Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Other News

I'm nearly done with my first commissioned pet stamp!


(Shameless plug: order yours here!)

Thanks, Ma

"You're always like this at the beginning of the semester," Sugar remarked to me this morning, after another night of half-sleep. "You don't sleep well, you worry, and you think crazy thoughts about death."

"I don't mean to interrupt you," I replied, "but we should get up. The cat is crying at the door, and I'm pretty sure it's because the other cat has had a heart attack in the living room."

The beginning of the semester is always tough, especially when I'm teaching seniors, whose college degrees rest on my mandatory class, which they typically feel neither prepared for nor terribly interested in taking. Things even out by mid-semester, when they've gone through one draft of their final project and begin to sense that I'm not trying to ruin their lives, but the first day is Rough Sledding.

The class met for the first time last night, as the massive storm that has lashed us with wind and rain for the past two days finally blew out to sea. As often happens when the air pressure changes radically, I got a migraine -- luckily a fairly mild one, but I was nonetheless exhausted by the time I'd fought the dread and resentment of my students and the malaise of the 2-hour ride home. As I sat down to eat the late dinner that Sugar had saved for me (Ain't she grand?), I opened a letter from my mother, written on three index cards.

My mother's letters to me usually begin "Dear [Bionic]" and then go on about what the cat has been up to, the etymology of a few surnames and maybe a fun double plural like "kine", concluding with a recipe for some wheat-free item best used as a hockey puck substitute. This one opened:

[Bionic B. Mama] -- Strong Family History of Breast Cancer.

...and went on from there, listing which relatives have had what cancers, calculating rates per generation and in total for the past three, breaking down rates according to numbers of cancers versus numbers of individuals with any cancer. Emphasis via underline abounded. DEATH was always written in all caps. At no point in the letter was I addressed directly or was anything other than cancer discussed. "Whichever way you view the #'s," card 3 concludes, "THESE RATES (37.5%, 50%) ARE HIGH for U.S. women."

(Yes, they are high. Yes, the information is useful to have all in one place -- my mother has had to jump through hoops to be eligible for certain screenings and so on, and those hoops would be statistically more difficult for me to just through because I don't have as many siblings (and therefore not as many "first degree" relatives). But...still.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No Time Like The Last Minute

Today is the last day to sign up for Kymberli's super-groovy Sock It To Me project...so naturally I just signed up. You should, too.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click the link already. It's the good stuff.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Greetings, ICLWeegers


Thanks for dropping by, despite the fact that I obviously missed the stay-classy memo in re: how to answer that "what do you usually blog about" question, such that while you all said things like "faith" and "hope" I said "peeing."

Sugar is shaking her head right along with you.

Our story so far:

We're just your typical lesbian couple trying to start a family. Totally ordinary. Only I have two vaginas. Vaginae, if you're a big nerd like me. And also two cervices. See? Dull, almost.

After what feels a million ultrasounds, MRIs, specula, and nasty tenacula on my poor little cervices, the doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, receptionists, and zebra fish embryologists I've dropped trou for since first googling "double vagina"* have come to the conclusion that I am a freak among freaks -- despite the Doublemint twins that are my naughty bits, my good old ute is singular and otherwise normal. Plus, I found out I have a bonus ureter...

...and also endometriosis. So even though we've only tried one IUI, Dr. Baby Factory thinks we should be thinking seriously about IVF if I don't have a bun in the ol' oven after the next 2-5 tries. We've had our differences with Dr. Baby Factory, but he does strike me as a smart cookie.

We took a break in November (to get married! for real!) and December (to see our nutty families! for far too long!), but we're back in the saddle this month, which means I'm bitching about pee sticks. OPK negative today, thanks for asking -- but it's only CD 1,000,000.

*make sure safe search is ON.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Updates of All Sorts

One of those dreadful bullet-blogs.

-- Exciting things afoot (asnatch?) over at Two Hot Mamas! Go give 'em some labor-love!

-- Couple new things up on the Etsy site:
1. the aforementioned custom pet stamp by Bionic
2. a wickedly sweet/sweetly wicked skull pendant drawn and enameled by Sugar

-- Tentatively good news on the job/insurance front. After some serious hustle on my part, enrollment in the my endangered class is one student shy of "off the radar" for cancellation. I'm hoping that means they're likely to run it even if I don't get another one by Thursday. I also have calls all over the place to see if I could get coverage by taking a Saturday kids' class offered by the same department. I'd rather not have to, since my horrible commute becomes excruciating when it meets the reduced weekend bus service, but I'd also rather not lose my insurance.

-- I've been peeing on sticks and so on, and we've decided we'll climb back on the TTC horse this month, now that insurance looks less scary. Frankly, due date for a child conceived this time of year is still bad for us financially -- fall is my higher-earning semester -- but I'm not willing to insem only during the limited "good timing" months. Especially because...

-- I've talked to Dr. Baby Factory about my endo questions. He says yes, the GI badness probably is endo, but that there's not much to be done about it, as that location has particularly bad surgical outcomes. (Basically, the scar tissue from surgery between vag and rectum is likely to be much worse than any original adhesion. Cervix glued to rectum, that kind of thing.) He also said, "I hope I haven't given you the impression that I think everything is fine with your chances of conception," and brought up again the idea that going to IVF after 3-6 IUI attempts might be more cost-effective in our case. Sigh.

Okay, I know this is the part you really want updated:

-- Pee Stick Follies Update....I chickened out. I already know what happens to silica gel when it's allowed to absorb liquid for a few hours. And if Sugar came home to find quivering chunks of pee-jello on the bathroom sink, you can bet I'd lose all rights to talk about how icky her neti pot is.

If it's any consolation, I did have a hell of a time getting the packet out of the pee-cup neatly. In fact, such a thing proved impossible. Don't tell Sugar.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pee Stick Follies

You know the silica desiccant pack they put in with cheapie OPKs?

Guess who's about to find out what happens when it falls into the pee cup?

(Our story so far: weird crackling noises.)


Lesbian Dad has a great post on how to help.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Show and Tell and Beg A Favor

Calendar Image Sample

Hello, lovies. It's time again for Mel's Show and Tell. When you're done here, go check out what the other kids are sharing.

It's scary financial times in the Bionic household. It suddenly looks like I may lose one of the two classes I'm scheduled to teach this semester -- already a low number, bank-account-wise -- which would mean losing not only income but also my health insurance. What this means for you is likely losing the chance to listen to me griping about pee until the fall, when I can get back into the system and therefore into the RE's office. BUT! It is a new year and TIME TO MAKE THE FREAKING LEMONADE ALREADY.

We had already (before scary news) planned to revamp our Etsy site in an attempt to garner a little pin money; here's motivation to get on that, pronto, even if it's for milk money instead. (Man, I'd love to find a way to make enough for sperm money....) And internets, I sure could use some market research help. If you could let me know what you think of these ideas -- and perhaps what you think reasonable prices might be -- I'd be much obliged.

Item 1:

Beastial Wall Calendars



Yes, I know it's a bit late in the season for these, but we have them around, so why not give it a shot, I figure. Each page is 4.25"x11", with a different drawing by Sugar or me. We'll list it both as printed -- high-quality ink on heavy, matte photo paper -- and as a cheap, you-print-it PDF.

We'll also list an option of a 12-month rolling calendar, with date range of your choice. For instance, if you ordered one now, we could make it February 2010 - February 2011, so you still get two month's worth. Crazy? Plausible?

Item 2:

Stationery stamped with handmade rubber stamp images of animals (or something else? thoughts?). Here's an example of a set I made for Sugar's turtle-obsessed mom this Christmas:


Her set was 10 cards each in 2 designs; I'd probably do 5 each in 4 designs for sale. (I made my mother a set like that, with 4 different images of her beguiling cat, but didn't think to take a photo. Duh.) The cards themselves are very nice, heavy paper -- the picture is of a paper with an artfully rumpled surface, but I'll do future batches on smoother stuff, as these take the ink a bit unevenly.

I've also made dishtowels printed this way.

Item 3:

Custom stamp of your pet (or what-have-you). Here's one I made of a friend's dog:

Original photo:

The Nose Approaches....


These could be sold two ways:

- You commission a particular item or set of items with your pet's image -- say, a set of cards or an apron. I keep the stamp when done and add it to my general rotation.

- You commission the stamp itself, with all rights to the image. I send you the completed stamp, one stamped item (set of cards?), and instructions for what inks are permanent on fabric, etc. This version would cost more, since I don't get future use of the image.

Help me, internets, please!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What We Did Over Christmas Break


This is a quilt we had every intention of finishing in time to give to our friend before the birth of her baby...but what's a four-month delay among friends?

We are happy to say that this is one of the few things the baby in question did not puke all over during our visit. (None of our clothing shares that distinction. Lucky thing he's got a cute laugh.)