Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Can Kiss My Butt

One of the perks in having my blog is knowing that when people are looking something up on the internet, there’s the ever slightest chance they could end up here. My stats show that the majority of people who end up at this blog are looking for info on Maggie Gyllenhaal’s tattoo from the movie Stranger Than Fiction. The second largest number of hits come from people looking for homemade diaper wipes.

I believe I’ve found my niche! Now to combine them into something fabulous…

So that’s why I’m going to voice my complaint with Kolbe Windows and Doors (Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork) because if I can save one soul from wasting their hard-earned money buying windows from this company, I will feel the slightest bit vindicated. I’d feel much better if Kolbe & Kolbe would replace all my windows with another company’s quality windows, specifically double-hung windows.

Our contractor convinced us that nothing else would compare to Kolbe & Kolbe. Not Anderson, Pella or Marvin windows. Silly us since who has ever heard of Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork? Not me! Have you?

Right away, we noticed the windows from Kolbe & Kolbe leaked dust. Wait, not just dust: Sand. I thought it was because we didn’t have a yard. Well, we have a nice green yard and the sand still pours in. The seals and gaskets on Kolbe & Kolbe’s windows were ineffective against the winds of the plains. Ironic since that’s where the company is based, in good old Wisconsin. For all you that get technical about where the plains are and aren’t (you know who you are), Wisconsin’s weather can’t be that much different from Nebraska’s.

Not only do they leak dust, sand, grit, dirt, debris; Kolbe & Kolbe windows whistle! Whistle is too kind of a description. The air HOWLS through the windows, scaring the bejeebus out of any person who may be asleep in the room, usually our son who gets a wonderful southerly wind that angles through the seams JUST right. I’m listening to it now, in fact!

We’ve complained formally. They sent out a Kolbe & Kolbe guy who replaced all the gaskets with larger diameter gaskets. They still leak and howl and scream. I’ve tried stuffing dimes, pennies and even nickels in the frame to “tighten” up the fancy Kolbe & Kolbe windows. Didn’t work. So I bought insulating felt and stuffed it in the windows. That hasn’t worked either.

Kolbe & Kolbe? You suck. Wait, no. Unless the wind is blowing and then there’s some weird joke in there somewhere. Thanks for bringing in a little bit of that old prairie life literally through my windows. It’s so attractive seeing it accumulating on the corners of every window. And that fine, high-pitched squeal that sounds like a bag-pipe being thrown on a bonfire? Ah, who needs peace and quiet when my daughter is napping in the afternoon or 3:15 a.m. when my son should be sleeping in his room but instead is waking me up to tell me he’s scared of the wind? Thank YOU, Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork!

NIAW – Repressed

A high-school friend of Sparring Partner’s and her husband came to visit us over the weekend. We don’t hear from them often as she’s often jet-setting around the globe, but a few weeks ago during a long phone conversation she admitted to SP that they had gone to our very own reproductive endocrinologist for a donor egg cycle as well as an attempt at a subsequent frozen embryo transfer. She did not get pregnant. Dee (let’s call her Dee, shall we?) asked if at a later date she could pick my brain about it, and of course I’m always up for a good brain-picking.

While they were visiting the topic did turn to infertility and going through treatments. We compared notes and swapped horror stories about progesterone in oil (PIO) shots. I shared the time I had hit a vein (or something) with the needle and blood shot out of the hole on my ass; she shared how she had to have an infected subcutaneous mass, which was most likely due to her PIO shots, surgically removed from her ass. She won that “Which Sucks More” contest. We went on to compare costs, the number of eggs retrieved and transferred, protocol, etc., etc. Dee and her husband are now considering adoption and overseas surrogacy.

After they left, Sparring Partner told me that our conversation had brought up a lot of unpleasant memories for him. Things he admits he had forgotten about. Was glad to have forgotten. I can’t say I blame him.

These are not things I think about every day. Not any more, and for that you have no idea how relieved we both are. My life revolved around infertility and miscarriages from November 2004 until July 2008, just a little over four years. For some, a very short time; for others? An unimaginable waste of time and energy. Reading posts from my old blog always brings back very painful memories. Some so painful, I wonder how in the world could I have forgotten them until the moment I read those words again. Forgotten is probably not the best word for it: Repressed is more accurate, don’t you think?

I read very few infertility blogs now. When my friend Serenity wrote about an anonymous commenter suggesting she should be happy with what she’s already got (paraphrased in regards to secondary infertility (SIF)), I got my rage on. I remember tackling that topic so many times and reading her words once again brought out all those feelings I had repressed. I dug again in my archives and stumbled into one of my posts that actually was never published on my blog, but through a blog that no longer exists, created by Dawn Friedman. To create the link, I have now published it on my old blog (which if you still have in your reader, you’ve already seen). I would really love for you to go read it as I think it’s one of my better posts when it comes to SIF.

Dee’s visit coincided with this week being National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 24 – 30, 2011. I don’t advocate myself as much as I use to when it comes to infertility, and in many ways I regret that because the camaraderie and support from my fellow IF bloggers was (and still is!) second to none. However, at some point, I’ve both consciously and subconsciously made decisions that distance myself in order to protect what is left of my sanity. New worries and concerns (a son with ADHD and possibly ODD) (cancer) (eventually a child who needs to know her donor story) replace what has been archived. But I will always – ALWAYS – make myself available for questions, conversations, and debate when it comes to infertility and miscarriage issues.

I am grateful that I don’t have to deal with infertility issues every day like I did in the “good ole’ days”, but I am more grateful that when they do come up, I can offer a shoulder, words of encouragement, and most importantly when it comes to infertility – an ear to just listen.

Never Worse Than Never Ever Again?

(From the Archives: Another Child)

I read that line on a blog several days ago and I haven’t been able to shake it out of my head since. Its simplicity is what I think twists me up inside even though initially I nodded my head in somber agreement.

How could I agree when I don’t have anything to make the judgement on? Mr. DD and I never experienced the “Never”, and I can’t help but wonder how differently things would be for us now if we had started on the wrong side of the statistics.

We would have been better prepared by consciously making the decision almost immediately as to what to do when we’re ready the next time. Instead we waited with our eyes shut thinking a subsequent pregnancy would happen the way it did the first time. Ironically, it did, but nothing could have prepared us for the first of three miscarriages. No one can ever be prepared regardless of the number of times it happens.

After the first miscarriage, we had to “do” a minimum six month of trying naturally, which does nothing but stress one out and it’s not fair that most physicians won’t offer a referral until you do. In our most recent cycle, I’ve learned that the now 24 months that have passed since then, waiting and trying have not increased our chances of getting and staying pregnant. I found out the hard way that in just 12 months, my ovarian reserve has pretty much dried up.

And what knocks me on my ass is that we are now experiencing the Never Again possibility without warning.

So here’s a question: is there really Secondary Infertility when there was already Primary? With Primary you already know that the next time ART will more than likely be involved. You know the lingo; you know the odds; and maybe PIF has even given you the good fortune (in relationship to the whole shitty process) of having frozen embryos awaiting you.

In an email exchange I had with someone, my eyes were opened to the idea that there is no SIF if there is PIF. I don’t mean necessarily that the second child can come easier to the IF who desires child no.2, I just mean that SIF have their “eyes wide open” to what is to come. They may even know from the moment their first child is born that they are done. They’ve accepted it and have the peace that can comes with time and having a new baby in their arms. How many times have you heard a PIF hope that they have twins the first time around and know that their family will be complete?

Here’s something that came directly from my email exchange:

“When you go straight to ART for #2, this is not experiencing SIF. That’s not hearing ‘only’ one child for a few years, that’s not your child begging for a sibling, that’s not being the only only in a classroom and being told that your time is easier/looser etc b/c you only have one.”

Another question: how can there be Secondary Infertility when there wasn’t primary? I would like someone to explain to me how Infertility has become Secondary. Secondary to what?

Even more difficult when it comes to our Secondary Infertilty diagnosis is feeling like you are squelching your spouse’s hopes that you could possibly conceive without ART. Yes, it’s possible, but highly unlikely. My husband has repeatedly told me that he feels like I’ve “written him off” (because our IF’s main cause is MF, but not the only factor). If we had had Primary, we wouldn’t have the late-night crying and under-our-breath hissed discussions that we’ve done it before without a doctor’s assistance, we can do it again. We would just be trying to figure out what are the next steps we should take in ART that have the quickest and most desirable outcome.

For me, I can only speculate that we never would have had to do the two failed IVFs which strapped us emotionally and financially. If we had had PIF, the use of donor might have been accepted without a blink of an eye – maybe not the first time, but more so the secondy time – and possibly the only heated discussion we might have had was should the donor be Irish/German or Irish/Irish decent.

Secondary Infertility is a misnomer and leads to so many misconceptions and unfounded bias. Do you think the couple who had PIF who find themselves surprisingly pregnant naturally a second time now consider themselves Fertile? I would love to see someone admit to that. So why should I now consider myself SIF when there was never PIF. And here’s even a further leap: why should I consider myself SIF when maybe we were never “fertile”? Maybe we just got lucky the first time, and then found out the hard way that we are actually Infertile.

Johari

I participated in the Johari Window, which was invented in the 50s. I selected five adjectives and then asked my friends to pick five or six that describe me. The left column represents those adjectives I selected (in Arena and Facade), but Facade’s window shows “introverted”. It was the the one adjective no one but me used to describe myself.

The right column represents the adjectives I didn’t chose. My friends selected the ones in Blind Spot’s window.

In many ways, I wish I was the person in the Unknown window.

Arena

(known to self and others)

complex, independent, tense, witty

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

able, adaptable, bold, brave, caring, clever, confident, energetic, friendly, intelligent, kind, loving, nervous, observant, organised, searching, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, silly, trustworthy, warm, wise

Façade

(known only to self)

introverted

Unknown

(known to nobody)

accepting, calm, cheerful, dependable, dignified, extroverted, giving, happy, helpful, idealistic, ingenious, knowledgeable, logical, mature, modest, patient, powerful, proud, quiet, reflective, relaxed, religious, responsive, sentimental, shy, spontaneous, sympathetic

Dominant Traits

66% of people agree that yoyomama is witty

All Percentages

able (25%) accepting (0%) adaptable (25%) bold (25%) brave (8%) calm (0%) caring (33%) cheerful (0%) clever (50%) complex (50%) confident (8%) dependable (0%) dignified (0%) energetic (8%) extroverted (0%) friendly (8%) giving (0%) happy (0%) helpful (0%) idealistic (0%) independent (25%) ingenious (0%) intelligent (41%) introverted (0%) kind (16%) knowledgeable (0%) logical (0%) loving (16%) mature (0%) modest (0%) nervous (8%) observant (16%) organised (8%) patient (0%) powerful (0%) proud (0%) quiet (0%) reflective (0%) relaxed (0%) religious (0%) responsive (0%) searching (8%) self-assertive (25%) self-conscious (8%) sensible (8%) sentimental (0%) shy (0%) silly (25%) spontaneous (0%) sympathetic (0%) tense (8%) trustworthy (8%) warm (16%) wise (8%) witty (66%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 26.4.2011, using data from xx respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window.

The Royal Pain-in-the-Asses

Monday, normally the most derided day of the week, has been a godsend. It meant the end of the weekend. It wasn’t because of one major incident, but an accumulation of lowlights, only beginning Saturday afternoon when we all rushed out the door early to make it to Easter Mass at 5:30. We had dressed up and had sufficiently prepared Aitch’s diaper bag for the hour-and-a-half (minimum) we’d be sitting/standing/kneeling. I wasn’t screaming for everyone to hurry out the door.

When we pulled around the corner, I had a flashback to the prior year: we had arrived for an Easter Mass that wasn’t taking place. They preferred that the congregation make Sunday’s Mass since that is actually Easter so there was only one scheduled for Saturday. At 8:45 p.m. I’m sure the kids would be angels that late in evening. Apparently we have inadvertently started our own Easter tradition. Take note for next year.

When we got home, I changed and made a last-minute dash to WalMart for the kids’ Easter baskets. I was returning to my car after getting some things and saw a POS car with two adults in the front and a toddler standing between the bucket-seats as they drove through the parking lot. Coincidentally, they parked at the end of the row I was exiting and I watched them exit their car and walk towards the store. I parked next to their car and left this note on their windshield:

“Cute little boy you have. I hope you never have to watch him crash through your windshield because you are too lazy/high/selfish to buckle him in a carseat.”

I am unapologetic in my judgment.

The highlight of my weekend was later that night when I enjoyed a couple of beers with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. I climbed into bed right before 2:00 a.m., right after I prepared baskets and hid eggs filled with treats. I forgot to mention that I had found out early Saturday that one of my siblings wasn’t coming up for Easter. That’ll be important to note.

Sunday started way too early. Doodicus was up before 6:00 and scoping out where all the eggs were hidden. So by the time Aitch got up an hour later, he ran through the house picking up ALL the eggs leaving his baby sister in the dust. Luckily she didn’t care once she discovered there was candy in the egg she HAD found. My husband had to be nagged out of bed. Within two hours of waking, he was snoring on the couch.

I was chilling out as well, checking out Facebook while the kids gorged themselves on chocolate and taffy. I went to wish an IRL friend happy birthday and happened to notice that the Friends In Common looked off: My SIL and her daughter, who I had bravely accepted as FB friends months ago, were not pictured. They had conspired to unfriend me at the same time and within the preceding 24 hours of me noticing.

Sparring Partner suggested that they figured there wasn’t any dirt to get from my updates so they dumped me. I hope that’s true since I had my filters set up to not be visible to the people I knew in real life. However, Facebook has let me down before. I’m still undecided as to whether I will confront either of them. I know that ultimately, I shouldn’t care. They made their decision and raising a stink isn’t going to help anything except to satisfy my selfish curiosity. I didn’t take it all lying down though: I blocked her, her kids, and her husband from being able to even see me on FB as well as deleted all the tags I had on the photos of her grandkids from my albums so they will no longer show up in their photos. I’m Queen of the passive-aggressive.

And finally, SIL was hosting Easter lunch at her home but we hadn’t heard what time to be there, so my SP called and was surprised to hear, “In 15 minutes.” Why didn’t anyone tell us? he asked. “Yo-yo Mama said you were having Easter with her family.” Now that was true up until I found out my sister wasn’t going to be able to come up. I guess it was my failure to inform her and I felt like a schmuck. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with Aitch just going down for a nap and Doodicus didn’t want to go. So SP went by himself. I was actually relieved.

Apparently, I’m the Queen of Passive-Aggressive.

And Aitch is Princess Star Wars:

And Doodicus is our silly Jester:

Details on Aitch’s Cabinet

As most of you know, because I couldn’t help but brag about it on Facebook and Twitter, my little redo was featured on Better After. I haven’t been linked to by a big name blog in years, so my head blew up the size of an advertising dirigible. I can’t wait to finish another project just to see if I can get a repeat performance. POWER! GIVE ME POWWWWERRRR!!

*ahem*

I couldn’t help but go back to Lindsey’s (yeah, I’m cool. We’re on a first name basis (even though it’s right there on the blog.).) (Of course, that’s the only name she gave me, and I voluntarily gave her mine because she asked.) blog each day to read the comments, which I was relieved to find that they thought I had done a great job. But with all 15 Minutes-of-Famers, there’s always one of those in every crowd: one commenter thought I had basically devalued the piece, which across the seas is worth billions of dollars and now no one else will want it since the color scheme is so personalized…I paraphrase for drama.

Call me crazy, but that was the whole point of redoing it. It had no personality. I have no intention of turning around and selling it. It’s for my home. In 50 years when I’m worm food, my kids can throw it on a bonfire and curse my lack of good taste. And if I gave you a dollar for each of those 50 years, that’s how much I had paid for it 10 years ago…so OK, 83 cents a year – rounded down.

I was also asked by some amazing people about the details of the project, so if the rest of you want to get caught up on your bloglines or reader, uh, you may go now.

After following some links from Better After to other beautiful redos, I happened upon a product that often gets referred to as “liquid sandpaper”. Wil-bond was the brand-name tossed around the most by the other bloggers. I checked several local stores for some, including ACE Hardware, Bomgaars and a personal building supplier but no one had Wil-bond so I just bought their brand, which was labeled as a deglosser.

I followed the instructions on the container by cleaning the entire cabinet, which led me to finding an old spider nest and cat hair still stuck to it from before we moved. Once the alloted time passed (there’s a suggested window of time for when it’s best to add the new color, and that means don’t start deglossing at 10:00 p.m. and think you can then add the color the next day. Nope, for best results, an hour. Plan ahead.), I put the first light coat of quick-dry spray paint on. In this case, I did not use a primer. After adding two more light coats of color, I dragged it back into the garage and let it completely dry overnight.

My inspiration for the base color was the fabric itself. I found the duck cloth at Hobby Lobby. The weight is between a percale and upholstery fabric so it had body without too much heft. Specifically, this fabric was called “Owl Lelujah Floral” (#750331). I measured each side of the drawer for the panels and then cut a matching panel from the thinnest foam board I could find at Hobby Lobby (which is where I picked up the paint and fabric). I sorted the front panels out because I wanted them to be padded.

To pad the panels, I just used spray adhesive on the foam board and the batting (the kind used for quilts as it comes it “sheets” and was easier to work with for this kind of application). Once that was done, I cut out enough fabric to cover each panel as well as plenty to overlap to the back, which is where I did something that most professional furniture redo-ers would probably find sacrilegious: once the fabric was folded to the back, I hot-glued it. Not only that, but I have to confess that’s how I attached the fabric-covered panels to the weaved panels of the drawers.

I’m a HEATHEN!!

For the side panels, I used spray adhesive again and applied it to the fabric and foam board because it would provide a smooth finish. Now to defend my use of the evil hot glue, I did try removing the wood trim that was between the weaved panel and the drawer frame. Unfortunately, those bad babies were glued on using kryptonite and unicorn snot. Nothing was getting those suckers off, not without breaking the trim and ruining the whole project.

The top of the piece was finished off similarly to the sides, just larger. I guessed at the amount of fabric I would need so I think I bought two yards and when done, there was about an 18″ square left, if that.

I adored the colors and patterns of the other duck canvas that Hobby Lobby had in stock. I found one in particular that I would love to use on the second cabinet that is sitting in my dining room (which as of right now has a small cookie sheet pan sitting on top of it so my plant that is sitting on top of THAT doesn’t leak all over it) (and that was decorated with a permanent marker by my son, so yeah…it looks REAL classy!), but Amie offered an excellent suggestion in leaving the weave texture. I’m seriously considering it since it would save me a buttload of time and I wouldn’t have to use hot glue. Maybe a deep, glossy red?

I don’t know. What do YOU think? And yes, that is where it would go: next to that other incomplete project from years ago…

I Will NOT Google Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This is me in my new swimsuit, purchased with the hopes of buying me a few extra years before I die of skin cancer. Oh, c’mon! We all know it’ll happen. Sooner rather than later. I just hope it’ll lean a little towards the later so I can see my own kids become parents (if that’s what they want to do…).

Actually, this is how I see myself when I look in the mirror. When I went through the infertility treatments and the miscarriages, my weight and size just kept climbing. Before the stress of it all packed on, my husband had it easy. All he had to do was memorize one number when it came to shopping for me: 7. Shoes, hat-size, jeans, etc. and that was after I had Doodicus. Before that, I would hit the clearance racks at Banana Republic and snap up all the size 2 items for a song.

I hit my second highest weight right before getting pregnant with Aitch, but I was ecstatic when breastfeeding brought me back down closer to my goal, one that let me wear everything I still had in my closet, and comfortably! I was really hoping it would eventually lead to this:

And then I lost my job one month shy of my 10-year anniversary, and I had a renewed case of loathing for who I am. I don’t think I ate more, I just did less. And then one day I asked my husband, “Does it look like I’m gaining weight?” and without the hesitation that you see in the commercial where President Lincoln’s wife asks him if she looks fat, Sparring Partner answered simply and quickly, “Yes.” But he didn’t stop there, “Haven’t you had to buy some new jeans up-a-size this year?”

If I wasn’t such a hardened bitch, I would have crumpled to the floor and cried my weight in tears. I’ve tried to watch what I eat, but I can honestly say that my diet isn’t excessive. So I signed up for a membership at the Y and started Zumba and weight-lifting. It’s been over two months and even though I go to one of the two classes every week-day, I still haven’t lost any weight. Or I don’t think so. The last time I stepped on a scale was about a month ago, right before I did go buy some new jeans (it was get some new jeans or find someone to invent a bra with a built-in muffin-top holder).

FYI: it’s true what Stacy and Clinton say. Wear clothes that fit you now, not the clothes you hope to fit into. Wearing a pair of jeans that didn’t make every knit top I have look like I was shoplifting kielbasa is a mood-booster for sure.

I try not to beat myself up mentally over what is most likely just a simple case of aging, but it’s hard to not think about where did my youth go? I feel like so much of it was wasted. On what? I don’t know and that brings me full circle. I want to be one of those women who march into their 50s content, empowered, and yet still beautiful, but I’m mired in what feels like an endless funk. I look at this picture and I remind myself that I’m not as much of a lost cause as I sometimes perceive myself to be, but I want to be better. Physically and mentally.

Photo-Op: The Shop

I really have nothing to add as far as descriptions to this post. I mean, if you had to, could you really say anything more to what you are taking in visually? You’ve already seen just snippets of our garage, yet another project that we haven’t finished as far as getting it organized since we moved in. That’s the problem with having space made bigger than average: More room to throw the crap.

Heather, who also asked to see our closets, suggested Sparring Partner’s shop.

Be afraid.

Be VERY afraid.

He knew I was taking these pictures. He said if I post them on my blog, he’ll divorce me. Sssshhhhhh, don’t tell him.

Little Blogger On The Prairie*

Since I moved from my old blog to this one, I have been cautious about exposing too much of my previous identification. Once burned, twice raped by those in your real life who want to be up in your biz…and all that. Now that I haven’t been around the bitches from where I worked because 1) I don’t work there anymore; and 2) Stalker took a job in The Metro and hauled her whore-ass out of town, I am once again considering welcoming other people from IRL back here, especially those I am friends with on Facebook.

And then I go back to that “once burned” thought and I rein myself in. I guess I’ll wait a little bit longer before I update my old blog with a post that I can now be found here.

Instead, I am comfortable enough to share where I blog from (no, I’m not referring to the laptop I prop on one knee while I sit in my rocking chair situated in the living room), but where geographically, which is Nebraska, US of A. I know. Most of you probably already knew that, but hey, a blogger past her prime can still dream that she can pick up a new reader now and then.

While I have found an incredible sense of camaraderie through the community of blogging, I have to admit that not having a chance to actually get together with a fellow bloggers is one of the detriments to being a blogger in a what is considered a very rural part of the country where people generally still don’t have a clue as to what a blog is! I am pea-green with envy of those of you who mention spontaneous luncheons with another blogger who lives across town. You have no idea how lucky you are.

I’ve tried at different times to find other bloggers in Nebraska. Currently, I know less than a handful who do. So I’m putting out feelers once again for people who maintain a personal blog. I’ve found a syndicated blog, Momaha.com that networks in Omaha (obviously), but only a couple of the contributors have their own blog. I’m not a big follower of community blogs for a variety of reasons, one being rather petty: the truncating of posts. I know, I know. Bloggers, especially pros, don’t want their content stolen and it gives them a more accurate way to collect stats…whatever. I don’t like it.

So I’m collecting a list of Nebraska bloggers. I’m not particular about topics, but prefer to find “personal blogs”, not “Here’s what’s going on in the Capital Building today!” or “Today’s Spring Game for the Huskers was cancelled due to a blizzard!” (which, dudes, we totally had a blizzard today complete with an accumulation of around 8″ and ice and drifts and shit!) (however, I have no idea if the game was cancelled, nor do I care). So if you know of a blogger who lives in Nebraska or you ARE a blogger in Nebraska, shout it out. I’m going to start a new page with the links. Maybe someday this will lead to a CornFab or at the minimum, a spontaneous luncheon with a fellow Nebraskan blogger.

* This is the name of an actual blog. HOWEVER, this person not only has her blog as private, but she’s in Illinois. ILLINOIS! Please. That is so not on the prairie.

When “Right” isn’t “Fair”

Truer words were never written. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by since Fall 2008 that I hadn’t thought something to this effect. Giving a stranger permission to possibly apply a less-than-perfect label on a perfect-in-my-eyes child was something I never could have prepared myself to accept.

And yet there’s something about signing, about taking the pen in hand and making that mechanical squiggle, saying, “Yes, please classify my child,” that feels like standing over Pandora’s Box, reading the packing list carefully, and then asking for a crowbar. Like we’re setting something big and possibly dangerous in motion without knowing how it works. Simultaneously like we’re doing the right thing for our child, and like we’re selling him down the river.

Thank you, Julie, for saying it best.

Stepping Up

I’ve mentioned at different times my friend who I use to work with that also struggled with secondary infertility. She got pregnant in high-school and now has a sweet teen-ager. Several years ago, shortly after she met and married a wonderful man, they had tried to get pregnant. This is also the same friend who has a great deal of faith and while they agreed to give a few rounds of IUIs with clomid a try, they didn’t feel IVF – or any further ART – was for them for religious reasons. They then started on the path towards adoption, just completing their profile a few months ago and are officially waiting.

This friend, who we’ll call Sasha, can be quite exasperating, but what friends aren’t on occasion? We definitely don’t see eye to eye on religion, ART, or even adoption (at this point, she wants a closed adoption), but I have an unbelievable amount of admiration for her. Once pregnant at 16, she could have easily become one of the majority of single teen moms and drifted through her adulthood, but she finished school, moved out on her own with a baby, worked full-time, got a college degree and soon after her masters.

When my ex-boss was promoted, his position was left unfilled for nearly a year. Several times I would encourage Sasha to apply, but she always waved away my suggestions (and her husband’s and her other friends’) by saying she wasn’t qualified. But Sasha’s hard work within that department didn’t go unnoticed and eventually the CFO went to my former boss and told him to find out if she was interested in the management position. Finally she figured, “what the hell”, applied, interviewed and quickly became the new director of the department. I am over the moon for her, and I can’t help but be glad I no longer work there, as we would no longer be able to sit in each other’s offices and have our bullshit sessions or disappear for an hour-plus lunch.

Sasha has completed our taxes for us for the past few years. Sparring Partner and I always talk about paying her, but she refuses. I think she’s just being polite, silly woman. This year was no different even though she admitted that with her new position, she might not be able to get them done as quickly. However, true to form, she finished them as quickly as before. So this time, as not only as a way to show our appreciation for putting up with our tax issues but to congratulate her on the promotion, I am doing something for her that she wouldn’t think of doing: Getting her new shoes.

Here’s a young woman who is now in a prominent position with one of the largest employers in our town and she’s running around in shoes from Payless. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… She just doesn’t know how to reward herself so I’m going to surprise her with these:

I’m very proud and happy for Sasha, so I want to make sure her career takes off on the right foot.

I know. Bad pun. It’s the one I’ll include in her greeting card as well.

How come…

…when one has an “a-ha!” moment, some refer to it as a “watershed moment*?” When I think of a watershed, I think of an out-house.

…generic prescription medications, who often advertise right on their packing, “Compare to Tylenol Cold & Flu”, don’t voluntarily recall their product when their name brand equivalent does? I’ve compared as they suggest, and I call bullshit.

…when I get dressed to go work out, I think, “Hey! My ass doesn’t look as dimply as I thought in these capri leggings!” but when I stand in front of the wall-to-wall mirror in front of 30 other women, I think I look like a bloated raccoon stuffed in fishnet stockings?

…with all the hoopla surrounding HIPAA, when I sign the pharmacy’s log book which identifies me as a potential meth producer, I can see everybody’s name, address, driver’s license number on the same form above my little section? I don’t like that my competition can get my personal information from the same form. Those crack heads are sneaky bastards. What kind of assurance do I get that one of them won’t break into my house and steal my box of Advil?

*[Probably translation of German Wasserscheide : Wasser, water + Scheide, divide, parting.]

Inspiration

Thanks for the encouragement in regards to me finishing my project. It’s nothing less than a miracle that I actually did and in such a short amount of time. Now I can only hope that these projects (in limbo) below will eventually get finished.

First we have the vanity dresser Sparring Partner bought at a garage sale. While it is an antique, the finish was faux tiger maple. Once the drawers were sanded we discovered that it has a mash-up of different wood used. It will get painted eventually. Luckily the mirror is intact.

This metal head- and foot-board for a twin-sized mattress was in one of the bedrooms in the house I grew up in up until about four years ago. I’m fairly certain it had been there 20 years before even I was born. My mother did something to it decades ago so that this ugly finish is the only way I’ve ever seen it. I’m envisioning it in Aitch’s room but only after a serious make-over.

And this? While I know it looks like pieces recovered from the scrap pile from a lumbar yard, they are the parts to an antique school desk that SP bought at the same garage sale as the dresser above. It was in awful condition and I really have no idea what will be under all that paint. My other concern is that SP won’t remember how to put it all back together by the time I get around to removing all that crap.

And the stack of drawers actually belong to a desk that had to be tossed as it was beyond salvage. However, I’ve seen drawers like this used as wall shelves. I just don’t really know where to put them or what to put IN them or if to bother to refinish them… The drawer on its side goes to the dresser and you can see where sanding was started, but as a testament to my inability to finish anything it is collecting dust and cobwebs.

I didn’t bother including pictures of the funky storage table I bought years ago or the screen door I want to hang the accumulation of the year’s greeting cards or the barrister bookcase SP used to hold all his music CDs…

Aitch’s Cabinet

I finished it. And I love it.

BEFORE:

*yawn*

AFTER:

I first “cleaned” it using a paint deglosser. I nearly used up one can of spray paint giving it about three even coats of color. I used batting to pad up the panels on the front of the drawers but not the sides. Just when I thought I was done, I added the stenciled pattern at the handles just to break up the teal.

What did my daughter say when I put it back into her room?

“It’s bootiful!”

P.S. I’ve added a new post that includes the details on the completion of the project.