Monthly Archives: September 2011

The One Where I Talk About Nothing Uplifting

Yeah. Sorry in advance. I don’t really have any funny anecdotes or semi-clever metaphors or beefs with the New York Times or hopeful quotes or songs. I wish I did.

This week has been: well, I think I can safely say that it’s the hardest week I’ve ever had as a mother. Darcy went out of town on his birthday, Sunday, leaving me with two sick kids not allowed to go to pre-school. Sometimes motherhood feels like a never-ending endurance test, like a marathon of Amazing Race episodes without travel.

This week I’ve dealt with:
– Two sick, cranky three year olds from 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM by myself, complete with tantrums, doctor appointments, refusals to sleep, coughing, high temperatures, trying to get them to drink and eat and get well. The worrying, the exhaustion, the frustration has been intense.
– A gang of raucous raccoons tearing up our lawn, kicking and chewing our soccer ball and ripping apart our goal at 3 AM. Apparently they HATE soccer. Twice they did this, waking me up and completing their ruckus by running across our roof, freaking me out. WTF?
– My son vomiting all over the twins’ bedroom. Poor little guy 😦
– The topper: my daughter about an hour ago choked on a pita chip and started turning bright purple. She could not speak or cough. I had to give her the Heimlich maneuver twice, before the second attempt finally forced the chip out of her windpipe. She’s OK, Thank God. It was super scary. Poor little girl 😦
– I’m not quite over the pneumonia, and am weak and dampened.

I feel so scared and tired and incompetent.

And I don’t want to complain because I know how lucky I am.

So this tweet, this is what I’m clinging to:

Soccer Ball damage. Freakin’ raccoons.



Filed under Family, Fear, Sad

Tuesday Time Warp: Waiting, Barbra Streisand and Glee

The wonderful Kathy over at Four of a Kind came up with a thoughtful and fascinating idea for a blog hop: “Time Warp Tuesdays”. “Time Warp Tuesdays” allow you to revisit an old blog post, reflect on it and decide whether your perspective has changed since writing the post.

This time, the theme is “Waiting”.

Kathy chose a provoking topic for her first hop. Waiting is a big theme for the ALI community. So much of our time is spent waiting for the next cycle, the next ultrasound, the next test, the next doctor’s appointment. It’s no wonder that Peggy Orenstein titled her memoir about her own journey with infertility “Waiting for Daisy”.

Once I started blogging, my own wait was over: I had just found out I had miscarried at eight weeks, and my twins (conceived after two and a half years of infertility) were almost two. But the two words I associate most with my own infertility journey are “waiting” and “hope”.

Here’s the post I chose: it’s about my Dad’s long wait to interview Barbra Streisand (that diva reputation is deserved), and my attempt to take on the Rachel Berry/Barbra Steisand school of thinking, specifically delineated in the song “Don’t Rain On My Parade”.

Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade
I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it

Here’s the clip of Lea Michele nailing that song. To the wall.

I was trying to gather the courage to create and post a video for Resolve’s National Infertility Awareness Week. I eventually did and posted it. It certainly didn’t set the world on fire, or win any awards. (In fact, it’s only ever been clicked on 55 times, so I guess I didn’t make it. But, at least I didn’t fake it.)

That song still is my marching orders. When I feel my feistiness falter or my energy flag, this song reminds me that what I DON’T do will have been perfect, but WAITING to take action prevents me, us all, from living, and living now.


Filed under Discovering joy, NIAW

Inspiration Vs. Aspiration

Because I am the last to everything, I finally saw an episode of The Rachel Zoe Project. She’s the “super stylist” who became famous for dressing celebrities like Nicole Ritchie and Lindsay Lohan all the time, because the paparazzi followed them 24/7 and they didn’t want to be photographed only in sweats and tank tops. Her 60s/70s/sundresses/platforms/giant sunglasses style is very popular today, especially here in California.

I have notes.

1) She was six months pregnant in the episode I watched and looked like she had maybe eaten a big burrito for lunch. WTF?
2) I don’t get her husband. He squawks about how Rachel spends too much money but then agrees to leasing a 7,000 square foot house for three people. (And a bunch of clothes?) He also decides to hire some guy basically to hang
out with Rachel and be her friend for the remainder of her third trimester. That’s right: money CAN buy friendship.
3) Whoever the wise wag was who noted that after 40 you choose your face or your ass should probably revise that downward to 35 for the super, super svelte. Just sayin’.
4) Rachel herself is charmingly self-deprecating. She says at one point that she never thinks that anyone will ever come to a party she hosts. And you can tell that she really, really means it.
5) I kinda like her spirit. I disapprove of her weight, but I do like that she’s attempting to shift a paradigm of fashion that has existed since Coco Chanel’s reinvention of the fashion house in the 1920s.

Fashion for almost the last century has mostly focused on the “High”: collections shown in Paris, Milan and NYC sold at a high price to the upper classes, then knocked off and distributed through middle-end shops and department stores and finally discounted to the lowest prices to the masses. Fashion, while maybe inspired by the street styles of London or Brooklyn, really is a few style makers (mostly men) dictating in a trickle down way what we women wear.

Fashion for the last century has been, for the most part, Aspirational. We see what comes from on high, then we want it. In college everyone wore flannel shirts, jeans, boots, leather belts. Marc Jacobs, a high fashion designer, had designed my college uniform with his infamous “Grunge” collection in 92. As well as the casual, jeans and floral dress heavy styles that lasted pretty much throughout the 90s.

You may be noticing that ankle boots are having a moment. They actually first showed up in the 2007/2008 collections of Chanel and Prada. Vogue declared 2009 “…the year of the ankle boot.” From there they filtered through the fashion pages into other midpriced collections like Nine West, finally making an appearance in our every day life this fall: Kohl’s, Payless Shoe Source now has variations on the ankle boot.

Something different is individual fashion bloggers who each have their own unique style and have garnered followings. Reading someone like Tavi is like reading one of my back issues of Vogue in ’92. Sonic Youth? Grunge? 70s revival? Been there, done that.

What I like best is bloggers who have their own unique style little affected by the big designers. Women like Nie Nie who has created her own sort of wholesome Americana style. Or, LuLu Letty, whose style does not pay any attention to the overlords of fashion: her style is sublimely unique: featuring moccasins and penny loafers, Graphic sweaters and vintage blouses and skirts. Lulu Letty is a fashion original. I find her inspirational: she has created a new look by not using the usual touchstones and created a style her own. Another favorite of mine is Danimezza, another fashion blogger who creates chic, timeless looks for herself in plus sizes. Her outfits are about as polished and unique as it gets.

Do you think that Fashion should be aspirational, mostly looking to a few tastemakers to determine the trends for the next few years or would you prefer to follow a more inspirational look?

How do you pick your clothes? Do you look online at bloggers? Do you look at Vogue? Do you follow trends at Macy’s/Kohls/peer pressure?

In this economy, should we still admire clothes that we will never ever be able to fit into or afford? Or should we look for inspiration elsewhere?

Postscript: I was looking for dresses for a wedding a few years ago and went to a Barney’s sale. I found a lovely couture gown, by Isabel Toledo, for Anne Klein. Apparently there was only one collection done. Isabel Toledo went on to greater fame after designing Michelle Obama’s inauguration outfit. Anyway, the dress was a different color and hem length to the one shown on the runway. It looked very different than the dress did on the runway. The dress was originally $1800. I got it for $250. I felt pretty good about that.

From the runway

To the hanger

To being worn by a size 6


Filed under Design, Discovering joy

Welcome, ICLWers!

Welcome to my site! I am so excited to do ICLW again and meet new people and reconnect with old friends.

Since the last time I participated, I’m happy to say that I took the The New York Times to task about their infertility coverage (I am not sure they have noticed) and came out of the closet about my infertility and unhappy to say that I wrote a lot less than I wanted to about joy.

Here’s my greatest hits:

Coming out of the infertility closet (in response to that horrendous Facebook meme)
“Are You Infertile? The New York Times Thinks You are Rich and Whimsical”
“How Strangers Change Our Lives For the Better”
Want to help me make my living room look better with a nothing budget? Sure you do 😉

I recently had my thin, terrible hair blown out at a local strip mall because I am recovering from pneumonia and wanted to feel better. It DID make me feel better.

But enough about me. I want to know about you!

1. What’s the best movie of all time?
2. What do you think can be done to make people more sympathetic and caring about infertility? If anything?
3. Cats or dogs? Why?
4. If you hear the name Beyonce, do you think of the pregnant singer/actress/dancer? Or the metal chicken?
5. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?


Filed under Discovering joy, ICLW, Infertility

Know-Nothing Design On a Beer Budget: Living Room

I have absolutely NO talent in design. I tend to go stark. Because I am too afraid to clutter a room with mis-matched oddities. (Unless said oddities include legos, in which case, I make that happen!) Making it worse is that both my SILs are style geniuses in different ways. Kelly is a talented artist and she lives in a hundred-year-old farmhouse that she’s reinvented as chic and modern. She lives in Austin and her style is Southern Modern Chic.

My other SIL is also from the South, but she is more urban and modern. She just designed a black and white marble basketweave tile floor for her bathroom. It looks amazing.

Since we moved into our new home, we have transformed each and every room! Into a play area station for the twins. We have one grown-up area/living room which is a receptacle for chairs and more toys. Nothing goes together. We have art, but it doesn’t look right.

In other words, HELP! In other, other words: we have no money. So, clearly, great things are going to happen! I can feel it.

Let’s start with the enormous wall of light brick that takes up half the living room! It looks yellow in this picture, but it’s actually really, really white. Knocking it down would cost a fortune so I’m trying to figure out how to make do. I’m thinking if I got an ready-made white or grey mantle and put it over that fire hole thingy that might look better.

Mantle #1

Or Mantle #2

Which mantle do you prefer? And where the heck do I get a mantle for way, way cheap? Like $100 bucks? Are you laughing?

In terms of the rest of the room, I’d love for it to be seating, a built-in area for our TV and maybe a sectional. I don’t know what else. Here’s the glamour, the intrigue of our bizarre living room:

It’s a hodgepodge of uselessness.

Here’s Yellow/green inspiration! Love the sectional and colors. Don’t love the metal things on the wall. And where’s the TV?

I am quite partial to the whole Belgian grey/lavender thing since staying in a lovely hermitage there during my weird and unexpected business trip.

So I’m inspired by this photo. Where at least there is a TV!

What do you guys think? Mantle #1 or Mantle #2? Yellow and green or Grey color palette?

Thanks mucho in advance!!


Filed under Design, Discovering joy, redesign