Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Artists and money

Artists need benefactors. Because the muse is hampered by the need to accomplish the other stuff that keeps life moving. And it's shameful to me that we have become a culture that decides that it there is little enough value in art that it should be a sideline, that it's a hobby.

And our artists feel shame at taking money. Feel shame at naming a price. Because we are so removed for sharing our hearts and our souls and our masterpieces through vulnerability that asking for the worth of the piece is unimaginable.

If you are an artist, in whatever capacity, please accept our money. Please recognize that it is our currency. It is how we tell you you have impacted us, that we like your beauty and want a part of it around us.

If you are a spiritual teacher, you are still an artist. Let me share my wealth with you, in the currency I have available to do so. It is an exchange that has value.

You be the artist, let me be the patron.

You do it for me too, you know.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Words/Voice

Why is it that I can put my words to paper, but my voice prevents me from actually saying so much?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Falling in love

Tonight I fell in love with tango all over again. It's that moment when you look at someone that is so familiar to you and for just a second you see a total stranger, closely followed by this stabbing hollowing upsurge of love that leaves you breathless. That was tango for me tonight.

The snow set it for me. I love snow. I was a mountain high Colorado girl, with a view of the Continental Divide from my bedroom. I love the powder, the cold, the ritual, the being at the mercy and the dance of the weather. And so this storm is like a special secret Christmas gift just for me. And as I walked to the practica/milonga the flakes were fat and full and like little bits of laughter landing on my cheeks.

And the milonga hall was warm and cheery, Canaro through the speakers, lovely dancers. And my first dances were with someone I adore and they were mmmmm goood, and each that followed was a different taste.

It was like the best meal I had ever eaten, and right now that's saying a lot!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One, Two, Buckle my shoe...

Last night I realized, at some point I won't be able to buckle my tango shoes. I know it seems premature to think about this now, but this 14 week belly looks more like a 18-20 week belly and I still have a lot to go.

So, what then? Beg my friends? Hope there is some gentlemanly fellow that will assist me? Try to contort myself by leaning sideways and reaching around the belly?

Buckling my shoes is part of the ritual I like. I like the feel of slipping my feet in, of feeling the band across my toes, and the tilt of the heel; but that moment of restraint when I cinch the buckle down and I feel the strap firm and tight and restrictive across the front of my ankle... it's a sensual moment that I am a little loathe to hand over to someone else.
Those 6 weeks took a toll. I can't even begin to describe how frustrating it is to only be able to dance two or three tandas in a night. I just don't have the stamina for more. Where did it go?

And my balance! Ugh. I feel like a very beginner again, only this time I know enough to know how bad it feels. It's so discouraging. I haven't actually had to use my partner for balance since I started, and now... if the leader does anything that isn't perfectly centered it throws me off.

I had a lovely night on Friday where I had people signing my dance card before I could even get my shoes on but I just couldn't dance more than a few tandas and I was so disappointed. Last night was the same.

Those of you that have taken extended breaks, was it hard to come back? Did you notice a difference? I'm hoping my lack of stamina is just because I was so sick and it will return, but other pregnant people seem to think it's their job to burst that happy bubble.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Boleos

Alex is talking about them, and so is Limerick, and MsHedgehog too. I guess I'll jump in too.

Someone please explain how I would do one, and when, that is unlead? Not that I necessarily want to, but I feel like the only eejit in the field that hasn't figured this out. I see it happen on the floor, but I just don't seem to be able to compute how they know to do one.

Even when they're lead, I still don't feel like I manage them gracefully or attractively or even in the expected timeframe. It's on my list of things to work on during a private, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I guess I think of it as an embellishment and so it sinks a bit on my priority list. But the more comfortable I get the more I would like to at least *feel* like I did it right when they ask me too.

sigh.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I danced

Yesterday I woke up feeling like....me. It was wonderful. And at about 6pm, I knew I'd be going to the practica. And I did.

I went in knowing that I really only intended to dance two or so tandas, and that there were only two leaders I felt comfortable enough to dance with, and they were both there, and it was really really nice.

But I was still worried. 6 weeks with no dancing. From 5 nights a week to nothing, for 6 weeks. Not even the desire. I was worried how I would feel, how my dance would be, concerned that somewhere I had lost that ephemeral "it".

The dance was fine. All that anxiety, and I felt ok. I didn't feel ungainly, stupid, uncoordinated or like I had forgotten everything. In fact, I smiled. A lot.

And when the second leader inquired about my absence and I explained that I was pregnant with twins and hadn't been well, the sweetest twinkle and the nicest glow swept over him, and he hugged me and said he was so looking forward to dancing with me as I got bigger. And it was so genuine and gleeful that I couldn't help but feel beautiful and wanted and appreciated. That, truly, was the most wonderful thing that could have happened to my dance last night.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proposition 8-- The Musical

Damn, even when we're persecuted, we're still entertaining.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tango and Argyle Chihuahas

I like this song, but don't really dig rat dogs, or rat dogs in argyle sweaters. In fact, the whole thing is a little weird.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tango Tonight

I actually want to go. I don't want to dance, but I want to go.

This is a marked improvement!

I see Tango again, on the horizon! WooHoo!

12 weeks 1 day

We graduated to the OB today. I am no longer under the care of the Reproductive Endocrinologist. I am no longer on ANY medications, and I no longer have debilitating nausea.

We've also hit the 12 week mark, which means that our risk of miscarriage drops significantly, and both babies look great and are growing appropriately.

The parents told their families on Thanksgiving, and it was such a joy to hear them share. With our last pregnancy, they were hesitant to believe until much later. This time around it seems that they are calmer and more relaxed and not so wounded. It's beautiful. And they love the idea of what is about to happen to their household. What a joy to be able to giggle at the thought of the mayhem that is going to descend on them!

So, yes, I said OB. That's right. No midwives for me, and no home birth. The last birth wasn't either. It was a hospital birth. My first. It was big leap for me to birth in a hospital and I went through all kinds of professional guilt about betraying my fellow midwives by birthing in the hospital. But in the end, it was a nice experience and I expect this one to be just as nice.

The OB is someone I knew before I became a surrogate. He would take my transfers, and I even attended a few births with him. So, we had a nice respect for each other and knew each other pretty well. With the last birth, I would come to prenatals, tell him the pertinent information and then we'd talk birth politics and community news for 20 minutes, then I'd leave. During our labor and birth he took my lead and pretty much let me run the show. As it should be, of course, but unusual in an OB. This time, with twins, he earned my respect all over again. We were discussing the delivery and what would be required. I don't want an epidural, hep lock, etc. I want a vaginal unmedicated birth like my others, assuming everything is ok with the babies. And his response was, "well...it's your body and we can work with that. I prefer this, but we can do it how you want it too". Love him.

I have a little bump and I'd like to say it's cute, but I'm actually just at the awkward stage where I look like I have a giant gut and I want a pin that says, Actually I'm Pregnant.

So, that's the baby update.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Surrogacy and Infertility, what it means to me as a surrogate

Kym, a surrogate and mother that dealt with infertility herself, posted some wonderful insights on how entering into surrogacy is a trip into infertility for the surrogate. Many of us become surrogates because we love pregnancy, love the idea of helping others have families. But we enter it in a wave of innocence. Most of us have little understanding of what infertility means, how it impacts women and their families, and how it can effect us.

I had theories about what it meant to be infertile. But the far reaching range of emotions was way bigger than I could ever have imagined.

Through surrogacy, I have experienced 11 cycles. Me, with my perfect uterus, my perfect pregnancy history, my simple homebirths. Even with modern science, I couldn't get pregnant 9 of those cycles. And each time, I wondered if it was my fault. It was humbling. I never thought it wouldn't work, until it didn't.

And that's me. That doesn't even begin to touch my Intended Parents that have gone through years of trying, repeated miscarriages, surgeries, invasive testing, poking, prodding, and each step their hope being whittled away to next to nothing. Except, they manage to keep it. Their hope, that is. It's slightly tarnished, and colored with some slightly off-kilter humor, and probably lots of counseling, but it's there.

These people look at the thing the want most in their lives and realize they can't make it happen for themselves, and then they hand it over to us. They hand it to a surrogate and say, Make my dream come true. The strength and belief that takes makes me cry. I don't know that I could give that much, trust that much, release that much. It is an enormous gift to be part of their dream.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Man to be

My 12 year old amazes me. He is this crazy blending of physical traits, motions, thinkings...some I recognize, some I see are completely his own.

Sometimes he gives me glimpses into the man he'll be and they leave me breathless. The other day I was laying on my bed, reading a book, and he comes into my room with a glass of water. He sets it on my bedside table.

12 yr old: Mom, are you thirsty?
ManyMom: no?
12 yr old: I brought you some water.

I thanked him, but he stood there waiting.

ManyMom: Sweetie, do you need something?
12 yr old: Mom, you should drink some water. Pregnant women need to drink lots of water.

Now, that in and of itself is amazing, but what is really amazing is that when I was pregnant with Tor two years ago, I offhandedly mentioned to him that he should remember that pregnant and nursing women need to drink lots of water, and that if he ever has children to not ask the mom if she wants it but to just bring it to her and remind her to drink.

He remembered.

I didn't go.

So, I didn't go. By the time I should have been leaving for the milonga, I was already in pajamas and it seemed like a lot of work to attempt to make myself look remotely cute in my now ill-fitting clothing. And I didn't go last week either, because a friend of mine's daughter turned 2 and they celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese's. I was done for after that. Whoever created those places has been so desensitized that they don't even know what the word over-stimulation means. I can't imagine working there.

But last night I did go to a smaller event. I didn't dance, but I went to see friends. It was lovely. And to my surprise, I found myself moved by the music. I haven't been able to even listen to tango. It's too all encompassing for me, and I get lost and then panic a little. I had to set it aside for music that doesn't dissolve me quite so much. But in a larger hall than my ipod earbuds provide, I was able to enjoy the music.

I think I'm ready. I'll give it another week or so, and dance just with people I'm really comfortable with, since tango is so intense and I'm still so easily overwhelmed, but it's nice to be ready. I was starting to get a little worried...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Easing back in

I think I could probably handle a tanda or two in a night, but I feel very out of (dance) practice, kinda shy, and very fragile. So, I'm a little hesitant to dance at my normal events. I'd really like to ease my way back in, dance with friends only (ones that would understand if I couldn't make it through a whole tanda), and go slow. But I'm hesitant to go to the normal events because there are lots of people I don't want to dance with and I can't figure out how to gracefully navigate the who I do want to dance with and who I don't want to dance with thing. Not because of those people, really, but because I feel so off my game and so physically unwell that I don't think I could handle a tanda with someone that I wasn't also completely socially comfortable with.

Any thoughts on this?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Long time no post

It's been a while since I've posted. I have been just too sick, too nauseous. In all reality, if I had felt this way before with my first child, he would have been an only. I spent a couple weeks being able to do nothing but sit on the couch and sleep, and moan. A lot. From misery. I was depressed and my kids were threatening mutiny.

I asked for some drugs. Which isn't a me thing to do, but it had gotten so bad I couldn't even answer the phone. So they set me up with Zofran, and I am starting to remember what it feels like to be a person.

I haven't danced in over 2 weeks. I don't want to be touched, I can't close my eyes, and the thought of a bad tanda makes me cringe. I can't even listen to tango right now because the music is so complex it makes my head spin, which makes my stomach spin. Which makes me cry.

So, we're all ok. The babies are growing, I am starting to almost feel like something besides a wet rag, and I'm trying to just lay low.

I'll let you all know when something changes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Play Me Some Music, Mr. DJ

Seriously? Seriously! This part sucks. Really it does. I am nauseous from the time I open my eyes to when I finally fall asleep. I spend my time totally disgusted by food and equally ravenous...with no warning.

I'm finding myself dropping deeper and deeper into the music. If it's good, I can float away on it. Forget that my stomach is in upheaval, forget that my stamina has gone down the drain. If it isn't? Well, then I'm dancing with queasiness. Blech.

So, what makes the dj good? Tonight's music was, individually, music I like. But the combinations, or the placements, didn't work for me. I wish I knew what it is that I do or don't like, so I don't have to sit and attempt to puzzle it out. I don't understand why, what the lack of magic is, etc. And I'd like to be able to put a finger on it and say, ah...because maybe then I could get beyond my gut feeling of dislike. Maybe then I could hear what the dj had in mind and enjoy it the way he or she wanted me to.

Sadly, at the end of the night, shoes dismissed, floor mostly empty, second song into the last tanda...Oigo tu voz. sigh. it was just a miss all night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tonight's fortune:

mmmm.....fortune cookies. so good.

Now is the time to call loved ones at a distance.
Share your news.

Ultrasound Today

Today, at 6 weeks 3 days, we had our first ultrasound. Guess. Guess what we saw?

Did you guess?

Two.

Two Gestational Sacs.

Two Yolk Sacs.

Two developing embryos.

Two sweet twittery fluttery little heartbeats.

Twins. There are two. We have two little babies growing inside of me. Which means a total of three heartbeats inside my body.

Pregnancy Icks

I have been struck by the pregnancy icks. Food is gross. Driving in cars is gross. Even my beloved coffee has finally become gross. Saltines are good. And so is gatorade. Gatorade! Never in a million years did I think I would be drinking Gatorade. But it has a nice salinity that makes my throat feel nice.

I have never had morning sickness. I bow to all you women that had it for long stretches and then had more children. You are amazing and marvelous and I hold you in awe. Because this sucks.

And, interestingly enough, the only thing that keeps it all at bay, that makes me forget the whirlpool in my stomach: Tango. I feel not yuck when I'm immersed in the dance.

However, this feeling made Tangofest really hard for me. The traveling was hard, the being somewhere when I'm feeling icky was hard, and at about 2 am I was done for. Could Not Dance Another Step. Like Cinderella at midnight. I didn't have the most lovely of festivals. But my consolation is that Valentango will coincide with my second trimester, so I should be full of vibrant energy!

Some Requests

Gentleman, I know you've heard this before, but I think it is fair to repeat it.

PLEASE, please, please....pick a lane and stay in it. Don't pass the people in front of us, don't hold up traffic behind us, just enjoy being part of this bigger moving tango mass.

When we enter a VERY crowded floor, I have to trust you completely. I can't do that if we are weaving in and out of people, and I can't feel that when you haul me to the center of the floor. I like the outer two lanes, preferably the outermost lane, which moves at a sedate respectful pace. I feel safe there. I know where the edge of the floor is, I know who is in front and behind and I can relax.

And, on another note, PLEASE do not try new and special tricks with someone you've not danced with. Namely me. I do not like (and will not do) volcadas that have me crossing my right over my left if I do not know you and haven't danced with you often. (Can you believe someone I had never danced with or previously met tried this with me not once, but THREE times on the dance floor at the Grand Milonga at TangoFest? I thought he had gotten the hint when I stopped dead the second time, but I guess the third and final time when I said, "I really don't think that's appropriate for this floor and I won't do it no matter how many times you lead it" finally got his attention.) If you manage to pull it off well enough that I don't know it has happened, well, then you are elevated to a different status and I will do whatever you lead because you are nearing deity status in my opinion. But that isn't most leaders!

Thank you for your kind attention,

Fledgling Tanguera

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Joy

I feel like I haven't blogged much. No angst, dancing is good, we're pregnant, I love my job, blah blah. Life is Good.

Last night was the second milonga in a new series of Friday night milongas. The hosts do a wonderful job of transforming our normal venue into something cozy, welcoming, intimate and special with charming treats. The music was very good (all Golden age, and well put together), they played Oigo tu voz (which makes me swoon every time I hear it, which isn't often enough at the milongas) and other than needing to do some frequent volume adjusting, I was delighted with the music.

The dancers were sweet, friendly, not cliquey and it was relatively gender balanced.

And the real joy? The community, the drinks afterward (not me, of course), the socializing. It was a lovely way to start my weekend.

You can't tell through cyberspace, but all I can do is glow. I'm glowy.

My Toes

I have this charming pair of silver shoes, lower heels, strappy, cute little sequins. Love them. I haven't worn them in awhile, but wore them a lot when I started dancing. Last night, I started kicking my left big toe again. I think it may be the shoes! These are not tango shoes. Truth be told, they are bridesmaid's shoes. So, I'm wondering if the placement of the heel has something to do with it?

anyone else had this experience?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oigo Tu Voz, Lucio DeMare with Raul Beron



Oigo Tu Voz, (1943) Lucio DeMare with vocalistRaul Beron

OIGO TU VOZ I HEAR YOUR VOICE

Miedo de morir, Fear of death
ansia de vivir, longing to live
sueño o realidad?... dream or reality?
Algo quiere ser something wants to be
un amanecer a daybreak
en mi soledad... in my solitude
Canto que olvidé, Song that I forgot
sitios que dejé, places that I left
dicha que perdí... happiness I lost
Hoy en la emoción Today in the emotion
de mi corazón of my heart
todo vuelve a mí! everything comes back to me

Oigo tu voz I hear your voice
la que mi oído no olvida! which my ear does not forget
Me trae tu voz your voice brings me
hasta mi pena escondida even my hidden pain
la luz y la vida the life and light
de un rayo de sol... of a sun ray
Vuelvo a escuchar I hear again
el nombre mío en tu acento, my name in your accent
sin descifrar without deciphering
si es la palabra que siento if I feel the word
mentira del viento, lies of the wind
delirio, no más... delirium, that's all

Tiemblo por saber I tremble for knowing
si en mi puerta estás, if you are at my door
si es tu propia voz; if it is your voice
y no quiero abrir and I do not want to open
para no llorar so I won't cry
muerta mi ilusión... my illusion
Déjame pensar Let me think
que a salvar vendrás that you will come to save
el deshecho amor... the undone love
Déjame creer Let me believe
que eres siempre, al fin, that you are always, on end,
tú mejor que yo! you better than I!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beta Update

Our beta today is 351, which has a doubling rate of every 36.something hours. Which is great. Relieving. We want it to double every 48 hours or so, so 36.something is very reassuring. We have an ultrasound scheduled for October 22nd, to see how many are in there and to (hopefully) see a little heart beating away.

The mom thinks we have twins, but I'm skeptical. The numbers are no help. They are right in line with twinsies or a singleton, so we just wait.

Can I just tell you though? Food? Not so good. Not so good at all. blech.

Hey, did you see the cute little ticker I added to the bottom of my page? It says we are 4 weeks and 2 days pregnant!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We Have Positive Numbers! We're Pregnant!

143! That is a very respectable number. It's right in the range for a singleton. Which we like. It could be twins, but likely it's just one.

WooHOooooo! We're pregnant. And it's a happy healthy number.

We'll do another beta on Tuesday, to make sure the numbers are doubling. If the numbers double, it indicates a growing embryo. If they don't double, we'll do repeat betas until the numbers either start to fall or come back in line. If it more than doubles, that's great news. If it more than a lot doubles it might indicate multiples.

We will do an u/s on October 22 (they wanted to schedule it for the 20th, but I'll still be at TangoFest in Portland) to see if there is a heartbeat and how many there are.

sigh. I feel like I can breathe!

the due date: June 14th. Hah! We have a due date!!!!

Ney & Jennifer in my dreams

Last night/this morning I had a dream that I was at my normal weekly practica dancing quite well with a leader that I typically enjoy dancing with and he stopped rather unexpectedly and as my eyes flew open in surprise, Ney and Jennifer were standing there. Ney was behind Jennifer so I couldn't really see him, but Jennifer was looking at me and saying, No, no....you need to move your hips like this. She demonstrated by putting her hands on my hips and gently placing my body where it should be. Then they sandwiched my lead and I, Ney's hands on my leader's shoulders and Jennifer's on my hips; and danced with us, demonstrating what they wanted to see. At the end of the song, we exchanged kisses and the music for the next song began and they faded away while I remained in the arms of my leader and we danced.

Tango Jones

I just spent 15 minutes flipping through my address book trying to decide who I could call at 8:30 on a post-late night-milonga Sunday morning to dance with me RIGHT NOW.

I couldn't think of anyone that would appreciate that. I guess I could work on some embellishments, or molinetes.

I hate waiting.

The Wait

So, now we wait to hear the numbers. I will be happy as long as it's a positive number, but I really expect it to be at least 85.

Last cycle, we got positives on the HPT's but they were never dark, so I didn't expect a big number. When she called to tell me the number, it was actually negative. I felt like I had been hit with a bat, like the ground dropped from beneath me, and I felt complete dread and sadness about calling the Intended Parents to tell them.

This time, I am confident there will be a positive number.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

It will be positive, right? It Will. Right?

Friday, October 3, 2008

9dp3dt Update

The Lines are STILL getting Darker.

WooHoooooo!!!!

Thrills

This video, from Irene and Man Yung's Tango Blog made me laugh so hard! And what's even better is that she found a way to link it back to tango.

So great!

8dp3dt pm update

Ok, so the afternoon test was darker, the line came up immediately, and it made me feel MUCH MUCH better.

Here it is, for all my surrogate friends out there.

The one above it is from yesterday morning. It is maybe a smidgeon lighter than the one from the previous day (7dp3dt).

Today I am 9dp3dt, but I won't test until this afternoon, because, unlike most normal human beings, that first pee of the day does not contain the most hcg for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fear

So, here's what I realized today. (though, it's not like this hasn't been noodling around in my, well, noodle)...

I'm completely terrified of being in a loving, giving, supportive reciprocal relationship. Every time I start to think about the possibility, I immediately shut it down. Each time a friend talks about it, I turn all bah humbug on them. I do it humorously, and lightly, but that door is closed tightly in my soul. In fact, it's been painted over, nailed shut and boarded as if to protect it from a storm.

I'm closed. My heart is closed. At least to anything longer than 12 minutes on the dance floor. Or to something I can control (read: parenting).

How ridiculous is this? I talk, and think, frequently about NOT making decisions based on fear. But one of the most essential aspects of life I am allowing to be completely controlled by fear. That moment of tango bliss the other day, it blew that door wide open. (which I then quickly scurried to close! and board up again.) I don't mean I want a romantic relationship with that person, or that I've fallen in love with him (though there will always be a special place held for him....it's the same feeling of tenderness I have for the women whose births I attend).

sigh. How do I remove all those barriers? Interesting, I never said it was locked. Just boarded up and closed tightly. I wonder what significance that has?

I want to allow myself to love someone, to take the risk of loving and giving completely. I want to allow myself to not control everything, but to trust more.

Neuroses

So, this is why I hate testing. Hate myself for giving in.

This morning's test? not a smidgeon darker. *sigh*

And the ugly fear monster rears it's ugly head.

I don't want this to be another chemical. And one morning test doesn't mean it is. But I'll sit here and obsess about it anyway.

*sigh*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

6dp3dt

6 days past a 3 day transfer, or 9 days past ovulation (9dpo). Still too early to get a positive, unless I was carrying a litter. And since I am not hoping to be carrying a litter, I won't test until tomorrow morning. When I will be 7dp3dt, or 10dpo, which is the typical time to get an early positive on a home pregnancy test.

I could bore you with the obsessive watching-for-symptoms craziness, but I won't. Except to say that there are some. Some signs. If one is obsessive enough to look for them. Which, apparently, I am.

This time around I have avoided the message boards, the calendars and for the most part, too much overthinking. I have been doing normal things, filling my days with kids and friends and work, and my nights with dance.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carrying Potential Cargo


Today we transferred three absolutely symmetrical, PERFECT 3 day, 8 celled embryos. Now, we wait.

On Sunday October 5th, I will go in for a beta HCG, which will tell us how much hcg is in my system, which will tell us if any of these little guys stuck around.

It's hard to resist the lure of home pregnancy tests. In the past, I've started testing about 4 days past the transfer, hoping to get an early positive. This time, I want to just wait until at least 7 day past a three day transfer (7dp3dt). That will put me at 1o days past ovulation, had I gotten pregnant the typical way.

HPT's are crazy making. In most of the other cycles, we have gotten really early positives that didn't make it. These are called chemical pregnancies. It's heartbreaking and exhausting to get those positive tests and have a negative or low beta. So, I'm going to try and hold out.

The typical pregnancy symptoms aren't reliable with IVF, because the hormones can mimic them. So, we wait for the beta. If it's a positive number, we go back two days later for another blood test, to see if the numbers have doubled. If the numbers have doubled it's a good indication of a viable pregnancy.

These are the best any of our embryos have looked. I'm feeling really hopeful!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tomorrow

Tomorrow we will put in rapidly dividing little 3 day embryos.

Please be thinking fertile thoughts for us all.

I know I've said it before, but I really want it to work this time. Really.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This has been my favorite poem since about 8th grade

  i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big Love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new
--e e cummings

Vulnerability

In all honesty, friends, it terrifies me.

The absolute intensity that this thing, this Tango, awakens in me is terrifying.

That serpent of passion is coiled pretty deeply inside me. I thought we had found a way to coexist. He had his space, and I had mine. Occasionally, when all the conditions were right and safe, we might play a little together. But always with protection, never too close, always barely touching fingertips. Controlled.

But all bets are off now. He dances to the music, and when I am looking or when I'm not he coils himself around the little figure that is me that coexists in this body and he takes me for a ride and I just don't have any say.

I always knew he was bigger than me. I always new that if it came down to a contest between Passion and Personality, well....Passion would win hands down. And if it came to that, it would be ok because all else would be obliterated. There would only be the aftermath to deal with.

But this music, this dance...it is pulling and twisting us together and I'm finding that the passion and the personality are not as separate as I thought. And it terrifies me. I liked that neat tidy package, and nothing feels neat or tidy anymore. I feel like I am in this spiral of release and fill, and I have no say in it whatsoever. And more, I don't want to have any say. I just want to give in and go.

And in those moments, like tonight, it is glorious to go.

and the aftermath is frightening, because I'm trying to clean up and separate and reorganize what was torn open for me...and there's just no map for this.

and the only solace I can think of is to bury myself even deeper. To hope it opens me even more.

the nature of bliss

I thought it would be joy. I thought it would be light. I thought it would be like a summer day. But it wasn't.

It was aching. It was yearning, and it was melancholy. Oh, there was joy in the connection, in the awakening, in the sharing of each other, but there was more. I didn't realize that the bliss would be like that moment before we tip into orgasm, where our eyes lock with the intensity of knowing we have chosen to go over the edge together, that we've chosen to bare our souls naked to each other and there is nothing to hide, nothing to hide from.

And I sit here dazed, surprised I made it through the rest of the night. Because the tears are flowing down my cheeks, the aftermath of the bliss washing over me.

and a kernal of fear. What if he didn't feel it too? What if this is a story I'm making up?

Does he make us all feel this way?

And with that bliss, I was done. I couldn't even think of another dance with someone else. Anything else would have been empty, shallow, surface. So I sat and watched, completely contented.

I love this love affair on the dance floor. I love the shy newness of learning each other, and the places where we go deeper, a bond that grows with each step. And I think, do all the women he dances with feel this way? Do all the women he dances with walk away feeling beautiful, sexy, special? I suspect they do. And this pleases me. How wonderful that he makes each and every one of us fall in love with him, and feel as if he's fallen in love with us!

And I want to give this back. I want every man that embraces me to walk away from our dance feeling special.

bliss

Tonight I had THAT moment. That moment when the world melts open and we are hurtling through space together, with nothing but us and the cushion of tango for atmosphere.

It was just a second, when he gave himself over to me; the tender act of laying his forehead against mine undid me. In that slightest gesture, I felt him relinquish. I felt him make space in his heart for me, and I felt him allow the vulnerability to wrap us up. And I took it, and held it and loved him essentially.

THIS is what tango is. THIS is why we reach for eachother, why we suffer the doubt, the fear, the pain.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tango Drills

I want a drills class. One where we come together for an hour -- 15 minute warm-up, 35 minutes of drills, then cool down.

Every other dance I've done has this kind of class, but I'm not seeing much of it in Tango. At least, not in my community. And certainly not in the classes. The best milonga classes I've taken spend half their time on drills.

I guess I could email teachers and ask for a drills class. Or maybe get a group together of others who are interested in a drills class, and have each of us take a couple to lead the rest of the group.

Any ideas on this? And where I can get examples of drills?

Introducing Nixon Hailfire...

Apparently, if I had been born to Sarah Palin, I would have been named Nixon Hailfire Palin.

Who would you be? Find out with the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator.


I stole this from Kym, who stole it from Scarred Bellybutton.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WallFlower Wednesday

Thank you, TIO....from the bottom of this heart.

57%

Who would have thought that a lime green corset would be such a popular thing?

Fully 57% of my search engine hits in the last week and a half have had something to do with "lime green corset" in their search.

huh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

For Sunshine

Ok, so I picked Child A up from his weekly D&D game at a friend's house and we were talking about Ozzie Osbourne (I don't remember how it came up) and I asked him if he even knew who Ozzy Osbourne is. And he said no, except that he is old.

Which led to a conversation of what constitutes old.

Apparently 60 is old.

A few beats later,

"Mom, that means you are half old."

A few beats later,

"Actually, you are over half old."

and I think, really I think, that there was a bit of a self-satisfied smirk on his pre-teen face.

Passion for Tango

Excerpted from a letter with a friend, about losing our mojo in tango.

It does underlie everything in the dance, doesn't it? It's hard though, in those moments of lapse, to remember that anything else exists.

What is it about tango that strips us?

I think it's the music. It's so absolute, and in the absence of our own mojo, the music intensifies the lack. It pulls from my gut that sense of want and then tugs me along like a pull toy. Sometimes I hate feeling played with that way. And sometimes I can think of nothing else. It's the lover that knows all the buttons to push; to melt me and to denigrate me and to bring me high and to show I'm nothing, and then to make me beg for more because I've rarely felt something so beautifully intense.

I don't feel the same with alternative music. From that, I can just walk away if the night isn't flowing. But never from traditional. It follows me, sits with me, demands my attention. Sometimes I have to find that bravado, that mojo, that sense of fullness in myself...just to make it go away for a couple minutes so I can breathe.

But then, in that second of breath, I fall in love all over again.

Comparisons

It is so interesting to me how I can dance with someone and have a very meh kind of dance, only to have a friend return from a tanda with the same person raving about him.

When that happens, and it happens frequently, all I can do is softly giggle to myself.

Connecting in the Embrace

Ahhhhh, I think I'm getting it now.

When Filo was here last week, he said something along the lines of, when you connect through the embrace you can stop thinking about the feet, because they will just follow the embrace.

When I danced with a friend, he told me, You have to love them all, embrace them all like they are the only one.

The other day a teacher told me, when you cross in close embrace you still keep that connection. Don't open up, don't lose the contact.

I finally got it.

On Saturday, I had some lovely very connected dances in close embrace. We maintained contact and the feet (for the most part) just went where they were supposed to. And then I had a dance with a leader I'd never danced with before. There was a height issue, and he kept pulling away, breaking our contact. It was like night and day for me! I couldn't believe how much harder he was to follow (and how much worse my dancing!).

I hadn't realized that losing that connection, for even a second, is like dancing off the beat.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Plateauing

Thanks, Janet Little.

Here's a reminder for you, E.

Plateauing is like climbing a mountain. You work really hard, and then you reach that plateau and you get a chance to cruise for awhile. Enjoy the sunshine, smell the wildflowers, gaze at the clouds and find dragons, maybe eat some lunch. Catch your breath.

But at some point you start to get anxious. You still have so much mountain to climb, and it still seems so far away. So you start to hurry. And notice less of the beauty around you, because your focus has shifted.

It means you're ready for the next part of your journey. Ready to start up that mountain again. Ready to focus and get down to business.

So this dissatisfaction with your plateau, it's a good thing. And you'll be climbing again soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Surogacy Update

So, just 10 more days until we transfer. We did an ultrasound to check my uterine lining today. It needs to be at least a 9 to be cozy enough for the embryos to snuggle in, and with 1o more days to go we are already at a 9. My body is doing just what it needs to be doing.

Now, we are just wanting those eggies to do their job!

Geraldine

Ok, who doesn't love her? Really? And want to dance like her? And, Lust after her. Which may be completely inappropriate, but I just can't help it.

This one, because I can't keep my eyes off the curve of her hips. She's so luscious in this skirt that I can barely concentrate on her dance.



And this one, for the passion in her dance.





He's ok, too. Ha!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ssssshhhh.......

I've had a quiet week in the blogoshpere, because my real life has been jam packed.

1. Virus on computer.
2. 2nd week of school, including an overnight for my middle schooler.
3. Board meetings (already!) -- I'm on our charter school's board of directors.
4. Placement meetings, and tours of the (sorta) new school for 16 yr. old. Yay! He has a school and starts Monday!
5. Normal everyday life, including a house that is messy 12 minutess after I clean it; the never-ending pile of laundry which currently includes my 22 yr.old brother's laundry (because I'm nice like that); dinner and keeping the fridge stocked with 3 growing boys working hard to keep it empty; and of course , work.
6. Oh right, did I mention daily hormone injections and the mental energy of thinking of getting myself knocked up?

And, of course, dance. I danced Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights last week, did workshops on Saturday and Sunday, and danced Monday night too! And here it is, Thursday night again and the dancing week starts over for me.

So, you see, something had to give. It was you or my kids, Friends. And frankly, they are MUCH louder than you.

I'm hoping to get a little time this afternoon to talk about the workshops this past weekend with Filo Avignonesi. Very Interesting....

WallFlower Wednesday....oops, Thursday

Thanks, Juntos (on and off)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The moment between songs, and the pose

I LOVE when a leader ends a song with a wonderful pose, and then holds it. He doesn't drop our embrace, or make a bunch of adjustments. He just holds me there, in stasis. Until the next song, until he's ready to move, and then he just picks up from where we are, one smooth transition into the next moment.

I love that feeling of stillness and anticipation with eachother. And I love that he's secure enough to just hold me there. I always feel beautiful in that moment, and all else just fades away in that fuzzy out of focus way, because our attention is focused on eachother and we come into realization that it's just us. The music is silent, and we're just holding eachother. Not wrapped in the third party, the tango.

Just wrapped in each other.

Thank you

Thank you for being my last dance of the night.

Thank you for not apologizing for being sweaty. For not shying away from the small of my back and the length of my spine and my sweat, mingling with yours.

Thank you for the movements in your body, and for the way you asked me to move with you.

Thank you for the soft smile.

Thank you for not breaking our embrace between songs, but for enjoying the pause and the stillness between us, and thank you for leading our moment into the next, as if our time together is so precious that we dare not waste a moment by separating.

and thank you for that length of time, after the last song of the evening, where we waited hopefully for the next, and the bit of regret in your voice as we said our thank you's and walked off the floor together.

Lime Green Corset Top

I finished it, and it was surprisingly easy. The next will be a snap, and I've already picked out the fabric. The only change I will have to make to the pattern is to shorten the back a little (it creases at the waist), and tighten the bust a bit.

Though, I did get some mild wrinkles around the boning, when I sewed it in. I think it was because the boning was already in a casing, so I just sewed the casing in. The pattern called for me to make the casing from excess in the 5/8, but I figured that using the boning already in the casing reinforced it, and the material I'm making the corset out of is lightweight, so.... there are a few small wrinkles. Next time I will use the boning without the casing.

I have to shimmy to get in and out of it, but it's super cute and will look GREAT with a pair of black palazzos.

Which, I will make tomorrow. And wear tomorrow or Saturday night. I'll post a picture then.

Our chain fabric store finally got in some decent lighter weight jersey knit in fall colors, for the palazzo pants but before I could even get down there some wench bought the entire bolts of the black,the lighter blue and the navy blue! So mad! I don't like to order fabric over the internet because I want to touch it, and this is so frustrating! They can special order more, but they were saying it would take 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DHS RANT

Please feel free to bypass this rant.
It's part of the reason I am C R A N K Y.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. For everyone except my foster son, because at this juncture we don't know WHERE he will be going to school.

For those of you that don't know the system, by the time they become teens, most kids have been in and out of foster homes, have some kind of history of bad stuff (abuse, violence, drugs, stealing, etc.), and don't go to regular public schools, blah blah. Maybe this isn't true about all foster teens, but I only take the hard to place teens, which means there will be some significant back history that makes schooling challenging.

When I took this teen in (mid-way through July), I said that I wanted schooling addressed as soon as possible, to be able to work on creating a success story before he even walked in the door. Knowing where he would be, visiting, meeting teachers before, helping them understand how to manage his behaviours, giving him an early idea of what to expect. Mental preparation. But in August we got switched to a new case worker, we can't sort out who his prescriber for meds is (so he's out), his special care nurse has not called to make an appointment, AND WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHERE HE WILL GO TO SCHOOL! Because of his situation, we can't just walk in and enroll him in a school. His records need to be gone through, multiple meetings need to happen to determine the best placement, etc.

So, what this means is that we are starting out in the red. Negative Balance, here. No meds, no mental preparation, and lots of stress and anxiety.

His case worker is wonderful. Really. And doing the best he can, but he has over 200 kids on his case load, and he's supposed to be caring for ALL of them. It's no wonder nothing gets accomplished.

Sigh.

It's my job to help this kid be successful, but I can only go so far, and the State is not supporting me. Not because they are bad, or because it's personal. It's not. But this system, our foster care system, is BAD. It's diseased. It's amazing it works at all.

Last night = MUD

Somewhere about 6pm last night I became C R A N K Y. There's no good reason. The children were wonderful, I knew what we were having for dinner (I hate planning dinner.), I was working on a sewing project that was deceptively simple (still waiting for the 'i'm difficult' shoe to drop--it always does, but usually not until I've pieced it all together only to realize, "OH!, so that's what that meant!"), and my favorite tango class of the week was in less than an hour.

*hormones, ugh*

So, I went to class hoping it would lift my mood. It didn't. I couldn't walk on the beat and was just a half a second behind nearly every time...even with D'Arienzo. How can I miss the beat with D'Arienzo? I stumbled through class and contemplated skipping the practica, but many of the leaders I enjoy dancing with were there, and it's the only alternative dance I attend all week and I like that little bit of extra spice. So I stayed. And the leaders were wonderful, as they most often are. And I Was Not.

But here's the interesting thing. I saved one of the leaders I most like dancing with until my mood picked up a bit. And at the end, we stepped onto the floor, and half a song in I had to stop. I just couldn't fake it with him. I couldn't pretend I heard something I didn't, couldn't pretend I felt something I didn't, couldn't be in his arms and not give him the very best of me. I couldn't give him MUD. So, I ended the tanda halfway into the first song with lots of apologies. He was gracious, as always. A true gentleman.

This brought home something that has been percolating in my head lately. It is NOT better to dance even if I don't feel it or like it. I used to feel so desperate for the dance that I would take anything I was handed, and now.... not so much. Now, I am beginning to feel like I'd rather not dance than dance something untrue, unkind or half-hearted. I think this is a good sign.

First Phrases

I love the first few phrases of the song. When you embrace me, and take your time to settle in with me, when we synchronize our breathing and then settle a little more. Like in yoga, when we breathe and get that much more of a stretch.

I love when we are with each other and the music plays over us and then settles itself into us, and we just allow it to happen.

No rush, maybe a slight movement, or a weight change, but no rush.

Those few phrases are some of the most precious to me.

and then we dance.

BlogDay 2008

Tassili, over at La vie en rousse, a charming blog (in french) that I can only read with Babelfish, which makes for some interesting translations, included me in her list.

Thank You! I'm honored.
(not that you can see it on that screen shot, but if you really want to go over to her blog and check it out!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Or Maybe...

Or maybe I'll stop feeling like I have to be so damn competent. Maybe I'll discover that I don't want to HAVE to be the one that does everything, that can do everything.

Maybe I'll figure out that it's ok to be taken care of, that it's ok to just be the feminine me, that there is someone that can do some of the things I have to take care of.

Maybe I don't need to be so damn independent.

Maybe I need to allow someone else to become someone I depend on.

Maybe I just need to allow someone to be part of my life.

Damn, growing up is hard.

That Lezzie Thing...

So, after my short-lived love affair, I've returned to the mental musings of a lezzie. I guess that just means my primary orientation is lezzie? I don't know, whatever...

So, on Saturday a couple of my very bestest (lezzie) friends came to the milonga. (Since all my Pre-Tango friends have dropped off my social spectrum, I've realized I have to import them!) Now, these are the friends from this post, the ones that I always feel comfortable with, the ones that I can cry or scream or laugh or just simply be with. But it was a bit weird for me.

Here's why.

When I tango, it's a different side of me. The me that is completely feminine. (I didn't realize I am so compartmentalized....think I need to work on integration?) And with these friends, well....we are part of a drag king troupe. We spend our free time as male impersonators. It was weird to have the two worlds come crashing together. I had a few moments of feeling very exposed when I was embraced by one of my tango crushes....because I love being in his arms so much. (For the record, this is totally my own insecurity--these friends would love me even if I grew 6 heads. In fact, they'd love me 6x as much.)

This is so weird to me, friends. I am so confused about where I am on the spectrum right now. Now that I'm settled with being attracted to men as well as women, I think it's time to sort out what to do with all these facets of masculine and feminine.

I like that I can work on my car and then dress in sexy clothes and dance. But maybe there's a way to integrate those sides without it being so drastic.

Less drama, more flow...

Sewing

I've been sewing a lot lately. I go through spurts. Sometimes I knit like mad, but then I get knitted out and have to just look at that lovely stash of yarn until more inspiration hits. But right now, it's sewing. Because, Tango clothes are surprisingly easy to sew.

I'll post some pictures when I can beg my friend to come take some (because unlike most of you, I just don't seem to have the picture bug).

Last night I purchases a corset pattern. It looks complicated, but if I can figure it out, it should be fun. I always admire the corset look on the girls at the milonga.

I'll keep you updated.

Thank you, Helen Stern.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tango for Ransom

Get your own ransom note here.

Surrogacy Update

So, I'm off the birth control pills, lowered the dosage of lupron to 5 units, and added estrogen. I do injections of lupron nightly, and injections of estrogen on Thursdays and Mondays.

Only 23 days until transfer.

My Feet Hurt

Usually, my feet don't hurt. But last night I wore my cute new shoes (see them here, but mind the toes) and they have a bit of a platform to them. Not much, more like extra cushioning. It made it a little harder for me to really feel the floor, and I think I was heavier on my feet than normal. The heel is also a little higher then what I normally wear, so maybe that added to it. But today, the ball of my foot has the beginnings of a blister, but will probably turn into a callus instead, and is t e n d e r.

But I danced today anyway.

*sigh*

Woe is me...or my poor feetses.

Saturday Milonga

I enjoyed every single tanda tonight.

I want to just freeze this moment and stay here for a while.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Make me feel better

There are lots more out there, but I'm supposed to be working and those three were the ones that immediately jumped to mind. Well, and of course Johanna's entire blog. (shhhh...don't tell her I am like, totally in love. I don't think she's figured it out yet.)

Today is crappy yucky doodoo again. I think today I will blame it on hormones, and just keep seeking the things that give me a little glimmer, a little reminder of light. *sigh* (We better damn well get a baby this time, because this hormone crap gets old. )( But S, if you are reading this, it's totally worth it. Really, these are the hormones talking. And they go away. Don't feel bad.)

TangoBaby's Curly Girl

Here, this one too.

Elizabeth's Car Tango

Read this one too.

More than Tango, It's About You

Go read this post again. It's guaranteed to make a crappy day better. At least, that's what I'm hoping.


And if you haven't read it yet (anyone out there read my blog that isn't a tangophile? You should read this post to. It's beautiful and soulful and one of the reasons we all dance.), GO READ IT.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beautiful Feet

Is it possible to be a dancer and still have beautiful feet?

I used to have beautiful feet. And now? They aren't so beautiful. Or maybe they are just beautiful in a different way.

Today, I have toenails that are a mess (How do I keep doing that to my toenails? Why don't I notice it when it's happening?), a blister peeling off, calluses that I don't seem to be able to rub off no matter how pumicey my pumice stone is, a giant bruise where some mislead young thing stuck her sharp sharp heel into the top of my foot, a nasty scratch across the top of the same foot from MY heel, a fading tan that doesn't match my heels...

Maybe I need to redefine beautiful feet.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Judgment

This week I am dealing with what I see as judgment from someone I love immensely.

This is supposition on my part, but something happened that left my friend feeling used, disrespected, unheard and maybe a whole bunch of other things. And I feel judged, unheard, disrespected and angry.

I'm not really looking for feedback or comment on the situation with my friend, but I wanted to write a bit about my role as a mother, about peoples' judgments of me, and about where I am with that stuff.

I'm not the best mom in the whole world. I'm not even close. And I've been a single parent for enough years now that I can't even remember what it was like to share parenting. I had my kids young, and so most of my adult life has been as a parent. I've done a lot of my growing up right along with my kids (bless their patient little hearts.)

I was married to an abusive mentally ill man. It started to get really bad before I was even pregnant with my second, but I loved him and wanted him to have the love and support, and knew we would/could work through it together. And we tried. But the pregnancy with my second child was traumatic. My husband was beyond my help and really struggling and it was ugly. And so while my son gestated, my house was full of yelling, anger, threats, fear, and intensity. I feared for my life at times. 9 months after our second son was born, friends refused to let me go home to him, or to take my children home to him. It was a full scale, we-don't-think-you'll-live-through-the-night-if-you-go-home Intervention. And so I didn't go home, and my marriage ended.

But let me assure you, the guilt did not. Neither did the abuse, not for a long time after. But the guilt. My younger son was so angry. His first several years, it was his defining characteristic. Did I make him that way, exposing him to all that stress in utero? Did I not protect him enough? Did his father's illness warp his precious baby years? My older son witnessed those ugly scenes. Did he learn that was the way to treat women? Did he feel like he had to protect me? Is his withdrawn serious nature because of all the scary things he witnessed? Are my children ok? Will they despise me for being so weak that I exposed them to the abuse?
And I Let It All Happen.

My oldest rebounded (at least outwardly) pretty quickly. My youngest though, Stupendous Child; It was hard. We went through years of counseling. Me learning parenting skills and how to manage his needs. We went through batteries of tests, looking for a diagnosis. None fit. Person after person looked at me and told me something was wrong with my child, except my counselor. Who told me he was incredibly smart and just bigger than his body. She taught me to keep up with him, to take care of myself, to not take his stuff as my own and to be ok with who he is, even when everyone around me was convinced that there was something wrong. But she couldn't erase the guilt.

Pre-school and kindergarten were hard. Really hard. Cry myself to sleep every night, falling asleep mid-sob from exhaustion hard. Bruises from having to restrain him so he wouldn't hurt himself or others. 1st grade was a little easier. He was beginning to be enough in his body to be able to actually choose. Not always, and not perfectly, but there were glimmerings. Last year was second grade. I think I actually only had to pick him up from school for behaviour stuff less than a handful of times. He's grown and matured so much, and has really learned how to respond the way he wants, not just to respond from panic. He's still a handful, but he feels good about himself now. It's a major achievement.

[Guilt, fear, never enough, more to do, dirty house, haven't shopped in a couple days, forgot to send in the homework, never enough money, have to ask for help, dishes in the sink, screaming child, just want a break, gotta go to work, another babysitter, how did you get that cut (why don't I know he has a cut? what kind of mother doesn't know her kids gets a cut?), overdue bills, never enough, here watch this movie so I can collapse, here--these smell ok, never enough, never enough, never enough.]

And here I am. I am a single mom of 4; 2 bio and 2 foster. I LOVE being a parent. I love that I make mistakes, I love that I get exasperated, I love that my kids have their own timeframes and personalities and wants and quirks. I do a wonderful job. I have a gift with listening and making space for the kids to feel heard. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed and exhausted and have too much on my plate. My house is never clean. I have 300 projects going on. Each kid could use a little more one-on-one time. I would like to be able to teach them more. But you know what?, I love them completely, for just exactly who they are, and they know it.

And yet, I still judge. I am my own hardest critic. I make a mistake and I grind myself up. I say something that shouldn't have come out of my mouth, and I dwell on it. I see someone's disapproving glance and I wear it for days. A friend disapproves of something and it shakes my foundation enough that I question myself for days. I'm not going to do this anymore, friends.

Last night my foster son called me to talk him down from a fight with his biological parents. He Called Me. Because he feels heard, because he feels safe, because he knows that I will listen to him. My 20 yr. old asked me to be his mother. Because he knows I mean it when I tell him I love him. My 12 year old is integrous, funny, and self-assured because he grew into that for himself, because there is space for him to explore who he wants to be. And my 8 yr old is in control of himself and is learning to trust and feel pride in who he is because I made space for him to grow even when it was hard.

The proof is right there, and I have been ignoring the obvious because I wanted validation from the adults. I needed to convince the ones that don't believe in me. I wanted to prove that I could be the good parent. But the proof is right here in these kids, and how we are together. And I'm not going to ask for anyone else's approval. Not even my own. It's the kids that I have to listen to.

Friday, August 22, 2008

C-R-A-P Week

It has been a crap week. Seriously. There were several times where I considered drowning myself in my toilet. Except, as my oh so charming (and very dry sense of humored) twelve-year-old let me know, my head is too big to expect to reasonably drown myself in the toilet. Perhaps I should try the bathtub.

I know a lot of people will assume it is because of the end of the my brief love affair, but I moved through that one quickly. Today, I'm at peace. It was bad timing for both, and oh but we made each other feel good for a short bit of time. How can I feel anything but joy over that? And, as I explained to a friend before, my life was so good before and he only added to it. Him being gone didn't ever take anything away, and ahhh, the reminder of the luscious juiciness I have (and had!) inside me.

But it wasn't C-R-A-P because of him, but for a whole bevy of communication issues with others. People I disappointed, made angry, misconstrued, didn't construe at all, whatever.

I went to the practica last night with the intention to listen. Just really listen. Not filter, not push my own, but to just listen because apparently this week I've dropped that ball on listening and/or interpreting in my other relationships. And what I got was a warm reminder that I am worthy, that people want my input, that misconstruing something can be turned into a different movement with equally pleasurable results, and that an off moment is just that--another moment.

I needed to dance last night. I needed it. Funny how it has become more than just music, more than just connection, more than an ever-pounding series of thoughts. It's become something my body craves, something that soothes my mind, something that allows me to reflect. It's become part of me and how I move through my day. How did I get by before tango?

Timeless Moment

You know that timeless moment between beats, where the whole world stops and there is no sense of hurry, or rush, of think-what-next, because you have all the time in the world?

That's where I feel like I'm sitting with my tango.

At that moment, between beats.

mmmm.....

Music

So, now that I feel like I am starting to be able to discern different styles, orchestras, etc., I am wanting to really delve into the music. But my cobbled together collection rarely has names, dates, etc, which is maddening. It's ridiculous to sit and hope I hear a particular piece of music somewhere where I can ask for all its dirty little secrets.

So, tango friends, how did you build your tango collections? Where did you find the music? What are the must-haves?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where's the Tango?

I haven't blogged much about tango in the last couple weeks because I've been doing a lot of dancing and a lot of growing.

I feel like I jumped several levels, and found the right teacher at the right time, and let my heart and ego go enough to be able to receive the lessons.

I had a wonderful class on Music with a friend, where a lot of the intuitive knowing of the music was broken down into words and thoughts, and that helped my musicality immensely. I feel like I have a long long long way to go, but I'm a couple steps closer.

I also had that moment where it really hit me that I have to give, and a couple of dances that reinforced it for me. Before, I would hear what was being asked, and I would (hopefully) do it, but I wasn't in there. I was too busy worrying about whether I was doing the thing he asked. Somewhere in there, I found my connection and was able to put a little of myself into the dance. So now when I'm asked to cross, I don't just have to rush to the cross, but I can do it with the flavor I want it to have.

But really, there aren't words to describe what I'm learning. It's all integration. I needed this step so I could relax and enjoy it a little, and so that I can start really working on technique.

so, that's the tango update.

This is my 100th post!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DRugs

So, today is my last day on birth control pills. I started Lupron last Sunday.

With surrogacy, they control every aspect of my reproductive cycle. They put me on birth control pills to know just where I am and to control when I shed my lining. They put me on Lupron to suppress my ovaries so I don't ovulate. Then they ask me to bleed one more time. Once I do, they start me on Estrogen to build my endometrial lining. They can hold me in stasis with Estrogen for a while, for weeks or longer, until the Intended Mother has nice ripe eggs developing in roomy follicles. Right before they harvest her eggs, they start me on Progesterone, to simulate the hormonal process that happens in early pregnancy. So we suggest to my body that I am ready and then we put in embryos and HOPE.

We will transfer happily dividing embryos, probably 2, into my prepared uterus on September 23rd. On October 4th, we will draw blood for a quantitative HCG count. Hopefully the numbers will tell us we are pregnant.

I don't mind the hormones so much. They make me feel a little off stability, but they remind me that I have to be gentle with myself and others. They shine a light on the romanticism I often push aside because of business. They push me to really think about my gut reactions.

I love these people that I am hoping to carry for, and each time I talk with them, each time I hear her tell me with pride something about her son that I grew, I am overcome with joy and gratitude. I am part of their happiness, their world.

I really want it to work this time. I really want to hear the joy when the nurses call me with the number. I really want to hear their full body retention as we wait for the second beta, and then the u/s because they've, we've, already had so many disappointments. Please, please, please let it work this time.

Imagine My Frustration

In honor of Wallflower Wednesday....



I love you, Ella.

WallFlower Wednesday


Why Wallflower Wednesday? There's no t-a-n-g-o on Wednesdays.

Thanks, Onzin.

Short-Lived

and so I'll say it was short-lived, and what pleasure to have those few moments together. And it will be Truth, but really, only half-Truth.

Because, really, what can I say? What words can I let fall from my mouth that describe how I feel? It would be an unstoppable torrent, and probably unintelligible.

Because, really, it doesn't make sense. We had little time together. Certainly not enough to warrant this depth and complexity of feeling.

Because, really, he was honest and kind and moral (gag, choke, vomit--what girl wants moral?).

Because, really, how can it leave this hole right there? How can there be a dent that is filling with sadness, despair, and loss? I didn't have any Right to him. I didn't have any Right to lose myself in those feelings.

Except that Right that comes from knowing there is more there than just liking the way he smells, or the way his voice softens, or the surprising vulnerability he shows. There are lifetimes of interaction that played out in a few simple body exchanges.

And I said that if we walked away I would be grateful for the reminder that I can love again, grateful for the chance to examine some long held beliefs, that I would understand and be gracious. That I would celebrate him caring for himself, and I would look forward with joy to the next opportunity we had. And those things are true. They are. I mean all of them, and will eventually feel just exactly those things.

But right now, I just want to cry at the loss. At the chances missed. At the stories we won't share. I didn't expect to open my heart. I didn't expect to desire someone so completely. I didn't expect.

and I am stunned. And I know there is a wall of people out there, and they are going to ask. and what can I say to them?

just that it was short-lived, and what pleasure those few moments we had were.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursdays

I don't plan it this way, friends. But for some reason, on Thursdays, the words literally come flying out my fingertips. I have little else to say all week, but Thursdays....

So, I apologize for cluttering up your readers, for overwhelming you, or for just taking over your day (narcy of me to think that I would get that much attention from you, no?), but the blogGODS have apparently decreed that Thursday is Throw-Up day....

so there you are.

Enjoy!

Jesus, Zombies

Stupendous Child: [completely sweet, innocent and sincere in this question] Mom, if Jesus rose from the dead, does that mean he's a zombie?

Many Mom: [completely sweet, innocent and sincere in this answer] Yes, dear, Jesus eats brains.


this morning.

This morning I started my day shushing my newly-20 yr old. awwwwww....... I got to be irritated with my 20 yr. old way too early this morning. It's totally made my day.

Yesterday, 19-yr-old turned 20.

I hadn't talked to him in about a week. I came home from work, and my 12 year old says, "Mom, call 20-yr-old." So I do, at the provided number, one I don't recognize.

20-yr-old: Mom*, I'm stranded in Springfield.
ManyMom: Happy Birthday!
20-yr-old: Thanks. Mom, I'm stranded in Springfield.

[...]

Long story short, he wants me to come rescue him. so i do.
******
At midnight, as I am bleary eyed and going to bed, he is chirpily making impromptu plans for a party the next day. AT MY HOUSE. clever child. I missed all the details, warm and fuzzy in loving him; who says no?

At 7:22 am, I suddenly bolt out of bed, remembering no one put out the garbage.
"20-yr-old, go put the garbage out." Which he does, good lad.

20-yr-old: Mom, can you like, get up and clean a little?
ManyMom: What? What? 20-yr-old, no. I'm not up. You're seeing things"
[pause]
20-yr-old: Mom, they're gonna be here at 9.
ManyMom: WHAT?!? You knowingly invited people to be here, at my house, at 9 IN THE MORNING? Why? Why would you do that?
20-yr-old: [flipping explanation deleted, because it was not even remotely a good enough reason]
ManyMom: WHY did you think that would be a good idea?
20-yr-old: Well, at 3:42am, when we decided this, it seemed like a good idea.
ManyMom: sigh, yes, I guess it would.

I remember those days.

So, I remind him that NO ONE gets to talk to me until I've had coffee and he'd better go meet his friend at the bus stop and NOT bring him home at 9 am. In exchange, I will cook for them, get snacks and promise not to embarrass him too much in front of his friends when they return LATE in the afternoon.

20-yr-old: Mom, um, can I, like, have some money...for bus fare?
ManyMom: I don't have any money right now. You have to plan ahead. I haven't been to the bank yet. I have no money. Hey, where's your money?
20-yr-old: Well, can't you just, like, write me a check or something?
ManyMom: For bus fare?
20-yr-old: Mom, can I make you some coffee or something?

Goodness, but I love being his Mom.

UPDATE: They showed up at 10am. TEN. /exasperation!
_______________________________________________________________
*Last week, 20-year-old, after emptying my entire refrigerator, sidles up to me and stares over my shoulder while I'm catching up on your blogs, until I turn around with eyes wide as dinner plates to tell him to STTOOOOOPPPPP IT.

"um, can I like, call you my mom? Will you be my mom? Like, can I tell my friends that's who you are?"

/melt, melt, melt

"of course, i would love if you called me mom. now go put the dishes away."

i feel better

i have spent the last several days feeling fairly neurotic about life-at-large (thank you pre-IVF hormones!) and was gearing up for another day of hating my foibles when Jenny the Bloggess directed me here.

I'm so much better than these people.

Wanna share yours?