Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Big Picture

According to the trail guide, the ascent alongside the babbling brook was so gradual - and the view so beautiful - as to be hardly noticable. Although the brook was lovely, the ascent was decidely noticable. Especially given that everytime we stopped to catch our breath and admire the view we were besieged by gnats determined to explore our mucous membranes.

(Note to gnats: You can pick your friends. And apparently you've picked me. You can pick your nose (do gnats have noses? gnoses?). But you cannot pick your friend's nose. Please keep this in mind for my next hike. Thank you.)

The trail continued on past several impressive beaver ponds, so that when we reached the pondlet on the left hand side of this picture, we were not sure whether we had reached our intermediate goal - the lake shown here - or just another beaver pond.

View from the top

We were hungry. We were ready to be at the lake and stop for lunch. The question "don't you think you should test?" had been advanced with increasing degrees of certainty on Pili's part, met by increasing degrees of irritation on my part. The map and the trail description did not match. We continued on the trail, looking for the side trail that would supposedly lead us down to the lake lunch. The trail ascended, steeply.

Screw this, we decided. We don't care if it's a beaver pond. We're eating lunch there. We turned around. And found the trail.

Looking down from above, it's clear that, as we discovered when we strolled down the trail, the little pondlet we came on at first is part of a bigger lake.

With two adoption agency interviews under our belts, I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed by the trail in front of us. A little more convinced that this will, someday, somehow, lead to a child.

The rest of the story:

I tested (101, thank you) ate lunch, and we headed up the mountain. These mountains, they do not mess around. Knowing what "gradual ascent" meant to the writers of the trail guide, we were not suprised that "rugged and steep" translated to "rocky and just short of a 90 degree angle."

On the way back down, Pili decided that she would go for a nice refreshing dip in the lake. We hadn't seen anyone else on the trail all day. Fortunately, I decided not to go in, after dipping one toe in the glacial water. She had just waded in, in all her natural glory, when I heard someone the ranger coming down the trail. (Aside: Does anyone know why it's called skinny-dipping? And is it still skinny-dipping if you're not skinny?)

We got back to the campground and discovered our friends had come up to camp as well, bringing lobster and corn to grill, along with smores fixings. All in all, a very relaxing and much needed trip.

Tomorrow: When smokey sings...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

And we're off...

To the mountains, that is, for a little restorative hiking camping trip.

In reference to the previous post about blogging and feeling like the oddball out in seventh grade...

If you're not on my blogroll and you should be, please take this opportunity to leave me a comment and let me know. It's not intentional, I promise you. I lurve you all, very much.

Friday, May 26, 2006

News of a Different Sort

The Art-Sweet Pili Residence is proud to announce that we're expecting.

"Smokey," a charcoal grey paradigm 722 insulin pump will be dropped off by The stork UPS on or around Wednesday, June 1.

(McClinic couldn't get me into Pump training until 2 weeks from then, alas. The good news is that Pili gets to go with me. And then I'll make my public pump debut at a dear friend's wedding two days later. Any suggestions for integrating a pump into a bridesmaid's dress?)

So, my sweet friends, I ask of you: What to expect when you're expecting (a pump)?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The last depressing post for at least 24 hours

I was going to write a chin-up, hanging in there, positive post. About going back to weight watchers and seizing the moment and maybe influencing a future endocrinologist in the process. Maybe post some really silly photos. Then I started reading my bloglines and I just lost that loving feeling.

I have a confession to make:

I don’t want to adopt.

Or rather, I don’t want to go through the adoption process.

If you dropped a baby in my lap and said, here, here is your baby. Love him. Love her. I would. Immediately. But the process. So much work. So much waiting. And as Karen has so eloquently described, so little to show for it. Perhaps I should make bumper stickers that say: I am nine months pregnant with a homestudy. Please lavish love and attention and societal approval on me. Or: “someone in another country has morning sickness for me RIGHT NOW.”

The other part that takes the joy out of the adoption business for me and that I should probably write more about, is that, to a certain extent, I don’t matter in this process. For some very good reasons, we’ve chosen international adoption and so one of us has to adopt as a “single” woman. Pili has the steady job with the dependable salary and the health insurance. Oh, and the absence of chronic illness. Honestly, when I think about it I’m amazed they even let me adopt a cat. Oh, I remember. Back then I had a real job.

So I don’t have to write a detailed biography and answer ten thousand questions about my childhood. And I don’t have to obtain certified copies of my birth certificate in triplicate, witnessed by a blind nun from Brazil. And oddly enough, that makes me sad. Because we don't get to do this as a family, talking about both of our strengths and weaknesses and making lemonade out of lemons celebrating the fact that because I have two part time jobs I will be able to quit one and be home with the kid. Instead the homestudy will have to talk about how great the day care is at Pili's work, even though we probably won't be using it. Being so irrelevant to the process also makes me into (even more of) a total evil controlling wench, second-guessing Pili’s every move.

It’s funny, because before we failed fertility 101 and 202 and 606, I didn’t care all that much about genetic connections. I am, after all, the person who falls passionately in love with all babies and spends far too much time at faculty parties talking to the children of Pili’s esteemed collegues, rather than the esteemed collegues themselves.

But now that we’ve gone down that road, and I’ve allowed myself to dream soft gauzy dreams of pregnant Pili and babies with my eyes and her mannerisms, I’m finding them damn hard to give up. As I type this I see my about to burst pregnant neighbor (yes, Gourmet, they are mandatory) pulling down her garage door and I feel a fierce shove of anger and resentment. I don’t want to have to go through all of this. I want the dream, and I can’t put it down. I picture a younger me, crying bitterly over a broken toy but unwilling to let it go so that my mom could try to fix it. Before the transcript of our medical charts read failure and bitter disappointment, I was excited about adopting. Now? It’s like having a book you really wanted to read assigned by a teacher you dislike.

I compare the bitter and painful arguments that Pili and I had last night about what questions to ask the adoption agencies and who should do the asking with the cotton candy sweet joy we felt during the brief few weeks of the pregnancy.

And I find myself thinking: maybe one more cycle? Maybe these eggs weren’t so good because I was overstimulated and then had to coast and produced so many. Quantity over quality. Dr. Short-but just raises his eyebrows quizzically when I ask that question. As if, what’s done is done, honey. Crying over $6000 of spilt milk? But I bet if I mentioned that we were thinking about cycling again, he’d change his tune.

The thought even flickers through my mind like heat lightening. Pump. Continuous Glucose Monitoring. I could like, maybe try, maybe.

Then the depression kicks in and I think yeah, right. Remember, nothing works art, this is you we're talking about. And I start wondering what’s wrong with me that things never seem to work out for me. And poor Pili that her good karma gets pulled down into the gutter with along with my crap. And part of me knows it's the heavy sunglasses of depression I'm seeing through while an equal part of me is convinced it's real.

While I’m venting, I also have a little bit of a bloggity pet peeve with someone whose site I’ve commented on lots of times. She's on my blogroll. And she has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever ventured over here. I don’t think she’s homophobic. She comments on other people’s blogs. She comments on other people’s comments on her blog. We’ve both been through a lot of the same shit recently. So why not me? Do I smell? (Lifting an arm and sniffing, discreetly)

I guess blogging and seventh grade really aren’t that different, huh?

* Before various people start sending me frantic emails: I don’t hate my friends in real life and in the computer who have been through hell and then some to get where they are. I don’t even resent them. Wistful, envious, yes. Resentful, no. I don’t want to avoid them, although sometimes it is hard to see what I want so badly and don’t have.

Monday, May 22, 2006

For a minute there I actually got hopeful (with a Photo Friday pooh too)

About the kids, not the money. The worst spam. Ever.

Do you think I was specifically targeted for this or was it just random?

From: Adopt UK
Subject: Hello Dear

My name is Rose Williams i work for the uk deaf manchester.i will really love to pass this information to you. Which i know i am convinced that you are really willing to take good care of 4 years old kids a boy and a girl. Their mother and father came from unknown area and they live in 3 months ago their parents died in an auto crash, they left the some of 3,million pounds with the Uk deaf Finance Department, which is Equivalent to $6,000,000.00. The 2 kids are been admitted in the hospital were doctor Benedict is taking good care of them because they were included in the accident which occured few months back, to God be the glory
that they were not dead like their parents.we shall love a good honest deaf man or woman who can acept the 2 kids and take good care of them and after 2 months the uk government will always come to check after them.. and such that person will be given the 3million pounds to take good care of the kids.Please write me back if u are intrested so that we can proceed towards securing you all the documents.

Best Regards

p.s. My hat pictures are up on flickr, photo friday pool... go over there and check out some might fine hatness. There are some bonus pics too for members of the photo friday group or people whom I have "friended" on Flickr.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Quite possibly the most depressing blog ever

I just ate a BOX of Annie's Mac & Cheese.

I was really hungry.

That my-blood-sugar-is-creeping-towards-low, no I DON'T NEED TO TEST, DAMNIT hunger.

[So that when you test afterwards and your blood sugar is high, you wonder if it was ever low to begin with or if you were just hungry. And that uncertainty - not being able to just trust your body and its signals - is one of the things you hate most about this eminently hateable disease.]

And now I should give some insulin for it. Which means I should test before too much more of the carbs get in. And then I should look at the box.

I don't want to look at the box.

The box will tell me that the bowl I just stuffed down my face was supposed to be four servings. Four people should have eaten what I just ate. I will have to multiple the carbs by four. I will have to multiple the calories and fat grams by four. And then I will multiply my self-loathing by four.

And I will think oh I should go to the gym. Then I will feel better.

But the unwritten ma thesis and the heaps of work I took home that I swore I would do are also calling me.

And I will think oh next week. Next week I will go to the gym every day and I will go back to weight watchers and I will only eat salad and fruit and whole grains and be perfect. And before you know it, I'll be a prima ballerina with the Moscow Ballet.

Which sets me up for a new wave of failure and self-flagellation and disgust.

In order to avoid looking at all these failures, I don't look at all. I don't test. I guesstimate (and under guesstimate) carb counts. I throw (ouch) the baby out with the bathwater. I cut off my nose to spite my face.

I know all of this.

So why the fuck can't I change?

p.s. Blogger spell check suggested the following:

bloc instead of blog (!).
eatable instead of hateable.
carp instead of carb.
fuji instead of fuck.
pooh instead of p.s. (?).

And the creme de la creme? Blocker instead of Blogger.

Oh fuji! I ate too many carps!

Why, honey, miscarriage doesn't make you want to fuji, fuji, fuji all night long?

This really sucks

How am I? How are we doing?

Fine, I say automatically. Well, um, okay. Y'know. The usual.

Sometimes that's true. But mostly, I think, we're still struggling.

I got an email from someone else who has been dealing with recurrent miscarriages. While she didn't want her name used publically, I hope she won't mind my sharing some of her words, which resonated with me so deeply.

She said:

It sucks.
It's not fair.
No one should have to go through what you and Pili and [me & husband] are going through. Ever.
I wanted this baby.
I wanted you and Pili to have that baby.
We don't get what we deserve. We all deserve to have these children that we want so badly. We do.

Thank you, my friend, for your words that so eloquently describe what words fail to describe. I share them in the hope that they will comfort others as they have comforted me.

And thank you, all of you, for your comments and emails and general e-love.

They have meant so much to Pili and me. They help as we struggle to hold onto our hope that someday we will be parents. As we try to balance putting this particular Tootie shaped dream away in the box (thanks Julia) while still holding on to our larger dream.

On Tuesday night, I held Pili and felt her belly pressed up against mine and imagined that there was already A! Baby! In! There!

On Wednesday, I held Pili, and couldn't bear to touch her belly. Every time I did it just reminded me of the dream that had, soap bubble like, just collapsed around us. Coincidentally, I had an appointment with a new therapist on Wednesday afternoon. When she asked me if I had any kids I did not burst into tears. For about thirty seconds.

On Thursday we held each other and I reclaimed Pili's belly. I kissed the two adorable moles near her belly button. And for a minute, I didn't think about how there wasn't a baby in there. It was just Pili's belly, that I could happily rub and tickle and zerbert (STOP IT she yelps) all day. I tickled her belly button with her pajama drawstring, resulting in a tussle that almost sent me falling off the couch. And I thought: maybe we're okay. Maybe we can get past this okay.

Tonight... Pili is snoozing on the couch. She has been since about 9 pm. I just put another log on the fire. (The fire! In May! Ridiculous!) And I keep thinking about how quickly things can change. For a minute, I think: She's tired! She's pregnant! That's a good sign! And then I remember. No, this has nothing to do with pregnancy.

And I burst out in tears again, because I just want some piece of our life not to be poisoned by this sadness. I want to go away next weekend, just get the hell out of the house and the City That Always Sleeps. I want to be out in nature or to go to a romantic b&b. But then I think: what if Pili is finally miscarrying is getting her period is I don't know what the fuck to call it next weekend? The truth is we can't escape it. And then that place too will always be tainted.

Friends who have adopted after infertility assure me that once that child is placed in your arms, it all settles down. You stop feeling like this - like a tree that has grown twisted and distorted around an invisible obstacle. I hope so.

And the other thing this blog is about? All I can say is that depression and comfort eating are not friends to exemplary diabetes control.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Five stages of grief


That's not an empty sac. She just must not have found it yet.


At the smiling lady who held the door for us as we left the clinic.

At the ad for the new maternity suites at the local hospital that I passed on the highway afterwards.

At the book on tape I'm listening to, which happens to be a story about a pregnant teenager.

At the bubbly people on the stupid lesbian TTC list I still read out of some sort of masochistic streak who post their expected due dates and talk about names the minute they see a positive pee stick - and who don't get smacked down by g-d for their hubris.

At myself, for getting my hopes up and for even mentioning it to people and for imagining how I was going to send my mother a copy of the ultrasound with my wishes for a happy belated grandmother's day and how I was going to post it here with a title "meet tootie". I should have known better. Good things do not happen to me. And now I get to disappoint my family once again.

At the homeless guy who held up traffic when I was just trying to get here to work.


What's to bargain about? Dear god, I know that it took us 1 fresh cycle and 3 FETs to get to this point, but if I give up taking your name in vain will you actually give us a real baby out of our four remaining embryos? If I hadn't picked up that damn fit pregnancy magazine at the gym, would today have been different?




Do I have a fucking choice?

Like I said: Reality is the sand blowing into every crack of the traveller's skin, the hot wind stealing what moisture remains from his eyes...

Pili urges me not to see this as part of some greater global narrative in which the overall message is YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU SUCK. But I can't really see any alternative narratives.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I never promised you a segue

We went to our friends' wedding this past weekend. It rained a lot, which sucked, because we had hoped to get some nice hikes in, and because they had planned on an outdoor ceremony and had to move it indoors.

Despite that, the wedding was really wonderful. It's the only queer wedding I've been to, besides my own, and they adapted parts of their vows from ours. Watching them face each other with tears in their eyes as they said the same words we did brought us both back to our own wedding. Pili and I squeezed each others' hands and thought about how far we've traveled together in the past year and how much further we hope to travel together in the year to come.

These are the words we spoke that day.

I give you my hand and my love.

I take you to be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, with respect for your integrity, and faith in your love for me.

I promise to care for and comfort you and to be your ally, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, faithfully loving each other as long as we both shall live.

And I meant every word of it.

The topic for this weeks's Photo Fill-in-the-day-of-the-week was your best vacation photos. In light of what's on our minds this week, I thought I would post some more photos from our trip to India. While I'm not sure they're my best vacation photos ever, they're what matters to me right now.

This is a fertility shrine in the courtyard of the Meenakshi temple in Madurai.

The cobra head figurines are fertility symbols called Nagas. The cradles hanging in and around the banyan tree are given to the goddess by women grateful for her assistance in bringing them a child.

Banyan Tree & Nagas



And then this photo from our trip to Japan. Inbetween fits of paralyzing anxiety, my joy at this potential pregnancy has been as sweet and pure as what I see on the laughing girl's face. I hope I can hold onto some of that joy no matter what Wednesday's ultrasound turns up.

Schoolgirls in the Rain

On the phone today at work, someone wished me a happy mother's day.

I hope she knows something I don't.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Our first winter here in the snowbelt, before I discovered the wonder that is snow tires, I hit a patch of black ice on the highway and found myself spinning in circles. I spun 180 degrees, facing the oncoming traffic, or where oncoming traffic would have been, had there been any. And then I spun back, somehow regained control of the car, and pulled myself over onto the shoulder. I sat there for a minute, my heart pounding uncontrollably and then gradually eased back onto the road, back into the cars speeding by oblivious to the fact that I? Had almost died. When I got to work, all I wanted to do was sleep. The adrenaline had torn through me and left skid marks behind.

Right now, I am holed up in my office at work, with my face three inches away from the monitor so that I can see the text. My car is parked in the parking lot outside, but I can't drive it for another three hours or so. I am exhausted. Going to the doctor always leaves me feeling this way. Like I'm lucky to have made it through in one piece.

My eyes were normal. Twenty years, and I'm clear for another year.

I did not however, escape without the mandatory harangue from the nurse, who informed me that my A1C was high. Gee, no one's ever told me that before. Really? You mean if it's under 7 I reduce my risks of complications? Well now that I know that, I'll get right on it. I was very tempted to tell said nurse, who was carrying a good 50-75 pounds more than her doctor would probably recommend, that losing weight would reduce her risk of heart disease and diabetes. Because, I'm sure being told that is all she needs to make it happen.

I don't understand why my eyes are okay. Dumb luck, I suppose. My last A1C, which I have strategically avoided mentioning here for fear that I will become a diabetes O.C. pariah, was 9.1. It's been lower and it's been higher. But I haven't seen seven in a while. I don't lack knowledge, I just have a very hard time moving from knowledge to action.

And so I leave the opthamologist's office feeling not unlike I did on the shoulder of the highway. As though I have somehow dodged a bullet that by all laws of nature should really have passed right through me.

I know that a recent study showed no connection between being prayed for and successful surgery, but I can't help thinking that maybe all your prayers, voodoo ceremonies, crossed fingers, and general goodwill helped - and will continue to help.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You're going to have to scroll down

To find out about the ultrasound. In the meantime, an important PSA:

The Senate has taken up debate on s.1955, the "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability" Act, otherwise known as the "Lose Your Benefits" bill.

This bill allows insurance companies to get around state mandates requiring coverage of little things like diabetes education and supplies, contraception, and infertility, among others. It's being sold as an opportunity for small businesses to afford coverage.

Julie summarized this whole crappy situation far better than I. The comments there give you an idea of the total impact of this bill.

In reality, calling what this bill would offer us "insurance coverage" is kind of like sending us out into a blizzard wearing a g-string and pasties. That's how "covered" we'd be.

Most insurance companies didn't cover contraception before states required them to.

Many insurance companies didn't cover basic diabetes testing supplies before states required them to.

Please call your senators and tell them to defeat this dangerous bill. If you've already called, please do it again.

To up the ante a bit, if you comment and tell me you called your senators today (be honest!), I will donate $2 per commenter to your choice of Lambda Legal Defense Fund, Planned Parenthood, or JDRF.

To be completely honest and above board with you, Pili will donate. 'Cuz we're not legally married, remember. And she itemizes.

So far...

so good (whispered).

I was hoping we would hear a heartbeat today, but nurse tall and brusque said it was still early for that (6 weeks even). We saw a gestational sac (14.1 mm) with a yolk sac. And she promised me that was good and normal and all we were looking for today. (Which does seem to be verified by my good friend Dr. Google).

Hcg was 16,000 and P4 was over 40.

We go back next Wednesday, and should hear heartbeat then and see fetal pole, g-d willing.

In the meantime, I feel extraordinarily anxious and obsessive. I mean, even more than usual. My skin is crawling, my heart is pounding, I am engaging in frantic fits of googling.

I want this to work so badly. And my experience of myself is that when I want something to happen this badly, it usually doesn't.

So yes, I am knocking wood every which way and creating elaborate rituals of protection and control. I must pet all four cats before I leave the house. I must not think about names. I must wear the bangles that Pili's friend gave her in India. Teetering between feeling like if I try hard enough, this might actually come true, and the rational, logical understanding that I have absolutely no control over whether or not it does.

Fortunately we have some distractions in store for us. The wedding of our very excellent friends this weekend.

Oh, and less fun: my annual opthamologist visit tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed for normal all around. Normal fetus, normal retinas. Although if I had to choose...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Donor Fatigue

A number of people have written about the difficulties of choosing a sperm donor. (And there are lots more, but I'm too lazy to link them all)

That decision is one of the things that people are most curious about when they hear about our family-building plans.

Looking through the sperm donor catalogs on line forced us to think about a lot of uncomfortable topics.

Why is it important to me that at least part of my future child's genetic heritage be ethnically Jewish? Should we defy our culture's bias against short people and go for the donor who sounds great - except that he's 5"6 - and no height is being passed on from either Pili or me. And how important is it that the donor says he'd be willing to meet the kid when s/he is 18? Do we owe our child at least that?

What is inherited anyway? Does it matter if he can speak six languages or hates math? Do academic achievement and SAT scores say more about the person or the socio-economic opportunities he's had?

When we fall in love, we don't get to cherry pick like this. I fell in love with Pili, the person. The smart, social, engaging, thoughtful person - who would also, I swear, forget her own name if it wasn't on her driver's license. She fell in love with me - g-d only knows why - and I came with a lovely medical pedigree of diabetes, depression, and a family history of obesity.

But we did get to pick. And without the context of a real person and a real personality, these small details took on lives of their own. This one was great - except he prefers dogs over cats. This one was great - except he had hazel eyes, not blue. And so on.

We made charts: +/-, mitigating factors. We bought audio interviews and long profiles and facial feature profiles. We debated the wisdom of including a unibrow in our future child's genetic make-up. And finally, we made a decision. We bought six vials, so that (ha!) we'd have some for a future sibling.

Fast forward a few IUIs.

This wasn't working. Perhaps it was his fault. Since we had to order more liquid gold sperm anyway, and we were switching doctors, why not switch donors?

This time, we went through the process in a few weeks a lot faster. No longer so certain that this was going to work, it seemed less crucial that we get every little detail right.

And it didn't work.

When we moved onto IVF, our criteria changed. Instead of wanting a donor who looked sorta like me, we wanted a donor who looked more like Pili. Our options were pretty limited, and frankly, we just didn't have that much confidence in it. And until very recently, it seemed like that lack of confidence was entirely justified.

A few days after the plus sign showed up on the pee stick, one of us asked the other, do you remember which donor we used?

And neither one of us could.

We had to go back and look at our tax files for 2005, since we spent enough money on this business for Pili to take the medical expenses deduction (!), in order to figure it out. And then we started looking for the long profile.

The long profile, it turns out, that we never bought.

I don't think this was a conscious choice. I think we were both just so sick and tired of this whole business, that this choice felt inconsequential. The idea of actually getting a kid out of this seemed (seems?) like an hallucination. Would you like your soda with or without ice, the traveler stranded in the desert imagines the waiter asking him, as his tongue sticks to the roof of his mouth from thirst. And what difference does it make, which he chooses? The obsequious waiter is just an illusion. Reality is the sand blowing into every crack of the traveller's skin, the hot wind stealing what moisture remains from his eyes...

A tangential story: At one point in this journey, I was eating brunch with soul_brother and his family and talking I believe, about the ridiculously high cost of donor sperm. His dad asked a question, which coming from anyone other than him, would have been incredibly offensive. Coming from him, I almost wet myself laughing.

"You're both good-looking girls," he said. "Why don't you just go out to a bar and find some handsome fella, and do this the old-fashioned way?" Surprised to find his son, his son's friend, his two younger sons and his wife all displaying their half-chewed waffles, he persisted. "What's the matter with that? Why are you all looking at me like that?" Once we'd all closed our mouths and stopped laughing, we managed to explain to him why, in the age of HIV, a) this might not be such a good idea, and that b) the whole reason we were in this situation to begin with was that neither one of us had any interest in "doing it the old-fashioned way."

However, it seems like Papa Soul_Brother gets the last laugh after all. Because (minus the trivial questions of disease, custody, and infidelity) what have we done? Pretty much picked out a donor on the basis of the information that could be gleaned from a somewhat stilted bar conversation. If everything goes well on Wednesday, we will order the long profile. And hope that his family tree isn't loaded with type I diabetes, depression, or anything even more unpleasant.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Interview Meme, Part III

Answering your questions:

Q. How did Pili and I meet?

A. Once upon a time, long, long, ago, in a City With More Than Four Thai Restaurants, Pili & Art-Sweet met. Pili was a gradual student at the University where Art-Sweet was an under-gradual. Nonetheless, the two might never have met, except that they both were taking karate classes at a dojo somewhat removed from the University of Gradual Studies. The two began car-pooling together. Despite the fact that Art-Sweet immediately gasped, "oh my g-d I have had such a big crush on her," upon learning the identity of Pili's ex, Pili and Art-Sweet slowly became friends.

Over the next year, the friendship gradually became more flirtatious, but Pili was adamently opposed to dating an undergradual. Once Art-Sweet gradualated, romance had a chance to bloom - except that Pili had left the City With More Than Four Thai Restaurants for a Small Town Five Hours Away. Art-Sweet came to Small Town to visit Pili, after Pili made a uncharacteristically bold but greatly appreciated telephonic pass at Art-Sweet. Art-Sweet was all in favor of a fun weekend fling, as it had been Way Too Long since, you know. She arrived on Pili's doorstep starving, having failed to find edible food along the midwestern highways. Pili swept her off her feet by feeding her homemade Indian food, and um. To the great surprise of both parties, the Fun Weekend Thing turned out to be Much More. Months of long car trips and indentured servitude to SW Airlines and AT&T followed. And the rest, as they say...

Q. What will I miss most after the baby is here let's cross that bridge after the first trimester is over?

A. Sleep, probably. And time with Pili. I also suspect my cats will be sorely neglected.

Q. What is my favorite curse word?

A. Crap, I don't know. How the crap do you expect me to answer that? Oh wait, yes I do.

Q. If I could live anywhere, where would I live?

A. I'm really pretty easy to please, within certain very narrow parameters. Diverse population. Easy, legal second parent adoption (or even better, legal marriage). Metropolitan area with good mass transit, lots of museums, and ethnic restaurants. Summers not too terribly hot. Access to the Great Outdoors relatively easy. If I had enough money, I'd love to live in NYC again, or the Bay area, although I would miss my family if I lived on the West Coast. The City With More Than Four Thai Restaurants would definitely do as well. Or Toronto, perhaps?

Saturday, May 06, 2006


SEVEN of you. Well, I'm just a girl who can't say no, so here are your interview questions. I've tried to ask everyone one or two serious questions and several frivolous questions...

I'll answer your questions tomorrow. And remember, post your answers on your blog along with the invitation to comment and be interviewed.


  1. What's your greatest fear about adopting?
  2. You are cooking a multi-course romantic meal for your wife. What do you cook and what music do you listen to whilst cooking it?
  3. If you had to eat one food, and only one food for a week, what would it be? And would you ever eat it again afterwards?
  4. What's your favorite thing about your new home?
  5. When did you come out (to yourself, to your family, to the cashier at the supermarket)? Because the only thing I love more than a good birth/adoption story is a good coming out story*
  6. Why am I not on your blogroll? HaRumph!


  1. What five things do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
  2. Does Brendon's diabetes make it hard to give your other kids enough attention?
  3. Into what areas of your life is your blog not allowed to go?
  4. Who in your Real Life knows about and reads your blog? Why them?
  5. Chocolate or vanilla?


  1. If you could snap your fingers tomorrow and cure either your husband's M.S. or Daniel's diabetes, which would you choose? Why?
  2. What was the hardest thing about moving to a new state? Would you do it over?
  3. Aside from a cure from above mentioned diseases, what's the best present someone could give you?
  4. What's the most impulsive thing you've ever done?
  5. How do your daughters deal with Daniel's diabetes?


  1. What do you like about living in Iowa?
  2. How did you and Tex meet?
  3. If you could choose to have only a son or only a daughter, which would you chose and why?
  4. Do you wish you could be the biomom?
  5. How "far" are you willing to go to pursue your dream of being a mom?


  1. When did you know that your husband was The One?
  2. Is there anything you'd like to do, but haven't done because of your diabetes?
  3. What do you hope to do once you're done with school?
  4. What's the best thing about living where you live?
  5. How often do you see/talk to your family?

Allison: (who wants to be interviewed in French!)

  1. What do you want to do after you (drum roll please) graduate?
  2. Many (though certainly not all) of the people I've met who are as upfront about their faith as you are tend to have more conservative social views than you do. You've blown my stereotypes out of the water, for which I'm most grateful. So I'm really curious how it is that you've arrived at your particular blend of faith and politics.
  3. What is your absolute, least favorite thing about diabetes?
  4. What are you planning to do with your summer vacation?
  5. Would you marry someone who did not share your religious faith?


  1. If you could ask George Bush one question, which he would be required to answer honestly, what would it be?
  2. How did you meet Co? Was it love at first sight?
  3. If you could relive one year of your life, what year would it be - and why?
  4. Do you also hope to bio-mom at some point?
  5. What do you like about seventh graders?

*My friend K. will gladly recount the story of the time he told me that an extremely proper, WASPy girl from our high school was having a coming out party.

------ is a lesbian? I asked in disbelief.

Um, no. White gloves, mock wedding kind of thing.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Photo it's actually Friday: Tacky & Tasteless

Or: Why wedding registries are a good thing.

This is a vase my cousin sent us as a wedding present.

The Giant Chianti Vase

It looks like a giant chianti bottle minus the basket. (And yes, the rug is sorely overdue for vacuuming. See: four cats)

Giant Chianti Vase with Cats

The cats give you a sense of scale. These are not small cats, either.

What is that paper inside the vase? Why, that would be the receipt. I am sure my cousin thought that this was a very nice gift and that if we didn't like it we could return it to the large chain store from whence it came. Except that the nearest branch of that large chain store is 200 MILES AWAY FROM WHERE WE LIVE. And it would now require some sort of special miner's tweezers to get the receipt out.

Before you tell me what a selfish #$*@! I am, I am very grateful that my whole family has embraced Pili and I as a couple. We are so unbelievably lucky to have such family and friends in our lives. And I am grateful that they not only embraced us as a couple, but choose to give us presents to acknowledge that fact.

But geez. That. Vase.

The moral of the story: Wedding Registries = Good. Family = Good. Vacuuming = Bad & Overdue.

There is even more tackiness on the flickr stream, but I do actually have a job and I should be doing it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thursday's Meme

Here's a new one: I'm not sure how well it will work out, but it doesn't require a lot of work from me up front so...

  • Leave me a comment saying “interview me.” The first five commenters will be the participants.
  • I will respond by asking you five questions.
  • You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Since I'm starting this, you can also comment and ask me a question (totally stolen from hd over at her small corner of the universe.)

Tommorrow - the tackiest thing in my house. And only five more days of this particular obsession.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Meme a Day, II

This ABC meme has been making the rounds...

Accent: New Yawkish. I don’t hear it, but others do.

Booze: Oh, you name it. Wine. Beer, as long as it’s good beer. I won’t drink anything that rhymes with Cud or has Light or even worse, Lite, in its name. I also have a not-so-secret fondness for brightly colored girly drinks, mojitos, and this fabulous thing called a dark and stormy. I won’t drink anything involving scotch or whiskey (see party, november 1993). Despite the fact that this is my longest answer, I probably have two or three drinks a week, max.

Chore I hate: Doing dishes. Pili does them all the time, g-d bless her, in exchange for litter boxes, which I can tolerate.

Dog or cat: Cats. Four of them.

Essential electronics: Laptop.

Favorite cologne(s): Vanilla anything.

Gold or silver: Plastic, except for my wedding ring.

Hometown: See Accent.

Insomnia: What time was this posted? I think that answers that question.

Job title: Multitasker.

Kids: One (?) fetus. Four cats.

Living arrangements: Treehouse.

Most admirable trait: Sly sense of humor. Empathy.

Number of sexual partners: Enough to know I’ve got it good now.

Overnight hospital stays: Once for diabetes dx, and once, recently for OHSS. Although I’ve spent almost the entire night in emergency rooms a couple of times.

Phobias: Small, enclosed spaces with lots of people in them.

Quote: “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams

Religion: Jewish

None :(

Time I wake up: As late as possible. See Insomnia?

Unusual talent or skill: Skating in circles, backwards, on ice.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: I don’t refuse to eat any veggies. But I’m not partial to eggplant or okra.

Worst habit: Procrastination & Decisional Dithering.

Teeth. Femurs. Ankle. Knee. Foot. Spine.

Yummy foods I make: Biscuits. Cookies. Enchiladas. Vegetarian Matzah Ball Soup. And many more.

Zodiac sign: Pisces.

Only one week left til the u/s. In the meantime, I tag: Cali and Deanna. And anyone else who feels like being tagged. You're it!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How I will amuse myself

During the Ten nine day wait for a heartbeat.

MEMES are the answer.

I will do a meme-a-day until the tenth.

Erin tagged me with this one several days ago.

Six weird facts about me

1. I am quite matter of fact about my own medical procedures, but get very light-headed and queasy when hearing about or witnessing the medical adventures of others. I almost passed out during Pili's HSG. This makes me a little concerned about the whole birth business... should we get to that point.

2. I am obsessed with plucking my eyebrows. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to get rid of a stubborn hair.

3. I am good at parallel parking but terrible at backing up in a straight line.

4. I frequently confuse right and left.

5. I broke my right foot. Twice. In the same place. And yes, I'm sure it's my right foot. That is, I think I'm sure.

6. According to sitemeter, my blog has been visited by people from every state except Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Since I'm too cheap to upgrade my sitemeter subscription, I created an excel spreadsheet to track this. If you're from anywhere one of these states, please make my day and delurk.

I tag... whomever has more interesting weird facts than I.

It gives me great pleasure

to move Kwynne from "Can I Have a Baby with That?" to "Got Kids."

Welcome to the world little Leandre.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Photo Fonday: Reflections

Hopefully it will still be monday when I put this up.

I chose this topic for PF because I love looking at photos of reflections, plain and simple. I'm so awed by what people have done with this one - Temmerling, Liza and many more.

I always have a hard time choosing just one, so here goes:

rice paddy reflections

Reflections of individual blades of grass.

eastern state ii

Eastern State Penitentiary - such an amazing historic site.

kerala church reflections

From the houseboat in Kerala, on our honeymoon.

Sunset III

A calm picture before I go off to bed. G'night one and all.

The Sweet Life

I had a pretty good weekend.

My presentation at the main conference in my field went well.

I did not tell everyone I knew at the conference that my wife is five weeks pregnant, although it was very tempting.

Person I used to work with: So, what's new with you, Art-Sweet?

Me: Y'know, blah blah blah work stuff. (Thinking: PREGNANT, PREGNANT, PREGNANT! Holy shit. Knock on wood, salt, shoulder, blah blah blah)

And I met Julia and her fabulous family. Let me tell you, that woman makes a mean taco. And I hope my mouth didn't have food in it when she told me how old she was, because I know it dropped open.

Her daughter O. is funny, smart, and caring. She gave me some good pump tips which I will put to use as soon as McClinic gets around to processing my paperwork. The baby I. was adorable. I loved watching her husband interact with both girls - he seems so into being a dad, and that always melts my heart.

Photo um, why do I bother calling it Friday, will be posted tonight, I promise.

Along with a ton of comments on other people's blogs.