Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Nephew

Last December, my 6-year old nephew visited us in Virginia for the first time since he was in our wedding (at age 2.5).

We thought it would be fun to take him to a local Hibachi restaurant.  He loved it...until they whipped the fire out.

As soon as that pile of onion rings was set on a volcano-shaped fire, he screamed, cried, and begged us to leave.  He hated it and we felt awful.

...Until he came back the following April.  "Can we puleeeease take Grampa to the fire restaurant?  Please?"

We told him no.  That the place scared him.  We would go back when he was older.

"But I love that place!"

Months went by.  2 weeks shy of his big-boy 7th birthday, he came back to visit us.  We asked him if he was ready to return to the 'fire restaurant'.  This time, we'd show Gramma how it works.

"YES!!  I LOVE THAT PLACE!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!"  After several "are you sure?s" and "can you be brave?s" we took our chances.

The evening started out well.  Our chef demonstrated how fried rice was made...

and life was good.

 Our little nephew was in awe.  Perhaps a future career was brewing in his little mind?

Complete respect for Chef 人の氏名. 
And then...the onions made an appearance...

(nervously attempting to brave it out, while having vivid flash backs):

 ...flashbacks becoming a reality:

...and just could not handle it:

His sympathetic aunt's motto: shoot now, console later.

He ran for his life, to the nearest brick pillar for safety:

After chef oaiuefdslkf finished cooking and fully cleaned the stove, the nephew eventually made it to safe ground and ate his chicken and rice.  Needless to say, we will not be returning to our little hibachi-hole-in-the-wall until the 8th birthday.  Of his son.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Why Can’t Infertile Women Just Get Over Themselves?

By alison January 19, 2011

The other night I was watching a movie with my roommates (whom I live with when not living with my husband in Mexico) and we were talking about Jennifer Garner, when my friend commented:

Oh, I just hated her character in Juno. She was awful.

To which her husband promptly agreed. And it took a minute to register, Oh that’s right, she was the mom in Juno. Well, the infertile*, OCD, anxious woman who eventually became a mom.

And that’s when it hit me, most infertile characters portrayed in movies and TV are not characters you sympathize with and are not portrayed in the best light. And I voiced this. To which they disagreed.

There’s Charlotte, from Sex and the City.

To which I disagreed. I never liked Charlotte.

I understand this point is debatable, that Hollywood isn’t the greatest example of exactly what our culture values lie, and that I don’t really watch that much TV so I don’t have a large data set to pull from, but I remember watching a crime scene show years ago with a crazy infertile women who was holding her husband’s mistress hostage after she snapped when she thought he was cheating on her and other shows/movies where the wife who’s bent on trying to conceive “forces” her husband to have sex with her at timed intervals.

The idea of a crazy, infertile woman who can just never get over herself is a common theme that enough people recognize, otherwise she wouldn’t exist. She makes you cringe, she makes you want to look away and she definitely does not make you sympathize with her.

Of course I’d love to plead No, she’s not crazy! Just misunderstood! but even I doubt myself. Why can’t infertile women just get over themselves? It’s worth asking. There is something all consuming about infertility that just makes your better judgment fly out the window. Your thoughts turn inward and your future seems bleak, in spite of everything else going on in your life. And you’d suddenly trade it all if you could just have a baby. At least, that’s what you say.

Sunshine wrote last week, asking the question, is the cross of infertility really harder than other crosses? One of the points on her list jumped out to me the most:

~It is a cross that takes one to the depths of what it means to be a CREATURE and not the CREATOR.

This is profound. There’s an obvious link between control and happiness, so it should come as no surprise when once one realizes they aren’t the ones creating, or in control, sadness follows. But what other crosses take us to the depths of understanding what it means to be a creature rather than a creator?

Sickness, disease, and untimely – or even anticipated – death. When all of these things happen, there is absolutely nothing you can do but accept what happens. Infertility falls right in line with all of those.

Have you seen My Sister’s Keeper? There’s a scene at the end where you all but realize she’s going to die. She’s been struggling with cancer for so long and there’s no way she can survive the surgery necessary to save her, yet when all her extended family come in the room to visit one last time they just keep talking about how not to worry, if she can just hold on, just have more faith, just pray a little harder, that miracles do happen and that she’ll be cured. The immediate family shares a knowing look because they know, they know that this is the end and they are finally at peace, although that didn’t come easy even for them. Those other people just can’t accept not being in control. They can’t imagine there not being something else you can do.

There are few crosses that can really reach us and teach us that at the deepest level, we are merely creatures. Infertility is one.

It literally takes that family up until the moment they realize she’s going to die to have peace. If it takes that long with death, which is so final, to accept, how can it possibly work any sooner with infertility?

Infertility is a disease that takes away your ability to conceive and bear children. But it rarely takes it away all at once (although it can). It usually acts more stealthily, taking it away slowly, month after month. As a result, its a continual mourning process of children that never were. Children that no one will ever see or would ever even be expected to know about.

A mother whose child dies usually has a funeral, an expected time to mourn and even a lifetime acknowledgment that that child existed and was worth mourning. All children are. The infertile has less than two weeks to get over the fact that there is no child before moving on to having hope for the next child, who may never come. All with zero outside acknowledgment. This is not to solicit pity, but to state facts. I seriously believe that this lack of proper time to grieve is what drives infertile women crazy. It is a death that is never recognized and never dealt with like what it is. The death of children that never existed with a mix of your husband’s and your genes. And how can you accept that death? After all, this just might be the month! It is just a continual process that has. no. end. until time X has been reached. Time X being dependent upon a couple’s emotional, mental, and financial reserves to take the waiting/treatment roller coaster. [And honestly, I have doubts it ever ends. I bet somewhere in the mind back there an sub-fertile always wonders if she's pregnant, and every story I've ever heard that ends with a sub-fertile adopting and then getting pregnant, she always says "Well, I was a day late and I should have gotten my period by I took a pregnancy test." Right. A pregnancy test because you're a day late?]

Everything I read about adoption confirms that infertility is a grieving process. Agencies are weary of accepting couples who are pursuing fertility treatments and many don’t allow it at all. Adoption is never to replace your biological children. This wouldn’t be fair to the adopted child to have to live in the shadow of another child. Friends who have started or have gone through the adoption process have literally first had to mourn the biological children that never were.

We’re not crazy infertile women like you see in the movies. I wish it was more apparent to people that its not that we’re not thankful, its not that we’re not appreciative of what we do have, its just that our dreams, our husband’s and our children, are dying. On a repeating loop. Right in front of us. We are mothers to invisible, never-living children, and we are mourning. Death cannot be moved past until it is properly grieved.

I just wish it wasn’t so hard to face that fact ourselves.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sadie's Happy Place her backyard with her tennis ball.


This photo sums up Sadie's personality perfectly.

Waiting for the ball to be thrown.

Watching where it will land...

Will do just about anything for a taste of that ball.

Happily retrieved.

PS.  A picture of the garden (kale and lettuces) that she has yet to
break into this season...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Commuter Idle"

I drive very, very, very far to and from work.

I start bright and early from my small town, drive through 4 counties, 15 towns/cities, several police jurisdictions.  64.7 miles later, I arrive at destination: cubicle.

The first half of my trip into work, I weave in and out of farm vehicle traffic.  The second half is trying my hardest to avoid crazy drivers doing things like jumping on cars

Grand total Monday-Friday, I drive 647 miles.  Weekly.

Oh, but that is only my full time job!  Add my part-time job,  792.8 miles weekly.  13 hours of commute time.

So boy did I get excited when I heard of a new radio contest!  "Commuter Idle", also known as "who has the worst commute in the washington dc area", sponsored by the all-news DC station.  Winner receives $1,000 towards gas money, as well as a limo ride to/from work!!!!!  Didn't have to tell me twice!

I entered immediately.  This was yesterday, so the results aren't back for a few weeks.  However, I did receive a call from the radio station today, it went a little something like this:

"Dayum gurl!!!!  You sure do have a crazy commute!  If you are a finalist, would you mind being interviewed about your commute?"

(me): " kind of interview?"  (Please don't be on Fox 5 News at 11)

"Ya know, about your commute!  I'm reading that you commute nearly 800 miles weekly!  Can we interview you if you're a finalist?"

(me again, picturing the horrors that could come by having to break out of my shell for a measely grand.  and limo ride.): "Absolutely!"

So there you have it.  Stay tuned....if I win, maybe they'll send a limo from a certain state west of virginia!

Here I am

I have a lot to say about April, the busiest month of my life thus far, but until that blog is written, here are a few recent Jim-quotes:

(regarding the busy month):  "Elizabeth's (friend from college) wedding (cinco de mayo) is my reward for April."


Jim graciously offered to do a load of laundry and as I removed the never-ending-pile of cleanliness from the dryer at the end of the day, I asked:

"How on earth did you fit all of these clothes into the washing machine?"

"I do not divulge my secrets." -J 


As we drove by the town's "lingerie" "store" last night (conveniently next door to a tattoo parlor, both located in warehouse-style storage units (shudder) BEHIND the supermarket, Jim asked:

"Do you want me to drop you off at 'Unmentionables'?"

(Recalling my tetonis shot is not quite up to date) "Um, no.  I don't want to be seen walking in there."

"I don't think anyone is going to see you back there."  (Cue disease-ridden tumble weed blowing by.)  Funnier with a picture, will try to snap a G-rated one shortly.  But for now, don't stretch your imagination much farther than this:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Work Words

"This is like putting tacks into my fingernail!" - mr. x after an especially difficult day


"Tell him to go open a window, I hope it's on the 12th floor, and take a flying jump!!!"  - mr x. on another difficult day


"We need to massively put the expectations below (violently bends down to floor and starts rubbing it) SEA LEVEL!!"  - mr x.


"I dont want to see another award from you guys.  If I get another one of those 'oh thanks for the business' awards, I'm going to send it back!!" - mr x., arguing with someone else very important over the phone

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Very First Pinterest Projects, aka Sadie Strikes Again

I knew almost immediately as I set my eyes on my first ever "pin" last September that I'd be an addict.  Especially after the high success of my first project.

The pin displayed the following:

Make your own dog toys.  Out of old sweaters.
All you had to do was print out a picture of a bone, trace it on to two pieces of fabric, and sew the two together with stuffing in the middle. 

It was almost too easy!  As a (very) beginner and self-taught sewer, I felt over-confident after I finished these bad boys out of some spare fabric:

 ignore the drool marks, admire the clean floor

Also known as:

...but that's another story...

Sadie was very, very impressed with my skills, however she didn't quite grasp the whole "this is a toy" concept.

She carried them around so extremely delicately, as if they were a fine piece of china.

With elevated esteem, I quickly decided on my next sewing-for-the-dogs project, shown on pinterest as so:

Mine actually came out somewhat recognizable:


Sadie took to it almost immediately:

It was love at first sight for Sadie.  Infact, I should have known that something was off the way that she was handling the toy bones, months and months on end without even trying to gnaw through it.  She carried those toy bones with her everywhere.  She couldn't sleep without them, eat without them, or even go to the bathroom outside without them by her side.

The bed, however... well, destiny had written a different story for the bed.

I came home to this today:

I made her pose next to the remnants of the bed, even though she was mortified, heart broken, and missing her bones.

Those darn bones are still in mint condition, for anyone interested.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More of Jim's Gems

Since I introduced a new feature in my last entry that highlights my husband's funny quotes was such a big hit, (seriously, I'm up followers by 40% and up daily hits by a lot of %), I thought I'd document a few more:


After explaining a juicy story in great detail about what I thought that someone had said at work, I warned:

"...but don't quote me."

"I try not to." - Jim

(me, every afternoon after picking Jim up at work)

After George had stolen half of a tray of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake (it's a real thing)
earlier that morning, Jim got home from work, swung open the front door, and upon seeing George prancing around declared:

"You're alive!!!!!!"  - Jim


I had spent some time one afternoon finishing laundry completely.  This included the rarity of putting the folded laundry away in it's proper places, as well as the clothes on hangers into the closet.
Normally, Jim would travel from laundry room to dresser to closet and back to each again at the start of each day to track down that day's attire.
The day after my domesticness:

"Wow, it sure feels great to do some one-stop shopping."  - Jim

(Sorry, no picture of this.  You're welcome.)

After day number 8759843 of carpooling together, between my gossipy work stories (see first photo above), Jim was trying to listen to the faint background static that consisted of espn radio.
When the DJ's guest was explaining that the guys on such-and-such basketball team were slacking because they were playing in games for 38 minutes,
I tried to sound interested:

"So basically they are slacking because they are in the game for so long, and
therefore think they are hot stuff?" - me

"No."  -Jim

(looooong pause)

"Shall we just leave it at that?" - me

"Yes.  But thanks for playing."  - Jim

I feel your pain, Sister.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jim's Gems

During my first (almost) 4 years of marriage, I have come to this belief:
A husband possessing a sense of humor is essential to a marriage's success.
(and of course their wives that appreciate it and can play along).

I started taking note of all of the funny things that Jim says on a daily basis, and noticed a trend
happening across the blog world of wives doing the same, but blogging them.

I love the idea of wives sharing their husband's witty words and think it can be funny and also beneficial
with relating with one another and encouraging each other's marriages.

So, I will do the same.  Without further ado, I present Jim's Gems:

While I was watching a new(?) show on TLC, the announcer was explaining the basis of the cat-fight-esque show:
"...And all 4 brides will have a chance to attend and then rate each other's wedding!  The bride with the most points in the end receives their dream Honeymoon!  Thank you for watching '4 weddings!' "
"....and maybe a funeral"  - Jim, from the next room


After jumping on the iPhone bandwagon last a few weeks back and downloading the first free app that I could find...I whined:
"You won 'Ant Smasher'??  How did you do that, I've been trying to get past level 1 for 3 weeks, but I keep accidentally smashing the bee instead."
"You have to tap....strategically." - Jim

(We carpool together now, hence all the misleading 'free time')


After realizing that jumping on bandwagons was infact fun, I challenged Jim in "Words with Friends":

" 'Bo'???  You cannot make fun of me for my last word, 'ho'." - me
"You inspired me." - Jim


"Why didn't I get that double word!!!!!" - me
"Because I got it.  First come first serve baby!" - Jim


(after my 50-something point move)
" 'Arbor' ????  What the hell!!!!!" - Jim


While putting away Christmas decorations, Jim bravely asked me to hand him the box of open ornament hooks, which I immediately dropped and watched scatter all over the floor:

"...pretend I'm not a klutz."  - me
(without changing voice tone/expression)  "I don't have enough time."  -Jim

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sadie's First and Last Time in Trouble

This story is a few months old...but it is worth telling for two reasons.

1. It's pictures are full of gardens, autumn, and warmer days.
2. It proves that Sadie has gotten in trouble...once.

It all started one October evening when I noticed that Sadie's breath smelled like fresh peppers and tomatoes. Not wanting to complain, as it trumped her normal breath, I let it go.
Afterall, you cannot scold a dog for doing something it did in the past- you have to catch them in the act.

Well, not wanting to make her mother look like a lax parent, Sadie gave me the opportunity to scold.

About an hour after the breath was noticed, I noticed that Sadie was MIA. Which was rare.

That's when I looked out of the 2nd story window and saw this:

I couldn't believe my eyes!!! And just when I thought it couldn't get
any worse, this happened:

Since Jim was distracted doing something unimportant like paying bills upstairs, I decided
I should take just one more picture as proof...

...before heading downstairs and out the backdoor to catch her in the act...
As soon as she heard the basement door open...

Sadie immediately knew that she was busted. She spent about 30 seconds trying to desperately remember how she managed to get into the garden to begin with...
...and how to get out once again.

She finally decided on a tiny 3" gap that she forced her 60 pound body through.

Please note the extremely stressed out look upon her face.

Also note: NO scolding had begun at this moment. I was merely standing there quietly,
snapping photos.

And that was that. She felt SO guilty for getting caught that I didn't even have to say a thing.

I didn't have to scream "NO!" or "SHOO!"

I didn't have to put her in a corner or shake my finger.

Since that warm October day, Sadie has not even batted an eye toward the devil on her shoulder.
Sadie's conscience is bigger than any punishment could ever be.

On the other hand, George is STILL trying to figure out how on earth she squeezed in there.

Try again in 2012, buddy. There will be other gardens to chase...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Joyful Resolutions

As awesome as 2011 was, I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be even better.
My theme for the new year is JOY.

I know that this will be a joyful year.
For starters, my best friend is getting married in June!
And my favorite cousin is getting married in September!
Both weddings are going to be the weddings of the century!!!!!

I want to celebrate joy with my husband through being the best wife that I can be.
I want to experience joy through daily duties- like housework and project completing.

I made my Resolutions this year to be centered around JOY.

I LOVE making New Years Resolutions.

There's something about that last digit in the year switching from a 1 to a 2
(or whatever it is each year)
that motivates me and pumps me up for change!

This year I've set forth a more challenging list of resolutions.
And sharing them with you, my faithful reader, is what helps me stick to them.

This is a boring, self-explanatory one.
My goal is to get rid of all sorts of clutter (although my husband always says:
"what clutter?")
(which makes me secretly smile and think my job will be easy).

My hope is that this brings even more joy to our home.

I found this online and thought it would be a helpful guide to follow along with.

What a simple way to bring joy into others' lives!
I have said this before on my blog, but I really really really really miss writing letters.
In highschool, I used to write one letter each day.
And I usually got answers to my letters, which means I was getting mail several days a week!
It's my goal in 2012 to write more letters.  At least one a week.
A small challenge compared to what I did back in highschool.
(But considering I don't have a boring geography class to sit through today...should still be a challenge.)
I am not even looking for responses, although it'd be pretty sweet to get mail other than cell phone and car bills!
The great thing about writing letters other than potentially making someone's day is the fact that you have that letter/card forever.
I have boxes of letters that I have received throughout the years.
It's so fun to go through and read some.  It represents that part of my life.
This is my biggest goal this year, and I am thinking about also tweaking it a bit during Lent to turn
it into something sacrificial.

How peaceful.

Ok, this one is a major stretch, and has a selfish reason behind it (to bring joy to me).
I have 6 followers on blogger right now.  My goal is to write in my blog often enough to gain more followers.
Say, to 12?
I know it can be done because other greats before me have had hundreds/thousands of followers.
I know I have lotsa readers out there, but I hope to gain some more followers.
Wouldn't that be cool?
Unless of course "following" is so 2009, and the cool thing to do now is to merely add the blog to the favorites bar.
In that case, I just hope to up my readership.  No specific number in mind on that one.

I have a lot I want to do in the coming year as far as this category goes.
I want to:
make George a dog bed (he uses Sadie's and it's too small for him)
finally get around to designing and decorating our bedroom
learn how to refinish furniture.

That is it for now.  There are a few more private ones that I won't share until they are actually fulfilled.
Like my financial goals.
Which, so far, we are already off to a great start.

Happy 2012 to everyone!  May it be the most joyful one yet!