May 31, 2008


I know I am so absolutely going to have a girl...because I cannot stand baby clothes for girls. I am all about trucks and baseballs and turtles. I hate the flowers and butterflies.

My mother and I took a trip through the baby section today, and it's slim pickin's for a girl, especially if you don't want her to look like a tramp. Yes, even baby clothes are following this trend. I noted the following sayings on girl clothes 3-6 months today:

Spoiled Rotten
Princess With Attitude
Bling Bling

Yes, that's right: Bling Bling. On a shirt covered in diamonds and dollar signs. I mean, why don't we just go ahead and buy her the Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset and be done with it?

Ugh. I'm so having a girl.

She will wear baseballs and puppies for the first year. With one of those scrunchie bands around her head so people can tell she's a girl.

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May 30, 2008


People who write at DailyKos are hilarious.

More frequently than not, military families lean conservative because, they figure, the conservatives like pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into the military industrial complex without any sense of accountability for how those dollars are spent.

Did you know that when you join the military, you have to decide whether you're conservative or liberal? Most people decide to become conservative.

Yes, I just love all the unaccountability in the Army. It's my favorite part. I love when they pump senseless dollars into stupid ideas. That's why I'm a conservative!

Thank goodness I decided to join the party that throws money down a hole. Not like those pesky Democrats, who are completely accountable for every dollar they spend.

Yay, Republicans! Now let's see if we can get the cost of the Iraq war to equal the cost of public education! Take that, liberals!


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May 29, 2008


"Are you nervous?" my mother asked as we drove to the hospital this morning. "No," I said, "I just want to know the answer either way." I was prepared for both answers; I just wanted one of them.

When we finally got situated, which felt like it took forever, the nurse pulled up the ultrasound on a big screen.

"This is the gestational sac, where the baby lives," the nurse said. My mother got giddy and clapped her hands together like a little girl. "Hold your horses," I said wryly. "We had one of those last time, but there was nothing in it."

"This is the yolk sac, which will provide nourishment to the baby until the placenta forms," she continued.

"And this right here, this little grain of rice that's half a centimeter long, this is your baby." She zoomed in, and like magic we saw a rapidly beating heart. "That's the heart, right?" I cautiously asked.

It was. Beating 160 beats per minute. Going to town.

Everything looks good for where we're supposed to be. And happily, this is further than we got the last time.

I was kind of stunned. And so was my husband when I told him. He expected to be comforting me while I cried today; instead, I told him to get ready for his first Father's Day.

I was disappointed when she turned off the machine and made me go home; I could've watched that heartbeat all day long.

And just now I found the most wonderful sentence I've ever read on the internet:

A visible heartbeat could be seen and detectable by pulsed doppler ultrasound by about 6 weeks and is usually clearly depictable by 7 weeks. If this is observed, the probability of a continued pregnancy is better than 95 percent.

We still have a ways to go before we're out of the woods, but this is a heck of a good start.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Now that this is off my shoulders, I can get back to our regularly scheduled programming of ranting about 20 year old movies and dating advice on MSN.

And knitting. Lots of little knitting.

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May 28, 2008


I'm home from my vacation. I head to the hospital in the morning for an ultrasound to hopefully get an idea of what's going on. Tomorrow morning, something will happen that will drastically change my life, either for better or for worse.

I can't help but think that my life feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure right now.

In one storyline, we find out that the baby is dead. We have to figure out what to do next. Maybe I have to have another D&C. I'll have to find someone to go with me to the hospital if I do. And then I have to wait months to not be pregnant again. And then perhaps continue with the fertility treatments as planned. Or not, depending on whether this second failed pregnancy is another fluke or a symptom of a bigger problem. I see months of looming questions.

In the other storyline, we see a heartbeat tomorrow morning and realize all seems to be going well, despite the odds. I get excited. I take photos of myself getting bigger and fatter to send to my husband in Iraq. I write letters about kicking and ultrasounds. I sweat it out at the end of the pregnancy, hoping my husband will make it home before the baby arrives. And he returns to a new family and a lot of happiness.

I have already lived both scenarios in my mind over the past few days, and I think I've already felt all the possible emotions. I lie in bed and feel my heart racing when I start to think about it too much. One of these things is going to happen to me tomorrow.

I just don't know which one.

And honestly, the scariest thought is that something in between will happen. They won't be able to tell. The ultrasound won't be conclusive. We'll have to wait another week to know for sure. The agony of unknowing will drag on.

I don't know when I'll tell you the results. As usual, I want my husband to know before I put it on the internet, which means waiting for him to be able to contact me from Iraq. Don't call me tomorrow, because I won't answer the phone until I've talked to my husband.

One of these adventures is going to be my own tomorrow.
Sadly, I don't get much of a choice in the matter.

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May 24, 2008


My father is the oldest of 13 children, so this weekend there are 42 of us together for my grandparents' 60th anniversary. And when you have that many family members, the gene pool is big enough that you can trace family resemblances across generations and branches of the family tree. Naturally one of the favorite games is to figure out who the young kids look the most like.

This evening all of us were in church together, lining the pews in family order. I was looking around at everyone, noticing how much my little 6 year old cousin looks like the old black and white photos of my father, noticing how much the back of my uncle's head looks like my little brother's, noticing which kid looks like his mom and which like his dad. And all of a sudden, my thoughts turned to the baby inside me.

Consciously or subconsciously, I have put the baby out of my mind. I convinced myself that there was nothing to be happy about and nothing to get my hopes up for. With all the excitement of 42 people in the house, I have not thought about the baby at all, not felt pregnant, not thought myself pregnant.

But in the quiet of church, as I looked at all these kids who look like their parents and aunts and uncles, I suddenly wanted a baby that looks like my husband. And like a flash, I remembered that a baby is inside of me now. And I wanted it to be alive so badly.

I started weeping silently in church.

Luckily my mother handed me a kleenex. And extra-luckily, the kleenex had a chewed up piece of gum in it. That made me giggle and helped me calm down.

And then the vocalist began a special song for Memorial Day.

I had never heard the song "More Than A Name On The Wall" before, and it hit me hard. Especially this part:

She said, "He really missed the family, being home on Christmas Day
And he died for God and country in a place so far away
I remember just a little boy, playing war since he was three
And Lord this time I know, he's not coming home to me."

My thoughts turned to Debey and her Gunnar, and I realized how stupidly selfish I was feeling. I was spending my Memorial Day service feeling sorry for myself. It was the reality check I needed. I stopped my silly crying and focused my thoughts to where they belong this weekend, to Gunnar and Sean and all the others like them who deserve to be memorialized.

I won't make the same mistake the rest of the weekend.

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May 22, 2008


Dear Husband,

Something is fishy with my grandma's internet. Every time I try to email you, it gets an "internal error" and shuts down. So I can't write to you, but you could write to me. I can still read email, just not send it.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,

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I hope you read this. I am at my grandma's house on her dial-up, but every time I try to send you an email, the computer gets an "internal error" and kicks me off the internet. So I can't write to you, but if you write to me, I can read emails. Just not write them. I don't get it either.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,

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May 21, 2008


I am heading to my grandparents' for the long weekend. I am leaving my warm weather and heading north. Too north. I am also leaving my internet connection, so I doubt there will be much posting for the next week. Hopefully there will at least be sustained contact with the husband.

As always, don't have too much fun without me.

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May 20, 2008


For the longest time, Notes From the Olive Garden was missing in cyberspace. I could read that thing a hundred times and still want to read it again. I missed it. There was a gap in the internet that hurt my heart.

I missed it tonight and went searching again. Found it, reproduced elsewhere.


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So I've been in season finale heaven this week, with all sorts of major characters dying and stuff. It's been a wild ride, and letters to my husband have been filled with synopses of shows because I'm a dork like that.

But I watched the finale of House, and what was the deal with the extremely conspicuous Obama bumper sticker on the hospital bathroom wall? How out of place and jarring was that? I mean, come on with the agenda.

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Ruth emailed me and reminded me of the origin of my name, that Abraham's wife also had trouble conceiving.
She cracked me up.
Please Lord, do not make me wait until I am 90 to have a baby.

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Mare noticed my previous post and sent me another crap MSN article. Oh no, it's on.

Things a Man Should Never Do in the Company of a Woman

Reveal how much your car cost.
-- In my husband's case, it would be how little his car cost, since he prides himself in small car payments. And also how low the mileage is: we have a six-year-old car with 45,000 miles on it.

Clean your gun.
-- Not even. This is hot. You should definitely do this in front of me.

Polish high school trophies (which you still have displayed).
-- OK, this one is lame. But how many people are doing this? Oh wait, hang on, I fall into this category. I still proudly display an award I received when I ran high school track because it was an award for the person who put out the most effort despite being handicapped by a natural inability to run fast. I worked my tail off on that track to be good, and I had no God-given talent to rely on. That award is important to me. If my husband had something like that, you can darn well believe that I'd let him keep it and polish it whenever he wanted to.

Refer to your mother as your best friend.
-- Isn't it a good thing for a guy to love his mother?

-- My husband doesn't do this really, but sometimes he does quote rap songs as if he's quoting Mark Twain or Socrates, and it is hilarious when he does it.

Check out our assistant/roommate/the baby-sitter.
-- The last time my husband came home from Iraq, he had spent 13 months without seeing a woman. (He was on an all-male combat arms FOB.) He stared like crazy when he got home, not out of disrespect for me but because it was such a novelty. It didn't bother me in the least.

Question our footwear.
-- I've had my husband question my footwear. You know, when I was wearing inappropriate footwear. He's no dummy; he knows that cute little sandals are gonna hurt like hell after lots of walking.

Blow-dry your hair.
-- High and tight. No need for this one. I think my dad blow dries his hair in the winter sometimes. I dare anyone to say my dad isn't manly enough.

Tip less than 20 percent.
-- My husband is fine in this department. I'm the one who's Mr. Pink.

Celebrity impressions.
-- His Cartman and Slingblade make me laugh.

Impressions of us.
-- So does his impression of me. I sound an awful lot like Glenn Beck's wife, and it makes me crack up. Gosh, I wish I could hear him do it now.

Forget to carry cash.
-- What a dumb addition to this list.

Flip it, flop it, swing it around, tug on it, adjust it, scratch it, or do anything that will remind us that it's just a goofy appendage and not a mystical source of pleasure and satisfaction.
-- Weird.

-- He doesn't have one. He has an old PS2 and old games from 2002, because he made a pimp decision.

Boot and rally.
-- I have no idea what this means.

Scream—at the dog, at the guy who just stole your parking spot, at Bill Belichick. Because, no matter how much Belichick deserves it (cheater!), when we hear you raise your voice, we have an idea of what we're in for.
-- My husband does have a tendency to shout at the TV, but I'm getting used to it. And if that's his only fault, then I can live with it.

Talk about former exploits. Ever.
-- Not a problem in our house.

Use the words bitch, slut, tramp, or whore, unless referring to another man.
-- He uses them when they're approproately funny. Sometimes about women. Deal with it.

Tell us you're going to kiss us. (Just get on with it!)
-- Had to throw in something cutesy there, right? Just to offset all the carping, bitchy other things you put in the rest of the list.

I thought I'd try, in Rachel Lucas fashion, to come up with a list of things women shouldn't do in front of men. But the whole concept is just dumb. Let men be men and women be women. If you like hanging out together, then you like the whole package. Why on earth do you want to be with a man who is reprogrammed to act like a woman? There is not a thing I can think of that my husband can't do in front of me, farting included. And there is not a thing he can say to his buddies that he can't say in front of me. Because I love him and I love everything about him. He doesn't need to hide part of his personality so I will stay with him.

He's perfect just the way he is.

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I almost passed this off as not worth my time, but I can't let it go. I read this dumb list of 18 things a grown man shouldn't have. Most of them I can agree with and my husband doesn't do. Some are things I actually do, like quote The Big Lebowski. But the kicker is the beer one: "Any beer that costs less than $20 a case."

First of all, part of being a grown up is realizing what you like and not buying something more expensive just so you can look cool. My husband doesn't have to drink with the label out, so he buys what he likes or he buys what's on sale. And he takes the money he saved that way and invests it in his retirement fund. That is definitely one thing a grown man should have.

Second of all, time and time again blind taste tests show that people don't know their favorite beer from a hole in the ground.

Blind Beer Recognition: The Quaffer's Nightmare
Booze You Can Use

One quote from that Slate taste test says it all:

In addition to saying which beers they preferred, the tasters were asked to estimate whether the beers were expensive or not--in effect, to judge whether other people would like and be impressed by the beers. One taster perfectly understood the intention of this measure when he said, in comments about Beer B (Heineken), "I don't like it, but I bet it's what the snobs buy."

And doing something just because you think it's socially acceptable or because you think others will regard you highly for it, that is not at all something a grown man should do.

A grown man is comfortable in his own skin. He will drink Pabst in public.

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May 19, 2008


I've had several people from my high school find my site, but that's because they were googling something local that I had written about. But only twice, as far as I know, have people from my real life found me by coincidence via other blogs. The first time was right when I started blogging, when a friend found me via LT Smash (hi, Oda Mae!) And today, my husband's former ROTC instructor found me via FbL's post at Castle Argghhh and realized he just might know this Sarah in real life.

So the first time he comes here, what is there to see? Lots of baby posts, an ode to buttons, an Emily Dickinson poem, and a liveblog of Rambo, for pete's sake. How embarrassing.

I really need to get some higher quality stuff up here pronto.

I promise, I wrote about Machiavelli over at SpouseBUZZ the other day. I'm not a complete mommyblogger moron who looks at shiny buttons all day long.

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Greyhawk has a good post about how two-faced the Democrats are. Senator Harkin flipped out four years ago because Bush/Cheney didn't have enough military experience and John Kerry did, but now that the Republican nominee has way more military experience than the Dem candidates, now Harkin says that too much military service is a bad thing.

For heaven's sake. Someone needs to remind these people that teh internets keep copies of their old statements.

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Obama says this about his chances in Kentucky:

"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."

No, this is not a made-up quote from The Onion. He actually believes this, apparently. Problem is, a quick glance at a U.S. map reveals that Illinois actually borders Kentucky and is clearly closer than Arkansas. Illinois is also closer to West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Obama has been scaring me with these frankly Bushian statements for months, and this one is a whooper.

One quick quibble: Obama is from Chicago, not Illinois. To anyone from that state, that distinction is obvious. Chicago doesn't border Kentucky, so why on earth would he care if the southern rednecky part of Illinois touched rednecky Kentucky? Come on, Kentucky is way more like Arkansas than Chicago. Everyone knows this, right? That's where all the bitter gun nuts and Jesus freaks are. Saying so isn't elitist or condescending at all.


"Some of those states in the middle." Excuse me while I barf.

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May 18, 2008


I heard a joke the other day. It seems that Bush and the Pope were fishing when the Pope's hat flew off. One of the secret service agents was getting ready to dive into the water to retrieve the hat when Bush stopped him. Bush calmly got out of the boat, walked on the water and retrieved the Pope's hat. The Pope was inpressed. The next day's headline in the NYT was "Bush Can't Swim."

Remember when they ran this headline: "As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch"? Now that's spin. There's something remarkable about being able to take something so positive and twist it into a negative.

Apparently they just did it to McCain too. I am speechless:

There is a feeling among some of McCainÂ’s fellow veterans that his break with them on Iraq can be traced, at least partly, to his markedly different experience in Vietnam. McCainÂ’s comrades in the Senate will not talk about this publicly. They are wary of seeming to denigrate McCainÂ’s service, marked by his legendary endurance in a Hanoi prison camp, when in fact they remain, to this day, in awe of it. And yet in private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.

McCain doesn't understand Vietnam because he spent the whole time being beaten and locked up in a tiger cage instead of celebrating Christmas in Cambodia with a magical hat.

You have to be effing kidding me.

Not all of McCain’s fellow veterans subscribe to the theory [...] But some suspect that whatever lesson McCain took away from his time in Vietnam, it was not the one that stayed with his colleagues who were “in country” during those years — that some wars simply can’t be won on the battlefield, no matter how long you fight them, no matter how many soldiers you send there to die.

Oh gosh, John McCain learned the wrong things in Vietnam. See, we all had this life changing experience that was supposed to make us hate war and hate the US. But John McCain won't play by the rules. He was too busy being locked up with people who took their oaths seriously, who bolstered each other and knew that their countrymen were looking for them and would rescue them someday. He was too busy refusing the Vietcong's offer to release him. And he was too busy saluting the flag, a makeshift flag that Mike Christian sewed out of handkerchiefs, despite the massive beating he got for doing it.

Poor John McCain...he learned to love his country during Vietnam instead of hating it.

What a stupid man.

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May 17, 2008


I posted yesterday at 4:15; the nurse finally ended up calling me at, no joke, 4:29.
The news is bad.
Bad enough that I have to go to the emergency clinic on Sunday to get tested again.
Bad enough that she told me to expect bleeding at any time.
We could use a miracle right about now.

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May 16, 2008


No one answered my calls today or called me back.
I don't know my test results.
And now it's the weekend.
I am livid.

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Time is moving like molasses this morning.

I have to wait until noon again to get my bloodwork done. I hear the clock ticking in the silent house and I can't concentrate on anything else.

Will the numbers be high enough? Will they not? I thought I could handle another dead baby, since I've done it once before, but until yesterday I didn't realize just how devastating that would feel again.

I don't feel pregnant this morning. I feel like my body has already given up.

Last night I went out and bought baby clothes, just to try to feel normal.

I am going to the hospital and then I'm not coming home. My dear friend has invited Charlie and me to spend the night at her family's house. A sleepover of sorts. It seems so silly, but she insisted that I not be alone.

She loves Hot Fuzz; me too. Maybe we can watch.

Please don't let the baby be dead.

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