January 07, 2013


I will spend the month of February at Walter Reed doing IVF.  Wish me luck.

Can you believe BabyGrok turns 3 in a few weeks?

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August 09, 2012


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December 19, 2011


The last thing I had time for was baking a cake, but dictators croak on their own schedule.  So I baked a butterscotch Hennessy cake today.  Too bad you'll never taste your favorite booze again, Kim.  We'll enjoy it for you though.

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October 12, 2011


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April 19, 2011


Yesterday was Charlie Pup's sixth birthday.  Who would've thought that little sweet potato we picked out of the litter would grow to be such a silly mess?  We do love him so.

He has proven so good with Baby Grok, better than I could've hoped for.  Her new favorite activity is to bring things to him.  She brings him things all day long.  But when he takes them from her, the game is over...so she is constantly taking toys and treats away from him so that she can give them to him again!  The dog is a saint: he will let her take bones out of his mouth, just so she can hand it to him again.  She also taunts him with her food constantly, but he never steals it from her grubby little hands.

He's not our baby anymore, as anyone who's had a pet discovers when they have a child...but he's our beloved doggy and an important member of our little family.

Happy Birthday, Charlie!  Sorry your new toy keeps getting snatched away...

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April 05, 2010


I am knitting and watching Krauthammer.
I just wanted to document it because two weeks ago, I really and truly thought that part of my life was over.  I thought "me time" was a thing of the past.
I am figuring this out.  And baby is a napper, which is great.

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March 31, 2010


P.S.  I must be doing something wrong, because we've been using Mylicon and gripe water, and it doesn't seem to help.  Or her gas would be phenomenally worse without the two products...

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March 18, 2010


Quick, before she wakes up from her nap!

I haven't read a news site, watched a news program, or followed any current event at all this whole month.  A few days ago, I asked my husband, "Is Corey Haim dead or something?"

I want to get back to my hobby, but it's just so low on the totem pole.  But I do need to get back to at least reading the news.

And maybe once I know what's going on, I might have something to say here.  In between feedings.

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March 06, 2010


I'm still going to finish that blog post that got lost -- I started rewriting it and got sidetracked nine hours ago -- but I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing much better tonight.  My fantastic husband took the baby all afternoon and let me take a long nap and do my sitz bath.  The two of them drank beer and watched The Godfather all afternoon, which is so adorable.  He knew I needed a break, and didn't even ask; he just disappeared with her and let me be alone for a while.  I appreciate it so much.

I am feeling much better and ready to face another sleepless night.

And as requested...a photo with cute feet.

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March 05, 2010


I don't mind sharing the baby's name with people, but I just don't want to post it publicly.  If you want to know, shoot me an email at tryingtogrok at hotmail and I will let you know.

When I find time.  Which has proven to be phenomenally hard so far.  I haven't even found the time in two whole days to take a sitz bath -- something I desperately want to do -- because I feel like I am constantly starting or ending a feeding.  I haven't taken a single nap.  And most days I forget to take my medicines too.

This is chaos.  I am still figuring it out.

Has anything happened in the world?  Baby watched O'Reilly with my mom last night, so she's more up to date on current events than I am at this point.

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February 24, 2010


When my husband has been home for a while, I get used to sleeping with him. I can sleep through his movements and even his early departures. But I'm not used to him yet, so his 6 AM wake-up is now mine.  Fortunately, I'm not having any of the insomnia problems that I had when he returned last year.  I pretty much want to sleep when he wants to sleep.  But I'd just like to sleep a little longer in the morning while I still can.

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February 20, 2010


My husband laughs when he touches my belly.

I stayed in bed until the very end.  He was supposed to arrive late Thursday night but ended up here Friday morning instead.  I passed many excruciating Hours In Between dreaming crazy things like that his flight had been diverted to Cincinnati or that he had to hitch a ride on Noah's Ark to get home.

When I saw him, I thought his beard looked a lot nicer in person than in pictures.  He thought my belly was much smaller than he imagined it would be.

He likes getting kicked.  But he says he's ready to meet our baby on the outside already.

I got out of bed after two weeks, and my legs are weak.  The baby also seems a lot bigger and heavier than she did previously.  I can't believe how much she's grown while I was just lying there.

And I now officially understand lightning crotch.  I wish I didn't.

But I promise I won't complain.  I got everything I wanted: a healthy baby, a safe deployment, and my family all together again before baby arrives.

I will remind myself of that when my legs go numb with pain.

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February 18, 2010


FYI: Tick Tock
I only have to hold out a little longer...

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February 17, 2010


Apparently the dog likely has stress-induced colitis.

I must be putting out some major vibes, because I've stressed the dog out so much he got sick.  Poor thing.

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At SpouseBUZZ we like to joke about "deployment gremlins," all the little things that go wrong as soon as your husband leaves for deployment.  Well, I have been having bed rest gremlins.

It started with a broken garage door.  Two days before bed rest started, the garage door decided it likes going up but not down.  And then I ended up in bed before I could fix it.  Luckily I haven't needed my car in two weeks.  Unluckily, the door is still busted.

Then my mom arrived to help me.  My mom with the broken foot who moves at half her normal speed and has trouble getting up and down stairs, which is the whole reason I needed her help.  She's still doing it, bless her.  I am not picking on her, just stating a fact.  Of all the times for her to break her foot...

And then the dog.  The first day my mom was here, the dog ate her meds.  She had to induce vomiting.  And now, the dog is mysteriously sick.  We can't for the life of us figure out what could've made him sick, but he has had diarrhea and vomiting for three days.  The first night, I tried to take care of him, but after going up and down the stairs six times to let him out, I knew I had to relinquish the chore to my mother or else the baby was gonna fall out on the stairs.  So now the dog wakes me and then I wake my mother so she can let him into the backyard.  And he probably needs to go to the vet by now, but that means sending my mom with him.  Of all the times for him to get sick...

And you know, I don't remember having any moral qualms about letting my mom take care of me when I had my wisdom teeth out at 18.  She fetched and comforted.  But it's a whole different game for me as an adult.  I hate asking her for help.  I hate it.  I hate waking her in the middle of the night so she can wipe my dog's bottom with toilet paper to make sure he doesn't soil my bedspread again...since it's had to get washed twice already in the past two days.  It's one thing to have her go make me a sandwich -- and believe me, I don't like asking her to do that either -- but it's a whole nother thing to make her take care of my dog's vomit and poop.

We're both exhausted and stressed out.  And unfortunately, this story won't end with a nice vacation and a long nap; it will end with a crying baby who needs even more attention than the dog.

I can't believe this is how I'm spending the end of my pregnancy.

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February 15, 2010


Ten years ago today, this happened:

I loved my husband's qualities before I ever had any inkling he would become my husband. In fact, he had declined my suggestion that we date. Weeks later, he came to me with his mind and said that he had made a mistake and we should be together. We figuratively shook on it, and that was that.

Effectively, our love was transacted like a pound of butter on a grocery counter.

My husband earned my love. I too had to earn it from him, and it took him two weeks longer than I to weigh the merits of it.

We sat there in his dorm room, and he said that after much thought, he agreed that we ought to be together.  And we looked at each other shyly and said, "OK then, I guess we're dating."  And that was that.

Today he finally got access to a webcam and skype.  For the first time since July, I got to see him.  His appearance was shocking; I am definitely not used to the beard.  Or the muscles.  And on the flip side, the size of my belly blew him away.

Ten years.

And I get to see him in person soon.

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February 14, 2010


Six years ago my husband was leaving on his first deployment on Valentine's Day.  Now I am anxiously waiting for him to come home.

Even though we're apart, I will still participate in our traditions.  And look forward to tomorrow, an even better day for us to celebrate.

And soon we'll do all our celebrating in person.

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January 22, 2010


I am prone to mushiness these days, so perhaps it's not surprising that looking at photos of my husband and me from last summer before he left for Afghanistan would make me all sentimental.

He hates having his picture taken.  Hates it.  And yet he lets me do it constantly.  He poses and fake smiles for me, and every once in a while I get a real smile or a smirk that only he can make.  Those are the photos I like to look at when he's gone, to see his grimaces and laughter, the faces he makes every day.  The real him.

We had so much fun in Las Vegas.  When we were there, AWTM called and said she was envious...that we were still just a couple, that we could jet off to Vegas whenever we wanted.  She said she and her husband took a trip shortly before SR was born, and that they still talk about it and what a great trip it was, just the two of them.  And that because my husband was leaving and I was supposed to be doing IVF while he was gone, that this too was our last trip just as a couple, and to enjoy ourselves.

And I look at those photos from Vegas, and I had our baby inside me already and didn't know it.  I think it's wonderful to have so many photos of us in that brief time when our baby already existed but we didn't know it yet.

I look at how happy we are in those photos and I just feel so lucky and blessed.  And I know it's only going to get better.

I miss him very, very much.  I can't wait to see him again.

And take his picture.

Holding his daughter.

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December 31, 2009


2009 doesn't feel like one year to me.

My husband returned home from Iraq at the end of 2008, a couple days before Christmas. We began 2009 with his trip to SERE school. And getting pregnant for a third time. And losing that baby too. Then finding out about the translocation.

It was a sucky first six months.

But then we took a great vacation to Vegas. And I got pregnant again. And the John Elway Baby worked out. My husband is deployed, but he's there with a great team and they've done some good work that apparently everyone else wants to steal credit for. I'm proud of him. I wish he were here to share in the joys of pregnancy, but in the long run, the second half of 2009 has been pretty good. He's impressing all the right people, and I have a three pound person bouncing on my bladder.

And 2010 should be great: my husband and my baby arriving at the same time! We'll be a family. I can't wait.

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I joked that I needed to start cheating if I'm going to make it to 62 books by the end of the year.  Unfortunately, I had misremembered the goal: Rove read 64 books.  I realized this only a couple of days ago.  Even with a couple of hanging-chad books in here towards the end (books that probably shouldn't be counted but we're gonna count 'em anyway on a technicality), I couldn't make it.  No one can beat The Architect.

But I didn't get divorced either, so who's the big winner?  (Ew, that's mean.)

All in all, I was surprised that I could average more than a book a week.  And a decent mix of fluff and "real" books.  I found that a year of reading goes by fast, and several books are still in the pile.  I didn't read a book in French like I planned to.  I also never made it to Lone Survivor; I just didn't have the stomach for it right now.  I'd like to read it once my husband gets home.  Also in the stack for the beginning of next year are several baby books.  I have two months to study up on baby's first year, breastfeeding, how to get her to sleep, etc.  And then, according to popular wisdom, I'll never read again.

All in all, this was a neat exercise, and that original article about the challenge remains one of my favorite things written about George Bush ever.

62)  Zen and the Art of Knitting  (Bernadette Murphy)
I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading about knitting.  Once I realized it was hopeless to make it to 64 books, I decided to read something relaxing.  It's a little hippie-ful for my taste, but it's soothing.

61)  Babyhood  (Paul Reiser)
It's my understanding that there are lots of books lying around Iraq and Afghanistan.  The troops read them and leave them in common areas for someone else to pick up.  My husband happened upon this book and read it.  He then bought it for me for Christmas because he thought it was funny and I might enjoy it.  I laughed so hard I cried in parts.  (Of course, I'm hormonal, so then I kept crying.)

60)  The Crisis of Islam  (Bernard Lewis)
I don't know how I didn't read this six years ago, but I ought to have.  Nonetheless, it was still worth reading today.  It's a basic primer on where Islamists are coming from, the history and philosophy that drives terrorists.

59)  Charlotte Sometimes  (Penelope Farmer)
I've been stocking up on books for my little girl, and I got this one because of the song.  And because of, well, other reasons.  And who knew that there would also be a character named Sarah?  Or that the first lines of the song, the ones that make me think of my struggle to have this baby, were the first lines of the book...

All the faces, all the voices blur
Change to one face, change to one voice

58)  Charlotte's Web  (E.B. White)
An endearing secondary storyline I remember from the TV show Ed was when Carol said she liked the book Charlotte's Web and didn't understand why people always thought it was so sad.  It turns out, at the end of the episode, her dad gives her a new copy of Charlotte's Web, saying that when she was young and her mother died, he had cut the final pages of the book out and typed up a new ending in which Charlotte lived happily ever after.  He had wanted to protect her from sadness.  I always thought that was a sweet story of parenthood.

57)  Pursuit of Honor  (Vince Flynn)
I wanted to read this just because Glenn Beck called Chapter 50 "conservative porn."  Heh.  It turned out to be an enjoyable read all around.
A while back, Amritas asked why I liked Brad Thor's books.  I think Vince Flynn's character Mitch Rapp falls in the same category as Scot Harvath.  And my answer was simple: these protagonists are like Jack Bauer, but in the books, the bad guys are always terrorists and usually Muslims...unlike the show 24, where we always seem to learn in the fifteenth hour that the bad guys are really white guys working for a corporation.  They are simple stories about clandestine operatives working to keep the United States safe, with none of the PC baggage that shows and movies seem to have these days.  No evil white CEOs.

56)  What Americans Really Want...Really  (Frank Luntz)
I had no intention of reading this book because, really, I thought the title was just too goofy.  But AirForceWife also gave it her seal of approval, so I went for it.  What struck me about this book is how unlike me everything seems.  I don't fall into one of the five categories of how people behave and think, I thought the political chapter was absolutely off-base with my values, I thought the chapter on teens made me feel like an old fuddy-duddy (I stopped dating before cell phones and digital cameras), and so on.  I don't doubt Luntz's work or research; I just wonder how I am so unlike these great swaths of Americans.  I feel like that apocryphal lady who didn't know anyone who voted for Nixon: my people, my tribe, doesn't believe these things.  So how American does that make us if everyone else around us just wants security and organic food?  (I mean, nearly 50% of poll respondents said that the 2nd Amendment mattered the least to them...and a good margin less to them than even the self-incrimination part of the 5th!)

55)  Survival of the Sickest  (Dr. Sharon Moalem)
AirForceWife lent me this book, and I couldn't recommend it more.  It explains why we have certain diseases today: At one point in history, diseases like hemochromatosis and diabetes were actually selected for because they helped people survive in their environment.  It was so interesting.  There was also a section vindicating Lamarck and talking about how your fetus' genetic makeup can be altered by what you eat even before you know you are pregnant.  I ate seven days of Las Vegas buffets...yikes.

54)  Nation of Cowards: Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control  (Jeff Snyder)
Nothing pumps me up like guns and taxes.  I really enjoyed reading this book and the arguments behind the fundamental right of gun ownership.  I found it after CVG sent me the link to Walter Mitty's Second Amendment, one of the essays in this book.

53)  Pearl Harbor  (Newt Gingrich)
The authors really did a good job of making you feel like you were at Pearl Harbor.  It was harrowing.  However, I didn't realize until I was finished that it was a set-up book for an alternate history sequel, in which the Japanese hit hard in a third strike and really piss off a sleeping giant.  I guess I would've preferred a straight-out historical fiction instead of trying to figure out after the fact what was real and what was invented.

52)  For The New Intellectual  (Ayn Rand)
Blog post on the book here.

51)  What to Expect When Your Wife Is Expanding  (Thomas Hill)
My husband got this book as a gift when I was pregnant the first time.  He read a few pages and then set it aside when disaster struck.  So I pulled it back out and decided to read it now and annotate the margins for him, noting things I was indeed experiencing.  I mailed it to him so he could flip through it in Afghanistan, and he said he has been reading it.

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