Monday, October 31, 2011

Five on Monday

1. We went to a delightful wedding at the Hay-Adams this weekend. It was beautiful and elegant, and after 10 years in DC, I realized I'd never had a view like this. Amazing, no?

Even the oh-so-important-they-take-away-your-chairs W doesn't have this.

I'd only been to the Hay-Adams twice. and both times to the downstairs bar, Off the Record. Once for a happy hour, once for a first date just over a month before I met Nick. And I really quite liked the guy, who never asked me out again.

Lucky all around, it turns out.

2. We watched The Social Network on Friday. It made me want to quit Facebook.

3. I have had this terrible plague cold that Jordan brought home from daycare for almost two weeks now. I hear it's going around. I'm really fucking sick of being sick.

4. I was thinking the other day that now that Sarah Palin isn't fake campaigning for president, she's really not getting any attention. So I realized that she should probably drop in on the Kardashians.

I don't know what their politics are, and it's kind of hard to picture them interested in moose chili. But it would be great for Sarah. I mean, they're better at getting attention than anyone, don't you think?

5. We saw a guy dressed in a giant green bodysuit about 9:30 on Sunday morning. He looked ridiculous. He was hurrying.

And Nick said, "When I was in college we called that the Walk of Shame. He's just now going home."

And I was all, "Those don't look like pajamas. Maybe he's out exercising?"

"Lisa. That was his Halloween costume."

You guys. I have completely turned into my mother.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So I was totally wrong and he doesn't weigh two tons and his name isn't Mahadev. His name is actually Mahavira, and he is an incredibly important Jain deity.

Also, Nick says he probably weighs about 400 pounds. In any case. He's too heavy for me to lift.

Be that as it may, Jordan still calls him Buddha, and I don't correct him.

Growing up, I was very used to offerings to the gods. I mean, they weren't our gods, but they weren't not. I can't remember living in a house that didn't include statues of deities. And while we weren't leaving daily food or flowers for them, we might if we went to a temple. When we were in Thailand, we would always buy flowers to put outside the spirit houses.

I like this idea. It's very hard to imagine leaving a bowl of milk at the feet of Jesus, though, isn't it?

Anyway, the other night I brought home a bag of clothes my friend Michele had given me. Her son had grown out of them.Jordan peered into the bag, saw some Thomas the Train underwear, and was enchanted.

"Oooh! What do we have?"

This is now what he says when he sees something new.


Man, was he excited about the underwear. Oh, the underwear! The trains! The underwear!

"Here Buddha. Want some underwear?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two in August

Dear Jordan,

So now you are two years and two months old.

It's always bugged me when people talk about their child's age in months when they're past two. Although really, the leap between two and three is huge, and two doesn't accurately cover it.

So now, whenever people ask me how old you are, I say, "He turned two in August."

Yesterday, when you and your dad were talking about there being two of something, and he said, "two," you replied, "two in August!"It turns out you truly are listening.

In fact, we learned this on a recent car trip. Your dad made a wrong turn, and said, "Fuck!"

And from the back seat we heard a little, "Fuck! Dammit!"

He and I both blanched. Yikes. We need to be a lot more careful.

In fact, we passed the Friendly's on the highway where we stopped last year and had the terrible Jesusfuck incident. Hopefully that family has long forgotten it. I, on the other hand, will never eat at Friendly's again.

So the trip.

Two weeks ago, we drove to upstate New York to visit your friend David's family. You two hadn't seen each other in almost a quarter of your young lives, and yet you walked over to him, pointed to his jammies, and said, "You have fire trucks on your shirt!"

And then the two of you turned to his toys. It was like no time at all had passed. You guys had the best time together.

I love our city life, but seeing you run and run - safely, I might add - on the grass up there made me feel bad for you that we don't live out in the country. Of course, if we did, I'd probably just sit home and drink a lot, which would be fairly unhelpful, so I suppose it all evens out.

Halloween is coming up, and I bought you the cutest little dragon costume at Old Navy. We put it on you and you had a fit. "OFFFF! TAKE IT OFFFFF!"

So I returned it. Last year you were the angriest little frog, but you had significantly less muscle control. This year, you're old enough and strong enough to rip off your clothes when you choose.

Plus, I figure you don't actually know what Halloween is, and you don't particularly need the extra sugar. When you figure out it's all about candy, boy howdy do I bet you are you going to be more open-minded about the costumes.

Your fascination with all things backhoe, front-loader, skid steer loader, and general digging machine continues unabated. You now have very strong preferences for clothing, and if it doesn't have some kind of vehicle on it, you are not interested.

I might start a line of vehicle-focused kid's clothing, because I do think there's a lack of cute clothing with cars and trucks that don't also say stupid shit like, "Mommy's little dirt monster!"


Another good month, all around. Except for you getting really sick and then Nana getting your cold and having to spend a couple days in the hospital. But now you have Nana living with us full-time, and that makes you really happy.

I myself have been fairly tired and crabby and haven't had as much patience for you as I would like. You're still my joy, my best thing ever. Let's just cut it out with the fuck dammits, OK? And maybe eat a few more vegetables, even though I'm not currently doing so?

Love love,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good thoughts for Betty

I was just wondering, if you have any extra energy, if you could send some good thoughts in Betty's direction.

Jordan got sick two weeks ago, and sicker and sicker, and it turned into a double ear infection and conjunctivitis. (I love his day care, but he's been sick since he started part-time in August. And the pediatrician said to just expect a year of sick.)

And then Betty got sick. And sicker and sicker. And sicker and more frail and feeble.

Until she called me yesterday, as I was almost home, to say that she was going to call an ambulance and go to the ER.

Betty is not an alarmist.

I asked if she wanted me to go with her, and she said no, there was no reason to come and sit in the waiting room. And so I didn't.

I know this is not about me, but I just couldn't do it. I've sat in so many ER waiting rooms. Or rather, I've spent so many hours, so many times, in the waiting room mostly at INOVA Fairfax. I no longer get all clenchy in my stomach when I hear and see an ambulance, but I just didn't feel like I could be pregnant again, sitting in a hospital waiting room. And I'm so tired.

So I didn't go. And I felt like a horrible daughter.

Our dear friend Pat joined my mom there, and she called last night to say they didn't know if it was pneumonia, but were treating it as such and had her on IV antibiotics. And a nebulizer to open up her lungs.

So Betty spent the night at GW hospital. She just called, and she already sounds a lot better. It's bronchitis rather than pneumonia, thank God.

Oh, yeah, and conjunctivitis.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Honk if you love cheese sauce! (A Nick post)

Let me start by saying that I have a deep and abiding love of all things cheese. With English ancestry, I love strong cheeses like Stilton. But I'm equally happy with cheddar.

Lisa hates Stilton and seems to be indifferent to most cheese, something I cannot understand. But cheese is not as divisive as politics, and so we coexist (mostly) peacefully.

And in any case, it's not as if cheese is a regular conversation topic in our house.

Yesterday I was walking through Farragut Square, and noticed a guy mumbling/chanting something into a bullhorn. I assumed that he was part of the Occupy DC crowd that moved into the square on occasion to protest capitalism and to annoy that tool Eric Canter.

The guy was chanting something over and over, but I didn’t understand it all. He was also alone, and that meant that he was more likely crazy than enraged with Wall Street.

Then I heard him saying “Cheese sauce, sauce, sauce...cheese sauce, sauce, sauce..."

He was actually repeating "sauce" - it was not the effect of the bullhorn. He was making the echo effect into the bullhorn like a kid would mimic a commentator at a stadium sporting event.

"Honk if you love cheese sauce, sauce, sauce!”

I thought, “That guy really likes the echo effect he is making into the bullhorn. And, of course, cheese sauce.”

As a fellow cheese enthusiast, but on foot rather than in a car, I began to raise my arm in solidarity. I do love cheese sauce!

And then I realized...

"Jesus, sus, sus...Jesus, sus, sus...Honk if you love Jesus, sus, sus.”

Which of course makes far more sense than “honk if you love cheese sauce, sauce, sauce,” -- and I say that as a cheese sauce enthusiast.

So if you saw a man in a business suit raising his fist for Jesus and then changing his mind, well, it's not that I'm anti-Jesus. It's more that I'm pro-cheese sauce.

Queso ra! sera, right?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$1,000 vs. a punch in the face

This has been kind of a hold-your-breath pregnancy. I've been counting week by week.

I held my breath for thee two weeks between the doctor sticking in the eggs and the nurse taking blood and calling me. And then I held my breath for the next couple weeks, at which point I started spotting, freaked out, and the doctor let me come in to see if everything was OK or it was going all to hell.

They did a sonogram and determined that there was indeed a little gestational sac in there, plus a little smaller dark spot of...something...

And then we went in later in the week for our scheduled scan, and it looked just fine, and the spot was disappearing.

Again at eight weeks we went in, and I was holding my breath, literally, until they said there was a little heartbeat. And the other spot was gone. (I'm now all, the kid totally ate his or her twin.) There was one little fetus in there, and it was measuring perfectly, and it was fine.

OK. So there was a heartbeat. And possibly healthy.

Also, let me tell you. When you do assisted reproduction, you get used to a lot of attention. At one point I was having my blood taken daily. Once you graduate to the OB, and they're all, "See you in four weeks!" you feel very neglected.


At this point I started waiting for 11 weeks, 1 day, for the nuchal scan. And of course started obsessively reading everything possible on the Internet about things that can go wrong. Reasons for miscarriage. Statistics for Downs, for the other trisomies.

I found this helpful chart, which put it all together. At my age - 42 - my risk of any of the trisomies is 1 in 42. (For the sake of comparison, it's 1 in 526 at age 20.)

Which, of course, is not so great, right?

Nick likes to take numbers such as these that cause me hysteria and put them in terms that he feels like will make them real-life for me. He put it in the following way:

"OK. So 1 in 42. Let's say that you walk out the front door on any given day for 42 days. On 41 of those days, someone will hand you $1,000. On only one of those days, someone will punch you in the face. Your odds of not being punched in the face are really good, aren't they?"

Naturally, I continued to fixate on the punch in the face. While remaining hopeful that a stranger actually will hand me $1,000, just for leaving my house.

And then we had the nuchal screen, where they take blood and do a sonogram and match up the bloodwork and the measurements that they see and then give you your odds.

I walked in terrified that it had stopped growing. So afraid they'd see a lot of fluid in the neck. No nasal bone.

And then the results turned out to be so dramatically much better than 1 in 42. And in fact, better than Jordan's results when I was pregnant with him. And he, of course, is perfect.

At 11 weeks, 1 day, no face punch.

And now, now I've started breathing...mostly. We're still having an amnio at 15 weeks, because I cannot handle these degrees of uncertainty. There could be a face punch right around the corner.

But so far, we seem to be winning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Push the door, I'm home at last, and I'm soaking through and through.Then you hand me a towel and all I see is you.

So yesterday I realized that as of last week, I've been blogging for five years.

Five years.

I've known some of you invisible and not-so-invisible friends for longer than I've lived most places, longer than many of my friendships, longer than I've kept all but my current job.

I've made some in-person friends who are really my people, who I'm quite sure will be my people for life.

Those of you who have stuck around have known me since I was single, broken-hearted, and trying not to walk by my ex-boyfriend's place, which was inconveniently located just around the corner from mine.

Some of you stumbled here with my job rant, in which I fantasized about my backup career as a foot prostitute. You subsequently saw me contemplate placing dead bugs in my new boss's office.

(In other words: you probably wouldn't hire me. But that's not what this is about.)

You saw me make one bad choice after another, go hopefully on date after date after...and do one stupid thing after another. I'm pretty sure a number of you cringed in vicarious shame after I smeared butter on that guy's nose.

You were outraged when that journalist asked me what was wrong with me for being single.

You rooted for me when I finally met Nick, because he seemed like a good one. And thankfully, by that point I'd had enough therapy to be able to articulate what I'd learned about love. You rejoiced with me when we got engaged, and not a single one of you told me it was a bad idea, even though we were complete strangers who'd just met on the Internet.

You were equally horrified with Nick's taste in wedding attire. You sent us off with the best honeymoon wishes.

You supported me immensely through my dad's suicide attempt and subsequent long hospitalization in 2007. Through another attempt, and then his death in 2009.

You welcomed Jordan to the world when he was born, and you sent me notes when you thought (and you were right) that I might have postpartum depression. You shared amazing stories with me.

You opened your arms in virtual hugs when I talked about my struggles with infertility, and you were so kind in your joyousness last week when I shared our big news.

I just want to thank you for making me laugh, and laughing with me (rather than obviously at me). For making me think. For supporting me in my struggles, and for sharing your own and making me feel less alone.

Thank you for still reading, and thank you for still caring. Five years is no small feat. (Although five is kind of small for feet.)

Big hugs to all of you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How I realized I totally wasted my youth. Brought to you by the letters I, V, and F.

So in May, when it was clear that we were not getting pregnant through our own efforts or mild interventions, we realized we needed to turn to what we had been considering the nuclear option.

Although in retrospect, except for the heart-stopping expense, the whole process wasn't that terrible. Although I do wish I'd taken a picture of my stomach after all the shots.

I'm not going to say that it looked like the Ho Chi Minh trail, which is how Nick likes to describe some of DC's worst roads, because though I like the simile, it would be a gross exaggeration. Mostly it looked like I'd been beaten by teeny tiny angry little fists.

But honestly, the injectable drugs were so much easier in terms of side effects than the Clomid I'd been taking. Those pills turned me into a rabid little hate machine.

I'm not exaggerating. I told Nick I hated him in front of one of our friends. And I meant it. I gnashed my teeth all night long. I woke up loathing my husband just for breathing. I spent my days wanting to kick puppies and shove pregnant women.

Not so good.

So we met with our doctor who was basically all, yah, at almost 42 you have like 37 seconds of fertility left, and let's get going.

Right. So.

My insurance, it covers nothing in terms of fertility procedures or medication.

And thus, when I got the call from the pharmacy telling me that my grand total for medication was going to be $5,300, I nearly passed out, right there on 17th Street. I called my nurse. She found coupons. She called alternate pharmacies.

We got the total down to $4,000. For 10 days of medication. My math is not great, but it was pretty easy to work this out to $400 per day.

It got me thinking.

I don't know what kind of quality you'd be talking, but it seems to me that if you're going to be sticking drugs into your body, you could probably have a really good time on $400 a day. I'm not saying you could have this major hookers and blow binge, but something along those lines.

Don't you think?

And then, then I started being all, why the fuck didn't I have a drug problem in my early 20s? Your 20s are the time to do it! Look at all these things I'm never going to do now: Threesomes! Sleeping around! Drug experimentation!

I totally fucking wasted my youth with that first-born-rule-follower bullshit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

So you know that my blog is all about my day-to-day and what I like best is writing about what is happening here! and now! And ooh, listen to this!

And I am all about putting it out there, rather than being all secret secret, I've got a secret?


And then I just couldn't write about my days. When I can't write about the biggest thing going on, well, for me it's just easier not to blog.

And as I said, I couldn't.

It was too many months of hormones that made me batshit crazy, and monthly disappointments...and then this whole giant science experiment - this very expensive, surprisingly common, highly-monitored science experiment - that I was dying to write about...

And then finally some really, really good news. The kind that makes you burst into tears on the corner of 18th and Mass when the nurse calls. You were really scared to answer your phone but not as scared as you were of missing the call.

And then you stayed scared every. single. day. Because odds are not in your favor at your age. And so it had to stay a secret because what if what if what if?

So I've been carrying around this huge secret. Which is the opposite of how I comfortably live my life.


But on Thursday he or she will be 12 weeks, and while bad things could still happen, right now, all it looks like is something very, very good. (I mean, I know it actually looks like a marshmallow alien. But it's not. It's a little potential human, you guys!)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Finding Bob

Betty has this 11-year old Camry that is in hot demand. I should actually say had, because in about half an hour, Betty will have sold her car to a man named Bob.

A few months ago, when she had a garage sale, this man named Bob turned up and said, "Hey, are you selling your car?"

It turned out she was, or anyway, would be when she moved in with us.

And after that happened, several other people asked her about her car. People left notes on it. The woman who coordinated the clean-out crew offered to buy it. There was this sudden and odd interest in this decade-plus car with a scratched and dented bumper but new air conditioning.

OK. So last week, with a lot of help from professionals and dear friends, we got Betty moved over. The house closed yesterday. Only the car remained to be sold.

The transaction was going to happen Thursday or Friday.

Now, through conversations with my mother, it became clear that Bob had asked if he could keep the plates for a couple days after buying it, just to have time to get new ones. Which was cool with Betty. Not so cool with the law. Or Nick.

Nick suggested that she sell it Saturday, when he could go with her, just to make sure that everything went as it should. She gratefully agreed.

So Thursday, when I asked if she had organized everything with Bob, she said, "I don't have his number."

"What do you mean, you don't have his number?"

"Well, it was on a little piece of paper stuck to a shelf in Dad's office. Maybe it got packed."

Uh, maybe. Or thrown away.

"Mom. Does Bob have your cell number?"

"I don't think so. He always calls the home number."

The one that was disconnected on Friday.

Also, it turns out that Betty has, very cheerfully, been giving out the wrong cell phone number. It's only one number off, but you know how one number can make a big difference when you're talking phone numbers?


There was no way to get in touch with Bob. And Betty had his $50 deposit on the car, so she couldn't turn around and sell it to someone else.

Last night, Betty remembered his last name. It's not Jones, but it might as well be. We began calling the Bob Joneses around her area.

I'm not kidding you. There are a lot of Robert Joneses in Northern Virginia.

We didn't find him. We did, however, speak to a Bob Jones who expressed interest in the car.

So our plan was such. We were going to park the car in front of the house of her old neighbors, who are very dear friends. We were going to leave a note in the window saying: BOB PLEASE CALL BETTY and giving her phone number.

Because of course we didn't want Bob to think that Betty had made off with his money. Plus we needed to unload the car.

And then today, today Bob called. There was much rejoicing. We didn't tell him we'd been trolling the area for Bob Joneses.

With any luck, they'll be back in a couple hours with a wad of cash and no car.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Deities and stuff

So Betty is almost almost moved in.

Or rather, I should say that Betty is almost almost completely out of her house.

I believe that the last of the stuff will be out and off to donation/junk yard/somewhere else on God's green earth besides our house in about an hour or so. When she calls and says that the haul away people have hauled the last bits away, I will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I was going to say that this has been a Herculean task, although truthfully, for the longest time it felt like a Sisyphean one. In fact, it still does to some extent. And not to get all Greek goddy on you.

Oh, which reminds me. They moved all of Betty's furniture and statues in on Saturday, and at some point Nick looked around our dining room and said, "We cannot have Buddha central in here."

It wasn't exactly Buddha central. Because the enormous two-ton marble god on the stairs is actually Mahadev.

But they're all Buddha to Jordan and Nick. In fact, Jordan saw these huge pre-Columbian terra cotta statues in my mom's living room and said, "What are those Buddhas doing?"

I don't correct either of them.

This move, this move that is thank the sweet Lord above almost over has really stretched us thin emotionally.

Nick tends to get really stressed out when his physical environment is chaotic. And our house is now not only loaded up with too much furniture, but it's also piled high with boxes. It's a huge house, and it is bursting at the seams at this point.

Which is to say chaotic.

And when Nick gets stressed out, he can get dickish. And when he gets dickish I tend to get all shrill and hatey. Although I have not been lying in bed dividing up the furniture. Mainly because at this point, that imaginary task would make me cry.

The good thing is, we recognize where we are, and where we need to go. We ALL need to get rid of stuff. Betty has brought waaaaay too much stuff over. I've taken waaaaay too much from her house because things have such sentimental value to me.

And Nick, Nick has held onto things that he is now realizing do not matter in the grand scheme of things.

It's like a friend of ours said: It's hard to be sentimental when you're drowning in your own stuff.

Need any stuff? You know where to find me.


Peace out.