Cycle 17 is Already a Bitch

17. 17 cycles and I'm still not pregnant.

I didn't even cry when my period showed yesterday. It was as if I expected it to. It's second nature now, that dissapointment. I had some hope this last cycle, which I kick myself for now. No spotting until the day before FP showed and FP showed late. I figure any made up "symptoms" were created by my body to merely to mess with my head.

This became an even bigger slap in the face this afternoon when a former BOTB regular on the Nest showed up today to announce her second BFP. I remember her first BFP and while I liked her, I just couldn't muster up a congrats in her announcement post.

Because it just isn't fair and I'm tired of being bitter and sad.


One Would Think I have a Masterbation Problem

You'd think from the multiple times I've fingered myself today that I do. Nope, I'm merely being a CM checking psycho. Yesterday, 12 DPO, no spotting in the 50 million times I checked. Today, 13 DPO, I have yet to see any signs of spotting and believe me I've looked....like a sex crazed loser.

This 2WW is currently driving me batshit crazy.


One is Silver and the Other's Gold

My dear friend Alicia and her daughter Eve left for the Ukraine today. Alicia will be teaching in Kiev for two years at an international school. I'm so sad she will be so far away for so long. She has really been there for me during some hard times and during fun times. She has been a great friend and confidant, as well as a great actress and director. Have a great trip Alicia, I'll be thinking of you daily.

It's been a hard year for my friendships. I don't need anyone else to leave.


...and the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Shortly after writing that last blog the rug was indeed pulled out from under me, worse than I could ever imagine.

My day started with taking Henri to the exotic vet and finding out it wasn't an abscess but a tumor. Of course it needed to be removed so I said good bye to sweet Henri and around $300.00 so he could have that awful thing removed. The vet seemed hopeful about it and said it would be easy to remove.

I was supposed to hang with my mom but shelling out money, when I was already worried about money for IVF, didn't put me in a real festive mood.

Then I got the call that made everything crash down around me. Melissa, the finance person at my clinic, called to tell me that my RE no longer carried my insurance. I knew they weren't a provider for Cigna but they were for Beech Street which is under the Cigna umbrella. As of June they no longer contract with them. This is why she had such a hard time getting exact prices for me the day before.

She explains how I could pay as a cash patient and then bill my insurance. However, if we were stressing over $5100 how on earth could I pay $10,000 upfront for the procedure alone? All I could do was cry and tell Melissa that that wouldn't be feasible for us and we'd have to cancel going forward on the cycle. I know she felt terrible but I also know there wasn't anything she could do. "This is what I hate about my job", she said.

When I got off the phone with her I tried to call Alex but couldn't reach him. That didn't help because I was hysterical at that point and practically hyperventilating. I turned to my girls on the TTC6+ board and they helped talk me down.

The biggest help was Megan coming to see me. What an amazing friend. She actually left work to come sit and cry with me. That is worth it's weight in gold.

Before she arrived I had to call my mom and tell her the cycle was a no go. She just sat on the phone crying and saying, "Why?" You see, my mom wants this as much as I do and it made me cry all over again to hear her choke up. Alex finally got back to me and immediately suggested we switch to UCSF's clinic. We know they are under our insurance because before we found out my local RE was covered under Beech Street, we were going to go up to SF.

So it looks like we'll be heading to SF for IVF but the sad thing is we'll have to wait for next summer. I'll have to actually live up there for two weeks during stims and ER/ET because of all the monitoring etc. There's no way we can drive two hours every day with Alex's job. I hate this because I'll be another year older, less fertile than I am now. However, what can I do? My hands are tied.

I hate this.

One thing Megan told me to do was make a list of things I was going to do to get ready for next summer. She said list making helps her so just for her I'm going to do it. Bold things are done.

To Do Before IVF
- Keep trying naturally
- Buy OPKs
- Go back to temping all the time
- Take my pills regularly (I had stopped my PNV, because why bother?)
- Make sure Alex is still taking all of his supplements
- Buy more Pre Seed
- Request info from UCSF
- Make an appointment to talk to UCSF
- Finish b/w needed for IVF cycle (CF/STD screen)
- Keep praying for a miracle

There's probably more I could add but I can't think of it now.

P.S- Henri is home and is fine. He has steel stitches so he doesn't take them out but he did great.


The Emotional IF Rollercoaster

...and I want to get off.

After all the fretting over whether or not Alex was going to freak before our appointments at the clinic, we get there and meet Melissa (Financial Services) and Karen (IVF Coordinator). The new office is awesome.

We hear the spiel on our insurance first. Instead of the 90% coverage we thought we would have we now have 70% coverage. So basically we pay $3600 before everything is covered 100%.

Then we move next door and go through the checklist of what we've done and what we still need to do. According to Karen we are ahead of schedule with the testing but I'm too close for comfort in starting BCP for the September IVF cycle. Normally they like their patient on it for 6-4 weeks and I'd barely be on it for 4. She was amazed that I hardly had any questions. The internets is good for something I guess.

The whole time Alex just sat there. I don't think he said more than 5 words to Melissa and the only thing he said to Karen was his SS#. We are given the consent forms and the BCP script is called in and we are on our way.

On the way out I can tell Alex is freaking out inwardly. When don't talk about it in the car because my stepdaughter is there waiting for us. We do when we get home though.

Alex, very calmly says that there is no way we could save $3600 in a month and a half and I know he is right. We come to the conclusion that waiting for the November cycle would be the best and give us time to save. Hopefully I won't have to repeat any of my tests because it would be a year after I originally had them.

To console myself I call Megan (my personal cheerleader) and I post on TTC6+ the good and bad things regarding our RE appointments.

-DH is on board

-We are ahead of the game prep wise with our pre IVF testing. Now we'll be able to finish the last bit of bloodwork early.

- November would be better time wise for me than September. My RE asks all his patients to be on bed rest 3 days after transfer and this would be very hard to do the first month of school. Add in one day off for retrieval and ouch.

-We have three months to try and save the money.

-I can be on BCP the full length they would want me on. The IVF coordinator said normally they want their patients on 6 weeks.

So I was feeling pretty positive about our decision and was amazed that I didn't even cry. And then the roof caved in.

I decided to look up med coverage on Cigna's website and to my horror only found a couple things covered (Lupron being one of them). Injectibles were not covered. That broke me and I sobbed in front of the comp for a good half hour. It seemed that every time I was up something had to kick me back down. It didn't help that in the midst of this I discovered that Henri, one of my ratties, had a lump on his amdomen which I think is an abscess.

This morning I called Cigna right away and it seems that they will cover the injectibles but through the medical side of my insurance. The meds have a deductable though so add $1500 to the aforementioned $3600 and we are facing not being able to do November either.

I'm so tired of this. I don't want to ride this rollercoaster any more.


Time to go back to School

For John McCain that is.

This morning, on Good Morning America, McCain made yet another gaffe. This time it was on shared borders. According to McCain, Pakistan and Iraq share a border. Ummmm no. Maybe he was busy hanging out with Miss South Carolina because she seems just as clueless.

Perhaps he needs a refresher in geography as Iraq is two countries away from Pakistan. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq is over 1,500 miles from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad. Funny how those pesky countries Afghanistan and Iran are in the way.

Map courtesy of ThinkProgress

I think we should make all presidential candidates take a history and geography quiz. Seriously, I'm done with the idiot parade.


Infertility Round-up

In my excitement to post my pics of May's and my evening., I didn't recap the rest of my Friday.

After therapy on Thursday, Alex decided that he felt ok enough about our situation for me to call my RE on Friday and make our IVF appointments. I called a couple times in the morning when I thought they would be open but I guess I was wrong on the time.

My RE is the only RE I've ever heard of that does not have early hours. I think the office opens around 8:30 am. This sucks for people like me who have to be at work at 7:30. However, he's the only game in town so I have to deal with it.

I called again around 9 and left a message. Close to ten, as I'm out running errands with my mom, I get a call back from the receptionist. She says they are booked up the beginning of next week but she'll talk to the Dr to find out what they can do and she'll call me back. I told her I was CD 14, 4DPO (Time is of the essence) and that was that. I didn't get a call back. I called around 3 but realized of course they wouldn't be there. My RE also has early hours on Fridays. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw! So here I am finally getting the go ahead from my gun shy husband and I can't make the appointments. I am not happy.

The rest of the day before heading out with Megan, was spent helping my mom with her resume (OMG kill me now) and helping her with her computer because for some reason she's helpless when it comes to electronics, or at least thinks she is. We also went to go visit my grandmother in the convalescent hospital. I hate those places so much and hope I never have to be in one. I'll be glad when she gets to go home.

Anyway, I was talking to Grammy and she noticed my "Common Thread" bracelet. She asked what it was and I told her it was "a thread, a bracelet". She then asked, "Does it stand for anything special?" How could she have known it stood for anything? Honestly she's the only person to ever even ask me. I told her it was to symbolize the struggle with infertility, IF support and the sisterhood of IF. She then said she prayed for me every day that I don't have to deal with that anymore.

It was so touching and so sad because she's one of the biggest reasons I want to hurry up and get pregnant yesterday. I want so badly for my child to know her and I'm afraid it will soon be too late.


The Mermaid is a Stalker

Megan and I had another lovely evening though both of us were pretty chill in comparison to our last dinner. We had another great dinner at The Crown, complete with sex in a dish (aka Sticky Toffee Pudding). Luckily, we headed out to dinner early because there's a major bike race at Laguna Seca this weekend so the whole Peninsula has been inundated with rice rockets and hogs. I mean they are *everywhere*. Try to control the urge to knock a whole row of them down like dominoes, it's almost impossible.

Our first mermaid sighting of the evening happened when we were in line for the bathroom. This is from a vintage cruise line poster that is pasted to the wall.

We were on our way to take a fab video of the XLERATOR.

If you have never encountered one of these hand drying beauties in a public bathroom, let me introduce you.

After dinner we decided to play black light mini golf. Surprisingly it was dead, whereas it's normally super crowded. Since we basically had the place to ourselves we got to be silly. We had a great time and for he most part kicked ass on most of the holes. I did much better than I usually do when I go with Alex but I think that's because he keeps score and is all anal over it.

Sadly you can't really tell the whole place is blacklight heaven, but trust me, it is.

May giving the turtle the porn star treatment.

Hammers give good head

May loves the shark

Jen is shark dental floss

Silly me totally forgot that there were mermaids crawling all over blacklight mini golf, so what did we have to do? Take pictures of and with them of course.

This baby mermaid is near the mommy mermaid. I think I'll call this one Harper.

Mermaids play mini golf too!

Afterwards both of us were tired so we hung out with the man at home and talked. Megan's got some scary ass ghost stories. It was another fun night.


My Foray into Politics

If you appreciate political humor and/or are familiar with JibJab check their brand new satire out. Make sure you pause my playlist.

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Demotivator of the Week

I think many of us married ladies can relate to this one. I mean, really...how hard is it?


Out Damn Spot

I keep having dreams with my ex-husband in them and I have no clue why. Obviously they are trying to tell me something, but what, I don't know. I know that I have a lot of unresolved feelings about the store which is why I dream about it a lot (like last night) but some of the other stuff in there is so bizarre.

I suppose I miss some aspects of our relationship. He was a very artistic, outgoing person, very much my personality. He had a lot of friends and was totally comfortable being in a room of actors (something Alex abhors) even performing in some. We had a hell of a lot of fun.

What I don't miss was the lack of goals, the fact he was a coddled mamma's boy, the crappy sex, and most of all the alcohol abuse which destroyed everything. So why doesn't the negative drive these dreams away? Why must I keep having them?

Ugh they need to stop.


I'm a Yo-Yo

Oh yes, I am.

I don't know what thinking Alex did in his sleep the other night or at work yesterday but it seems like he's thinking outside of his ass now. He said he looked at things from a a different angle and we are going to revisit the IVF issue at our next appointment.

I also asked him what would happen if his daughter said she wasn't happy with us having a kid, would we stop trying? He said that no she would in no way make the decision for us, he just wanted to include her in what we were doing.

I also made it very clear that *if* we started the IVF process, from BCP on, he was not to cancel on me. That there would be no turning back and he agreed.

Anyway, I'm not holding my breath at this moment. We'll see on Friday morning whether I get to call the RE or not. I'm just glad he took a look at the situation from all points of view.

Keep the prayers coming ladies. Maybe it worked.


Stick a Fork in Me

I'm done...

I'm done with all of this waiting, hoping, and planning. It does me no good and I'm just getting my heart broken over and over again.

I didn't get the answers I wanted or needed yesterday at therapy. Alex just recycled everything he feels is wrong in our relationship. We ended up focusing on his 18 year old son who has Aspergers and how he may come to live with us full time (not my choice). This subject is what made Alex blow up at me recently because I asked if helping support his son would put us off having a kid of our own. I didn't realize it was such an incendiary question.

Anyway the session ended poorly. I hoped after Alex cooled down, we might get to talk about the IVF issue. No go with that. It's like it's the elephant in the room. He knows I want to talk about, knows I want answers but won't give them to me.

Finally, while in bed, I brought up something we discussed at therapy (normally I won't do that because he wants to follow dr's orders) and how it upset me. It became a big ol' discussion (it wasn't really an arguement) about how he doesn't think we are ready for IVF. He said that he has no faith in me and that he thinks that all the work I've done (because he's perfect and doesn't have to work on anything) is going to go back to the way it was as soon as his daughter comes back. He also thinks things will go back when I go back to work. He also said, and this is the kicker, that he wants to ask her what she thinks about us having a kid.

What? What the fuck?

He told her years ago, after she made a statement about not wanting us to have kids, that it wasn't her decision. So why now, is he going back on that? I told him that that was absurd, that no one asks for their 17 year old child's permission to have a child. He thinks otherwise and says it's a special situation.

Special situation, my ass! You just want another excuse. And with that I spent another night crying myself to sleep. That's getting really old.

So even though he hasn't said it, I'm going to assume with this last conversation that we will not be going through IVF this September. So as of now I'm not going to hope for anything. I can't do it anymore. Even though I need something to look forward to so much right now, I just can't do it. We'll just keep on trying naturally and IVF will be put on the back burner of my mind.

This won't come to a fairytale ending if I don't.


Like Sands Through an Hourglass

Last night's sadness continued further into the evening. I had cried for everyone else earlier in the night and ended up crying for myself when I was trying to fall asleep. Alex, of course was oblivious to my tears as he always is, sleeping away as I cry my eyes out.

I hate that. It makes me cry all the more because I start to get pissed off.

You are part of the reason I'm crying buddy and you can't even wake up and aknowledge that.

And time continues to slip away. I'm starting to freak out again, freak out that Septemeber won't be our month either. I had to call my clinic yesterday to take care of a bill and I asked the finance person if we'd have to make an appointment with her to go over IVF stuff. She said yes. So before we get this IVF show on the road I'm assuming we'd have to meet with:

1.) RE
2.) IVF coordinator
3.) Financial/insurance coordinator
4.) God knows who else

I also was told that if we waited too long I'd have to redo bloodwork so I have until November for that. She wanted to know if I wanted to make an appointment over the phone and I told her I couldn't just yet. Again everything has to be held off until the last minute and it's stressing me out beyond belief. It shouldn't be that way.

Yet Alex is blissfully unaware of all of it. We have therapy tomorrow and we'll see if I can get a straight answer from him. Things are going really well between us, shouldn't he give me a chance?

I hate this.



Today has been a very difficult day for so many of my internet sisters.

This is a big pile of suckage for so many of us. The despair and hopelessness my friends have felt today, as well as my own craptastic feelings, makes me cry.

Why can't things be easy? They are all such wonderful people, with so much to offer. We would all be wonderful mothers and we are being robbed of that. I see so many unfit mothers around and it just seems so unfair.

So I ask why? Why me? Why any of us? When will it be our turn? Will we ever get one?


Can I Get an Amen?

I was watching CNN and just saw a news blurb and clip on Barack Obama's speech in St.Louis yesterday. He commented on parental responsibility and how it's up to parents to help with homework, take the remote away and not buy the video games. I tried to find a video clip of that segment but couldn't find one. I was able to find a tiny blurb being reported in newspapers.

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Obama called on parents to take on their proper roles. "Only we in the home can teach our daughters to never allow images on television to tell them what they're worth,'' he said. "Only we as parents can make sure that when our sons grow up, that they treat women with respect and understand that when they have the ability to have a child, they must have the courage to raise a child."

I love that. I've also read speeches where he talks about not placing the blame on teachers and I appreciate that. So often I have had parents place the blame of their piss poor parenting on me. It's not my job to teach your child to behave and I shouldn't have to put up with your child's constant horrible behavior in my classroom, behavior that takes away valuable learning time away from the rest of my students. Freaking be a parent and stop it.

Anyway I like that he appears to be someone who supports teachers and what they do. We don't have that enough.


In Honor of Independence Day

Big Sur is Burning

It's been burning since the 21st of June. Big Sur is one of my favorite places. I've hiked there, camped there, swam in the river there, danced on the mountain tops there, and have wonderful memories of my family there. DH and I took his mom and dad there a few months before his dad died. Nepenthe, although a building and business, is a big part of my life and memories and the thought of it burning down to the ground kills me.

Fire Unexpectedly Worsens; Big Sur Is Ordered to Evacuate

BIG SUR, Calif. — Facing a stubborn fire, California officials ordered the evacuation of Big Sur on Wednesday as flames flared on nearby mountaintops and moved steadily toward this coastal retreat.

Firefighters have been attacking a fire near Big Sur for 11 days and had been helped in recent days by fog, moist conditions and lighter winds. Seventeen homes have been lost here — more than half the total destroyed statewide from the first major wildfires of the season — but many residents had been allowed to remain as the fire stayed to the east and south.

But overnight Tuesday the fire unexpectedly intensified, prompting mandatory evacuations of residents on both sides of Highway 1, the scenic coastal byway that runs through the Big Sur valley.

“It’s tough to move out of your home; we understand that,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who visited the town with federal emergency officials on Wednesday, “but do it.”

Yellow smoke and ash mixed in the air as a procession of possession-laden cars, trucks and vans streamed north out of town. Horses, goats, cats and dogs were also being trucked out by animal welfare workers, as helicopters ferried back and forth to the ocean, drawing out water to dump on smoldering hillsides east of town.

One of those evacuating was Erica Sanborn, 28, who was living with her husband and their dog in a hotel in Big Sur, having already been forced out of their home, farther south on the coast.

“I’m kind of numb,” said Ms. Sanborn, an emergency room nurse who awoke to an evacuation order after a night shift. “I would never think that Big Sur could burn.”

Statewide, more than 19,000 firefighters and other workers have been fighting fires since June 20, when a line of storms and lightning sparked hundreds of blazes across the northern and central parts of the state. The blaze near Big Sur — known as the Basin Complex — is just one of some 1,100 confirmed fires on federal and state lands in California, according to CalFire, the state fire agency, though exact figures were hard to confirm. Hundreds of others have been contained or put out.

Costs were also rising. State officials have spent more than $50 million on the current fires, according to CalFire. On Tuesday, Mr. Schwarzenegger had ordered around 200 National Guard troops to provide ground support to firefighters.

The major culprit in the blazes is a persistent drought that has made for volatile fire conditions. Steep terrain was also complicating firefighting efforts. Tina Rose, a spokeswoman for the fire operation, said that about 20 miles of Highway 1 along the coast were closed, shutting down access to famous — and currently shuttered — resorts like the Ventana Inn and the Post Ranch.

One local celebrity, the Beach Boys’ guitarist Al Jardine, said he had loaded up a trailer with musical equipment on Monday night, and was hoping to hold out before the evacuation order came.

“It’s depressing,” Mr. Jardine said. “People are walking around like zombies.”

So many articles I could post...

As fire nears Big Sur, residents and beasts flee

July 3, 2008

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — Piles of charred rubble smoldered near California's scenic coastal highway Thursday as a ferocious wildfire descended on the storied tourist town of Big Sur, destroying vacation homes and sending forest creatures running toward the sea for cover.
The stubborn blaze, which has burned more than 100 square miles in the Los Padres National Forest, was just one of hundreds raging around the state. And officials on Thursday reported California's first firefighter death this year — a volunteer who collapsed on the fire line in Mendocino County.

So much forest has burned near Big Sur that animals have been forced out of their habitat and onto the roads. Buzzards flew overhead to snatch up dead rodents and squirrels, and residents reported seeing bear, deer and other big animals migrating toward the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, crews near the Pacific Coast Highway fought back flames from homes and historic landmarks, including the upscale Ventana Inn, which was surrounded by crackling, burning brush.

Several homes perched on a ridge about a quarter-mile from the cliffside inn fell victim to the fire the night before.

At least 20 homes have been destroyed in the area since the blaze broke out June 21, up from 17 homes counted Wednesday. The fire was only 5% contained by Thursday evening.

Many Big Sur residents followed mandatory evacuation orders issued this week, but some chose to defy the orders, staying behind to try to save their homes and businesses.

Kirk Gafill, general manager of Nepenthe, said he and five employees were up all night trying to protect the cliffside restaurant his grandparents built in 1949. Wearing dust masks, the crew scrambled to stamp out embers, some the size of dinner plates, that were dropping from the sky, he said.

"We know fire officials don't have the manpower to secure our properties," Gafill said. "There are a lot of people in this community not following evacuation orders. Based on what we saw during Katrina and other disasters, we know we can only rely on ourselves and our neighbors."

Greg Ambrosio, who lives next to Nepenthe, signed a waiver Wednesday night to stay in his house. But his plans to stay were disrupted when he was awoken by a neighbor in the middle of the night who warned of the approaching inferno.

"Then there's a knock on the door, and we go outside and the fire had just expanded. It was Armageddon," he said. "Just yellow smoke and ash mixed with fire. It was just raining down."

Ambrosio said he and his wife grabbed their cat and drove to a relative's house for the night.

A total of 367 wildfires are burning in the state, most ignited by lightning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service. That figure is down from a peak of roughly 1,500 fires just a few days ago.

In all, the wildfires have scorched more than 790 square miles and destroyed at least 65 structures across northern and central California since June 20, according to Cal Fire.

With firefighting resources stretched thin early in the fire season, counties have been recruiting volunteer firefighters to help with smaller blazes.

On Thursday, volunteer firefighter Robert Roland, 63, died in a Mendocino County hospital after collapsing a day earlier while battling lightning-sparked blazes in the area, north of the San Francisco Bay region. It was the first reported death of a firefighter this season, and the governor ordered flags at the Capitol to fly at half-staff.

Crews made progress at a separate wildfire burning nearly 130 square miles southeast of Big Sur. The blaze, also in Los Padres National Forest, was about 95% contained Thursday.


The Importance of Wall-E

I've been thinking about this movie quite a bit today, and like I do when I really enjoy a movie, I go over to IMDB and Yahoo movies to read the message boards and reviews. Some of the Yahoo user reviews piss me off to no end. Reviews such as these:

Commercials and trailer were deceiving - fun movie about cute robots was what I expected.

What I got was a sad commentary on the state of the world, how humankind trashes the planet to the point of inhabitation, then we leave robots to clean it up while we float away on a space cruiser - fat blobs floating on hovering chairs. We destroyed our planet and we haven't changed our behaviors. Yeah great family fun for you and your kids.

My personal favorite:



Or this review entitled "Are We in the USA or USSR"

Can't I see one movie without socialist propaganda? More EVIL Corporations destroy the earth with pollution *sigh*. Can we have some new material out of Hollywood please? It's bad enough there is not one word of dialogue until halfway through this very loooong movie. I am not exaggerating---not one word. Don't take kids too this thinking they will captivated. They will be boared for most of it. A couple of funny parts (already seen in the previews) is about all you get. Slightly cute at times but it just isn't a good PIXAR movie. Flop. Only gullable parents with whining kids should be dupped into seeing this. My advice---wait for the rental.

Or this one...

... by the rave reviews from the critics. This is a dark, depressing, unentertaining eco-lecture, which basically informs us all that the way we live our lives will lead to the destruction of the Earth. Don't make the mistake of paying to be lectured to like this, sheesh, they should pay US for having to sit through this dismal stuff.

That's the point! The thing is we could end up like that. We are obsessed with consumerism, we are using up or destroying our natural resources. We are becoming more and more lazy as individuals. That is fact but I guess people don't want to be reminded of that and choose to keep the blinders on.

Now of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I can't understand why people would be so downright offended by the movie's green message? Don't they want their children to value earth? Don't they want to pass on the idea of stewardship of the earth? Do they feel overconsumerism and gluttony is a good thing? I sure don't and I since I have no children of my own, I try to instill the importance of environmentalism and social responsibility in all of my students. But what do I know, I'm a tree hugging, bleeding heart liberal.

These dimwits remind me so much of that parent two years ago who freaked out over me showing my class An Inconvenient Truth. Click here for that gem.

Perhaps they are also overlooking the messages of finding love and finding purpose in the movie.

Messages aside, if you haven't seen the movie I recommend checking out one of the clips on Disney's Wall-E Website. First click on videos, then scroll through the different videos on the left and click on "Day at Work". The mastery of the animation during this segment, and throughout the whole movie, is jaw dropping and just plain beautiful. It's hard to believe that this is actually animated and not live action.

A Trip to the Happiest Place on Earth (including GoG action)

I'm back from Disneyland and we survived. Alex even sort of liked it, I think, and that in and of itself is a miracle. He did say that he wouldn't be heartbroken if he never went back but that's a far cry from what he used to say, which was, "I'll never go to that hell hole. I hate Disney". He said he would even consider going back with both kids this summer. Uhhh I don't think it would be the "happiest place on earth" then, but, whatever.

Our friend Heather, who we met for dinner the night we got in, told Alex he had to get a First Timer button. For some reason he listens to her, so I was able to get a picture of him in front of the Walt statue wearing his button. He took it off right away.

He decided his favorite rides were Indiana Jones, Space Mountain (my favorite ride on the planet), The Haunted Mansion (another fave), and Splash Mountain.

Here's my friend Alicia and I after getting off Splash Mountain. It's kind of hard to tell in the small pic but my whole backside was wet. Alicia was so wet she was leaving puddles. That dark spot on the ground was her first puddle.

Did I mention how much I hate water rides? I'll go on that one once each trip but that's only because I have great memories of Song of the South.

Trying to dry off we walked around a bit and went into some of the stores. I convinced Alex to try on some mouse ears and took a picture. He really does hate having his picture taken but this picture was all an act.

He took a picture of me with a Peter Pan hat thinking it was Robin Hood. Umm see the Peter Pan on there honey? He really doesn't know his Disney.

I ended up buying mouse ears, not that I don't have any but just because I actually found a pair that fit my tiny head.

Disney CM: Uh you know you got infant size right?
Me: Yes, I meant to. It actually fits.

So yep I'm a freak who has to wear baby hats. Can't have them but I can wear their stuff.

I am sad Alicia is moving to the Ukraine for two years in a couple weeks. My friends are all moving away and that sucks so bad.

All in all it was an awesome day. We must have had great ride juju on Sunday because we were able to almost walk on every single ride *and* get into the front. That didn't work so well with Space Mountain though. Alex is 6'4 so the wind sheer in front sucked for him and made him cry. Well, it made his eyes tear and it just looked like he was crying.

Alex could also spin the teacups like a trophey. My friends couldn't even watch us on the ride because they thought they were going to hurl just from the site of it.

The only ride that sucked for us that day was the newish Nemo submarine ride. The ride itself wasn't bad (it was better than the old submarine ride) but the line was comparable to a vacation in hell. Standing in line for an hour in the blazing sun was such a bad idea. I seriously thought I was going to pass out.

We ended the day by watching the fireworks and then hauling ass to watch Fantasmic. We didn't make it through all of that because Alex and I didn't want to miss our hotel shuttle and Fantasmic was uber dull after the fireworks anyway.

Speaking of fireworks. Oh my Lord! I want to know how much Disney shells out for the pyro and lighting every night. This current show is insane! Not only did they set off fireworks like normal but they lit them up all around you and also lit the castle in new kick ass ways with gobos. They also set off fire balls from the castle. It was crazy and freaking amazing. The Haunted Mansion section was my favorite. Anyway you look at it, 4th of July fireworks are destroyed forever for me. I might as well not ever bother to go see them, because, why?

Here's a video I found on YouTube of the show. The video doesn't even do the show total justice but you can get an idea.

The next day we went to California Adventure. Well actually, Alex and I got up at the crack again so we could get into Disneyland and ride some favorites before CA opened. We hauled butt and rode Indy, Haunted Mansion, the Buzz ride, and Space Mountain in one hour. Oh yes, we rock. We then hauled ass to get a coffee at the end of Downtown Disney and hauled ass back to CA. We were going to try to fight the mobs waiting for the rope drop to get in line for the new Toy Story Midway Mania ride that opened up not even a week before.

That ride was so awesome. It's 3-D and you basically are playing five different carnival games such as a dart throw at balloons, egg toss at ducks and farm animals, ring toss at aliens and rockets, ball toss at plates, and sticky darts at bullseyes. Because it's 3-D things fly at you and air is shot at you. We ended up braving the lines and riding it twice because it was so kick ass.

There's also a big, talking Mr. Potato Head who is in the queue. He talks and interacts with the crowd. He asked Alicia where the top of her hat was because she was wearing a visor. It was so funny. His arms and eyes move around and supposedly he takes off his ear but I never saw him do that.

Once again Tower of Terror ruled in my book. I just wish I was able to ride it more than twice on this trip. Last time I think Bethia and I rode it around 5 times.

One more pic of Alex and I in the "Monterey" section. This building actually represents a real building in Monterey. However, instead of sardine cans and such they need to litter the buildings with cheesy Cannery Row sweatshirts and key chains if they really want it to be authentic. *barf* The best thing was Alex leaning over the "wharf" and making elephant seal sounds. People actually ran over to see the seals that weren't really there. I almost died! You see it just isn't the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf without the seals.

We ended the evening at the parks with the Main Street Electrical Parade. I freaking love that parade and I'm not a parade person. Usually I think they are pretty lame.

Side antidote about parades:

Me (walking through California Adventure's San Francisco Area): Where are the
rainbow flags? Where are my gays at?
Me (during the parade): Oh yes, there
they are.

And before people get all snippy, I have many gay friends,
some who have actually been performers in the parades. LOL

The Main Street Electrical Parade, however, is the best because it sums up all my childhood love of Disneyland. I had all the Disney records as a kid and would listen to them constantly. My favorites were Alice in Wonderland and my Disneyland record. I'd choreograph dances to the Main Street Electrical Parade soundtrack all the time and I'm sure I drove my mother nuts.

Now most people would have ended their day right there but nooooooo we had to be idiots and go see a 10 :45 movie because what would be better than seeing a Disney movie at a Disney theatre right? Luckily, it was amazing and we stayed awake the whole time.

I urge everyone to go see Wall-E. That little robot broke my heart (I'm not even joking) but it was such a wonderful movie. Pixar really outdid themselves. It takes major talent to bring some life to something like a robot and to give him such heart and character. The emotions he portrayed just using his "eyes" and the few words he spoke was astounding. Pixar also gets props for making the audience feel for a one eyed cockroach. If this movie doesn't win awards I'll eat my mouse ears.

So that was our Disneyland trip in uber condensed form. Of course I'm leaving what all my TTC6+ girls have been waiting for, for last. See, made you look!

I will tell you that I took one for the team. I endured ridicule and feeling/looking like a dork to bring you:

Ignore my "OMG I want to die" face. Just know I did it because I love you all.

And I want you all to pay special, close attention to my shirt. Yes PMarie, you got the left boob. I should add that Ariel was very nice. When I expressed my feelings of silliness for being an adult wanting a pic she said, "Well I'm glad you visited me".

I ended my trip with a breakfast with Staycee (Stacie) before we left to drive back home. What a great girl she is. Of course, I could tell that just from talking to her on the phone the night before. We obviously didn't have enough time because we talked constantly for 2 1/2 hours. I'm afraid I made her late for work. It's just too bad she doesn't live closer because I could see us being good friends.

P.S I want her hair.

P.P.S Here's the actual graphic I ironed onto the shirt. My appologies to my friends who are not on the shirt. It was hard to track people down to get pics. So know if your image is not on the shirt I still carried you with me. Cheesy, but true.