We are GO! #MicroblogMondays

After two weeks of worst-chest-cold-of-my-life-turned-sinus-infection, I’m finally emerging from the fog. As compensation for my very patient 3-year-old, who has heard “Mommy’s too sick to [fill in the blank],” more times than I care to admit in that amount of time, we had a full day of arcade, sea front, lunch and fancy drinks (preschool style), museum, ice cream, and castle park. It was a good day.

Tomorrow we begin what I hope will be a new chapter in our family’s story. I have a box of meds waiting. I haven’t actually received my calendar yet(!), but I know what I need to take when and how (including one I have to squirt up my nose every four hours!), at least for the next few days. Hopefully I’ll have a calendar in my hands by then.

Two weeks of illness have given me a glimpse of how difficult those early weeks might be, if we’re lucky enough to have this work. With my first pregnancy, the worst part early on was the overwhelming fatigue. I just keep thinking, “Poor Missy. How many times is she going to have to hear, ‘Mommy’s too tired…’?” It will be one of many changes to come (I hope). I have to believe it’ll be worth it. As much as her 3-year-old mind can grasp it, she does want a sibling. (We didn’t bring it up–I swear!) It’s so stinkin’ cute to hear her talk about “our” baby, I can’t help but want to make it more than just a hypothetical for her.

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

The Countdown #MicroblogMondays

I’m expecting day 1 of my next cycle this week. That’s the day I call our clinic to set things in motion for our upcoming FET. The medium for thawing our embryos has been ordered (we were told it could take up to six weeks to arrive!), a calendar will be made up, drugs ordered and sent to our door. Only one question remains: one or two? I thought this was settled during our recent appointment, where our new doctor wrote down in her notes that we’d only transfer two embryos if the first one didn’t look good after the thaw. And yet, the first thing Hubby said to me after that appointment was, “I still think we should transfer two.”

And then my head exploded.

There are so many details, so many factors to consider, including–unfortunately–financial ones. There’s no way to predict how this cycle will turn out, despite our best efforts at control. Hubby wants to maximize our chances, but I’m torn between that and minimizing risk. 

So I’m asking you: pros and cons for transferring two hatching blastocysts? All opinions and anecdotal evidence welcome!
 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

Movement #MicroblogMondays

It’s been three months since my last blog post. Two of those months were spent preparing for my sister’s visit, while simultaneously feeling very much back in that familiar limbo. We had transported our frozen embryos across the Atlantic back in October and had, at one point, talked about doing a transfer while my sister was here, so we’d have someone to wait with Missy. That didn’t happen, but I’m finally feeling like we’re making some moves in the right direction. Here’s an update:

  1. Zappa came to visit. It was two weeks of aunt-niece bonding, family hikes, laughing at nothing until we both peed, and feeling a renewed sense of appreciation for the beautiful place we now call home. After she left, I was both sad and determined to make a visit to the US soon.
  2. Missy turned three! I both love and loathe this age so far. A couple of months before her birthday, I was already beginning to understand the term “threenager” and why everyone said three was worse than two. Now the mood swings are in full force–so many big feelings!–and it seems her day is not complete unless she’s thrown at least one epic tantrum. But she is also loving and imaginative and has actual friends and loves preschool and can tell me all about her day, which is awesome.
  3. More than a few times, I’ve come across job listings that would be a perfect fit for me. Except for one tiny detail–I have neither a car nor a UK driver’s license. Our aim was to survive as long as possible without a car, but it’s become clear that if I want to work with families and young children in a rural community, I have to be able to drive. Now the question is whether, in the midst of learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, I also want to (or have to) learn to drive a manual transmission. I’ve only ever driven an automatic (very American, I know), but both the cars themselves and the instructors with access to them, are hard to come by around here. Either way, this is happening soon.
  4. In the meantime, I’ve begun volunteering. I’m working with families (well, a family), but it’s more focused on mom than the kids, which I’m actually finding more compelling now that I am one.
  5. My hope is that #3 + #4 = finding a job I’m both qualified for and logistically able to pull off.
  6. And I’m finally feeling like that’s possible now that Missy is sleeping! Yes, you read that right. She’s falling asleep without my help and sleeping uninterrupted for 11-13 hours a night! Amazing!
  7. So. Instead of a spring FET, we’re now looking at late summer. Not too bad.
  8. But. That means Missy and I have to work on eliminating that one feed that’s still very much a part of our bedtime routine. This is the part I’m most dreading, but Hubby has tried to convince her that if she wants a sister (she says she does), she has to save the milk for the new baby. While I find the logic adorable, I have to say I’m afraid to get her hopes too high, just in case none of our three embryos results in a sibling for her. The thing about waiting this long for #2 is that #1 understands everything.

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

Albino Gerbils #MicroblogMondays

My daughter has pink eye. Apparently, that is not a commonly used phrase here, so when I texted my friend to tell her this ailment might impinge on our planned play date, she had to ask me what it was, saying that the only thing she could picture was an albino gerbil. 

This is a problem I encounter frequently. Even though I’ve spoken English my entire life, since living here, I often feel like I’m speaking a foreign language. Diapers are nappies; underwear are pants; pants are trousers. If you’re quick with facts and figures, you’re clever, not smart, but you can look smart if you’re dressed well. If your child doesn’t feel well, he’s poorly, but if he’s sick, he’s actually thrown up. It can be dizzying, and half the time, I feel like I’ve inadvertently insulted someone with one of my Americanisms. Or, at the very least, utterly confused them, and probably myself along the way. Missy has already begun correcting my English: “No, Mommy, it’s time for a nappy change.” (Yeah, still not potty trained, don’t ask.) “No, Mommy, throw it in the bin (not trash).”

My year-long job search has been the most glaring example. Not just unfamiliar terms and phrases for concepts and systems I feel I should have a better grasp on by now, but an entire nonsense language of acronyms and abbreviations for those terms (not unlike being thrust into the world of infertility and fertility treatments): TAQA, QCF, GCSE, NVQ, PGCE, LSA, EWC, KS3. 

Albino gerbils abound.

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

Missy at Two…

Plusand a HalfThree-Quarters?…okay, damn near three. But you see how long this post has been in my drafts.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper update. After Missy’s second birthday, the weekly babycenter emails I’ve been getting since early in my pregnancy suddenly started referring to my “preschooler.” What?! No! She’s much more toddler than big kid! But at 30 31 33 months, she’s definitely my great big girl, a fact she’s happy to announce to anyone who’ll listen.

And she is a preschooler. She started two mornings a week at the end of September and has settled in nicely. She comes home talking mostly about the grown-ups (which is typical for her; even when we have play dates, she’s much more interested in the mommies than the kids), but she is beginning to play with the tiny people closer to her own age. And there are one or two she tells me she likes to hug (so sweet!).

She is also playing for longer periods by herself. She’ll stay in the playroom for up to 20 minutes while I do some boring thing, like wash dishes or clean the bathroom, although she’s just as happy to “wash” her own dishes right next to me. After ignoring her baby dolls for a while, she’s suddenly all about the babies, feeding and bathing them, giving them medicine and putting them in bed. I attribute her renewed interest to the fact that a few of her playmates have new siblings. I hope it lasts at least until (if) we’re ready to welcome one for her.

Her language skills are booming. Her vocabulary and syntax cover quite a range, sometimes using a single word (“Airplane!”), a complex sentence (“I want to watch something on TV while Mommy makes dinner.”), or anything in between. She makes the most adorable grammatical errors, like referring to herself as “you” (No Mommy help! You do it by yourself!”) or over-generalizing past tense (Mommy camed to get you [me].”) She’s not quite as advanced in Hubby’s language and sometimes insists on speaking to him in English, but she continues to impress him with how quickly she learns new words. She continues to sing, sing, sing, and is more likely to belt it out for all to hear, though she continues to whisper-sing, especially in a crowd.

She understands concepts, like counting (up to 20 in both languages), colors, shapes, before/after, and comparisons. One of her favorite phrases is “it’s just like…” She describes food by shape (“It looks like a circle/square/oval/triangle.”), flavor (“tart,” “sweet,” “a little bit spicy,”), color and temperature. She sings the ABC song and can identify a few letters and numbers. 

Bedtime continues to be a challenge, and lately she’s been waking up at least twice a night. We’re no closer to toilet training than we were months ago. She likes her froggy toilet seat and can climb onto it by herself, but she refuses to take off her pants, let alone her diaper, when sitting on it.

Missy has been amazingly affectionate lately, giving lots of hugs and kisses, and making exclamations such as “I love Aba so much. He’s soo nice!” It turns me into a puddle every time, but then she turns around and says the same thing to her stuffed koala.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of challenging moments; she is a stubborn and sensitive nearly-threenager. And just because she can talk your ear off, that doesn’t mean she can always explain her desires or fears (like pooping, or bathing, or the vacuum cleaner). Tantrums are a thing, for sure, but so are intense, tearful freak-outs, sometimes at the most inconvenient times (like trying to get out the door to preschool or, you know, anywhere). Sometimes it’s difficult to be as compassionate with her as I need to be, especially when she insists on so thoroughly disrupting my sleep, but I have to keep reminding myself that’s what she needs. More than learning numbers or colors or how to use the toilet, sometimes she just needs a hug. Don’t we all?

Doing it wrong #MicroblogMondays

Ever have one of those days when you second-guess every parenting decision you’ve ever made?

  • On potty-training (or lack thereof): the medication that was supposed to make pooping easier only contributes to a) my daughter’s tendency to hold it in–which is proving to be a near-impossible feat of both physical strength and iron will at this point, given the consistency–and b) the raw and bleeding diaper rash that got her sent home from preschool.
  • On extended breastfeeding: the highly anticipated dreaded dropping of the nap time feed turns out to go much more smoothly than expected. Could I have done this months ago?
  • On sleeping through the night: Ha! My nearly-three-year-old continues to wake with the frequency of a newborn, prompting mommy to climb into bed with her out of desperation/exhaustion, thus continuing the vicious cycle.
  • On attempting number 2?: too many thoughts on this. I. just. can’t.

Could be worse, I guess.

  Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

I Could Be Writing

I could be writing, but the scale model of the Himalayas in my kitchen isn’t going to wash itself.

I could be writing, but the laundry.

I could be writing, but I want to finish knitting this scarf for Missy (the one I’ve started and re-started three times already).

I could be writing, but she wants me to play grocery store with her and the new cash register she got for Christmas.

I could be writing, but I’m just. so. tired.

I could be writing, but Hubby wants to watch a movie.

I could be writing, but the toy box has exploded all over the living room.

I could be writing, but I should probably make more of an effort to get my daughter outside while it’s not raining.

I could be writing, but watching tv takes far less energy.

I could be writing, but I’m pretty sure my family’s going to want dinner sometime this evening.

I could be writing, but I need to do those exercises the physiotherapist said would help my back.

I could be writing, but I have to vacuum while Missy is out of the house at preschool.

I could be writing, but first I should check to see if there are any new job listings anywhere near my area of expertise.

I could be writing a blog post, but that means I need to catch up with reading everyone else’s blog posts, and that’ll take ages.

I could be writing in my designated space, but it’s still housing multiple half-unpacked boxes, including the ones for Christmas decorations, which I should think about taking down…

I could be writing, but…I’m out of excuses.

I started an update on Missy months ago, but never seem to finish it. I’ve been emailing my friend Sincerity lately, and she’s investing so much time and energy into her own writing, even considering an MFA. Someone recently asked me what I do for recreation, and I couldn’t come up with an answer. The words “I used to write” keep interrupting my thoughts, taunting and tormenting me.

Don’t call it a new year’s resolution. I never was good at sticking with those. Instead, call it an awareness of an absence in my life. A hole that used to be filled with scribbling and rearranging words on a page. A crisis (?) of identity that stems from more than the excuses that I don’t have the time anymore. 

It’s possible to be a mother and a writer. Well, maybe not a “writer,” but certainly someone who writes, at least on occasion. Even when my daughter is still so young, so dependent on me, such a poor sleeper (still) that it keeps me from sleeping, too?

There’s only one way to find out….

A due date of a different kind #MicroblogMondays

Our frozen embryos left our old RE’s new clinic on Friday. They are due to arrive at our new clinic here in the UK sometime today. Finally. We’re not planning to do our FET until early next year, but I’ll be so relieved to know they’ve arrived safely at their (our) new home.
 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.


“Want do it by yourself!” 

Okay, so maybe she hasn’t mastered personal pronouns, but the girl sure knows what she wants. She is fiercely, stubbornly independent. In the grocery store (Want hold basket by yourself!), coming home from the park (Want push it [the stroller] by yourself!), brushing her teeth (Can Mommy help you? No! Do it by yourself!). There’s no reasoning with her. Usually I just have to let her try until she gets frustrated and asks for help. Which can take a surprisingly long time. If only I could help her harness these powers for good…”Hey, bug, can Mommy help you vacuum/wash the dishes/scrub the toilet?” “No! Do it by yourself!” Ha ha ha.


Last Tuesday, I spent the majority of the evening stressed out over an email exchange with the embryologist at our old RE’s office. It went something like this:

Embryologist: So, I really need to send some test results to your new clinic, but I can’t find them. Do you happen to have a copy?

Me: Uh, no. Are they not in the chart? Or can you check with XYZ Labs?

E: Yeah, well, that’s the thing. I don’t have your chart, and Dr. C doesn’t have your chart. I tried contacting Dr. T’s office [Dr. C’s former partner], but no luck there, either. Maybe you’d have better luck if you contacted them yourself?

So I spent a few minutes fuming, indignant that they’d somehow lost my chart while moving offices. Then I calculated the time difference and used Skype to call Dr. T’s office.

Me: Hi, I’m a former patient of Dr. C’s. We’re trying to transport our embryos to Wales, but they need a test result that they can’t seem to find, and they thought maybe it was in a copy of my chart at your office?

Receptionist: We don’t have any of Dr. C’s patient charts.

Me: Oh. Well there was some mention of a storage facility. Any chance it’s there?

R: None of Dr. C’s charts are in our storage. Let me just check to make sure you were actually Dr. C’s patient. (tap tap tappity tap) Yeah, no. We don’t have your chart.

Yeah. So, more silent cursing, and then a call to Dr. C’s office.

Me: Hi. I’m a former patient of Dr. C’s…blah blah blah…transporting embryos…blah blah blah….There seems to be some confusion about the location of my chart…?

Super-efficient receptionist: Let me just check to see whether it’s here in the office or in storage. (tappity tap tap) Yes, it’s here. I’ll just pull it and get it to the embryologist.

Not five minutes later, I get an email.

Embryologist: A miracle has happened! Someone just brought me your chart. What?!

Me: Yeah, I just called to make sure it was there. I hope you find what you need.

E: I still can’t even believe your chart just appeared out of thin air! I’ll send these results right away.

What’s that saying about wanting something done right? Yeah, even from effing Wales, apparently.


On a brighter note, our play date with K and E was awesome. I had hoped to bring them gifts (for both E and her soon-to-be baby sister), but by the time I figured out just what that would be, I ran out of time to finish before that Sunday afternoon. 

Since I had recently found out they were having another girl, I wasn’t sure exactly what they’d need. Surely they’d have clothes and things, and they use cloth diapers, so they wouldn’t need those, either. Then I thought of making them something myself. I remembered seeing a pattern for a bunny made from a simple knit square (just google it and you’ll find a million how-to’s). I decided to make a bigger one for E and a smaller one for the baby. I even managed to put a rattle inside. I’m so stoked to give them to K and E next time we see them!


I started this post well before last Friday’s sad news, but guess what? I’ve been solo parenting all week again. I’m not exactly resentful of my husband for leaving (this time–not so the multiple other times over the summer he was gone for days at a time to attend one conference or another). It’s not so different from what I do all day while he’s at work, anyway. And it’s not too bad–except when it is. Like when my daughter is screaming and desperately trying to buck herself out of the stroller while I’m pushing it uphill through the middle of town just to get us to the park so she can run around a while–which you’d think she’d be happy about! Or when she’s exhausted but refuses to stay in bed and makes increasingly ridiculous requests demands, like that she has to have the tissue with the puppies on it and only the penguin hand puppet is allowed to wipe her nose. Or when it’s been raining for two days straight and we’re both going crazy and getting a little sick of being cooped up together, and Mommy resorts to googling kids dance videos just to get her moving.

Only two more days to go….