Monthly Archives: June 2006

Eat More, Inc.

Marion Nestle reports in her latest book, What to Eat, that “more than 80% of Americans snack at least once a day”. What’s more, snacks account for more than one-fifth of daily calories.

Look for that number to go up now that marketers at Taco Bell have introduced the FourthMeal, the meal between dinner and breakfast. Now that’s an eat more message if I ever heard one.

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Of thighs and hairy butts

I was looking at some photos of men over on Scott’s site, and it doesn’t appear to me that men have a problem with their thighs rubbing together. Some of them have hairy butts, though.

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Evaluating Cryobanks

We are out of IUI units. We need two per month: one for the day before and one for the day after ovulation. A few days ago I (Mel) checked on the inventory for our donor and found, no surprise, that we would have to go on the wait list for him again. We went on the wait list a couple of days ago and were told that we were 7th with at least 3 of the people ahead of us committed to taking 6 units each. Things did not look good for us getting what we needed with the donor’s next “release” in time for my next ovulation. This morning, however, I got a message that he had come back early and some was available. We’re still at least 7 days away from taking another pregnancy test and just can’t justify the expense ($1070 plus tax for 2 units + shipping in a 14-day storage tank) when we’re not sure we’re going to need it, so we decided to pass. So now we go to the end of the waiting list, which is already quite long.

I like the “amenities” we get with this bank, but I don’t like the high costs associated with them. Also, this is the second time there has been a surprise– units suddenly available when they weren’t expected for a couple of weeks. I can’t help but wonder if they’re preying a little on our anxiousness to get the donor we want. We’ve shown that we’re willing to pay a premium for their services– extra for IUI as opposed to ICI, extra for an ID Consent donor, extra for a 14-day tank– and I wonder if it’s easy to take advantage of such customers. I want to believe that these people genuinely care about helping us get pregnant, but at the same time I know they’re not in this for the warm fuzzies. It’s maddening to be dependent on the medical establishment.

We’re planning on at least one more month with this donor and then re-evaluating the local cryobank. The local bank doesn’t provide as much information about their donors, and they do not have any ID Consent donors, so the child will not be able to get in contact with his or her biological father on turning 18. All units are ICI preparations (Intracervical Insemination), so they’d have to be spun (in a centrifuge) for an additional cost for us to use them for IUI. Even so, we’d be paying half of what we’re paying now for each unit, and there would be no shipping since we can pick it up on the way to the doctor’s office. You want to know my biggest beef with the local bank? They spell the word “college” as “collage” on their Web site. Am I the only one that makes nervous?

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House for Sale

No, not mine. Well, maybe. The lab mix stays.

Seriously, our neighbor across the street is selling her house, and what a house it is. Holy crap. It’s a brick Tudor, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1800 square feet, full, dry basement, in-ground swimming pool. It’s listed at $145k, but I know the seller wants to walk away with $130k. It’s a great deal. Don’t take my word for it. Look it up on MIBOR, MLS#2641987. And in case any of you out there have forgotten, the Southside rocks!

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Books make u smrt

Are book hoarders smarter than non-book hoarders? They’re definitely more pretentious. What about folks who list books that they’re reading or have read on their blogs? I get wanting to keep track of a title so you don’t forget about it, but I don’t really care what somebody read three years ago. I can go to the thrift store for that.
I’ve decided to buy less books. I don’t intend to read less, just buy less and use the library more. I don’t want to have to buy a new house because I have too many books.

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Project Young’n Round 2 and Rosie Updates

We've just finished up our second round of inseminations last week, and I went back on the blasted progesterone this morning. I'm already in a bad mood, but I think it's because I know what's coming this time– sore boobs with no relief, feeling bloated and heartburny every time I eat, fatigue, stomach upset, and none of this necessarily associated with a pregnancy. I know it's all worth it. It just puts me in a foul mood. Last time I didn't realize how bad I felt until I stopped taking the progesterone and woke up the next morning a size smaller than I'd been the night before.

The second month of inseminations went a little better than the first after a brief hiccup precipitated by the fact that my nurse practitioner was out last Friday and her stand-in must not have known to use the lesbian-sized speculum. Ouch!

In other news, Rosie is out of heat (for the most part), spayed, and feeling like her old self– except that she won't eat her dog food anymore, and boy dogs are still uncomfortably interested in her nether regions. She's not having it, though. The first thing she does upon meeting another dog now is to plop down on said nether regions so that no one can access them. She's also doing this funny snarly-licky thing that's very intimidating for other dogs. She growls and shows her teeth and then licks their snouts as if to say, "Don't get on my bad side, buster." She has her energy back, though. Ness is taking her to doggy daycare tomorrow.

Rosie is suddenly very protective of me. If Ness tries to tickle me or pretends to attack me, Rosie throws herself against me and defends me with much growling. I don't think it's because she senses a pregnancy necessarily, but I do think she understands that something's up with me hormonally, and she wants me left alone. I think she feels sorry for me because she has been so hormonal herself for the last month.

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We’re back– Quick trip re-cap

We're back from a week in (mostly) sunny North Carolina. We had a great time– lots of quality together-time, much of it spent driving. Lots of seafood, including fried oysters, crabcakes, Spanish Mackerel, and Flounder. We'll probably be limiting seafood quite a bit from here on out because I (Mel) will be doing my best to keep my methylmercury exposure down. Also because, according to Marion Nestle's book What to Eat, there really does not seem to be a lot of safe seafood available– if any.

What I'd do differently next time:

#1) No more Dramamine. We're going to have to look into other ways to control motion sickness.

#2) Perhaps less island time. Ocracoke is beautiful but very secluded. We took a day trip to Roanoke Island one day and really enjoyed ourselves there, but it was at least a 2 hour trip one-way because first there was the ferry, then a 50 min drive across Hatteras Island. Next time we will probably at least stay on Hatteras because it's more central to the rest of the O.B.

#3) At least a night or two of camping. There are several gorgeous campgrounds right on the beach along protected national seashore. They have electric and primitive sites and hot showers. Plus, only $20/night. You really can't beat it.

#4) We will NOT pick up sperm in person again– at least not from the cryobank we're currently using. I will probably post on that experience separately. I still feel good about our donor choice, but there's no denying that this is a big business. Ness and I got up-close and personal with it last Friday, and I think from now on I prefer to just place the phone call and pay the shipping. It's really no cheaper to pick up, and it was a HUGE hassle. Plus, sperm banks? Not as awe or confidence-inspiring as you might expect– particularly considering what you pay!

What I'd definitely do again:

1.) Colonial Williamsburg– by foot in the evening after the crowds have dispersed.

2.) The Lost Colony of Roanoke on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. My not-so-distinguished ancestor was the first governor of the lost colony, and this is the second time I've seen it. Next time I want to read up on him before I go. He's no one to be proud of, but it's cool to feel somehow connected to the mystery of the colony. Next time we'd see the play that's produced on the grounds. It seemed kind of cheesy until we saw the performance space– overlooking the Sound. Wow!

3.) Lunch or dinner in adorable downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island.

4.) Swim in the ocean with my girl. Next time maybe we'll add surfboards.

5.) Drive across the unspoiled Virginia countryside leaving D.C. on U.S. 50. One of the most gorgeous drives I've ever taken.

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