Christmas Math

What I learned this year is... if your kid is the first grandchild on
all sides and two sets of the three grandparents are absolutely nutso
about your kid then there's almost no reason for you to get her very
many gifts at all because between those Grandparents, well, they've more
than got it covered.

Val is such a lucky girl.


Here's A Chuckle

Please head over to Cake Wrecks: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/ for
some of the best holiday cake wrecks ever. I'm still chuckling over
here, so you should chuckle over there at the same time.


Merry, Merry

I hope this Christmas finds you all well and happy. That is all.



Christmas is in 2 days, isn't it?

I'm not sure we're done with gifts. I'm pretty sure our long-distance
gifts will not get there in time. I'm not sure I'm awake enough to pull
this off.

But I have a job. For now, so many other things have to take a backseat
while I get settled in the craziness that is this new gig.


Deus Ex Machina

So the saga of what to do about Andrea's car has gone on for a while
now. Her lease ended, we were sort of stuck with a way-over-the-mileage
car that we owed way more on than it's worth, while not wanting to shell
out to turn the thing in and start over.

We looked at many cars but weren't really impressed by any of them.
Andrea was able to extend the lease for 6 months so we did that and
avoided thinking about it for a while.

Until last week when we realized that the lease was ending. Now. And
our plan to get an unse.cured loan wouldn't work because no bank is
giving them anymore.

Crap, crap crap.

We stress and scheme, thinking maybe we'll suck it up, turn it in then
buy a 2 year old used car. Not an awful idea.

But then, Andrea called Mitsubishi and once again asked if the purchase
price was negotiable.

Well, slap my ass and call me Charley because the guy found a mystery
incentive that covered all of the overage fees, plus $500. We can buy
the car for what it's worth!! Holy shit!

So we're about to be the proud and actual owners of the same car we've
had for a while. I feel soooo lucky.


Pregnancy Math

No, I'm not pregnant. I continue my undying thanks to you for
refraining from asking how that's going. Seriously, I owe you all a
beer for that great kindness.

I read an article about a reporter who'd struggled with infertility much
longer and through much more heartbreak than we've been through. I'm
not saying she has a corner on the market but well, if she wanted one
I'd give it to her. Eventually, she turned to a surrogate to have her

One of the things she talked about was the math. The things you tell
yourself - 'if we get pregnant now, the kid would be born in (whatever
season)! That's so great because I've got this trip planned and we can
just bring the baby along!' The companion piece to that is 'if I got
pregnant now, when the kid is born I'll be (however old).'

I thought all of those things when Val was just a glimmer in our eyes.

Now we have the third piece of math - 'if I get pregnant now, the kids
will be (however old) apart'. Since we've been trying that number's
gone from 'a little over two' to places in between and now to 'at least
three and a half.'

I've stopped doing all of that math. I've already seen a whole year
pass without having any of it come true. Now it's all just a blob of
maybes, hopefullys and 'we'd love to have a second child's.

Infertility sucks.



Ever since our 'neighborhood' church refused to baptize Val, my struggle
to make my own peace with the Catholic church has escalated. Sure, the
church on campus welcomes us and, after some serious rigamarole, they
did baptize her.

But the bad taste in my mouth and in my heart remains.

When I heard that the neighborhood church was giving sermons that
essentially told people to vote Yes on H8, it gave me pause.

But still, 35 years of guilt and tradition kept me calling myself
Catholic. Even though my own church was instrumental in condemning my
marriage, I still held on. Because I was raised Catholic, so Catholic
that a good chunk of my childhood memories revolve around church and
God, so much of who my Grandmother was involved being Catholic.

Somehow, I felt that hanging onto that connection was hanging on to

But then, last week I was driving home and saw an old piece of crap car
with some bumper stickers. An anti-abortion one, and a Yes on H8. As a
reflex, my middle finger went up and my arm pointed at the driver.

As I passed, I saw that he (and why are so damn many anti-abortion
protesters old white guys? What, exactly, do they know about that???)
was not just one of those white guys, he was a priest. I gave him the
finger anyway and what do you know? I was not struck by lightning.

And in that moment I realized two things:
1. I do believe in God
2. I no longer can be Catholic

So we're shopping for a new church. One that will welcome us as we are,
with no judgement or bullshit. One that wouldn't ever give money
towards taking away anyone's rights. One that has Sunday School. One
that skips the guilt, thanks so much.

This means our next child, however, whenever and if-ever that child
joins our family, that child will not be baptized Catholic. And you
know what? Seriously, this child will not go to hell, even though the
Catholic church would have you believe that. I have to believe that my
Grandma would understand this move.

We're going to try a Presbyterian church at Christmas. They have a
bigass rainbow flag hanging outside and their website says hey queers,
come on in.

I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea. I'll let you know how it goes.


Point Taken

Recently I've been thinking about flipping Val's carseat around. She's
now 28 lbs, getting quite tall. In other words, she's approaching the
limit both ways.

What are the chances, I'd think, of us having a truly catastrophic

No, thank the Jesus, we did not have one. But yesterday, not once but
twice, I came very close. Had I not been paying attention we would have
been broadsided or t-boned at a high rate of speed. If that had
occurred, Val's chances of surviving unharmed are much greater

Point taken. We are not flipping her seat until the last possible day.


Yep, She's Two

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl
Nothing says "I'm Two and Proud Of It!" like a look like this.


Fair Enough

When Val was born, she had that awful, horrible teeny hole in her heart
that made me question every ounce of caffeine I'd consumed while
pregnant, every time I'd eaten something not on the Perfect Pregnancy
Diet (whatever that would be), any thing I'd done to cause that tiny
hole, that extra whoosh when you listened to her tiny heart.

For the 18 months that hole remained in her chest, I held my hand over
her heart every day and prayed to my Grandma and a God I'm not sure how
I feel about that my little girl's heart would be whole. We went to
cardiologist appointments, appointments. I breastfed an irate infant,
desperate to comfort a baby who cold, and scared, hooked up to more
wires than I'd ever wanted to imagine could fit on my little girl. At
those appointments we heard first that it would close by a year, then we
heard that we'd need to give Val antibiotics when she went to the
dentist because it might never heal. We waited and hoped for a tiny
miracle just big enough to close that hole.

I bargained with God, just a bit. I'm pretty sure it was something
along the lines of 'seriously, Nice Man In The Sky, I won't ask for
anything else if you could please just coax the muscle together.'

And don't you know, that 18 months later, 18 not 12, we finally, at long
last, heard that the hole had closed. We had gotten our miracle. It
was enough. It was way more than enough. It will always be the thing
for which I am most grateful.

So now, as I find myself once again asking that Nice Man In The Sky for
a favor - for a little help in adding just one more child to our family,
I have to wonder if we won't get that. Because I already got what I
asked for - I got Val's heart, made whole.

And if that's how it's to be, then yes, it is most certainly fair

Tonight, as I do many nights, I told Val some stories about how she was
born. For the first time, I told her about the hole in her heart and
even now, more than a year after our miracle, and I couldn't help but
cry a bit as I remembered just how scared I was during that time. What
I didn't say was that I will always blame myself for that tiny hole,
even though I have no idea what I could have done differently.

I also told her how she peed as she was born and she laughed, a deep
belly laugh. She's one of us all right.

That's more than fair enough.




Talks about how the No On 8 campaign made huge blunders, more than I'd
been aware of.

This entry's so short, I prolly should've just twittered it but I wanted
to share the article so there ya go.


And The Oddessy Comes To A Close

Only 30+ hours after we began our journey from the wilds of the south,
with an unexpected hotel stay,a very unwelcome and unnecessary groping
by the TSA, 3 standby flights, an afternoon in Dallas and a ride home
from April we have arrived at home.

The trip was really nice, even if the ending took waaay longer than it

2008: A Thanksgiving Oddessy

We lucked into the last 3 seats out of Small Southern Town, now we're
taxiing at Dallas. Hopefully our luck will continue and we'll get onto
the plane home.

The TSA folks decided to pat me down rather than ask me to take off my
bulky sweatshirt. The woman pretty much groped me and despite my thrice
protests/offers to remove the offending sweatshirt, she persisted. I
complained to a supervisor later but fuck, I never know what to do.
They could keep me from flying if I don't cooperate but I must draw the
line at touching my person. Fuckers. Fuckers!


I'm Not Saying He's A Nag

But it was probably unnecessary for my dad to pointedly tell, then remind me to contact my new job about my rather unexpected absence tomorrow. That is all.

So Much For Going Home

We were returning today since there were more decent flights on Monday. I thought it would go pretty smoothly. HA!

I got a call this morning from the airline saying we'd been rebooked for later in the day due to our flight being cancelled. Groovy, I thought, our connection to Chicago is no longer, we'll be going through Dallas, home of the not to bad weather, plus we get a little extra time to visit and eat tasty local food. So we had a nice lunch and headed out to the airport, getting there just in time. Only to find out that they'd rebooked us for tomorrow! No amount of begging the nice folks at the ticket counter helped the situation because this little town features 4 airlines, all of whom connect to major hubs via little teeny airplanes that, when you get right down to it, hardly hold a carseat. Crap, crap, crap.

We're using my few accumulated rewards points for hotel tonight (upgraded to the 'executive suite' which includes a sofabed! and a bar!), we're confirmed to leave tomorrow afternoon first class (yep, my pleading at least got us that) but we plan to head back to the airport earlier to try and get standby seats on an earlier flight that does not go through Chicago.

My new job has been training since last Monday. I made a whole one day of this 2 week period and was looking forward to getting back to it. Crap, crap, crap.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a little more smoothly than today when it comes to the whole 'actually getting on an airplane' thing. For now I'm reading through the ginormous training manual that my new boss was kind enough to send me while Val runs around wearing her fairy costume and jumping on the sofabed.