Telling on Myself

Happy New Year's Eve.

Continuing to slowly climb out of the hole.  Gradually relying less on vices to cope with my grief.  Trying to bring in some meditation and writing.  Still drinking more than usual and watching a lot of television though.

My housemate came back from New York where his family lives, but he's been staying over at his  girlfriend's (or whatever she is right now) house.  I guess the idea is to spend a lot of time together and talk a lot over this weekend, then see where they're going to go.  They've been together a year or so I think and broken up twice in that time.  She's high energy and can turn in to a human tornado of emotion, especially around her stressful job managing a retreat center.  He (my housemate) is more introverted and gets overwhelmed with her agitation.

He also feels taken for granted, as well as devalued at times when she has had "friendships" pop up from the past with other guys.  She's been a very free spirit over the years, traveling a lot, lovers in every port, etc.  Anyway, they do have lots of chemistry and have been trying very hard, so actually I hope they can work it out.

To catch up on my own mess, when I got back from Christmas, there was an email from S (I'm going to call him S for Snake, instead of sh/cm, because it fits my feelings right now) saying his romantic feelings had faded the last few days - not because of any focus on another person - but on their own accord.  And he wanted to enter the New Year as friends.

Well, that hurt.  Even though I was uncertain what I wanted, there was at least some hope, and we had been processing relationship issues together over email.  This felt like yet another slap.  I do have to admit that I emailed him first, the day before, saying that I needed to step back emotionally.  I had asked him what he was doing for Christmas and there was a deafening silence on that front, which clearly indicated he spent it with his ex.  It made me realize how very uncomfortable I still was with the whole situation and that I couldn't really be processing anything with him while this was going on.  But I expected him to understand; for us to pull back but there be a desire on his part to continue talking later.

As I write this, I realize I probably shouldn't have been processing things with him in the first place at this time, all things considered.  But it is SO hard to break up with someone and just float out into the ether.  It's an emotional shock and leaves such a huge gaping hole in your heart, as well as your life (I imagine you all know what I'm talking about).  It sounds good to "be tough," but it feels horrible.

Anyway, I responded to his post-Christmas email with a fairly short response saying I had sadly come to doubt his capacity to be truthful, as well as his very character, and I didn't want to be friends.  That I may want to talk at some point in the future but, for now, goodbye.  That felt right and strong but then the recent lonely days wore on me. . . I know I should be getting out and distracting myself, but I'm low on money after Christmas and feeling low energy too.

So, I had a mini-slip yesterday and sent him an article from Psychology Today called, "Promise Keepers - The Committed Partners Who Stay Faithful to Each Other," about the 50% of relationships in which both partners manage to remain faithful.    I saw the flaws of our relationship in some of the qualities she described, and it evoked both an ache and an excited feeling of affirmation, like, "Yes, yes, that's what I wanted!"  For example, this section on "Inclusion":

Think inclusion rather than exclusion. Faithful partners know the differences between privacy and secrecy. Private thoughts or actions do not necessarily threaten a relationship, but may. Anyone can be more susceptible to slipping from something innocent to a potentially dangerous situation. Faithful partners put their relationship above those possibilities.

Intimacy is about trust, trust is about honesty, and honesty is about not hiding anything. When partners have nothing to hide, they don't end up fugitives from each other. They don't want to harbor concerns that what they are doing could potentially threaten the sanctity of their bond.

In the moment of reading the article, I felt deeply compelled to send it to S.  I thought I was coming from a somewhat detached place of wanting him to understand what might have helped us, but also an altruistic desire to help him learn for whatever possible future relationship he ended up in.  In retrospect, I wanted him to understand what he did "wrong" and what kind of relationship I wanted, but also it was a little piece of connection with him.  I'm definitely getting stronger and feeling more balanced, but clearly still struggling with the loneliness and separation.  

So, I guess I wanted to "tell" on myself here.  I don't know what he's got going on with his ex - they could be making like bunnies over there - but it's not my business and it's not really the point.  He behaved very badly.  I need MUCH more respect, transparency, and caring for my feelings from a partner I'm with long term.  I am deeply disappointed and sad about the choices he made and for the way things ended, but I take responsibility for having doubts and issues of my own that seriously affected our relationship.  

At this point, I'm trying to find faith that there may be someone else out there for me with a stronger character and a stronger chemistry with me, who still has a lot of the wonderful shared values, interests, goals, and communication that S and I shared.  But sometimes I'm not so sure. . .



It's completely and totally over.  You'll get no more wishful posts.  Knowing me, likely some processing posts, but no wishful ones.  As my brother and sister-in-law would say, "What an a##hat."


The Blahs

Checking in from Oregon.  Like many other folks out there, I've had a mixed emotion Christmas, tinged with melancholy.  

It's been wonderful to spend time with my niece and nephew, of course, and I'll be heading over to my sister's again in a little while for a last dinner and visit.  Watching them open and play with presents yesterday and goofing around with them was priceless.

But today, my mood has been hovering in the crabby zone, likely in part because I drank (along with my brother, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law) quite a bit last night - for me, at least.  I haven't felt hungover, just kind of blah and sad.

Not surprisingly, I'm also feeling melancholy about my relationship situation.  I wish I weren't, but I am.

We were sending some emails back and forth, continuing to process stuff, but I decided I need to step back emotionally.  We started talking as if we may get back together, but I can't go there while his ex is still staying with him.

And even then. . . I know there are no guarantees, but I need to have more faith that he will value my feelings in his future decision-making.  The way this whole things went down was super lame, and I'm still angry and hurt about it.

On my side of the fence, I need to decide if I can accept him and his imperfections enough to fully step over the line into commitment, and I'm not there yet.  So I emailed him that I needed to emotionally step back for now, considering our current context, and I hope he understood my perspective.

Which was the right thing to do for me.  But I'm still sad.

Ending on an up note:  I got an iPhone for Christmas, yippee!!!  And some extra money to cover the additional data plan cost for a few months!  Yay!  The phone ships on January fourth, so I have a wait a couple weeks, but I'm excited.



I'm driving up to Oregon tomorrow for Christmas and have several things to accomplish today before that happens.  The hot fudge is completed at least and most other presents purchased.  I guess I'm looking forward to seeing my family (some of them anyway).

I'm still feeling sad but, after talking to sh/cm on Tuesday night, I'm not as darkly depressed.  Perhaps I'm in denial, because we are still broken up.  But it helped to talk through the situation with his ex, as well as other issues in our relationship.

Regarding his approach to the ex situation, talk about denial!  Despite the intense feelings I expressed multiple times on the subject, he still thought, "We'll get through it somehow, it will all be okay."  He described this as believing in the strength of our relationship; I call it being thick-headed and stubborn.

He did say he had shifted emotionally and understood my feelings, and admitted he would have had a problem if the situation were reversed (and I admitted most people would struggle with their partner living with someone of the opposite gender, which seemed to mean a lot to him).  I think it was something he believed he "had" to do, and clung to the belief that it would all work out somehow with the strategy of him staying at my place a lot, etc.

When the proverbial excrement actually hit the fan and she said she was coming for a month, we also had been having problems and he was hurt and angry, which played into the way he handled it.

Bottom line, I am deeply disappointed that he didn't communicate more openly with me as a partner, with consideration for both our needs and feelings.  I'm sad that he didn't initially empathize with my feelings and take them more seriously.  He shared that he believed both of our jealousy was "unsustainable" and would have to lessen.  And that I would get more emotionally stormy than him about things, and he saw his role as upholding medium and long-term goals.  Or something like that.

I see the point of not always "buying in" to my emotions, especially around certain times in my cycle, but this was an issue that goes back to the start of our relationship, had come up several times, and was much more deeply rooted.  I know my own reactions to it are partially fueled by my own issues and insecurities but that's part of what I want a partner to do, be sensitive and help reassure me in areas where I struggle.

Granted, we each need to take responsibility for our own issues/reactions versus making the other person wrong, which is easier said than done.  But, basically, I wanted him to care about my feelings and work together to find a way to deal with the situation that was tolerable for both of us.

The other topic I want to mention relates to his emotional wound or trauma (he describes it as a dark void), which he had recently gotten in touch with when we first got together.  He talked about wanting to actively work with it but never really started on that process, which is what he says he wants to do now.  We'll see.  But it takes hold of him at times and causes him to see me as a bad person or purposefully unloving or hurtful.  It's the worst feeling to be on the receiving end of this, and, looking back on our emails over the past several months, has sabotaged the strength and joy in our relationship many times.  I know that my issues around perfectionism, as well as the aforementioned jealousy/insecurity, have also caused problems and pain, so I'm certainly not without blame.

Anyway, sorry for the ongoing analysis!  I'm deep in it right now.  I did go on a date Monday night.  We looked at Christmas lights and all the festivities going on down in Union Square in San Fran.cisco.  It was enjoyable and he's an intelligent, good guy, but the attraction wasn't particularly strong.  I might go out with him again, just for equilibrium purposes, when I get back from Oregon.

As a side note, sh/cm gave me a romantic, loving card and bought me a huge book of Romantic/Post-Romantic poetry, which felt loving and like an effort of sorts.  He also insisted on giving me some money to deal with car stuff, which I initially resisted but ended up taking because I would not have had to spend this money if we had gone to Oregon together, as planned.  And we drank wine and spent some time kissing, which may not be a "good" thing but felt very good.


Time of Darkness

Yes, it's my life, but I kinda wish it weren't right now.  I apologize in advance for what may be a darkish post.

Since last Spring, I felt like I was building the life I envision for myself: a partner in life with whom a share values and meaningful goals, a family, a community of interconnected, like-minded people, work that sustains me on multiple levels.  As this relationship seems to be crumbling around me, I have a sense that most of these building blocks are crumbling along with it.  I literally (hat off to Rob Lowe) feel like dying when I imagine returning to my single life, at least as it was before.

I finally spoke in person with sh/cm last night, but it was an unsatisfying exchange.  Though we did connect for a short time and he admitted he was a complete mess the day after I broke up with him, for the most part he wasn't really present.  When I asked him questions, he gave rational, measured answers, laced with sympathy.  Yuck.  Apparently, when he officially broke it off with his ex way back when in I think May (well, broke off their plans to give it another try; the marriage had ended a couple years prior), they talked about her still coming out around this time to wrap things up with work stuff, and he said he figured at that time that she would stay with him.  What?!  The relief I felt when he broke it off was huge, as it had been something hanging over us for those first few weeks when we were both technically uncommitted and dating others (but in reality were exclusive).  To hear that the trip, albeit shorter, was always planned, and that he assumed she would stay with him was hard to hear.

As an aside, I should say that during our conversation, I felt compelled to ask about whether he had any hope that we could work on his/my/our issues together, in some of the ways we had talked about before.  He basically said he's scared of his own negative patterns and how they affect him and affected us, and he needs to work on these on his own, outside of a relationship.

But stepping back, we had been having trouble for quite a while.  Remember all the jealousy?  I think that stemmed from a lack of trust and security on both of our parts.  I read something recently that said women's libido stems from a sense that the guy is hot for her and also trust.  As we went along, my trust in him diminished instead of grew, partly because he was not consistently sexually forward, as he had been, and partly because he told me he had spoken to his ex without telling me and that she was coming out for two weeks in January (the first I'd heard of it).  I don't remember when that was exactly - two or three months ago?  On my part, I questioned whether we had enough chemistry and expressed my doubts at times in ways that lessened his security, as well.

But ironically, he was the one who I would say had the most jealousy in our relationship, primarily around my platonic housemate.  I did come to understand and empathize with his insecurity around that situation, since the housemate and I are friends and we were, after all, living under the same roof.  But he would communicate these feelings in irrational ways that made me feel like I was actually cheating on him or doing something horribly out of line - like when I answered his phone call when driving in the car to theatre group with the housemate and wasn't as present as he felt I should be or when I didn't text him back that day not long ago.  Feelings, yes, I could certainly understand him having feelings about these things but it came out in terse, analytical, "grilling me"-type exchanges, which left me feeling defensive and sad.

Why did I put up with this?  Because from the beginning, he and I have had so many wonderful, connected times too.  We are on the same page in so. many. ways.  It's HIGHLY unusual in my experience to have so much in common with another person.  And we did have a strong attraction at the beginning and off and on throughout the relationship - though more off at the end.  Anyway, we could have great discussions about projects, issues, and feelings, and it was awesome being part of the same community and focused on similar environmental/social change issues.  And just having a companion for the more mundane things in life is so wonderful - everything from making dinner; to Farmer's Markets, community potlucks/meetings, and trips (well the trip to Oregon sucked, but other trips); and just hanging out all felt so good when we were "in it together."

Thinking of life without this companionship feels empty and cold, almost unbearable.  Yet, I must bear it.  I'm getting through one day at a time, the non-12-step way: drinking more than I should, even smoking cigarettes yesterday.  I'm sleeping okay, still exercising, and eating not too horribly, so I guess it's not a complete mess.

But I'm sad.  And I'm hurt.  And I know I had a part in the relationship breaking up, but right now it feels like he lit the final fuse and that sucks.

I have a date from Mat.ch.co.m on Saturday night: an effort to soothe my heart and ego, but I doubt it will amount to anything because of where I'm at emotionally plus I don't think the guy has enough emotional depth.  Honestly, at some level, I'm probably doing it to balance the situation with his ex, which is ridiculous because what does it matter now?

Thank you for listening to this disjointed outpouring.  Birthday and Christmas here I come, but my bells are broken.


We interrupt this relationship. . .

This has been a week from hell.  Starting with a horrible teaching day Tuesday in which everything that could go wrong technically did with regard to a medical video I was showing, and progressing to my boyfriend telling me his ex-wife was coming two weeks earlier and would be living with him for the month she's here.

He explained she would be sleeping upstairs in the loft space.  He swore that it was business only, that even if I ran off with some other man, he wouldn't be with her.  He said he could spend a lot more nights at my house and that we would still go up to Oregon for Christmas at the end of this month, in the middle of her stay.

But I couldn't take it.  The shock, hurt, and fear were too much.

To begin with, I told him there is no way I could deal with that, no way that she could stay with him, and at first he seemed like he was considering other options like her staying with one of his co-workers.

But the next day in emails, I could tell he was trying to placate me.  He wasn't answering direct questions about the situation and her staying with him, him spending time with her, etc.  So I called and asked him directly, and he told me that she was going to stay with him.

I said, "Even knowing all that I've told you about how it makes me feel and knowing what I said about not being able to handle it, you are still making that choice?"

And he mumbled a bit and then said, "Yes."

So I broke up with him.

It's been a few days now.  He picked her up at the airport yesterday and God knows what they are doing right now, but I'm trying not to torture myself with those kind of thoughts.

I've been feeling so confused and hurt about how he could so definitively choose to "honor his commitment" (about finishing things up with her work-wise) and "fulfill his obligation" (to talk things through with her and have closure on their marriage and post-marriage relationship) through her living with him for a month, when he knew that potentially could end our relationship, his current commitment?

And how could he think that it's okay to live with this woman who I've never met and who, the last time he saw her, he was sexual with and talked about "giving it another try" (around this time even), before he changed his mind and decided to be with me?

And finally, how could he present it to me as a done deal instead of talking it through with me and working harder to help me understand and get on the same page with him, which to me shows respect and love?

Trying to understand his perspective, which I hope to more directly hear about tomorrow night when he comes over to talk, I've considered a few things:

  1. I have been extremely jealous and emotionally volatile around the subject and he has reason to doubt I could have talked it over with him rationally.
  2. He feels a lot of guilt about breaking up with her back in the Spring.  He was married to her for four years I think and has a lot of history with her and agreements I don't know that much about with regard to business/work.
  3. He feels deeply (not that I agree) that he owes her this and would be a bad person if he didn't do right by her in this way.  So in this light, he's not choosing her over me but feels he has no other choice in order to keep his self-respect and integrity.
  4. I don't know why she had to come out two weeks earlier.  I was too angry to inquire clearly about this but plan to do so tomorrow night.  But if there was a good reason for this, putting her up in a hotel for a month would be thousands of dollars that he can't really afford (nor can she I'm fairly sure) and it's unlikely his co-worker could have boarded her for a month.  
  5. Because he feels so clear in his own mind that he is not interested in being with her, he expects me to trust this.  I also wonder if he feels at some level that this is a fair exchange because I live with a man, and my living situation has brought up a lot of insecurity and jealousy in him over time. Even though I'm beyond clear that I have no attraction and have stressed this with him.  I've posted about this before. . .

I think that he rationalized it in his mind and somehow made it fit together as an okay choice.  But the close confidants I've told clearly think this situation is outside the norm and seem to understand and resonate with my outrage.  An ex from not all that long ago?  Living with him for a month?  Really? 

I met with my Non-Violent Communication group leader yesterday, and she gave me a lot of empathic support.  It felt good to release emotion and receive compassion.  I was also able, through this process, to come to some of the above understanding of his perspective, which is also valuable.  I'm not saying I think he made the "right" choice, but I can see more of the feelings and needs driving his actions.

Do I wish that my feelings and our commitment somehow trumped everything else?  Absolutely, but I guess that's not the case here.

One aspect that I need to own is that I have had my own doubts about our long-term compatibility, and I know this has affected our relationship and how I treat him at times.  He was very hurt the other day when I did not respond to a text, even though I did receive it, until several hours later that evening.  Does that show some lack of respect and caring?  Probably so.  And there are other things I've done and said that show uncertainty and less than 100 percent commitment to him in my heart.  So I need to own those things too and recognize they likely play a role here, as well.

So, yeah, a depressing week.

To end on a slightly positive note, I did go buy and decorate a small Christmas tree yesterday - the first time I've done this on my own.  And I went to dance this morning, even though I was feeling very anxious and sad, followed by going out to the awesomely-named "Karma Kitchen" and eating with dance friends afterwards.  When I got home, I colored my hair a lovely red-auburn color.  Now, I'm drinking wine and am going to watch a movie.

I hope tomorrow night brings relief and understanding.

p.s. I would appreciate hearing any feedback or experiences you might have to share related to this.


TWW and Test Results (not the test you're thinking)

I am nearing the end of this two-week-wait.  I wanted to share signs, which are likely all in my head or about my period coming (ah, the cynicism of so many months of BFNs) and also talk about the fertility test results I just received from Kai.ser.

With regard to signs, I had little to report until yesterday.  I dropped and broke a couple of things a few days ago, which seemed odd but probably unrelated.  I had a slight wave of nausea while out on a walk Sunday with sh/cm.  Usually - sorry for TMI - when I think I have nausea, I burp shortly thereafter, which explains it.  But nope, no burp this time.

Also, remember the implantation-type temperature dip I've had a couple of times now?  Well, I had that again on 10 dpo, but seeing as it's the third time and the first two times led to zilch, I wasn't so excited.

Then, yesterday, I had lower abdominal pulling/slight cramping feelings in the afternoon.  I told sh/cm that I feel like my period is coming and this cycle is likely coming to an end.  But this morning my temperature is still up, and I haven't had any spotting yet.  My cycle is due today or tomorrow.

On to the tests.  So I am now on sh/cm's insurance with Kai.ser, so I am starting up the process again with their reproductive endocrinology folks.  The first step is always a battery of tests, and I'm working my way through those.

The first round of prolactin/progesterone/thyroid came back yesterday.  Not what I expected.  My thyroid is too high (5.8 - indicating hypothyroid) and my progesterone is too low (5).  My progesterone has tended on the low side before but not this low.  There is a chance that it was really day 24 vs. 23 - you're supposed to test on days 21-23 - but it still shouldn't be that low, right?

Anyway, just in case, I started supplementing with progesterone cream until I can see the doctor who will likely recommend suppositories or shots.  I also took matters into my own hands with my thyroid medicine and started taking an extra quarter pill.

I'm so frustrated because earlier this year, I had thyroid testing done, and after first raising the dose when it came back a bit high, the doctor retested and lowered it again after deciding it was then a little low.  The problem is, I felt great on the first dosage adjustment, after she had raised it:  I lost a little weight (probably also due to running), my energy felt right, and I just intuitively felt in a good place with it.  So I think I probably should have stayed on that dose.

I guess there's no use crying over spilt milk, as they say.  I'm just worried that my hypothyroidism has affected my fertility these past few months.  Also, I wonder if my fertility supplements could have affected my thyroid levels.  Has anyone heard of that?  Perhaps a google search is in order.

At least these two issues can be theoretically "fixed."  The next round of testing in a few days (assuming I'm not pregnant) will include FSH, fasting glucose, and estradiol.  Here's hoping. . .


Cussing. Love. Christmas.

To follow up on a couple of things:

The field trip last Wednesday went great!  For me, at least. . . apparently one of the groups (the kids were divided into several groups that rotated through the different campus sessions such as Dental Assisting, and Health and Human Resources, etc.) had a few kids who were terrors.  They treated the Biotech professor so poorly that apparently she may not work with our program again.  And on one of the buses - not mine thank God - on the way back to the middle school, one of the girls told a very kind and helpful chaperone (a kid on the trip's parent no less) to "F$@k off!"  So, yeah, a few kids were suspended post-trip.  But my group was generally well-behaved, and I had a good day, so that's what matters, no?

I referred to a dark and confusing email from sh/cm in my last post.  Basically, he was upset because I didn't respond to a text he sent late Tuesday afternoon.  I was laid out on the couch at that point, nearly comatose, after teaching, but also I have to admit I was angry at him.  I had expressed some deep sadness in a phone call with him on Monday, the energy of which likely came from my past as well as the present situation, and he had not shown much if any compassion for me (granted, he was driving, but I still expected some mutterings of concern).

So, I didn't write him back right away and frankly forgot about it until we talked after my Interplay Theatre group later that night.  This triggered some old stuff in him, in turn - aren't relationships fun? - and he said in his email that he needed to "decouple."  Decouple?  Does anyone else think that sounds like "break up"?  He said in the next sentence that he wants to remain in a relationship but be less demanding of one another in communication.

In retrospect, I look at this email as a strategy he was using to get reassurance that I value him and love him.  But it was horrible for me to read.  So, long story short, there was some talking and crying on the phone yesterday, then he came over and we watched the Oregon Duck football game (Go Ducks!), ate pizza, spent some needed lovey/cuddly time, and talked through some stuff in-person, in a casual-type way (sometimes we get too intense!).  It was good, and I'm feeling a lot of love for him right now.

Going forward, he is going to try and tune in more when I express sadness and show his care and love.  And I am going to try and respond to his communication, even if it's not a "nice" response.  He stressed he would much prefer any response than none at all.  I also told him, though, that if I don't respond, I want "a pathway out" of the doghouse, or a way to be forgiven.  Sometimes, he gets stuck in making me wrong - or from his perspective get understanding and therefore achieve safety - and it feels horrible to be stuck there with him, being raked over the coals.  I'm feeling hopeful, now, that we've reached more clarity about our patterns and ways we can improve.

Side note:  In other relationships, I've experienced the pain and fighting but not the working through, understanding, becoming more intimate part.  So even though this may sound really hard, to me it's a good thing!

Christmasy!  Weekend!  First of a few, hopefully.  I'm heading out to a couple of holiday craft fairs and to pick up cookie ingredients and plan to spend the rest of the day getting my festive on at home.  I'll be digging out and sorting through the tree decorations for the tree we're getting tomorrow, then just puttering around making cookies.  A walk must be had somewhere in there, as well, because this day is too damn gorgeous to waste!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend, too.  Anyone else jumping into Christmas stuff yet?

p.s. No pregnancy signs to speak of yet at 9 days post-ovulation.  I've dropped and broken two things which seems odd.  Is clumsiness a sign?  And have been eating a lot, but, well, 'tis the season!


Mixed Bag

The hardest week down!  Yay, me!  And the girls in the my after school program are the sweetest thing ever (and not just because they love my theatre games).

On the other hand, a dark and confusing email from sh/cm.  More tomorrow. . .


Halfway Through

The wind is whipping away outside, creating a "dark and stormy night" kind of feel to the evening.  I'm halfway through my first intense week.

Tomorrow, I teach again, but I'm going to spend most of the period on an art project.  Do any of you remember making "Coat of Arms" Shields in Middle School?  I still remember this project to this day and can envision it hanging on the teacher's wall during parent night.  I can even remember a couple of the pictures of me at my house and another of me doing gymnastics.  I hope the kids in my classes will share some of my enthusiasm.

Then, I have a couple hours off before going to lead the after-school program at another middle school.  God help me to rally the energy to lead a few games for those unfortunate (to have me as their leader) souls!

Final day of NaBloPoMo.  What did I learn?  That I have trouble with strict discipline.  Yes, most definitely.

Also, that I'm going to keep doing it until I participate fully, including visiting and commenting more on other blogs.  I may not participate next month but will again in the near future.  As mentioned before, I like (and need) the kick in the butt to write frequently!

p.s.  Sh/cm and I had a productive conversation tonight and were able to speak and hear each other with more love and less defensiveness/fear.  I look forward to this weekend and getting a tree, as well as taking part in my Interplay Theatre group's Christmas gathering.  We're going to eat yummy food, play games, and watch the video of our last performance.


Just a quick update tonight before getting to bed.

I've been feeling sad the last day or so - possibly because of seasonal affective disorder?  or the time of year?  or PMS/hormonal stuff worsening?  I'm not sure.

 Sh/cm and I had some tension Sunday afternoon.  We talked through it, but it felt bad after having a great time away together.  Part of me wonders if he was happy to separate and get back to work, while it's harder for me for some reason.

Anyway, call me Ms. Melancholy.  I actually feel sorry for sh/cm with how inconsolable I was on the phone yesterday.  Oh well.

Off to my field trip bright and early tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck!



I'm afraid this post may be a bit dry, but I'm wanting to share my enthusiasm for building more sustainable communities and work systems.  So today's post focuses on one of these new building blocks: Cooperatives.

Here is an abbreviate definition of "Cooperative" from Wikipedia:

A cooperative (also co-operative or co-op) is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit.[1] A cooperative is defined by the International Cooperative Alliance's Statement on the Cooperative Identity as "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise".[2] A cooperative may also be defined as a business owned and controlled equally by the people who use its services or by the people who work there. Various aspects regarding cooperative enterprise are the focus of study in the field of cooperative economics.

So the idea of Cooperative businesses has been percolating lately in my life, and I discovered a cool website about this exciting, potentially more empowering work structure.  Here's a paragraph from the homepage of CooperationWorks!

CooperationWorks! is a national organization of cooperative development centers and practitioners that span the breadth of the United States. Using innovative strategies and proven business practices, CW Centers provide expertise across all aspects of co-op enterprise development, including feasibility analysis, business plan development, business launch and on-going training for operational success.Find out more about CooperationWorks!

And here's an excerpt from a recent news story listed on their website about supportive legislation that I hope will pave the way for more rapid expansion of the Cooperative movement:

Congressman Chaka Fattah Spearheads Urban Cooperative Development Initiative

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – October 15th 2010 – Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA),
Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus, will lead a new initiative to support urban
cooperative business development throughout the United Sates.
Fattah, an eight term Congressman from Philadelphia, will partner with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), a Washington-based federation of cooperatives from all sectors of the economy, and CooperationWorks! (CW), a national trade association of cooperative development centers and individuals. . .Read more
And finally, last week I met with a guy who is staring a website called PermaculturExchange. He's working to bring local start-ups, projects, ideas, etc. together with people who have the right skills to offer and are looking for work.  We are talking about how I might contribute my own skills to this project and perhaps even offer career services individually and through the website.  The Cooperative structure will likely play a large role in the work growing out of this website, as well.
I'm feeling really down tonight for whatever reason but thinking about the potential of Cooperatives makes me feel some hope.  


Premature Exhaustion

I. am. so. tired.

Reacclimating to normal life has been hard for some reason, even though we were only gone for a couple of days.  It might be premature exhaustion, in anticipation of my intense work week, I guess.  It's going to be all middle schoolers, all the time.

I don't think I mentioned it, but my teaching counterpart who teaches Thursdays is not getting along with the current 8th-grade English teacher with whom we're working.  So, my supervisor asked me to teach her remaining sessions, in addition to my own.  Plus, this week and next include one field trip day.

The positive side to this story is that I'm off after December 16th (my birthday!) for the rest of the month.  It will be nice holiday preparation-wise, but also working extra for the next two weeks will help balance the lost hours.

I know I'm a wuss compared to some of y'all, but as I've shared, this teaching (especially this age kids) really takes it out of me.  Thus, I'm mentally preparing to be tough and muscle through the next couple of weeks.  Wish me luck!

Next weekend will be all about Christmas stuff like buying and decorating a tree, so that will be a reward. . .


Post-Holiday Gratitude

Well, my updating intentions flew out the window!  Sorry for my unkept promises; I'll try to do a three-in-one post.

Spending time with sh/cm's family was remarkably comfortable and easy.  Though different than me (she's a pediatrician) and profusely talkative, sh/cm's brother's wife, L, and I get along great.  She's very family-focused, and we talk a lot about her boys, their family trips (they've been all over the world - and to most of the National Parks in the greater U.S.), my relationship with sh/cm and her relationship with her husband, D, and various social issues and ideas.  She's a few years older than me but so are a lot of my friends.  

Sh/cm's dad was not the easiest person with which to connect, but he was very kind and welcoming to me. He and his wife, sh/cm's step-mother, have a traditional relationship, and there's definitely a "head of the household" mantle he carries around with him.  One example of the traditional gender-role culture in their house occurred after Thanksgiving dinner and involved me and L in the kitchen scrubbing and drying dishes, while the step-mom bustled around cleaning the rest of the kitchen, and the menfolk sat at the dining room table relaxing and reading the paper.  Grrr.  Sh/cm heard about that one later, for sure!

Anyway, overall it was a nice trip.  Other highlights included:  seeing sh/cm connect with his half-sister's  three boys, especially the oldest one (watching/listening to them play the game of Life was sweet, and I loved seeing sh/cm's patience and care); traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon, cranberry jelly, rolls, and pecan pie with ice cream - OMG; a gorgeous forest hike above a local Sacramento river with kids, parents, and an elder all looking out for one another and conversing amicably; finishing the weekend playing laser tag with sh/cm, his father, brother, and several nephews (I was a fun target as I could not help screaming as I ran away).

The other side of the our time near Sacramento involved sh/cm and my stay in a historic downtown Placerville hotel Wednesday and Thursday nights.  We had some amazing talks throughout the weekend about our family histories, the future of civilization, family dynamics and issues (processing our visits with his family worked much better than when we were in Eugene with my family for some reason), AND we managed to fulfill our efforts at trying to conceive in what seems to be perfect timing and flow.   

I forgot my bbt thermometer, of course, so I don't know for sure when I ovulated, but the OPK was negative Wednesday morning and positive Thursday - and I'm pretty sure I felt the famed Mittelschmerz twinges on Wednesday later in the day and on Thursday.  When I got him Friday night, I took my temperature and it indicated there had been a rise that morning/day, and this morning was clearly in the higher post-ovulation range.  I'm glad we had separate accommodations those evenings!  

TMI alert:  I stayed with my hips raised for a while each time, as well, which I don't always do, and we also practiced the "have an orgasm afterwards to draw the sperm up into the uterus" technique on our last night.  I'm feeling quite optimistic about our efforts.

We got back into town around 8:30 p.m. last night.  I'm spending the day by myself at my house (currently sitting in the sun at the kitchen table drinking a pineapple/orange/banana smoothie) and he at his, then we will be reuniting for a date night tonight.  Feeling post-holiday gratitude for my relationship with sh/cm.


Thanksgiving in Sacramento

Zucchini bread's made, laundry's done.  Staying up too late watching the Dancing with the Stars Finale.

Sh/cm and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for his father and step mother's house in Sacramento.  I've never met his Dad so am looking forward to that and to seeing how sh/cm and he are together.  His brother and family from San Diego, as well as his half-brother and half-sister and her kids, will be there too.

Apparently his half-sister just broke up with a man she'd only recently moved in with, and it's been hard on her kids (3 boys!).  Sh/cm has talked about wanting us to possibly spend time with the kids and play a role in their lives, but I'm not clear whether his sister wants that or not.  We'll see how things go.

Looks like a holiday ovulation schedule. so that should be interesting.

We have a hotel room for Wednesday and Thursday night (sh/cm usually sleeps on the couch but that didn't sound fun for the both of us), which will be nice.

I'll update tomorrow from over the hills and through the woods. . .


TTC Check-In

Just a short ttc (trying to conceive) post tonight, then off to bed.  

No ovulation in sight after testing today and yesterday.  Historically, this is very early in my cycle to test, but I had that one cycle with ovulation on Day 10 recently so I'm playing it safe.  

I didn't take Femara again this cycle and haven't heard back from the doctor's office as to whether they received my records/labs yet.  I will follow up tomorrow and either schedule some lab tests or make an appointment.  

All things considered, I guess we are trying harder than last month in that I'm tracking ovulation more closely (and thus we're timing our tries more accurately).  

But it still feel like a mellow, "in limbo"-type month.  


What is "Normal"?

I'm feeling a bit disoriented tonight.  Sh/cm and I have had some emotional ups and downs.  I keep wanting us to get back to "normal," but I think I'm creating some ideal fantasy of what we have been and should be.  There have been stretches of time during which we've felt consistently close and our relationship had a sense of fun and ease.

We are having those times now but then something comes along and "triggers" one or the other of us onto an emotional edge, and I feel overwhelmed and scared.  And I have thoughts like, "I can't handle this," or "This is too much," or "Not this again!"

Sh/cm has an aspect to his personality that can be very righteous.  When he feels mistreated, he can lock on to a line of questioning like a pitbull.  He no longer hears me or takes in my side of things.  It's maddening.  He doesn't realize he's doing it in the moment.  We've talked about it and he's linked this side of him to his stepdad, who was bullying.  Sh/cm had to hold tight to his own reality for self preservation.

For my part, I am having some tired, old intimacy issues come up.  Soooo tired and old.  My mind wants to focus on imperfections and hold them up as reasons why we should not be together.  When this first came up, I was able to talk about them but over time, sh/cm has understandably developed some feelings of insecurity.

At this point, I'm questioning whether I should talk to a counselor about this specific pattern because it's come up in several relationships now.  And you know what they say, "If the same situation keeps happening, look at the consistent factor," namely me.  Sh/cm is willing to talk to someone too.

I guess the positive perspective is that our fights are about jealousy and connection/time spent with one another, which says we are scared of losing each other, and we like being around each other so much that we want more of it!  Most of the time we are actually together (and not emotionally triggered), life is good.

My next post will focus on these more positive times and a couple exciting shared goals. . .


My Mundane and Spicy Day

Mundane post about my day forthcoming (well, I will foreshadow a spicy ending). . .

So I harvested veggies and cooked a lot today.  I made a baked dish of potatoes and shallots with rosemary and cooked up some well-seasoned hamburger for soft tacos.

From the garden, I picked and washed a diverse array of leafy greans: swiss chard, kale, large leaf lettuce, and green leafy lettuce.  I also picked the remaining tomatoes  and a few green peppers and will whip up some easy tomato sauce tomorrow, if I have time.

I accomplished some necessary phone calls and emails and went running, which I'm still managing to do a couple times a week (it's harder now that I have to finish before the sun starts setting at 4:45!).

Sh/cm and I had a lovely evening from start to finish and will soon be heading off to dreamland.

He met me at the door carrying flowers, wine, and yummy macaroon and almond cookie dessert.

I paired the fish he cooked with a salad of the greens, peppers, tomato, carrots and avocado, as well as the potato/shallot dish.

Conversation and affection flowed plentifully through dinner preparation and eating, and culminated in dessert and lovemaking in the kitchen.

Sorry, I know that's TMI!  But I have to say it was nice to have such a fun and amorous evening after having some struggles around connection and communication recently.

p.s. Last night, I performed in my third Interplay Theatre performance, since joining the class almost a year and a half ago.  We did a lot of expressive movement pieces - one to poetry and sound that generated lots of positive response.  I also led a "gesture choir" for the first time.  I shared about a typical day teaching the wacky middle schoolers, making dramatic gestures to emphasize parts of my story as several people standing being me gestured along, amplifying my movements.  Sh/cm came and was sweetly supportive.


More Thoughts on DHEA

I wanted to share more side effect information about DHEA, which I don't think I've shared fully.

In retrospect, I feel I was a bit cavalier in my attitude when I first started taking it.  I only took in the positive benefits I was reading and didn't look deeply enough at the potential side effects.  

For me, I believe 75 mg is too high a dosage.  I started at 50 and went up to 75 about a month ago because this was the dose used in the successful oft-quoted fertility study (the only major study done so far, I believe, so it's not been shown that high of dose is needed).  And part of me was also probably just wanting to increase my chances any way I could, after several months of BFNs.

But my body did not like the higher level.  This was the worst month of PMS I've ever had, and I've definitely been more tired and irritable even outside of that.  Acne, yep, increase in that too.  

So, I'm lowering back down to 50 and plan to talk to the doctor about it as soon as possible.  I don't want to stop and lose the gains I've built up the past three months, but I want to respect the impact it has on my body.  The higher pregnancy/lower miscarriage rates are nothing to sneeze at but neither are the side effects:
One of the more common side effects of DHEA supplements is acne. Other side effects includeinsomnia, fatigue, oily skin, abdominal pain, hair loss, nasal congestion, rapid or irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations.
DHEA supplements may alter liver function, so people with liver disease shouldn't use the hormone. People with mood disorders (such as depression) should only use DHEA under the supervision of their healthcare provider, as DHEA supplementation may worsen mood. High levels of the body's natural DHEA has been associated with psychotic disorders, so people with or at risk for psychotic disorders shouldn't use DHEA unless under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
Since DHEA supplements may influence the production of male and female hormones, acne, greasy skin, facial hair growth, hair loss, weight gain around the waist, a deepening of the voice and other signs of masculinization may occur in women. 


Party's Over

Once again, the party is drawing to a sad end.  This was a hard one for me because my luteal phase went a day long, and it NEVER does that; as in never has, as long as I can remember.

It was also a particularly brutal PMS month, which as some of you likely know, adds to the emotional intensity of any experience. That particular fog is lifting, at least, thank God.

My family was in town from Oregon, so the extra cycle day took place out and about, mainly at the Oregon-Stanford game (which Oregon won handily, Go Ducks!).  Every trip to the bathroom, I would come back and whisper to sh/cm, "Nothing yet."

At the end of the day, hope was definitely building, but then some different type of cramping started and then light spotting and a temperature drop, so I knew that was it.  I admit it, there was crying.  But I'm doing okay now.

I do wonder if that up down, up down bounce at the beginning of my cycle meant I ovulated late or ovulated twice, which may have affected my luteal phase length?

In related news, I am cutting back my DHEA supplementation to 50 mg from 75 after noticing slight facial hair increase.  It was blonde and very light, but still, yikes!  *I also wonder whether it affected my mood and plan to research that a bit further.

If I doctor recommends it, I will tough it out, but for now, I'm going with 50, as I've seen this dosage recommended, as well.  And it will hopefully keep me recognizably female.

Now that we've had insurance approval, I'm also calling Kaiser tomorrow and recruiting a real doctor back into the mix.



So I've been having very light cramping off and on today but no spotting yet at almost midnight, as I head to bed.

The past several months, I've consistently started spotting on 13 dpo, which is my cycle day today.

Hmm, I dare not hope, and yet it is very interesting, no?


An Upward Trend

Excited about the Oregon - Stanford game on Saturday.  Family dinner scheduled for tomorrow night, too, including niece and nephew (yay!).  

Today was an okay day.  Work wasn't horrible, and I had a productive talk with sh/cm tonight.  I'm pretty sure part of the tension relates to thinking about long term plans together and the scrutiny and perfectionist-driven fear that stimulates.

My temperature was up several tenths this morning, which was a bit surprising.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  Also have had a minor headache since this afternoon.

Hope you all have a happy Friday!  I will be attending a community non-profit event on resilience and climate change with sh/cm.  Looking forward to it actually.



Most. uneventful. cycle. ever.

It's the weirdest thing.  Every other cycle, since starting to ttc a few months ago has at least included breast soreness.  Most have involved fabulous and varied symptoms such as skin breakouts, cramping, back pain, and others I will spare you all from in this moment.

This cycle?  Not so much.

I have super bad PMS (mood-wise), so if that counts, then I'm covered.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had the never-before-seen bbt temperature fallback/rise pattern, along with another up/down bounce for good measure.  The first dip happened on 4 dpo, and the second on 6 dpo.  But this is likely hormonal fluctuation, even on 6 dpo, since it's typically too early in the cycle for implantation.

AF is due in two days, so not much longer to wait.

I'm working a full middle school day again tomorrow and feeling so not up for it.

Sh/cm and I are still not sympatico, adding sadness to the mix.

Maybe the world will look better after a good night's sleep?



I would like to apologize for my bad attitude ahead of time.  

This job stinks.  

Looking back, I spent much of today scowling at 13-year-olds chatting gaily with their buddies, as our guest speaker valiantly soldiered on.  I also said, "Listen up!" and "Shhhh" about a million times and walked around the room motioning and cajoling them to, "Pay attention."  Fun stuff.

I hate classroom management, and what's more I'm not great at it.  Yes, I can do it now, better than I could when I started 10 or 11 weeks ago, but I'm still at most sub-par.  I don't like the feeling of doing just an okay job.  I want to be doing work that truly fits me, and at which I can excel.  

I've always been more of a creative project design and one-on-one counseling person, as well as self-development theatre/creativity-based workshops for older youth/adults.  But not teaching classrooms of 40 amped-up middle school kids.  This might fit more in the category of "my worst nightmare."  

How did I end up here?  Oh yeah. . . . the money thing.  What's that you say?  I've posted similar blog entries before?  It can't be!

All this leads me to say that I am going to jumpstart my work search again and also put energy into the collaborative educational workshop idea with sh/cm, which has juice for me.  I'm hoping a meeting tomorrow with a friend, who mentioned conspiratorially that she has an idea she wants to run by me, may hold promise, as well.

This concludes todays regularly-scheduled bitch-o-rama.

p.s.  I did have one contribution this week of which I'm proud:  I designed a clear and colorful handout with introductory exercises for our career exploration software program.  I guess even if I leave this program in the near future, I can contribute in a lasting way on that level.


Does my love ever reach you?

In honor of the jealousy theme these last few days, I thought I would share this song.  I'm sure many of you have heard it before.

Sh/cm and I had a bit of a breakthrough late this afternoon.

As sometimes happens, intensity of emotion can penetrate defenses and my sadness seemed to open him to a deeper level of self-awareness.  He is willing to get some help dealing with old trauma that takes hold of him sometimes and sabotages his trust (and both of our equilibrium).

And just like that, a wall of fear and frustration in my own heart crumbled and fell.

Relief.  Hope.  Love.  Yes.


Jellyfish are Creepy: Trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Did you know that Jelly Fish have no brain to speak of?  Yet they move around like other living creatures or animals, seeming to navigate through space with purpose.  It's creepy.  Apparently the cells just react to certain stimuli and also in accordance to the cells around them, like a domino effect.  Weird.

The trip overall was a good one.  We also saw amazing sea horses.  I'm sure you all know the males carry the young for a nice change of pace.  The way they dance and use their tails to wrap around and hold onto things is pretty nifty.

My friend seems very happy to be reunited and going strong with her now fiance, and they got along well with sh/cm.

We all went out to a decadent dinner afterwards, which began with this delightful watermelon/tomato drink (it sounds gross but it was surprisingly delicious) and ending with lavender creme brulee (yum!).

In the car on the way down and back, sh/cm and I talked energetically about collaborating on a climate change workshop with similar information content to the one he did this week, but instead of non-violent communication exercises in-between the four sections to help people process, I would facilitate embodied movement exercises or creative activities.  Each "between" section would be about 10 minutes or so.

We will offer these educational workshops free initially to community members and non-profit folks, adapting the material to make it most relevant to the concerns and potential action steps of each particular audience.  Once we have the curriculum smoothed out, the thought is that we will offer the workshop to local non-profit organizations for a sliding-scale fee and also give "train the trainer" workshops, so that other's can give these types of workshops, as well.

Our energy around this project is exactly the type of energy I've been longing for related to collaboration, and I'm feeling both excited and hopeful.

Still no two-week-wait signs to speak of.  My bbt has been bouncing around high, low, high, low, medium, so I'm not sure what that means.  I'm supposedly on 7 days post-ovulation.


Weekend Connections

This is going to have to be a quick one before I fall asleep right here on the couch. . .

Thanks for supportive comments recently about tension around sh/cm and exes.  We had a good talk tonight and truly felt deeper empathy for the first time around situations that had triggered/upset one another.

Tomorrow morning, he is attending an annual fundraiser brunch with me for my Interplay Theatre organization, during which I may get up and do a little impromptu theatre.

Then, we are going to meet my friend M and her boyfriend, with whom she recently reunited, and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then have dinner.  M's the one we met at the Gilroy Garlic Festival a couple of months ago, and she shocked me when she said she and the boyfriend had broken up.  Now it looks like they're heading for marriage, which should have been the case all along.

Having no two-week-wait signs whatsoever, unfortunately.  I can't believe it's November already.  The psychic said I might get a positive pregnancy test in December so that could be next cycle. . .



I was in a really good mood.  I had a facial today, which I never do but now can say I very highly recommend.  A little work got done, I went on a walk, I had a good conversation which resolved some tension with sh/cm, I drank a glass of red wine. . . and then he called.

He called to tell me his ex had asked him for a ride to this talk he's giving tonight.  A talk hosted by the group they are mutually part of and facilitated by her.  A talk I had found peace with, despite the somewhat emotionally-laden circumstances, and was prepared to attend with my supportive bells on.

But then he called.  And I got triggered into an upset place again, a place I did not want to go.

I just can't believe that that he blithely agreed to give her a ride considering the stress and conflict we've had around the situation recently.  I even spoke with him about it earlier today, mentioned I was feeling a little vulnerable around it, and specifically asked to both have a clear plan for what we were doing afterwards and not end up doing something with just us and his ex.

We made plans to get a drink, and he said he would protect me from an uncomfortable situation afterwards.  Ha!  By giving her a ride there, it meant he would have to give her a ride home - putting us in the exact situation I sought to avoid!

Well, I did go to the talk, though I thought about ditching.  SIF, if you're out there, I actually thought of your phrase "classy class."  Even though it doesn't fit exactly in the context I'm using it, for some reason it came to mind.  I thought to myself, "I'm going to attend because I'm classy class, and I don't back out on something important I've committed to because I'm upset."

In retrospect, I'm glad I went, but it was kinda hard being there. . . and I left immediately afterwards.

I'm not sure I want to see him tomorrow night.  We have plans but I'm feeling pretty blech about things.

We need to get to a better place around this stuff and, as they say, "fill the well" of our relationship.

Because right now, it's pretty darn depleted.



Nothing much going on here, except some tension with sh/cm.  Our jealousy with one another's exes knows no bounds.

I think I'm going to ask your opinion on this difference in viewpoint we have, because it keeps coming up for us:  do you think interactions with an ex-girlfriend and those with a guy I dated are in the same ballpark?

Additional information:  the guy I dated a few times is currently my housemate and we have a mutual support-type relationship in which we share with one another our feelings about dating/relationships and our desires to have a child (his marriage broke up because she didn't end up wanting to have a child and he's one of those men who really wants to be a father).  I have zero feelings of attraction for him and we had some flirtation when we first moved in together (I was feeling sexual and he happened to be there so I flirted with him) but haven't had any energy like that for over a year.

Sh/cm has been meeting with the ex-girlfriend weekly the whole time we've been dating because they are both part of an activist group that she co-leads.  He's had emotional "triggers" come up around his relationship with her at the time of Burning Man and at her birthday, which last year apparently was the beginning of the end of their relationship.

As I write all this, it sounds so juvenile!  But seriously, can you compare an ex-girlfriend relationship (who you were in love with and intimate with over several months and had trouble getting over) with a platonic housemate who you had a few dates with a year-and-a-half ago (with whom you are now friends)?

p.s.  Nothing stirring on the two-week-wait front.  I'm eating pineapple.


The Cute and the Weird

Posting the final post of October 2011.  I'm still deciding whether to join NaBloPoMo for November, the biggest month.  I haven't seemed to get much increased traffic from participating, but maybe I'm not as active as I would need to be to really reap the benefits?

Part of the challenge is that there doesn't seem to be a "good fit" category for my non-Niche blog.  It would probably best fit in a "trying to conceive" category right now.  Either that, or a dating/relationship category, but neither of those seem to exist.  Just "Family" and "General" and "Niche," but Niches seems to Nichey for my blog.  lol

Anyway, on to this final October post.

So I ended up giving some candy out tonight, though I hadn't planned on it, because my housemate got back earlier than I expected and sort of encouraged me (encouraged me and then left to go out to dinner, but it still worked).  And also I ended up being home during the prime hours and happened to find a bag of Hershey's kisses and some other candy and pencils left over from teaching to add to the mix.

We don't get many trick-or-treaters anyway, so my measly loot lasted until a little after 8 p.m., at which time I turned off the porch light and blew out the pumpkin.

The smaller kids who came early on were the cutest: little princesses and animal babies with shy, barely heard, "trick or treat"s.  Because they hadn't yet learned procedure, some of them said it in tandem with knocking, which was too cute.

In other (ttc) news - sorry for TMI and I won't be offended if you stop reading here - I saw some tannish color on the tissue earlier this evening.  It's only 2-3 dpo so it can't possibly be implantation bleeding, right?  Has anyone else experienced this?  I've never had this happen so early in my cycle.  So I'm somewhat befuddled, but trying to just forget about it and chalk it up to hormones or stress or something.

I teach tomorrow so will be going to bed at the semi-ridiculously early hour of 10 or 10:30 p.m. tonight.  I hope the little devils are kind to me again this week!  At least I have an hour and a half lunch this cycle, so I have a Vietnamese lunch with my Teaching Assistant to look forward to, in between periods of cramming in a career interest assessment that should really take twice as long as the timeframe we are given.


Ups and Downs

Brief ttc report:  several tenth temperature rise this morning, so it looks likely that ovulation occurred yesterday.  I saw a light line on the OPK (you know, the one I wasn't going to use?) on Friday and an even lighter one yesterday morning, so the LH "surge" likely happened late in the day Friday.  I only tested in the morning, though, so I'm not sure.

Bad news report:  my car was towed from the BART parking lot yesterday afternoon because of an event held there.  There were definitely no signs there as warning, and from talking with other people during the ordeal of getting our cars out of the towing lot to the tune of $400 (extortion!), there were no signs until an hour or two prior to when they started towing.  This sounds illegal to me!

Anyway, one of the unlucky folks in our predicament gathered all our names and says she will be filing some sort of legal action.  I'm definitely going to follow up as this is beyond unjust.  If sh/cm hadn't been there to help me, I would not have had the resources to bail my poor car out of the pokey and would then have continued to be charged a fee each day until I could do so!


Halloween Weekend

I'm writing this post from the couch, where I can periodically look up and through the French doors to where my candle-lit pumpkin sits grinning at me slyly from the back deck.

Weekend plans include:

  • Eat dinner with sh/cm's brother and his brother's wife (and his step-brother), in town for their two boys' water polo tournament (done).
  • Make yummy breakfast tomorrow morning, including blueberry pancakes and eggs with kale from the garden.
  • Go running and color my hair.
  • Sunday morning Farmer's Market and dance/workout, followed by, later that afternoon, a movie on the Keystone XL Pipeline situation (big action in DC on November 6th!).  
  • Then, finally, a pumpkin carving party at a friend's house that evening.

Looks like my LH surge is barely beginning this morning, so my plans may need to incorporate a bit of "trying" in that arena, as well!


I cheated. . . and other news

I cheated.

Without much forethought, I noticed the day of my cycle yesterday, and this morning took an OPK.  Remember when I said I wasn't going to do that this cycle?  ha!

Oh well.  I guess I'm still mildly interested in tracking ovulation and timing our efforts this month.

It was negative, btw.  But tomorrow, I imagine you just may find me testing again.

And now, for some random ttc reports:

On the supplement front, I am noticing some increased acne, mainly on my chin, and more hair falling out - both of which were listed in the potential side effects of taking DHEA.  Overall, it's tolerable.

Wondering if I would be wise to start taking progesterone.  I saw the Mariah Carey interview with Barbara Walters the other night, and she mentioned that progesterone can reduce miscarriage by 50 percent.  I have been thinking that since my temperature has a nice, high, sustained rise after ovulation, that indicates my levels are good.  But maybe I'm wrong?

And sh/cm's sp.erm analysis came back yesterday.  All looks well:  the count was 40 million with about 50 percent motility, which I guess is pretty good.  They didn't test morphology, though, and I'm wondering how big a role that can play.  I did read that morphology is connected to count and motility, so that would indicate it might be decent, as well.

One final note:  I started a new 8-week school session yesterday, and I love the teacher with whom I'll be working!  He seems to have a great relationship with the kids and an active classroom management style.  And the kids are more advanced and engaged with learning than the last school too!


Surfing the Future

It's getting real.

Talk of my future with sh/cm that is.

My dreams last night had huge waves and people trying to surf them.  I was watching from a ledge a bit off the beach and scanning for those that managed to "catch the wave."  Then, it gets fuzzy: there was some kind of danger and a guy carried me up to another place on the ledge (higher level) where it was safer.

Psychologically, as many of you may know, water often represents our emotions and/or sub-conscious, so, yeah, I think I was a little stirred up last night.

The day had started with a great morning together, waking up at my place and then heading over to his neighborhood Farmer's Market and one of the most delicious cups of coffee I've ever had.  Then off to my dance/his workout, followed by walking up to bookstores - and a sidewalk sale - in his neighborhood to pick up a relationship journal (yes we are so geeky as to be starting a relationship journal), and a few used books and CDs.

Back at his house, I guess I was the culprit who took the first dive into the deep end of the pool by asking if he thought we would actually, somehow/some way, end up with a baby.  And we were off!

He said yes, he had, and we went back and forth exploring much more detail than we ever had before about next steps and creating a foundation either for the biological child we create or one that we might adopt through the foster care system.  We had never really talked about adoption before, but he must have been thinking about it on his own because he had lots of concrete ideas!

Details discussed included:

  • The idea of us moving in together in a few months; choosing a place that would be good for a child and consider the school system, etc.
  • What age child we would be open to in the adoption process and whether it would benefit us to be married or not (I said I wasn't sure since the Bay Area is progressive and less discriminating than some places, but maybe because it is one factor out of many that might indicate to an agency that we are "stable").  Yeah, the "M" word was thrown out there.  It has been touched on before but not this directly.
  • The idea of a child who may have some adjustment issues needing lots of love and his feeling that he could fill that role well.

Later, we continued the foray into deep waters by talking further about his new health insurance potentially covering me as his "partner," different health plans offered, and some specifics around IVF procedures and costs (I would appreciate prayers or positive thoughts that I get coverage because this might allow me to go forward with IVF in the next couple months).

Much of the day was fun and relaxing, including a yummy steak and potato barbeque (a side salad and coffee frozen yogurt for desert too!), but it sure does seem we jumped into some big topics!

When I think about moving forward with him in these ways, I feel excited and hopeful, as well as a little anxiety.  The anxiety is connected to the marriage part, I think, because I can't say things are perfect.  I know I love him a lot and feel closer to him than anyone I've ever been with.  But part of me believes it should be perfect, or close to it anyway.

We have worked through a lot of challenging issues that have proven to be game stoppers for me in the past.  I do see that we are growing and developing what I would consider "true" intimacy.



Before Bed

I'm going to use a NaBloPoMo prompt from last week.  Maybe that's cheating, but please forgive me!

"What do you like to do between coming home and going to bed?"

Since I'm not working full-time, I'm going to translate that into what do I like to do in the evenings during the week.

My typical evening activities might include:

  • Making and eating a yummy recipe, while sipping wine.
  • Reading blogs, commenting, and writing a blog entry.
  • Watching favorite TV shows (Modern Family, Parenthood, Private Practice, The Biggest Loser, Parks and Recreation, The Office, etc.) or a movie.
  • If sh/cm is with me: talking about our shared goals and concerns; sometimes playing a game; or working on our computers together.
  • Doing yoga and stretching.

The question specified the start point being after I come home.  If not, my evenings include other outside activities, such as Interplay, Non-Violent Communication, and Transition Town Heart and Soul Groups.

When on my own at home in the evenings, though, my activities tend to be fairly introverted and mellow.  I think I have mentioned before on this blog feeling frustrated that I seem to need an external catalyst to jump start into productive "getting things done" mode.  But I also am coming to the point of acceptance of my personality and natural tendencies.

Plus, many times I'm tired by the end of the day!

One thing I've noticed will catalyze me into action in the evenings is having a creative project (such as choreographing a routine or writing something) that has a deadline. . . I'd like more of these projects coming into my life.

What about you?  What do you like to do between coming home and going to bed?



I kind of crashed out emotionally today.

Had a crying jag in the middle of the afternoon.

Sh/cm and I staying out late for a catch-up dinner with one of my friends from college - and drinking vodka - probably didn't help (bonus invite to visit him in Hong Kong though!)  And then I didn't sleep that well or that long.

In fact, I probably should be in bed right now.

I'm chaperoning a green jobs fieldtrip tomorrow so that should be fun.  Not.  My attitude stinks.

On the phone with sh/cm tonight, I asked him what fun plans we could make for the weekend, so I would have something to look forward to.  We came up with pumpkin carving and a movie, after attending a Non-Violent Communication community cocktail party Saturday evening.

It's something anyway.

Taking a Breather

As I imagined, I am out for this month.  I started my cycle yesterday, making last month's timeline a perfect 28-days.  Which would be great if I were going for a perfect cycle, but since I'm going for pregnancy, I'm not so thrilled.

I think I'm going to take this month off from "trying."  I'm not going to "not try," just not "try," if that makes any sense at all.  I'm not going to take Femara or use OPKs.  I am going to keep taking my temperature - and hopefully there will be some baby dancing in there - but taking a breather sounds positive at this point.  

Some exciting news:  sh/cm and I are partners!  Well, at least for the purposes of his work insurance.  He thinks he can get me covered through his new job, which would put me back online with Kaiser and their nice reproductive center.  I'm looking forward to taking this game up a notch.  

And sh/cm will be testing his swimmers next week too.  Stay tuned.