Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Can't it just be lunch?

I bring my lunch to work most of the time. I could say I do it because it's healthier than the other options near my office, and that's true. But it's really because I'm cheap. Rather than blowing $50 a week on takeout for one meal a day, I go on a fabulous vacation somewhere warmer than here every single winter. I giggle when colleagues wonder how we can afford it as I watch them schlep off to the food court every day around noon.

But shit happens. Sometimes I fall behind in the evening and don't pack my lunch for the next day, or the morning is hectic and I forget my perfectly lovely lunch in the fridge at home as I dash out the door. And sometimes I just want to have something that I don't have the stuff to make at home, like a nice, crunchy salad on a Friday afternoon.

So when I'm having that vastly overpriced salad, I get annoyed when the box it came in is preaching at the other lunch containers in the area:
"This packaging is eco friendly". Oh, fuck off you pretentious little sticker! No it's not. Since I'm not going to reuse this packaging, it's really rather wasteful. While I'll dutifully put the container in the "plastic recycling" section of the garbage sorting station, I'll bet the waste management company contracted by this giant office building is chucking it all into one big truck that's headed for the exact same pile at the dump. I don't want to save the planet right now, I just want to eat my damn lunch.

This packaging is less eco friendly than the cheap yet biodegradable bag that held the hamburger the guy beside me is eating. But his lunch packaging doesn't feel the need to be all morally superior and shit, and it doesn't purport to be doing anything to change the world. Do you know WHY? Because it knows it's just the fucking bag his lunch came in. I paid an even higher markup for that stupid sticker and it topped my nice, crunchy salad on a Friday afternoon with a wedge of sanctimony. *sigh* Next time I'll just pack a sandwich.

Monday, May 30, 2011

By any means necessary - Question three

Next up, we'll consider what will happen if we DO decide to share the news that we struggled conceiving our second child with our children.

Consider your now or future children as adults, and consider the fact that you had to spend money to either conceive them or make them part of your family. What effect do you think the latter will have on the former one day? What, do you think, your grown children might feel about the funds it took to create your family?

I have a piece of art on my wall that I bought in Egypt for virtually nothing. I had it framed and it's unique and I have never seen anything quite like it. I also have an original piece of custom DNA art that I bought for The Husband as a wedding gift. It is unique and it was very expensive and I know for a fact there is nothing of it's kind anywhere else in the world. I adore having them in my home and love both pieces equally.

If our first child knows that she was "free" and our second wasn't, I hope she understands that it is a testament to how much we love her - that I was willing to go to such lengths to bring another person here so I could love them just as much. And if our second knows that they came with a price, I hope that he/she understands how much we wanted to have them in our life. And if either one of our children says something about the impact on their inheritance, I will write the little ingrate out of our will immediately!

Visit Write Mind Open Heart for more perspectives on the Dollars and $ense of Family Building and to add your own link to the blog hop by June 21, should you want to contribute your thoughts.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

While the Men Watch

How cute! An online show dedicated to girl-talk that runs during sporting events to keep the ladies entertained. While the Men Watch (and there's no double entendre in that title at all) bills itself as "the lively discussion follows sports from a woman’s point of view including everything from interpreting the rules of the game to coaches in need of a makeover." How profound! This site does nothing at all to promote the stereotype of man = sports watching troglodyte; woman = fashion obsessed twit. Because God forbid a couple should have separate interests and a means to entertain themselves while one half is occupied.

Oh lookie, there's a blog. With a title like "6 Things NOT to say if his Team Loses", there's sure to be some insightful commentary for women everywhere. Let's have a look, shall we? I think numbers 3, 5 and 6 are my favourites:

3. "We are out of beer." - Keep a secret stash on ice, for bad moments like this. Don’t even wait for him to ask – crack it open and put it in his hand immediately after the clock stops. Like a heart attack victim, most are likely to survive if treated within the first 4 minutes.

Awwww. Take care of your man's beer needs, because that's important. And while you're at it, why don't you fetch his pipe and his slippers too?

5. "Oh by the way, we are going to my mother’s house for dinner tonight." - For at least 24-hrs post-losing game, avoid all contact with in-laws and your extended family. His delicate condition may have paralyzed his communication "filters". The last thing you need is him telling Aunt Ronda that she is getting fat and that her husband is an alcoholic.

Well now that's just dumb. Everybody knows that playoffs are never decided in afternoon games, there's not enough ratings to be had. Unless your mother is in Europe, dinner is long done by the time the game is over. But let's set that aside for a second... You can't blame that level of social ineptitude on a game. The guy who tells Aunt Rhonda she's fat and that her husband is an alcoholic is a straight up asshole. No wonder he's got an airhead like you managing his precious beer supply.

6. "Sorry, not tonight, I have my period." - Make it happen girls – under any circumstance. Take one for the team.

Dammit girls, the man's dreams have just been crushed! Give him a blowjob already!!

I know, I know, it's supposed to be a joke. But jokes are supposed to be funny. I haven't decided if this is more offensive to me as a woman or as a sports fan. What I do know is that the girl who pays attention to the game along with the man who is watching tends to have a lot of fun herself.

Friday, May 27, 2011

By any means necessary - Question two

The next question I'll answer in this series gets into the nitty-gritty of how we're going to finance this little venture and what impact this has on our decision.

To what extent have finances determined the family-building decisions you have made? How have you able to balance financial considerations against other factors such as medical, ethical, emotional…?

The Husband and I are fortunate enough to have a public health system that will cover most of the tests we'll need to determine what the problem might be, and we have good, overlapping benefit plans that will cover many treatment options. Financial considerations for the actual treatments form a very small piece of the decision making puzzle.

The emotional hurdles, however, are much more difficult to get over. First, there was admitting there was a problem. After a year of trying it became clear that more time wasn't going to bring the next kid to fruition, so we had to admit that it was time to investigate fertility treatments. Then we had to discuss how far down the path of treatment we were willing to go before we started.

All of our decisions and assumptions to date are theoretical because we don't know how we're going to feel or what we're going to decide until we know exactly what we're dealing with, and we know that's going to be a while. I must say I am extremely grateful to know that the costs associated with growing our family aren't likely to be a barrier to growing our family.

Visit Write Mind Open Heart for more perspectives on the Dollars and $ense of Family Building and to add your own link to the blog hop by June 21, should you want to contribute your thoughts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Facebook is educational...

Apparently Mark Zuckerberg wants your children on Facebook and someday he might pick a fight about it. If his claim was "It's your job to watch your kid and it's costing Facebook too much money to monitor and remove the profiles of kids under 13. We're going to issue a legal challenge so you can do your job and we can do ours", I *might* have considered that a principled stance. I wouldn't necessarily agree with it, but it would be more respectable than his stated position, which is that Facebook forms an integral part in shaping the hearts and minds of little children everywhere.

Ahhh, shuddup!

If Facebook is educational then Cheetos are nutritious. Zuckerberg claims to want to challenge the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act because "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age." Uh-oh! The Parasite is two and does not have the cultural exposure to FarmVille a child of her age so richly deserves. Clearly I am stunting her intellectual growth.

You'll have to forgive me if I find someone looking for a loophole to market to children somewhat less than credible when he says his company would find a way to protect the little souls online. I'm pretty sure he sold his a long time ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I don't GET Oprah

Apparently some show that's been on for a few years is ending. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's hosted by a woman named Oprah. I... don't get Oprah. Truth be told, I don't give a shit about Oprah, her show, her book club, her weight or anything else that Oprah touches. Full disclosure: I have never watched an entire episode of her show. I just don't find her or her guests that interesting. Does that mean someone has to come take away my Woman Card? Fine. You should know that I *HATED* Titanic too.

Oprah seems like a nice woman and she did a fantastic job rising from humble beginnings to be a zillionaire so that's pretty inspirational I guess. But let us remember that she inflicted Dr. Phil on us too. I don't understand how this journalist managed to rise above all the others to become the Voice of God or something like it.

On February 28, 2011 Christiane Amanpour interviewed Muammar Gaddafi and his sons. Oprah? She hosted her Ultimate After Oscar Party. The endorsement of one of these women is believed to have secured the Democratic nomination for Barack Obama. And it ain't the one who Yasser Arafat hung up on during an interview. That's not to say that I think Christiane Amanpour should be the Cult of Personality either. I don't think ANYONE should be that influential.

Oprah's show in its current iteration will soon disappear. I'll continue to buy books that don't have Oprah's seal of approval. If it's on the menu I'll continue to eat beef from wherever it is she said you shouldn't eat beef from (or whatever the FUCK that was about...) and my life won't change a bit. It's a little odd to me that the loss of a show on the tee-vee is apparently going to change the lives of others, and not for the better. And I'm more than a little afraid of what may fill the void.

Monday, May 23, 2011

By any means necessary - Question one

I'll admit that since we're new to the world of infertility treatment, I hadn't given much thought to the questions that might come up from our first or (eventual) second child about their beginnings. Luckily, the Dollars and $ense of Family Building, a blog carnival on BlogHer has a list of thought-provoking questions to force me to map my strategy. I'm not going to answer them all in one go because frankly it's a little too much introspection for me on a long weekend. I'm going to tackle them one at a time starting now with the following question:

If two children in a family "cost" different amounts, should that have any significance?

The Parasite was conceived the old-fashioned way, far too many glasses of wine after a terrible day. The second will require at least some intervention, the extent of which is yet to be determined. Will we ever tell the kids that one was "free" and the other wasn't? What if it turns out we're having trouble conceiving the second because of the first? Will I lay that on her?

Unless there is some genetic cause the child(ren) should be aware of when planning their own families, I don't really think they need to know details about the circumstances that brought them here. I mean seriously! The thought of your parents having sex is oogie enough. Does anyone REALLY want to think about dad's adventures in aiming for a sample cup?

Visit Write Mind Open Heart for more perspectives on the Dollars and $ense of Family Building and to add your own link to the blog hop by June 21, should you want to contribute your thoughts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The fertility specialist's office called me back. My initial consultation has been scheduled for August. Seriously? August?

I knew there would be a bit of a wait to see a highly regarded specialist but THREE MONTHS? Shit.

It's my own fault for procrastinating for so long. A smarter woman would have realized that whole "summer vacation" thing might be an issue. August.

That means I'll spend at least three more months obsessively peeing on sticks (because we all know much I like to do that) for several days a month, crossing my fingers and hoping there's really nothing wrong. August... is really, really far away.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dalliance Interrupted

The Husband... is not known for his memory. I knew this when I married him and so I accept that hints, nudges and (not-so) gentle reminders are a part of my job as The Wife. So when The Husband is the one doing the nudging, I know my procrastination has gone on too long.

This weekend he issued a not-so gentle reminder to get things a-rollin' on the fertility clinic referral. I did my research and had the clinic picked out, my doctor had the paperwork ready, the pre-work ultrasound was done, all that was left was two phone calls and I just couldn't get my shit together to make them. Rather like alcoholism, the first step is admitting there is a problem and I guess finally making that call was confirmation that I believe there is a problem. Though, in my defense, it's also hard to make these calls from work because I'm in a cube farm and I'm not thrilled about the idea of my colleagues knowing my business. When people watch you slip into a conference room to make a call they assume you're job hunting and in today's job market I can't afford the appearance of impropriety - especially if I want to go on another mat leave in the not too distant future.

Anyway, I finally did it. The referral documents have been faxed and the ball is rolling. Now I have to wait for them to call me back with an appointment. Naturally since I went through all the subterfuge yesterday The Parasite is home sick with me today, so I would have had all the time and privacy in the world to get it done. *sigh*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pretty toes

Dear fellow Canadians,

Sandal season is almost upon us. Before exposing those little piggies to the rest of the world, I beg of you -- have a pedicure.

The Host

I had mine today and it was worth it, even if it is supposed to rain all day, every day this week. A mom and daughter duo was there, the little girl around 7 years old. I assume her feet didn't require a razor blade, but what do I know? She had bright purple polish with daisies on her big toes and the pair appeared to be having a lot of fun. Now I can't wait until The Parasite is old enough to come with me to get pretty toes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Tubble, Keeyo!

Our niece gave The Parasite her old Disney Princess chair. Now, I'm kind of opposed to the whole "Princess" thing because I'd rather not encourage my daughter to sit on her ass waiting for her Prince to come. However I work in marketing and am fully aware that I am powerless to stop the Disney machine so I might as well go ahead and encourage moderation.

Anyway... One of our cats has decided that she likes this chair as much as, if not more than, The Parasite. Every time I turn around the stupid cat is back in that chair. The Parasite freaks out and yells "No, Keeyo! Big Tubble, Keeyo!" I feel like I should discourage this usurper from her chair stealing ways, but:

a) It diminishes my guilt over the total neglect of the cats since The Parasite arrived;
b) It keeps the stupid cat off my chair, thereby drastically reducing my lint roller expenditures;
c) The cries of "Big Tubble, Keeyo!" are just too frickin' cute.

Besides, if I kept Cleo off the chair then I couldn't have snapped this picture with my crappy cell phone camera and shared it with all of you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Always a Bridesmaid...

A couple of weeks ago, The Huband told me the good news - friends of his, who are now friends of mine I guess, are expecting. They're due in the fall. And I smiled and because I'm happy for them and YAY! babies are great. But there was a little pang of jealously because dammit! I want to be the one sharing the good news.

Tonight I had dinner with one of my best friends. One of the real inner circle. She'd been dealing with her own fertility struggles for quite some time. But not anymore! She's also due in the fall. And I smiled and whooped and hugged because I'm so very happy for her and YAY! babies are great. And there was another little pang of jealously because dammit! I want to be the one sharing the good news.

And then I felt like a totally shitty person because that's just so unfair. I'm being a spoiled child. This is a friend who is closer to me than just about any member of my family. And I am truly thrilled for her. She has wanted this baby for so very long and she was a wonderful and supportive friend to me in everything I went through in growing The Parasite. I feel the wonder and joy every day of being her mother. To be jealous of someone that doesn't yet know how awesome that feels? Well, fuck. That's just petty.

I feel like a bad person and a bad friend for letting any of my own feelings take away from joy that I feel for her. It's very conflicting to feel so very happy for someone else and yet so very sorry for yourself. But hey, tonight I can have a(nother) drink to numb the feelings, and she can't. Silver linings everywhere!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

That's not peanut butter

Every morning The Parasite requests "toast an' hummus" for breakfast. As it turns out, "hummus" does not always mean "hummus". Sometimes it means peanut butter. And if you should dare to top the toast with the wrong substance, there will be hell to pay.

Can I just say... I love two!