Monday, June 27, 2011


I encourage comments!

Fun and fretting

J and I are headed to my parents' fab new house for the fourth of July/my birthday weekend. Coming along for the trip are two different sets of cousins: the Atlanta Arnolds and Memphis Stones. Hooray! It should be a nice, relaxing visit and I am really looking forward to spending time with a bunch of people I truly enjoy. Can't beat that, can you?! Let's hope the weather cooperates.

The following week will conclude with our appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. As the date  approaches, I'm actually getting a little nervous. While I'm excited to start this part of the journey, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being apprehensive as to what it will bring. I am trying to stay positive and convince myself that it will be the easiest of fixes, but seldom does it seem that my medical issues are easy.

I also worry about any potential strain this could lead to in my marriage. Honestly, I think we'll be just fine but I have heard way too many stories about couples that have grown apart during this very emotional time. J and I have discussed potential scenarios in the broad sense before, but what will happen when it all becomes real? That is just something we will have learn as we go.

Does anyone have any advice on how to calm some of my anxiety?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What rhymes with orange? Spray tan

I'm very fair-skinned. J has even referred to me as transparent. Last year I had a couple of benign spots on my skin that had to be removed. It definitely made me think differently about being out in the sun. But I'll admit that I have always preferred the way I look with some color.

Several weeks ago there was a Groupon for 1/2 off a spray tan. Sounded like a good deal to me! J is out of town so I took advantage of yesterday to pamper myself. I got my nails done, my hair cut and finally went in for my tan.

Since this was my first experience, the girl had to tell me what to do (she was weird, pale and apathetic to boot). She told me to wipe off my hands and fingers with a baby wipe so the color wouldn't get too dark, which I did. What she DIDN'T tell me was to wipe off the bottom of my feet.

The tan has now fully-developed and not only are the bottom of my feet a mess, but the overall look just isn't me. It's not really orange, but it's definitely not natural looking. I'm going to see how much I can rub off before showing up to work looking like a freak tomorrow.  :(

Guess I'm destined to be transparent.

ADDENDUM: Folks at work have assured me it looks fine (until I show them my feet). I'm feeling a little better about the experience now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I love children + I love books = I write children's books

This post is related to getting pregnant in only the slightest of ways but my blog, my rules, right?!

My general love of kids led to many child-centered jobs and activities when I was younger (and could afford to live on the low salary). I have substituted in a preschool, been a camp counselor and a nanny. For me, the most rewarding of those was being a nanny. That's probably because I did it for an awesome family who treated me very well. I came to think of the two boys almost as my own. I started when one was T-minus 4 days old and the other 18 months. They are now 11 and almost 13. Holy moly how time flies -- I think I just had a heart attack seeing that written out.

Anyway, as a nanny I got to read a lot of children's books. Some were awesome (classics from my own childhood and some new faves) and some ... not so much. As a writer, reading them inspired me to create my own stories. Over the years I have written 6-7, but only a couple of have struck me as real possibilities to become published.

Though I've had them on hand for quite some time, life has gotten in the way and distracted me from making a real effort to start sending them to publishing companies. Plus, it can be very discouraging to read the statistics concerning an unsolicited manuscript's chances of getting picked up. So, from time to time I get motivated, revisit and tweak the stories and consider sending them out. I usually get no further than the consideration stage.

Lately, however, I have felt a sense of urgency to stop just waiting for things to happen and start MAKING them happen (hence, the intense attempt at baby-making). This includes getting published. So, I did some research and found a company in Massachusetts that still accepts unsolicited manuscripts -- a rarity in the industry these days. Even better, I could send two different manuscripts, saving me the effort of trying to decipher which of my stories I think they might like more.

Earlier this week I packaged up two of my faves and sent them on their merry way. As exclusive submissions, I'll have to wait around three months before I can even hope to hear something ... and that's only if they are interested. If the lines are silent after then, I can start sending them elsewhere. So, here's to actively trying to make some of my dreams come true and ... the sanity to withstand the waiting!

Editor's note: I am adamant about having my stories published in tangible, actual pages-with-cover form. No e-books for this old school girl. I will rebel against the e-reader revolution till the end!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baby love

Unsurprising fact: I love being around babies. As an only child I don't have brothers or sisters to make me an aunt. Luckily, J's brother has a great brood of kiddos; Three girls and one new little boy! Sadly though, they live in Texas so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like -- usually only once a year. However, my cousin and his wife had a baby boy last year and live just a few minutes away. We get to see them a lot, which means I get my necessary fill of baby love. Yay!

JH3, as I'll call him, turned one in March and we have been a part of his life from the day he was born, visiting at the hospital. Since Second Cousin Liz is kind of a mouthful, even for those of us with fully-evolved vocabularies, J and I have taken on the role of honorary Aunt and Uncle and we enjoy spending time with and spoiling JH3 as if he were actually our nephew.

I honestly think being around him helped J feel more comfortable around babies and therefore, the idea of having one of our own. He didn't have a lot of experience with children, especially wee little ones, before his brother's kids and having frequent access to one definitely boosted his confidence that he wouldn't break them! It also doesn't hurt that JH3 is a really good baby -- happy, healthy and pretty laid back (and did I mention he's irresistibly cute?!)

I credit some of that to his parents, who aren't afraid to bend his schedule a little to go on fun adventures, so JH3 comes along for impromptu lunches, dinners and drives. Seeing a real-life example that your social life doesn't have to completely come to a halt after having a baby has been good for me and J, a natural concern for folks like us who relish time with friends.

So, there's my little shout out to JH3 (and his rockin' parents). Thanks for being you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just keep swimming ...

Here's something I find myself thinking about on a far more regular basis then I would like: semen. First of all, ew. Second of all, moving forward I will refer to it in any form except for the proper one because, well, see the first of all.

Why do I think about it? Because you need it to procreate - duh! How do I think about it? Is J wearing the right underwear to maximize his swimmers? Has he been spending time too much time in hot tubs? Are they Olympic-caliber, Phelps-like swimmers or just the occasional summer swim team type? Can he really weed out all the girl swimmers so we can only have boys like he claims? Okay, maybe not the last one. :)

I mainly keep these thoughts to myself  ... well, until now I guess! J isn't a big fan of discussing this topic and I can't really blame him. It's just one of those weird little things that seem to pop in my mind now that I'm so focused on becoming pregnant.

On a strangely-related note (swimmers=water=ocean=fish), I am also taking prenatal vitamins. Love what they're doing for my nails! However, this particular brand has a DHA supplement, which contains fish oil. If you have never taken fish oil supplements then you are blissfully unaware of the side effect lovingly known as fish burps. Yep, when you take these, you get an unpleasant fishy taste in your mouth when you burp and for whatever reason, you tend to burp more when you take them. Blech.

Wow, I just covered semen and burps in one post. Are you as grossed out as I am right now?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Babies of the four-legged variety

J and I love our dog something serious. Before she came into our lives, I was the one who was all about getting a puppy. J was amenable to the idea but not dead set on it. And once I convinced him, he didn't even want to consider a Labrador Retriever. His exact words: "Everyone has one of those. I want something different." I had to remind him the reason everyone has a Labrador ... they're frickin' AWESOME.

He now knows that to be the truth because he is more obsessed with our darling Savannah than I am. We have been lucky to have a very sweet, well-behaved dog. In turn, she is as spoiled as ever. We treat her as is she were our child.

So here comes my dilemma: I am worried about the lack of love she might feel if a baby came into the picture. Is this enough to stop me from wanting to have a child, of course not. But, I do think about it. She has been our little pride and joy for four years and it hurts my feelings to think how hers will be hurt when our attention gets directed elsewhere.

So, my fellow dog-lovers with children, how have you handled the inevitable change that comes in the relationship with your pet when you have a baby? Any wise words of advice?

p.s. - this was written with Savannah curled up in my lap

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Love racking up those bonus miles, but ...

Here's today's question: how does one go about getting pregnant when her husband is a traveling man? That is a problem that pops up most months for us Lowmans. J isn't always here when he needs to be. So with his schedule and my unpredictable cycles, it can be super hard to coordinate.

The frustration of watching a month go by without any real possibility of getting pregnant (hello, June!) leads me to the weird thought/wish I had a few months ago: How great would it be if every person was born with a unique code of some kind that "unlocked" pregnancy? So, when the time came that both you and your spouse were ready to procreate, you entered your codes into the universe and BAM! - bun in the oven. That way 1) you couldn't get pregnant without the consent of your SO, 2) you would eliminate unwanted pregnancies (bonus: also sickening shows like 16 and Pregnant!!) and 3) you eliminate all the hassle of getting pregnant. OMG - sex could be just for fun again! It's an ingenious plan, right?

Notice that I am specifically choosing not to look at any of the potential downsides to that plan and only focus on how wonderful it would be. It already took J and I five years to get to the point that we're both ready to have a family ... but who knows how long it will take to actually make that happen? On that note, I am sticking with my theory that special DNA fertility codes are the way to go.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


It's a negative, Ghost Rider.

'Twas to be expected, but still = bummer.