Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

and to all a good night.

I hope all my friends out there had a great Christmas.

Slugbo and I kept it really low key this year. Thanks to a really sweet neighbor we actually had gifts under the ceramic tree. Thankfully I have a full queue of planned knit items for said neighbors ready to work on so I can reciprocate, albeit a little late.

Yup, that's right. Given that we are trying to get expenses down and get our debt down, the Slug and I opted not to exchange gifts this year. With everything else going on, it would have just been too much to try to figure out what to get each other.

Plus he had a gottne a game he wanted just over a month ago and I just bought myself a new watch, after talking to Slug about it, which I can hook to my iPhone via Bluetooth and it vibrates when a call comes in and tells me via caller id display who's calling.

It's cool, it's huge (same width as my wrist), but I love it already. I was playing with the band today (which needs to be replaced for one that FITS me) and the phone went off and I look at the number on it and went "Oh look Mom's calling. Where's my phone?"

Slugbo, our friend Shane and two of the mutt boys, Oscar and Cliff, headed up to the camp ground tonight to get the rig in place before the storm that is supposed to move in tomorrow. It's a four hour drive. I expect they'll get to bed around midnight and have tomorrow morning to figure out what I forgot to pack, so they can buzz me and tell me to pick it up on my way there. We have peeps in place to take care of the cats and watch the house.

Scrat the Brat - who is sick, poor pup has a cold - and I are about to head into the house for back meds for me, heating pad for me, blanket for the two of us and curl up in the living room recliner with some knitting, a peanut butter sandwich and a movie.

Since I probably won't blog again till we get home after the new year, I hope you all have a happy and safe New Years. I for one am looking forward to 2010. How about you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

We aren't doing much at my house to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

This isn't necessarily good or bad. It's just the way things are.

Not having kids in the house makes it a bit harder for me to get into it.

We had so much hope coming into 2009. The IVF was going to work, we'd have a little munchkin in time for Christmas.

The IVF(s) didn't work. But things started moving with the foster program and we got a placement. Which we then lost.

We tried to get moving with the adoption folks but they don't play nice, so we started looking around for another group to get certified with.

We'd hoped to have another placement by Christmas, but the current wrench thrown in with our foster license means that we won't me getting another placement any time soon.

A dingbat 21 year old totaled my car because waving at her friend on the sidewalk was more important than paying attention to traffic. My back is still jacked up from that.

All that said, its been a roller coaster year and it's more or less ending on a level spot, which is okay after all the ups and downs.

Here's to hoping 2010 is a better year, because I really don't need another one like this one.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Still here

It's been a really long week.

Heck it's been a really long year.

I am so ready for 2009 to be over. 20 more days.

Good news is my 'new' car is mine now. Paid in full. So happy about that.

Bad news is I had my hearing exam Wednesday. It was the first time my audiologist ever recommended that I start tracking cochlear implant candidacy requirements.

This is NOT good news. If I go that route, I will lose whatever natural hearing I still have left. Completely. I will only be able to hear with the device.

This is an extremely scary proposition. Not to mention the not too pleasant hairdo I'll be sporting for a while after the operation. ;-) Yeah there is vanity here, but I'm even less excited about letting somebody cut my head open.

Cool hearing news is that I'm getting second aid (gotta love insurance) for the right ear and this one will be fire engine red. :-) The left ear one is purple. This part of hearing loss rocks.

I started PT for my back yesterday. Needless to say it's still pretty 'jacked up' to quote Mark even almost 2 months post accident. All I can say is OW.

Another good thing is my neighbor let me know that one of her munchkins asked for mittens. I said I'd make him some. I wanted them to be a surprise so I pulled a generic pattern and started them based on his age. Last night they LOOKED HUGE! Thankfully they are up too when I leave in the morning so I stopped by this morning to get him to try them on. Looks like they'll fit perfectly and I know how much longer I have to knit on the hand. Score all the way around. And as a bonus the yarn I had in the stash was his favorite color. Even better, his mom can safely wash it. Hehe.

Busy weekend ahead with first aid/CPR cert renewal tomorrow in Oakland, followed by a Christmas party tomorrow night.

Friday, December 4, 2009

If Only

cute pictures of puppies with captions

Been sick, but not with the flu for the past week and a half or so.

So it looks like I've got the head cold that's been sticking to people for 2+ weeks this season.

But again, I don't have the flu so I'm okay with this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I know I missed last week. I was recovering from a horrid trip to Detroit.

So for today...

1. I am very thankful I'm no longer in Michigan even if it means I don't get to meet my beloved Cyli Lady

2. My furbabies. They love me unconditionally even if the canine monsters like to make me late for work. Smokey Cat for wanting so much to be an inside kitty. Rasta Pasta for talking to me during dinner. Nemo for reminding me in the morning that feeding the felines is the ONLY thing I better be worried about. Kaji for keeping the boy kitties in their place with a few well placed paw smacks. Scrat for the joy he is. Oscar for the satellite he is - I am his sun. Cliff for still being the best dog I've ever had, hands down.

3. My OB/Gyn. Weird I know, but she tells it like it is, whether I want to hear it or not. And thanks to her today, I have hope for one more shot at an IVF. We are still deciding whether or not we want to take it. The last one was devastating. But I have to say I tried everything. So the medical plan is being switched for the new year (I love open enrollment) so if we decide yes we are covered for one more shot. I turn 40 in 2010. If I'm not pregnant by then I'm done trying. We all have to move forward sometime. That will be my D day. 9/14/2010

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


are not going well in Foster Parent land.

Still no new placement. Yes we know why. No I cannot elaborate. We are dealing with the circumstances as best we can.

Those of you in the know should know that we have our ducks in a row for whatever may come down the pipe, but in the end it could still mean no children at all. Ever.

It's a very hard prospect to face. But we will face it together.

Just let me point out that I am sick of whatever it is that has decided we don't deserve children. Don't tell me it will happen if it's meant to be. How the hell can someone justify guaranteeing two people that would make great parents not getting the opportunity. That kind of meant to be can just stuff it.

It's flat out not fair.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

funny pictures of dogs with captions

Spare a thought for all our troops today whatever and wherever they may be.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm joining a bandwagon for two reasons:

1. Cookie is doing it and I love her
2. There has been a lot of negativity in my blog for the past year and I need to start bringing the positive back.

Thankful Thursdays - a weekly post about being thankful

1. For my internet friends. My plurk, twitter, facebook and blog friends. Some I know in person, some I haven't formally met yet. But all of you have helped me get through the sadness of the last year and I'm still mostly sane because of you.

2. My husband. He made sure, in spite of everything that didn't work this year and everything that keeps coming up medically, that I know that no matter what he loves me and will always love me. I am basically stuck with him. ;-)

3. My Knotty Knitters. I don't go often, but they were there one and all rooting for us during the IVF, and comforting me during the failure. They've seen the ups and downs of the last two years and welcome me wholeheartedly every time I show up.

I am blessed, even if I don't always remind all of you that I know how blessed I am that you let me into your lives.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

funny pictures of cats with captions

Maybe they will, but they'll have to look mighty hard.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Target Practice

I'm a little tired of the hands of Fate using me for target practice.

You all know the news from Tuesday.

Well yesterday was an equally sucky day for my car. My poor 10 year old, in fine condition, well loved Ford Explorer.

Woman making a left turn against my going straight through the intersection apparently didn't see me and turned in front of me. I hit brakes but couldn't stop in time. I'm pretty sure she didn't even hit the brakes, she just wanted to beat the light. I didn't swerve because I drive an Explorer and didn't really feel like rolling it.

Airbags deployed and everything. NOT something I ever want to experience again in my life since I first thought the car was on fire from all the smoke from the deploy. The deploy of the bags even burned the sweater I had on, not that I noticed right away.

Since the other driver failed to yield I probably won't be held at fault. Little compensation if I don't get my car back. And it's only worth $5000 and the insurance company totals a car if repairs come in at or above 75% of value. I don't think I'm getting my car back. It has the worst amount of damage of any accident I've ever been in.

I love my car. And there is no way hubby is letting me in anything smaller than it.

So I'd like to get through the rest of the week without anything else horrible happening.

That said they are installing Solar at my house today. The husband has been told to keep his happy, helpful, likes to be in the thick of things self off the roof. Period.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

They say Hope Springs Eternal...

... but I may have found the bottom of that well.

I had my annual exam on the 2nd. You ladies know what that means.

Well there was an issue (yeah don't push there if you don't want me to fly off the table in pain) and they sent me in for a full pelvic ultrasound (like I haven't had a bazillion of these over the past 3 years with all the fertility treatments).

The results came back today.


Go look it up. I'll wait.

Worst case, it comes out kit and kaboodle. It is the only cure. I'm too young to hope menopause is around the corner and hormone treatment is basically birth control pills which is not something I'm willing to start taking again at my age because of the risks involved there.

Plus there are two fibroids, which if I have them removed will probably make the adenomyosis worse. But if I don't, they could block a possible implantation. Getting a little sick of being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I'm tired of the almost constant pain (which is why I went back in). I'm tired in general of things being wrong with that body part.

My husband and I need to come to terms with the fact that the best course of action might be removal even if means giving up having biological children together.

I think I'm there as much as it hurts. I'm pretty sure he's not. I will hopefully get to speak with the doctor tomorrow about it.

Just so you know, the bottom of the hope spring is a pretty unhappy place.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Go Vote

For my friend PerpStu that is.

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vacation - I had one

This is basically what my attitude was each morning this past week:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Okay except for Tuesday and Wednesday in which I had to set the alarm to get to the day's events on time.

Last Saturday we had a fun dinner and gaming night with friends of ours.

Sunday I came down with the crud that's been going around.
Monday it wasn't any better.

So those two days were spent vegging and sleeping in the recliner in front of the TV with alternating doggies and kitties and knitting and the remote.

Tuesday was off to to Oroville to pick up some auction stuff hubby got.

Wednesday was foster parent training out at VOM.

Thursday was a do what I want day and ended up being a putter around the house some day. I finally got the lazy susan cabinet faces polyed after two + years. It took 25 minutes. Yeah I suck.

Friday was a doggie bath and errand running day. 3 dogs, one human, one detachable shower head and lost of fur and doggie shampoo.

Then we had dinner at a friend's house and took the dogs. We had a lovely time.

Today was more dog and cat care. All animals got frontlined and the dogs got their heartgard.

Then the fun part. I decided to trims the dogs nails. Yeah I know gluten for punishment. Cliff SEES the clippers and goes berserk. Oscar just hates being pinned down for it. Scrat actually did really well. We pulled the Dremel out for Oscar and he finally calmed down and was able to go short enough. Two weeks I'll do it again. All their claws are way too long and I don't want them to end up with foot trouble because of it.

Tomorrow Slugbo and I will work on getting the rest of the forts in place in the front yard so we can get the playground chips delivered and spread out and open the playground for business.

PS I need to get a 'Use at Your Own Risk' Sign for the front yard.

Friday, September 25, 2009

and is this Jennifer?

Yes Sir.

Wednesday was an odd day. I was putzing around online and saw a news article that led me to go do a search for my biological son's adopted father for the first time in about a year.

I googled him and saw he has a LinkedIn account, so I pop over since I have an account there. Lo and behold, there was a link to his newish mini blog, so biting the bullet I clicked over out of curiosity.

OMGosh he has pics of his son on the site. I just about fell out of my chair.

As most of my regular readers know, I've been trying to figure out how to contact them since he turned 18 a year and a half ago. Just the parents, not him. I will not bypass them to contact him first. I am not his parent. So I mulled it over and showed most of my co-workers and my husband the pics of him. He's so tall!

I'm a smart person. I know where he works. There has to be some way to figure out his email address based on the information I had. I'd tried that once last summer to no avail (I was apparently having an off day brain wise), but yesterday I succeeded.

So how do you politely state that you are looking for a particular person without stating why in case the email address you just cooked up does not actually go to him? As vaguely as possible without getting caught by a spam filter.

I basically asked if this was such and such, husband to *** and father to *** and that it was not business related and could you please let me know if this was the right person.

I signed it Jenn Rinella.

And he responded:

"Yes, and is this Jennifer?"

Five magic little words. He knew who I was. Even though they 'know' me as Jennifer Maples.

So I had a mini freak out. I'm a bit dramatic, what can I say? It is how I am sometimes. And I had caffeine yesterday (really BAD idea).

I responded more or less that I go by Jenn now. That I wanted to let them know how to contact me. Gave them contact information, phone, email, blog, facebook, twitter, told him how I found him and I think their dogs are adorable (two Scotties - too cute). I gave a quick background regarding finishing school and where I am and what I'm doing now. I promised not to ever contact Alex first.

I stated that I was probably the last person they wanted to hear from and that I understood if that was the case. And I hit send.

He was kind enough to reply that they were delighted to hear from me. He thought it was neat that I found his mini blog. He let me know that Alex is a sophomore in college in Communication and Theater, but that he's also good at math. :-) They are very proud of him and love him dearly. He gave me his home number and home email.

At this point I was home and completely freaking out in front of Slug. Who just laughed, told me to calm down and ask the two questions I really wanted to know:

1. Does he know he's adopted?
2. Does he want to know anything about me?

So one more response.

1. Yes he knows
2. He's asked about me and knows my name and where he was born, but he's not ready to make contact yet.

They asked that I keep in touch for when he is ready.

I waited till this morning to respond. I thanked him and stated that I understand since I didn't start looking for my biological mother till I was in my 20s.

So I did it. I contacted them. I have a source of some information and possibly pictures.

They say do one thing every day that scares you. I think I filled my quota for the year yesterday.

But now I know. And there is hope. So I will wait.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Propylene Glycol and Bronopol

Are the bane of my existance along with a couple of other things today.

I have to keep my back dry through Monday when I go back for another reading.

79 - the PG is off the chart. Fills the whole area plus branching out to the surrounding areas.

Well this does mean I get to purge more than half of my medicine cabinet and its a good thing I stopped wearing my contacts since it's in my Saline Solution.

Oh and now I get to figure out what foods they are in.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

When the Internet is not your Friend

There is such a thing as too much information. And heavens knows if it can be found on the internet I can find it.

Well Monday was my birthday. Unfortunately it was a rather sucky Monday since I spent my lunch hour getting a 80 panel patch test applied to my back.

Tape everything up. Mark everything up. Tell me I cannot get my back wet for the next 4 days. W00T! NOT. Happy freaking birthday.

Though thanks to all my FB and 'flurk' pleeps that wished me a good one. It's appreciated. I'm kind of a kid at heart regarding birthdays and I'm a little bummed that I only got one actual card in the mail (thanks mom). I need to grow up. lol And Slugbo gave me an iPhone as a wedding anniversary (the 13th) slash birthday present. Thank you baby! I LOVE IT.

So the patches came off yesterday and they said there wasn't anything to see and to come back on Friday. WHAT? Are you frakking kidding me? My back has been on FIRE since these darn things got applied on Monday. NOTHING TO SEE?!?!?!?!

Well I don't believe that's the case today.

Number 8, Number 15 and possibly number 45 are flaring. These were the three that showed up on the 29 panel test I had done in June. Turns out number 8 and number 15 are both related since they are BOTH IN RUBBER. Hugh freaking sigh.

New ones flaring are:
  • Number 4: 4-Phenylenediamine base (reagent in hair dyes, lithography, photocopying, oils, greases, gasoline, rubbers and plastics)
  • Number 65: Disperse Blue 106/124 mix (dye used in textiles. It is also sometimes used in other products such as diapers and seat belts) please please please don't tell me yarn is a textile
  • Number 70: Benzoylperoxide (I've used that many moons ago)
  • Number 79: Propylene Glycol (this is the worst flare of all and go look it up I dare you) - it's variant - polypropylene glycol - is only what helps give spandex, Lycra and elastic it's elasticity

Anyone else see the pattern above? More than half are found in rubber, spandex, lycra (which was SUPPOSED TO BE SAFE) and elastic.

I hope I'm wrong.

I hope I'm seeing things.

I will know tomorrow after lunch.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How Wednesday Ended...

Be kind. It's my first upload to YouTube. And believe it or not that was taken with an HD cam, so no idea on why the quality sucks.

And the munchkin is a neighbor's son. We don't have a current foster placement.

And we had a blast.

Monday, August 31, 2009

For the 'Love' of Yoga

and the hate of all things rubber.

I'm taking a Yoga class at the local Junior College.

It's supposed to be stress relief.

All the yoga mats I can find locally, including two I already own, are made out of rubber or some variation thereof. FYI TPE is plastic and rubber and Nike uses it in their super cute hot pink mat that I cannot use. WAH!

I don't give a flying flip if it's Natural Rubber from a tapped tree. It still has to be processed to be stabilized and it's the chemicals used in that processing that I'm allergic to.

So I'm mostly liking yoga. I'm totally hating that the only cotton yoga mats I can find online at all at least $80 and there is NO way in snow's chance at my house this past Saturday am I spending that much on a freaking mat.

This of course means I'm having a huge skin flare again. To the drawing blood point, AGAIN. Don't tell me not to scratch. If your skin felt like mine does right now, you'd be clawing it too.

So I'm probably making my own mat tonight out of flannel and a ton of cotton batting and I see a new dermatologist on Wednesday.

And yeah, I'm cutting the nails off again. The kitty cats will be most disappointed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Identity Crisis

The blog is going through a transition.

I have stuff I want to write about but don't know if I should.

I run the risk of hurting some people close to me if I write about everything I want.

I'm trying to decide if I care about that anymore since this is my blog and I'm done trying to please everyone all the time.

Slugbo and I are in therapy to try to get State Adoptions to change their mind about passing us off to another agency. I am in individual therapy to deal with the fact that I cannot have kids of my own, so if I seem a little grumpy, deal with it because I hate therapy.

I've started a Yoga class at the local junior college. Tried to talk Slug into a ballroom dance class to no avail. Sigh.

My skin still hates me but not as much as before. I get to see a new dermatologist next month.

We do not have a new placement yet, but we did get our capacity increased to two, so we might get a sibling set.

I'm still knitting and make it out to knit group on Saturday about once a month right now.

We are turning the front yard into a giant kiddy habittrail. I really should post pictures of that. It looks like a play structure factory exploded on my property. And tell my dad to get his butt out here to visit and help Slugbo put all this stuff together. Come on Dad, you cannot b* about gas prices this year.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Belated Birthdays

Yeah I still suck.

I spend so much of Cliff the Mutt's own birthday telling him how amazing it is that I've had him since he was 4 months old that I forget to tell of you about it.

Cliff the Mutt's birthday was this past Monday. He's 11. I was home sick so I got to spend the day with my boy.

He's a therapy dog.

He's about to become a reading program dog.

He's the best four legged thing that ever came into my life and I love him dearly.

I passed another birthday this week.

Little N turned 4 Wednesday.

We haven't heard anything from her new home. I sent a card. We got her a present, but we are trying to find out how to get it to her without annoying anybody.

We still miss her.

Life goes on.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Been Travelling

funny pictures of dogs with captions

Granted my ride has been better than this.

I'll be home late tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

funny pictures of cats with captions

Let the record show I'm in a good mood as long as I ignore the people logging cases with my employer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Need New Socks

and I don't knit nearly fast enough.

Imagine this.

1. Go in and get the T.R.U.E. Test Allergan patch test done.

2. Get results.

3. Realize you need to replace most of your wardrobe.

4. Have an absolute hissy fit because you HATE shopping for jeans and socks and pretty much everything!

That's right I got the results back. Biggest one is Carba Mix. That's rubber people. That's stuff in ten gazillion things you use every day from your shoes, to the handles on your workout equipment, to the spandex in your favorite stretch jeans. Generic Spandex that is.

So first I have to throw out all my socks. I don't knit fast enough for this.

I need new jeans - so far online I've only been able to find one brand that has either the registered Lycra spandex content, or polyester elastane. And of course they are not cheap.

Most of my t-shirts are toast.

I should probably just switch to linen or 100% cotton for pants but I'm not having a lot of luck there and gosh knows I'm not buying anything that hs to be dry cleaned if I don't have to.

Second worst reaction was to a formaldehyde complex used in insulation, fiberglass and the glues used to make plywood. This one wasn't too much of a shocker. We knot fiberglass and insulation hate me.

Last one is to Budesonide - this is a corticosteroid used commonly to treat skin disease. It's in a ton of OTC anti itch creams as well as prescription creams (including the one I've been using for the past two months) and many nasal sprays. Ask me what I've been using on my skin to make the itchies go away.

And the one they prescribed to me today after checking the list of ones to avoid.... made my hand burn mildly after I applied it to my legs. Same EXACT CHEMICAL COMPOSITION of one of the things on the list that it states I will probably react to as well!!!!

I am sick of being a freak of nature.

PS if you care to take pity on me and/or want to knit me socks. I wear a 7.5. I like shorties. I'll take any color except solid black, grey or brown. The brighter the better. Now I have to go finish my neon orange Fawkes sock of which I made the first one last summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Knitters Do

We were watching 'De-Lovely' last night and there is a scene where Cole and Mr Murphy are on horseback and talking about Murphy's son's TB prognosis and how their wives are there to help them through the tough times.

Mr Murphy said at the end of it, "who catches them when they fall? " meaning the wives.

My answer for me is that Knitters Do.

I went to my Saturday knit group for the first time in about 6 weeks this past weekend. They've been following on my blog and my FB account everything Slugbo and I have been going through with the adoption stuff and Little N. They've seen the mood swings caused by the IVF drugs and the heartbreak when neither of them worked.

They know how hard it is for us to be going through this.

So I got to knit group Saturday and when I walked in some of the ladies were off to the side working on the crocheted border of a blanket. I said it looked nice without really looking at it (though I did wonder but not out loud if they needed help with the crochet) and started talking to Ba, thinking the blanket was for Angelita's new grandson, since her daughter is also part of our knit group.

A little while later I'm fighting with my lace and Carol has to leave and is saying goodbye to everyone and the next thing I know the blanket gets plopped down in my lap with them saying it's for me. Of course I promptly burst into tears.

Lynne, Anne, Sheri, Carol, Jan, Lois, Mary Sue, Liz, Angelita, Rosemary, Bridget, Kristen, Ba, June, and Taunya all contributed a square or two.

Ba, Carol, Jan, Angelita, Anne, Laura, Lynne, Sheri and Rachel all contributed to the putting together and the border.

Now most of these ladies I know. A couple I might be able to pick out in the group by process of elimination and there are at least 2 I haven't officially met. Quite a few of these ladies are super busy in their home and professional life. The fact that any of them took time out of their regularly scheduled knitting to make something like this for me, let's me know that even if I'm not a regular at the group, they have my back. They are my support group no matter how long it's been since the last visit.

Thanks so much my Knotty Knitters.

It's beautiful and I'll treasure it always.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Roadblocks Keep Coming

funny pictures of cats with captions

Come back later for an update. Right now the mood is not conducive to coherent communication.

PS - On a good note, the family that Little N is going to is very nice and we believe they will do a fine job with her and her sister, Little T, and we will probably still get to see her from time to time.

PPS - Happy 23rd Birthday to my nephew Michael. Get your head out of your b* and you might actually make it to your 24th. :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camping and Jet Skiing

are the plan for the next three days.

Y'all have a great 4th of July weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Not Sure How Much More

I can be expected to take.

1. They are putting little N's sister into a concurrent planning home this weekend.

2. They scheduled the transition meeting to map out how to move Little N into the same home for Monday, even though Slugbo clearly told the woman handling the scheduling that he cannot make it and I cannot make it.

3. So they are making decisions for Little N without any input from us. They are putting her little sister into a home where the mom speaks next to no English. This is great for the little sister, but little N doesn't know Spanish. Her sister is only two and will be easier to get her to switch to English, rather than force N to switch to Spanish.

4. They are going to trigger more nightmares about Mexico for little N by placing her in this home. I have nothing against the couple they are placing her with, I just believe they chose very poorly. They are looking at her last name rather then at HER.

5. State Adoptions shut us down completely today. They have told us to use the private agency we were referred to. They are citing budget constraints (stupid effing state government that doesn't know how to save money without screwing over programs that are needed). They are not moving forward with any couples that are not already in the home study process. They will be calling the private agency directly to let them know it is okay to work with us in this aspect (the supervisor at State Adoptions is married to the Foster Coordinator at the private agency - sigh). We start from square one.

We just want to help give a child(ren) a safe loving home.

This day needs to end.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Mother of All...

monkey wrenches.

It was set. The transition plan was formed up last Friday. Little N was supposed to spend most of this week with her new concurrent planning family, with the final drop off happening on Thursday, July 2nd at 2 pm.

I put in to have the day off.

We planned some fun things for the weekend and intended to include the new family.

Slugbo called the family first thing Saturday and found out that everything was placed on hold.

Excuse me? Hunh? And we had to find out from them because.... Whatever. Sigh.

It appears that Mom wasn't very smart to bring little N's little sister, T, back into the country with her after her visit to Mexico.

Social Services intended to pull T over the weekend. The new family wasn't sure they wanted two more kids, rather than one. So we were waiting.

We took N to the fair on Saturday (after most of the heat of the day passed). Spent part of Sunday melting at the Pacific Coast Air Museum (she likes planes the little tomboy).

This morning we waited for the phone calls. Little T did get pulled over the weekend and placed in an EFH in Petaluma. The new family decided they don't want two siblings. Everything is on hold.

So we get little N for who knows how long. We aren't approved for 2 yet, but we are trying in the hope that little T can come to us since we think it will be better for both girls.

Yes we know that can come back to bite us and they might pull N and T both and put them in a separate EFH that can take both of them.

I met little T today at lunch time and Slugbo brought N down for a play date with her sister.

This is so hard for N. I watched her go into shut down mode. She wasn't happy when Slug put T on his lap to show her the pictures their mom gave N (she is his shadow). So N climbed in mine (a poor second mind you). Though she said she was glad to see her sister, all the emotion was on T's side and she was VERY happy to see her big sister.

The next few days should be very interesting. I expect a few meltdowns.

Now to learn some Spanish since that is all that Little T speaks.

BTW We get to take Little N camping at the Delta for July 4 weekend. If the original plan had happened, she would have missed it in spite of us pretty much begging that she get to go just for the weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Willingly Signed Up for This...

but it still sucks.

Why couldn't we end up with one of the 'temporary' placements that lasts for months and months (or at least long enough to get certified by the state)?

Little N met her concurrent planning placement family today.

They have a 7 year old son (which totally makes me want to scream "THEY ALREADY HAVE ONE! LET US KEEP HER! IT'S NOT FAIR!). Good thing I'm at work.

She was, of course, an absolute angel. Granted she doesn't know yet that she will be moving in with them.

The transition meeting is tomorrow at CPS while she's visiting with her mom.

We probably have less than a week left of having her in our home.

I took her to the fair yesterday.

It was her first time.

She kept coming back to the bubbles. Isn't she just adorable?

She had ice cream and got to listen to Josh Gracin's band practice for that night's concert (I missed it for a very good reason - tune in tomorrow).

She won a couple of toys, which Scrat promptly tried to confiscate after we got home.

Then we went home.

Knowing she's leaving hurts a lot.

But we signed up for it. And we have to deal with it as best we can, because we don't want to stop fostering.

We are strong enough for this. But it's yet another of those situations where you wish being strong wasn't necessary.

Friday, June 19, 2009

To Explain a Few Things

I realize that some of the people that pop in here have no idea how the Foster System in California works. I'm part of it and I don't fully understand it.

It used to be that you could just shuffle kids around the system for years while the parental units tried to get their act together before some judge or other would finally have had enough of the crap on the parents part and let the kid be adopted. Yes I mean years.

This was overhauled a few years ago. The parents get 12 to 18 months to get their act together and the steps are laid out for them at the beginning. During that time the child will be placed into a concurrent planning home, where the child will most likely be adopted by their concurrent planning placement family if the parents don't meet the courts requirement to get the child back. This is basically a fost/adopt home.

Little N came to us in a different situation. She came straight into Emergency Care. We got her because we are an EFH (Emergency Foster Home) . Children that come into the system under extreme circumstances get placed into EFH. These are considered temporary placements until the court decides what the parents are going to have to do to get her back.

They are at the stage with Little N's mom that she is not getting her back right away and therefore they need to start the concurrent planning process for her. She has a Concurrent Planning Social Worker assigned to her who's job it is to find her a possible forever home in the Foster System. We want to be her concurrent planning home.

However, we are only licensed for fostering, so we cannot be a concurrent planning home for any child. We are not certified for adoption because we are not getting anywhere with State Adoptions, more specifically our Adoption Specialist. We haven't even been able to really start the process.

They want me to get grief and loss counseling because I need to come to terms with the fact that I cannot have kids of my own. While I want to tell them exactly what they can do with that particular bit of advice, I am looking up grief and loss counselors right now, so I can say 'See I did it. I wasted a ton of money on therapy and I will probably still cry about the fact that I cannot have more kids.'

I'm a crier. I didn't used to be, but I was lucky enough to finally marry someone that wants me to show emotion. I don't have to lock it all up inside. So SA needs to get over it. I still cry about my brother and that was over 20 years ago. I still cry when I talk about giving my son up for adoption and that was 19 years ago. Give me a stinking break people. But I digressed into a rant and this is not a situation I'm allowed to lose my temper over (though trust me, I want to so very badly because it might be the only way to get through to these people).

So our options are this.

1. Our Adoption Specialist's last day was yesterday. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am about this. So we will be getting a new AS. But, if the ex-AS was simply following the company line, I'm still screwed. But we could get lucky and the new persn could actually be willing to see that we will make great parents.

2. We go with an outside agency. Uur EFH coordinator has recommended this and little N's concurrent planning SW has recommended this. If we do this, we would probably still lose out on getting to keep little N, but we'd be in shape for the next child that crosses our path. But I have a packet coming in the mail and hubby and I will probably be setting up a meeting with them soon.

Now this needs to be said. I am not vilifying State Adoptions as a whole. I have no intention of doing that. It serves no purpose and they are doing the best that they can. However I do believe that our Adoption Specialist was fairly new to the system and she was given an instruction on how to deal with people that jump straight in after having their own kids has failed and I think she took it farther than necessary.

She's refusing to see that we don't fit the mold that directive was issued for. We contacted them BEFORE we started IVF. We've explained that we still wanted to be fost/adopt even if we managed to have our own children. The foster people had no problem with this and still don't. SA made us wait till we were finished trying the medical route to conception. We waited. That route dead ended and now still, 3 MONTHS later, it's still too soon for them to be willing to start the process with us because they don't think I've come to terms with it because I still cry.

I believe this is wrong.

So I've posted the information for that friend because she and her husband want to write a letter on our behalf. I'm not asking anyone else to do this. But those of you that know me in person maybe if you think you could help, it would be appreciated.

Here is their address:

California State Adoptions
101 Golf Course Drive
Suite 250
MS 28-09
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
C/o Amy VanLeeuwen (this is NOT our AS, this is her supervisor)

As always I will keep ya'll posted. And if we lose little N, we will still try to make sure she's in a home that will care for her the same way we have.

(and yeah I'm crying right now - I know life is unfair but you figure at some point something has to happen to make it all break even)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


If I blink, we will lose little N. They want to place her in a concurrent planning home and we don't qualify because State Adoptions will still not work with us.

We are doing everything we can to try to get around this.

Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From Wordless to Words

I cannot tell you how excited I was when Claudia was asking for peeps to host her on her blog tour. I’d seen links to her books on the sites of friends. A local friend tried to send them to me so I could read them but the post man ate them.

I told her I hadn’t read it, but I wanted to host it anyway. I certainly am NOT a writer by any stretch of the imagination. But I’ve been reading since I was 2 and it’s the only thing that kept me going after I started to lose my hearing. Books are my escape. They are what keeps me sane.

That said I am a proud host of Claudia for her blog tour for her book 'The Fey’.

This is my kind of book. I cannot wait for the next one. And I have a really great signed copy all my own.

Here goes nothing. My own mix of why, what, and a little science to boot questions.


1. I read A LOT of Iris Johansen and Kay Hooper. They both have strong female leads and do some stuff that seems paranormal. Who are the influences you look to for inspiration in your writing?

Wow, I think the question is ‘Who wasn’t an influence in my writing?’ I learned to read when I was about three years old. I spent most of my childhood buried in one book or another. I don’t know that I could delineate who or what influenced me specifically in the Fey. This is one of the reasons I chose to publish under the Creative Commons license. I stand on the shoulders of masters. I can only hope that my work inspires someone else to do the same.

2. Jesse features a lot in the novel. What made you decide to keep him around in the manner you chose?

Jesse Abreu is Alexandra Hargreaves best-friend. They lived so much life, and death together, that their bond goes way beyond the inconvenience of his murder. When he showed up on the page, I wondered why I hadn’t seen him before – not whether to keep him. He is an integral part of the Alex the Fey thriller series.

3. For being such a strong female character, it struck me as a little odd that one of Alex's colleagues would worry about her being alone for a night or so towards the end. I mean she's been trained to 'deal' with that. What gives?

Most Special Forces officers are trained to work independently. They are sent out alone and return alone. Intelligence officers are not trained that way. Intelligence officers work for the Intelligence Center as well as act as integral parts of individual teams. Many work on large teams in specific intelligence units such as the one Alex is assigned to after she’s wounded.

As for Alex, she is an identical twin. She shared a room with her twin brother most of her life. When forced out of the house in some cockeyed individuation effort, she entered the US Army. She wasn’t alone during her basic training or her tour in Bosnia. During Special Forces training, she was almost never alone, especially at night. She got married right after completing training and moved in with her identical twin brother. Her leave time was spent with her husband and brother. Her work time was spent with her team.

She was alone for the first time in The Fey. She certainly survives, if not thrives, during that experience based on her lifelong training. It’s simply the first time she’d ever been alone.

4. I think I need more back story since I didn't see a compelling reason for Raz to not be called by his given name. Can you give us a little insight?

Elite intelligence operative change their names and have their histories wiped. In fact, it’s not uncommon for undercover police officers to change their names and have their histories wiped.

Raz works for Ben, who is considered to be one of the world’s best intelligence agents. He is an elite intelligence operative.

5. How exactly is it that Alex and Max are identical twins?

Alex and Max Hargreaves are monozygotic twins. The science is that an egg carries an “X” chromosome. Sperm can be an “X” or a “Y”. In their case, the egg was carried duplicate “X” chromosome. Thus when fertilized by a “Y” sperm, the egg became an “XXY”. This type of being is viable, however has vast disabilities. If the egg splits early enough, either X chromosome can replicate. In Alex and Max’s case, they became “XX” and “XY”.

Depending on the geneticist, these types are twins are not considered to be identical because one is XX and the other is XY. They remain monozygotic. Outside of their gender chromosomes, their genetics are identical.

6. Why do so many people share a home with John and Alex? I mean she's a twin, which means there is a need for some individuality there. She came from a big family. All the normal reasons for NOT having that many people actually living in your house, sharing personal space are part of her upbringing.

You’d be surprised how many identical twins live together. I know of three pairs here in Denver. While we see might see a need for individuality, many identical twins don’t necessarily feel that need. Their normal is being together.

Further, Max and Alex grew up in a military family. Siblings in military families tend to be a lot closer because they move so much. Their father was the General who ran the base they lived on. These General’s children don’t tend to socialize with a lot of other kids.

Given the circumstances, these type of living situations are not uncommon.

7. Why a female lead, and particularly a female lead with an extensive military background?

Why not?

I never sat down and decided to write about this person or that person. These characters came to me from the ether. In my mind, they exist as separate beings. The only connection they have to me is that I am their scribe. If they bear any similarities to me, it’s only because I am their scribe.

I didn’t choose to have a female lead. This is simply her story.

I didn’t choose for her to be in the military. That is just where she is and has always been.

I’m working to be a clear reporter for these characters lives and issues.


Claudia, thank you SO much for letting me take part in this.

The Fey is serialized at The novel will run through the end of the year, then will be removed. Learning to Stand will take it’s place in February, 2010. The Fey is also available at Amazon. If you use our store, feel free to use this code: WLKP3C74 for a special Tiny Tyrant ten percent discount.

I chose not to have a give away of the book on my blog so she could donate a copy to Operation Shoebox.

Show your support to this wonderful author and friend and go buy a copy today. You won't regret it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye

You can go from a very angry three year old that just came out of anesthesia to this:

Yesterday was her dental surgery to take care of the bottle rot we found when she was placed with us.

Slugbo and the County Foster Nurse pulled every string imaginable to get a court order in record time and all the medical clearances, since we had to put her under for this.

We got up at 5:45a. Pulled her straight out of bed at 6:20a and off to the clinic. We were the first ones there so we went right in. The more pre op stuff we talked about the more upset you could see her getting. They decided to give her something to calm her down and we ended up having to force her to take it. :-(

2.5 hours later (about 9:30) we were called back in and she was waking up. That little girl has a set of lungs on her. The dentist might now be considering soundproofing the recovery room in the near future. She fought us every step of the way in getting the IV out (she almost ripped it out in spite of Slug holding her down). When we thought (ha!) she's calmed down enough, Slugbo picked her up to take her to the car while I finished gathering paperwork.

I got out to the parking lot and she was screaming full force again and trying to launch herself out of his arms. The ride home was difficult since she didn't want to be restrained. Hello seat belt.

The minute we got home, all the fighting stopped.

She slept on that off for part of the day. We broke the no full day of TV rule considering what she'd been through that morning. They were able to save the molars. So she's missing all her front teeth on the top.

She was her normal happy playing smiling self by end of day.

The pic above is even more special for one main reason. She's curled up with one of the cats. This is the little darling that won't touch any of the animals (though she actually pet Nemo for the first time Wednesday and called him by name) if it can at all be avoided. But she let Nemo stay by her for the better part of the day.

Today is her first mom visit since we got her. Cross your fingers. Slugbo is handling it alone.

*disclaimer* I took a small chance posting this pic, but know that with this post and all future involving our placements I will:
1. NEVER post if I think their family might see it (odds are minimal here)
2. NEVER post if the child was removed from the home because they were in danger from the parents.
3. I will never put their complete name here or any part of it really except maybe the first initial

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

He's not Gone...

but neither is he mine.

Today is my son's 19th birthday.

Last year I asked y'all what route I should take regarding getting in touch with him.

(For those of you just now joining the show, he was put up for adoption)

I haven't contacted his family directly yet. But I did register with the International Reunion Registry. Nothing else to date.

Maybe I'll be more brave (braver? CV help me out here) this year.

And speaking of kids. The little plague carrier that we brought home last Monday is still with us. Slugbo and I spent the weekend sick. I officially have bronchitis.

That's right folks. Head cold to bronchitis in 3 days flat. That has to be a record somewhere. But thankfully I got in to the see the doc today so we can get rid of it now rather than 3 weeks from now like I tried last year at this VERY SAME TIME.

Apparently spring equals bronchitis in my land now.

And the little plague carrier...

She's an absolute doll. And there WAY too much pink and Disney Princess stuff in my house. But you know what...

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things are Very Different...

... through the eyes of a three year old.

You see...

- the Spaghettio's instead of the Classico Sauce

- Da-ni-mo yogurts instead of Dannon Immunity drinks

- the Froot Loops instead of the Honey Nut Cheerios

- the Dinosaur Nuggets instead of the Chicken Breast Tender Strips

- Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer out rank Law and Order and CSI

When you are three it is okay to...

- put new nail polish over old

- put different colors of nail polish on different hands (I'm sporting hot pink and navy blue if you must know :-) )

- try to have yogurt for dinner

- wash your hands by rinsing the soap off first

This particular three year old is being particularly patient with Slugbo and I during this adjustment. Only one major meltdown so far. We consider this an aberration rather than the norm. Nonetheless we are grateful.

Friends have rallied and we have clothes and toys and a cool mega stroller.

She is safe, fed, clothed and cared for right now and that is all that matters.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Official

We got our first Foster Placement Monday afternoon.

A little three year girl, who is adjusting as best as can be expected give her situation and the fact that we are total strangers to her right now.

She's scared of dogs (sigh) and isn't too thrilled with the cats but she's taking it in stride.

Love NickJr and coloring. Disney movies! Ha I knew I'd finally be justified in buying all of them. lol

Slugbo's dentist is seeing her this afternoon as a favor.

And we are teaching her how to use a computer. Yes, seriously.

She's probably a short term placement based on her situation, but it gives us a chance to see how well we can adjust to this.

So here we go. Wish us luck.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Before and After (Pic Heavy)

As any of you that have been reading this here swill that I call a blog know, I have a lot of animals.

3 dogs and 4 cats to be exact.

None over 25 pounds, none under 8 pounds. That still adds up to a lot of fur.

Cliff the Mutt and Oscar the Dog have interesting fur 'situations' given they are both terrier mixes.

Cliff's fur is so surprisingly soft that once you start petting him you never want to stop until you see how much of it is clinging to you. Oscar's fur is terrier wire through and through.

They both got to visit the groomer today for their summer cut. Also known as the 'keep Mom's vacuum cleaner working a little longer' cut.

Get ready for pics:

Cliff with Scrat and Smokey Cat horning in on the camera action.

Oscar looking way wider than he should.

Then they go to the groomer. I go home. They get tortured by someone that gets paid to wrestle them to the ground to cut off their fur. I go back and pay them the normal fee, plus the special handling fee (they are SNOTS at the groomer, but better them than me). I get two good looking boys out of the deal. I'll take it.

My bestest baby dog of all time Cliff. Who is obviously LOVING the picture taking let me tell you.

Cliff again. He looks more interested here because his dinner is sitting on the shelf next to my head.

Oscar looking slim and trim considering he will be 11 in 3 days.

Just look at those spots! Then go look at the Before pic and come back and exclaim again over all the spots. Doesn't he clean up well?

And because Barb cannot hold the monopoly on goggie cuteness this week...

Scrat the Brat wanting to know what Mom has stuck to her face.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It Still Seems So Wrong

22 years ago today my brother decided that death was easier than life.

That sounds harsh, but it is not really something you can sugar coat.

I know he's never coming back.

I know we will never know why he did it.

I still cry when I think about what a waste it was.

It will never hurt any less. You just learn to handle the pain.

He hated school, but wasn't stupid.

He loved cars, but never got his driver's license.

He adored our nephew, but chose not to see how his life would play out.

He loved our sister, but chose to not stick around to see her married and happy.

He was loved, but never understood how much.

Wherever you are Robbie, I hope it is everything that we couldn't give you here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Two Years

Who'd a thunk it?

I started this blog two years ago.

I don't have any contest for you, maybe next year. I don't think I'm dropping this 'hobby' any time soon.

Thanks to those of you that drop by every now and then and deal with this tripe.

On the skin front.

Caved and made an appointment last week since the biopsy site was infected. Lucky me. The doc had the biopsy and bloodwork results back.

Even if I were COVERED in poison oak or poison ivy, my blood levels for something wouldn't be as high as they are. That means the angry skin is caused by something I'm ingesting. Guess what? We have NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT! Granted neither is it lupus or something like that. (Yes Alison I am grateful for that).


So I'm thinking about not eating at all. Ha. I'll let you know how that works out. Who knew you could grow into food allergies? Not this chick, let me tell you.

Common culprits could be nuts (thanks that narrows it down), strawberries and red dye. Well I haven't been eating strawberries like a fiend since October when this started. I'm going to be absolutely livid if I find out it's peanut butter because it's only my FAVORITE FOOD of all time. Maybe it's pomegranates and I have to give up my chap stick (Burt's Bees with Pomegranate Oil), I won't be happy about that either. Maybe its a honey allergy triggered by the bee sting I got October 9th.

See it's a total crap shoot and not eating sure would be easier then trying to figure out what I'm NOT supposed to be eating.

So if any of you have any book recommendations that will help me with this exclusion diet, I'd sure appreciate it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Promise and A Dream

A couple of posts ago I promised to post pics of the new furniture we got at a bankruptcy auction last weekend.

Slugbo and I, while no means poor, tend to lean towards the IKEA scale of furniture pricing when we are looking to replace pieces in the house.

About 75% of our furniture is IKEA or second hand stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But you tend to get what you pay for most of the time.

Needless to say, like most males, Slugbo has a LOAD of electronics equipment in the living room and the old IKEA entertainment center just didn't let us put stuff in it neatly. Now hubby does the computers for a local auction house and he found out about the auction before most of the general public. So we got to go in early and scope out what they had in the way of stuff we wanted. He fell in love with this:

It also has the matching hutch over there on the right which fit perfectly on it's wall and we didn't have to move the painting up (though we might anyway).

Another thing we wanted was a set of bunkbeds for the new kids room. We didn't get our first choice, but managed to get our second choice:

The top is a twin and the bottom is a full, and obviously both mattresses are new. We also got what Slug is calling 'The Lifesaver Lamp' over there on the nightstand. We might need to build a rail for the bottom bunk, but we will see. Now I have to pick out bedding.

So those were the two MUST have items (the hutch was a bonus with the lot - there was a matching gun case which is currently in the Pennsylvania room while we figure out what the h* to do with it). The other nice to have was a new sofa.

It needed to be long enough for Mr 6'+ to lay out full length on, and for me to be able to cuddle up next to him no matter how many of the fur babies decide to join us. There was a black sectional leather (7 furbabies equals LOTS of fur) that was perfect for the room. You have to remember that our living room used to be the house garage. So it's 24' by 24'. That makes for a huge room. So a huge sofa will fit. We managed to get it and the first thing hubby said when we got it in the room, was 'Boy that's big!' But we made it work. We also picked up two coffee tables that have storage in them and we decided to use both. So the house is almost 100% done as far as furniture goes.

Now you might remember that the same post that promised the furniture pics, talked about a mini dream list. One of those items being that someone hand knit something for me for a change. Now I didn't mean the remark to be snarky, but it has always struck me that most people that make handmade stuff tend to NOT give them to people that know how to make the items themselves. This isn't always the case.

If you look closely at the sofa pic above you will see the absolutely beautiful handknit shawl I got from the wonderful Miss Cookie. Now I love Cookie's blog and it is one I check everyday. I love how she says that the she hates people, but you can see the love she offers towards those she doesn't lump in with her definition of 'people'. This is the shawl she smoked her friend Manise making middle of last month. I fully admit that I saw the shawl on her blog and thought it was gorgeous, then I got an email asking for my snail mail address and I tentatively began to hope that just MAYBE that shawl could be mine. Granted I'd take anything Cookie was willing to send me because she does such beautiful work no matter what she's knitting.

I got an IM from hubby yesterday that a box had arrived. I IM'd back: Open it! Open it!. So he did and then wouldn't tell me what was in it. Gr. So I called him and sent him the link to the blog post and he said yup. I have to admit I was crying. I mean I knit. I don't necessarily knit well or fast, but I know what goes into a shawl like that. Cookie sent it as a hug that she wasn't able to offer in person since she's a couple of hours north of here. It was her way of offering support and solace for our failed IVF.

I had hubby open it because I wasn't going home before knit group (would have had to back track and we aren't wasting gas right now), so he met me on the way to his gig for the evening with the shawl so I could take it to my knit group.

I have it with me at work today. I won't let it out of my sight and I promise you Cookie I'll take really good care of it so I can give it to a daughter some day or a son's wife if we are lucky to finally adopt, or my nephew's wife or daughter if we are not thusly blessed. It will be cherished forever. More importantly it will be used.

Thank you for the hug Cookie and for helping make part of my little list come true. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

PS - my pictures suck but the color is true.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

humorous pictures

Please note that the you referenced is not any of my readers. If I'd found this yesterday I'd have posted it then.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Complete Skin Transplant

The skin reaction from hell is taking over.

I've gone to the dermatologist. He did a biopsy (YOWCH - the stitches come out in a week) and we are waiting.

And I am shredding my skin because NOTHING IS STOPPING THE ITCHIES!

That and stuff going on at work and the fact that a couple of things I was supposed to get in the mail haven't arrived yet, maybe haven't even been sent yet are NOT AT MY HOUSE.

And I want a new script for Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream.

And while I'm dreaming I still want a pony, a bright yellow Smart Car, a baby, and someone to make me something hand knit for a change.

PS The next post will be better. We got new furniture. Now to keep the cats from shredding it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Know You're a Knitter When

you find out a friend actually has one leg that is 13mm shorter than the other and you wonder what needle size that is.


PS 13mm needles are the equivalent of US 17 needles.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Normal is as Normal does

Alison's comment on the last post made a valid point. What exactly constitutes normal at my house these days?

We spent four years trying to have kids and our life was somewhat tied up in that. But that's done.

We have/had the little demon dog from h* (Scrat the Brat), but he's actually turning into a really good little dog so things are easier with him.

We have been licensed foster parents for almost a year with no placements, but that could change.

We spent the last year playing Travian on server6, but that server is over for round one and hubby will find himself wifeless if he starts up with another server.

The past two weeks have been spent dealing with the disappointment of the failed IVF (I'm kind of doing better), the physical pain that is still a part of that (seems we hit a nerve on each side with the last two progesterone shots), hubby's 40th birthday BBQ was a success and...

We got approved for the Foster folk's Emergency Services Program. We went active this morning. We are taking ages 4 to 6. We could get a call any minute, hour, day now, but I'll believe it when it happens.

That said we spent the weekend finally finishing the paint job in the only other bedroom that still had spackle spots on the wall:

That is B3. This will probably be the kid's room for now. The other room (blue and green) ended up being what we call the Pennsylvania Room. It holds the antiques and art from his mom's house. She would have loved visiting that room.

Since B3 was the "Game Room" you can see one the shelves that hold some toys (the Starter Logs box is lego's people). There is a matching one to the left of the window that holds all the board games.

There is a big open area in the middle as a play area, and I'll get the bench cleaned out so it can be used as a toy box.

The sailboats where chosen to cover the previous border that the previous owner stopped three feet short on and it was hubby's game room. So a boy would fit better in the room, but I hope we have the option of getting a little girl too. And given how fast that border went up, hubby and I are placing bets on how soon it falls down.

Let me know what you think while Slugbo and I figure out what normal is going forward.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No I'm Not Bloggin

Yes I'm still here.

Things will be back to normal in about a week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Bye Round 1

Dear Travian players,

The sun was already rising, but still the workers of the metropolis 1.01 Athaja kept on working to finish their prodigious monument. Around 05:25 am/pm a worker finished the greatest and most formidable building in Travian history since the downfall of the Natarian Empire.

Together with their alliance, "Red Dawn", "myyrkezaan" was the first to finish the construction using millions of resources and protecting it with hundreds of thousands of brave defenders and thus receives the title "winner of this era".

In the end, "dmolla", was the ruler over the greatest empire followed shortly by "Rickroll" and "iPwn".

The mightiest and most fearsome commander was "titmouse", and "Slugbo" was the most glorious defender who slaughtered enemy hosts at his gates staining the lands around his villages with their blood.

We, the Travian-Team, want to thank you who stayed until the end for your overwhelming loyalty and the understanding that you showed us when something wasn't running as smooth as it should have.

Best regards,
Your Travian-Team

It was a pleasure playing with the people in my alliance and our Meta. Thank you all for the support you gave hubby, a.k.a. Slugbo, in his quest to make certain that KGB (a.k.a Red Dawn) was not the only alliance with a leveled up WW at end game. He could not have done it without all of you.

It has been a wild year. Slugbo and I will probably not be coming back to this game again. Real life takes precedence. It will be nice to be able to turn the computers off at the end of the day. ;-) Oh and sleep. That is something we've been lacking recently too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It was Not Meant to be

Today was the day hubby and I had been trying to get to for four long years.

Whatever powers that be decide whether or not stuff like this is going to happen decided against us again.

The IVF was not successful.

Hubby got the news first and drove down to tell me in person.

This was our last shot at natural children.

Now the focus shifts to going after a foster placement more aggressively and getting the adoption people to send me the paperwork.

One way or another there will be children in our house some day.

But today is not that day.

Many thanks to everyone for all your kind words and well wishes and prayers and hugs, real and virtual.

Gimme the News!

Day so far.

Wake up (stupid alarm clock).


Wake up hubby.

Finished getting ready.

Medicate Smokey Cat (emerge unscathed).

Let the dogs out. Figure out which cat to strangle for peeing in the dog's room.

Put dogs in office with hubby.

Figure out WHERE in the dog room the cat peed.

Start a load of laundry and scrub the Kuranda bed in the front yard. Cuss the cats the entire time.

Kick two of the cats out of the house for the dog.

Fumigate the dog room.

Tell hubby bye and that I will have our doc call me at work so I can conference him in so we can get the news together.

Head to lab for blood draw.

Wait an hour due to backlog.

Head to work.

IMPATIENTLY WAIT FOR 2PM! Which is the earliest we will know anything.

Write this post.

Hope Cliff the Mutt doesn't need surgery this morning.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Like This Friday


I am trying desperately to prevent myself from taking a home test at this point.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Belated Birthday Baby Boy

I'm a bad doggy blogger mom.

Scrat the Brat turned 3 on Wednesday.

It is the day we got him. It is his age as best we can tell.

It is been an eventful two years with this little monster.

Look at that face.

How 12 pounds of compact energy can get into so MUCH trouble is a mystery to me?

He likes to:
  • eat rocks
  • turn left down the hall instead of right to his room when he is told BED
  • eat rocks
  • chase the cats - though he has stopped trapping them under furniture
  • eat rocks
  • not give up the tennis ball from the last throw without making the neighbors think we are skinning him alive
  • eat rocks - see a pattern here? There is a reason he got a birthday card from the pet insurance company

He redeems himself by:
  • loving to curl up behind me in my office chair
  • making hubby smile many times a day
  • giving his all to whatever you have planned that day whether its sleeping, chasing a ball, hanging out in the office or just wandering around the yard
  • learning that playing with teeth (i.e. him biting without thinking) is not acceptable
  • no longer attempting to take a chunk out of my girlfriends ankles when they come over
  • making certain that every possible IOTA of food is gone from all the dog bowls before he is 'done' with his dinner
  • by thinking that a new lap is the perfect place to curl up - you sit down, you get a dog in your lap
  • by showing our friends how much for the better he has changed in the past year from the snarling territorial little monster he truly was into a snuggle bug
  • never giving up. He KNOWS That ball is out there somewhere okay maybe UP there and has simply not fallen yet. If he could climb that tree he would.
  • loving my husband completely
You have come a long way Scrat baby. 'Dad' and I cannot believe we have been lucky enough to have had you in our lives these past two years.

Love, 'Mom'

Friday, March 13, 2009

For at Least Two Weeks...

we can consider ourselves pregnant with fraternal twins.

Two 4 celled embryos, one grade 2 and one grade 3 were transferred without issue today. I LOVE that my RE managed to get down to the city between his other appointments to do it for us.

The two week wait begins.

Slugbo is trying to lock me up for that time, but thankfully I have a paper from the doctor that says bed rest for the whole two weeks will be way worse stress-wise than going about your normal day.

That said I am home for the next 5 days.

Light activity - ha Slugbo rolled me into the house when we got home on the hand truck. Doc wants me to walk as little as possible for the next two days. Basically take it really easy. Cannot lift anything over 15 pounds. Guess that means I better clean out my knitting bag. :-)

Tonight we start the progesterone shots (he is WAY too excited about getting to give me those) and we wait. And I sit. And I watch TV. And I knit. And I hope my local friends will come over and visit because I don't think hubby will let me go far.

So I'm out to the RV (its the only place we have satellite TV) for some knitting and some brain rot.

Thanks for everyone's good thoughts and prayers for today. Think sticky vibes please. I want both to stick but I'll be happy with one too. :-) Anything at this point is better than none.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well It's Better than None

10 eggs

6 mature

3 fertilized

3 disintegrated right after the ICSI (sigh old eggs)

1 of the 3 that fertilized went abnormal on the first split.

That leaves us with 2 embryos.

They wanted three, heck they wanted to be able to choose the three they put back, but such is not to be.

So tomorrow is the transfer, instead of Saturday since there is no reason to wait, this is what we have to work with.

I was upset at first. Still am a little. Spoke with the doctor after a panicked two hours of trying to reach him (not his fault he was in surgery).

I do feel better. Given the results, we are lucky to have two.

Please think good thoughts for us tomorrow (Friday the 13th - wow good thing 13 is a good number for me) around noon Pacific time. That's T time.

Then the two week wait begins.

Yesterday went well

Will have more news after I talk to the doc this afternoon.


It's a killer. Gr.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It is not just a massive time suck. :-)

Hubby and I have been playing on Travian Server 6 US since last April. We have made lots of friends online and hope to meet many of you in RL some day. He has open invites for a place to stay if we ever visit Turkey or Alaska, Australia too I think.

We are in end game and things are ramping up there just as things in real life are ramping up in with our IVF.

The game has taken second fiddle to making the IVF work and rightly so.

That said, hubby's account is a main player in end game right now (if you remember my Valentine's day post) and having to step back meant letting a lot of people down. He found someone to take over his account so he could take care of me during this time and posted the following to all of our Meta wings:

This letter is hard to write, but write it I must. I hope you take the time to read it.

My wife and I have been trying for several years to have children. So far, we have not been successful. It is finally time for science to play a part, and so we've been getting ready to try IVF. For those of you who don't know what that is, Google can provide your answers. But what it means to me, and to us, is this: I cannot continue to devote the amount of time to the WW that I have been. I desperately wanted to see this through to the end, but the doctors have said that this is the month, and when I'm asked to make a decision between Travian and having children, the choice is clear and obvious, despite my sense of letting people down. So, I have arranged to transfer much of the work to willing and able people who have stepped up to help. I know that some people will be sorry to see me go, but I'm sure that plenty of others are excited to hear the news.

Under my care, this account is the top defender on the game. This may very well change as the WWs progress and the really big hammers come out, but perhaps they'll continue to come to me and we'll just keep going up. KGB certainly has a special place in their heart for me. I'm glad I could provide so much entertainment for them, and for you. As I've said before, I'm a complete noob, as this is my first and only server. Everything I have accomplished has been only through the grace of teammates such as you.

So what happens now? Nothing I hope. This WW will continue to grow, and continue to be attacked, and the people who are helping me are certainly not going to let it languish. They need all your help, just as I have needed it. I'll still be checking in and answering IGMs, as I have always done, but the day to day management of the wonder will fall on their shoulders now. They have given up their accounts, or deleted them to be able to do this, so their sacrifice is even greater than mine. I hope you show them the warmth and camaraderie that you have shown me. They deserve it.

Meanwhile, I hope you send good thoughts to me and Jenn as we try this last option. Send an IGM with the subject of "Personal" and the sitters will not read it. I will do my best to respond to every one. It is truly wonderful to play with this group of people, and it has always been my honor to be affiliated with you. In these last few weeks of this server, this group can do anything it wants to. I hope you choose to try and win. I know that I will be.

Oh, and by the way, send wheat.


Ken, aka Slugbo

The outpouring of good wishes from all of our friends on Travian was just amazing. Slug's and my IGM Inbox were overwhelmed with all the kind words and well wishes and suggestions from others going through it at the same time and those that have gone through IVF.

People far and wide, across many continents and cultures, sent such nice things, and we wanted to let you know that it means so much to Ken and I to know that all of you are hoping this works out for us. (PLEASE let it work - else I have to tell a global community that it didn't ;-) )

We even heard from some of the nicer KGB folks who offered their well wishes for us too.

So please consider this post a thank you to all of those of you that offered your kind words and well wishes and shared your own experiences with IVF with us.

It means more than we can ever quantify here.

You really are a great bunch of people and Ken and I are proud to be a part of Server 6 US.

Tiny Tyrant - plan holder for the Fixer Upper WW

PS Comments will be moderated on this post due to a certain forum posting troll that made a mockery of what we are going through last week on the public travian forums.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's a Go!

Egg Retrieval is slated for Wednesday.

As of today:

19 mm
18 mm
16 mm - 3
14 mm

19 mm
15 mm - 2

So it looks like we will get 6 to 9 if all goes well.

Waiting for exact time and everything in this afternoon's call.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Saving Time sucks....

when you have an 8:45 appointment 1.5 hours away in the City the day after it kicks in.

It was a weekend of doctor visits and a little concern.

We went in Saturday morning and saw that 9 follicles had kept growing and were more or less together, while three decided they'd done enough work and stayed behind. This is okay.

So they said that they didn't want to see me till Monday and we went on our merry way.

Then the phone rang mid afternoon.

My estrogen level had almost quadrupled between Wednesday (679) and Saturday (2179). That could mean one of two things:

1. OHSS - Hyperstimulation of the ovaries which sucks rocks and can require hospitalization.
2. One follicle decided to treat the meds like steroids and ramp up way past the rest of them.

Either way it meant I was going back on Sunday. Really freaking early.

More bloodwork (ask me how sick of needles I am, go ahead, I dare you). (Estrogen today was 2279 so all is well)

Another ultrasound (really sick of those too).

Left side decided to kick start one of the follicles up to 18 mm, but the rest aren't too far behind at 16 and 15mm. So we are still on track and I am still taking shots.

Looks like we will trigger tomorrow night for retrieval on Wednesday. Which means we are looking at a transfer on Saturday or next Monday.

We are so close my friends. I hope to have more good news for you regarding embryo quality by the end of this week.

To those that work with me that read this. I will be late tomorrow (Monday) as I have to be in Marin at 8 am. Meh. I'll be in around 9:30 or so.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This could Work

There is more hope in my household today.

We had the ultrasound this morning.

Right Ovary:
  • 5 follicles at 10mm
  • 2 follicles at 9mm
  • 1 follicle at 8 or so mm
Left Ovary:
  • 2 follicles at 10mm
  • 1 follicle at 9mm
  • 1 follicle at 8 or so mm
So we will be keeping an eye on the top 7 for the next few days and through the weekend. They have to be at least 16 mm to trigger. The shots should go easier now that I know they are working.

Definitely better results than the last time around. I'd be hopping up and down right now but the ovaries REALLY don't like that right now and for GOOD REASON! YAH!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where We are...

Thought I'd offer up a quick IVF update post.

1. Microdose Flare Lupron Protocol
2. Double dose of Follistim from last time, no Menopur (good that stuff sucked rocks)
3. Means three shots a day
4. The Follistim hurts more after the fact this time around
5. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, no matter how good the cause.
6. I'm feeling hammered emotionally and physically
7. This cycle started out the same as last. 10 follicle at best first guess.
8. Next ultrasound is Wednesday
9. I'm scared that the results will be the same as last time. But at the same time refusing to worry about it. I cannot change it.
10. This is our last shot
11. Man I wished I'd finished Tuscany so I had something to wrap up in.
12. I really really wish hubby were home right now.