Friday, April 30, 2010


When I went to pick up LL yesterday, Natasha stopped in her tracks as soon as she opened the door and just stared at me. She insisted that something was different, that I looked really good, but something was obviously different. I've known Natasha for more than a year, I see her several times a week, and she has never before said something like this to me. She just couldn't figure out exactly what was different. I just shrugged, because I'm not sure what she had noticed.

Surely it couldn't be that she can actually tell that I'm four weeks pregnant.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Conversation with Dr. M at one of my appointments last week:

Dr. M, walking into the exam room: So, this is Cycle Day 18, right?
Me: Yes it is.
Dr. M: Hey, you've got to be impressed that I remembered that it is Cycle Day 18 without even looking at your chart!
Me: Actually, yeah, I am impressed!
Dr. M: See, I have a lot of patients, but I always remember you. With me, you're not just a number!
Me: Um, except that "18" is a number.

In other news, I am still sick. When I realized that LL was totally better, S was obviously on the mend, yet I was still getting worse day by day, I went to see my doctor. Sinus infection. Worst one I've ever had. Hard to describe how awful I feel, especially since I always feel nauseous for several days after trigger shots, so I've got that on top of the cold and sinus infection. Lovely. I have now missed 6 days of work because of this stupid illness, and tomorrow is looking iffy. In the last two weeks, I have made six pots of soup, and I'm still not better. (For the record, they were: broccoli cheese, cabbage borscht, matzo ball, beef barley, split pea, and broccoli cheese again.)

In other other news, I meant to record that LL spoke his first sentence last month, where "sentence" is loosely defined as "two or more words that LL doesn't normally say together, said in a single breath." I was holding him, and he said, "Down, Mama!" Yes, my little boy had to wait 18 months to finally reach the cognitive development point where he could string together the words to turn to me at last and say, "Oh, for goodness sake, Mother, quit smothering me already and put me down!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Major things that I hope to accomplish between now and the end of 2010, roughly in the order in which I'd like to do them:

1. Get pregnant.
2. Get a job.
3. Defend thesis.
4. Write thesis.
5. Graduate.
6. Travel to visit S's parents.
7. Start new job.
8. Buy new house.
9. Sell old house.

Some of these things need to happen in order:
Both thesis-related tasks need to happen before I can graduate.
I need to graduate before I can start a new job.
I need to start a job before I can buy a new house.
I need to buy a new house before I can sell my old house.

Thus, the general order is: (thesis stuff) --> (job stuff) --> (house stuff)
with the caveat that I should be looking for a new job sooner rather than later, so that part should really overlap the thesis stuff.

The trip to visit S's parents is likely going to happen over the summer, regardless of the state of the other things, but I'd prefer if it were after I defend my thesis but before I start a new job. We haven't seen S's parents since LL's birthday, which was almost 7 months ago, and that's waaaay too long between grandparent visits. If I had my way, LL would see each of his grandparents 3-4 times a year (preferably twice at our place and once at each of their places, with a fourth visit for each set of grandparents left as a wildcard). We hit that goal during LL's first year, but we're not on target to pull it off during year two, and that makes me sad. Admittedly, it hasn't been our fault; S's parents have had to cancel two separate planned trips because of S's dad's bad health (not horrible, nothing life-threatening, just annoying and persistent). But, if they can't travel to us, then we should get off our butts and go see them.

The first task on the list, getting pregnant, has no prerequisites or dependencies, but you know, I'd like for it to happen as soon as possible. Not that I have a whole lot of control over it. The obvious follow-up goal, giving birth to a baby, has been left off the list because it is no longer possible to do that in a healthy way during 2010. Sigh.

On the plus side, we actually have a viable cycle this month, so at least it's theoretically possible to achieve a pregnancy. My follicle scan this morning showed one follicle measuring at 18, so we did the trigger shot and have an IUI tomorrow morning. Woo hoo! I really don't think that I could have handled a third canceled cycle in a row, and this one wasn't looking that promising earlier in the week. (Today is cycle day 18; my body is slooooow these days at maturing eggs.) But, my right ovary came through in the end, so now we just wait.

Not helping: our entire household is sick. LL started it last Friday, when I got a mid-day call from daycare informing me that he woke up from his nap with a fever, cough, runny nose, lethargy, you name it. By Sunday evening, I was sick, too. S followed Monday morning. Since LL's fever was still going strong yesterday, we finally took him to the doctor, who diagnosed double ear infection, so he is now on his first ever course of antibiotics. S has turned the corner and is starting to feel better, but I'm still feeling more ill each day, and I feel so unbelievably awful that it's kind of hard to believe that I haven't hit bottom yet. Fun times.

I'm going to be home from work tomorrow yet again, after the IUI, then back on track with work next week, I hope.

Nine major life-changing goals, 8.5 months. A girl has to dream.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things I Learned This Week

Another Passover survived. I got through all of the cooking I had planned, and I approximated the quantities better than normal. (I usually make way too much food, and we eat leftovers all week and I still end up throwing out leftover food. This year, we had enough leftovers to last almost but not quite the entire week, none was thrown out, and we had non-leftovers for a few meals. Woo hoo!) The house was presentable for guests without an unreasonable amount of stashing-junk-in-corners-where-no-one-will-notice. LL was a bit cautious around all the visitors for the first, oh, 30 minutes or so, and then he was like, "Oh, grandparents are FUN! They'll play with me all the time!" LL even stayed awake for both Seders, tried small bites of a few new foods, and clapped along with the songs. A few things that we learned during Passover:

1. LL likes wine. A lot. He has had wine before -- he had some at his bris, and he sucked a few drops off my finger at last year's Seders. This year, at the beginning of the Seder, when everyone drinks the first of four ritual cups of wine, I held up my wine glass to his lips so that he could have a sip as part of the service. He then spent the entire rest of the Seder, and several days afterward, pointing eagerly at wine bottles and plaintively asking, "More? More? More!?!" At first, I thought it was just that he liked the sweet kosher wine, so I switched him to a dry pinot noir for the second sip. Nope, he liked it just as much. I finally had a conversation with him about how some foods and drinks are only eaten on special occasions, so there would be no more wine until next Passover, which actually satisfied him and he hasn't brought it up since. Still... alcoholic toddler.

2. LL loves matzah, too. He eagerly ate it for the first several days before growing sick of it. But honestly, every Jew I know grows sick of it halfway through Passover, so that was expected.

3. I couldn't get LL to try any brisket or gefilte fish or matzah balls, but he did eat a little bit of charoset. And S fed him a little horseradish during the Seder, which I feared would make LL never take food from us ever again, but he actually liked it and asked for a second taste. He also ate beet borscht, which is very yummy but also very very messy. If anybody has advice on getting out beet stains, I'd love to hear it, because so far nothing has worked.

4. LL hates when other people try to sleep in his presence. My father and my uncle were both fairly exhausted from traveling, and kept dozing off on the couch while LL played with my mom and my grandfather. Whenever LL would notice that one of them had fallen asleep, he would walk over and tap them on the leg and insistently hand them toys until they opened their eyes. Then he would clap. Good to know that it's not just me and S who aren't allowed to sleep, ever.

5. We don't know where he picked it up (must be daycare) but LL is suddenly into playing with action figures. My grandfather brought him a little toy dinosaur, and LL immediately "walked" the dinosaur over different surfaces while making little "walking" noises, then paused to make the dinosaur ROAR several times before continuing on his way. It was very very cute. Also, "roar!" is now one of LL's favorite words. Also, "wow!" They sound a lot alike.

6. I work too much around LL. There was one day last week when I had no childcare but needed to pick something up at my office, so I took LL with me. He immediately asked to sit in my office chair, in front of a keyboard, mouse, and large monitor that weren't attached to anything. (Normally they're hooked to a laptop, but the laptop was at home.) I let him touch whatever he wanted, since nothing was hooked up. He spent half an hour (!) typing very purposefully at the keyboard, moving the mouse, scrutinizing the test pattern on the monitor, picking up a pen to jot down notes on a notepad, then returning to his typing. It was all very serious and deliberate, and he was very obviously emulating me. Yikes.

All the out of town visitors have returned home now, so it's back to work. I have no other major distractions between now and graduation, so it's just one continuous uninterrupted climb until my thesis is done. Graduation is in a little over two months, but after talking with AdvisorA and AdvisorB, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no way I will be able to schedule my defense to occur before graduation. (The delay is because of scheduling issues, not research issues. Getting five professors in the same room for four hours is hard under normal conditions, but when one of the five lives three time zones away and refuses to be at all flexible about her travel schedule... it's a lot harder. Thanks again for all your "help," AdvisorA.) So, I will probably "walk through" my commencement even though I haven't turned in my dissertation, then I will defend later that month, and take part of the summer to finish writing and revising.

As for my plan to finish three thesis chapters by Passover? Derailed a bit. I was almost there, and then I found out from AdvisorB that he'd really prefer to see different chapters than the ones I was working on (specifically, he won't look at anything else until he sees a full draft of the one chapter that I hadn't even started yet) so I had to switch tracks. I have lots of chapters that are part-way done, notably the three that I had been working on and the one that AdvisorB wants, but none that are finished. Ah well, at least it's still progress.