Sunday, September 30, 2007

Renovation updates....

Our ugly fireplace has been resurfaced... it looks WAAAY better. Our kitchen backsplash is being finished up today. Our basement rec room is about three days' worth of work away from being totally functional. Hooray!

Pics soon, I promise.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jenn update.

My friend Jenn... the one with triplets whose water broke just shy of 18 weeks...

At 19 weeks, she gave birth to one of the triplets. He lived for about an hour before he died.

I just logged on this morning and saw that at 21 weeks, Jenn went into labour again. They couldn't stop the contractions. The other two babies were born and lived for less than 2 hours.

Jenn's heart is broken.

We all know that life is arbitrary and unfair... but this really drives it home. I don't know what else to say.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And the beat goes on... and on... and on...

Thanks to Jen for her comment... we've called our handyman and he's coming on Sunday with a nail gun. Can't wait to have quarter round installed, so that Mr. December can move all his office stuff out of the rec room.

I hung out at X's house yesterday with them and the twins. I was holding one baby in a stretchy wrap carrier thing... it was heaven. Also hot, but still heaven. The best was feeling her eyelashes batting against my chest. So cool.

Short entry today - I have to go and prime my fireplace. We're doing a pebble epoxy finish on it, but priming needs to be the first step. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Just so you know...

No, I can't install quarter-round.

I can cut it to the right length and miter it so the corners join up nicely. But when it comes to putting hammer to nail, Mr. December and I could only make a mess. Countless bent nails later, we've decided to give up and hire someone to do it. Foiled again.

But hey, at least we've bought a couch for the basement rec room - and a matching slipcover for one of our old armchairs. Have I mentioned that I love the popular Swedish furniture chain?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

June Cleaver has left the building.

Poker night went over very, very well. I like to think it had something to do with my homemade babaghanouj. Also the homemade chocolate chip cookies.

So now I'm back to being "lazy me", although I am trying to fight it. Last night we finished installing the floor in Mr. December's office... then I decided that his office would actually make a perfect playroom for the kids... and informed him that we would rehab the huge-ass furnace room for him. He turned up his nose, of course... but he has no imagination. Once we eliminate the stench of heating oil, level the floor, drywall the walls, paint the ceiling ducts, repair the ceiling, put in proper lights, replace the window, and partition off the furnace... it'll be a gorgeous little office. Does that really sound so hard?

Don't answer that last question. I think I'm up for the challenge. Imagine how amazing the before and after could look!

In other news, Lumpy is now an athlete. The kicks are getting stronger and feeling more complex, like he's actually executing a triple lutz in there. That's a pretty big feat when you come from two families whose idea of exercise is climbing a ladder to haul down the big-ass dictionary so we can look up an obscure word.

Oh, and back on the subject of home improvement, do you think I can install quarter-round by myself? That would be really cool - then Mr. December could come home to a completely finished office, sans furniture of course.

Okay... I MUST stop procrastinating. So much to do... so much to feel potentially guilty about... it's definitely time to get moving.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not just a cliche anymore!

Well, here I am.

Mr. December is bringing the boss home, along with some of "the guys", for a friendly poker game. Since being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen wasn't enough of a cliche, I also prepared some snacks for them and cleaned up the house. Upon hearing about this my mother suggested that I wash up before they come home, and put on some high heels and some pearls. Then she snickered.

So yeah, I'm a walking, talking cliche. And you know what? I kinda like it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

23 weeks, 5 days

Notes from today's doctor appointment:

- Lumpy's heartbeat is between 150 and 160 beats per minute
- My uterus is measuring 23cm, which is pretty much right on (my doctor says it should be the number of weeks pregnant, plus or minus 2)
- I've gained two pounds in the last four weeks

I am SO not accustomed to everything going perfectly. How do I snap myself out of that?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

From the other side of the fence

Tonight we went to a baby naming for X's twin daughters. It was a beautiful event, really wonderful, and X didn't hesitate to tell everyone that their journey to parenthood was far from easy. It was my first time at a baby-centric event since I got pregnant, and it was wonderful to not even feel a twinge of bitterness.

Interestingly, there were a lot of pregnant bellies there tonight. Also a lot of people cradling newborns (not just the newly named twins). It seemed to me, for the first time in a long time, that everyone was pregnant. And for the first time ever, that "everyone" included me.

As I smiled and chatted with the other pregnant chicks, and as people I hadn't seen all summer came over to congratulate me, I remembered how awful it felt to not be part of this exclusive club. I remembered the bris I went to just weeks after my miscarriage, the bris I attended that was just a few weeks shy of my first due date. And I wondered, was there anything I could do to make the unknown infertiles in the crowd a little less sad? I hate the thought that my belly inspires the kind of bitterness in others that I remember feeling myself.

Short of wearing a very verbal t-shirt, or introducing myself by saying "hi, I'm decemberbaby and I'm infertile", I can't think of anything I can really do to alleviate their suffering. It just sucks to be the infertile one in the crowd and wonder if you'll ever have a belly like that, if you'll ever have a naming for your own baby. It fucking sucks, and I'll never forget it.

But the suckiness was tempered, once again, by the fact that Lumpy was bouncy and kicky all evening. I think he knew we were doing something worth being awake for.

Mazel tov again to X. And to all those still on the precarious journey towards conception, I'm still praying for all of you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

T minus 19 hours

In 19 hours my guests will arrive.

My house is still a total sty - there has been no cleanup since last week, despite what I promised when Mr. December left. The living room and dining room are as full of renovation crap as ever.

On the upside, by the time I go to bed the following will have been done:
- vegetarian kishke mixed and put to cook in crock pot
- brisket prepared and ensconced in oven to cook overnight
- banana chocolate chip cake baked
- sweet potatoes chopped
- carrot ginger soup finished
- challah dough set to rise slowly in fridge overnight

Hopefully all of those things will allow me to do some cleanup and even get some rest tomorrow before dinner. Wish me luck!


For those who asked, here's a recipe to tide you over:

Brisket in Red Wine
1 brisket, any size you want
onion soup mix
beef soup mix
enough onions to cover the bottom of your roasting pan when chopped
1 bottle red wine

Slice onions and spread in bottom of roasting pan. Rinse brisket, remove fat if desired. Rub with mixture of onion and beef soup mixes (equal parts of each) until the meat is coated in the mix. Place on top of onions in the roasting pan. Pour the entire bottle of red wine over the brisket. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 450F for 1/2 hour. Turn temperature down to 350F and cook one hour for each pound of beef.

Note: You cannot possibly overcook brisket. The cooking time above is the minimum. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.

Note: If you want to cook the brisket overnight, bake at 450 for half an hour, then turn temperature to 250 or 200 and leave overnight (~ 8-10 hours)

Yummy... tell me how it turns out for you!

Musings on meat and other stuff

I did my Rosh Hashana shopping today, as I have ten (or maybe 12) people coming for dinner on Wednesday night. For those who are really interested (or just want to drool), here is the menu:

Challah (homemade)
Kosher Sushi
Carrot Ginger soup
Brisket in red wine
Roasted sweet potatoes
Lokshen Kugel
Grilled vegetables
Vegetarian kishke
Mango strawberry fruit salad
Banana chocolate chip cake

The real kicker here is... the brisket cost more than all the other ingredients combined. Thanks, kosher butchers! You really know how to gouge us. Jebus... 80 dollars for 6 pounds of beef. No wonder more people don't keep kosher.


Thank you all for your comments on my last post. There's definitely lots to think about.


Jenn update:
My friend Jenn, whose water broke at 17w5d with triplets, is hanging in there. All three babies still have strong heartbeats, and the two babies affected by the broken membranes are still moving around. Doctors still seem to feel that there's nothing to be done, but every day that the babies survive makes a miracle so much more likely.


X update:
Remember my good friend X? The one whose pregnancy I probably wouldn't have rejoiced in if I hadn't told her about our fertility struggle and found out about hers in return? Her twin daughters were born last Wednesday. Mazel Tov!


All in all, things are good. Sure, I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, and I'm constantly exhausted, and I think I might be turning lactose intolerant, but I'm ultimately very thankful for my life right now.

Lots of love to you all, including the lurkers and those who just don't visit much anymore. I miss you.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

decisions, decisions

For some bizarre reason, I've started thinking about what Lumpy's birth will be like. I've started considering options. And I almost wish I hadn't, because there are so many... and the ones I like are the hardest to achieve.

I used to sneer at scientology's insistence on silent birth, but now I'm wondering whether Lumpy really needs to hear me screaming, "holy fucking mother of god, this hurts like a motherfucker!" as he goes through his own traumatic transition. (of course, I still sneer at scientology. I just think less screaming might be a good thing)

I used to think that homebirth was messy and would involve way too much laundry for me to even consider it. Now I wonder why on earth I think I'd be more comfortable in a crappy hospital bed than in my comfy pillow-topped bed with a fluffy duvet.

I used to believe that women who attempted unassisted childbirth (i.e. no doctor, midwife, or other professional) were irresponsible at best, and really fucking deranged at worst. Now I'm thinking that it would be so great to be able to take my time, without being pressured or rushed, and just let Lumpy emerge. I can also totally see how having a nurse stick her fingers up my cooter to see how far I've "progressed" could be uncomfortable, distracting, and utterly useless (does knowing how dilated you are make the baby come faster? I doubt it).

I've decided I should get my thoughts about birth down, and then you can all comment and nitpick. Bonus points to commenters who've been there, done that, or have practical suggestions.

In no particular order:

- During labour and birth, I want to be able to move around freely. Heck, I'd love to float around in my parents' (indoor) pool until my water breaks. I don't see how confining myself to a bed will help the baby descend. Anybody with a basic understanding of physics should clearly see how gravity is involved. Anyhow, I want to be free to shower, swim, watch a movie, have sex, whatever... right up until I'm good and ready to get the kid out.

- The idea of constant monitoring and constant "checking" doesn't thrill me. As I said before, knowing where you are doesn't make things happen any more quickly... and I can see how it even might be demoralizing. Seems kind of unnecessary to me.

- If I'm having a normal, low-risk birth, why the fuck shouldn't I be allowed to eat or drink if I want to? If it's a long labour (read: longer than 5 hours) I will be SO not cool with the whole starvation thing.

- I don't want to have any interventions that are recommended on the basis of "this birth is taking too long". This is going to happen on Lumpy's schedule, not on the timeline that any nurse or doctor demands. As long as Lumpy and I are ok, we'll wait as long as we need to.

- In a similar vein, I'd rather wait and let my skin stretch than have an episiotomy so that Lumpy can be out faster. (TMI WARNING: I keep thinking... if it sometimes takes my ass 10 minutes to stretch for me to take a big dump, why would my vagina stretch any faster for an even bigger baby?)

- I get the impression that I'll KNOW when my body wants to push. I do not want doctors and nurses standing around telling me when and how to do it.

- Does my baby really need to immediately get that eye gel "just in case" I have VD? Come on, people. We know I don't have any STD's, because the government made us check at the beginning of this pregnancy - and I'm in a monogamous relationship. So what's with the mandatory eye crap?

Ugh. I imagine there's lots more, but that's all that comes to mind right now... so let me have it. What do you think? What did you do... or what do you hope to do one day? What works? Am I a total idiot for thinking this way?

Help. Only 123 days left.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

No cure for infertility

I'm pregnant, so I'm well on the way to curing my case of childlessness... but there seems to be no cure for infertility.

I just heard that my distant cousin who got married in November is now six months pregnant. Let's do the math... oh my goodness, it took them a whole 3-4 months to conceive! I couldn't even summon up the mild happiness and decency to be genuinely congratulatory. What's my problem? Are all of us barren bitches like this?

I can claim to be back to my happy, bubbly self... but events like that show me to be otherwise. I guess infertility has left its scars.

On the other hand, it's left lots of new bloggy friends. What a great silver lining.

Monday, September 03, 2007

please take a moment... *update*

My online friend Jenn is pregnant with triplets. Tonight, at 17 weeks, her water broke.

Please pray for her. Even if you don't normally pray. She spent a long time trying to get pregnant and really needs our love and support right now.

Miraculously, all three babies are ok and have made it through the night. Two of the babies are low on amniotic fluid, and the doctors hope to be able to find the source of the leak, slow it or stop it, and replenish the fluid levels. As of right this second, everyone is still alive and kicking.