Thursday, January 22, 2009

kiss the boys

i mean hit the boys.

so summer is in a playgroup that is overwhelmingly male-dominated. poor little summer, right? wrong. poor little boys. we found out today that summer is a hitter. for further notice to the moms in this group, she's also a biter and a scratcher. basically, she's a 14-month-old version of uma thurman in kill bill.

parents 'round the world, you'd better keep a watchful eye on those sons of yours. in about 20 years, summer is going to find one of them, beat him over the head with a club, drag him home by the ear, and force him to be her slave.

just like her mother did.

(Oh-oh here she comes) Watch out boy she'll chew you up
(Oh-oh here she comes) She's a maneater

Listen to the song.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the birds and the bees

houston, we have a problem
“mommy, where do babies come from?”

“well, honey, when a man and woman love each other very much, they meet together with a team of highly specialized medical personnel. mommy takes drugs and has shots so that her follicles and eggs will grow big and strong. then daddy’s sperm is washed in a centrifuge, leaving only the bestest and fastest sperms behind. and finally, when the timing is *just* right, a nice doctor or nurse uses years of expert training – along with a hefty dose of luck -- to bring daddy’s sperm and mommy’s eggs together. poof! baby conceived.”

for the uninitiated, this is not the prelude to ethan hawke’s sci-fi thriller, gattica, it’s what happens when plan A fails. trust me, ye ol’ fashioned baby-making is much more fun.

bryan loves the image of 23 year old emily sitting in the waiting room of the fertility clinic before a surgery, surrounded by women in their late 30s to early 40s. her hair is spiked. she’s in her pajamas. she’s chewing bubbalicious bubble gum. and yes, she’s slouching in her chair and playing tetris on her nintendo ds. doesn’t seem quite right, does it? that’s because, people, 23 year olds do not belong in fertility clinics. they belong at home happily childless, easily impregnated or patiently waiting. but as none of these were me, there in the waiting room i sat.

to put our situation in perspective, the average couple who employs no timing or other fertility-enhancement techniques beyond simply avoiding contraception, has a 20% chance of conceiving during any given cycle. by contrast, bryan’s and my odds had been whittled down to a not utterly hopeless 4% -- and that’s with medical intervention. on our own, we were much closer to a big, fat zero.

nevertheless, after two years of “trying,” one year of “testing,” and four rounds of “treatment,” our dear baby summer finally found her way home.

look ma, no hands!
so imagine my surprise when not but one lunar cycle after my post-pregnancy, post-breastfeeding return to womanhood, i’m staring at two (count ‘em!) two pink lines! now, i know what a negative test looks like, having seen more than my share of them, and if it’s negative, there ain’t no way you’re going to see a second line. not even if you squint and stare r.e.a.l.l.y hard.

still, i found myself looking at that line and wondering if it wasn’t a mistake. shouldn’t it be darker? could i still have hcg in my system from, oh, a year ago? maybe it was something i ate? poppy seeds, perhaps? whatever the mystery reason for this purported positive test, it couldn’t be a baby. bryan and i are talented and successful in a lot of ways, making babies isn’t one of them.

to punish me for my unbelief, i was smitten with an unfortunately familiar two months of debilitating nausea. now, when I say “debilitating,” i mean curled-in-a-ball, can’t-get-out-of-bed, don’t-even-wear-pants, living-with-my-mom, this-is-my-last-baby kind of debilitating.

clinicians refer to the condition as hyperemesis gravidarum, whilst sufferers are more likely to use the street name “tenth circle of hell.” usually managed by zofran, phenergan, pills, suppositories, IVs, etc., such drugs in all their various forms proved ineffective in my case, and i was therefore left to mine own devices (i.e. misery and endless wo). for those unlucky women who do not get to experience this particular joy of pregnancy, here is a sample:

at the emergency room for IV fluids. 12 weeks, 100 pounds.
that look on my face? it says: ABSTINENCE FOR ALL!

que sera, sera
miraculously, the baby fetus and i are beginning to emerge from the life-sucking clutches of the first trimester, and i hope to soon be a functioning member of society once again. baby fetus has been a real trooper, draining any and all nutrients from my body and continuing to develop healthy and strong.

but even amidst the confusion and illness, bryan and i are thrilled to be welcoming the newest member of the wheeler family circus. the greatest show on earth.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

are you my mother?

summer and i have been extending our vacation from the floods back home and staying the past couple weeks with my parents in alabama. while we have been here, however, an interesting change has come over summer, and she has decided to choose for herself a new mother: the mere-de-mere. but frankly, i don't blame her. as far as moms go, mine is boss, and given the opportunity, i'd probably make the switch, too.

the following is a taste of summer's recent attachment: her daily fit as my mother leaves for work in the morning (keep in mind the real mother is still in the room).

there was a time i thought she would only screech like that for me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Isle of Duvall

Another year, another record flood, or so the saying goes in Seattle's far east side.To help me cope, I've developed my own scale for measuring floods that ranges from 1-4. The calculation is rather straightforward: simply count how many land routes out of Duvall are currently closed. This flood's currently a 4/4.

Rather understated...

Top pane - route 1, bottom right pane - route 2

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2008: It's all about you.

Oh no! A post without a photo. Let's face it... we spent the entirety of 2008 talking about us (117 posts to be precise). Let's start off the new year talking a little about you (in aggregate, that is). For the year of 2008, Google Analytics tells us the following information about visitors to
  • Page views: 10221
  • Unique visitors: 1588*
  • Visitor locations: 38 countries/45 states

Pouring through the data, we've noticed some interesting habits. For example, many of you prefer to check the blog on Mondays. Also, if we don't write at least once a week, you lose interest. Publish or perish, right?

Top referrers

At this time, I'd like to give a shout out to our top 3 referring sites for 2008:

Many of you just barely missed a spot in the top 3. For 2009, however, we'll be offering a prize to the top 3 referring sites, so hang in there.

Popular pages

Here's a list of our most popular stories based on a variety of highly objective popularity criteria:

*If this number seems dubious, that's because it is. Google tracks unique visitors based on cookies. Thus, if you access our blog from work, from the airport kiosk, and from two different browsers at home, you'll be counted as 4 unique users. Thus, I'd estimate the real number to be anywhere from 1 (hi Scott) to 500.