"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Saturday, February 28, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Awards and Memes

I can't remember where I answered this question, but recently someone asked what the word meme meant. According to dictionary.com, this is the proper definition

meme –noun- a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

So, every time you participate in a meme or pass on one of these awards you can claim to be spreading culture (yeah, yeah, anything to justify this fun).

This week I was honored to be given a few awards (some with memes attached) and I want to pass them on.

I was given the Kreativ Blogger Award by both Velda and Meari. This award is to recognize bloggers who inspire you with their creativity. This creativity can be expressed through writing, crafts, or some other way. Thank you so very much ladies. Now I get to have the fun of passing it on to 7 other bloggers who inspire me.

1) Julie of a little pregnant...most people who know Julie think of her as a leader in the ALI community first and foremost. Julie is an incredible writer and has mad quilting skills.
2) Matt of matt, liz, and madeline...I know Matt is probably too busy to display this award and that is ok. Matt's story is inspiring all by itself and his photos are breathtaking...such talent. Head on over and offer your support and scope out his pictures.
3) Bean of Coyote Craft...I've known Bean for many years now and she is such a fabulous person. In addition to being a great friend, she crochets, sews, and creates all kinds of cool things.
4) Jen of In One Ear...Jen is incredible. Jen stitches beautifully, sews, creates the videos from the pics her husband takes, and folds the cutest origami figures from money. Jen is a great friend and an incredible mom.
5) Henny of Henny's Happenings...Henny is a really neat lady. I treasure her friendship and admire her stitching.
6)MiPa of Miriam Pauline's Monologue...MiPa is such a generous giving lady. She creates lovely stitched pieces and amazing quilts. She also has a deep and biding faith that truly inspires me to try and do better.
7)Margaret of Margaret's Musings...Margaret has been a friend for years and is someone I always feel close to even when we haven't talked in a while. She claims she is one of the slowest stitcher's around but it doesn't matter because she creates such lovely pieces.

I received the Sisterhood Award from Gina over at On the Road to Baby. The rules for this award are simple...
Put the logo on your blog or post.
Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.
Be sure to link to your nominees in your post
Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog
And be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

Here are some of the ladies whose support and sisterhood mean the world to me...
1) All the ladies from the Cross Stitch Crazy board...these ladies were truly a lifeline to me when I was stuck in the hell of infertility. I don't know what I would have done without them. I chose to list them as a group rather than individually because they would take up the whole list if I named them individually.
2) Kym of I'm a Smart One...this is one amazing woman. She raise her family, educates our kids, educates the world through her blog, and is giving enough to try and help others build their family through surrogacy. I wanna be like her when I grow up.
3) Cara of Building Heavenly Bridges...Cara not only talks about helping people, she gets out in the world and does it (hint...see the Support Share Southern Vermont button on the left). I see Cara's mark all over the blogosphere as she is trying to support people who are struggling. Cara rocks!
4) Mel of Stirrup Queens...I honestly don't know how she does everything that she does. She is a big reason the ALI community has the cohesiveness it has and she is a wonderful person.
5) Monnie of Rantings of a Creole Princess...Monnie goes above and beyond the call of duty for her friends. While she doesn't suffer fools gladly (but then, neither do I), she is always willing to encourage people, answer questions, and offer tips for improving your life.
6) Rys of Confessions of a Clutter Queen...Rys is more than a friend. We've gone to hell and back with each other and I know she'll always be there for me.
7) Pam of Pam's Ponderings...Just like Rys, Pam is more than a friend. We've gone to hell and back with each other and I know she'll always be there for me.
8) Cecily from Uppercase Woman...Cecily is the cool, ass-kicking big sis we all wish we had. She is out there fighting the good fight and educating people about infertility...and, Cecily always, always lets people know she hears what they say.
9) Tanyetta of Days Like These!...Tanyetta is a wonderful mom and a great friend. She always drops by with a comment or an encouraging word.
10) Dora of ISO the Golden Egg...Dora is incredible. Wile in the midst of planning for an FET with donor embryos, she still had time to particpate in a secret ongoing project (EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO KNOW...see the email link in my sidebar) and even included a wonderful set of fuzzy socks for me when she mailed her contribution to me.


Erica from Parenthood for Me, Inc nominated me for the Honest Scrap award.

Here are the rules:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

Since I've received this award (and passed it on) one other time and since I have seen so very many people passing on this award and doing the meme, I am not going to name names to pass it on. I will however do the 10 honest things (scraps) about me part...
1) I am addicted to Disney's Toontown Online. I have 3 different toons and I love it that two of my best friends also play the game.
2) I once had enough speeding tickets on my record that I had to go to traffic school to get points taken off my license. I would love to be turned loose on a NASCAR track and take a car up to full speed.
3) I have only ever truly been scared by one book. I was home alone at night when I read James Patterson's book, Kiss the Girls. That book is set in the area I lived and worked in when I was reading it. It was VERY accurate in its description of the area. It scared me enough that I carried my pistol with me everywhere that night (no worries...it was pre-kids).
4) I love to target shoot and am quite good at it.
5) I have 2 tattoos and multiple ear piercings. I want more tatoos and would maybe like another hole in each ear.
6) Even though I read voraciously, I rarely have more than one book going at a time. I don't know why but thats just how it is.
7) I never thought I would grow up to be a SAHM. In fact, when I was younger I was vehemently against it (I once had a boyfriend ask me if we would fight if we were married and he asked me to stay home and I said Hell yes). I can't imagine raising my kids any other way now and I love my life.
8) In some ways, I am prouder of being a paramedic than I am of graduating from Duke. Becoming a paramedic is something I pursued entirely on my own. I did it because I wanted to not because I was expected to and, unlike college, I actually worked hard at it.
9) My wedding reception was a PARTAY. Everyone was having such a good time that we actually paid the DJ for an extra hour so we could keep dancing.
10) My parents think I was a good girl all through high school. Little do they know what effect the summer programs I went to had on me...bwahahahahaha.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.



I am hosting a year long contest dealing with a reading challenge. Check out the details here and sign up in the comments section of that post. The ultimate winner will get a fabulous prize from me at the end of the year.

Stitching Post Saturday

Yay, yay, yay...it's small but it's a finish. I finally finished the second part of my contribution to MiPa's All About Me RR. I stitched the Romanian flag...

to go along with the racehorse I already finished.
Here is a pic of her entire project...

Hopefully, I'll have a lot more to share next week.

Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sesame Street: Old School...not for little kids anymore...

I was reading blogs for ICLW this morning and Corrin of Oh hey, what's up? reminded me how much I adore the early episodes of Sesame Street. In late 2007, they finally started releasing the early episodes of Sesame Street on DVD which delighted Sesame Street addicts everywhere. But, what's this?!? The Sesame Street: Old School dvds came with a warning that they were adult only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

What the *frack?!?!? Sesame Street is adult only? No fracking way! I grew up on those episodes. I loved those episodes. But wait, maybe they did handle things in a way we wouldn't today. I mean the adults show sarcastic humor about politics right before discussing Mr. Hooper's death with Big Bird? Might that send the wrong message...you can be sad but still enjoy your friends company...no way! Cookie Monster didn't have the balanced diet he has today. Instead, he consumed cookies by the truckload and smoked and chomped pipes during Mosterpiece Theatre. Could this lead our poor little darlings to have eating disorders? When even Sesame Street receives warning labels, ther is somethig seriously wrong with our society.

If you want to check out a great article about this, read the article written by Virginia Heffernan of the Times Magazine, Sweeping the Clouds Away.

Meanwhile, have a little fun. Tell me what you think of this and, if you are a Sesame Street fan, head on over to YouTube and do a search for Sesame Street. Come on back here and leave me the link to some of your favorite clips. This is my all time favorite routine...

*I edited my language because , after all, this is a post about Sesame Street.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Does anybody know what kind of flower this is?

It just bloomed in the middle of my backyard and it is beautiful. I am almost 100% certain it is a perennial (has a root/bulb structure similar to a lily). I think that flower would look lovely in front of my flower bed full of daffodils. I would love to buy some to plant next year.

The Vacuum vs. The Volcano

Gabe has been obsessed with volcanoes lately. The other day we spent a long time talking about dormant volcanoes and how they were "asleep" because he saw an episode of Diego that focused on underwater volcanoes.

Today, we were watching Max and Ruby today and Ruby made a paper mache volcano. Gabe insisted I make him a paper volcano. I tried to tell him I couldn't but, the more I said no, the more insistent he got. So, finally, it dawned on me that I could roll the paper like I was making a cone for a paper party hat and just leave the top open. Then, Gabe took the "volcano" and put it on the floor. He told me that the "volcano was a mountain that exploded and red hot lava runs down the side. See?" Hehehe, Gabe told me the volcano exploded all over my floor and made a mess. Then he said he had to vacuum up the mess the volcano made and went and got his toy vacuum to clean up after the volcano.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My husband is a sick twisted man...

We are watching CSI: New York and in the very beginning of the episode an eyeball falls into someone's coffee cup. Vic pipes up and says, "Just remember eye before e except after C." Then he promptly starts laughing his ass off at his own hilarity.

Did you know you can buy ice cream online?

My all time favorite ice cream was Godiva's Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream. When I was pregnant with Joey, I think I once said the taste of this ice cream was nearly orgasmic...ROFL. I haven't seen it in stores for ages and was pretty sure Godiva no longer made ice cream. However, I found a decent substitute online. IceCreamSource.com sells Chocolate Shoppe Raspberry Chocolate Truffle ice cream but OH MY FRACKING GOD is the shipping ever insane. I do think its pretty cool that you can order ice cream online though. Sadly, the closest place to me that sells this ice cream is Ohio. I might just have to start a campaign to bring Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream to North Carolina.

Sorry, no brilliant, thought provoking posts today...

All I want to do is sleep. I was up with a puking 3 yr old off and on all night. Thank God I heard him cry and got him out of bed before he puked the first time. I would rather strip off my clothes and change than try to clean stuffed animals (never any fun). Said 3 yr old has bounced back from the night better than I have. He is currently practicing his kamikaze leaps off the arm of the couch and I am too tire to care.


PS...there will be one fun post later but only because I scheduled it last night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Cora Paige Project

While I was reading blogs for IComLeavWe, I came across a post that really caught my attention. Overeducated Mommy had a post up about the Cora Paige Project. Cora Paige was the young daughter of the McClenahans and they recently lost her after a short but brutal battle with cancer. The Macs want to build a community playground in their daughter's memory. A community of bloggers and etsy sellers has sprung up to try and help them with this project. If you click on the button to the left, you will get a list of the etsy sales that are donating money to this cause. If you click on the link under the button, you can read the article on etsy about this.

I bought these lovely tags from the Lemontree Studio. They have a few other beautiful items for sale to support this cause.

Help this family ensure their daughter is never forgotten.

Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are...

We've all heard that trite phrases...don't judge a book by its cover. Parenting and infertility really drive home the truth behind the words. For some reason, people seem to be all to willing to offer assvice or asshat comments when it comes to getting pregnant, being pregnant, and raising your kids. Perfect strangers who don't have a clue what your life is really like or what you've gone trhough to get the kids you have judge the situation by its appearance. Perfect strangers who wouldn't dream of offering you marital advice will be more then happy to comment on your pregnancy (or lack thereof) or your family building. Family members who wouldn't tell you how to feel about anything else will be happy to tell you how to feel about getting pregnant.

When I was a nanny for two young kids, I use to not only take them to preschool but I would attend pre-school events with them. We were at a preschool event and I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my first child and the youngest of my charges wanted to be picked up. When I told the child I could only hold him for a few moments and indicated my tummy, I got a sneering "Just what you need...another child" from one of the other parents there. And, yes, it was said TO me. Even if the other two kids I was with were mine, she had no damned right to judge me based on the number of kids I had.

If someone has one or more kids (all the same sex), do NOT assume a pregnancy or the attempt to get pregnant means they are trying for a child of the other sex. While there are people who do that, a comment of "Oh, so you must be hoping for a girl." stands every chance of bringing a heap of vitriolic ranting down on your head if you say this to someone who has been through infertility.

If someone has 1 or more children at home, do NOT tell them "You shouldn't be so desperate to have another child." Do not presume to tell them how they should feel. You do not know their reasons for wanting another child. You do not know what they have been through to get to where they are.

Just because someone is a SAHM, do not assume they have time to help with anything and everything and do not assume they must be very well off financially. Many households with SAHMs scrimp and save and cut corners wherever they can so the mom can stay home. And, just because a woman is a SAHM, that does not mean she is lazy and sits in front of the tv eating bon bons and watching soaps all day. Many SAHMs have extremely busy and extremely full schedules.

Don't assume someone is selfish because they are persuing a pregnancy of their own rather than "just adopting"...grrrrr. Once again, their situation may not be what it appears to be on the surface.

Don't be guilty of judging by appearances. You never know when you may find yourself in the very situation you presumed you had the answer to.

Have you had any run ins where you were judged by appearances? How did you handle them?

*can anyone tell me where the post title comes from?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its been a fabulous day!

I got my copy of Tertia's book and I found out I was right about what was wrong with Vic's car. Wait, I didn't tell you about what happened to *Millbarge, did I? On Friday, I had been out running errands and the car was running beautifully. That afternoon, Vic went out to run to the store and when he stuck the key in the ignition, Millbarge didn't start. Everything turned on like it should but it didn't start. Hell, Millbarge didn't even make the clicking noise you usually get when a starter has gone bad. I told Vic (and the tow truck driver) that it sounded like someone had just disconnected or disabled the started. Turns out one single little wire had come loose and, once our mechanic reconnected it, Millbarge is once again running like a dream. Yay...no multi hundred dollar mechanic's bill!

*Millbarge is the name that was picked for Vic's car in the name our car contest.

**Tertia's book is great!!! It reads just like her blog.

There's a sucker born every minute...

and this past week it was me. I decided I am willing to point out my humiliating lack of foresight to help y'all avoid making the same clueless mistake.

This past Thursday, my mom called and said that she had seen ads for Dora Live and said it was going to be in Raleigh this past weekend. She offered to get tickets for Gabe and me if I thought he would like to go. I knew Gabe would love it and, since its pointless to try and argue talk my mom out of these notions she gets, I told her we would love to go.

I don't know why I didn't go straight to the Ticketmaster website. My only defense is the last time I did anything other than buy tickets at a box office, phone ordering was the only option (yes, its been that long). I googled Dora Live and Raleigh, NC and got a list of ticket sites that had tickets for sale. I thought I was being smart and checked the prices at a few of them and they all seemed to be about the same pricewise. I was a bit surprised at the nosebleed seats having a price of $49 but my mom said it was ok so I ordered them from one of the first ticket sites I opened, TicketKingOnline.com. Ot wasn't until the tickets arrived on Friday that I realized what a RIPOFF that was. See, all TicketKingOnline did was order the tickets from Ticketmaster and then resell them to me. I could understand a moderate markup for that but they charged me $49 for a ticket that would have cost me $17 through Ticketmaster.

Oh well, this will be filed under the live and learn heading. I will never buy tickets from anyplace other than the box office or Ticketmaster. The show was great and even the nosebleed seats were wonderful. Most importantly, Gabe had a fabulous time.

*BTW, I did take these pics. The pics in my last post were mostly culled from publicly available pics because I wasn't always the shutterbug I am today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived an average life...at least it seemed like an average life. But, when you looked into her life you discovered she had lived in many fabulous places and had experienced many fabulous things.

She started her life in Taipei, Taiwan...because her parents couldn't bear to be kept apart by the USAF when their first child was born.

Taipei, Taiwan

After spending 9 short months in Taiwan, she and her parents moved back to McGuire AFB in New Jersey. While she lived there, she discovered the joys of finger painting walls with tooth paste, having your own personal green hippo, and what happens when your parents bring a little squalling thing home from the hospital.

McGuire AFB in New Jersey

New Jersey was followed by almost 4 years at Ramstein AFB in Germany. While in Germany, she had her appendix out, broke her leg, visited glorious castles, drifted through the canals of Venice, learned to ski, toured the salt mines, camped across Europe, and gained another sister.

The next 2 years were an orgy of sun, sand, and body surfing in Hawaii. The then young girl caught itty bitty sand sharks in the canals, body surfed on the military beaches with her golden retriever, and had a best friend whose dad was in the mafia.

Kailua on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Next came 5 years in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. These years included a disastrous adoption attempt by her family, braces, glasses, and 2 hellish years of middle school...ugh. But, before she reached that point, the young girl discovered the joys of sleep overs with friends, riding lessons with an incredible teacher, riding a horse bareback though ponds, and having a horse all to herself one summer.

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Her next home was in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Although many wonderful things happened during the years to come, the only thing Goldsboro had to recommend it was and is the Air Force Base.

Fighter from Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro, NC
She moved to NC at the end of 8th grade and thus began her era of summer camps, some of the best times of her young life ...Girl Scout National Center West (horseback camp in Wyoming), summer geek camps at Appalachian State University and Salem College, a two week summer science seminar at the Air Force Academy. Her high school years were filled with drama club, year book, lots of AP classes, and lifeguarding (great summer job!). She was lucky enough to get into her 1st pick school for college and spent 4 years in Durham, NC at Duke University.

Duke Chapel on West Campus

Duke East Campus
College was filled with classes, semi-formals, ROTC (until that knee she broke back in Germany messed up that), camping out in Krzyzewskiville to get tickets for basketball games, bonfires with the Cameron Crazies, tunneling under East Campus, blender partied with the Phi Kaps, sewrvice projects and fun with Alpha Phi Omega, and many other unmentionable activities (and, yes, she still managed to graduate in 4 years). The summer after she graduated, she moved to Hillsborough, NC.

Hillsborough, NC
While living in Hillsborough, she became a member of the local Rescue Squad at the urging of her good friend Mike Wilson and eventually became a paramedic. She also spent about 4 months training horses withe a former member of USET. She worked various jobs to support herself but the most important thing that happened while living in Hillsborough was she met her future husband while volunteering at the Rescue Squad. After a bit, she and her husband to be moved to Burlington, NC where they established their life together and eventually had 3 sons.

Burlington, NC

Life went on and the not so small family found themselves moving to Cary, NC.

Cary, NC...hard to believe its a city with over 100,000 people
While the move to Cary was not what this woman or her family initially wanted, it turned out to be a gift from God. Living in Cary has given her children a better education, her husband a job he loves, a neighborhood that is filled with friends, and many opportunities and activities that just weren't available where they use to live.

I have lived a wonderful life.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.



I am hosting a year long contest dealing with a reading challenge. Check out the details here and sign up in the comments section of that post. The ultimate winner will get a fabulous prize from me at the end of the year.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Did anyone catch CSI last night?

First, let me say I love Laurence Fishburne's roll. I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much with the Grissom character gone but it really works with Fishburne as part of the ensemble cast.


Second and my primary reason for mentioning it, last night's episode, Miscarriage of Justice, (very) briefly touches on infertility. In this episode, a congressman is accused of murdering his mistress. It turns out that the wife killed the mistress because with the "help" of the congressman, the mistress passed her chlamydia on to the wife which caused her to have a miscarriage. To add to the heartbreak, the wife mentions that she is 40 years old, that they had been trying for 3 years, and this destroyed her last chance at motherhood. No, they didn't mention a lot about infertility but I do think they conveyed some of the heartbreak surrounding it.

Did you see the show and what did you think about how they used infertility in the backstory?

Happy Happy Birthday Marty

12 years ago, I woke up at 2 am when I felt my first real contraction. I was so ready for my baby boy to be here. For the final 2+ weeks of my pregnancy, I couldn't even drive myself anywhere because I was so swollen that my hands and forearms would go numb if I wrapped my hands around a steering wheel. It wasn't a quick labor. My contrax didn't close to within 5 minutes of one another until nearly 8:30 am. When I go to my OBs' office at just after 9 am, I was barely dilated past 3 cms. It was going to be a LONG day.

Since I lived over 40 minutes from the hospital, they sent me over even though I was only at 3 cms. Labor was slow but steady for most of the day. By mid afternoon, I had an epidural, an IV with antibiotics because I had a low grade temp, and mag sulfate to treat my pre-eclampsia. Then, they had to piggy back on pitocin because the mag sulfate managed to stop my full term labor (go figure...half the time it can't stop pre-term labor). By the time they got my labor going again, Marty's heart rate was dropping precipitously with each contrax. I'd been in labor for almost 16 hrs and we were both tired. I gladly signed the papers to have a c-section. I just wanted him safe. At just after 6:30 pm, my oldest son was born.

Marty and me an hour after delivery

Vic and Marty

My little man

It has continually stunned me how quickly Marty grew and changed over the years. By his first birthday, he was running all over the place, feeding himself, and trying to talk.

February 1998...Marty turns 1

12 short years later, Marty has grown into such a fine young man. Like all preteens, he definitely has his moments. However, he has many moments when the man he will eventually become shines through. He gladly helps his friends and family. He has been known to quietly donate all the money he has saved to help the victims of disasters. And, I've never known him to make fun of someone because of a physical or mental disability. I still remember the time we were at a church potluck dinner when Marty was about 8 and, without any prompting from me, he helped a physically disabled man with his plate and food. He made me so very proud...and he still makes me proud today.

Marty 2/19/09

He has grown into such a handsome young man. He is only an inch shorter than me...in another month or two, he will be taller than me. And, hehehehe, he has gunboats for feet. His shoe size has almost kept up with his age. His shoes are a men's size 10 1/2. And, my young man has his first real pimple. ROFL...he would kill me if he knew I was telling you that.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTY!!! We love you very much.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Banner Year of '09

2009 is going to be a banner year for the ALI community. First, we get the news that Mel's book, Navigating the Land of IF, would be released on June 1, 2009. And, today, Tertia announced the exciting news that her book, So Close:Infertile and Addicted to Hope, is FINALLY available through Amazon.

Take a moment to drop by Tertia's blog and congratulate her on the news before you rush out to buy her book. And, while you are ordering Tertia's book, take a moment and pre-order Mel's book too. These wonderful ladies have done so much to humanize the face of infertility and to educate the public about what its really like. We really need to support them especially since the Suleman Octuplets are giving everyone such an erroneous view of what IVF is like.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ain't Nothing 'Bout You...

Once I thought that love was something I could never do
Never knew that I could feel this much
But this yearning in the deep part of my heart for you
Is more than a reaction to your touch
It's a perfect passion and I can't get enough

The way you look, the way you laugh,
The way you love with all you have,
There ain't nothing bout you that don't do something for me
The way you kiss, The way you cry,
The way you move when you walk by
There's ain't nothing bout you (there ain't nothing bout you)
That don't do something for me

In my life I've been hammered by some heavy blows
That never knocked me off my feet
All you gotta do is smile at me and down I go
And baby it's no mystery why I surrender
Girl you got everything

The way you look, the way you laugh,
The way you love with all you have,
There ain't nothing bout you that don't do something for me
The way you kiss, The way you cry,
The way you move when you walk by
There's ain't nothing bout you (there ain't nothing bout you)
That don't do something for me

I love your attitude, your rose tattoo, your every thought
Your smile, you lips and girl the list goes on and on and on

The way you look, the way you laugh,
The way you love with all you have,
There ain't nothing bout you that don't do something for me
The way you kiss, The way you cry,
The way you move when you walk by
There's ain't nothing bout you (there ain't nothing bout you)
That don't do something for me

The way you look, the way you laugh,
The way you love with all you have,
Your dance, your drive, You make me feel alive

The way you talk, the way you tease
Right now I think you see
There ain't nothing bout you that don't do something for me

I love you honey! I don't talk about how wonderful my hubby is nearly often enough. So, I thought I'd share a pic from my NEW camera (yes, it's here!!!) and a Brooks and Dunn song that my hubby once dedicated to me and that truly represents how I feel about him.

The birds and the bees...you mean a doctor doesn't make them?

Tertia's post yesterday, The Birds, the Bees, Eggs and Seeds, got me thinking about the whole issue of having "THE TALK" with your kids. I was curious about what age everyone thought was an appropriate age to teach kids about where babies come from.

Its been about 2 years since I subjected Marty to "THE TALK". Both Vic and I had decided 4th grade would be our target time for the talk. Kids have an in depth unit on reproduction and human growth and development in science class in the 5th grade and we did not want the school system to be the first source of knowledge. And, although Vic and I had never stated it, we both had assumed that since we have all boys, that he would be the one having the talk with the kids. Circumstances changed that. I had a captive audience (due to a completely unrelated occurrence and I decided to take advantage of it. When I explained things to Marty, I kept it fairly clinical and made very certain I used the proper names for all the body parts. I was very straight forward and didn't let his embarrassment phase me. Evidently, the timing was right because, in the days that followed, he asked me questions about things people had told him.

Since then, Marty has truly become interested in girls but is still doesn't want to admit it to everyone. He also is a typical preteen and is embarrassed by any talk or allusion to male-female relationships. Hell, Marty himself said, "I like babies. I just don't want to think about how they get here." Am I bad if I admit that I take perverse pleasure in teasing him about this?

Just the other day, the subject of a 4th child came up. Marty and Joey have really been championing the cause. So, when Marty brought up the topic of a new baby on a day when he had been driving me nuts with his preteen nature, I just looked at him and laughed. He asked me what was so funny. I said, "Do you really and truly want another sibling?" Of course, Marty said yes. Thats when I loked at him and said, "Boy that will be fun. Just think, 9 months of reminding you of exactly what had to happen for us to be having that baby!" I don't think Marty saw the humor in it that I saw.

I grabbed another golden moment for teasing him. Right before our house guests got here, I was up on the loft changing Marty's bed. Marty has been taking a lot of snacks up onto his bed recently. Thats not really a big deal except for the fact that he had left a lot of crumbs behind. I don't know about you but nothing drives me crazier than having crumbs in the bed or having the sheets messed up.

Me: Marty, either you have to stop leaving crumbs behind or you will have to stop taking snacks into bed. Its horrible up here.
Marty: I don't mind.
Me: But its gross Marty not to mention that it can attract bugs in warm weather.
Marty (As he is leaving the room): But Mom, I'm a boy. I don't care.
Me: At some point in the future, you are going to want to share your bed and most women won't put up with this.
Marty: Eeeewwwwww....gross...did you really, really have to mention that?

Can I say again how much fun I have grossing him out?

So, how old do you think a kid should be before they get the whole "TALK"? Who do you think will give the talk in your house? Do you think it will be worse for you or for your (future) kid?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mine, Mine, All Mine

We got our tax return in last Friday so I've been having a bit of fun shopping yesterday and today.

I ordered a replacement for my poor dead camera...

It's not brand new but its new too me and it will be fabulous. The auction includes "an Olympus FE-340 8MP digital camera. Camera is in excellent physical condition and works perfect. Also included are USB cable, AV cable, box, paperwork, battery charger, and 2 batteries." I guess maybe I should thank Gabe for breaking my old camera since I got this fabulous upgrade for only $75.

I also ordered 4 new bras (one of the black, one of the chocolate, and two cream). Woohoooooo. While this may not seem exciting to many of you. It thrills me to no end. I can finally order bras in my gigantor size and not have to have them custom made. I can also get ones that are somewhat attractive. Paying $147 for 4 bras is far more palatable than paying $320 for 4 plain jane custom made over the shoulder boulder holders.

I also indulged my stitchy addiction. I backordered two copies of Just Cross Stitch magazine.
And, I gave in and bought a subscription to JCS for this year because it FINALLY includes the ornament issue!

It has been so long since I've bought myself much of anything. Its a very pleasant change of pace.

All Book Challenge Participants...

Would you like me to put a master list of participants in my sidebar so you can check each other's lists for reading ideas?

And, Jo, can you email me?

Monday, February 16, 2009

An Interview With Me

Just over a week ago, Stacie from Heeeeere Storkey, Storkey! posted her Interview With Me post. I signed up to have her send me questions because it looked like fun. I'm answering her questions plus a couple that were posed to me in last month's ICLW opening post.

If you would like me to interview you, just leave a comment and I will email you the questions. Here are the directions (and don't forget your email):
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choice.
3. As soon as possible, you will write a post including the answers to your questions.
4. You will include this explanation, a link back to me, and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment and ask to be interviewed, you will email them 5 questions.

1. You are very creative. What is your favorite type of craft to create, and what project are you the most proud of making? I honestly can't say I have one specific craft that is my favorite. What craft I want to do depends on the mood of the moment and just how tired I am. If I am truly exhausted, I don't bother to try cross stitching even if I want to because I am sure to make an elementary counting error. The project I am proudest of has to be the christening gown I crocheted and that all my children have worn. You can see pictures of the christening gown in this old post.

2. I love the new look to your blog. In the post describing why you changed, you said (the blog) "represents me and what I have become." Could you give a little more information about what you mean by this? (ie, Who are you and who did you become--the Cliff notes version, of course!) I think struggling through infertility has shown me that I am stronger than I ever thought I was...that my marriage is a beautiful wonderful thing that will withstand anything and will sustain me always...and, I have come to believe more than ever that the seemingly impossible can happen if you just don't give up. While dragons permeate mythology worldwide, we are taught they don't exist. Embracing the possibility of dragons is like embracing the possibility that the impossible really does exist (talk about a convoluted sentence). Also, dragons represent strength and beauty to me and having them on my blog represents the strength I have come to recognize in myself and my marriage.

3. What is a typical day in the life of Kristin? Hehehe...I don't think there is such a thing. On school days, I am up at 6 am to start getting the kids ready for school. After the older two are off to school (Joey catches the bus at 8:30), Gabe and I get our breakfast and he usually watches a little bit of Nick Jr. Morning is usually when I'll read blogs and maybe write a post. I also will empty the dishwasher and try to do some laundry. Sometime during the day, Gabe and I will usually read a book or maybe do puzzles or play a game. We also almost always end up outside for an hour or more. School pick up starts at 2 pm (Marty is released at 2:15 and Joey at 3:45). After Marty and Joey do their homework, they usually either go over to a friend's house or have them come over here (a bunch of their school friends live in walking or biking distance). Dinner is at about 6. Tuesday evenings are cub scouts, Wednesday and Friday are Tae Kwon Do, and Sundays, of course, usually include Sunday school and church. Gabe goes to bed between 8 and 8:30, Joey's bedtime is 8:30 (half hour later on non-school nights), and Marty's bedtime is 9:00 (also a half hour later on non-school nights). After Gabe is in bed, I try to do a quick pick up so the mess doesn't snowball over the course of the week. Vic usually takes care of cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and loads the dishwasher too during this time. Vic and I will watch one or two of our favorite shows before we go to bed around 11:30 to 12. Rinse, lather, repeat all week long.

4. What is your favorite book and why? Favorite author? Hmmm...I can't honestly say I have one favorite author or book. This is another thing that varies from week to week (or even from day to day). I read Sci Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, even some non-fiction. I frequently reread books that I really like. Lately I've been reading a bunch of books that deal with the paranormal/paranormal romances. They are a wonderful way of indulging in a little escapism.

5. Your life seems so busy. What do you do to give yourself a little "me" time and relax? I grab "me" time where ever and whenever I can. When I take Gabe out side to play, I often bring my book or my craft project (not always, I do play with him too). When I take Joey to scouts or TKD, I often bring a project or book with me. I also rarely just sit and watch TV. I usually have my cross stitch or crochet project right there with me. I also have days where I say Fuck it and I don't do any cleaning or housework. I spend those days playing with Gabe or playing with my crafts.


Questions from January ICLW:
1. What do you plan to do in the future? (from Intricately Complex) A friend of mine and I are planning on starting a cross stitch design company. I don't know if we will ever make a lot of money through it but I know we will be good at it and it will bring me immense satisfaction.

2. What about when your kids are all grown and out of the house? (from Intricately Complex) What I do after the kids are grown and out of the house really depends on what the future brings with my husbands health. If his diabetes is completely under control and that doesn't affect his ability to work, I could see myself being a stay at home wife and do a LOT of volunteer work and possibly investing a lot of time and energy into my design business. If my husband's health does affect his ability to work at any time, I would probably either go back into EMS (emergency medical services) as I was once a paramedic or, I might finish my nursing degree and work as a nurse. (I would probably only get an RN since I already have a bachelor's degree.)

3 What is ptt length? (I thought I knew all of the IF abbreviations by now.) (from Karen of Clio) The abbreviation ppt stands for partial thromboplastin time. The shorter your ptt, the faster you clot.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My camera is dead...

right before the demonstration started, my wonderfully talented youngest son knocked my camera down and jammed the lens. RIP to my wonderful Olympus C-5500. Luckily, I know people who will give me copies of there pictures but that means I have no pictures to show you until much later.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Economics 101

This week, the entire 2nd grade at Joey's school had a flea market. For the two weeks before the flea market, the children earned "dollars" to spend at the flea market when they were well behaved instead of earning tickets to trade in for prizes at a later date. The children had to develop a product at home, produce 30 to 40 items, and then, at school, they had to price and sell the items.

Joey and I discussed many different ideas. He finally settled on felt bags with a drawstring at the top. He decided we would decorate half with a girly picture and half with a boy picture. We cut out 80 felt rectangles and then glued together 3 sides on each set to make 40 bags.

Joey settled on flowers for the girly design and turtles for the boy design. Joey picked out a flower design and a turtle design and I printed out the pictures and turned them into stencils

Then we decorated the bags. Most were done by using the stencil to define the space but a few were done by flipping over the stencil and using the paint on the stencil to leave the impression.

I did the final step of cutting the slits to run the drawstring through and adding the drawstrings. The finished bags were awfully cute if I do say so myself. I guess the kids thought so too because Joey sold out.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.



I am hosting a year long contest dealing with a reading challenge. Check out the details here and sign up in the comments section of that post. The ultimate winner will get a fabulous prize from me at the end of the year.

Its going wonderfully...

and, I've discovered that 11 yr old boys are the same no matter where in the world they come from.

We have rediscovered something that has made communication immensely easier. Google Translate is the best thing to come along since sliced bread. It gives you a text window and has tabs under that window to indicate what language you are translating both from and to. For example, if I type in "What is your name?", then it gives me "이름이 무엇입니까?" Since the boys are answering my questions, I guess its pretty accurate.

Last night, after dinner, all 4 of the older boys were tossing a mini football around in the den. At one point, it degenerated into the two Korean kids beaning each other in the head with the football...LOL. Then, as Joey tossed the football towards one of our guests, he used a light saber as a bat to hit the football with. It was pretty damned funny.

Well, I'm off to make some buttercream frosting and finish decorating a birthday cake. We are having Marty's birthday party today at Frankie's Fun Park from 11:30 - 1:00. More pics later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We all need healing.

I'd like to let all of you know that this is a religiously based post. I know many of my readers aren't necessarily religious but I think this post can offer something even to those of you who don't share my beliefs.

Many of us that have been through the hell of IF can remember nights when we prayed and begged, "Just make my body work right." We can all probably remember days and nights when we were too devastated by what was going on to pray for our own healing. This is a place our wonderful community can and often does step forward and helps us.

Last Sunday, one of the pastors at our church gave a wonderful sermon about Jesus as a healer. It really touched a cord with me and I asked Danielle if I could share it. She sent me her script and I also have an audio link (please, please go listen...it is wonderful).

Mark 1:29-39
Focus: Expand the notion of healing beyond the physical healing, highlighting restoration to community as a key aspect of healing.

Function: The Holy Spirit will prompt the community to lean on one another and pray together for healing. Remind those struggling that in Christ, they are not alone.

Our Healing Stories

Move One: Jesus as Healer
If you have not had an opportunity to read the reflection “Breathlessly Healing” in the bulletin—do! (Just not right now during the sermon). The reflection highlights the “packed” nature of the first chapter of Mark. Jesus is baptized. Jesus is tempted. Jesus preaches his first sermon. He calls the disciples, preaches, casts our demons—and we aren’t even done with the first Chapter yet!

It is with our text this morning that still another part of Jesus’ ministry. Today’s reading reveals Jesus as healer. “Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening, at sundown…the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases.” Jesus is a healer.

Move Two: Does this mean that all my illness will be healed?
I come to preaching a sermon about healing come with much trepidation. To proclaim loudly that Jesus is a healer while cancer wards are full, tears are being shed over loved ones lost, hearts of children broken as they watch their parents age and often become child-like. What does it mean for those of still with broken places to hear it proclaimed: Jesus is a healer? It leads to natural questions—

* If I am not experiencing physical healing, does that mean that God doesn’t love me or has forgotten me?

* Does it mean that if I am still hurting, that I am not “good enough” to experience the blessing of healing?

*If I have prayed and prayed and no healing has come, does that mean that God does not listen to the cries of his children?

It is in the midst of our suffering that we read passages like the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law and wonder, “Why her, why not me?” Or perhaps wonder, especially as we see suffering in our children, “why not me? Why them?”

These emotions, these questions do not make you less of a Christian. Perhaps they make you an authentic Christian living in the tension of God’s love. This coming Friday will mark the one year anniversary of my Melanoma diagnosis. Its surreal to think about—I can remember what I felt like walking out of the doctor’s office. I can remember what it felt like to call my mom and tell her that her baby girl has cancer. I can remember the anxiety I felt each time I answered the phone waiting for test results. Yet, what I can testify to most honestly is that each and every one of the doubts, the questions, the feelings shaped the last year of my life. What does really mean that Jesus is healer?

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law follows the typical patter of a healing story in the scriptures. Although, Mark in his attempt to tell the story as quickly as possible, condenses it down to two verses. Generally stories of healing include a description of the illness, a request for healing, action by the healer and evidence that the ailing person has been restored to health. We see all in our text this morning. We know his mother-in-law has a fever. We know the request for healing was made. If you look at the text, however, it is unclear that it came from his mom. Simon and Andrew, James and John seem to have been the ones to have lifted up her request. This highlights the for us to be in prayer for and with one another. Sometimes, whether because of physical restraints, emotional scars and a general sense of grief or anger or of being overwhelmed, we cannot find the words to pray ourselves. The gift of the Church is that we lift one another up. When you can’t pray, we will pray for you.

Jesus then comes and touches her. He lifts her up. And then finally we have the evidence that the ailing person has been restored to health. What is it here? The fevers and she starts to serve them. Some translations render is “she began to wait on them,” or “got up and prepared dinner for them.” I love to read this passage in women’s bible studies because the reaction is almost always the same. Of course she did. Is it not enough to simply recall the healing? Why did Mark make sure to include that she had returned to her regularly schedule programming!

Move Three: Moving Beyond Physical Healing—Restoration of Community
In so many other places in the gospel of Mark, he leaves out details. Why include this one. Remember that I told you there are generally four parts to a gospel healing story? The final part is the evidence that the person has been restored to health. For Jesus, the restoration includes restoring the person to community and purpose.

Often when people recall stories of sickness, dark nights of the soul or times of crisis they are punctuated by one factor—isolation. In the stress and chaos of trying times, social relationships are frequently disrupted and usually disintegrate. Many persons battling illnesses report that their family and friends become timid about touching them. When they need most the human contact of a hug, a hand to hold, or a pat on the back, they find others drawing back.

Peter’s mother-in-law likely experienced the same isolation. Lying in a bed unable to move because fever had so ravaged her body. Her son-in-law has brought home the Messiah and she can’t make sure that the kitchen is clean or even offer a bowl of water to wash his feet at the door. She may not have been alone in the house, but life continued without her. Social isolation can be just as devastating. And so what is the sign, or the evidence of her healing? Yes, it is that the fever left her but also that she was restored to the community.

Our notion of God as healer is often too narrow. We can easily say that God is healer when the physical healing we seek comes. But how with God a healer when the disease, the tears and death still come? God is healer because his healing is bigger than our physical bodies. God heals broken hearts and broken homes. God heals sin-sick spirits. God heals isolation. God restores us to him and to one another.

I came across a story when I was preparing for this sermon. A pastor shares, “One morning an elderly man walked into my office and wrote out a check for one thousand dollars. He handed it to me and said, “I simply want to thank the church. You were very kind to my son.” Then he turned to leave. I had not idea what he was talking about, so I asked him to stay and tell me about his son. He spoke with great difficulty about the son he had buried the week before. His son had died of AIDS. The family had not been present when he died. In fact there had not been any communication between the rest of the family and the son for several years, even though they all lived in the same city. The family had learned of the death of the son from two members of our church who had visited him daily for the last three months of his life to feed, bathe and do household chores for him.”

There was still death. There was still AIDS. Yet, God was healer. The store was restored to a community. Despite his alienating disease, he was touched and clothed and fed. He died, not alone, but in community. God was healer and God continues to heal.

Move Four: Where are you in the story of God’s healing?
If you were to write your own gospel healing story, at what stage would you be? Are you in the process of naming the broken place, the illness, the hurt, the disease? If so, ask God earnestly to give you the courage to name.

Perhaps you can identify the brokenness. Maybe a doctor gave it a name like cancer. Maybe its anger or depression over a job loss. Maybe its isolation. Whatever the broken, sick or hurting place, once it can be named, the next phase in the story is to make the request known. Call the church office and join the pray list so that your brothers and sisters can faithfully lift you up. Come forward during our healing service. Turn to those with you and worship and make your requests known.
Maybe you are thinking, my story has moved beyond those stages. You are waiting for action—you are waiting for God to reveal himself as healer. This perhaps is the hardest place to be. It is the place where our doubts swirl, where our fears run wild and where we hope that the promises of God are true. Take heart in this stage of your story, you are not alone. God has not forgotten you. Healing may not come as you envision, but our God is on the move. Open yourself up to see God’s healing beyond restoration of the physical but including healing of our emotions and scars, nourishing of our spirits and souls and restoration into community.

Or perhaps, at least for this morning, you are in the final part of your healing story. You have named, you have asked, God has moved and now you are bearing witness to God’s action in your life. Do it boldly. Your story, your former wounds will become wellsprings of love, grace and testimonies of God goodness.
Who knows, perhaps through telling your story, crowds will gather at your door—like they did for Peter’s mother-in-law and even more will know the touch of Jesus.

To listen to Danielle Kosanovich's sermon, click here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The kids from Korea are here...

And, I think the extent of their English is thank you and hello. However, the kids are communicating.

The language of video games conquers all. They even recognized one of the online game icons Marty has on the kids' computer.

He makes my heart happy!

Gabe adores candy hearts. He discovered them last year at Valentime's Day (his version of the name) and developed such an affinity for them that I had to hit the after holiday sales and stock up so he wouldn't go into withdrawal. Yesterday, when I was at CVS drug store, I found bags of the candy hearts for only 99 cents. I bought a few and dumped them in the glass pumpkin I usually use to stash lollipops.

After breakfast this morning, Gabe asked if he could have some. I gave him a small bowl and he was happily munching on them as he watch Nick Jr. Gabe is only 3 so he definitely can't read yet but he does recognize letters and he recognized the fact that there were words on his candy hearts. Gabe asked me, "Mom, you got me candy hearts?" I told him, "Yes, I did." Gabe looked up and said, "Mom, you make my heart happy."

I think I almost melted.

When Life Gives You Lemons...

I guess I'm one of the people who make lemonade...or as Soralis says, maybe I'm the pause that refreshes (hehe, don't know why that strikes me as funny but it does). I was given the Lemonade Stand Award by Soralis.

Here are the rules for The Lemonade Stand Award:
1. You must link back to the person you received the award from.
2. You have to nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award!

So, thank you Soralis. The following people are either the pauses that refresh me or they have made lemons into lemonade. I'm going to nominate Beautiful Mess, Stacie, Lori, Kym, Rebel, Robin (my stitchy friend), Cara, MiPa, Bean, and Angrycanrn.


I also got nominated for the Honest Scrap Award by the wonderful JuliaS and the fabulous Cara. I've been wondering where it started and what the creator of the award wanted it to stand for. I googled it and found varying meanings but never found the creator. According to one blogger, "This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who oftentimes put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul." Another blogger says, "Scrap means left overs, fragments, discarded material, and many times truth and honesty is discarded material, considered fragments and left over. So, we need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will."

The rules of the award:1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content, design, or honesty.2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

10 Honest Things About Me
  1. I have very little patience for people who are willfully ignorant or stoopid. The key here is the WILLFUL part.
  2. I love and retain the oddest trivial facts...so does my hubby. If they ever had a couples version of Jeopardy, we would kick ass.
  3. I both love and hate having big boobs. They are great because my hubby loves them and they balance out my hips. However, they are also a pain in the ass back. I have to buy a larger size up top to accommodate them. I've had to custom order my bras for years (but yay, manufacturers finally have caught up and make a 38 L). I simply can NOT comprehend why people would pay to have boobage this size.
  4. I hated my curly hair when I was little. When I lived in Hawaii, I was stuck with the nickname Bird's Nest for the entire 2 years we were there.
  5. I was LAZY with my learning when I was in college. I avoided classes that would make me really have to work and stretch my brain (like organic chemistry). I really regret that now.
  6. I am a nerd and a geek at heart. I love learning about things...how they work, how they are made, new scientific theory, new knowledge about genetics and reproduction.
  7. I am really scared that I will lose my husband some day. When he was a firefighter, the thought of losing him in a fire terrified me. Now, I am scared that his diabetes will continue to be a BIG issue and will take him from me long before I'm ready.
  8. I come across as being self confident and secure and most of the time I am. However, there is a little part of me that is desperately insecure. I think it goes back to all the teasing and exclusionary behavior I was subjected to in middle school (damn kids are cruel).
  9. My dorm in college sponsored a "Come As You Aren't" Party. I wore a royal blue teddy, fishnet stockings, and a pair of 4 inch strappy heels. I was not wearing the most revealing costume there.
  10. I can do fairly complicated math problems in my head. I picture a blackboard in my mind and actually write the problem out on it.
I always have trouble deciding who to pass these awards on to. I never want anyone to feel left out or get their feelings hurt. So after much deliberation, I want to ask these bloggers to join the scrap pile...Cecily from Uppercase Woman, Dora from ISO the Golden Egg, Tanyetta of Days Like These, Shelly from MOMFILES.com, Meari from Meari's Musings, Mel of Stirrup Queens, and Megan of Hip to be Squared.

Oh crap, while I can do complex math problems in my head, I obviously can't count and listed 8 instead of 7 recipients. Deal with it...LOL.