Friday, August 28, 2009

Twenty-Nines Day 4 5

Let's just pretend I wrote a list yesterday, mmmkay? Something brilliant and witty that made you laugh and cry, all in one post. We'll ignore the fact that I was actually in a funk and my imagination had run dry.

Today is my birthday! I'm sure there will be multiple days that I forget how old I am now and tell the treadmill that I am still 28, but when my knees hurt the morning after a run I will remember that I am, in fact, an old fart. Victor invited some friends over for the night for a "wine and (ice cream) cuppycake" party and tomorrow night we're planning to go to a nice dinner together. That is, if he remembered to get reservations (ahem).

Twenty-Nine things I Learned in my Twenty-Ninth Year
1). Marriage is hard work. Those butterflies in your stomach subside after a while and some days it's a lot harder to love your spouse like you should.
2). That hard work is so worth it. Because nothing beats the comfort that comes with complete trust.
3). It's crucial to have separate time and interests from your spouse.
4). I don't hate the environment. I never ACTUALLY hated the environment but I didn't see any reason to go out of my way to help it. But this year something clicked. I'm carrying reusable bags and researching cloth diapers. As a result, my uber-conservative family thinks I'm one step away from moving to California and throwing away all my hair removal products.
5). I can vote democratic without being sent straight to hell. Or California (though it was a close call).
6). I want a baby, bad. Obviously.
7). Having a baby is not easy. It's not nearly as easy as they tell you in high school health class.
8). Making a baby sometimes isn't even fun. It's full of dashed hopes, compulsion, and anxiety.
9). I need to write. Having been so entrenched in science I had forgotten how good it feels to have the words just...flow (words other than "the results clearly indicate"). There are still more hiccups in my writing than I'd like, but it is starting to feel better.
10). I really like a clean house.
11). I get a lot of satisfaction from doing 'traditional' things for my husband. No, not THOSE things! (I still don't like that, sorry hon.) (Besides, that's not how we get number 4 accomplished.) Things like making him a good meal and ironing his shirts.
12). I am good at my job. As a general policy, I don't talk about work on here. But things were not so great and now they are. I truly love my job.
13). Even in my upper twenties, pink is still my favorite color.
14). Giving is fulfilling. I've always loved to give presents to friends and family, but now that we are in a position to make substantial financial donations to church and other causes, I really like it. This summer we paid half the tuition for my cousin to attend a class on human trafficking. She is 19 and passionate about working on this issue and I am so so happy that I could help.
15). I am the budget nazi. I love a budget. This probably won't surprise you if you read this post. I am truly in love with my budget spreadsheet.
16). It's really hard for me to maintain a weight. This year I've fluctuated up and down ten pounds multiple times. I need to work on finding a sustainable weight and way of eating.
17). Drinking myself silly is so not worth it. Someone please remind me of this fact tonight.
18). Maintaining long-distance friendships is even harder when you're married.
19). In fact, maintaining local friendships is harder when you're married. Especially if you're a recluse an introvert like me.
20). I should never have committed to making lists of twenty-nine things. That's a lot of things!
21). I regret a lot of things my mama predicted I'd regret like not keeping a journal consistently and quitting piano lessons.
22). I am becoming more like my mama every day.
23). Despite having lots of newer friends, I still cherish the old ones deeply.
24). I really appreciate my southern roots.
25). I have a strong longing to write about my past but getting started is hard.
26). I want to learn more about my family.
27). I might have a problem with anxiety.
28). It's okay that my idea of a perfect afternoon is reading and napping on the couch while listening to the rain outside.
29). Victor really values our coats, remember?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Twenty-Nines: Day Three

Imagine you're walking down the street and you see me and you say to yourself, "Loretta's blog has just been so lame awesome recently, I should buy her a present to bribe her to stop writing thank her for her never-ending entertainment". Imagine you didn't know what to buy me. After today you'll always know.

Twenty-Nine Things that are Always a Good Present for Loretta
1). Tea roses.
2). Anything made by C.O. Bigelow.
3). A soy chai latte from The Daily Grind. It makes me go "CariWHO Coffee?"
4). Flip-flops from J-Crew.
5). Season(s) of Sex and the City aka the BEST TV SHOW EVER MADE.
6). Expensive, pretty workout clothes.
7). A personal chauffeur so I don't have to drive myself to and from work.
8). Origins "A Perfect World" moisturizer.
9). Cuppycakes. Preferably those with ice cream in them.
10). A bottle of Pinot Grigio.
11). One of those alarm clocks that is attached to a lamp that wakes you up by gradually illuminating.
12). iTunes gift card.
13). Chanel No. 5 products.
14). Nice "lounge" clothes.
15). Matching bra and underwear sets.
16). Paraphernalia from my alma maters.
17). A burger from Arties with cheese and mustard (conveniently located at the junction of MD-108 and 32).
18). Gift cards to Barnes and Noble.
19). Thin Mints or Samoas.
20). Clinique lip gloss. I'm a summer, mmmkay?
21). Elsa Peretti earrings from Tiffanys to match my bracelet.
22). Monogrammed recipe cards.
23). Low-fat Greek yogurt. I can never justify the cost.
24). Barbecue shipped directly from Eastern NC.
25). A poster of Frankie Manning dancing from Life magazine.
26). A pretty travel coffee mug with a handle.
27). Gloves made for fat fingers.
28). Subscription to Shape or Fitness magazine. I be needing it these days.
29). A personal assistant.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

29: Day 2

Say you're walking down the street and you see me and you think to yourself, "Loretta's blog has gotten so lame, I really want to make her pay." Today's list will help you on your quest. All of the below items have proved to seriously irk me.

Twenty-Nine Ways to Aggravate Me

1). Poke my upper arm.
2). Use your outside voice, inside.
3). Drive under the speed limit.
4). Talk on your cell phone while driving.
5). Forget everything I tell you within five minutes and ask me to repeat what I said.
6). Walk very slowly.
7). Walk very quickly, my legs are short.
8). While drunk, hug me and pretend that you love me even though you never talk to me when you're sober.
9). Have bad breath.
10). Stink.
11). Wear too much perfume.
12). Hum incessantly.
13). Allow your child to press every button in the elevator.
14). Scream mean things at your child, especially in a public place.
15). Constantly correct your child.
16). Talk about how hard it is to lose weight despite eating junk food and drinking frappaccinos every day.
17). Take the elevator to the second floor (unless you are injured).
18). Do something the slow way when a faster way has been pointed out to you. (Note: this does not apply during sex).
19). Call a meeting when the issue in question could be resolved in an impromptu 5 minute discussion or over email.
20). Ask me to do something, then email me three minutes later repeating the same exact request despite my already having agreed to do it.
21). Put anything you have said in the past in quotation marks and attribute the quotation to yourself.
22). Make me clap every time someone says anything in a meeting.
23). Splash water all over a public bathroom counter.
24). Ask me to hold a pine cone and then draw a picture or write a poem about how said pine cone brings me closer to God.
25). Make lame excuses for not doing something you should have done.
26). Blame anything you do on your parents or the devil.
27). Argue for 10 minutes with the grocery check-out girl over a $0.50 price difference on one item.
28). Honk at me when I'm walking in a crosswalk.
29). Appear on an episode of "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant"

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Week of Twenty-Nines

This Friday is my (first) 29th birthday. To come up with something new to post celebrate I'll be posting lists of 29 things every day this week.

Today I'm going to open up and be vulnerable. I'm going to really let you in to my personal feelings. Today I've got 29 Songs I'm Embarrassed are on My iPod:

1. Achy Breaky Heart (Billy Ray Cyrus)
2. Baby Baby (Amy Grant)
3. Barbie Girl (Aqua) (On a side note, I once took a "What is Your Stripper Song" and this was the result. I have never stripped to this song. Or any other song.)
4. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry)
5. Can't Touch This (MC Hammer) This song is more embarrassing once you know it's on my "pump up workout" song list.
6. Chubby Clementine (Bobby Darin)
7. Da Doo Run Run (Crystals)
8. End of the Road (Boyz II Men)
9. French Poodle (Sam Butera) I highly recommend that you do not look up the meaning of "french poodle" on Really.
10. Friends are Friends Forever (Micheal W. Smith)
11. My Prerogative (Bobby Brown)
12. God Bless America (LeeAnn Rimes) From her "You Light up my Life: Inspirational Songs" album.
13. Hats off to Larry (del Shannon)
14. Heal the World (Michael Jackson) This one is slightly less embarrassing now that the artist is deceased. A little.
15. Hey Girl, Hey Boy (Big Sandy)
16. Hopelessly Devoted to You. The sing-along version. Like mother like daughter.
17. How am I Supposed to Live Without You? (Micheal Bolton)
18. I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing (Lea Salonga)
19. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Gayla Peevey, whoever that is)
20. I Want it That Way (Backstreet Boys)
21. Le Freak (Chic)
22. Let's Get Ready to Rumble (ESPN JockJams). See number 5.
23. Little Queenie (Chuck Berry, again)
24. Lollipop (Ben Kweller)
25. Love me for a Reason (The Osmonds)
26. A Moment Like This (Kelly Clarkson, from when she won American Idol)
27. Mr. Heat Miser (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)
28. Listen (Beyonce, from Dream Girls)
29. Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston)

Monday, August 17, 2009

The One Where Loretta Reveals that she has Problems

I am a planner. I enjoy nothing more than devising a plan and then seeing it be executed. When I was in college the most exciting day of the year was when registration for the next semester started. And it wasn't just because I was just so nerdy that I couldn't wait to decide on new classes (although, I am that nerdy). It was because I could make a PLAN! A SCHEDULE! Oh rapture!

I would first decide on the courses I wanted or needed to take and write them into an hour-by-hour grid that I made up on my computer. This grid usually went from about 7 am until 10 pm. Then I'd add all my extra activities to the list: field hockey, eating house officers meeting, etc etc. And then? The completely insane fun part began! I'd look at the open blocks in my schedule and figure out where other aspects of my life fit. No classes until 11:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays meant that those were perfect days to go to the gym first thing and then eat a leisurely breakfast at the Commons (the cafeteria) before heading back to my room to shower and get dressed. The hour-long break between my 8:30 and 10:30 classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that some may view as inconvenient? Just the perfect amount of time to practice the piano! So I'd write all these things in my wonderful little grid and relish the precise efficiency of my planned days. I printed out my grid and stuck a copy in my library carrel, a copy in my room and a copy in my planner. I loved the planning and even more, I loved knowing exactly what I would be doing at 2:36 on Thursday afternoon.

Now that I am in a stage of life where I have NO IDEA even where I might be living (and in what kind of house/apartment? and on how much of a salary? and what kind of hours will Victor have?) in as little as a month from now? It's MADDENING! Any day now Victor could get called for an interview and any number of days after that he could get a job offer and then...CHAOS! My mortal enemy could come knocking on the door with little or no warning.

Hold me.

The fact that I can't plan out one specific route means I spend a good portion of my mental energy planning out lots of less-specific routes. I plan out when we could move, what kind of house we could buy or whether we'd rent for a while first for pretty much every decent-sounding job opportunity Victor mentions to me. I spend hours perusing to estimate what Victor's salary might be in any particular job. Then I spend more hours drooling at houses on realtor. com based on said salary range. Sometimes I even write out a mock budget to reassure myself that it could work. Whenever a job opportunity falls through I feel like I'm losing something. I had made PLANS! What about that cute little townhouse within walking distance to Victor's prospective office? Lost, forever! While my melodrama may cause you to roll your eyes it causes me a great deal of emotional distress. Nothing is quite so bad as plans not working.

I'm feeling this pain even more so as we try to conceive. Every month I think about if it does work, when we'll tell family, when we'll find out the sex, and how fantastic it would be to have a February March April , no MAY! baby. And every time my temperature drops or I see just one pink line I have to regroup and tell myself that we have another chance. And when I finally do get those two pink lines ? When Victor finally does get that great job offer? It won't matter how inconvenient I had previously thought the timing might have been. It'll be time to plan, for real.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Things that Have Made me Cry this Week:

-A failed experiment at work

-My workload in general

-Reading a note that one of my oldest friends was in labor

-Hearing that said friend had a beautiful baby boy

-A really slow truck on a two-lane highway with no passing

-The birth of every baby on the SIX baby reality shows I watched during my sick/mental health day

-When the kids on 16 and Pregnant gave their baby to an adoptive couple

-When I couldn't grate an apple without it becoming a mess

-When cycle #3 of trying to conceive ended, this morning

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mother-Daughter Bonding

Last night Victor and I were talking about labor (the kind that produces a baby) and joking (or he better have been) that he'll ask the doctor to add a few extra stitches in my girly bits for his enjoyment. Or, he suggested, I could just do lots of certain exercises to keep things nice and snug.

And then I had a flashback to my childhood. I was probably 4 or 5, still young enough to let my mama in the bathroom with me. I was on the toilet and every few seconds she would say "stop!" or "start!", sort of like my high school basketball coach would while we did push-ups when she was pissed at us. Which was a lot. But anyway, my mama was not referring to me doing calisthenics (because that would be wrong) (although, not nearly as wrong as the truth), she was telling me to stop and start my urine stream.

Internet, my mama was teaching me KEGALS! When I was in preschool! If memory serves correctly she told me practicing this exercise regularly was very important for women. Let the males say "amen!"

Now, my mama is very naive and there is a possibility that she was only encouraging me to develop fine bladder control without even considering the other uses of these exercises. But if not? I can only imagine her thinking that if I followed her advice I'd have a very happy husband. I'm not sure that is what was meant by the whole "women teach your daughters" thing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Inappropriate Product Review

After the less-than-delightful escapades with this product, I decided to try something different this cycle. FertileCM is a supplement that claims to increase natural fertile-quality cervical mucous. In the past few months I haven't had all that much so I decided to give it a try.

I've been taking FertileCM three times daily since it arrived early in my cycle. I'm normally skeptical of non-FDA approved supplements but the main ingredient is l-arginine, an essential amino acid. So I figured, I'm just boosting up what my body needs anyway. I'm pleased to report that this product does exactly what it claims to do, at least before ovulation. When I first started taking it I'd have random gushes of fluid, then nothing for several hours. But when I made an effort to drink more water during the day the presence of mucous became more consistent and eventually thinned it out to the appropriate texture. In fact, I've had 10 straight days of fertile-quality fluid and if I don't ovulate soon Victor and I are going to die from exhaustion.

But at least we'll die happy (wink wink, nudge nudge).

FertileCM worked well enough that I didn't need any additional "help" getting geared up for the blessed events, which is always a plus. Obviously the ultimate in positive feedback would be me getting pregnant, but for now I'll give this product an 'A'.

So to the company that makes it, you can send my endorsement checks to...

Just kidding.