Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Money matters

We met with our financial planner last night. I think this is our 3rd or 4th year with him. We told him that we wanted to start trying to have kids, which means we will begin spending the money we had set aside for the kids. He was surprised because he had in our records that we were planning to wait until 2012. Really, that far away? In 2012 I will be 33. I know we pushed up our timeline - we weren't even going to think about kids until after I turned 30, and I remember telling lots of people that we were waiting until 32, so I guess he wasn't that off-base. K got scared that my eggs are getting old and I won't be able to get pregnant. And what if we want more than one? I'm not getting any younger - better start now!

So we haven't saved as much as we planned, but we've saved a good amount. That along with our impressive - first year of home ownership - tax rebate will allow us to try for over a year before we start to run out of money. Let's just hope it doesn't take that long.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Sunday was our eighth anniversary. Sometimes I think eight years - wow, that's a long time. I'm only 29. Sometimes I think - only eight years? I feel like I've known K my whole life.

We had an active anniversary. We went to church and announced during Joys and Sorrows that it was our anniversary. Every one clapped and later said congrats. Our friend C said 'Wow, you guys are getting old!'. C, I think you're older than we are...

The organizer for the church women's retreat came to beg us to attend. We told her we couldn't spend the $150 each because we have to buy sperm. We didn't really want to go, but money is always a nice excuse.

After church I went to our church's LGBTQA Task Force meeting while K went to Safeway and bought an Ovulation Predictor Kit. She cheaped out with the store brand - $23 for 7 sticks to pee on. That's officially the first expense of our baby making experience. We will be using these in March.

We came home for lunch and then took our dog to Petsmart to get her nails clipped. Doesn't this sound like the most romantic anniversary ever? It does get better.

After Petsmart, we went for a walk in the park. Then rushed home to get gussied up for a nice dinner at a swanky vegetarian restaurant in DC. This is our go-to place for nice dinners. It feels fancy, but it's not actually that expensive - maybe $15 for an entree. We've only been a few times - to celebrate my birthday, to celebrate K passing her professional exam. We love it there, so we try to keep it special. We had a very tasty dinner and I really enjoyed just talking to K. We get so caught up in the day to day, we don't get to just talk to each other some times.

Back at home we stopped into the Oscar party in our condo for a few minutes - long enough to see the monologue and a few awards. Saying we had to go to bed, we left early. Feeling happy and in love, we came home to poop on our floor that had to be cleaned up.

That's parenting, right? We used to have these big romantic nights out. Now we have to clean poop off of the floor on our anniversary. And I'm okay with that.

Restaurant: Vegetate

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tax Refund

A asked what we would do with our two $600 rebates. I said that $1200 would cover 2-3 vials of sperm. At least we're stimulating the sperm bank business.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


When I tell people that I was raised Southern Baptist, they say "Oooh...". But I say, no, not that Southern Baptist. I was raised as a part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a liberal off-shoot of the Southern Baptist Church. How liberal? I don't know. I was just a kid in a non-political family, so I don't really know the church stance on various political issues. I do know that my minister was a wonderful man. He spoke at my grandfather's (Papa's) funeral when I was 18. My grandma (Granny), a Catholic, was worried because Papa was anti-religion. Where did he go when he died? The minister gave a sermon at the funeral which I will always remember. He said that God is love. That God is not concerned with if you go to church. God is concerned with what you do, how you live your life. I didn't know it at the time, but that's liberal religion.

Now I'm a Unitarian Universalist, but not because I'm not a Christian. My partner was raised Hindu/Muslim, and we needed a church home that was big enough to encompass all of our beliefs. We also wanted a church that supported our family as a same-sex couple, and knew that Christian, Hindu, and Muslim churches traditionally would not be supportive.

My childhood minister died when I was 19, about 6 months after Papa. My dog died a few weeks later. It was a hard year. I didn't come out until I fell in love with K, when I was 21. What would he think? What would he say? I imagine he wouldn't be supportive. The website for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is vague regarding their support of gay-issues. In a way, I'm glad he's not here to reject me. It would hurt too much.

In college I attending a church that was a part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that was even more liberal. They had female Deacons, my home church did not. Around the time that I was considering my own sexuality there was a Sunday school discussion about homosexuality. It was the kinder, gentler approach to homosexuality as a sin, but it still left me uneasy. Not long after I stopped attending and also quit the Baptist Campus Ministries (I was the secretary, so this was a big deal for me). I talked to the head of our campus baptist group when I quit. She was a deacon at that church. I told her that I was uncomfortable with the church views on homosexuality. I didn't say I was thinking about homosexuality myself - I hadn't said this outloud to anyone yet - but I'm sure she guessed. She said that did not think homosexuality was a sin and that she had attended a few same-sex weddings. That made me feel better but I quit anyway.

I read this article in the Atlanta Journal yesterday about the recent Baptist Convention: Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are trying to convince Baptists to be more inclusive. And there's a groups of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists pressing the issue. Good for them for sticking with it. I'm not strong enough to fight, but I'm glad they are. I still feel something strong for this religion, somewhere deep inside.

LGBT Friendly Children's Books

We are throwing a baby shower for A & C, and they have asked for LGBT friendly children's books. I was looking up what is available on Amazon, and found these, and thought I'd share. Let me know what you think of these books, or if you know of others. The only one of these that I've read is And Tango Makes Three.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell (Author), Justin Richardson (Author)
PreSchool-Grade 3-This tale based on a true story about a charming penguin family living in New York City's Central Park Zoo will capture the hearts of penguin lovers everywhere. Roy and Silo, two male penguins, are "a little bit different." They cuddle and share a nest like the other penguin couples, and when all the others start hatching eggs, they want to be parents, too. Determined and hopeful, they bring an egg-shaped rock back to their nest and proceed to start caring for it. They have little luck, until a watchful zookeeper decides they deserve a chance at having their own family and gives them an egg in need of nurturing. The dedicated and enthusiastic fathers do a great job of hatching their funny and adorable daughter, and the three can still be seen at the zoo today. Done in soft watercolors, the illustrations set the tone for this uplifting story, and readers will find it hard to resist the penguins' comical expressions. The well-designed pages perfectly marry words and pictures, allowing readers to savor each illustration. An author's note provides more information about Roy, Silo, Tango, and other chinstrap penguins. This joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library.

King & King by Linda De Haan (Author), Stern Nijland (Author), Linda De Haan (Author)
When a grouchy queen tells her layabout son that it's time for him to marry, he sighs, "Very well, Mother.... I must say, though, I've never cared much for princesses." His young page winks. Several unsatisfactory bachelorettes visit the castle before "Princess Madeleine and her brother, Prince Lee" appear in the doorway. The hero is smitten at once. "What a wonderful prince!" he and Prince Lee both exclaim, as a shower of tiny Valentine hearts flutters between them. First-time co-authors and artists de Hann and Nijland matter-of-factly conclude with the royal wedding of "King and King," the page boy's blushing romance with the leftover princess and the assurance that "everyone lives happily ever after." Unfortunately, the multimedia collages are cluttered with clashing colors, amorphous paper shapes, scribbles of ink and bleary brushstrokes; the characters' features are indistinct and sometimes ugly. Despite its gleeful disruption of the boy-meets-girl formula, this alterna-tale is not the fairest of them all. For a visually appealing and more nuanced treatment of diversity in general, Kitty Crowther's recent Jack and Jim is a better choice. Ages 6-up.

King & King & Family by Linda De Haan (Author), Stern Mijland (Author), Stern Nijland (Author)
PreSchool-Grade 2–In this follow-up to King & King (Tricycle, 2002), King Lee and King Bertie have just married and embark on a honeymoon. As they fly off to jungle country, the two men soon discover that their cat has stowed away in their suitcase. The travelers happily tramp through the wilderness and paddle down a river, observing the wildlife as they go. Before long, they have a strange feeling that something is following them. Upon returning home, they discover another stowaway in their suitcase–this time it's a young girl from the jungle, whom they joyfully adopt and everyone lives happily ever after. The mixed-media collage illustrations are colorful with lots to look at on each page–perhaps too much, as some of the spreads are a bit cluttered. Bertie's travel diary is reproduced on the book's centerfold, hinting at the surprise ending. The text is brief and fun, and the relationships are treated matter-of-factly. However, children may wonder why the men do not try to find the little girl's family, or check to see if anyone is searching for her. All in all, this story about a nontraditional family is a bit heavy-handed.

One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine (Author), Melody Sarecky (Illustrator)
PreSchool-Grade 2-The message that all people are basically the same whatever their skin color or sexual orientation is a worthy one, but this book, despite its cheerful pictures, is too didactic to have much appeal. In rhyming text, two children discuss a boy's two blue dads. He points out that, aside from their color, they are the same as other fathers-they work, play, and laugh. His friend wonders how they got that way and offers numerous explanations, but he tells her that they are blue simply because they are. The only trouble with the situation is that they are hard to see against the sky. "But except for that problem,/our life is routine,/and they're just like all other dads-/black, white, or green." And when the girl declares that she has never seen a green dad, a new child appears, stating that her two fathers are both green. Children young enough to take the tale at face value will probably think it is silly (since people are neither blue nor green), while older readers would be better served by a straightforward presentation of the subject matter.

The Family Book by Todd Parr (Author)
PreSchool-Grade 2-As he did in The Mommy Book and The Daddy Book (both Little, Brown, 2002), Parr introduces children to an array of families. Whimsical illustrations featuring neon colors and figures outlined in black show big ones and small ones, and families that look alike and relatives who look just like their pets. The art features both human and animal figures; thus, pigs depict both a family that likes to be clean, and one that likes to be messy. Some families include stepmoms, stepdads, stepsisters, or stepbrothers; some adopt children. Other families have two moms or two dads, while some children have only one parent. Interspersed with the differences among families are the ways they are alike: all like to hug each other, are sad when they lose someone they love, enjoy celebrating special days together, and can help each other to be strong. This concept book celebrating the diversity of family groups is distinguished by its sense of fun.

Who's in a Family? by Robert Skutch (Author), Laura Nienhaus (Illustrator)
Beginning with a traditional nuclear family and ending with blank spaces in which the child reader is instructed to "draw a picture of your family," this slight book catalogues multicultural contemporary family units, including those with single parents, lesbian and gay parents, mixed-race couples, grandparents and divorced parents. Kevin and his brother like their kimono-clad grandmother to help them with their jigsaw puzzles, while Ricky lives with two families. "Aunt Amanda and Uncle Stan," pictured riding in a blue convertible with their pets, "don't have any children at all" but are "still a family," says the narrator, because "they say Mouser and Fred are their 'babies.'" Because "animals have families, too," the text describes elephant, lion, chimpanzee and dog families as well as human families. (A human family headed by a mother is "like the chimpanzee family. Mama chimp raises the babies by herself, with the help of any older children she may have.") Nienhaus's lackluster illustrations, the schoolmarmish tone of the text and the comparisons with wild animals all tend to undercut the final definition of a family as "the people who love you the most!" Ages 3-7.

Heather Has Two Mommies (Alyson Wonderland) by Leslea Newman (Author), Diana Souza (Illustrator)
This handsome 10-anniversary edition of a minor classic presents the story of Heather, a preschooler with two moms who discovers that some of her friends have very different sorts of families. Juan, for example, has a mommy and a daddy and a big brother named Carlos. Miriam has a mommy and a baby sister. And Joshua has a mommy, a daddy, and a stepdaddy. Their teacher Molly encourages the children to draw pictures of their families, and reassures them that "each family is special" and that "the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." In the afterword, the author (whose other children's books include Matzo Ball Moon) explains that although she grew up in a Jewish home, in a Jewish neighborhood, there were no families like hers on the television or in picture books. She came to regard her family as somehow "wrong," since there was no Christmas tree in the living room and no Easter egg hunt. Whatever the religious right may wish to think about nontraditional families, there is no denying that any child enrolled in an American school will encounter friends with single parents, gay parents, stepparents, or adoptive parents. This new, revised version of Heather Has Two Mommies offers an enjoyable, upbeat, age-appropriate introduction to the idea of family diversity. The book is essential for children (ages 2 to 6) with gay parents or family members, and a great addition to a Rainbow Curriculum.

Molly's Family by Nancy Garden (Author), Sharon Wooding (Author)
PreSchool-Grade 1-To get ready for kindergarten Open School Night, Molly draws a picture of her family to hang on the wall-herself, Mommy, Mama Lu, and their puppy. After seeing the picture, her classmates tell her, "No one has two mommies." Despite her teacher's efforts to be supportive, the child is still concerned. That night, her parents explain, "we decided we had so much love that we wanted to share it with a baby." Thus, one of them is her birth mother; the other an adoptive parent. Still, Molly leaves her drawing home the next day. With further matter-of-fact reassurance by her teacher and the budding understanding that all families are different, Molly, and indeed the whole class, grows to accept her own family, and she proudly hangs her picture on the wall. While the children in the story are not shy about expressing their feelings, the author diffuses any tension by remaining focused on logic: Molly's family is as she claims. By tying this specific household to the general diversity within all families, Garden manages to celebrate them all. The soft colored-pencil drawings with their many realistic details depict a room full of active kindergartners. There is a squat sweetness to the characters as they work together to make everything look and feel right.

ABC A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs (Author), Desiree Keane (Illustrator), Brian Rappa (Illustrator)
It's family fun from A to Z in this alphabet book that shows kids and their parents laughing, playing and enjoying family life. All of the brilliant watercolors depict families headed by gays and lesbians. "C is for cookies. Both of my dads know how to make great chocolate chip cookies." "L is for lunch. We always pack a picnic lunch when my moms take me to the beach."

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr (Author)
For anyone who ever doubted it, Todd Parr is here to tell us all that it's okay to be different. With his signature artistic style, featuring brightly colored, childlike figures outlined in heavy black, Parr shows readers over and over that just about anything goes. From the sensitive ("It's okay to be adopted"--the accompanying illustration shows a kangaroo with a puppy in her pouch) to the downright silly ("It's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub"), kids of every shape, size, color, family makeup, and background will feel included in this gentle, witty book. In this simple, playful celebration of diversity, Parr doesn't need to hammer readers over the head with his message.

Families by Susan Kuklin (Illustrator)
Kindergarten-Grade 4–This book consists of interviews with the children from 15 different families, including mixed-race, immigrant, gay, lesbian, and divorced, as well as single parents and families for whom religion is a focal point. The children may be adopted, have special needs, be only children or have multiple siblings, and, of course, the characteristics frequently overlap. The interviews focus on the youngsters' feelings about being part of their family: adults do not interfere. The voices are natural, and the children come across as individuals, not just representative of a particular lifestyle or ethnic group. According to an author's note, Kuklin allowed her subjects to choose how they would be photographed, including the clothing worn and what family mementos would be shown. Working with those constraints, Kuklin has composed sharp and vibrant photos that capture the essence of each of them. This book will be both attractive to browsers and an excellent impetus for discussing relationships and diversity in America.

The Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan (Author), Danamarie Hosler (Illustrator)
This bedtime story about bedtime stories shows how the wonderful care and curiosity of a little boy, with some help from his willing moms, can lead to magical and unexpected places. Join Noah and his cat, Diva, on this nighttime adventure and you too will leave with an unforgettable new dragon friend!

Flying Free
A picture book for children of LGBT and diverse families. Flying Free is narrated by a firefly captured by a five-year-old girl named Violet. Violet plans to use the firefly as her very own nightlight. Her mommies, Mommy Blue and Mama Red, go along with the idea, but the firefly refuses to live in a glass jar. After several attempts, the firefly devises the ultimate escape plan. . .what will her fate be? Flying Free is suitable for children age 2-6.

Felicia's Favorite Story by Leslea Newman (Author), Adriana Romo (Illustrator)
PreSchool-Grade 1-In a story set in a loving family with two women as parents, a little girl asks for her favorite bedtime story-the tale of how she became part of the family. As Felicia asks questions and fills in the blanks, her mothers playfully relate the tale of their decision to share their love by bringing her into their lives. The gentle, rhythmic text perfectly mirrors the give-and-take that occurs with preschoolers when parents extend the story: Did they decide to adopt a giraffe, a mouse, or a baby? Did they take a boat or a car to Guatemala to pick her up? Was she as small as a button or a cookie when she was a baby? In the cozy conclusion to her own story and the book itself, Felicia's moms tell her that her name means "happy" in Spanish-a feeling shared by all. Each piece of art is framed by a stylistic geometric border reminiscent of stained glass. The smiling child and parents are drawn in a somewhat static style that is softened by the use of pastel colored pencils. This is a comforting book for children in alternative families as well as a pleasant tale for all children who rejoice in sharing their own life story.

Mom And Mum Are Getting Married by Ken Setterington (Author), Alice Priestly (Illustrator)
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Rosie's two mothers are going to get married. When Mom tells her daughter about their plans, the youngster asks if she can be a bridesmaid or a flower girl, but Mom just wants a small celebration. Rosie offers another option–she and her brother, Jack, will carry the rings. Predictably, when the big day arrives, the rings are temporarily misplaced (by the couple). Rosie comes up with a solution to prevent them from getting lost a second time, and the wedding comes off without a hitch. "A perfect day," says Mum. The ink-and-colored pencil drawings are somewhat flat but colorful. While the story is slight and not particularly engaging, libraries needing to augment their collections on gay lifestyles may want to consider it.–

Monday, February 18, 2008


A came to visit this weekend, and we celebrated Christmas together since we haven't seen her since October. She got me two children's books - And Tango Makes Three and One Grain of Rice. I love And Tango Makes Three because its true and a beautiful story. I've never heard of One Grain of Rice, but it was the perfect book for K and I. It's an Indian mathematical folklore, combining K's heritage and my career. A said that when she found it, she had to buy it for us because it was just so perfect.

We surprised A with babysitting B & E. Hopefully she enjoyed it. We thought she wouldn't mind because she likes kids... We enjoyed it at least. We cooked them dinner, then I watched Scooby Doo with them while K cleaned up (we made a HUGE mess with dinner), then B read from And Tango Makes Three for all of us. Then they went to bed, two hours past their bedtime, and J & S came to pick them up 15 minutes later. Not a complete success, but not bad.

We went to bed telling each other that we're going to make great moms. Then I woke up oozing with what I think was egg white fertile mucus. It was just pooring out of me. This is supposed to indicate that I am ovulating, which doesn't make since because it's only the 11th day of my cycle and my temperatures are still low. I'm starting to doubt that I can truly track my ovulation.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

We had a great Valentine's Day. This is our eighth Valentine celebration together, though technically we weren't together for the first one. Back in 2000, when we were in college, we somehow learned that Valentine week was International Flirt Week, and we flirted over-the-top within our group of friends. But K & I were flirting a lot, like way more than we were flirting with the others. Flirt week ended, but we kept flirting, and it became less of a joke. We started sitting closer together and holding hands when no one was looking. 10 days after Valentine's Day is when we celebrate our anniversary, but it all started with Valentine's Day and International Flirt Week.

We don't usually have too big of a celebration since our anniversary is so close to Valentine's day. But this year we had a more traditional Valentine celebration. K made me chocolate covered strawberries to take to work (a tradition that started in grad school), and mailed to my office coupons for free Kripsy Kreme donuts every day for the whole week My secretary delivered these daily, saying, looks like you've got another valentine. I sent K flowers, which I've never done before. I've always wanted to send her flowers like in that episode of The Office where Bob Vance sends like 5 rose deliveries to Phyllis throughout the day. I wanted K to be Phyllis and everyone to be jealous. But that's a lot of money and in general we agree not to spend too much of our hard earned money on gifts for each other. So I went with one delivery of gerber daisies, and I still think everyone was jealous. A coworker of hers said she was beaming. I wish I could have seen it.

Last night we tried a new Italian restaurant in our neighborhood. We don't have any Italian restaurants that we go to and sometimes we miss them. We grew up in FL where there is less diversity than here and where a night out either means Italian or American food. Here we usually eat Asian food, which we love and could never get in FL. In fact, when we visit family, we start to crave Asian food. But sometimes here we crave the Italian food we grew up eating. There is one restaurant in our neighborhood that is way over priced ($25 per plate), one restaurant which has very little vegetarian food, and one restaurant which we really didn't like. So we were really hoping that this restaurant would be good, and it was. It's a cozy little place with brick walls and candle lighting. Dishes are all affordable ($13 for lasagna and $14 for eggplant parmesan). It was a nice romantic night out, with good food and good company.

I'm sure we would have found our way to each other eventually, but International Flirt Week and Valentine's Day pushed us way back in 2000. So while neither of us are Catholic, and neither of us believe in saints, I guess we both have to be thankful to St. Valentine for bringing us together. Hopefully next year will be our last Valentine's Day celebration that doesn't require a baby sitter.

Restaurant: Olazzo

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


We finally saw Sicko last night. It's been at the top of my netflix queue since it came out with "Long Wait" next to it. A coworker came by one day and said "You have to see Sicko!" I said "I'm trying!" So finally they sent it to me. That is a scary movie.

I don't know how I feel about universal health care. We have a British friend and some British family who say things aren't as rosy in England as they are portrayed. Like you have to wait months to see a doctor. And we all know the British have bad teeth! But we've got to have something better than what we have in America.

My parents are small business owners and growing up we had the worst insurance ever. We never went to the doctor unless it was absolutely necessary. I remember in middle school having a temperature of 104 and not going to the doctor because my mom wanted to see if it would go down. And our regular doctor was just the local walk-in clinic. I also remember my cousin breaking her arm and going to the hospital and only paying $25 to fix it because her dad worked for the county and had good health insurance. These things made an impact on me and I would always tell people that when I grew up, I wanted a job with benefits. It's a strange thing for a kid to say, but the insurance thing made an impact on me early in my life.

But after watching Sicko, it's like maybe just having insurance isn't enough if they can deny your claims. Watching it made me thankful that I changed insurance. Kaiser, my old insurance, invented HMOs, and are very good at denying coverage and keeping their money. I've heard this before and it's why I switched insurance before I even starting trying to get pregnant. And I switched to a POS, which just has to be better than an HMO, but they are still in it for the money, so I'm sure you can still get fucked.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lobbying for same-sex marriage

For the past few years the state of MD has been involved in a court case in which 9 couples sued the government for the right to marry. It took years, went through the various levels of court, and was finally decided a few months a go by one vote in the state supreme court that same-sex couples do not have a constitutional right to marry.

In response this year a bill has been introduced that would make same sex marriage legal. We went down with some members of our church to a large statewide rally in front of the capital building last night, and then met with our state senator and two of our three delegates. We are very lucky to live where we do. All of our delegates and our senator sponsor the bill. The lead sponsor in the senate is our senator Jamie Raskin and he is very outspoken on this issue. We basically went to thank them for their support. Friends of ours in more conservative counties didn't have it as easy. Our friends A and C, C who is big and pregnant, went into a few sessions with people that said, basically, to a pregnant woman, I'm sorry, I don't support you and your family. That sucks. So we're thankful for where we live, and for the people who represent us. And we're thankful for the people that lobby with delegates that are unfriendly.

According to our delegates and senator, we are close to being able to get this passed, at least as civil unions. I'd take civil unions. Hell, I'd take anything, which is more than what I've got now. But I don't have my hopes up. I let myself get too hopeful with the court case, and that just led to depression. So for now I'm just watching and hoping C and her big belly made an impact on someone important last night.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Aren't you so excited?

Our friends AW & CW were having dinner with our other friends CS & DS on Saturday. CW is pregnant and due in April. We're all very excited for AW & CW. However, according to CW, they were not talking about babies or anything related and CS turned to CW and said "Aren't you so excited that J & K are going to have a baby?" We love CS! She is so sweet. Hopefully we will have a baby soon for her.

Other people's kids

I don't always like other people's kids. All of the running around and screaming and crying and whining can get on your nerves quick. Some people love all kids, but I am certainly not one of those people. However, I think we've realized that we like our friends kids. If someone is interesting enough to be our friends, they tend to raise interesting children. The kids we like the most are B & E. B is a 7 year old boy and E is a 5 year old girl, and they belong to our friends J & S.

We saw them at church on Sunday. I walked up to the two kids and B said "We're drinking coffee. I drink coffee and non-alcoholic beer. Ask my dad." Then he brings his dad over and says "Dad, don't I drink coffee and non-alcoholic beer?" And the dad says "Yeah, but tell J why you are drinking coffee." And B says "Because it's too early for whiskey." HUH?

B had a Hillary sticker on. I asked if he was voting for Hillary and he said yes. I asked E who she was voting for and she said "I can't decide. Both candidates are so good." I agree, E, I agree.

These are the kids I want. They are fun. They make me laugh. They are well-behaved. They make me happy. How do we raise our kids as well as J & S have raised theirs?

Infant & Toddler Room

On Sunday we volunteered in the Infant & Toddler room at church. This was our first time. We thought it would be good to get more experience around babies and also lots of fun. There were three children - S who was 10 and a half months, A who was 1.5 years, and B who was 2. And three adults - K and I and the paid nursury worker Miss K.

These kids were so cute. K bonded with B immediately and they colored and puzzled together the whole time. Babies always love her and I love watching her with them. S has been coming to the church since he was a new baby and has a tight bond with Miss K, and cries when anyone else holds him. She asked me to try to hold him, and he happily sat in my lap eating cheerios the whole time, which surprised Miss K. I guess babies love me too.

Miss K thought about sending us home since there were so few kids but decided to keep us around just in case. I said "That's okay. We wanted to do this." She said "I can tell!"

S's parents came to pick him up, and chatted with K and I for a minute. We said we were new volunteers and she asked if we had any of our own, and we said no. She said "You should try!" We smiled.

Baby clothes

Saturday there was a clothing swap in the church across from our condo. We went and picked up some clothes for ourselves and then scanned the baby clothes for our friends A & C who are due in April. Basically, I picked up anything that was clean and got a nice bag full of free clothes for them. I was looking at the clothes and thought, wow, is anyone ever really this small? So cute! One piece made me pause. It was a green onesie that said "Angel cutie" on the front. Our dog is named Angel and we call her cutie all of the time. I thought that this was the perfect piece for our baby. OUR BABY?! We don't have a baby, we're not even trying to get pregnant yet. I mentioned to K that I thought we should keep it and she said, no, we shouldn't. And she's right, and we gave the outfit with the others to A & C. We shouldn't start to gather things for our baby until we actually have a baby to gather things for. It's like bad luck or something. But I really wanted that cute little outfit.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Coworker Babies

My coworker friend L and his wife C have been trying on their own to get pregnant for over a year. L said if they don't get pregnant by June, they will go to a fertility clinic to try to speed things along (I think they could do a few things on their own more than just have sex and hope for the best, but whatever). My other coworker friend I is a single man who is planning to use a surrogate to have a baby. The process will take about 1.5 years. So it's possible that two friends of our will have babies around the time that we do, which is kind of cool. Also, our nonwork friends A & C are giving birth in April to their first, so their baby will be over a year old by the time ours is born, which is still cool. We're learning a lot from them. So we're basically going from not having any friends who are parents to having a handful who are expecting/trying at the same time we are. It's nice to have people to talk to.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Got my period

My period came today. I had a 31 day cycle, and I think I ovulated around day 16. Since never in the 19 years that I've been getting my period have I ever kept track of it, I have no idea if that is a typical cycle. I think I will keep monitoring my temperature this month, then in March I think I will start using the ovulation predictor kits to better pinpoint when I ovulate, since the doctor thought we should practice with this before we actually try to get pregnant. So I will chart my temperature January - April, use the OPKs March and April, take May off for travel, and start trying to get knocked up in June.

19 years of periods! I feel so old.

Pregnancy does cause memory loss, study says

Interesting article:

I also read an article that says that your brain shrinks 8% while you are pregnant. My memory is already pretty much shot, so I guess I'll just be a bumbling idiot while pregnant.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Insurance continued

I blogged earlier about my new POS insurance. I know, insurance is a very uninteresting topic, yet, I'm still going on about it. I went to the fertility clinic with my new insurance last month, and they were in my network (this is not why we chose them, it was just a nice surprise) so they said I don't have to pay anything. I said "Are you sure?" They said yes and sent me home.

I just received the statement from my insurance company for that visit. The cost of the visit was $359, and, if I'm reading it correctly, I am only responsible for $20. $20! That's amazing. I don't know if that means they will cover the insemination, but on the clinic's website is says they will deal with the insurance company for me. They probably know how to word things so that I am more likely to get this insured. I have my fingers crossed, but as with the rest of this process, I'm trying not to be too hopeful. We've saved lots of money for this process, and I fully expect to spend all of it. And if, for some reason, we're lucky enough not to have to, well then, all the merrier.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I have a crazy mother-in-law. She wasn't born in America, so I have to write some of her oddities off to cultural differences. However, I still think, even after all of that, that she says/does some crazy things. She lives in FL, we live in MD, so there are some safe distances between us most of the time. She is Indian-Guyanese, and as I've learned from my many Asian friends, Asian families have fewer boundaries - your house is their house. K's grandmother basically lived with her three children for various amounts of time for the last 20-30 years of her life. She had her own home, but would go and stay with one of her children for months at a time, just to be closer to them, I guess.

The problem with the Mom-in-law is that she only has one child, K. We visit her in FL at least once a year, and she comes to visit us at least once a year. Our visits with her tend to be very short. Only two days for the past Christmas. She complains - why so short, why can't you stay longer? She has no understanding of vacation time. She is retired (has been retired for most of her life, actually), and so when she comes, it's for weeks at a time. Her last visit was last May for three weeks. She booked it saying "I'm going to visit my family in NY while I'm there to see you so I'll book a long time" but then when she got here, we said "when are you going to NY?" and she said "I'm not going to NY, why do you ask?" She just stayed the full three weeks with us. She never calls before booking her trip to see if we have plans. She just calls to say "I just booked these tickets, so I'm coming."

She hasn't been feeling well lately. Last night on the phone she specifically asked to talk to me to tell me about her woes. She said she would like to come stay with us for about a month and just sleep. Stifle a groan, that sounds great... A month would her longest visit. Her visits usually try my nerves. But I feel guilty. She is truly the only parent who supports us as a family. K's dad certainly doesn't, and we all know about my parents. And K is her only child, and we moved away from her. And there is the whole Asian culture - my house/your house - thing. But she's crazy, and she says negative things about me and my home (only in the nicest way, of course), and she's dramatic, and she's a lot to handle.

K told her to come. I told her to call us before she booked the tickets because we've got stuff going on and we aren't cancelling planned vacations. But then I sent her an email this morning encouraging her to come soon because I was secretly thinking that I don't want her here when start trying to get pregnant. It's enough to deal with our emotions, we can't deal with hers. And she used to be a nurse (back when she worked a LONG time ago) so she thinks she an expert on all things medical. I don't want her advice on this. And I want to be relaxed and just having her here stresses me out.