Precious.

A few things of note:

1) If you are a female who was between the ages of seven and thirteen in 1993, with access to Disney movies, I am willing to bet you’ve seen and adored Hocus Pocus.  Why do I limit this to females, when obviously boys also loved that movie (if I may use my two brothers as an adequate sample size)?  Two words: Thackery Binx.  I could not get enough of that adorable, three-hundred-year-old Puritan ghost, especially when he was in cat form and still mourning his little sister.  So cute.  I am just crazy enough to almost believe I have my very own Thackery Binx living at my house.

His name is Huckleberry Finn and I am obsessed with him.  He is the cutest, cuddliest, most human animal I have ever known.  Truthfully, this isn’t even the best picture of him and he is still the cutest.  I just thought you should know so that you can stop thinking your pets are the most adorable.

2) The husband and I are notorious for being “too good” or “too busy” or “too discerning” for many popular shows, only to “discover” them via Hulu or NetFlix and then spend entire weekends catching up on them and proclaiming our love for them for all eternity (which quickly leads to shaming people who, like us just days before, don’t watch or care about said shows).  This happened with Community and is currently happening with Breaking Bad.  We cannot get enough.  I was having a terrible day on Monday and immediately brightened when I got this in a text message from my husband:

Breaking so good.

3) Chin skin update: At this moment, I have zero active pimples on my face.  Because I have just typed that sentence, therefore throwing my contentment into the Universe, I will wake up tomorrow morning with at least one.  I will.  However, I’m currently reveling in my zitlessness.  When faced (no pun intended!) with this development, a normal person would think, “Maybe, two months past Clomid, my hormones are starting to regulate?”  However, not being a normal person, my first thought is, “Maybe this means I’m pregnant!”  Sure.

Despite the fact that my face is not actively erupting, I’m still riddled with the angry red scars of pimples months past, because post-Accutane, I scar really easily and pretty deeply.  The proof is in the following photos.  In the interest of full-disclosure, the angle of these pictures is really misleading: my neck is not that small and my upper lip is not nearly that big (in case you were curious).

4) This is a gratuitous photo of my husband cleaning his precious French press while prepping the kitchen for full-scale starch preparations on Thanksgiving.  There’s something so hilarious/attractive about how he is the one barefoot in the kitchen in our relationship.

The Lucky Few.

On Monday night, I had a Masters thesis meltdown over a new tidbit of information I heard from a friend in the program and yesterday I stormed the anthropology lab on campus, a place I only go now if there’s something wrong, despite the fact that I used to practically live there.  I have such a reputation for insanity in the program now that when one of the other, younger grad students opened the door and saw me sitting inside, she burst into hysterical laughter and asked me what was enraging me.  Answer: thesis proposal approval stonewalling (or, rather, a complete lack of interest in approving my proposal, which has been complete since May).  That is no longer a problem, however, because I am the squeakiest of wheels and got everything I’d been trying to get accomplished all quarter accomplished in fifteen minutes last night simply by being a hugely obnoxious asshole.  Sarah: 1.  Grad school blackhole: 0.  Perhaps this is why people become hugely obnoxious assholes?

Before my fits of rage yesterday, I did some “no period for the rest of time” internet research and stumbled upon “post pill amenorrhea,” which I assume is the grown-up way to say “no period for the rest of time.”  Apparently, to be officially suffering from post pill amenorrhea, you must have no periods for six months after stopping hormonal birth control.  I finished my last birth control foil packet the last week of April and it is now almost December, so I am going to assume I fit quite nicely into the “PPA” diagnosis.  (Yes, I just diagnosed myself using information I gleaned from fitbottomedmamas.com.  I’m a doctor now.  Didn’t you know?)  I know I technically had two periods in those seven months, but they were both products of progesterone, which is supposed to jump-start regularity anyway, and we all now how well that worked out.

Less than 1% of women experience PPA (which is an acronym I think I just made up).  The lucky few, eh?

Fail.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, when I started my Masters program, I began panicking about how to make the degree worth it and where I would be in five years and how to ever afford to buy a house and pay off loans and have the kind of (totally reasonable) life I want to have.  This continued until around May this year, when I got off birth control, got my teaching job back and decided to just live my life and take things one step at a time (with step one being getting my thesis proposal approved), as opposed to trying to do everything at the same time in an effort to accomplish every goal by the time I turn 30 (be debt free, find the perfect place to live, own a house, have kids, etc).

I’ve been okay with this.  I remind myself that I am only 26 and that life is long.

Until, of course, I have lunches with friends who are about to graduate medical school and start their residency and then I feel like a total failure, despite the fact that I’ve known my whole life that I don’t want to be a doctor.

What I’d really like is stability and the promise of someday making more money.  A girl can dream.

In happier news, Fertile Myrtle was back in town this past week for Thanksgiving and we took my fake niece to Disneyland.  It goes without saying that that was the cutest thing I’ve ever done.

This photo was taken immediately after she said “I like your hat!” very matter-of-factly to the woman in the background.

I also learned that Myrtle is pregnant with another girl, which is super exciting.  I will have a friend who has daughterS, which freaks me out.  I am officially an old person.

Myrtle told me I should pick a random day of the month (like, say, ASAP, because everyone is getting anxious about the contents of my uterus) and take a pregnancy test on that day each month.  This seems to be an intelligent plan, considering I am apparently never going to get a period again and I have friends who got pregnant without having cycles and I should just do that for peace of mind until I can figure out what to do about my doctor situation.*  I was going to implement this plan this weekend, until I found myself at the local grocery store, staring at a wall of pregnancy tests locked in plastic anti-theft boxes.  I am a grown woman and could not stand the thought of one of the teenage male cashiers having to wrestle with the plastic box to sell me a test.  No thank you.

I’ll get some tomorrow.

*The doctor situation: The OBGYN who has been overseeing all my Provera/Clomid/blood test/no menstrual cycle craziness is a woman I started seeing in June at the recommendation of my aunt, who just recently suffered (non-life threatening, but still pretty horrible) complications at the hands of this doctor during a routine surgery.  My aunt and I have different last names and look nothing alike and I’m pretty sure this doctor doesn’t remember my namedropping my aunt at our first consultation, but I feel really uncomfortable with the situation as it stands and am in the market for another OBGYN.  Thus, I have been making zero progress on the baby train as I try to secure another doctor.  Joy.

Giving Thanks.

After Thanksgiving dinner tonight, my grandpa pulled me aside and palmed me a check for $200, because I made the mistake a few weeks ago of telling him I was happy to be working again so that I could pay off debts I incurred during grad school.  I should know by now never to even hint at using money to pay for things.  I tried to give it back to him, but he refused.  He told me to take the gift because “my window is closing and yours is just opening.”  It was at this point that I escaped upstairs and lost my shit in a locked bathroom, overwhelmed with the kindness of my grandparents and my incredible luck to have them in my life.

I have no words for how much I love them or how grateful I am for all they have given me (my only trips out of the country pre-honeymoon, my first car, oh and the twenty-six years of hilarious, constant, unwavering support and encouragement) and there are times, like tonight, when it hits me that this is not only hugely rare, but that it is also not forever.  I will not always have these people to tell dirty jokes with and drink Long Island iced teas with and tell stories to and ask advice from.  This is, among other things, one of the reasons I decided to start trying to have a baby much earlier than I ever thought I would – I need my children to know my favorite people in the world.  Hopefully, some of their excellence will rub off on the babies.

Thank you, Universe, for giving me such remarkable role models.  I am forever grateful.

A Picture of Dorian Dave, my 79-year-old, totally ageless, grandfather.

Mensch.

Today in What It’s Like To Be The Youngest Female In A Family Of Jewish Matriarchs:

3:49 pm: I call my great aunt, this year’s holiday host, and leave a message about my mother-in-law coming to our Thanksgiving feast.  I ask her to call me back whenever she can just to confirm and mention getting Baja Fresh together sometime soon.

6:16 pm: I miss a call from my great aunt.

6:19 pm: I miss another call from my great aunt.

(I am watching the first episode of “Pramface” on Hulu and decompressing from work and I figure I will call her back when it’s over.)

6:21 pm: I miss a call from my mother.

7:31 pm: I miss a call from great aunt #2.

8:50 pm: I purposely ignore a phone call from my parents’ home number.

8:51 pm: My mother calls my husband.  He answers, thus ending the panic.  Had he not, I probably could have also missed a call from my grandparents.

9:05 pm: My husband hands his phone to me, after discussing my family’s various ailments and tragedies with my mom for twenty minutes.  I gleefully admit to my mother that I ignored them all intentionally to see how many family members would get eventually get involved (grand total: 6, including my husband and my grandparents, who apparently called my mother after receiving a call from my great aunt).  She tells me to enjoy getting hassled because I’m incredibly lucky to have great aunts who can call me in the first place.

She’s absolutely right and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  However, they’re all still totally insane.

Great aunt #1, master of the phone tree, with the husband and me years (and many bad clothing calls) ago, at my youngest brother’s bar mitzvah.

Also insane: I am currently on day six of random waves of nausea coupled by digestive problems and hip joint pain.  Apparently, I am the queen of hysterical pregnancies.  I’ll be on my fainting couch if you need me, fanning myself and loosening my stays.  You know, because I’m such a hysterical, emotionally fragile woman.

.

I know this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I was once a thirteen-year-old girl.  And when I was thirteen, I once stood in line at Longs Drugs in my hometown in front of Stacey Dash, from the movie Clueless.  And it was one of the coolest things that had ever happened to me.  I trotted that sighting out in conversations for several years, until I saw Burt Reynolds drive down my street in a giant red truck, at which point I never told the Stacey Dash story again (until now, obviously).

This person is ageless.

When I grew up and moved to west LA for college (never to leave again, apparently), I quickly accumulated many, many more celebrity sightings, especially after I started working retail jobs to get myself through school.  I sold a stack of books to Tommy Lee Jones, had a twenty minute conversation about the history of television with Art Linkletter, and sold $60 Little Giraffe receiving blankets to people like Mark Wahlberg and Tori Spelling.

This history is why I am a totally cool person and why I am completely unfazed by what I did last night: namely, I found myself at the taping for The Voice’s Top 12 Live eliminations and ended up bonding with this person

This is Elisabeth Harnois. You don’t know her name, but she’s been in everything. Trust.

over how gorgeous Adam Levine is (despite how small he is.  He is so small.  Why is he so irresistible?  Oh, yes.  This.), as I completely ignored what was happening on the stage and instead just stared at him like an insane person for an hour.

Talking to a TV actress about how good looking a musician is while being in the physical presence of said musician?  Right.  Like I would care.  I once saw Mischa Barton stumble out of a food court bathroom at a mall.

(P.S.: See?  I don’t need to be pregnant to have adventures.  I am just fine, thank you very much.)

House Arrest.

Things I was planning on doing today:

1) Going grocery shopping for food because I am tired of eating baby carrots and ranch dressing;

2) Taking the dog for an epic walk in the beautiful, windy autumn weather;

3) Heading up to visit my parents and my youngest brother because my husband is working today and I’m all alone and our house is freezing and I thought I could finagle a free trip to the movie theater to see “Skyfall” with my dad.

Things I am actually doing today:

1) Eating baby carrots and ranch dressing and folding laundry by myself, as I discovered, after I’d gotten ready to leave and was standing at the front door with the dog all prepped for a car trip, that I left both her leash and my house/car keys in my husband’s car after our hike yesterday.  I’m trapped!  I am currently the embodiment of the old cliche “all dressed up and nowhere to go.”  I can’t even walk over to the market because I don’t have house keys and am too paranoid to leave the front door unlocked for a half hour.  The worst part?  I straightened my hair, which will be a complete waste of time and anguish when I just have to wash it tonight before work in the morning.

And now you all know that the only way I will ever fold laundry is if I find myself on accidental house arrest over a holiday weekend.

In all seriousness, complaining about having a (Veteran’s) day free to do all the things around the house that I’m usually too busy or exhausted to do makes me feel like this:

Librarium.

My husband is a children’s librarian, a freelance graphic designer and one of the most creative people I’ve ever known.  I so envy his ability to write, draw, analyze and problem solve.  He can take any task given to him (organization, design, editing, presentation, etc.  The list is infinite) and make it astounding.  His ultimate goal is to write and illustrate children’s books, and I know with more certainty than I’ve ever known anything that he will accomplish that goal.  He’s just that awesome.

The library (or, as normal people call it, “the second bedroom”).

He’s also a hoarder.  Of literature.  And literature accoutrements.  That photo up there is of but one wall of the second bedroom.  I’ve also not included photos of the book shelves in our bedroom, living room or garage.  (The garage has a six foot tall shelf devoted almost entirely to cookbooks.)  On Friday night, my husband came home from work with a “surprise” – a bona fide, four-shelf  library cart, the color of something you’d see in a sanitarium.

The cart. Already in use.

It is a dream realized for him to have a library cart in his house – I think because someday we both hope to have a library big enough to require one.  I told him it would make a fabulous book display if he’d let me paint it.  He said yes and we all lived happily ever after.  (I actually really love it.  However, in a bungalow house that is, according to Zillow.com, 781 square feet, we are already packed to the gills.  I have no idea where we’re going to store a legit library cart.)

In an effort to make this weekend a weekend of dream fulfillment, we finally made it out to a hiking trail near our house I discovered by accident about a year ago (and by accident I mean I got lost and stumbled across it).  We brought the dog with us and had a fabulous time.  I grew up within walking distance to a Santa Monica Mountain trailhead, so the landscape is very near to my heart.  We’re going to try to make it a weekly tradition.

The trail’s highest point, looking out over the San Fernando Valley. The only time I’ve ever thought the Valley looked awesome.

So gorgeous.

We were out for about an hour and a half and it was really beautiful.  However, right now, my body feels like it is shredded.  I guess going from zero physical activity to 90 minute power hike through the mountains can do that to a person.

Finally, I want to apologize for making this more of a personal blog and less of a conception blog.  Hopefully I’m still interesting.  There’s just not much to discuss in terms of baby making at the moment, aside from the fact that I have still yet to get a period and am still intermittently cramping.  That makes about two months since my last Provera-induced period and Clomid ovulation.  I can’t decide if taking a pregnancy test would ease my nerves or just make me feel really broken and stupid when it came out negative.  And, actually, I’m kinda enjoying not worrying about it for a little while.  This is what I wanted it to be before my doctor and I immediately jumped to the medication.

Unfortunately, this never-knowing thing feeds into what has become my biggest fear: that I’ll end up having a baby on the toilet because I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.

Picsplosion.

For someone who generally does nothing, I’ve had a fairly eventful week.

I visited a baby,

Please excuse my insane monster hand. I don’t understand.

I carved some pumpkins (currently rotting into hilarious faces),

I held a presidential election Tuesday morning with the kids in my class (and they are psychics),

and, despite having the worst day on record at the school and spending seven and a half hours yelling at everyone, I managed to inspire this painting today:

Oh, also this:

Rebel.

For some reason, I’ve felt much more uncomfortable posting about our dog issues than I’ve felt about discussing the functioning of my internal organs on the internet.  I think it’s because it definitely invites judgment and for all my big talk, I mostly just always want to make people like me.  However, as long as I’m being controversial,

I am such a rebel.

In other, less-political, more-baby-making news, I have had cramps on and off for the last three or four days and have held out hope that my body was bracing for my first period post-Clomid (and without Provera at that!) and alas, there has been nothing.   There has been progress in the “making a decision on birth control” department: I’m not going back on the pill and we’re not going to use any other protection.  I will just own my crazy skin and never drink again and will keep taking all my vitamins.  If nothing happens before spring 2013 (spoiler alert: it won’t), I’ll do another round or two of Clomid. Ultimately, I think that using this time to try to figure out what the underlying problem is might be beneficial to both my insanity and my physical health.  Also, I’m just really curious.

I’m hoping to see my doctor next week for another blood test and to convince her that an ultrasound is a good idea.

Lastly, I’m heading to Newport Beach tomorrow afternoon to visit with my friend A and her now two-month-old baby.  I’m hoping to steal all of her Hypnobaby material so that I can finally post all about it.