Monthly Archives: December 2007

Winter Craftiness

We’re doing laundry and packing today to get ready for our trip to see the family tomorrow. It’s been nice having some downtime, though, between school ending and going out of town. We’ve even had a bit of winter! Now, we only get snow here about once every seven years, but we do occasionally have some really great frost (as evidenced in our new header), and this week, we’ve had great frost. Our cat, Pierre, enjoyed tromping through the frosty yard with us yesterday:

Pierre

We have also been enjoying the fruits of some of our crafting. Pictured below is a bottle of the cordials we made this year. This is one of six bottles we made. This is also the project that three months ago resulted in a trip to the emergency room for my poor burnt hand.

Pear Hooch

And finally, our candles. As I mentioned in my last post, we started making candles the first year we were together. We had both dabbled in candle-making already, so we each brought some knowledge to the table. Over the years, we have made candles each winter, and each year, we’ve gotten significantly better at it–primarily due to higher quality materials. It’s a process we both love dearly. Here are just a few of them from this year’s haul:

Kerzen

 Unfortunately, I have not photographed even one of the hats or scarves I have made; hopefully I’ll get some photos of the recipients wearing them. This is my first time crocheting apparel of any kind, and I found that I really loved it. I’m so used to working on these afgans that take decades to make that making something small tha I can finish in just a few hours is very rewarding.

So there you have it: I am, indeed, a crafting nerd.

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Happy Solstice!

J and I have spent the day celebrating the Winter Solstice. This was a tradition we developed early on in our relationship–in my witchy days–and it has continued to be our own private winter holiday. We typically make candles in the days leading up to this day, and on the Solstice proper, we bake, drink wine, and eat great food. Tonight I made salmon (our favorite local fish) with a lemon-basil drizzle, wild rice, and a lovely winter salad of baby greens with persimmon and gorgonzola. Have I mentioned we love food and that I love to cook?

 The last few days have been filled with candle-making and preparing to leave town to see the my family (a.k.a. “the outlaws”). It’s been a very crafty season (show and tell to come later). I’ve been crocheting up a storm making hats and scarves, and we made about twenty candles in the last couple of days. The candle-making is another tradition J and I developed in our early years as a couple, and we have come quite a long way since our days of melting down old candles and coloring them with crayon shavings! (Photos to come. I swear!)

It’s been lovely spending time together without any work to do. I always have some difficulty transitioning from the über-busy fall semester to the holidays, but we’ve done a good job of just enjoying ourselves and relaxing.

We leave for my parents’ house on Monday, and after that, we’re on to our new city to look at a couple of potential places to live. Then we’ll come back, celebrate the new year, and start packing our seven years of crap we’ve managed to accumulate in this place. We won’t likely inseminate next until we’re just about to move, but we’ll have plenty to keep us busy until then. My sense (my hope?) is that as soon as we get this move under way, this baby-making business is going to fall into place. Here’s hoping the new year brings little ones to us all.

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She found me.

It finally arrived. All that talk of tampon crafts seems to have brought on my period, and not a moment too soon. I thought my hormone levels might make me run around the block naked with my hair on fire soon. I was not a pleasant person this week. Poor J.

We have to turn in grades today. This will be our second to last step to complete our jobs here. The final step will be this official process called “separation” where we will walk around the university obtaining signatures stating that we don’t have any outstanding library books or media equipment or oven mitts. This process is not a new thing for us, though. It’s something we have to do every fall because at the end of the semester, we lose our positions at the university. It’s depressing as hell. The campus is nearly empty. The heating is turned off. No one there is very happy because they’re still working, and all of the faculty are officially on break. And it always means good bye, but this time, it’s really good bye. So it’s going to be sad, and I think we’ll be doing it tomorrow, and I think we’ll need drinks afterward. Big, strong drinks.

 Other than that, I feel like I have so little to say right now. Perhaps I’ll post a holiday craft update in a day or two, for I will say I’ve been crocheting up a storm, and we’re also about to have our annual candle-making extravaganza. More to come on that later. For now, I’m going to snuggle up with some cats, do some math to figure out what my students earned this term, and go to the eye doctor to get me some new specs! It’s a big day in the Reproducing Genius household.

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Filed under drinking, Lasts, Period, school

It’s cycle day 32; do you know where your period is?

 

I have a very regular cycle. It will vary from 27-29 days, but that’s the extent of it. Today, I’m at cycle day (CD) 32 and no period. I’m so accustomed to wishing my period away, but I’m getting a little concerned. Where is Flo? Was it the nasty cold I had? Perhaps the sleepless nights of grading last week? I don’t know, but it’s a weird feeling just waiting and waiting without the prospect of pregnancy on the other end.

What makes this all the more surreal to me is that I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that I took a pregnancy test for seemingly no reason–on a month we hadn’t inseminated–and I was pregnant. Of course, now I’m thinking, Am I one of those one in 57,000,000,000,000,000,000 cases of women who have a full period and are still pregnant? No, I’m fairly certain that I’m not, but I can’t say my mind hasn’t gone there. And honestly, it wouldn’t be such great news considering the amount of alcohol, caffeine, and general unhealthiness I’ve indulged in this month. Why does my brain do this to me?

 My concern about my delayed menses has led me to the Google School of Medicine, but instead of finding freaky new ailments to obsess about, I’m finding out how to celebrate feminine hygiene products with fun holiday crafts. Who wants a Rocket Tampon Ornament for Christmas?

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Emerging

Wow. I haven’t blogged in ages. I’ve finally emerged from the mountain of papers though. I stayed up all night last night grading–until 5am (not even a drop of caffeine!)–and I finished. Today I met with my last class. They were an amazing group of people–mostly in their thirties–and they apparently loved me. They wrote me these sweet letters and gave me hugs, and were shocked that I wouldn’t be teaching for awhile. It was a good send-off, and I managed to avoid crying, which is amazing considering my state of mind today. Now I just have to calculate the final grades, turn them in, and my teaching career behind the Redwood Curtain is over.  Wow. Wow. Wow. I’ve had a few teary moments, a couple of major breakdowns and panic attacks, but the ball is officially rolling toward our move.

In TTC news, well, there is no news. Not any very good news anyway. Actually, that’s not true. I’m just being negative.

Amidst our paperwork issue, I tried contacting Mr. G again, asking him–in a somewhat cranky tone–what was up and whether he was still interested in helping us, etc. He responded immediately, shocked that we would think otherwise, stating he was waiting to hear from us, that he was wondering if we might be pregnant. He apparently never got the “It didn’t work email,” so who knows what happened, but the guy is really a good guy–he’s just been busy this year, and hell, so have we. The short of it is, he’s really on board, which is very reassuring to this PMS-crazed lady. It won’t work out for him to send a donation this month due to the aforementioned Yuletide Ovulation, but he let us know that he’s ready to order more supplies as soon as we’re ready. We also reconnected a little as far as sharing happenings in our lives, which I think was important for all of us. It’s a lot easier to see that he really does want to help us when we’re actually speaking to the guy.

So this takes some of the pressure off of the paying for sperm/getting paperwork corrected issue, but that also means no spermsicles under the tree. It pains us both to go yet another month without trying, but there must be some reason for it. In the meantime, we get to have a festive holiday–even a wild New Year’s Eve if we want it–and that’s probably important with all of the emotion of finishing our careers up, leaving our best friends behind, and embarking on unfamiliar territory.

Oh my god. This is really happening.

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Filed under drinking, Ramblings, school, teaching writing, ttc

Oh, my bleedin’ eyes!

Wow. J and I have been reading student essays nonstop for days. Our students at the university have to go through this portfolio assessment to get through their first-year composition requirement. For this, they write three essays and a letter. Each portfolio is no less than thirteen pages. This week we had to score these. It took an eternity. Our department had to get through something like 550 of these–two readers each. I think I read a total of about a hundred, so at least 1300 pages–hence, the title of this post.

 These readings have been an end-of-term ritual for us since grad school, and this was the last time we’ll have participated in one. I broke down last night, realizing how close we were to an end to this chapter in our lives. I’ve been so excited about our upcoming move, but last night was the first time I felt truly sad about leaving here. Today is better, but it’s going to be a rough couple of months, I think.

 On the TTC front, we finally got our paperwork out to the sperm bank only to hear a week later that we completed a form incorrectly, so another week, and maybe we’ll be registered and eligible to buy sperm. I’m beginning to fear it won’t be in time. I’m so tired of this happening, but I can’t lose hope entirely yet.

I did have a dream last night that I had a positive pregnancy test. I was a little confused because I thought that I had had my period, so I was walking around baffled. I don’t know what that means, if it means anything, but it was a nice feeling until I woke up.

Ah, well.

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Filed under teaching writing, ttc

sick

I have a nasty cold. It came on suddenly last night after I bragged to my mom that I had beaten away nearly five colds this season using my old buddy Zicam. For Zicam to work, you have to use it at the first sign a cold is coming on. This usually means the scratchy throat or sneeze that begins a cold. Well, I’ve had that scratchy throat on and off for a couple of weeks, so every few days, I pull out the Zicam, and I zap it. Each time it goes away. I love the results, but the problem is, eventually I have to get sick. There seems to be some threshold when my body says, “Nope, I’ve fought off enough. I’m spent. Deal with it.”

This weekend, I had a scratchy throat on Friday and again on Saturday, but I just thought I had one of my fairly common sinus infections. Yesterday, I had the scratchy throat all day, so I thought I’d start my usual measures to rid myself of a sinus infection. I would say about 4 out of 5 times I do this, it works. And that other time? I always end up with a cold.

So last night, I was crocheting away, enjoying the last few morsels of weekend, when around 9:30pm, my nose stuffed itself up, my eyes became watery, and suddenly, I was sick. The damn virus had ambushed me before I could even think about Zicam. J watched it happen in disbelief.

I am so pissed that I have a cold. So utterly pissed. I can’t stay home because my students are all desperate for last-minute help revising their papers, so I’m here at school for twelve long hours today when I really just want to curl up on the sofa with a cat and my wife, and listen to the rain. Only four more hours to go.

Sniffle.

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A serviceable, not very entertaining, updatey sort of post

J woke me this morning at 6am. She was thinking about her students, whether they were going to pass their upcoming assessment portfolio. We’ve been doing this a lot lately–waking up super early and talking, especially on the weekends. I used to be so irritated when she would wake me up early on the weekends, but now I cherish these early morning hours when we lie in bed and snuggle and talk about our lives. So much is going on, and there’s something reassuring about starting the day early. We’re making the most of our lives together and also our last couple of months in this place.

This week we finally sent our paperwork to the sperm bank. This month’s insemination will be tricky because it looks like I’ll probably ovulate Christmas day. This makes shipping anything fairly complicated, and I don’t honestly know how it’s going to work out. The bank wants their tank back seven days after we receive it, so all of this is confusing my already hazy brain. Somehow, it may work out.

The most amusing thing about all of this is that we may very well be inseminating at my parents’ house. We may have to bring our sperm tank with us and figure out how to use it while the family sits around enjoying Christmas. We’ve tried to brainstorm scenarios:

  • Perhaps I could just slip away and do it myself, but then what if I can’t open the tank, or I drop the vial into the tank, or I can’t warm it properly, or I can’t get it into the syringe, or, god-forbid, I spill it?
  • We could hope that it works out to do it when we go to bed at night, but then what if I have a really short surge and I’ve already ovulated by then?
  • I could wrap up the tank, put a bow on it, and put it under the tree for J to open in front of the whole family, and then we can tell everyone, “We’re going to inseminate!” and bound up the stairs to the guest room. (That wouldn’t make my mom uncomfortable in the least, nor would it result in incessant teasing from my step-dad. No, not for a second.

So we’re in a bit of a quandry with this one. This is, of course, assuming that we figure out the whole shipping thing in the week leading up to Christmas (which falls on a Tuesday). Any creative suggestions?

What I do know is that it wouldn’t be right if J and I didn’t have at least one thing to worry about each cycle. This process is not meant to be easy or smooth for us as I once naively hoped, but at least it makes for good storytelling!

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