I dread swimsuit season. I don't know what it is. Well, yes I do. I am just not comfortable with running around with perfect strangers wearing next to nothing. I like to be covered up. Even in my own home, I usually have a blanket wrapped around me. Some may say that it is a security blanket to wrap around my insecurity. And they would probably be right.
Usually the entire time I am in a swimsuit I am just worried. I can't enjoy myself because I am constantly worried about what might be showing that shouldn't be. What might be popping out that should stay always stay in. Then there are the dreaded tan lines. I spent enough years getting the most awesome farmer's tan lines from shinguards that I absolutely abhor tan lines of any kind.
Not to mention that recently (and recently, I mean in the past few years), I have discovered I am pretty allergic to the sun/heat/combo. I break out in rashes, usually all over my back and chest. Yes, it's soooooo attractive.
And then, the last couple of times we have been to the beach (and nice beaches, I might add - Mexico, Jamaica), I have always had "medical incidents" arise that make my bikini bod ever so less attractive.
Take Mexico. Went to a really nice resort on the western side of Mexico in Ixtapa. Gorgeous beaches. Great food. Good weather. (Oh, but did I mention that the particular week we went Ixtapa was hosting Mexico's youth national baseball playoffs and our resort was headquarters?... umm yeah - incredibly romantic with literally 1600 youth running around like maniacs. We complained and got our own private cabana, but still).
Apparently the sand bugs took a liking to me, so my legs and arms were covered in horrendous bites and little welts. Cute, right? Then came the mysterious "bite" (or infection or combination of the 2). Started on my knee, spread down my leg and encircled my calf. Matt likened it to "undercooked bacon". Yummy. Even the resident Mexican Naval doctor didn't know what it was. But it was Day 2 of our vacation and I was told to "stay out of the sun and surf" for the remainder of the trip. Ummmm, sir, we have 5 days left. So I stayed hidden under our private cabana umbrella courtesy of manager of the hotel, in a swimsuit but got zero sun. So basically, I went home, pasty white as when I arrived, except for the reddish/brown growth on my leg. Attractive. We all know that ANYTHING looks better tan than it does white - - so I am sure I was a real beauty in my swimsuit on that trip.
So, for a lot of reasons I don't care for swimsuits. I've actually owned one swimsuit I liked. It had a ruffle. And it was blue & white. And I was like 3. Pudgy bellies were cute then.
The other night I got online and started "swimsuit shopping". That's right - not even going to head into the flourescent hell that is a department store dressing room. Only Heidi Klum looks good in those & I'm pretty sure those lights could magnify her minute cellulite.
I think (wish, hope, pray) that I found some cute ones at VS & J Crew. Please, God. Let them fit. That's all I care about at this point. And please let their arrival coincide with my next airbrush tan appointment (see above: allergic to sun so no tanning beds for me) so they actually look semi-acceptable.
I have one goal out of our vacation this year. I would really like to take a picture in my swimsuit on the beach. The last pic I have like that was Spring Break '99 & it should be burned. Before that, I had to have been about 14 in the Bahamas with my 'rents. I want one good pic of me in a swimsuit because after that it is "baby-making" time and with crossed fingers my belly will be swollen and ready to pop this time next year and my bikini days will be over.
And I will not cry about that :)
When we first purchased our house over 3 years, there was NOTHING out here. Nary a grocery store, gas station, drug store, restaurant, drive-thru, N.O.T.H.I.N.G. The nearest grocery was about 10-12 miles away (and while they were off of roads you can go 60mph on - that's still a lot of miles for some milk and non-fat yogurt). And just forget it if you were low on gas - I'm not proud to say that I have run out of gas 3 times since I've lived here (but seriously - isn't the light is just a "warning" ?- it shouldn't be an immediate pull over now, you idiot type thing).
Now I do realize that for most people, this would not be a major inconvenience. In fact, some people may like living in more remote areas and taking a Sunday afternoon scenic drive to the grocery.
Me, not so much.
I grew up in Suburbia Dallas remember? Plano, the land of cement & shopping. I loved that land. I am comfortable with that land. I miss that land. Did I just actually say that? Oooooh - I take it back.
I was within one mile of everything I needed. It was fantastic. When my friends and I felt like rebels, we would walk all the way to the store & buy pounds of candy and come home (yes, friends, I was a TERROR in middle school. Most kids would be sneaking out to go drink or something, I was sneaking out to purchase a sugar high.)
Well, but there was that time when we took out my parent's car at 15 years old and went "joy-riding" all over Plano....hmmmmm
But really, how far did we need to go in our little joyride? (read: 1991 Olds Cutlass Supreme Convertible. It doesn't get much sweeter than that. Did I mention it had maroon leather interior? Don't be jealous.) Everything we needed was right there.
College was the same deal - Baton Rouge had everything close by. Need your nails done? Go 1 mile. Need a tan? Go one mile. Need liquor, I mean soft drinks, go 1 mile to the nearest Circle K.
Spoiled, I know. Slidell was the epitome of living close to everything - I mean, I worked, worked out, grocery-shopped, and did pretty much everything else in 1 square mile. It was awesome.
Except when I wanted Chili's. And then that little bugger was a 25 minute haul for chips & salsa.
So needless to say, I was a little bit put out when we moved here. I loved my house but man, I didn't feel like I was in civilization. Sign of a true suburban girl. Sigh.
Well, now we have signs of life.
About a year ago, we finally got our Sonic & a Shipley's in the neighborhood.
I didn't stop smiling for a week after the Sonic opened. My moods are tremendously improved by large Sonic diet cokes. Shipley's...well, I could really care less about the Shipley's - although I do think it's amusing to drive by in the afternoon and see who is getting a freaking donut at 5pm. I mean, c'mon - donuts is your first stop after a hard's day of work?? blech! What happened to normal happy hours? It's been a long time now since I've been to an after-work happy hour (you know, considering I work for a church now and all - they don't look too kindly upon that thing). But what I do recall of happy hour locales ---Shipley's was never at the top of the list.
And then I always think it's funny to watch people walk from my neighborhood to the Shipley's and grab a large box of donuts and a dozen donut holes and walk home, eating them hand over fist. Well, at least they tried to get some exercise.
I really shouldn't judge about that though. My gym is literally a block away now & I jump in my car and DRIVE there only to get there and run my butt off (literally, trying to run my butt off) and then hop in my car and drive home again. That's pretty pathetic... but hello?? have you been outside recently??? It's like 800 degrees. I don't want to sweat before I get to the gym. Geez.
Anyway, like I was saying, we have signs of life. For 3 months now, I have been watching with bated breath the Walgreens going in down the street. Progress has been turtle-slow. But maybe that's b/c I have watched it's progress with an eagle eye, checking it out for new additions every morning. I thought we were getting close when they put out the bike racks in one day, but alas, that was just false hopes. However, today I was driving home and my heart leapt with joy at the sign of a truck actually unloading products! I saw the Pantene & Nice 'n Easy boxes with my own 2 eyes. No more 20 mile drives to get milk or a prescription filled! Or to buy candy.
And that's just the beginning, folks. In case that's not exciting enough for you - we have a Kroger coming in. And not just an ordinary Kroger. But a Kroger Marketplace. Awww yeah! And yesterday I saw a sign for Tico's Taco Grill & Bar "Coming Soon". ACE Hardware will be making an appearance sometime this fall, the new vet's office just opened & we have a pizza parlor (does anyone call it a pizza parlor anymore??). Oh, and 3 banks. Would have been 4, but apparently Wachovia gave up on their building.
Just think of the opportunities we will have now: I can walk my dog to the vet, go get a work-out in, get my obligatory post work-out Sonic diet coke, then go blow the whole workout at Tico's Tacos, grab a donut for dessert for good measure, walk across the street to Walgreens to get antacids to protect my delicate esophagus from Tico's and the jelly-filled donut, make sure I night-deposit my paycheck so my payment to the vet doesn't bounce, pick up the dog, probably hit Sonic again, and then walk home.
Oh, the life I will lead.
But who am I kidding?
I'm not going to walk.
You just know I'm going to drive that square mile.
Ties? no go - he was retired so those were only worn a few times a year, if that.
Golf accessories? - nope - the man had more golf balls, tees, shirts, club gear than any human being could possibly use.
Bbq utensils? - not really, he just really wasn't into the latest gadget/trend for the bbq. He had his good 'ole grill (and I mean, really OLD) that he loved and could fix the best steak & hamburgers without the use of anything fancy dancy. And oh, man - those steaks. Melt in your mouth. He would go to a speciality meat shop to get just the right cuts of meat and spared no expense. Nothing I loved more in the summer than a "Daddy Steak" or "Daddy Burger", with just a baked potato and fresh tomatoes from the garden. ohhh, there I go again, rambling...
Anyway, he really didn't need or want for anything. I think he was just as happy getting a card or a phone call or just spending the day with us. But that never stopped me in my pursuit for the great gift. Funny now that I don't remember what "great gifts" I got him all those years.
But I do remember our last Father's Day together.
That year (in 2006), we went out to some friends' lakehouse on Lake Travis in Austin. The best part - we were all there. My brother, Blaine, my hubby, my mom. We spent the Saturday just relaxing out on their porch (where my dad was happy to just sit and watch everyone else drink copious amounts of alcohol while he just quietly sipped on his water!). That night we had great food & great company and just good quality time.
The next day (Sunday), we all went out to eat to this fun restaurant right on the lake. What I sadly recall is what a POOR mood I was in: I don't know if I was tired or what, but I just remember being nasty. I think I was having a "fat day" and proceeded to take it out on whoever was in my path. But Dad, being the dad he was, just pretty much brushed it off and loved me anyway.
We had to take a boat to get there & we were worried how rough it would be on dad's back - but he was always a trooper & if he was in pain, none of us knew it. That's just the way he rolled. When we got there, there was a huge expanse of steps you had to climb just to get from the boat up to restaurant area. For even the healthiest person, it was quite the climb. For Dad, it was darn near impossible because of his leg & back pain. But again, he made it (although we did throw him in a golf cart when we got to the top!) - and again, no complaints.
I remember talking to him on the way up there (I was always very protective of him and not wanting him to hurt) and I remember him proudly telling me how much weight he had lost recently and how he had no desire to go back to his heavier days. He was looking fabulous & trim - pretty darn good for a 62 year old for sure. He had been eating more healthfully & it obviously was working (Later, I would conclude that while the healthful eating was helping, more than likely it was the deadly cancer that was starting to affect his body but he just had no outward signs yet. That's the crazy thing about cancer - he looked the best he had in years right up until his diagnosis - which was only 3 months after that trip to Austin)
We had a great meal at the restaurant and for the first time in years, we took family pictures. Honestly, once we got older, the only family pictures we would take would be at Christmas (and even then it was just usually Blaine & myself and later, Matt) and maybe weddings. But for some odd reason, we actually had our camera and took several shots of the 5 of us - and a couple of Dad with his kiddos (man, I would post them, but they are now proudly hanging in my mom's house - this was before I was "hip" to the digital thing). I remember we laughed a lot and the 5 of us just kind of kept to ourselves down at the end of the table. Good times.
When we left to head back to H-town, Dad did what he always did whenever I would leave. He would give me a big, powerful hug & then whisper in my ear "Go treat yourselves to dinner or something nice" and then slide some bills into my hand. It didn't matter that I was married & out of the house - but he always wanted to take care of his "baby girl". It was his thing and his tradition. And the funny thing was, he always tried to make it seem like a surprise (when we both knew it was coming!) and he would ALWAYS try to hide it from my mom. Not sure why - but then it became kind of a running joke, cause my mom always knew. I obviously didn't love him because he gave me money - it wasn't about that - it was his generous heart and his desire to spoil his little girl --- he just never wanted me to "want" for anything.
And I never did. He was an amazing provider - and always took care of his kids above all else. He sacrificed so much for us. And he sacrificed quietly. It was only many, many years later that I found out just how many jobs he had turned down and offers of increasingly upper-level positions he had forgone because he did not want to uproot his family or spend longer hours away from home more than he had to. He wanted to be at the soccer games, baseball games, and all of our other various activities. Dad could always be found on the sidelines, quietly sitting in his chair with his UT cup of water beside him, and his crossword puzzle in hand.
Yes, I said crossworld puzzle.
The man was obsessed.
He did crosswords everywhere - restaurants, soccer games, on vacation, anywhere & anytime.
Some may look at that as maybe he wasn't being attentive or not fully involved. But he was. And his presence was what was mostly desired. Every once in awhile he would look up from his crossword puzzle, peer over his glasses, and deliver some cutting, sarcastic one-liner just so we would know he was listening.
Man, those one-liners. My dad was so clever and funny. He could toss those out so casually, and then just wait for the reaction. I remember my stomach just aching from laughing so hard. He wasn't a man of a whole lot of words. It's not like he just enjoyed hours and hours of conversation. He was comfortable with silence & secure in that. But his dry wit would just slay us all.
The best was Thanksgivings at our house, when we would have over The Whitehill's (Ed was Dad's best friend & probably knew him better than almost anyone). Dad would spend all night smoking the turkey to absolute perfection. He never said anything, but you just knew that he was so proud to get it "just right". He found the most delight in making others happy (and full!). We would finally sit down to eat and without fail, Dad would deliver sarcastic remark after remark, until eventually most of us were just crying hysterical laughter tears. Dad and Ed always had a great, easy banter between them and they would go back & forth until we were all rolling. And then Janice would always ask Dad to tell them same story every year and do it "in that voice". I can't really re-create the voice or the story on here b/c I will say that it wasn't exactly "PC" but always hysterical.
I literally could go on & on with dozens and dozens of stories about Dad. He was liked by so many, respected by all, and deeply loved by us. At his funeral, I heard the most amazing stories about Dad - the things he would do for others, the kindness he showed, the humor he exhuded. And most of the time, they were stories we had never heard. Dad was not one to brag about his generous spirit and was always incredibly humble.
I think the thing Dad was most proud of in his life was his family. We were everything to him. And he would have done anything, and often did, for us. He loved powerfully. Never would we get off the phone, leave the house, or kiss good bye without getting an "I love you". He was not afraid to share that with us at all. We were a tight-knit clan who always did everything together. I rarely recall my parents going out on a lot of dates by themselves and leaving us with sitters. Or going on vacation and leaving the kids behind. Some experts these days may say that it is unhealthy to do that, that couples need "couples" time and all of that. But my parents had an agreement - once the kids came, as much as possible, it was going to the 4 of us. Always. And my parent's marriage didn't suffer because of it - if anything it was stronger because of the mutual desire to raise their family intact. And I'd like to think he enjoyed us kids and wanted to hang with us:)
I'm pretty sure, even with all of the horrible things we did along the years, he found immense pleasure in seeing us grow up and become young adults. Young adults who hopefully made him proud on most days. My biggest fear was to disappoint my dad - not because I was scared of punishment or anything like that. But because, his respect meant everything to me and to lose that would have devestated me. He was my rock. My quiet, steady & stoic rock. And I was his "baby girl", just as I was on the day I was born and still am today at age 29.
So now today, I hope that he is looking down from his perch and seeing his two children who are happily married and well-adjusted adults - and he is smiling. And probably cutting jokes with Jesus at the same time.
Love you, Daddy! Today and always. Happy Father's Day...
Dad and me on my wedding day. Tough day for him to give away his little girl. But he did it in style, and delivered one of the funniest & memorable wedding toasts ever. To this day, when people talk about my wedding or even just talk about Dad, they are always like "I will never forget that toast at your wedding...."
It's just me & the dog. And he's not incredibly interactive. Thus the boredom that ensues. To make it worse, Matt left today for a last minute trip to Louisiana for work --- he's only gone one night ---but when you don't socialize all day & then your nights are filled with silence, well yuck!
This is pretty much his pose throughout the day. Being the king of the house, he is allowed on almost every piece of furniture in the house, save for one leather chair & ottoman in our library that we humans don't even sit on.
Max & I are tight buds now that I am home all day. Wherever I go, he goes. He just loves to be near people & in fact, is currently snoring loudly right next to my feet on the floor in the office. That's right, the floor. He is usually allowed on the bed but since I have been terrible about getting some paperwork organized, the bed is covered in "work stuff". So he has had to resign himself to the floor lately. He is so mistreated, huh?
Max, Mommy is going to try to finish up her "important" work (read: finish blog & update facebook), so she can clean it off for you to lay on, ok?
So how did we manage to get such an awesome dog? Here's Max's story:
We adopted him from a shelter in New Orleans just 6 days before Katrina hit. When we picked him out, we pretty much just shamefully went on his looks. We didn't care about his brain or intelligence. Or his personality. Or his sense of humor. We just cared that he was adorable, ha :)
He had this sweet Lab-like face with this thin, lithe body - really, he almost looked like a puppy, but he was fully-grown at 39lbs, well under the fighting weight of my parent's labs who easily weighed in at about 90-100lbs.
At the time, Matt & I lived in a condo/duplex arrangement just outside NOLA with just a tiny yard and no fence, so we really couldn't have a large dog. But we didn't want a little yippy thing either. (No offense to those owners of little Taco Bell-type dogs that you can throw in your purse - but I just don't get that! What's the point of a rat on a leash??) So, Maxie-size was perfect. And he was cute as a button. We filled out the appropriate paperwork, paid our nominal fee & trotted Max out of that hell-hole with his tattered rope-leash.
Like any good parents, we immediately headed for PetsMart to outfit our precious new baby. We got him a bright red leash & collar ensemble, plus all sorts of toys, bones, pillows, accessories. Matt made me stop short of getting him a little outfit - hey, I wanted the little guy to be comfortable! He was new to us, what if he was shy about being naked? ha.
It was at PetsMart when we first realized we had a little problem. See, when we picked him out, the shelter told us all about him & why a 2 year old seemingly healthy dog had been dropped off at such a place. The backstory supposedly was as simple as this: the family loved their dog but felt they couldn't give him the attention he deserved, so they wanted him to be with a loving family where he could be loved on.
We believed that one for about 2 seconds. Until we saw him literally shrink at the sight of people at PetsMart. The dog was scared to death. Now, one could argue that he was in new surroundings, overwhelmed by a car ride, and having attention obnoxiously lavished upon him from his thrilled "parents'. Could be. But then we saw another side of him. A vicious, ugly side.
He would just ferociously snap at people who came to close to him. And I mean, scary snap. Like break-the-skin snap.
Uh oh. What had we gotten ourselves into? For that first week, we pretty much kept to ourselves & tried to love on our dog. To his former owners' credit (or maybe because Maxie is just so darn smart), he was already housebroken. So at least we didn't have to worry about that.
What we did have to worry about was his behavior. I remember taking him to the vet that first week and even the vet was scared of him. He actually recommended a tranquilizer next time I dared to bring him in. And he didn't make a much better impression on the receptionist, especially when he decided to relieve himself (#2 style) right in the middle of the waiting room.
But the thing was, he was sooooo sweet to Matt and I. Mostly. But if we moved too quickly around him, he would either snap at us or immediately cower.
And then it became evident. Our dog was not just severely neglected. He was tremendously abused. And Matt & I were way out of our league.
Unfortunately, 6 days later, Katrina whammed the gulf coast & our little condo on Howze Beach Rd. With no home to return to & only an apartment in Baton Rouge that did not allow dogs over 15lbs, we were forced to leave Max with my parents for a good 7 months until we figured out the "next" in our lives.
I am sure they were thrilled. They already had 2 massive dogs who were a handful unto themselves, and then you throw in our dog - well, that's just seemingly a recipe for disaster. But they never complained. They just took in their new houseguest and made the best of the situation, just like everyone else was doing.
Now, at this point, my dad was retired so he pretty much was full-time dog caretaker, outside of his regular duties of being a "Real Househusband of Collin County". And man, did he love on those dogs... if Daddy had a hamburger, the dogs had a hamburger. If Daddy laid on the couch, the dogs laid on the couch, all 200 lbs. of them. They had their routine down to a science. No doubt that Max threw a wrench in all of that. My little 39lb terror would pick fights with the "big dogs" & cause them all to get thrown outside for the rest of the day. When Dad had a friend visit one day (and even though he had warned that friend!), Mr. Ed moved too quickly for Max's liking & was promptly bitten. Yikes.
I wish I could say that I was a concerned parent & called the "foster family" (ie: my parents) all the time to get Max updates. But the truth was, I was so wrapped up in recovering from that damn storm, I almost forgot we had a dog. It was just so bizarre - when we finally got back to TX that year for the holidays, "our" dog did not even really know us. Sad.
After a couple more trips back home and finally emerging from my post-storm coma, I started to see these HUGE changes in Max. He was becoming socialized. He wasn't snapping at people. He was lovable, even snuggling with Mom in her chair or at Dad's feet while he lay on the couch. He still would pick a fight with the big dogs, but instead of it being 100% aggression and aggravation, it was mostly for play.
By April of '06, we were ready to take back our dog - we finally had a new house in Houston with a yard that was just waiting for Mr. Max. So one long weekend, we went to pick him up from the 'rents and drove him back "home". And the dog that came back with us was all-together loving and well-behaved. So who was the instigator of this enormous change in my dog?
My dad. The guy who feared he would get attached to Max, so for the first couple of months wouldn't even let the dog on the couch with him. He didn't want to fall in love only to have to let him go one day. But fall in love he did. And he saw the good in Max & worked with him constantly to socialize him & break him of his nasty habit of biting his friends, amongst other things. He loved and loved and loved on that dog & Max is a legacy of that love.
I don't even think I realized how strong their bond was until we would bring him home for holidays and Max would see Dad and totally freak out, his little body shaking with excitement. When my parents came to visit us in our new digs, Dad would sit on the couch & Max would suddenly turn into a lap dog & plop himself firmly on top of my dad. Now, my dad was a man of few words at times, but he would just melt when he would talk to Max. Just start cooing in this sweet voice. I know. My dad "cooed". Hard to believe.
Now, whenever we have company, we no longer have to worry about Max attacking our guests. In fact, he just loves people & wants to be as close to the action as possible. We'll be in the middle of a deep bible study discussion and he'll just leap into the middle of the couch so he can be petted by almost perfect strangers. Most of the time our guests leave the house just loving Max & can't believe how great of a dog he is. And Matt and I just look at each other with a knowing smile, "man, you should have seen him 3 years ago...". He's also my great protector - I honestly sleep soundly when Matt is gone because of that dog. I pay $30 a month for alarm home monitoring when really all I need is one little black dog. (While he doesn't bite or snap anymore, he gets awfully excited when the doorbell rings and my usually mute dog lets loose on the barking, all while running full-tilt at the door - only to usually hit the tile floor and skid his way right into our front door. I have witnessed many a solicitor hear that sound & literally leap the 3' hedge in our yard to escape from the "beast" behind the door. Meanwhile I chuckle to myself & pet my little security system and then give him a treat. ha. I definitely encourage that behavior! )
And no credit is due to us. All credit to the foster parents who took him in. And a foster dad who showed us love can trump all and even conquer a past of abuse & neglect.
No low fat/yogurt options here, folks. Just straight up fatty deliciousness - and worth every calorie. (oh and I did ask about low-fat options & I think the guy behind the counter just about died laughing at me - and then proceeded to mash 3 full scoops into my single-serve.
And did I eat almost every bite?
That doesn't even account for the MASSIVE "slice" of chocolate cake we all shared. It was the size of an entire plate - laying down. Ridiculous.
But did we all manage to shove it down?
Absolutely. God Bless chocolate (I think there was some dark chocolate in there so I did feel a little better knowing I got an intake of some rich antioxidants)
Anyways, the one thing I purchased was this really cute sundress - in totally not my usual colors (I am more of a black than a brown person) but it was so cozy & comfortable (plus it has that extra breathing room for the "just in case preggers belly" that most of my purchases recently have been based on. So when hubby and I had our date night last weekend, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to break it out. See below.
Yikes! Haven't decided how I feel about this yet. I guess it's cool that apparently she has millions and apparently still somewhat shops on a budget. I'm pretty bummed b/c she ummm, how do I say this - definitely fills out the upper portion of the dress better than I do (well 9 years ago I would have kicked her butt - but that's a whole other story for a whole other blog!) and she's wayyyyy tan. Hmm, but maybe too tan? Or maybe I am just jealous because I am stark white this summer.
Never thought I would be so loved.
Never thought I would laugh so hard.
Never thought I could love so much.
Well, I know the answer to most of these questions now.
I pray more than anything that one day (soon!) I can answer that last question, "how many kids will we have?" But that's not in my control. Yikes, I hate that!!! But I am giving it to God this time. I haven't done so hot when I've tried to handle things on my own.
But of course, how precious would it be to have a little Matty running around? That's what I want more than anything. To see my husband being a father. Cause he would be fabulous. I just know it.
I actually got kind of anxious about it - having this hysterscopy was really the last "leg", if you will, of this marathon of testing to get ready just to start invitro. I have this horrible habit of playing out worst-case scenarios in my mind (over and over and over) so that way if it actually happens, I figure it won't be so bad because I've "mentally" prepared for it. Yeah, it's kind of compulsive and slightly disturbing, at least to me.
So I had already (in my head) pictured him telling me that the large polyp was cancerous - even though there is less than a 1% chance of that little scenario; or that something else was amiss and not good for baby (uhh, remember he had JUST told me on Tuesday that everything minus the polyp and cyst looked great...but what if he was lying b/c he didn't want to upset an already emotional patient right after she was coming out of a drug haze??); and there were a couple of others but I'll spare you the psychosis that is my brain...
Well, Dr. H was pretty busy yesterday (granted we did have just about the last appt of the day & you know those are always guaranteed to be running late - but thanks to Katy contstruction, I was about 10 minutes late myself) & the waiting room was pretty full. So of course, me being the people-watcher I am, found it fascinating to look around and try to guess why the people were there - there were the kind of obvious ones (let's just say more "mature" couples) but infertility isn't something you can easily pick out. That's what I have learned about this whole thing: infertility doesn't know race, economic status, gender, etc - we come from all walks of life with all different types of stories.
I will say most of the time I feel kind of funny in that waiting room - like I don't belong. Maybe because I never imagined I would be there -- I don't know why I thought I would be so special - it could happen to anyone. And also because I know people must see ME and think, whoa, "what's the 18 year old doing in here?" (I look young, like really young, for my age (29) - and I don't help the situation by usually wearing a baseball cap & work out clothes with very little make-up when I go to my appointments. I know, I know - one day I will appreciate it but right now it's just annoying).
Now, let me just preface this next story by saying I have the most supportive & loving husband in the world; he has done everything that has been asked of him, all sorts of bloodwork, multiple "samples", the works. And he has done it (mostly) with a smile on his face. And with very little complaining.
So I chalk up this next incident to simply just being a guy, whatever that means.
So, we are sitting there & I am people-watching and making a list for my very important trip to Target, and the doctor is running late (it's now about 4:20ish & our appt was at 4:00) - Matt & I are chatting and then suddenly he says,
"Well, would it be okay if I left you at 4:45pm if we aren't done yet?"
My head spun around like the freaking exorcist, and I said "WHAT?" (really, probably too loudly for the somewhat confined area we were in)
"Well, my hair cut is at 6:00 with Miss Becky & I don't know how long it is going to take me to get to Sugar Land at this time of day." (And this was all said with the innocence of a 5 year old with an impish smile on his face)
And then he saw my face.
And then he realized the ooops.
He knows me well enough that I have spun enough crazy scenarios in my head to have already turned myself into a dying cancer patient unable to ever bear children and leaving my husband a widower at the ripe age of 30.
So he tried to backtrack but too late... I was off and running.
"If you even think you are going to leave early to go get a flipping haircut, you have lost your ever-loving mind," I angrily whispered (and somehow my vocab when I am pissed reverts back to phrases my mom would say, thus "the ever-loving" reference). "Did you forget that I just had surgery & that we are about to find out the results of this little fun waterboarding procedure & plan out our schedule if all goes well."
And that's all it took. One amazing thing about my husband is that he is able to say "sorry" faster than anyone I know. He has absolutely zero problem with admitting fault and, even better, when he says "Sorry", he actually means it. Me, on the other hand, not so quick to apologize even when I know I'm the one who screwed up - and even when I say sorry, I don't always truly mean it. I'm terrible.
So, he quickly apologizes, says he doesn't know what he was thinking & grabs my hand and squeezes it tenderly (nice move, Matt!). And crisis averted.
Seriously, guys -- what is with you and your heads???
I give you all this nonsense babble before because for all I had built this appointment up to be - and imagining it would take hours - all took place in about 10 minutes - and that's only b/c I had about a zillion more questions to ask the doctor for reassurrances, clarifications, etc (and he LOVES me for that, ha!)
Basically, we are under "strict doctor's orders" to do whatever it takes to de-stress this summer and START MAKING BABIES (well, the lab will be making the babies but whatever) IN SEPTEMBER!!! YAY!!!
Yup, we have the all-clear. Everything looks good - all my "stuff" is the right shape in all the right places, and my "cavity" (Dr. H's term for uterus) is completely clear and beautiful - well, he didn't say beautiful but I did.
So here we go! We could start whenever at this point but Matt & I feel like we need to take one last vacay before all the madness begins and so after summer seems appropriate. Honestly, if you know me at all, you know that I would start tomorrow - I absolutely HATE to wait on anything - but if God has taught me anything during these last 13-14 mos of testing is that patience is a good thing and impulsivity isn't always the best option.
I left that appointment on such a high. Now, we have a plan. I've always said that I can deal with it, just as long as I know what I am facing. And now, I know what I am facing. Thank you, God.
I know that everything that will happen once we officially kick this thing off won't be easy. I'm probably not going to feel stellar. My body will become bruised & beaten by the multiple injections. My stomach will probably bloat out to my fat pant size. My hormones will be off the charts. Matt will probably want to strangle me at some point.
And it may not even work.
But I can't think of that right now. All I can think of is that our amazing God is giving us a shot to turn our "coupledom" into a little family of three...or four...or well, forget it, I'm not counting higher than that. I refuse to be octo-mom. Or even quad-mom! ha.
But there's a chance. And a good one at that. 75-80% that we will get preggers the first time. I'll take them odds. Sure beats 0%.
But anyways, Adam & Lisa dropped off their beautiful girls at Lisa's parents (a HUGE thank you btw to Mr. & Mrs. Brooks for watching them ALL weekend so we could spend adult time!) and made their way down here.
They were able to leave the traffic that is Dallas rush-hour a little early so we were able to go out to eat with them to Lupe's Tortillas - a fantastic place with the most amazing, you guessed it, tortillas! We went to the original one - which is 10x better than the newer one in Sugar Land and had cocktails, dinner and shared laughs until well after 10:30pm. (Oh and Lupe's actually CLOSES at 10pm on a Friday night, what is that all about?? We actually shut it down).
Here's us at Lupe's - post-dinner/happy & full :)
After dinner, we headed back to our place where Adam & Matt headed straight to the video games & Lisa and I headed straight for girl-talk :) It was awesome. As much as I love Houston and all my friends here, there is something about connecting with your friends who have known you for years (and I mean YEARS - at least 16 at last count - since 6th grade!). So Lis has seen me through all sorts of stages, the awkward teenage years, the crazier college years, the married years (in fact - she & Adam basically introduced Matt & I - but that's a whole other story for a whole other blog). But she has been a ROCK to me, especially this past year as we've been going through all of our fertility stuff and I am so thankful for her friendship.
Saturday we decided to make it a "girls day" - the boys went to go shoot guns and be manly & we went in for pedicures, lady's lunch & some shopping. But we were very responsible & only got 1 or 2 things each - seriously! Then it was nap-time (I had been fighting a horrible infection for a couple of days so I was worn out!)
After naptime, we decided to hit up this neat place down in the Montrose area called Vincent & Nino's - it's actually a collection of 3 different Italian places to eat it & it was delicious. I think our waiter was a little frustrated with us b/c we barely took time to stop talking to actually order but we were not in a hurry! Nothing I hate more than feeling rushed through a nice dinner like I am at Chili's (Unless I am at Chili's and then they should be as speedy as possible! ha!) Lisa won the prize for best dinner though - she stepped out there and got the sea bass special and it was spectacular.
After we finished dinner & harrassing other patrons to take endless amounts of photos of us, we finally headed home and where to next --- you guessed it - Sonic!!! Seriously, would we take our friends to any other higher class establishment. This time, since we had indulged in a couple of pretty large dinners and a few cocktails, we decided to hit up the "lighter side" of Sonic that is their bite-size candy $1.00 Sundaes. Apparently, it's what Lisa orders her daughter Grace when she goes to Sonic. I really didn't realize just how tiny it would be - seriously, it could have been a $.50 sundae. But that's where I think Americans have portion control all out of whack because honestly after I finished that tiny little ice cream delight, I was.... satisfied! Imagine that! Satisfied and not overly stuffed - what a concept! Anyways, we of course wrapped up the evening talking some more & watching the boys play Guitar Hero (or was that in the afternoon they played that? I can't remember). Then bedtime.
Woke up the next morning & Lisa went for her second jog of the weekend - what a trooper! Had I not been all stuffy & coughing I would have joined her (or at least I say that - I am not an early morning runner - but all props to her). Matt had to leave to go help set up church so then I got showered extra early so we could all hang some more. Lisa and I believe carried on a 15-20 minute conversation about hair & straightening & cutting techniques. I believe Adam just rolled his eyes while he sat on the couch :) Girls will be girls! Anyways, then it was finally time for them to depart and for me to get my behind to church.
Thanks for coming to visit, y'all! It was a GREAT weekend - and as far as I am concerned, needs to be a yearly tradition - if we can bribe your parents to keep the kiddos. Or who knows, maybe in 2 years, I'll have my own and then you can just bring the whole tribe & we can have a CRAZY weekend of toddler fun :) Love you guys & thanks for your friendship!
Anyways, this a.m. was the "Hysteroscopy" - basically where they pump you full of water and stick a camera where no camera belongs to look at your uterus and cervix and all that fun stuff to make sure you have a happy little place to plant Petri in. They also check out to make sure you don't have anything weirdo growing in there, like fibroids or polyps, etc.
It's as much fun as it sounds, folks.
Meaning not much fun at all.
They have to put you completely under (well, thank God for that b/c I sure want to be in "lala land" when cameras and water are involved in that area for sure) - but the whole thing only takes about 20-30 minutes, so by 11:00am we were thankfully heading home. (Heading home, minus one large polyp that was blocking my "sweet spot" and had to be cut out & one drained cyst - a little more action than I was expecting honestly -- I'll find out more details on Thurs but bottom-line from the doc was everything else looked great and hospitable and was all the right shape and even "pretty" - for a uterus. I think they send the polyp to pathology just in case, but it's highly improbable that it was anything more than extra endometrial tissue that had built up - who knew?!)
I really really really try not to complain about all this stuff we have to do to prepare for this invitro - I do realize how lucky & blessed we are to be able to consider this so I don't want to be ungrateful and whiny about the process. But.....that being said - I have 2, I believe, very complaint-worthy things:
1. I HATE when doctors and nurses become so accustomed to doing routine procedures that they just assume that everyone reacts the same as them & think it's no big deal. I love my doctor, but really, I was about to pop him one when he told me for the fourth time this morning, "Look, Meagan - this isn't a huge deal - it will be over before you know it & you'll be fine" Ok, so I appreciate his attempt to comfort but seriously. My daily activities don't generally include a camera waterboarding in my uterus. So don't tell me that it isn't a huge deal.
2. I had the worst, and I mean the worst, pre-surgical/intake nurse EVER!!!!! She had called yesterday to go over the procedure with me and I swear I had to prompt her on the questions for her to ask. Here's a brief rundown of our phone convo yesterday:
Eleanor: (in creeky old-woman voice): Is this Meagan?
Me: Yes, it is. Can I help you?
Ellie: Yes, I was calling to remind you of your procedure tomorrow at 9am.
Me: Umm, did you say 9am? It was supposed to be 8am so I could be the first one (yes, I'm a brat and I wanted the first appt)
Ellie: Well, we, you know, ummmmm, well we decided to change it. Ok, so 9am.
**Then I swear the woman was about to hang up like she was confirming my haircut and highlight with Miss Becky or something!!!
Me: Uh, don't you want to tell me a little bit about the pre-surgical instructions, that kind of thing?
Ellie: Oh yeah, don't eat or drink after midnight.
Me: Is that it?
Ellie: Yes, pretty much.
Me: Well, would you care to know if I am allergic to any medicines or foods? Or what medications I take daily? Or if I have been sick in the last 2 weeks? Or if I have any physical restrictions?
(Ok, seriously - this isn't my first rodeo. I have been through this crap more times than I can count & I'm allergic to so many meds that I make Matt carry a medical bracelet with him with my allergies listed, just in case.)
Ellie: (stammering) well, yes, actually we would like to know all of that....
So anyways, we painfully make it through the rest of the conversation with me prompting and spelling medicines and respelling and respelling and respelling until I am sure Ellie has got it.
Matt calls after I get off the phone with her and I let loose on him about the obvious flunky receptionist they had call me for my pre-op stuff. Cause there's no way that lady was a nurse.
Fast forward 7:50am, Tuesday morning.
I barely have made it through the door and handed over my drivers license and insurance card to the receptionist when this woman with an eerily familiar screechy voice bangs through the waiting room (very very nice waiting room by the way - they must make lots and lots of babies). And she's looking for me. And she's in scrubs. With a stethoscope.
So she barely gives me enough time to get my cards back in my wallet before she is literally dragging me back to the pre-op area, throwing forms at me the whole way and gets impatient that I actually want to read them. Ummm, excuse me, but if there is a chance that something goes wrong and I have to have a hysterectomy or something, I want to make sure that I have crossed all my t's and dotted all my i's.
Call me crazy.
She just keeps trying to get me to initial boxes and sign here- all the while shoving a themometer down my throat, while simultaneously taking my blood pressure.
I'm all about efficiency but this was ridiculous. She kept saying I could finish the forms later (when the heck is later?? When I am drugged out of my mind??) but that I needed to get changed so she could start the IV. She basically shoved me in the bathroom, no joke. and then she couldn't understand why my blood pressure was so high so she kept tightening and re-tightening the cuff until my arm was bright purple and every vein was standing out and I had the resemblance of a body builder's arm that has shot up the 'roids one too many times.
So after shooting death looks at Matt (do something, say something for crying out loud!) - she tries to get the iv started. Tries being the operative word. Look, I have great veins. Perfect for IVs. Trust me, I know.
Ellie couldn't get it until the 3rd attempt.
Matt made some comment about last time he got his blood drawn he could barely feel it.
I then of course had to shoot Matt another death look - because we all know that those baby needles they take just a little blood from is NOTHING compared to the monster that is an IV needle.
So none of this is leading to anything fantastic and the whole time I am just praying that she never steps foot in any of the operating rooms. Or worse yet, never steps anywhere close to where they will be harvesting my eggs and future children.
So Ellie starts asking me my history and hands me a bracelet to snap on. Which of course is missing "Ceclor". A major antibiotic that I am HIGHLY allergic to. So I point it out. And she has the gaul to tell me, "You're not allergic to that. You didn't tell me that yesterday." The heck I didn't. I can recite my allergies frontward/backward/sideways/standing on my head.
So we actually argue back and forth about me being allergic to it and she concedes and adds it to my bracelet. Then I notice that she is has misspelled another antibiotic on my bracelet, Biaxin. She has spelled it "Vioxin". Now, I don't know what that is but I know what Biaxin is and I know what Biaxin does to me. It's not pretty. I don't care to recreate the experience anytime soon.
So again, I have to point that out. And she accused ME of not telling her how to spell it, even though I repeated it at least 4 times yesterday, even using "B" as in BOY.
I wasn't saying "VOY". C'mon, Ellie!!!
So while the Ellster is in the midst of changing/modifying and hopefully fixing the rest of the mistakes on my charts, she casually says something about the antibiotics that are currently dripping into my IV. (I had stupidly assumed it was saline which is what they usually start with)
If Ellie didn't "remember" that I was allergic to Ceclor and didn't spell Biaxin correctly, what the heck is going into my arm?????
I start freaking out - I'm like, "what is the drug going into me right now? What is the name of it? Tell me. Tell me right now"
Ellie couldn't answer the question.
She literally couldn't remember.
She had to look through the trash to find the remnant of the package.
Are you freaking serious????
I thought Matt was going to jump out of his chair - finally the boy had a visceral reaction (for those of you who don't know, I have the least confrontational husband on the entire planet).
After a major freak-out moment, they finally got it straightened out and brought the "head nurse" in to verify the meds and that I wasn't allergic to it.
It obviously freaked the Ellster out too b/c she grabbed my bag full of clothes, shoveled the rest of her paperwork in her arms and hi-tailed it out of my room.
At least it kept me distracted for the next 20 minutes while I waited for my "la la" land drugs b/c all I could do was say over and over again "If she even gets next to me, talks to me, comes close to my uterus/cervix/ovaries/eggs, I will go postal".
Needless to say, I have a very important phone call to make tomorrow morning to the head of nursing at the Houston Fertility Institute. Poor Ellster needs to start peering at the "want ads", I'm afraid.
In all fairness, the rest of the nurses, anesthiologist (sp?), my doctors and the rest of the staff could not have been more professional and wonderful. The facilities are top-notch and state-of-the-art. I would not even consider them if I didn't truly believe they were the best in Houston, with the best labs, research, results and people. These are my future offspring we are talking about.
I'm just trying to figure out how the Ellster slipped past them.