Friday, May 30, 2008

Things I've Learned

We are on the final leg of our one week family vacation. I've learned a lot on this trip. Beforehand, I thought that the fastest way from North Carolina to West Virginia was through Virginia. That actually still may be the fastest way, but Mapquest sent us from Asheville to Huntington, WV through Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and the final 10 miles in West Virginia. This morning, we went to get Conor's tux to be the ring bearer in a wedding (cute, cute!) in Ohio. I have travelled through some states this week, I'm telling you.

Second, we have learned that when Conor says "I have to pee" when he's in the car, he means I HAVE TO PEE.

Finally, we've learned that Conor has the bladder of a camel and should you need to put out a fire, our son could pee on it and extinguish it promptly.

These are all good things to know.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Might Take A While

Apparently, tenure isn't completely over. After what I thought is the Provost's "final" approval for me to officially get tenure, there is another vote back in the department. I can tell it's a big deal because everyone is talking about it. I am concerned about 3 people voting against me, but one is leaving and in a department of 30 people, 3 people who hate me (now 2) don't meant that much. And besides the provost and the dean have given me amazingly strong support. I have to be honest that I'm feeling my oats and I shout out "YOU CAN ALL BITE MY ASS!" during a faculty meeting.

Then I think about my garden. Then I am in my garden and I am late in planting what I need to plant in my garden. I have tons of open space and only weeds are going to grow and I am going to spend all this time and we'll have absoutely no organic vegetables to show for it.

I am a loser in every thing I do!!!!!

And then I wake up. "Dave, Dave!!!" I say pushing on my poor sleeping husband's shoulder. "I have tenure, right? I have tenure! Right? They can't change their minds now. Right?" I start shouting, "DO I HAVE TENURE!??!?!"

"Yes, honey. Yes. You have tenure. You will always have tenure. It's ok."

I calm down slightly. First, I vow to myself to never judge my performance in the garden again. It's supposed to be fun. With rats and bunnies and slugs and drought and the wrong planting time and everything else that can go wrong, this should be something that I enjoy and don't judge myself.

Second, I have tenure. And I will always have tenure. And now I know that the dreams I had in grad school in which I forgot to drop a class until the final which changed to the dreams I had as a new professor in which I forgot to prep a class which changed to dreams that I had not completed my degree have changed and will always now reflect not having tenure. It's apparently common.

Friday, May 23, 2008

There's a Rat in the Kitchen, What I'm-a Gonna Do?

I love youtube. I can start singing some song from my youth \, and WHAM! I can watch the video. (WHAM! Ha ha! Get it?!)

So why on earth would I be singing:

"There's a rat in my kitchen, what I'm-a gonna do? There's a rat in my kitchen, what I'm-a gonna do? I'm going to fix that rat, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to fix that rat!"

Three guesses and the hint is "Not My Kitchen."

First, I shall describe an afternoon earlier this week while I was working at my computer in my home office. I saw a movement out in the garlic. Now, I love working here lately because I can see the birds pecking around outside and it's quite nice. But as they say in some parts of the south, "That won't no bird."** I scream and run outside to the garden, because I'm an idiot. The rat screams a little ratty scream and then runs....into my rosemary bush!!! About 3 feet from me. Apparently, that's his little rat's nest. And although Friends and neighbors were incredulous, I found a bitten off piece of lettuce near where he'd been.

All this time, I've been trying to keep the bunnies and slugs at bay and my real enemy has been a g*ddamn rat! And you know when the humane, crunchy, granola garden sites tell you to kill the fuckers, well, that's what you do.

Last night, Dave set out some traps, to no avail. I set them back out this morning (keeping Patches inside the whole time) and worked at my computer to wait for the show.

Oh, I got a show alright. I watched as the rat wandered into the lettuce, getting closer and closer to the trap. Then he sniffed it. Then he walked over it and into the garlic finally meandering into the yard. Great. And yes, I have tried yelling at it to get out of my garden, but it ignores me. Apparently, rats acclimate to loud noises.

About 10 minutes after watching the rat mock our attempts to murder it, a BUNNY ran through the garden. What the freaking hell?! Is my garden the Mother Thing Wild Animal Park? I swear I thought Bambi was going to show up next.

You know, I am southern. I could get a little bb gun and sit here at my desk waiting for some interloper to stop by. I'm only half kidding.

**I am fully aware (now) that "That won't no bird" translates to "That will not no bird" but I'm telling you, that's a phrase to most native southerners have heard, if not actually said.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Child Left Behind

I have been very upset by the news of the Chinese earthquake, particularly the stories of the parents who, due to the one-child policy, have lost their only child. I keep walking into daycare with wet eyes from sitting in the parking lot and listening to the sad end of the NPR stories on failed rescues. I know I should stop listening, but I also want to let my soul send out its support to those devastated parents.

As I told a friend this week, I don't have the one-child gene. This is despite the fact that many, if not most, of my friends are happy with just having one child. I really feel like there is an empty space in our family and there is a little soul is trying very hard to reach us. I actually stole that quote from the intake worker at the West Coast Clinic we are looking into. And yes, despite being all matter of fact when we were talking before, when she said that, I started to cry.

We still haven't had our debriefing meeting with the clinic here, and Dave keeps saying that we're not leaving here until we see what they are going to offer us. Nonetheless, my faith in this clinic is severely shaken. I know the success rate at the other clinic and it's going to take a lot for me not to insist that that's where we go.


Ok. That's the easy part. I feel like I need to address the brouhaha in the comments from the last post. Gabi? Honey? You might want to step off a little. I don't want to reprimand anyone and, certainly, I don't want to censor anyone. But I do want everyone to play nicely and name calling does not fall under what I deem "playing nicely."

Also, I am not going to defend my choices here. I'm just not going to do it. And as my poor mother can tell you, it's been years and years and years and years and years (and years) since anyone has successfully told me what to do. I appreciate the different opinions of the people around me. It's nice and it's often quite useful (Weick's requisite variety and all). But Dave and I get to determine what is appropriate for us and our family.

So I certainly don't want to stop people from commenting here. I do want to encourage respect for other's diversity of opinions and experiences. And I really do want to give a mini-lecture from my knowledge of computer-mediated communication (CMC), and hyperpseronsal communication and the flashbulb effect of flaming on CMC research. But instead, I'm going to go read an article I'm co-authoring on EQ and stress and then read my student's masters thesis proposal on entitativity and online technology, and wait for the rain.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not Doing as Well as I Thought

Apparently, Saturday when we got the news, was the numb stage of grief. Yesterday started the anger stage (which remains) and today is definitely starting the sad and for some reason anxious stage.

I really want to have another child. I'm afraid if we only have Conor, I will smother him with my love. I need to spread out all the attention and affection I have to give or it will be too much for one little boy to grow up healthy. And because we are not made of money nor covered by insurance, I feel like we need to be very calculated in what we do next.

One option we are seriously considering is going to a fertility inclinic on the west coast. They have outstanding success rates for women of my age and for problems like what I have. It's not convenient and it is likely to be a bit more expensive. However, it is also significantly likely to be more successful.

I really just want to have one or two "good tries" and this last experience does not seem like a try at all. If the path for us does not lead to a child, then I will eventually accept it. But I feel like we really have to TRY before I can say we've gotten there. And I just don't feel like we have.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Nothing made it through the night.

We'll be setting up a meeting at the end of the week with the RE.

I'm sad, but I'm ok. I may sound like a self-deluding moron, but I do believe the end of this path is going to be good. It's just not at a good place right now.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Not Good

We only have 4 eggs to work with. We won't even know until tomorrow if any of them fertilize.

I know I'm supposed to be all "the right thing will happen when it's supposed to happen." Nonetheless, I am very sad.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Still Working

Yesterday, a colleague approached me and said, "You look really good. Your skin looks beautiful. I can tell you are feeling much better."

"Thank you for noticing! I'm using some new skin products now, especially this new primer, Lorac Aquaprime, which is fantastic!! Thank you so much."

"Umm. No. It's your health. Makeup can't do that. Your skin is too smooth and bright."

Oh, OK. Sure. That's the whole point of having acid eat off the dead skin cells on my face every day and using this AMAZING new primer (much better than the Revlon one I was using) is to make my skin smootha and bright. But, sure. I am healthier than I was a few months ago. So, uh, yeah.

The eggs are looking goodish. We're in double digits. Not high double digits, but over 10. The scoop is that not all of them may be viable, but we'll see.

I'll let you know what I know when I know it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Doing My Civic Duty

I'm just back from voting here in the 15th precinct in Charlotte. We're expecting this to be a record turn out if the 45,000 early voters (up from 5,000 for the last primary) are any indication.

After I voted, I went for a jog around the neighborhood and counted 22 Obama yard signs, 12 Hillary yard signs and 1 Ron Paul. I love the Ron Paul sign; it seems symbolic of our neighborhood.

We tend to be a liberal, diverse 'hood. We went 90% Kerry in the last election and pretty much, you can pick any variable you want (ethnicity, age, SES, sexual orientation) and it describes us. And everyone seems to be talking about the election. I was walking through the parking lot of Home Depot on Sunday and two apparent strangers were discussing Obama versus Clinton. At Lenscrafters last week, some older woman was proclaiming the strengths of Obama to one of the employees. This is not a common occurrence in the keep your politics to yourself culture of the South.

I'm excited and anxious about the results tonight.

Much like I am excited and anxious about the upcoming IVF. Despite being Ms. Blogarama (Dr. Blogarama?) about some pretty gory details of my life, I feel myself holding tight to some of what is going on here. I don't want to jinx anything. I do feel good. I'm not having any hyperstimulation signs. And other than that, I will tell you that Things Look Good. But no more.

As soon as I have actual numbers of retrieved (Friday) and fertilized (Saturday), I'll post. Fingers, legs and hair crossed that everything stays on track and we have something to transfer next Wednesday.

GO OBAMA! Go little eggies!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Yesterday was the annual M!dwood Maynia neighborhood festival. On the one hand, this is one of my favorite times to live where I live, what with the 5K race, the pet parade and the 6 hour festival in our park. On the other hand, this is the year anniversary of my running the 5K and losing my 11w5d daughter.

I think that miscarriage anniversary was less painful because we are right in the midst of the IVF cycle. So I have hope and excitement and not just waves of regret for losing our last pregnancy.

Plus, the pet parade is just so much fun! All the dogs and cats and gerbils and (fake) iquanas following behind the Charlotte Youth Organization Drum Corps is just a lot of fun!!!

So yes, the festival was fun. And the IVF is moving along. I think I mentioned that I wasn't quite sure if my estimates were correct about when everything would happen, and I was right in that I was wrong. It's *this* Friday not last Friday that they will collect the eggs. The good news is that so far, I'm doing great! In fact, the nurse used the word "perfect" so we have our fingers crossed that it will all go well. I'm not having any signs of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) so that is good news. Although we want tons of eggs, we don't need to have me get really sick in the process.

So Dave has finished up his Cipro and I remain on my drugs until until and we'll go through the monitoring as we need to next week. The estimated day of transfer back to me is May 14th and I'll be on bedrest that Weds-Friday. That's the status for right now.

Finals are this week and I still have quite a few papers to grade. But things are moving along and we're happily moving along with them.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not Quite Getting the Point

Two scenes from daycare.

Scene #1

Conor is running around the room. He goes up to the one child in the room who I can safely guess his parents are Republican. They still have their Bush sticker on their car from the last election. Conor obviously has no conception of "Democrat" or "Republican" but nonetheless, he leans over the other boy and says Obama! Obama!! ObamaObamaObama!! (It is a fun word to say). The other boy rears back, scrunches his face, and says "Stop saying that!!!"

Yes, indeed. Parents do pass their politics on to their children. (At least when they are really young!) ;-)

Scene #2

The teacher asks Conor what does Obama mean. Conor tells him it's the sign, with the two poles that goes where the grass lives.

"Yes," the teacher says, "but what does it mean?"

Conor thinks a bit about this one. "It means keep off the grass."