddy conveniently left for a social engagement) Normally I wouldn't do that, but he didn't have his afternoon bottle either, so if I didn't wake him up there was going to be a 3am screamfest for food, and that can't happen to me on a schoolnight. I tried to get him to ease into being awake and I thought we were clear for a while there, but as soon as I put the bottle in his mouth he freaked out. Nothing I did helped. Held him, put him in the crib, sing, dance, nothing. Scream scream scream. Finally after a good half hour he called himself down and just started smiling and laughing. Psychotic I tell you. It's a good thing he's cute.

Speaking of cute...for some reason this week he found his feet and hands. A little behind at 6 months I think but whatever. I video taped him today holding his hands up in front of his face and moving his fingers and bending his arms, totally fascinated. The video shows him quietly observing, then me laughing, then him laughing at me laughing, then he gets all serious and looks at his hands again...round and round. It was so freaking funny. It was like he was stoned or on acid or something (not that I know about that stuff heh)..I was waiting for him to be like "Duuuuuudddeeee, look at all the coloooorrrrss" in a surfer dude voice or something. He found his feet too, and finds the need to munch them whenever he is on his back now. The verdict? Tasty:

Oh and guess what we did. We signed him up for swimming. I would say "swimming lessons" but I'm not sure there is much in the way of things to teach a 6 month old at this point. But he will now have one on one sessions with an instructor (young college kid) at this place for a half hour once a week until he's two. No seriously. We paid for enough sessions to get him through the next 15 months. It seems a little much, but really it ended up much cheaper that way, and if we opt out at some point, we only lose our deposit, which isn't much. But in reality I really want to keep him going. He really loves the bathtub. As in, he loves to have water literally dumped on his head, splashes like crazy and hates to come out. So I really want to keep him comfortable in the water. We live near the water, my dad has a boat and my husband surf fishes. It's really important to us that he learns to be comfortable and safe. The place didn't blink an eye about him being so fact they encourage it, since apparently babies have a natural instinct for swimming and it's best to start them as young as possible. And seamonkey seemed fascinated by the place - didn't cry once seeing all those strangers in one place. It's crawling with kids, and check out the mural they have at the pool! I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Monday

Monday, March 19, 2007

You can’t make this stuff up

Its been an interesting few weeks here in starfish world. I thought I would document two of the more interesting happenings:

One evening, I left work at my usual time. I took my usual subway train to my usual stop. I proceeded to the usual track, and got on my usual train, three minutes before it’s due to leave at 6:07pm, and sat in my usual seat. I pulled out some knitting and settled into the blind oblivion that is my usual commute home. About 20 minutes later, after pulling out of another stop along the way, I hear the tail end of the automated conductor announcement say “…..the next stop is X Town”. Uh….hold on here. X Town is not on my train line. I look around, and no one else seems to be panicking. I look out the window…hmmm…this doesn’t look familiar. We pull into the next station, and the robotic voice says “This is the train to Yville. The next stop is “Zfield”. OH CRAP. I got on the wrong. freaking. train. Damn track changes. Gather up knitting and make way to the door. I am going to need to get off this eastbound train and take another train back west to the Hub Station so I can get on the right train. Hmmm…some of these stops are really small stations, there might not be a train going back west for some time. Hmmm…which stop to get off? The further east I go the longer it will take me to go back west. Hmmm. Crap. Okay, I’ll get off here.

Hmmm. This station appears to be right in the middle of a residential area. Let’s make our way over to the schedule board. Okay, it’s 6:39 now. The next train back west is….no. Please no. 7:25??? WTF!!!! Okay. Keep it together. Don’t cry. Oh SHIT. I left my blackberry home today in it’s charger. Can’t call home to tell them I’ll be late. Let’s try this pay phone. Doesn’t work. GREAT. Walk all over, up and around and can’t find another pay phone. See a cop car. Excuse me officers, can you tell me if there is a payphone around here? No? Gee thanks, sorry to have disturbed you sitting around BULLSHITTING. Go back up to platform. Sit down. Cry. Knit until the cold makes my fingers numb and it’s too dark to see. Board the 7:25 and get to Hub Station. Go to pay phone. Doesn’t work. *sigh*. Go upstairs and see two payphones. One is occupied. Second doesn’t work. *SIGH* Stand too close to person on occupied phone until he freaks out and gets off. Dial tone. Praise the Lord. Insert two quarters. Hear “50 cents please” Hit coin return with no luck. Operator comes on to tell me I owe 50 cents. I tell her I did. She starts to tell me to call the 1800 number. Completely lose my shit and scream into pay phone using words like “bullshit” and “second freaking time” and “1800 my ass”. Get connected to husband and tell him I’ll be late. Get on correct train and eventually get home. At 9:00pm

I am trying to hire a Director for my department. I came across an interesting resume from someone who worked at another company in my industry, who, if not for their very small size, would be considered a competitor. His experience was somewhat related to the position, but he deals more with outside relationships rather than inside, which is what this job requires. I figured maybe he wanted a change or something, so I asked him to come in for an interview. I started out as I usually do, explaining who I am, where this position fits in, and my expectations. This candidate, who I’ll call Joe (because he looked like an ex-boyfriend of mine with the same name) is asking me all kinds of strange detailed questions, and trying to scribble down my answers with the stub of a #2 pencil. Scrunching up his face every time I answer as if I’m speaking Chinese. He then starts to ask me about how often he’ll be dealing with the external clients. “You won’t” I say, “we have another unit that does that – you’ll deal with people internally, help resolve issues and support the people who deal with the external clients.” Another scrunched up face. “Hmmm…” he says as he leans way back in his chair. “I don’t know…Let me ask you your opinion, considering you’re a Vice President and all….If I want to be CEO someday, I’ll probably need this kind of experience?” He waves his hand over the job description to illustrate what he means by “this kind”. “Uhh….yeeeaaah. I don’t think that’s the right reason to take the job” I say. Before I can say anything further, he jumps in with “In any case, you are going to want me to talk to your external customers”. “No,” I reiterate, “I already said, there is no reason for you to talk with them, there is another unit that does that”. “Well, I’ll tell you right now, as soon as they know I work here, they are going to call me directly. They won't bother talking to that unit.” Now it’s my turn to scrunch up my face. “Why would THAT be??” I ask. “Well because I have connections. They know me.” I blink slowly for 10 seconds. Then I laugh. I’ve never laughed in a candidates face before. “Joe, our company is about 10 times bigger than yours. I think we've got a few relationships ourselves”. I got up and told him to show himself out. Did I mention that he looked like an ex-boyfriend? Did I also mention that a recent hire from his company told me the reason he's looking for a job is because he got FIRED from that company? YOU LOSE. GOOD DAY SIR.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monthly update - Six Months Old

Wow. This is all going really fast. Sometimes I think you are growing right before my eyes. At your last doctor's appointment you weighed 17lbs 10 oz and you grew another inch. You are one solid little boy. I can't imagine how I'm going to hold you when you're two. Sometimes I carry you upside down on my hip and chant "sack of potatoes, sack of potatoes". So far that makes you laugh.

You laugh alot more now. Big hearty giggles that crack us up. Sometimes you laugh when we do certain things, like when I sit you facing me on my lap, hold your hands and flip you slowly backwards. Sometimes you just burst out with a big guffaw for no reason at all. But I swear, there is no better sound I have ever heard in my life.

Conversely, you have started to make the worse sound I have ever heard. It's this whingy whiney groany "eeehhhhhh" sound. So. annoying. We can't figure out why you do it. You seem to be frustrated or uncomfortable or something but we can't figure out why. Please stop. If you continue to do this until and through your toddler years, I will surely go mad. For some reason, the highchair really sets you off. You immediately get fussy when you are put there. Feeding you, particularly in the evenings is really getting to be a chore. If you are really tired, you do the all out, red face, can't hardly catch your breath cry. The second I take you out, you stop. *sigh*. That is so not cool. I only get a few hours with you each night so let's make them good ones, okay? You and I, we're working it out. Slowly. You've begun stage 2 foods, but mostly just the fruits and veggies. You get a few spoons of the meat a day, but we're taking that very slowly. That stuff smells like regurgitated cat food, not sure how you can stand it.

Every day you get better control of your hands. It is amazing to watch you start to really use your fingers. We now have to move most things out of your reach when you are sitting on our laps at the table. You like to grab things and bang them really hard. The louder the noise the better. Grandma thought it was funny until you actually smashed a melanine bowl into many pieces. No more bowls for you. You can grasp a sippy cup really well, and you get the concept that you can drink from it, but we're still working on the concept of tilting the cup upward so you can get to the water.

Another great thing you have started to do, is to put your hands in my hair and pull my face into yours. You put your big wide open mouth on my face. I guess that's your version of a baby kiss? It kinda hurts most of the time because you've got a mean grip, but oh how I love it when you want to be close to me!

Your babbling is different now. Instead of just ooooo and aaaaaa sounds you are actually trying out your tongue and jaw. We now get lots of babababas and yayayayas. When you make those kinds of sounds I get glimpses of what your voice will sound like when you do talk. You also love to do raspberries, although you've been doing that for a while now. Not so cute when you do it with a mouthful of peas. Your face is maturing too...your hair is growing and you're losing some of that "baby look". We are so torn between wanting to see grow and progress and wanting you to stay little just a little longer. These months are flying by.

You sit up very well on your own now and only tip over once in a while. You like to sit up in the bathtub now, you can get maximum splash factor that way. We've just introduced small toys to you in the tub and you are loving it!

You seem to like tummy time alot better now, although mostly what you do is alternate between pushing yourself up on your arms and laying down and sucking your thumb. Those push ups apparently take alot out of you. We try to put toys in front of you to encourage you to start crawling, but mostly you just get so excited your legs move you backwards. You've got rolling over completely down now. In fact, you can roll from back to front AND front to back. We put you on a quilt on the floor and in no time you've rolled yourself right off of it.

You get up at about 7-7:30 each morning, which is good because I can say goodbye to you right before I leave for work. You do pretty well with your naps. You sleep about an hour in the morning and a good two to three hours in the afternoon. We find that if we put you in the middle of our king size bed for your afternoon nap, and put some classical music on the radio, you sleep pretty long. You still sleep with your hands up...we call it your Victory pose (another good day for seamonkey!)You take another catnap around 6, and go to bed around 9:30. The absolute best part of my day is having you fall asleep in my arms. I try to really concentrate on that moment, holding you tightly and breathing in your wonderful baby scent. I can't believe you are mine. We love you more every day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Not so Lame List

Here is the final list of blog links! Thanks for participating, and sorry I had to resort to name calling, but hey, sometimes ya gotta do whatya gotta do. Remember this was all about supporting each other, so be sure to take some time and check out these great blogs. I've tried to include a little description to guide you; forgive me blog authors if I've got it wrong, sometimes it's hard to figure out.

Worth the Wait (Home with 2 from Russia)
B-Happy (Journey to #3, this time in Ethiopia)
The Chambers Adoption Process (Working on a domestic adoption)
Building a Family (Journey to Ethiopia)
Waiting for Sprout (Journey to China)
A Dad’s Journey through International Adoption (Journey to Russia)
Born in our hearts (Home with one from Russia, one Domestic)
Voice of the Voiceless(Journey to Russia)
Waiting for Brody (Journey to Guatemala)
Mei Mei Journal (Home from China)
My Diary of Triplet Fatherhood (Bio Triplets)
Waiting for Sophie (Home from China, Journey to Guatemala)
Anti-racist Parent (Joint blog)
Olive You (Journey to Russia)
Perky’s Perspective (Home with 2 from Russia)
Guatemalan Sisters (Home with 2 from Guatemala)
Two Moms Adopting (Home with one Domestic)
Family Found (Home with one from Ethiopa)
Praying them Home (3 bio, journey to Guatemala and Haiti)
2 more to love (2 bio, 2 twins from Vietnam)
“For I know the plans….” (Journey to Colombia)
Metrodad (1 bio)
Snips, Snails & Pigtails (3 bio, 1 domestic)
Looking for Grace( 4 bio, 1 on the way from Russia)
Karen Road Chronicles (2 bio)

And speaking of great blogs, I'm a big fan of Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters these days. What a great resource and support community for infertiles of every circumstance (still trying, adoptive parents, child free). I've decided to join the Barren Bitches Book Brigade this go round, so look for my opinion on "The Time Traveler's Wife" in the coming weeks.

Off to sleep - this DST bullshit really screwed me up. People, I NEED my sleep. Between the loss of my precious much needed additional hour and the fact that my Microsoft Outlook Calendar has half of my meetings scheduled at the wrong time, I'm about to lose my mind. Only half though, so I don't really know for sure which ones are wrong. Seems like I just wander from conference room to conference room saying "are we meeting? now? oh ok, I'll come back". Stupid government. Stupid Microsoft. Stupid meetings.

*sigh* and it's only Monday.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On prayer...

As we all know, when you go through something big, like say, infertility or the adoption process, you tend to think about God more than usual. I know it from experience, and I see it in the blogs I read every day.

Of particular interest is when bloggers ask readers to pray that some piece of paperwork gets there, or gets signed, or is overlooked…. or that some particularly nail-biting part of the process happens in our favor, quickly and without too much suffering. And when I read those words “pray for us” or “keep us in your prayers” - I always scrunch up my face and think “Don’t you know it doesn’t work like that?” I mean, really, if all it took was to just ASK God for something, wouldn’t we all be home with children by now, most by an uncomplicated pain-free natural birth? (And wouldn’t I be wearing size 4 jeans?) More mystifying yet is that we think that if A LOT of people ask ALL AT ONCE then God can’t help but listen? Do we really think that the Almighty can be swayed like that? Interesting concept, but I don’t think so. He’s much too smart for that.

When I went through my infertility treatments, I prayed a lot. Please God, I want this so badly, not just for myself, but for my husband and our families. Please God, I’ll be a good mother, you know I will. During our final treatment, I wore religious medals of Saint Gerard and the Virgin Mary. I said a novena specific to for those wishing to conceive. I visited a church near work and kneeled and prayed to Mary. Despite all that we got bad news yet again. Even though I knew in my heart it didn’t work that way. Silly rabbit, miracles are for kids.

So I don’t pray much anymore, not in the traditional sense anyway. If that sounds blasphemous, I don’t mean it that way. While I don’t go to church all that often, I do very much believe in God. We’ve settled our differences for the time being – as I’ve said before, I could hardly argue with the Guy who made it possible for Seamonkey to be sleeping in the crib in the former guest bedroom…. But basically, I’m like - if all this is up to him, what am I asking for? What’s the point? It even kind of bugs me now when people “waste” prayers on trivial things. As if praying about getting the nurse at your doctor’s office to notarize your letter by 4:00 somehow makes a difference. Maybe it’s a case of, “it didn’t work for me, so why should it work for you?”. Yeah that’s probably it. Well, I guess the bitterness of barrenness has never really left me, huh? Tell me something I didn’t know.

Anyway, I approach the whole God thing a little differently these days. I acknowledge Him in little odd moments –not sure how to explain that exactly – but I recognize His presence and acknowledge His hand in things. Like on a particularly beautiful sunny day at the beach, after a fun day laughing my guts out with cousins, or when my new son has fallen asleep in my arms. During those dark moments too – when someone has died or fallen ill, or when the news tells you nine more soldiers died today. I try to remember to say thank you for the good stuff, and for the bad stuff I pray for the strength to deal with whatever happens – whether it’s for me or someone else. It may not be enough, and I may have this all wrong, but it’s the best way I know to understand and cope with the unfair randomness of life.

So when you’re asking me to pray that your application gets approved or your pee stick turns the right shade of pink, know that what you’re really getting from me is my wish that you can handle the results whatever they turn out to be. But ‘crossing my fingers’? That I can do for you, sure. Toes too, no extra charge.

Friday, March 02, 2007

You guys are so lame

Come on people, where is the love?

Thirteen of you commented on my last post, but only 7 people left blogs to share!

What the hell?

I know you're out there. I average over 100 hits a day, 200 after I post something new. Amazed? So am I! So, I am mystified as to why there is a lack of participation (and why I never seem to get too many comments). This is fun dammit! We all need to encourage each other to keep blogging - and the best way to do that is to let each other know that we actually READ what we WRITE.

Leave me a blog link or I will hunt you down and force you to watch my home movies. And lurkers...FINE YOU WIN. Just cut and paste a link in the comments, you don't have to say anything else!!!