RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Wii Can’t Blog Right Now…

Posted on

Thank You for Visiting The Spotted Elephant.

Randii and Kimmii can’t come to the computer right now. For Christmas, they got each other a Wii, mostly for its Netflix instant streaming capability. But they’ve since been sucked in by such game titles as: Donkey Kong Country Returns, Wii Bowling, Wii Resorts Swordplay, Classic Super Mario Brothers 2 & 3, Classic Sega Dreamcast Sonic the Hedgehog, and Simpsons Hit and Run. They will return to the blog when they have either defeated the evil banana-stealing villains of Donkey Kong land, or when the bright colors on the TV finally burn out their retinas. If you need immediate assistance, please contact any of the blogs listed on the right-hand side of this page for blogging sustenance.

Christmas Around the (Walt Disney) World

Posted on

Disney has come and gone and though we’re exhausted, it was just what the doctor ordered. There was so much going on we didn’t have time to think about any of the things that we’d rather not think about during Christmas, and we made great memories to distract us until our next vacation . 🙂 Some photographic highlights below.

Scenes from our resort, Coronado Springs:

We decorated our room window:

Light fixture in the hall:

The Magic Kingdom:

Me with my first true love:

We couldn’t hide from knitting even in Disney. It was actually a great way to pass time in ride lines:

I made a Kermit hat for myself which Randy is so graciously modeling for me:

Randy had just finished his hat which will become a sock monkey:

Merry Christmas:


Posted on

The approach of Christmas and all of its trappings brought up unique concerns for us this year. Its well documented that Christmas (along with all holidays) is often difficult for those experiencing infertility, as much as we desperately don’t want it to be. Add to that our current family situation (click the link for my July post explaining part if it – or it can be summed up as follows: after four-and-a-half years of infertility and two pregnancy losses we currently have at least four pregnant friends, multiple infants including newborns in the extended family, and a pregnant younger sister who will be turning my parents into grandparents for the first time -knife in the heart)  and we really do have the perfect storm as Melissa Ford describes in this article so spot-on:

Christmas is sort of the perfect storm of holidays for someone infertile. On one front, it is a holiday about the birth of a baby–and a virgin birth at that–on another, it is a holiday centered on children, and finally, it is celebrated with family. Those three fronts come together to either create pure bliss if you are expecting or recently delivered and pure hell for those who are still in the trenches of infertility.

Think about it this way: what if there was an enormous holiday called The Great Peanut Day that everyone celebrated non-stop for two months or more every year? Families would plan their lives around the Great Peanut Day, stores would play music hailing the legume, and all food prepared for weeks on end would involve the peanut. Oh, and the final part of this analogy is that you have an enormous peanut allergy. You’re still invited to everything because, damn, it’s the Great Peanut Day and you can’t sit home by yourself. But you can’t participate at all (lest you go into anaphylactic shock and ruin everyone else’s good time) and the whole day serves as a reminder of what you can’t do. At least not now, not until they have figured out a way to cure your nut allergy, which you are promised will be in the future. At some point. Though perhaps not before the next Great Peanut Day.

And if you want to make an argument that infertility is not about life and death, I beg you to read No Swimmer’s recent post about the holidays.

The analogy may seem extreme, but it points out the fact that there are many different ways people view Christmas and they’re not all filled with boughs of holly. Christmas can be one of the most difficult holidays for those experiencing infertility as well as one of the happiest ones once you are parenting. And those two extremes are so deeply apparent at this time of year between those in the trenches and those actively parenting.

I could write mountains of text about this – I’ve actually written and erased so much text in this post – but I need to keep it simple. Bottom Line: I am in so much emotional pain this year and our family gatherings are laced with so many emotional grenades (friendly fire, mind you) that we decided to just opt out. Though we know not everyone will understand, our therapist supports the idea along with our parents who are sad to miss us on the holiday but who get why its necessary. We have decided to go out of town together to have fun, focus on us, and try to forget about the sadness we carry with us every day for a little while. It will be strange to be absent from the traditional festivities, but I know I would not be able to feel peaceful and happy doing them this year and in turn would ruin the peace and happiness of those around me. And who wants either of those things?

We are leaving for Disney World tomorrow and staying through the 26th. I know Disney seems like an odd choice for people who are sensitive about babies and children and motherhood, but it actually makes perfect sense for us. For one, I don’t associate Disney with my childhood since I didn’t make my first visit there until I was 16 and since that is where Randy and I honeymooned.  Also, while you see plenty of babies in Disney, it never looks like fun – taking babies to Disney World is a practice I’ll never understand. And above all, for us Disney is a place where we can go and be constantly entertained, not having to worry about the details of everyday life, enclosed for a few days in a magical fantasy bubble where people drive you around, sing and dance for you, bring you yummy food, and feel cool wearing hats no one would ever be caught dead wearing anywhere else on earth. We are ready to escape.


Posted on

Two custom hats for 8 and 9 year old sisters: DONE! I hope they like them – I do!

Tutu Much Glitter

Posted on

Sticking to my usual style, I once again started about 37 different project categories for this craft show season even after promising myself I’d stick to 2 or 3. While many of the projects I started still reside, lifeless and half-finished in my craft room, a few made it out into the world. One of them was a tutu. Apparently tutus are big – really big these days amongst the baby and toddler crowd. Or should I say they are big amongst the parents of babies and toddlers who like to use them in photos wherein the child is usually pictured wearing nothing but a diaper, a tutu so full she can’t put her arms down at her sides, and a headband featuring a silk flower that rivals her head in circumference.

Exhibit A: the first random picture that popped up when I Google image searched “baby tutu”. (Hey Bentley Gray Photography! Hope you don’t mind the photo grab – call it free publicity!)


I just don’t get the look myself. But then again, I am the girl who only ever owned two Barbies (Tropical Barbie and Ken) and played with them so little that I never bothered to get them any other clothes besides the bathing suits they came in. But whatever floats your boat. I’m not here to judge – I’m here to make money through crafting. So if its hot pink tutus the public wants, then its hot pink tutus they shall get. You know what? I’ll SEE your hot pink tutu and RAISE you SPARKLES.

I finished this baby the night before our last craft show and despite the pink sparkles I’ll be finding in my house for the next two years, its a good thing I did: I probably could have sold 5 more. This one sold in the first half hour and would have sold twice before that to people who had just bought one that was more expensive and not as nice (or so they told me) online. I wish I could have gotten a better pic but since it wasn’t finished until the night before we didn’t remember to take a photo until it had been sold and we were getting ready to package it up. Oh well – I foresee many more chances for tutu photos in the future, based on how popular they seem to be. I don’t get the same thrill out of making tutus as I do hats (it really helps to love what you are making) but I do get the same thrill out of putting the money I make from it in my vacation/fertility fund!

1st Percentile

Posted on

If you know me, you know that I always strive for number 1 in everything I do, and my recent test scores reflect that. As a part of my official job duties I recently went undercover (well not really undercover but it sounds cooler) with Kara to take a test to receive the National Career Readiness Certificate. We thought the test might be useful for screening new applicants for our apprentice program but wanted to take the test on a test drive ourselves to see what we thought of it. We both aced the academic portions, receiving 7 out of a possible 7 on most assessments.

Along with the academic portion of the test, there was a personality assessment meant to determine what careers you are best suited for and what your employee attitude will be like. It measured things like trustworthiness, attention to detail, persistence, goodwill, and optimism. And since I’m a fan of instant gratification (an attribute not measured by this test) I was pleased to find out that we got a print out of our results to take home with us. I would like to share with you what my personality looks like on paper:

Yes – I got a 1 in optimism. And a 6 in discipline and a 7 in goodwill. But those numbers aren’t rankings, they’re percentiles. Which means that to get a 1 in optimism, you have to score lower on those questions than a full 99% of people who took the test. Essentially, 99% of the population is more optimistic than I am. And don’t expect much Christmas cheer or benevolence from me because, apparently, goodwill is not my strong suit either. Just for comparison purposes, I submit for evidence Kara’s personality results. She didn’t receive lower than a 70 percentile on any of the categories. I believe she got a 94 in optimism. In my defense, I was in a bad mood the morning of the test -but I don’t know if that mood can account for the entire 99% of pessimism or 93% of badwill that makes up my personality. 🙂

My favorite thing about the optimism score has been the reactions of my friends and family upon hearing about it.

Kara remarked: “Well no offense, but I’m not really that surprised….”

Randy has taken to calling me his little 1 Percentile and asking if Miss 1 Percentile needs a hug.

My Dad immediately said: “Oh – yeeah, that’s my fault. You get that from me.”

So watch out, world. A pessimistic, no-goodwill-having, undisciplined and unstable (that part got cut off in the picture) person is out on the loose. 🙂 Okay NCRC, I’ll give you the optimism business and we can chalk the lack of good will up to PMS on testing day, but my question is this: if a person who has been married for 8.5 years and working in the same job for almost 9 years isn’t stable and disciplined, who is?

Miss Monkey

Posted on

One of our sock monkey hat orders came from grandmother who was concerned that it didn’t look feminine enough for her granddaughter to wear. We brainstormed with her and came up with the idea to give the monkey a bow instead of pompom. I have to admit, I wasn’t really sold on the idea – I thought it was kind of silly and I’d never have done it on my own. But now that Miss Monkey is here with us, I’m smitten.

Though she was a special order, we took her with us today to display at our last show of the season at Dixie Heights High School. She was a busy little Monkey and inspired four more orders (for after Christmas)! I think we’ll be knitting sock monkey hats for the rest of eternity. 🙂