Thursday, July 31, 2008

I may not be around much over the weekend. Joe and I are sharing a computer because one of ours died(gosh, I hope they can fix it). Since he's teaching a summer online class, he gets priority over he computer because it's for work. Yeah, whatever. I tried to tell him that blogging is important too, but he's not going for it. I can read some blogs on my lunch break at work, but there isn't a lot of time to comment. Bummer.

I don't really have a lot to say right now anyway, so here's a Meme I borrowed from Shanny.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes. Especially in a "wedge" salad, with tomatoes and red onions and candied pecans. Yum!

2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Yes. It was awful. It burned my lungs and then I had an asthma attack. I don't understand how people can do that!

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? What's Sonic?

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yes. You would think I would be used to it by now, but I still hate it.

6. Do you like hot-dogs? Not really.

7. Favorite Christmas Song? Sleigh Ride

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Nothing. I can't eat or drink anything for a good hour after I get out of bed.

9. Can you do push-ups? Maybe one. The girl kind, with my knees on the floor.

10. What’s your favorite meal? Mexican Food.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring

12. Favorite hobby? Is blogging a hobby? If not, scrapbooking, not that I have been doing any of that as of late.

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? I think my friend DeAnn probably snorted when she read this one. That would be a No.

14. Name a trait that you hate about yourself? Negative thoughts and that I suffer from depression.

16. Middle name? Denise

17. Name 3 thoughts at this moment: What an ugly dress that is on Project Runway right now!(Joe is watching it). I really should be taking a shower right now. Why can't we ever get ahead financially?

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: I didn't spend a dime yesterday

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, iced tea, Crystal Light.

20. Current worry right now? I'm worried about money(shocker)

21. Current hate right now? Earthquakes

22. Favorite place to be? Home.

23. How did you bring in New Years? Watching Lisa and Scott's kids. Again.

24. Favorite place to go? Disneyland. Big Sur. San Francisco.

25. Name three people who will complete this? I really don't know.

26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? I'm not sure who else will do it!

27. What color shirt are you wearing? White w/black roses

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Never done that. I imagine it would be very slippery!

29. Can you whistle? Some. Can't carry a tune while doing it though.

30. Favorite color(s)? Seafoam green. Pink

31. Would you be a pirate? I don't know. Possibly.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don’t. I sing in the car.

33. Favorite girl’s name? Ummmm..Sophie. Duh!

34. Favorite boy’s name? Aidan. Max.

35. What’s in your pocket right now? $5.00

36. Last thing that made you laugh? Today at dinner my friend's 2 year old little boy made me laugh, just with his cuteness.

37. Bed sheets as a child? I don't remember, but I'm thinking I must have had Strawberry Shortcake sheets. I loved Strawberry Shortcake as a kid.

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broke my ankle when I was 13, falling off of my horse. Well, I didn't exactly fall. We were going over a jump and he decided I should go over, but he wasn't.

39. Do you love where you live? I love the city I live in, but I wish I lived in my own house, and not an apartment.

40. How many tv’s are in your house? 1

41. Who is your loudest friend? I don't have a lot of friends. And I'm pretty loud.

42. How many dogs do you have? One. Still missing the other one though. Sniff.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? My husband

45. What is your favorite book? Oh Gosh. There are so many!

46. What is your favorite candy? Any kind of sour candy. Yum.

47. What is your favorite sports team? I don't watch sports.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by that Hawaiian singer whose name is too long to type here.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Sleeping.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? How happy I am that I don't have to be at work until 9 on Thursdays(instead of 8 like all the other days)

I tag whoever wants to play along. Let me know if you do though, so I can come check out your answers, k?)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We just had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered about 25 miles from where I work. It scared me. A lot. I was on the phone leaving a message when it happened. Here's how that conversation went:

"Hello, this is Michelle from Dr. So and So's office and I was just calling to confirm your child's appt. at...............................And we're having an earthquake right now".


And I hung up on them.

There are no limits to my professional abilities people. No limits.


I've lived in CA my entire life and I'm just never prepared these things.

Hate. Earthquakes.


1:00 p.m. Update-the earthquake was just downgraded from a 5.8 to a 5.4. And the epicenter was located 7 miles underground, meaning it really wouldn't feel like much more than a 5.0. So there is a slight possibility that I over reacted. Slight.

I think it scared me mostly because I sit in front of some very large glass windows and they rattled pretty hard and I was afraid they would shatter all over me. I was ready to get the heck out of Dodge, if you know what I mean, while some of my co-workers didn't seem to be phased by it too much.

And no, Tracy, there was no damage or injuries reported, aside from some grocery stores losing some items off of their shelves nearer to the epicenter.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dragon Boat Races and Three Words

I'm back from my weekend at the Dragon Boat Races. I have been trying to come up with the proper words to describe my experience this weekend, and all I can come up with is:


What a truly amazing experience. The fun, the excitement, the camaraderie, the teamwork. All of it. So cool.

I participated in two races on Saturday and one race today.

In my first race yesterday, we came in sixth.

Ummm....out of six. Yeah. Last place.

In my second race, we also came in sixth. Out of six.

Remember when I said we were a non-competitive team? :)

But in the second race the fifth place boat only beat us by one second! One. Second. And the fourth place boat only beat us by two seconds.

But today we rallied and raced our best race yet and we came in Fourth place! Oh my Gosh, you would have thought we won the entire race, as excited as we were.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I Can. Not. Wait.
Until next year.

For now, I am sunburned to a crisp(Sunscreen. Hmph. Apparently you have to reapply it many times throughout the day. Which I forgot to do).

And so sore I can barely hobble to the bathroom.

But it's a good kind of sore. It's an-I accomplished something I never in a million years thought a fat chick could accomplish- kind of sore.

And I feel gooooooood.

And totally out of my funk.

For sure.

I'm off now to lie prone on the couch for the rest of the day. And probably break out that Ben-Gay cream I have lying around in the bathroom drawer somewhere :)

Here are a few pictures, with my three words for the week at the end.

That's our team in the race today, where we came in fourth place.

And my three words for this week:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kicking Me When I'm Down

So I’ve been having kind of a lousy week. I’ve been feeling pretty emotional and overall just down.
Remember last Friday when I was taking pictures of my day and I went to Lowe’s and bought a new hanging plant for our front porch? (The one shown in this picture) It was a beautiful pink container of inpatients that I just looooved. It made me happy to look at it.

I spent this whole last week fussing over it. Watering it, pulling off the dead blooms, etc.

Well guess what? When I got up this morning and went outside to leave for work, it was gone.

I thought maybe Joe had taken it down to water it. I went back inside and asked him where it was. He responded with “What are you talking about? It should be right outside".

Nope. It’s gone. Missing.


I can’t believe someone would have the nerve to steal it right off of my front porch. I live in one of the safest cities in America (someone told me this from some statistic they saw somewhere).

I don’t even have the energy to get mad about it. I just feel bummed.

Good timing, Universe.

I’m gonna have to snap out of my funk because I’ll be spending all day Saturday and Sunday at the Dragon Boat races.

Maybe the adrenaline of the races will help me snap out of it. I sure hope so. Sigh.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I just had to take a second and say thank you for all of your kind comments. I also received some wonderfully supportive e-mails from people(that I don't even know!) That's one of the reasons I continue this blog. I have found support here that I have not been able to find in my "real life". It helps me so much too, to know that I am not the only one who feels these things. I was afraid that people would judge me and say that maybe I shouldn't go through with the adoption if I had these kinds of doubts. I feel just a little bit more "normal" now that I see I am not alone. I think I just got scared because I have been feeling such a sense of detachment about the adoption. From Sophie. I can't feel that connection anymore. I hope that feeling comes back in a year or so, or whenever we start getting a bit closer to a referral. That post is something that has been rolling around in my head for a long time and I think just needed to get it out there. Thank you for your support and understanding.

And hey, today we have been logged in for 21 months. I didn't intend for this post to coincide with that date, but that's what happened.

As far as the "disclaimer" at the end of the last post, I get a lot of anonymous comments regarding our financial state. The comments aren't necessarily nasty. Most of them are spot on true. People want to know how we intend to pay for our trip to China. Or they wonder why we do certain things(like buy a new camera, or go on a camping trip) when we don't even have enough money for me to see my kidney doctor right now. These are very valid questions. But some things are no one's business but mine and my family's. I know it seems like I put every aspect of my life out on this blog, but there is so much more that I don't put out there. So much more. And if you really want to know these things, send me an e-mail with your name on it, and I might decide to give you the info you want. But don't hide behind "anonymous" and expect me to respond. If you are afraid to wite your name to what you say then maybe you should think twice about what (and why) you're saying it.

I'm getting off of my soapbox now.

Thank you to each and every person who responded in such a kind manner. I actually brought tears to my eyes to read some of your comments. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Here's something I have been struggling with for a long time. To post or not to post?

One day I convince myself that it is not something I need to share with the Internet and that these feelings will pass and I'm just having an off day.

The next day(or the next hour) I'm feeling like I need to get it out or I'm going to explode and this is my blog and why shouldn't I write about it?

Repeat those two scenarios many times over and that brings you to where I am now.


I'm not even sure I can form coherent thoughts on this topic right now, but it has been bothering me so much lately that I have to try. So here goes.

The doubts started one day at work. When I schedule appointments for patients that come in I am usually looking about five or six weeks ahead. For the most part. But sometimes patients only need to come in every six months. So I have to look at the calendar and see what month that would put us into.

This month it happens to put us into January. My birthday is in January. I'm going to be 38. In 6 short months. For some reason I started kind of obsessing over this fact.

I'm going to be 38 years old. Soon.

And, at the age of 38, I am not(nor will I be), a Mother.

I feel so many emotions when I type that sentence.

Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Disappointment. Disbelief.

In order to get where I need to go I have to start at the beginning. It's going to be long but it's something I have been wanting to get out on paper for a long time, so feel free to skip to the end if you get bored.
The Beginning

I got married young. 22 years old. We knew we wanted kids. We talked about it from our very first date(when I was 18!). I wanted two. Joe wanted three. I figured we could hash that part out later. What was important was that we both agreed. We wanted kids. O.K., Good. We're on the same page.

We also knew we were way too young to have kids right away. We weren't ready. We would wait.

So we waited. 8 years went by. Life happened. Other people we knew got married, divorced, had kids. My Mom died. At that time I was so much in the throes of grief that I could barely take care of myself, let alone another little person. So we continued to wait.

Then, my sister got pregnant. My twin sister. My only sister. I wasn't sure if we were ready or not, but I knew I wanted our kids to be similar in age. That's all I ever wanted. For my children to have a close bond with their cousins. They would be best friends! They would grow up together and call each other on the phone and have sleep overs and everything would be perfect.

So we started trying. I'll never forget the day we threw out my birth control pills. We were giddy with excitement. This was it! We were going to start a family. I was 31. Joe was 33.
It was Memorial Day weekend and we took a road trip to visit my sister and Scott in Millbrae and we waited until they went to bed and we did it on an inflatable air mattress on their living room floor. (Sorry Lisa)

We knew we might not have an easy time getting pregnant. I had been diagnosed with endometriosis ten years earlier(although we did not know the severity of it at that time), and had a fibroid tumor. I had undergone two surgeries to try and correct it at this point. We weren't expecting it to happen on the first try. We knew it could take up to a year for it to happen. We were okay with that.

We also knew we couldn't just leave it up to chance every month. So from day one we did things to maximize our chances. I'm going to spare you the details of those methods, because some of them are things you don't want to envision us doing :) If you have been through infertility, you know what I'm talking about.

What I'm trying to get across it that we never had that carefree "let's see what happens" period of time. No. From day one there were ovulation tests to take, and temperatures to chart, and other stuff that is just plain gross so I'll leave it out. Every single month.

The first six to seven months were fairly uneventful. I was relatively non-stressed about the whole thing. Stop laughing. I was!

Around our eighth month of trying I had a very painful cycle. This was not unusual for me, due to the endo, but this entire cycle was simply awful. From ovulation to the day I was due to start my period I was in constant, stabbing pain. I was also five days late. This was highly unusual for me, but I truly thought nothing of it. Pregnancy wasn't even a blip on our radar. I hadn't started taking pregnancy tests at this point and it never even crossed my mind.

Finally on the sixth day I started spotting and the pain was so unbearable that I called in sick to work and drove myself to the doctor. The endo had sent me to the E.R. on more than one occasion and I really only went just to get some pain meds.

The exam was very painful. I cried during and wished I had brought Joe with me. Usually he would have been there but it was an impromptu visit and he was at work and I didn't even think to ask him to come with me. I just wanted someone to stop the pain.

My doctor was cold and uncaring. I knew this about her already but she had performed one of my surgeries and I felt some kind of loyalty to her so I continued to see her. I'm weird like that. Or stupid. You choose.

Anyway, she performed the exam and before I could even get out of the stirrups and into a sitting position on the table she said "It appears that you were pregnant, but you aren't anymore."

That's it. That's all she said. I was dazed and in shock. I don't think I even responded to her. I just stared at her with this blank look on my face, trying to understand.

Then she told me if the pain and bleeding didn't go away after four days to call her or go to the E.R. I think she also warned me that the bleeding would be heavy. I can't remember.

She told me I could get dressed and she left the room.

I was stunned. I just sat there in silence. The possibility of me being pregnant hadn't even occurred to me. (I know that might seem strange to you, because we were, after all, trying to get pregnant, but I thought it would take at least a year).

As I got up to get dressed and to wash my hands, I saw the speculum laying in the sink, covered in blood. Covered in blood and...................human tissue. I have no other way to describe it. That's what it looked like.

She left it lying there in the sink. For me to see. Like it was nothing.

I didn't see her on the way out. I don't even think I checked out at the desk. I didn't pay my co-pay or make a follow up appointment. I just stumbled out to my car, in a daze, and I never went back.

I spent the weekend in bed with a heating pad on my stomach changing out Maxi pads every half hour. Joe took the weekend off and laid with me in bed and brought me food and pain pills. We didn't talk about what had happened. We didn't say the word miscarriage or talk about "the baby". We kind of acted like I was just having a really bad cycle.

By Monday the bleeding had slowed and most of the pain had subsided. I went back to work and never told anyone there what happened. My sister was the only one I called and told that weekend. But still it was with a sense of detachment. I simply told her that I had been pregnant(for a very short time), but I hadn't known about it, and now it was over.

Joe and I talked about it later, but I must have been in a state of denial because I wasn't sad and we both agreed that at least now we knew I could get pregnant. It may not have worked out this time, but if it happened once it could happen again. Right?

I don't think I ever grieved that loss. To this day. It was such a whirlwind and I never saw the two pink lines and I never got to tell anyone "I'm pregnant." It was over before it even began.

So we soldiered on and kept trying. We didn't even take a couple of months off, like you're supposed to. We just kept trying.

And trying. And trying. Years passed. We didn't miss one single month of trying.
Not. One. Month.

For five years. That's 60 tries for those of you keeping track. Nothing happened.

I started to lose hope. I had a third surgery for the endo, as well as countless infertility treatments. (Although we never tried In Vitro. We didn't have the money)

Yet we continued to try.

During this time my sister and her husband announced that they were planning on adopting a baby from China. They started their paperwork in late summer of 2003. They were DTC in December of that year. In June of 2004,(Yeah. 6 months) they received the referral of a beautiful baby girl. Our Gracie. Two months later they travelled to China to be united with her.

I travelled to China to meet up with my sister and family and to welcome the newest addition of our family. It seemed fit, as I was in the delivery room when my nephew was born and I wanted to have that connection with my niece.

Being in China was an amazing experience. While I was there I began having feelings that maybe this was something we could do. I recall talking to Joe on my cell phone in my hotel room, in the middle of the day for me, but in the wee hours of the morning for him. I woke him up many times that week, telling him every detail of my trip, and about China, but mostly about the babies. All of the beautiful babies that the families travelling with us had adopted. My cell phone bill for that week was $700.00. At the farewell party in China, while the families celebrated their last night with music and dancing and Rice wine, I went into the bathroom and cried. I wanted to be one of those families. I wanted to celebrate having a new baby. When would it be me? When was it our turn?

I returned home from China and life returned to normal. Whatever that was. Except I didn't have the drive to keep trying to get pregnant. Instead of hounding Joe with the exact dates of my cycle and what were the perfect days to "try", I stopped keeping track at all. I even started lying to him about when those times were. If he asked I told him I forgot. Or that I didn't feel good and maybe we should skip this month.

I was tired and burnt out and ready to just give up. I joined a therapy group to help me deal with the anger and sadness I was feeling. I began to give serious thought to living our lives "child free".

While all this was happening, the endometriosis came back with a vengeance. I was in severe pain. The pain became unbearable. It was ruining my quality of life. It got to the point where all I could do was go to work(and leave early almost daily), and come home and and get into a warm bath.

I had to live my life in two week intervals. The two weeks that I felt good we would try to squeeze as much out of life as possible, knowing that when it ended I would be confined to our apartment for two weeks. It was a vicious cycle.

My doctor (again) suggested a hysterectomy. I balked.

I prayed over it. I agonized over it. I agonized over it some more. Was it the right thing to do?

Joe and I talked it over and agreed that this was no way for me to live. It was decided that Yes, I would have the hysterectomy.

So in May of 2007 I had the operation to remove my ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. It was done. The decision had been made. There would be no biological children for us.

I felt like a failure. I grieved the loss of my uterus far more than I grieved the loss of that pregnancy.

And even though I was grieving I still felt like God had a plan for us. We were meant to have children. I knew this deep down in my soul. I just didn't know how.

I began to think more about China. Was that something we could do? Was this the answer to our prayers?I talked it over with Joe. He was on board from the very beginning. No questions, no doubts. Just "Lets' do it".

I started doing research and realized that we did meet all of the requirements. Except for one. We didn't have the initial lump sum of money that would be required to get our paperwork in order and submit it to China for consideration.

Then my Dad stepped in and offered to help. For the first time in a long time I felt Hope. This could happen! We applied to agencies. For the first time ever I began to look at baby stuff in the stores. I even bought a couple of items. Small things, but baby stuff nonetheless. This felt real.

We started jumping through the required hoops and gathering the needed information.

Birth certificates(not easy to get, being adopted myself)
Marriage certificates(also not easy, as we were married in Nevada, not in CA were we resided)
Background checks
Home studies

That was our first roadblock. My medical physical. My bloodwork kept coming back "abnormal" I had to have tests done. And then more tests done. I had to go to doctor after doctor after doctor. No one could find out what was wrong. And yet my doctor would not sign off on my medical form. We were in Limbo, yet again.

I was discouraged. Why couldn't anything be easy for us? I thought this was a sign.

But Joe was determined. We kept going to doctors, trying to find out why my bloodwork was "abnormal".

Eventually we ended up at the Nephrologist(a kidney doctor). He said that something was wrong, but he couldn't tell what it was until I had a kidney biopsy.

I was afraid. What if something was terribly wrong? I also was afraid of the procedure itself, but honestly, when you have had as many procedures and surgeries as I had by that time, you learn to suck it up and go with the flow. I went ahead and had the biopsy.

A week later we sat in the nephrologist's office for the diagnosis. I had a rare form of degenerative kidney disease. There was no cure. My kidneys would slowly deteriorate over time, and the chances that I would need a kidney transplant in 5-7 years was 60%

We were devastated. We were certain we would not be able to continue with the adoption process. The paperchase came to a halt. We isolated ourselves to lick our wounds and regroup.

I remember thinking that this was a sign. A sign that we weren't meant to have kids. Biological or adopted. It wasn't meant to be. This was not God's plan for us either. I was devastated. I became depressed and angry. I wanted to curl up into a ball and never leave my bed.

Joe refused to give up. He talked to our adoption agency, and my doctors trying to figure out what to do to get that medical form signed off.

Our agency told us we needed to have the nephrologist write a letter regarding the current state of my health and the long term prognosis. They gave us very specific wording to use, and exactly what the letter needed to say.

Joe talked to my doctor on the phone. Multiple times. He faxed them samples of the letter we needed written.

My doctor wouldn't sign it. There was one line in the letter that he said he did not feel comfortable with. It was one of the lines that the adoption agency said we must have included.
(I'm not going to disclose what that line was. I have to protect myself).

Joe re-wrote the letter multiple times, and included a heartfelt letter stating our circumstances and how this letter could be the deciding factor on whether or not we would be able to have children.

The doctor had a change of heart and signed the letter. We submitted it to our agency and they approved. We were ecstatic. We finished the rest of our paperwork(called a dossier) and submitted it to our agency.

Soon we were "DTC"(Dossier to China) and a short 3 weeks later we had our "LID"(Log in Date).

The show was officially on the road. Again, I had Hope. We started decorating the nursery. We talked about Sophie all the time. We said things like "When Sophie comes home....." and
"Next Christmas when Sophie is here....."

I threw myself whole heartedly into all things adoption related and joined several adoption groups. I participated in secret buddy swaps and sent and received adorable baby stuff in the mail every month. I lived for "rumors" surrounding the state of adoptions in China, and how many days worth of referrals that were put out each month.

I got much more involved in Blogging and even met some of my favorite bloggers.

We knew we were in for a long wait. The letter our agency sent when we were DTC stated a 12-18 month wait. We were well aware that the China had slowed down the processing of dossiers. . We were okay with that. It gave us time to prepare. It was assumed(by the whole adoption community-not just us) that they would speed back up again, like they had in the past. Each month that went by I felt closer to our child.

But China didn't speed up the process. In fact, they slowed almost to a stop, referring only two days in one month.

Every month I got my hopes up and every month I was disappointed. It started to feel very reminiscent of the days when we were trying to conceive. A period of hope, when I ovulated, followed by heartbreak every month when I would start my period and find I once again was not pregnant.

I started to emotionally withdraw from the adoption wait. I stopped participating in the swaps and didn't visit the adoption groups anymore. I stopped following the rumors.

Then China changed the rules and we realized we no longer qualify to adopt from them. Although we are told that we will be grandfathered in under the old rules, and we did make it through the review room, people have been turned down in the matching room(the last step before they refer you a child). We were scared.

It was starting to feel like there was a chance that maybe this wasn't going to happen.

That brings me to where I am now, and the whole point of this post. Sorry it took me so long to get here. If you have followed along this far, bless you.

If current trends in China adoption continue, we could wait another 2 years(or longer) before we see our child's face. We have already waited 21 months.

Lately I have been having very conflicting feelings. I no longer have that sense of Hope.
Now I find myself fearing for the worst, but hoping for the best. I think I'm trying to prepare myself for the chance that this might not work out.

We don't talk about her anymore. We don't say things like "When Sophie comes home", because we really don't have any idea of when that might be.

We closed the door to the nursery and we don't go in there. Although Joe still keeps the light on for her.

There have been times in the last year that I have been glad that we don't have a child. Job losses. Depression. Financial difficulties. Marital problems.

And lately I have been full of doubts.

What if we don't make good parents?

What if we can't provide financially for a child? We are starting to get back on our feet, slowly, but the economy is tough right now. What if Joe loses his job again?

What if my health takes a turn for the worse and I need to have a kidney transplant?

Will I get enough sleep? The kidney disease I have requires plenty of rest or I become sick.

Is it fair to raise a child in a small apartment, with no backyard?

Will I be too old to chase after a toddler?

Have we been married so long(15 years) that the adjustment of adding a child will put a strain on our marriage that is too great?

The list goes on and on(and on).

I think the most frightening part of the whole thing is that I have actually been giving serious thought to what our lives would be like without children. I'm starting to get used to that idea, something I never gave thought to before.

It's getting harder and harder to imagine our lives with a child in it.

In the past, not having children wasn't even in the equation. It simply wasn't an option.

We were supposed to have children. I felt it. I knew it.

Now I don't feel or know anything except that this road to parenthood has been unbearably long and heartbreaking and I find that I am losing Faith.

And it is a terrible, lonely feeling.

In January it will be 8 years that we have been on this rollercoaster and I am ashamed to say that I'm not sure how much longer I can ride it.

Everyone tells me that all of this anguish disappears the moment you hold your child in your arms for the first time. It simply melts away. I believe that to be true.

What I'm having a hard time believing is that we will ever get to that point.

**We are NOT pulling out of the program. We will continue to wait and see what happens. We have no other choice. You can go ahead and bash me for having these doubts if you want to, but I won' t post anonymous comments here. They will be deleted. Feel free to e-mail me with your judgements regarding our financial situation or what terrible parents we will make at I have no problem with criticism. I do ask, however, that you have the courage to put your name on it. Thanks. **

Monday, July 21, 2008

All Reality T.V., All the Time

I watch a lot of television. I'll admit that. When you have no kids and you work only four days a week it leaves one with a lot of free time.

I fill much of that time with television. I'm not proud of it, but it is true. You know how every year they have "T.V. Turn Off Week?"

Well when you work with kids it's a big deal. You talk about it, and hype it up and discuss all of the things that there are to do when you aren't watching t.v.

Well a couple of years ago I tried to do it. Go one week without television. I made it for one day before I broke down and switched it on. Joe was working nights then and it was just so quiet without the t.v. on.

I must say though, that we only have one t.v. set in out home. I know people who have upwards of four. They have one in every room! Not us. Just the family/living area. Not even one in the bedroom.

But still. We watch a lot of t.v.

It's something we do together. I am lucky because Joe will watch anything that I want to watch. "Gray's Ana.tomy". "Dan.cing With the Stars". Designing shows on the Home and Garden channel. Pretty much anything.

Anyway, we have a DVR to record our shows. It is awesome. I don't know how we lived without it. Now we never miss any of our favorite shows, and we watch them later and forward through the commercials. Awesome.

So the other day I am looking at the list of shows that we record and I notice that 99% of them are reality shows! Seriously! Now keep in mind that it IS summer and none of the good (non-reality)shows that we usually watch are on right now, but still.
I think we very well could be reality t.v. show junkies!

So for your enjoyment(and judgement), here is a list of the shows that we watch. You might want to settle in. This is gonna be a long one. :)

Sorry for the periods. I don't want everyone that G**gles those shows to end up here.

So You Thi.nk You Can Da.nce
Love this show. I love the different types of dancing they do(Hip Hop, Ballroom, Contemporary, etc), and I become very attached to my favorite dancers. Sometimes I even vote for them. Shut up.

The Sin.ging
Joey and Mel B. host this show in which they go into different workplaces and take people who can't sing or dance and split them into teams and teach them to do performance in front of a live audience. the Recep.tion-in this show they take a couple who is getting married and teach them a professional dance for their first dance at the wedding. They even include a couple of people from the wedding party and they keep it a surprise from their families and the wedding guests. The best part of the show is when they show their families and guests reactions to the dance. Priceless.

Yeah. I like shows that have singing or dancing in them. The last two I like because they take "normal" people who have no experience with either and they teach them. Not sure why this appeals to me. Possibly because I can't sing or dance? :)

I also can't wait for High Sch.ool Mus.ical: Get in The Pic.ture to start.
You have to give me a pass on this one, because I worked with kids when the first two came out and I have seen them both. Multiple times. When Joe and I went to CA Adventure last Fall and they did the stage show, I sang along to the songs. He walked away from me and pretended not to know me :) Some of those songs are quite catchy, okay?

Intervention. My co-worker DeAnn got me hooked on this show. It is amazing to me how addiction can destroy a person and the depths to which people fall in order to sustain that addiction. I always pray at the end of the show that the update will say that the person got help and was able to overcome their addiction. That is not always the case. It's sad.

Desi.gned to Sell
A group of people fix up and stage houses to sell. The houses look amazing after they are done. I cam never figure out why people don't do this to their houses while they are living in them. I'm not sure why I like this show, as I don't actually own a home myself.

Fli.pping Out
I just started watching this show a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting caught up on the first season. It is about this guy who buys real estate properties and "flips" them by gutting them and renovating them and reselling them. These are multi-million dollar homes and I like seeing what he does to them. Plus, the guy on the show is FREAK. He is so cold. I don't think he has the ability to feel emotions at all. It's fascinating. Heh.

Jo.n and Ka.te Plus 8
I love this show. The kids are so adorable and I cannot imagine having eight kids. I don't know how they do it. Seriously. At this point I can't even imagine having one child, let alone 8!

The Ace of Cakes The cakes this guy designs are incredible.

Must Kids This one just started. I love dating shows. I'm always rooting for the happily-ever-after ending. This is the first show of this type where they let single Moms participate. About time. Three different women are set up on dates with a bunch of men and they eliminate one each week. Kind of like the Bachelor. For single Moms.

Hop.kins I started watching this one because I miss Gray's Anatomy. Now I'm hooked. I cried like a baby when the little two year old got a heart transplant.

Proj.ect Runway Love this show. The 5th season hasn't started yet, but Joe and I have been watching marathons of season's past to get ready.

Greatest Ame.rican Dog Just because I love dogs. Of course all Joe talks about when we watch it is how much he wants an English Bulldog. And he wants to teach it to ride a skateboard, like the one on the show.

Here's one I am embarrassed to admit I watch:

Denise Rich.ards: It's Comp.licated
I can't help it. It's like a train wreck. I can't turn away.

Here are a few that I watch because Joe likes them:

Bi.g Bro.ther

The Mo.le

Wipe.out People doing an obstacle course and "eating it". Always funny.

I Survi.ved a Japa.nese Game Show The things they make people do on gameshows in Japan is crazy.

There are a couple of shows I refuse to watch.

The Next Do.or Eeeewwwwww. These girls are prostitutes. I'm sorry. But they are. Did you know the girl's families go and visit them at the Playboy Mansion? HUH? I understand wanting to support your children and all that, but C'Mon! Gross.

My Super Sw.eet 16
The money that parents spend on these parties for their children makes me feel physically ill. $60,000 for a party for a 16 year old. There are people in this world who don't have enough food to eat. And the sense of entitlement of these children. Sickening.

O.K. I think that's it. Whew. I told you it was a lot! I think I may have to go on "Intervention" and deal with my television addicition. Heh.

So what shows are you watching?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2nd Dragon Boat Practice

My second practice went well. It went great, actually. They worked our butts off though! The team leader said my technique looked very good today. She said I was a natural at it. I was quite pleased when she said that, being it is only the second time in my life I have ever done it. I really enjoy paddling. They rent Kayaks at the beach where we practice and I think it is something I would really enjoy doing. Now I just have to talk Joe into it :) It is very peaceful being out on the water in a boat that you are powering yourself. I wonder if you have to take classes or something for that? I'll have to check it out. Anyway, I'm dead tired and am off to bed. Tomorrow is Monday already. Boo.

Day 2 of Photo Bloggy Days, and 3 Words

I kind of fizzled out on the second day of Photo Bloggy Days. I just downloaded my pictures and realized I didn't take as many as I was supposed to. Oops. Here are the few I did take:

9:00 am The waiting room at my Saturday appointment11:30 My Dad's house
12:00 My Dad's Dog
12:30-1:30 Lunch at Polly's

2:00-3:30 got home from my Dad's house. Laid here:
And finished this book:

It was soooooo good, even though parts of it made me angry and sad. It's about sexual abuse and children :( But still a very good book. I highly recommend it.

4:00-5:00 Planted some flowers in the front porch

Then I had to water them. This picture was hard to get:
My front porch now: I guees you can't really see the flowers much.
Joe came home then and I made dinner, but I forgot to take pictures.

Then we spent the rest of the evening watching a movie:

How come tv screens never come out in photos? Anyway, I went to bed shortly after that, at about 11:00.

Today is three word Sunday and I can't think of anything! Well, how about this:

Summer's Flying By!
Except I have no picture to go with it. Loser :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm supposed to be posting my pictures from today. There are far fewer today than yesterday. I did O.K. until about 2:00 and then I came home and read my book and fell asleep. It's hard to take pictures when you are asleep. I am also supposed to be making dinner right now. But I am reading blogs instead. Priorities. I will try to get the pictures I did take up tonight. I'm feeling good and am ready for my Dragon Boat practice tomorrow. It's the last practice before the races next weekend Yikes! I am so totally not ready. I e-mailed the team leader and told her it was O.K. if I didn't race because I missed last week's practice and joined the team so late, but that I did plan on attending the race both days for moral support. I was kind of hoping she would have said O.K., we have enough people and maybe you should sit the races out. But she didn't. She e-mailed me back and said "Of course you will participate in the races! We don't have enough women for the women's team and we need you"! And now I am feeling extremely nervous. What did I get myself into? (Gulp)

Summer Photo Bloggy Days

Here's day one of Photo Bloggy Days. Here is my day yesterday in pictures. I took two more pictures from when I first got up but for some reason they didn't download and I accidentally erased them from my camera. Oh well. It's probably best you not see those anyway :)
There are too many pictures to put here so I had to put them on Flickr. I hope you don't have ot sign in to see them. If so, it's free to set up an account just to view pics.
Here is day one: Friday, July 18th Summer Photo Bloggy Days

Click on the upper left photo(the bagel and the cup of coffee) to start at the beginning of the set.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hey, you aren't going to believe this, but I woke up this morning and my eyes felt better. It's a miracle! Well, probably more like all the stuff I did last night actually helped. Maybe it won't come back. Fingers crossed. I am participating in Shanny's Summer Photo Bloggy Days. Basically you record your life on film for two whole days and them post the pictures on your blog. So since the minute I got up this morning I have been taking pictures. Like crazy. Of every single minute detail of my life. Like my breakfast. And my commute to work. And my job. It's some fascinating stufff people. So tune in tomorrow when I post the pictures! Because you certainly don't want to miss that :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In which I want to scratch my eyes right out of my head

I am so miserable right now. I seem to be having some kind of allergic reaction to something.

On. My. Eyelids.

Yes, you read that right. My eyelids are red, itchy, swollen, flaky and itchy.

Did I mention itchy? Because they are so very itchy.

It started a few days after we came home from camping. I thought it could be a reaction to our cat, after being away from her for seven days. So I was careful not to touch her, and I cleaned the cat hair off of "my" couch.

It didn't get better. So I thought it was just seasonal allergies(which are much worse this year for me than year's past). So I started taking OTC allergy medication. It didn't help.

Then I thought perhaps I was allergic to my eyeshadow, even though it is the brand I always use. So I stopped wearing it on the weekends. No relief.

I am going crazy here. It itches so badly. Then I rub it, which makes it burn too. Keep in mind it is not my eyeballs, but just the eyelids.

And they are quite swollen and red. Here are some of the things I have tried over the last 48 hours alone:

Hot compresses
Washing my eyelids with baby shampoo
Zyrtec D allergy medication
Going without makeup
Cortisone gel. Yes, I know you aren't supposed to put it on your eyes. I was desperate and very, very careful not to get it in my eyes.

None of the above mentioned things helped.

Strangely, the only thing that has brought any relief at all in the last week has been swimming in our pool. You would think the Chlorine would irritate it more, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Both times I went swimming I felt sweet relief.

But it is a little late to be taking a swim right now and I am going insane. Seriously uncomfortable.

Yes, I have G**gled it and came up with a couple of different things it could be.

I know I need to go to the doctor. I have been putting it off because

A. I don't have a primary doctor right now. I need to go on my insurance web site and pick another name out of the blue and pray that he or she is good. I hate doing that. I have not had much luck with this method in the past.
B. I dislike going to the doctor.
C. I have to wait until Wednesday, when I am off.
D. I was really, really,(really) hoping it would go away on its own.

Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and it will be gone. Gosh I hope so.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I just happened to come here and my Stat counter was at 66666. Creepy. At least it wasn't just three of them.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yesterday turned out to be a relaxing day. I didn't make it to the practice. I was bumed about that. But I did hang out by the pool and started reading one of the books I have been meaning to get to. I finished half of it! I left the pool slightly sunburned(despite the sunscreeen I slathered on myself) and feeling better. I have been playing around with my new camera the last couple of days. I had to get a new one after mine fell into the Big Sur River when we were camping a couple of weeks ago. It sat under the water, at the bottom of the river for a good 20 minutes before I realized where it was. Needless to say, it stopped working after that. At least the memory card was okay. So my new camera is the Canon Powershot digital Elph(SD850 IS series). I have always had good luck with Canons in the past. I love this one. It takes great pictures, for a point and shoot. Here are some shots I captured of Gizmo(she was in a crazy mood and kept playfully biting at the camera), and some plants around our pool area.

Pretty Flower

Crazy Gizmo. Don't let her cuteness fool you. She will bite your face off. Seriously.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Still have the Blahs and 3 words

I woke up this morning not feeling well at all.

I can't figure out if I have the blahs because I am not feeling well, or if I am not feeling well because I have the blahs. Which came first , the chicken or the egg? :)

I'm not even certain yet whether I will be able to make it to my second Dragon Boat Practice this afternoon. So far it is not looking good. The issues I am having require the necessity of having a bathroom nearby at a moment's notice and being out in a boat in the middle of the bay is not conducive to that, if you catch my drift.

I just overshared. I know. Sorry.

So I guess these are the three words that sum up this last week for me. Hopefully I will snap out of it this week. Sigh.

Friday, July 11, 2008

In a Rut

I've fallen into a rut. Or a slump. Or another word that would better explain my complete lack of enthusiasm over anything going on in my life right now. I have nothing to say. And yet here I am, writing about how I have nothing to say. Fascinating for you all, I'm sure. I can't seem to get excited about anything. I have so much to do, yet no drive to do any of it. I haven't been doing anything creative. I can't even seem to muster up the attention span to read the stack of books that are literally piled up on my nightstand. I just feel so Blah. Joe ended up having to work tonight, so I'm home alone. Do you know what I had for dinner tonight? Do you? A bag of microwave popcorn. Followed by a sugar-free popsicle. Seriously. I Must. Get. A Life. And soon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Joe and I went to the movies today after the doctor's appt. It was just an annual check up on my woman parts(what's left of them. heh.)  It was not a visit to the kidney doctor, who I am overdue now by two months to see, but my insurance won't pay for the visit or the lab fees and we can't afford to go right now.  We're thinking next month when Joe starts working more and getting paid more regularly.  Anyway, we saw WALL-E.  Before the movie we saw this preview.  I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants.  I don't know if it was because I was sleep deprived, or if it's because we have a Chihuahua at home(well, half), or because I have the sense of humor of a five year old, but it was hysterical(to me).  Plus, singing(and dancing) dogs get me every single time.  Joe just sat there shaking his head and sighing(as usual).  I'm pretty sure he won't be taking me to see it, so I may have to finagle a way for me to be visiting Cameron and Grace when it comes out.

"We're tiny, but mighty"  Bwahahahahaha!


I've been tagged by Kylie's mom over at The Munsinger Three
to do this "Meme", so here goes.  I am supposed to describe in five words how I am feeling right now:

1.  Hungry-I just got up and haven't had any breakfast yet.

2.  Apprehensive-I'm on my way to the doctor and I always feel a bit nervous going there. I don't know why. You'd think with all the time I spend at the doctor I would feel right at home, but I don't.

3. Tired-I haven't slept very well for the last two nights.

4.  Annoyed-I am waiting for my husband to get ready to take me to the doctor(he always goes with me-isn't that sweet?).  I hate to be late and he is not hurrying!

5.  Happy-today is my day off. How can that not make me happy?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

1 year

1 year ago today we lost our Tess.

I still miss her so much. Sometimes I think it is not normal for me to still miss her this much. I thought we would have another dog by now. I still feel like maybe a small part of the empty place in my heart would be filled with the love for another dog. I think I have been waiting for some sort of sign and there just hasn't been one. I scour the internet rescue sites, as well as the animal shelters and craig's list, hoping one will jump out at me or "speak" to me. But it hasn't happened. There have been a few that caught my eye, but Joe wasn't sure. I think that is really what is keeping us from getting one. We just can't agree. He wants a puppy. I want an older dog. I want a big dog(we already have a small dog). He wants a "medium sized dog". He wants a dog with short hair. I am open to any length hair. We did have a Lab whose shedding was out of control and it was a pain, so I can see his reasoning there. What he really wants is either an English Bulldog puppy or another Viszla puppy. Besides not being able to afford either of these, a Viszla puppy is pretty much out of the question due to the fact that they are extremely hyper until the age of 5 and we live in an apartment. Our Tess had a large yard during her puppy years and was almost 7 years old before we moved her into an apartment. I have checked the English Bulldog rescue sites(repeatedly)and they either don't have any puppies, or they are very strict about where they place the dogs. They don't allow other dogs in the home, or children(most times), and they often won't place in an apartment. So I guess we'll just continue with the one dog for now. I told myself that it was for the best, as we were going to have a child here eventually and 1 dog is certainly easier than 2. But as time goes by I realize I have put so much of my life on hold because of this adoption. Realistically, we have another 2 year wait ahead of us and I'm tired of living my life on hold. I want to live it.

Monday, July 07, 2008


That word pretty much sums up my day. Man am I sore. I'm sore in places I didn't even know you could be sore. Later I plan on soaking in the Jacuzzi and then rubbing some Ben-Gay into my tired muscles. And yes, I do happen to have a tube of Ben-Gay in my medicine closet. So? It's the sports kind, O.K.?

Must find the energy to go finish dinner.......

Sunday, July 06, 2008

O.K., I'm back from my little adventure and now that I know how it went I can tell you what it is.

First off, I was inspired my this gal. A couple of weeks ago she did something very cool and I thought "That looks so fun! I wish I could do something like that".

It was just a fleeting thought and then I kind of forgot about it. I also had a list of excuses a mile long as to why I would never be able to do something like that.

Then a couple of days ago there was an e-mail in my in-box from my local FCC (Families With Children from China) chapter, asking people if they would be interested in joining their team.

I know, you don't know what I am talking about yet. Hang on. I'm getting there. So I opened the e-mail and read it again. Then put it back into the trash.

A couple of days later I opened it once again and read it. Only this time I replied to the e-mail, telling them that Yes, I would be interested in joining their team, and where and what time should I show up?

Then I told my husband about it. And he said

ARE YOU CRAZY? Do you not remember this little incident? I don't think you should do it. You are not in the best physical shape right now and after what happened on our hike I don't think you are ready and you shouldn't do it.

And I said "That was an isolated incident and I know I can do this and I'm doing it". So there. Okay, I didn't say that last part. But I thought it. And that little incident two weeks ago is exactly the reason I needed to do this. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do physical activities without being sent to the emergency room!

So today I drove thirty minutes into a city I don't know that well and is known for their parking issues. And I braved a crowd of people on Fourth of July weekend where I did a mighty fine job of parallel parking(if I do say so myself), in a very tight space, and then I met up with a group of complete strangers and practiced in one of these:

That's a Dragon Boat, in case you aren't familiar with them. So for the next three weeks I will be practicing with the team, and then on July 26th, I will compete with them in the Dragon Boat Festival, being held here. How cool is that?

I have to admit, I was very nervous and I almost chickened out. But I went and yes, it was hard, but I did it and I'm so glad I went! And guess what? There was no trip to the emergency room! Yay me!

So that's where you'll find me on Sundays(and a couple of Saturdays) for the month of July.

And thanks to Lea. Because if I hadn't followed along on her experience I never would have tried it. Not in a million years. Thanks Lea!

P.S. It is a "mixed"(men and women's) team and they are "non-competetive", meaning there are people of all abilities and even children(aged 12 and up) on the team, and they don't expect to win, or even place in the races. The emphasis is on teamwork and fun.

3 words

Hey, are wondering what this "3 words" thing is, and why I do it every Sunday? Here's an explanation of it. Go on and read it. I'll wait.

Done? O.K.

Well, the person who started it is looking for new people to join.

All you have to do is post a picture on your blog with the three words best that describe how your week was. The words need to be ON the picture.

Then stop by her blog (on Sunday or before)and let her know you are participating(or e-mail the pic directly to her like I do).

Then on Monday she puts all of the participant's pictures in a video set to music. They are so cool! You can see all of the previous videos on her site too. She does such a fantastic job. I love going over there every Monday and seeing my picture included in the montage. It's been going on for like 20 weeks now!

So c'mon and join in. Everyone's doing it! You know you want to!

**I thought a little peer pressure might make people want to participate more :)**

Oh, here is my picture for the week. That's pretty much what I did all day Friday and Saturday. Not today though. Today I'm going to do something completely outside my comfort zone and I'm not ready to talk about it yet. But soon. I want to see how it goes first.