11.28.2008

This Is Cruel

Has anyone else noticed how large the percentage of children's books
themed around baby sisters and brothers is? If you haven't, I can
assure you, it's quite large. More than any other public reminders of
our current fertility struggles (seeing the babies that have been born
since we started trying, seeing the really cheap halloween costume we
foolishly bought for #2 over a year ago hang unworn in Val's closet,
double strollers that we'll now not need, the pregnancy books, families
with 2 kids roughly 2 years apart, having people ask how 'it' is going,
you know, crap like that causes a million little heartbreaks) but those
damn cheery books make me so sad.

Lest You Think I'm An Ass

No less than a thousand times a day, I give thanks for the miracle that
is Val. If she's with me, I hold her tight, breathe in her sweet smell
and thank the Jesus (or whoever was kind enough to give her to us) for
this silly, stubborn, sweet girl. The quest for #2 has made me even
more grateful; I appreciate how easy it was to get pregnant with her.
All of my other concerns fade away when she plops in my lap. You just
can't beat that, though I hope like hell that one day that lap-plopping
will also include another kiddo competing for space, no matter how many
times I assure them both that there's room for everyone.

But for now, Val's got that seat all to herself.

11.27.2008

Thanks, I Guess

Yep, it's Thanksgiving and truth be told, I should be rocking my thanks
for all the good things I've got going on. Things like, but not limited
to:
Val
Andrea
Being married
Having a roof over our heads
Having cars that should hold up for a while
Continuing to have sufficient funds to keep up our hockey lifestyles
Paying off my lone credit card thanks to my severance
The two hour nap I got to have this morning thanks to the houseful of
babysitters we have available while we're in TN

But today, it feels like that's not enough. I think the drama of this
past year has caught up with me a bit. You know, the utter heartbreak
and disappointment of trying to get knocked up again for a whole year
with no success. The disappointment of losing a job that, while it had
sucked more than a bit over the last year, was on the rise and I was
liking it again. Now when I get something in the mail from them, ending
this or cancellation of that, I get pretty pissed off. Yes, I managed
to land a new job, yes that is an awesome thing in this crap
Republican-induced economy, but I have this lingering feeling that with
taking this job, I've compromised way more than I had hoped to. I hope
I'm wrong. My relationship with my parents has reached a new level of
strain, my shoulder has sprinted back into a very high level of pain.
Val's last haircut was a total hack job. There's some other stuff too,
stresses and hard things that I hadn't counted on and still haven't
fully dealt with.

I feel like I'm ending the year with a lot that's gone unsaid. I know,
time to make peace with the unspoken, to either speak up or let it go.

So I went into this Thanksgiving tired, stressed, not pregnant, not
having a newborn, no, I just had what we had last year, plus a lot of
bloating from the fertility meds and a sharps container at home. I'm
trying very hard to see past these hard things, these challenges and
remember what really matters - the sound of Val laughing at her own joke
as she plays with Andrea.

11.25.2008

Long Time, No Blog

Sorry to disappoint you all with my lack of blogging of late. I've been
busy. No, really.

You see, I found that in the end, when you know your free time is
limited, that the Days Of Leisure are coming to an end, you find
yourself rushing to cram it all in. So I saw my last two afternoon
movies, fit in a consult about IVF (you adore the way I just casually
throw that in, don't you?) and spent some precious time with Val last
week.

It's that time with her that I will mourn, those 2 full days each week
of just us. We hit storytimes, played at the mall all day (it's amazing
how many kid-oriented stores not only have totally bitchin toys out for
kids to try, but have nice bathrooms as well), went to the park, saw
movies and just hung out. I'm tucking all those days away in my Bank Of
Awesome Memories so I can pull them back out when she's a teenager
filled with rage and angst.

Somewhere along the way, I started having a blast playing hockey again.
Not that it hadn't been fun, it still was, but apparently I was in a bit
of a hockey lull. That, I think, is partially caused by the whole still
not pregnant thing. When I'm less tired, maybe I'll delve more into
that connection.

Speaking of that, I cannot thank you enough for not really asking about
the whole still not pregnant thing. It's so heartbreaking each time (11
attempts with escalating efforts now, for those following along at home)
that I just don't have the room in my heart to mourn each attempt *and*
explain how sad we are at the same time.

I started the new job yesterday. In the training, they suggested that
missing about 2 hours per month for personal appointments would be
acceptable. I'm not sure how the hell I'm going to work around that for
RE appointments, of which there are roughly 4-6 per cycle.

The good news is that it appears like I'll be able to work from home 1
day a week.

I'm sure you wanna know all about the job but the internets are so
small, so small that a fun co-worker from be.yond is working with me in
the new gig! Woo! So I'll share not too much.

It's a lot like my old job. In fact, I have to drive past my old job to
get there. That smarts more than a bit. Hello, place of good benefits,
let me drive up the road now.

But I think this will be a decent job, doing most of the same things I
did before, only for the Really Big Company up the road. I'll keep you
posted.

And now, dear readers, I'd better rouse the sleeping people and get us
all to the airport because we're off to TN for Thanksgiving. Sonic,
Waffle House, please save me a seat!

11.21.2008

She Doesn't Miss Much

Val: mommy, why you have two rings?
Me: this one is my ring with Mommy. It shows that we're a family. This
other one was my Grandma's wedding ring. I got it after she died.
Val: mommy, why you crying?

11.19.2008

The Other Day

I came home and I swear, I saw Zeus peeking out from under the table. I
blinked and of course, he was gone. It seems unreal that he's been gone
over 3 months already.

I must confess (again) that the bassets are so loud, er rambunctious,
that his absence is not felt the way we would've if we had no dogs here
now, or say, quieter ones.

That's not to say that he's not missed. He most certainly is. It's
just more obvious than ever how much presence the bassets have in our
small house.

I found Alice's old ID tag today. Even now, almost 7 years after her
abrupt and painful passing, I still miss her like crazy. And the Gus
man, and the Z man and Ellie too.

11.15.2008

So Proud Right Now

Gym.boree stores have televisions playing kids shows. I front of them
are these little plastic cube-like chairs. When the store isn't very
crowded, Val likes to line them all up rather methodically.

Tonight, the place was pretty crowded. One kid was hogging 4 chairs,
sprawled all over them like he was the Chair Master. The other kids
were clearly intimidated by this - many were sitting on the floor,
giving Chair Master a resigned stink eye.

But not Val. Chair Master didn't intimidate her in the least. She
strutted right up to him, said 'please may I have this?' and before he
knew what was happening, grabbed her chair, dragged it to the front of
the crowd.

This Will Break Your Heart

Today we took Val down to Santa Cruz. I had a total brain fart while buying tickets and ended up getting the unlimited wristband thingies for Val and me. Stupid, way more than we needed but oh well. Next time we go, I'll buy 10 tickets and get more if we need them.

Note to self: Boardwalk rides are NOT like Disneyland rides, which are so damn charming that Val likes to ride them again and again.

She went on these little helicopters once, had a blast so we got in line to go again. While in line, she said she didn't want to go but I kind of blew her off and loaded her into a little helicopter.

I suck for not listening to her.

As the kids went around and around, Val got more and more upset. Each time she passed, she was crying harder. I didn't know quite what to do -- ask the operator to stop the ride or just wait and hope that she'd stop.

Lucky for us, she stopped the ride and I ran in to get Val, crying myself by that point.

She calmed down eventually but I won't forget how much my heart broke at seeing those tears. I will NEVER put her on something she's choosing not to do again. I know we all make mistakes but I feel like shit about this one. She deserves to be heard, especially when something scares her.

I apologized to her and she's giving me a small dose of Catholic guilt about it but that's okay. I deserve that. But she has a right to an apology when those she trusts the most fuck up like this.

I Swear

Everyone I encountered this week pissed me off. What's that about?

11.14.2008

I Worry

That my new job isn't quite the career direction I'd wanted to go right
now.

That having to put Val in preschool 5 days a week will break my heart.
I don't think it will bother her all that much.

That we'll never have a 2nd child.

But for now, having a paycheck start soon means that I'm no longer
worrying about losing our house or doing Christmas without a paycheck.
That kinda trumps all the rest.

PepsiCo gives $500,000 to promote the gay agenda in workplace

I LOVE that they consider hate-crime legislation 'radical.' Anyhoo,
here's a fantastic reason to drink Pepsi.

And I still wonder why organizations like this find oppressing gays so
goddamn important. Are we really worth all this effort?

**********

From: AFA ActionAlert <contact@afa.net>
Date: Nov 14, 2008 7:11 AM
Subject: PepsiCo gives $500,000 to promote the gay agenda in workplace
Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people
as
possible by forwarding it to your entire e-mail list of family and
friends.

*PepsiCo gives $500,000 to promote the gay agenda in workplace*

*Company ignores two requests from AFA to discuss Pepsi's support of
gay
groups.*
*Take Action!*

- E-mail Chairman Indra K. Nooyi.
Tell
her that you expect Pepsi to stop supporting the gay agenda.
- After sending your e-mail, please call Pepsi (914-253-2000)
(800-960-3602) and ask the company to remain neutral in the culture
war.
- Forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they will know
about
Pepsi's support of the gay agenda.

Pepsi's products include Pepsi soft drinks, Frito-Lay chips
(800-352-4477),
Quaker Oats (800-367-6287), Tropicana (800-237-7799) and Gatorade
(800-367-6287).

November 14, 2008

Dear Friend,

Pepsi has given Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) a
half-million dollars to help push the homosexual agenda in the
workplace. PFLAG
is a political advocacy group that promotes radical homosexual
political
causes like same-sex marriage, hate-crime laws, and gay adoption.

Pepsi has a long tradition of financial support for homosexual groups.
According to Jacqueline Millan, director of PepsiCo Corporate
Contributions,
"We are delighted to continue our partnership with PFLAG...(in)
promoting
the necessary message of inclusion to untapped groups...and that is a
crucial step toward building a healthy working environment."

Despite the fact that 30 states have passed constitutional amendments
defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, Pepsi continues
to
support the efforts by same-sex groups pushing for homosexual marriage.

*AFA wrote Pepsi on October 14 and again on October 29 asking the
company to
remain neutral in the culture war. Pepsi didn't care enough to respond
to
the AFA letters.* Pepsi's lack of response indicates the company plans
to
continue support for the homosexual agenda.

Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts
are
worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible
contribution to help us
continue?

Sincerely,

Donald E. Wildmon,
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

11.13.2008

We Don't Always Need To Say It Out Loud

In Trader Joe's just now, Val spotted a young hipster with giant
sunglasses on.

Mommy! She said. Why he wearing sunglasses? We're not outside.

Good point, kid.

11.12.2008

Admittedly, I'm A Punkass

When I pulled up to Fan.tasia today, I did a shitty parking job. So I
reversed my little car to improve my parking space neighborly-ness.
Meanwhile, Angry Woman In A Minivan is waiting behind me but off to the
side for a space somewhere down the row.

I see her, but 1. She's off to the side and 2. I knew I only needed to
pull back about a foot to get back in properly so I think what the heck,
I'll do this.

So I do, scooting ever so slowly back about a foot, then quickly putting
the car back into 1st gear so I didn't freak out Angry Woman. Except
that I did, she laid on the horn so hard as you'd expect from someone
who was in the path of a wildly careening car.

Except she wasn't. I'd already pulled back in. So I gave her the
finger.

I know, I'm classy like that.

So my Angry friend parks about 3 spaces down, gets out of her car and
hides behind her car, giving me the big stink eye. When I get out, she
busts out with fuck you too, and waves her middle finger in a not so
loving way. Fine, I deserve that.

But of course, that's not the end, she went on for a while about how
stupid I was for backing up, did I not see her, again with the stupid,
blah, blah. I did what I usually do, I didn't respond except to smile
sweetly and say 'okay.'

Because even though I could've explained all that about how I knew I had
the room, never mind why she was waiting so far back for her space, she
didn't give two shits about that. She just wanted to yell so I guess
I'm glad I gave her the chance.

Hope you feel better, Angry Lady. May we never meet again.

11.11.2008

One Week

That's how long it's been since the not-very-nice Prop 8 passed. If I
think about it, I cry. So I try not to think about it. But it's still
there, a reminder that so many people connected the line on their
ballots to write off my rights.

So many people have come out against in since then, so many protests but
all that change, it's going to take some more time.

I just wonder, how long will we have to wait for true equality?

Movie Friday

Last Friday, Mad.agascar 2 (the revenge?) opened. Since I have some
free time right now, I'd planned to take Val. That plan improved when
Sarah and Sam were able to go with us! Sam and Val are becoming fast
friends so it was perfect timing.

They both sprinted across the lobby to pick up booster seats, grubbed
popcorn like there's no tomorrow or risk of tummyache and sat pretty
darn nicely for the vast majority of the film. Unlike the last time we
attempted to take Val to a movie, she's now done being potty trained so
she didn't spend the time asking to go potty 800 times. That makes for
a much more enjoyable experience for all involved. Plus, the movie was
really good.

I know this because at one point Sam leaned over excitedly and said to
Val "this is a really great movie, Val!" Val then told me the same
thing 5 more times, in case I didn't know.

Dare I say our second foray into the movie viewing world was a huge
success, I think we'll try it again.

11.08.2008

I Don't Know How This Happened

But somehow today I managed to wrench my allegedly not injured
shoulder. Somewhere between waking up and taking Val to storytime, it
started hurting like it did when I first hurt it back in 2003. That
didn't stop me from playing pickup tonight but for the first time ever,
I wasn't sure I could finish the game.

Yes, of course I did. But it hurt like hell.

I've been icing it for about two hours now and I don't feel like it's
helping at all. I'm hoping it feels better in the morning.

I wish I knew what I'd done and what it will take to make this finally
heal. It's not unlike the trying to have 2 kids thing - I'd love to
know how that's going to resolve itself, too.

But I don't so for now I'm here with an ice pack. Again.

11.07.2008

They've Got Some Nerve

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_10918202

This is a quote from LDS church officials found on the above page:

"The Church acknowledges that such an emotionally charged issue
concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life family and
marriage stirs fervent and deep feelings. The Church calls on those
involved in the debate over same sex marriage to act in the spirit of
mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of
the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to
erroneous information."

**********

Seriously?

Thank The Jesus

I got an offer letter today! The job is the good parts of my old job,
the commute is reasonable and the pay is good. I start in 2 weeks.

Phew, phew, phew.

11.05.2008

The Day After

It's been a rough day but not totally awful. I got up super early for
interview #2 for a job I think I'd actually like. It seemed to go well
but like all interviews, who knows. I can only present myself well,
then hope.

I sulked much of the day and also unburdened myself on my message board
about shitty I'd been feeling since very few of them supported our
wedding. That was a long time coming but I'm pleased at how many people
have been supportive since I said something.

It's so weird to have people I care about who are not past caring about
the gay thing. In my real life that's the minimum requirement for
friendship and trust.

Anyhoo. I sulked, I saw another movie and as I was waiting for Andrea
to get home so I could go to band, Kathy and Paul called to see how I
was holding up. I was so damn touched. Of course Val was being a
punkass and didn't want to talk to them but I did.

That conversation gave me the strength to go to band, where the mor.mon
choir was waiting to practice with us.

I could not make this stuff up. I kept my mouth shut, tho, busying
myself by looking for traces of mor.mon underga.rments.

Sucks

Looks like we can elect a multi-ethnic president but I can't get
married*. One huge step forward and 10 steps back, all at the same
time, all on the same night.

Forgive my lack of knowledge on this, but during the civil rights
movement, were election ballots crowded with anti-racial legislation
like this year's ballots were with anti-gay legislation? What I want to
know is, did this backlash happen to other groups as they struggled for
equal rights?

If it did, maybe there's some hope in this. Maybe this sort of anger
stems from increased visibility since now more people are forced to deal
with their feelings on the subject. And I get it, that for a lot of
people, gay people and our alleged lifestyle** are threatening.

We're different in a way that's hard to grasp because most people can't
imagine being gay themselves. Which is fine. We're so not recruiting.
It's not something anyone can imagine, just like I can't ever fully put
myself in someone else's shoes. The people who are part of our
community find their way here eventually, they learn our history and
culture (insert obligatory joke about the history of lesbians having
potlucks here) as they go along.

I can only imagine that racists felt this way about African-Americans
back in the day (or, okay, sadly, now as well), that they made people
nervous or uncomfortable for reasons they couldn't quite explain.
Eventually, that tide has turned and equality has mostly been achieved.

Will gays and lesbians enjoy that kind of freedom and equality anytime
soon? Don't we deserve to?

Thanks to all who voted no on 8. Your support and your vote means a lot
to me. To our neighbors across the street with that horrid yes sign on
the lawn: I will forever mutter 'asshole' or 'bigot' under my breath
when I look at your house. Please don't ever ask me for a cup of
sugar.

*Yep, I know we're married now. The question becomes, what happens to
that marriage under this new amendment and what about the rights of
anyone else to get married.

**So much of this 'lifestyle' for so many of us is just like everyone
else. The watching tv, eating dinner, paying insurance, the mundane
activities that form a life. All. The. Same. as everyone else.

11.04.2008

How I Spent My Election Day

Mostly, sitting on my ass and eating Val's Halloween candy. As news
of Obama's victory swept in, I cheered. But not as much as I would've
if Hillary had claimed that victory.

I realized about a half hour ago that no matter how many sweets I eat,
what will come will come. And I've got the tummyache to prove it.

But now, as the polls close here and the results of prop h8 are unclear,
I can only hope and pray that today, hate did not prevail.

These are low times for me. No job, struggling more that I've revealed
here to have another baby and what feels like the whole world wanting to
strip me of a marriage that I hold more precious than I can explain.
Because I honestly thought it would never be mine to have.

And now, we wait to see if it will remain the right of others.

As an aside, I hope to never, ever see Sarah Palin again. Please go
back to the wild blue yonder now. Your moose is waiting.

Hard To Tell

But I think it's love for these two.

11.01.2008

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Today's mail was a serious bonanza. It was filled with checks! For
me!

Under better circumstances, it would have been like winning (a very
small version of) the lottery. But these are not the best of times and
that flurry of checks? It was my severance and my first unemployment
check. As I signed the severance, I longed to write something smarmy,
like 'did you have to do this to me?' or 'this close to my sabbatical,
really??' or in my lowest moment 'couldn't you have picked someone else
to do this to?' but I didn't. I just signed them and cried a bit while
the teller handled my deposit. I knew that it's possible that money is
the last we have coming from me in a while.

To that end, I continue to follow every lead and pester anyone who might
have the slightest opportunity to help me land a job. But as of right
now, I dunno what'll happen. I just keep hoping that I'll find a job
that I like, even if it involves making some compromises.