(If you came searching for ALO's Barbeque, click the word. It's a good song, that's why I borrowed it's lyrics.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hormone Wash in the Brain

I have been asked about the science of a hormone wash in the brain. There is no proven link, but there have been some studies. I'm not a science writer, that's more my husband's field. While I have done a lot of reading on gender identity, I tend to remember things without recalling the actual sources. So, there might be better links, but here's what I found in a quick search. In Foetal testosterone and the child systemizing quotient they discuss animal models:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Short update on itching

See the original post "Itching" on the right. The answer to the cause of the itching? Probably none of the above. I think it was a side effect to my new mood stabilizer medication. That and night sweats. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Early indications

(Note: although we fully accept our daughter is a girl, we use the male pronoun to refer to her during the phase we all thought she was a boy.) In the first picture we saw of the boy we decided to adopt there he stood wearing a red shirt holding a pink stuffed animal. "It's a meepit!" the twin boys shouted. They were in a phase where they loved their small pink creatures that looked like guinea pigs on two legs. Wasn't it cool their soon to be brother liked them too? I knew that when I lived in China, boys didn't wear red, but maybe things had changed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


At the tail end of a weekend of fun at my parent's house I had a tantrum. I was trying to pack up and everywhere I found wet socks, shorts, snowpants, gloves. It seemed none of the four children had tried to hang out their clothes to dry on radiators. It brought back to mind how at the beach house the twins had their own room. Every day I'd enter to find wet bathing suits and towels on dressers, beds and the floor. I'd explain why this was bad: mildew, wet bad, damaged dresser top. The next day we'd go through it again. Their answer, "Mom! We're not perfect." I never was accusing them of being perfect, that's for sure.

Friday, December 18, 2009

In Memoriam or, A plate of Christmas Cookies

When my uncle died my father found, among other things, packages of opened Christmas cookies from my mom, stacked and dated through the years in my uncle's kitchen. At Christmas time my mom would put together a variety of Christmas cookies she'd made. I can't remember them all, but there was a recipe from her mother: almond cookies; those pecan ones rolled in powdered sugar; maybe some cocoa balls; and certainly sugar cookies in Christmas shapes. She'd place them on festive paper plates, slip them in a baggy with a twist tie, attach a note saying "Merry Christmas 1976!" I have tried to copy this tradition with varying success. This year I managed to make almond cookies. I doubled the recipe and made almost 12 dozen. The plate thing wasn't working for me, the cookies would slide all to one side. So I stuck them in ziploc bags with a paper napkin and wrote on the bag with permanent ink pens. I still ran out of cookies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quivering upper lip

Met with my psychiatrist today. I'm doing fine and am ready to up the dose of my new mood stabilizer. We laughed a little. I told him how, despite what I saw were positive effects of the drug, my life was incredibly stressful right now. He said, "My part is easy, writing the prescription. The rest, well, you have your work cut out for you." That's putting it mildly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The early bird

I wake up at 6, earlier than I am wont to do. I imagine sitting snugly on the couch, the lamp on, dark outside the windows, reading the paper, drinking my tea and feeling virtuous because I'm up early enough to do so. None of this guilty lazy sleeping as long as I can, afraid to get up and face the day. Except for moments later, Matt comes down, perches on the couch by my feet, turns on his laptop and starts sighing heavily. All my muscles tense. I clearly need to be productive and am doing a miserable job. Then he tells me his cousins are coming on Monday and we have booked him to work. Can't he just come home for lunch? Finally at 7am, 15 minutes late, he leaves for his networking breakfast, which has become more onus than opportunity. Just more time taken up networking with others who also don't have enough work. The blind leading the blind.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

An almost perfect day

Saturday morning Matt suggested we all go for a walk in half an hour. I'm happy when he isn't working diligently because otherwise I feel guilty as hell for wanting to sit on the couch, snuggle by our newly installed energy-efficient stove insert--(always happy to plug a friend, let me know if you want me to add a link to your site :-)--drink my coffee or tea and let the morning sink in. In half an hour we all pile into the minivan with little ado (although Ted decides with five minutes to spare to take a quick shower.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

"In this life we're free to dream whatever we want to..."

"...but that doesn't mean our dreams are going to come true." They certainly have a better chance of coming true if we actually strive for those dreams. I have spent most of my life not striving for my dreams. Which is not entirely fair to myself. I dreamed of having children and I have four. I dreamed of a handsome, caring, intelligent husband, and I have him, too. I had smaller dreams, to be good at something. When I was good at them, sometimes I went off on tangents with little forethought.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'm lying in bed when I randomly scratch my chin. There, I've done it again. The third time I start to wonder. Soon I notice an itch on my hip. Now my head itches. Guess what my first thoughts are:
  1. I have head lice.
  2. I have ringworm.
  3. My skin is dry from too-hot baths and winter weather.
  4. All of the above.
And the answer is...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the subtitle: [Dep]recession-era mom

Little pun there in the depression sub-title. I mean a) what is a recession, really? Since we've been down-sized 18 months ago and still grossly under-employed it feels like a depression to us. And b) well, most who know me know that I suffer from depression which has only buckled under stress. Thank heavens for pharmaceuticals. Oops. Unless it's a pharmaceutical company that fired my husband's ass in the first place. Which it was. They didn't just fire his ass either, his whole entire self to boot. And now he would like me to kindly point out that he wasn't fired, his entire department was deep-sixed.

Top ten ways to know you're in a [dep]recession:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In case you're wondering about the title...

I wanted to call my blog "Underdog Victorious" from a song by Jill Sobule. It's about a boy who is teased as a kid but grows up to believe in himself. And many a day I feel like an underdog--albeit an over-privileged, heretofore upper-middle class, over-educated one. And sometimes I'm feeling just a wee bit victorious. Unfortunately, or due to my underdog persona, the blog page was taken by some fool who hasn't used it in four years. Bitch.