Archived entries for

At last

Some of you may remember a few weeks ago when I was trying to get the results of a blood test back. After all the calling back and forth about finding out the cost it turned out that I wouldn’t be able to get the results until the following Monday. That Monday came and went and I never said much more about it.

That’s because I’m a terrible liar. Honestly, I don’t have a poker face. If someone asks me a question and I know the answer it shows on my face. And I can hardly stand to not tell when I know the answer.

That Monday I did get a call (from a nurse, not my doctor so there went that reasoning) and my results were good. Really really good. But I already knew they would be because over the weekend I had gotten a positive pregnancy test!! Sometime next July there will be a baby in the echodrift household.

We’ve told family and close friends and are going to be putting it on Facebook soon so that people will see that they don’t have to keep a secret for us.

Aaaaaaaahhh I’m still so excited I can hardly stand it. I feel like I have a million things to get done now so I can’t imagine what actual nesting feels like. So far everything is going well except for near constant burping, which has been fairly entertaining. I won’t have a prenatal appointment for a few weeks yet so I don’t have a sonogram to put on Facebook as my profile photo… wait that’s not ever happening. I personally can’t stand that trend.

ANYWAY. At long last the TTC phase is over! I know that a year isn’t long compared to some couple’s experiences with infertility but it was long enough for me. I feel like a whole mountain of stress has been lifted. There’s still a lot that’s up in the air but life is good right now.

We have not decided on names yet! Preemptive FYI there. I say we have to find out if there’s more than one before we start talking about names.

The quandary

It’s currently 3:39 AM where I am and I cannot sleep. Probably not the best time to write but what can you do.

There’s lots of things I’ve thought about writing for this site and I really have been meaning to, especially if I want to keep up with my Ink Rally goals. Which I do. It’s just that this is a holiday week in the US and that means less free time at home and more time on the road and with family.

Which brings me to one of those things. Sometimes lately I get the idea that it would be awesome to link my blog up to my personal Facebook. (I don’t have a site page set up. I can’t decide if it’s worth it after the changes Facebook has recently made to how pages work. ) One of the main reasons is that I don’t upload much of any of my photos to Facebook other than the odd Instagram. It’s not that I don’t want people to see them I just really hate the compression that happens and I just don’t like having my photos on Facebook. I have many conflicting feelings about that site but I can’t seem to do without it because I live so far away from so many people. It’s a pickle.

So like my pumpkin patch and carving photos? I wouldn’t mind posting that so that extended family could see what we’ve been up to. But then. THEN. I remember what happened last time I shared my blog and some photos on Facebook where those same people could see them. In very few words, it was disastrous because they Did Not Approve. The fact that this was well over three years ago? Doesn’t matter. I still feel like I can’t talk about the details because there was such a lack of understanding on their part and huge sense of betrayal felt by yours truly that I’m not really joking when I say I could probably use a therapist to sort it all out.

What would you do if there was a hobby of yours that you just immensely loved and felt like it was an integral part of your identity HOWEVER when your family saw you exploring your hobby and trying new things and instead of encouraging you and being excited for you they respond with judgment and concern but not really concern for you, the kind of concern that shows they’re really just thinking about themselves?

Holy run-on. That’s not even all of it, really. Just the bones. The thing is I’ve got a feeling that maybe a few family members do know about my blog and read it occasionally. I really, really do not want a confrontation. I’m not ready for that again. See? I can’t even talk about the problem without feeling like I’m doing something wrong when I don’t feel like I was the one who did anything!

I’ve looked at my options. I could try to conform to their expectations. I could abandon this site and start over, attempting anonymity. I could just stop doing any sort of blogging. All of those options suck. Each one would mean that I am trying to change or hide something about myself that I’m not ashamed about but am actually rather proud of. I’ve had other people express their incredulity over what happened and I KNOW I’m not crazy. It is simply not fair to feel like I need to hide something that is not bad at all.

But then I remember what did happen, so I don’t share my posts and I continually fret over why I feel like I can’t. I know that most people would say forget them, do what you want. That’s easy to say, especially on the internet. This is the intersection of real life and the internet and that is something else. Maybe someday I’ll be able to feel like none of it matters and I can post and share whatever I like. Until then, round and round I’ll go.

Pumpkin Patch

Back in October we went out to a local farm to pick out some pumpkins for carving and just have fun in general. If there’s one thing I know about my in-laws it’s that they like to have fun which is not at all a bad thing. In fact, I think I fit in fairly well:

One of the play areas for kids (we didn’t see the height restriction until after we were leaving…) had a bunch of tricycles for a derby. Unfortunately, all of the tricycles had flat tires and/or messed up handlebars. Trying to push each other didn’t really work well, either. But it was ridiculous and fun, which sums up this day.

What on earth is he doing, you ask? Well…

Once he saw the Pumpkin Sling-shot there was no dissuading him. The object, aside from launching tiny pumpkins across a field for the fun of it, was to try to land a pumpkin in the window of a pickup truck or to hit one of two other targets. No one made it in the window while we were watching but they sure tried.

The next day it was time to carve pumpkins. In order to carve them, though, you have to take out the guts. I attempted to clear my own out but I really couldn’t stand the slimy, gross feel of it. Michael to the rescue!

I chose a rather ambitious carving: a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who. The Angels are creepy enough on their own but I found this sketch done by Vinh-Luan Luu when browsing Google Images. (See? “Google Images” is NOT a source! Everything Google returns links to a site of some sort, even if it’s not the original credit. *Pet Pinterest Peeve*) The fact that the Angel is trying to look makes it that much creepier. Perfect for a pumpkin. It took hours, partially because I’ve never tried anything like this. There was a lot of learning going on. In the end I’d say it was well worth the effort.

Somehow I ended up with the easier to carve pumpkin. Michael’s turned out to be a bit of a beast. At one point he took a drill to it because it was so tough. I’m glad he kept at it because his pumpkin turned out pretty darn cute.

Yes, that is Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. We’ve both watched the series and are completely unashamed.

By now our pumpkins are decomposing in a compost heap but it doesn’t matter. We all had a fun time picking out the pumpkins and spent a lot of time together carving them. This is what family and friends are all about.

Before & After

I’m hitting several birds with one post here. One of my Ink Rally ’12 goals is to blog more. Another is to get my office cleaned up and better suited to creative pursuits. And an ongoing goal of mine is to keep my living space in a better state so I’m chipping away at three of those and following up my last post about cleaning habits with Before & After photos. Taking befores and afters is something that the creator of UFYH strongly advocates. While it sounded well and good I usually didn’t bother. And if I did, I never posted them. Not so today! The visual progression is amazing and it really helps to show just how much I did.

The “office” is our second bedroom. It is ostensibly for our computers and awhile back I tried to make room for my art stuff. Lately it’s just become a catch all for stuff that I don’t have room for anywhere else and just feel into disarray. I didn’t get finished with it today but I sure made good progress!

On the left: husband’s desk area. I really didn’t intend to touch his stuff. Not yet, anyway. Cameo by Midna! The right is my desk and a whole lot of other crap. I knew this was going to be a long project so I made sure to set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes so I’d have a set time to work before break time. After that 20 we had this:

Ok there’s some progress, mostly with the pile of stuff under my easel. After 20 more minutes cleaning and I think lunch I ended up with this!

I did not include photos of dusting off my desk and trying to further organize it because I forgot. It was super dusty and now it’s not. I also moved some of the boxes over to the corner so that I can walk straight to my desk. One of those boxes contains a bunch of my scrapbooking stuff that I have no other way to store. One contains a bunch of notebooks and folders that I’ve been hauling around for I don’t know what reason. I’m going to tackle those another day. But basically, after just one hour total of work, I no longer feel waves of anxiety when looking in to this room.

Not bad for one day, right? But oh, there’s more. I had let the kitchen also fall into a heap with two day’s worth of dishes and some groceries that didn’t get put away. It was certainly at a “this is bugging the crap out of me” level so I decided to do something about it. Left: before I got started on anything. On the right, after 20 minutes of putting away recycling, starting dishes, and putting away a few items.

And then somehow I forgot to set a timer but going by timestamps on the photos it took me just half an hour to get to this:

Dishes: all dried and put away. Counters: sprayed down with vinegar and wiped up. Stove: wiped off. (The tin foil is there because Zelda likes to jump on the stove. We’re trying to break her of that.) Sink: scrubbed out with Bar Keeper’s Friend because every time I wash pots, pans, or skillets they leave black marks in that poor sink of mine. Also? That is not linoleum in the kitchen floor. That is the carpet I constantly lament. And there is no good place for me to leave the trashcan so it gets shuffled around depending on what I am doing in the kitchen.

I call this day a great success! I know that there are people who will read this and not understand why I think so. You know what? I’m not even going to explain myself again, just pass on a piece of advice from a friend: the worms in the backyard are there for your dining pleasure so hop to and leave me alone!

Housekeeping epiphanie

I have never been a neat person. In college and at my old desk job I tried to say that I liked to work in organized chaos. I could generally find whichever piece of paper that contained information relevant to the task at hand within… a few minutes. My monitor was usually covered in sticky notes because computerized task lists? Who has time to set those up! There would be occasional times when I’d feel like “This is IT. I need a clean space before I can do any more work.” So I’d buckle down and clean. Like the “organized chaos” excuse, that was another excuse to put off doing something. When it came to my house I kept telling myself so long as it was “cluttered” but not “filthy” aka experiments aren’t growing in the kitchen sink and everything else is at least sanitary, my house isn’t nearly as bad as some others I’ve seen, that was good enough.

Part of the problem is that I have never enjoyed cleaning. For one, I have a texture issue when it comes to stuff like dealing with drains or sink experiments and overall I don’t enjoy touching things that are dirty. Also, there’s the part where perfectionism becomes a detriment instead of an asset. I would tell myself that since I wouldn’t ever be able to keep the house perfect then why should I bother doing anything other than the minimum? And, for pretty much all of the first years of our marriage, I was the one working full time. Having to do the cleaning on top of everything else was such a huge chore that I developed an intense dislike for it. (This isn’t an open invitation to discuss the relationship I have with my husband. It’s just all part of the gig. We’re working on it.)

Even more excuses that are slightly legitimate are the problems I’ve had with headaches, whatever is wrong with my back, and whatever it is I’ve done to my knee. Those are stories of their own but I’m beginning to accept that sometimes, I just can’t do anything because of the pain and that doesn’t mean I’m a worthless person. So those couple of days that happen every once in a while where I end up not moving off the couch? That is completely OK. I can’t change the fact that I get headaches that knock me on my ass every once in a while. But these still count as excuses.

Then I got to thinking about how if my apartment is a disaster with just the two of us and at the time just two cats, what would it be like if we do manage to add another human to the household? And at the time there was the wanting of a third cat, which we did just last week when we adopted Zelda. If I think I’m drowning in laundry and dishes and cat hair now, what would happen if there’s a third person to clothe and feed!? Especially one that will undoubtedly be making messes of one sort or another for a long, long time? Something needed to change. Continue reading…

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