Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

I don't think I've blogged much about TTC lately, and trust me, it's a conscious effort to not drone on and on about it. I'm thinking I'm at the point where I'm focused on getting pregnant, but so tired with myself for not actually being pregnant. Is that even possible?

I'm staying away from my TTC forums, lurking on the bump.com, and failing at NOT reading anything baby related. Last night I wrapped most of the gifts for the kids in our families- folding those little baby shirts that I pored over for at least an hour to choose the right one (while at Culver City farmer's market, no less), realizing how tiny those little things are- and oh, how tiny the people they will be adorning are! I couldn't help but rub the soft material on my cheek, knowing and hoping that by this time next year I'll be folding my very own onesies and baby shirts. Yes, then I walked over to my secret drawer in my dresser, where I keep the only two things I've allowed myself to buy for our future baby- soft Carters onesies festooned with ducks. Never before have I felt an attraction to ducks- no, I'm more your giraffe/monkey/hippo kind of gal, but oh, these ducks. Tear your heart out with cuteness. On one we have a white background, with ducks all over, with yellow neckline and arm and leg holes. The other is white, with the same yellow neck and arm holes, but instead of the smattering of duckies, this one has just one duck, directly in the center of the chest- soft and yellow, with a wing you can flap up and down, made of the softest material known to man, almost like down feathers.

At least once a month I pull these onesies out, and lay them on my chest, pretending it's a real baby. When I'm around babies or toddlers, I just want to pull them toward me and hold them, breathe in the soft baby smell. Unfortunately, the babies/kids I'm around are getting big enough to not want to be held, and want to run and stomp with their cousins. It's so strange to me, I remember being at that age, having my cousins around to play with for holidays and celebrations, and now I'm watching a new generation do the same. Time really flies when you're not paying attention.

I really must put a stop to this searching for baby gear- for I already have our stroller picked out, which crib we'll buy is already ingrained in my brain, and just now, I have found an outfit Paul would adore:


Cute strikes again, with this Polar Bear ensemble by Bon Bebe, on sale for a mere SEVEN DOLLARS! I'd buy it myself, but Paul doesn't want us to jinx ourselves, which I can understand. Still it's SEVEN DOLLARS! See, I've seen cute things before (my cousin Lisa sent me a link ages ago to the dachshund themed outfits at one of those too cute for words baby stores, and although I wanted them all so badly- and they were also on sale, I resisted), but this- this polar bear set is a sign. The polar bear is Paul's favorite animal in the whole world. And part of me, the silly makes-no-sense part of me, thinks that if I had it, if somehow we owned something this cute and this perfect for us, that perhaps we'd get lucky, and get pregnant. I know, it's ridiculous.

So, as we pass into 2009 (!), I hope that new and better days are coming. I hope I'll spend most of 2009 pregnant, and that at this time next year, I'll have a polar bear wearing baby to bounce on my hip. You hear that, God? I'm putting in a request, please. If not God, can you hear me Santa? I've been especially good this year, minus the few random snarks I let come out here and there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Pantwiener


Somehow, someway, my pants arrived at the store with the outline of a cartoon penis (ala Superbad) on them. And after wearing them for weeks (not all at once), I only noticed today.

Getting Down to Business (repost)

As most of you know, I blogged as Mrs. Kiwi on Weddingbee. Today I received a comment on a post from over a year ago, written just two weeks after our wedding. I honestly had totally forgotten I'd written it, but when I went back to see what the comment ("thank you") was referring to, I felt kind of proud of myself, because I'm very glad I wrote (and read) this post below.

Mr. Kiwi and I have been married for two weeks now. People are still coming up to us and telling us how much they enjoyed the ceremony, and how beautiful the wedding was (pictures are coming, I swear). Other than that, nothing much has changed. Sure, there is the whole having to change my name over thing, and the “how’s married life?” questions to answer (wait: there is supposed to be a difference?), but that’s about it.

It’s strange because this is one of the hugest decisions you will likely make in your life. Despite what the celebrities are showing us, splitting up isn’t so easy after a marriage, and who goes into a marriage relying on the idea that divorce is always an option? I said it was strange because although it is such a huge step, the actual marriage part isn’t as different as I thought it’d be. The “Hot Thread” post from yesterday got me thinking about this little (big) thing called marriage.

Much like the poster, I also experienced some major what-ifs. Mr. Kiwi and I have been together for four years as well, with things between us more of a steady love, and less the “on-fire” type of love you seem to see all over the place. We’re getting married, right? Should we be more excited? Since day one of our reunion, I’ve known we’d end up married. Apparently, so did Mr. Kiwi. I’ve mentioned that we dated a decade ago, and throughout the years apart we grew up and became a little more stable, and wanted someone with the same ideals.

A year after we began dating we moved in together. Three months after that we got a dog. We were now part of a routine, and we had our own little family. Sure, the passionate times of the first year or so had faded a bit, but what replaced it? Growing up in a home without parents who loved each other led me to be scared of any relationship that wasn’t full of passionate embraces and breathless nights. I didn’t want to turn into a cold couple who didn’t exhibit any signs of romance, because surely that couldn’t be good for your life in the future, right?

Glancing around at various friends and family, I tried to see if there was a difference between the marrieds and the dating or soon to be marrieds. I couldn’t find the difference that I was scared of seeing, certain couples are more loving in public, and others a bit standoffish. Although it is possibly pointless to compare yourself and your BF/FI/Husband to other couples, it actually helped me. While it doesn’t help you to compare your coupleness to a previous romance (which I did), I think that we can learn a lot from what we’re surrounded by.

My rambling point is, don’t be afraid for your future. Just because you may have to decide that “we should probably have sex at some point this week”, your relationship isn’t in danger. Once the wedding has passed, once all the planning has finished and your lives are back to normal, you’ll see what you had been building all along. Most people say they’re marrying their best friend- think about it for a sec- isn’t that what you’d want for the rest of your life? Someone that knows you backwards and forwards, someone who will hold your hand during a scary movie, and console you when your frog has died? So you’re not steaming up the windows three times a day… realize that love evolves. For me, all I want is someone who will evolve with me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Few Observations

1.) The cartoonist for the "Marmaduke" cartoons is a terrible artist. It actually pains me to read the cartoons. Maybe it's my OCD talking, but can't the man take the extra second or two to color in the rest of the woman's shoe??

2.) This picture makes me laugh extremely hard. EXTREMELY.



3.) I have weird sex dreams involving people who aren't my husband. It's slightly off-putting, especially considering I have either a.) never met these people before, b.) haven't seen them in eons, c.) aren't even my people (You know, Paul has his people, I have mine?). I don't know if it's my conscience or not, but they always end at the "good" parts. When I wake up, I feel guilt!

4.) Some people are absolutely horrible. Someone broke into Paul's school, and stole the money boxes that were holding the money collected for the teacher's Christmas bonuses. The principal was apalled, yet for some reason decided to not let any parents give more money- so there will be NO BONUS for the teachers this year. Hopefully, and this may sound greedy, parents will contribute directly to the teachers. I think it's unfair that because the school was reckless with their collections containers, the teachers will not receive a bonus. SUCKS. Who would steal from a school? Heathens.

5.) I'd much rather bake than cook. Last night I made a Giada De Laurentis dish (and hated myself for it) for dinner, and wanted chocolate chip cookies instead.

6.) I like it when it rains, when I'm at home! At work the toes of my shoes get soaked and I freeze in the office, for some reason my boss likes it 60 degrees in here all the time. NO THANK YOU.

So far that's all I am pndering this morning!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm It!

Looks like I was Tagged by This Casita.


Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up. (hehehe, tagger)

Okay, six random non-important things/habits/quirks.

1.) I have a very real fear that someday Paul will leave. Either due to illness, choice or something else I can't fathom at the moment. I'm not quite sure why, Paul has never ever threatened to leave, if anything, he threatens to stay. Even though I grew up with both parents in the same house, I have an astonishingly strong fear of abandonment. Who knows why these things happen.

2.) I am absolutely terrified of clowns. All clowns. Ones from Outer Space, or perhaps Cirque Du Soleil , even the creepy one who blows up balloons on the 3rd Street Promenade. I don't think I ever liked them, to be honest, but once I read Stephen King's "It", my terror was cemented.

3.) For being the most non-athletic person, I am so competitive. I hate losing at games, and even take away the instructions for video games (I also don't read them, but that's just laziness on my part) so Paul won't read them. I'm horrible. Sadly, I tend to lose most of the time anyway, which vexes me to no end.

4.) I cry super easily. Like, sappy commercials make me cry. When a book ended in a way that was not pleasing to me, I cried. When I think about how much I love Paul, I cry. I cry at those ASPCA commercials every time. I always cry at Juno, Armageddon, Love Actually, the ending of a Charlie Brown Christmas, and many songs.

5.) For years I'd see a "ghost" standing by our bed at night. I can tell you exactly what it looked like: black shadow only- no discernible features, wearing a black hat, like a bowler hat. It all started back at Paul's old home he rented in, his roommate's sister spent the last few painful months there while dying of cancer. Strange things happened in that house from orbs in pics to a battery operated thing that moved on its own for a week- with no batteries in it. Just WEIRD THINGS. Anyway, Paul was given his roommate's bed when she got a new one. At night I'd see the figure standing beside my bed, and I'd just think it was Paul (?), so I'd go back to sleep. THEN, one night still at the old place, I got tired of wondering what Paul came over for and asked him, "Babe? Are you looking for something?" I actually asked it out loud. When I heard him snoring beside me, I freaked out- pushed off the dresser next to the bed and slammed into Paul, shaking and whimpering. I couldn't fall back to sleep. So now speed ahead to us moving into our apartment... it's still happening, just sporadically. One night I actually got so scared I hid under the covers, shaking and sobbing. Just sobbing my eyes out. It was the weirdest thing. The last time it happened, I saw the face of the "ghost". No longer black, it was all white- including the hair, and it had the angriest face I have EVER seen. We finally got a new bed though, and I think it's a good sign that "ghostie" hasn't appeared since then.

6.) I have recently started biting my nails like mad. It was a habit I had given up, but now it's back! Ugh, I disgust myself.

Now, I'll add the rest of the tagging later, I have to go to bed!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Things

I'm a little bummed today. Our Disneyland passports are expiring next Friday, and we won't be able to go by then, and can't see spending the money on it until we pay off our Hawaii vacation (which was technically not too expensive, just the plane bill), which we put on credit. Yes, foolish, but we had rationalized our spending on that one vacation for many reasons I won't list here. One of them is not extending our passport until it's paid off. Hopefully I'll get a year-end bonus and I can apply that to the credit card, which will drastically cut down the bill.

Anyway, I'm not sad because we won't renew our passport before the year is up, I can understand why. I'm sad because Christmas is my favorite holiday, and spending one day of the holiday season at my favorite place is something I look forward to every year. It's when I get an ornament for our tree. We have years of ornaments from Disneyland, from the proposal ornament to our wedding ornament and this will be the first year I wasn't able to get one. So I'm not even really that sad about not going to Disneyland for Christmas (even though it's absolutely MAGICAL), and even though it would have been possible, if Paul would take a day off (like he did last year!). No, I'm just wishing Paul hadn't promised me we'd come back and get an ornament for our tree before the year ended, because I would have grabbed one while we were there.

I'm not from family with a lot of traditions, and that's why I cling to the Disneyland ornament tradition. I think about our children placing our fragile ornaments on their trees when we're gone, I think of our kids fighting over which ornament they get to hang when they're young. I can picture our daughter, studying the "Just Married Ornament" hoping for her own someday, and well... I was kind of hoping to go back and get one that states it's the "Our First Year Married" ornament. Oh well, I guess I'll have to work extra hard to pay off that bill, and hope that it's not too long before we're back.

Haven Kimmel

I want to be Haven Kimmel when I grow up. I was already a fan of her first collection of essays about her life: A Girl Named Zippy that when I found she had written a follow up called "She Got Up Off The Couch" I got right on that and started reading.

Some of what she says is just hilarious, heartbreaking and pensive. There is one paragraph in particular I MUST blog about. She's talking about her brother, a decade older than she.

"... I loved him, loved him, a little girl is helpless against her love for a brother. ... From a distance he seemed both cold and receding, a man whose most familiar feature was his back as he walked away as fast as he could. But there are pictures of him, many of them, holding me as a baby, standing with me as a little girl, and the eye of the camera sees what nearly everyone but Elaine (his wife) missed: a tenderness so wounded it had grown ferocious and fixed as the evening star. Really, I barely knew him. When our family's darkest days arrived he could not be reached, he demanded to be left alone, he wanted no part of it, and for years I believed he hated us. I thought he simply wandered into the wrong family in the first place, like a toddler at a strange picnic who grew into the handomest of princes but remained bound by name and history to the peasants who lured him with potato salad and a tricycle."

So many parts of her novel make me cry with laughter, cry with sadness, and this last part, just made me feel like there was someone out there who had the same brother I did.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friendships

Yesterday was a great day. Not only did I get new boots and a new purse in the mail, but I also got a haircut on Saturday, and it feels great. Not too much shorter, just enough inches off that it feels healthy. I also spent yesterday evening with an old friend of mine, Rina.

Rina and I were classmates since kindergarten, and best friends throughout high school. I loved being with her family, and we always had such a good time together. Around the end of high school, we began to drift apart. When I got a job post high school, we grew even further apart. At one point, we just stopped talking altogether, and went on to live our lives. I always wondered about her, searched for her a bit (I'm savvy at online stalking), to no avail.

Recently one evening, I was talking online with my friend Will, who actually had a crush on Rina back when we were Sophomores in high school- a crush that wasn't reciprocated. Will asked me if I had seen her around or heard anything about her. Other than hearing about this place she worked at some point, no, I hadn't heard anything. We searched on networking giant, Facebook, to see if we could find anything. We found someone in my grade, in our city, with her first name and a Japanese middle name. Could it be her, Will asked. I remembered that middle name, and said YES! My stomach was a ball of nerves just thinking about getting in contact with someone I had previously been so close with, the ending of a friendship that had no real reason it ended. Will, being bolder than I, sent her a friend request. Meekly, I sent her a message with the usual, "Hi, how are you? You look great!" theme.

Weeks went by and I heard nothing. Figured she probably didn't give a crap about me, which was fine. I got emails from Will telling me that he hadn't heard from her either. Time passed. Suddenly, I got a friend request from Rina. Wow, she completely bypassed the exploratory email! When I accepted her request, she sent me a message saying, "Wow! You're MARRIED!" Side note: I hear that a lot from people I knew back in the days. Why is it so hard to believe that Amber Brown got married? Is it because I'm insane? Maybe.

Anyway, we traded messages back and forth, catching up on the small details when she mentioned possibly getting together. What? This is moving too fast for me (Perhaps THAT'S why people are shocked I'm married? I can't make a decision?)! Still, I agreed and we set up a early evening dinner to catch up. I planned out carefully what I'd wear: my new brown boot cut cords, my teal v-neck sweater, my brown leather Coach bag, my Bulova watch, and my kickass new black boots. I wanted to look cute. I even went to far as to get my hair done. Okay, I'd needed a cut for ages, and decided now was a great time with Thanksgiving on the horizon as well. All day I was nervous, wondering how we'd act. Would it be awkward? Would it be like nothing changed? Would we be fake?

The time finally arrived. I clomped down the office's stairwell in my 4 inch high boots, and prepared to meet my past face to face. I heard a car beep, walked further out there and watched a girl walk away from the car. Tiny, asian, peppy. Could that be Rina? She turned around and yelled, "Amber!?" I waved and yelled, "HI RINA!" we stomped over to each other (we were both wearing heels) and immediately hugged. We got in the car and began to drive (She picked me up because I'm a loser who doesn't drive). As we gabbed about what's new ("You're MARRIED! OH MY GOD!"), we realized we really didn't have a set plan, and ended up at the Promenade. We settled on a deli and got comfortable.

We talked about the last ten years, and what we'd been up to. We remarked on accidental run-ins with former classmates, and the random relationships we had with old classmates ("No WAY you dated that guy!"), just the little things. We talked and talked, laughed and exclaimed over things each had done over the time that had passed. I haven't laughed like that in ages! Oddly, there were no other patrons in the deli with us, and we were making a bit of noise, talking and gossiping as we used to.

Most people who know me know that I don't have very many friends, much less women friends. I'm one of those people who has a ton of random "How's it going" friends, but no real good friends to hang out with. All throughout dinner we brought up things we had done together, things we remembered, people we remembered, and brought up the back stories of other events in our friendship. I had a great time, and we promised we'd meet up again really soon, possibly Monday. How cool would it be if I had Monday get-togethers with her?

This whole thing is so interesting to me. It's like how I got back together with Paul. He already knew so much from my life, because at one point he was part of it. This makes it so easy to be YOU around them. Sure, I dressed all cute, but it wasn't stuff I didn't already own, ya know? It was nice talking about things so far in the past that even Paul wouldn't know about it- but Rina did. We had a history, we have a friendship to build on. That's really cool.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How I Spent My Saturday



After a long day of shopping with my dad, I came home exhausted, but still anticipating the night ahead: possibly baking the Sprinkles cupcake mix I picked up(and making my own buttercream) or baking the pumpkin cobbler recipe from Williams Sonoma. Unfortunately, something else was in store for me.

Falling on my face. Literally, falling on my face. Luckily my knee would break the fall, and no bloody gashes or abrasions would mar my pretty face/hands. No, my knee would take one for the team, so to speak, and cushion my fall.

The night began like any other Saturday night, with me begging Paul to go out to eat because I hate cooking on a weekend, especially since I had just spent all day slaving away at the malls. Ha ha.

Finally, after harassing my dear husband long enough, he gave in to trying out this new Mexican place a few blocks away, enough blocks to not want to walk. So I put some yoga pants on (Paul had just washed them, isn't ge a great husband?), and being lazy I decided to forgo the actual act of putting on shoes, and slipped on a pair of crocs (mary jane style, which is still no excuse for being an adult and owning crocs, I know) and headed out with Paul.

The Mexican place was on a street that has a popular bar (Paul's been there many times as his friends hang out there) and a few good Chinese places, so we had to park around the corner and across the street. As we were walking to the restaurant to order our food to go, we passed by a store called "My Baby Jo", a vintage store that has some pretty cool stuff, including a vintage cardigan with kittens embroidered on it that i couldn't take my eyes off of. It was precisely as I was looking back at the sweater and calling to Paul, "Honey! It's a sweater with KITTIES on it!" when my stupid clunky croc hit a ledge in the concrete (the cement had been broken, so there was a hole AND a ledge) and I pivoted onto my face, spreading out like a water balloon on contact with a sidewalk. My purse was still somehow on my shoulder, only like the rest of me, it had sprawled out across the sidewalk.

It took seconds to fall, but felt like milliseconds. One moment I was coveting a sweater, the next I heard a smacking sound and felt the ground on my face. Paul was standing beside me, looking down at me with his mouth open, incredulous. He told me to get up, because I had beefed it in an alley and a car was waiting to turn. Since the option of being swallowed into the ground was unavailable at that time, I had to have Paul heft me to my feet, as I started to black out. That damn vasovagal syncope began to rear it's "medical oddity" face, and I got woozy. My knee hurt, my hands stung and I was about to be sick, right across the street from where Paul's friends hang out. On a Saturday night. The horror.

I told Paul I was going to black out, and he made me breathe in and out as I staggered to the restaurant, only a few yards away. We got inside, I leaned on the counter and laughed my ass off. It's one of my coping mechanisms- before I began to pass out when hurt, my go-to move was laughing in the face of extreme pain. Ha ha on YOU, sprained ankle! Now the joke's on me, "you laugh at my pain?", the ankle said, "I make the blood drain out of your head and you fall down. How do you like THAT?"

We ordered our food to go and I sat down to inspect the damage. One busted knee, two red, stinging palms and a swimming head. Sadness. More than anything I was angry because the pants were newly washed, and now I had to go and get blood and bits of skin on the inside. Way to go, Amber. I couldn't bend my knee, and it was starting to swell already. My leg began to hurt from my knee to my hip bone, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for myself. I really began the pity party when Paul started laughing at me. "Why didn't you call out or reach for me? I feel bad that I didn't catch you", he said. I had to remind him that had I KNOWN I was falling I could probably have done something about it, ya know? He marveled on how bad my hand-eye coordination is, and said, "You know, most people could catch themselves". I said, "Most people aren't morons, then".

Finally our order was ready, and I hobbled back to the car, Paul's hand on mine with the reminder to not look at anything other than the floor. It was then I saw the shattered remains of a packet of saltines, one of four that I had filched from Dad's lunch that day. Seeing it on the floor like that, its plastic wrapper looking so dejected and unloved, I actually contemplated picking it back up. Heck, I knew where it had been (before the sprawl), and I'll be honest, I was quite looking forward to snacking on it at work the following Monday. Still, my paranoia about bending down and eating floor crackers got the best of me, and I apologized for wasting its precious salty life and moved on. Slowly.

When we got back to the car, Paul immediately put the food in the backseat, and grabbed the first aid kit out of the trunk. Not just any first aid kit, this one is one Paul created for all the various sports injuries he has to deal with. So, he swabbed my knee with alcohol (oh my god, I almost passed out again from that pain alone), covered it with a large bandage, and then grabbed an instant ice pack and saran-wrapped it to my knee. Seriously. He has a neat little stick thing that the wrap goes on so it's easy to wrap knees and ankles and such. If there is ever an accident, you can trust my husband- fluent in first aid!

At home, I hobbled up the stairs to our apartment and fell onto the couch, where my loving husband laughed at me ("I'm sorry honey, it's funny!") and brought me my food, drinks and silverware. The pain was no longer the burning pain of an abrasion, now it was the throbbing pain of a swollen knee, how fun this was. I took three Tylenols, one rapid release and two nighttime, and got comfortable. That night's sleep was miserable.

The next morning we were going out for breakfast so I had to get dressed. I tried to put pants on, but with a knee that won't bend and a hot day combined, I just put on a pair of denim shorts. It wasn't pretty, but at least I could walk without grimacing when the fabric brushed my knee.

Now it's been almost 5 days since "the incident", and my knee doesn't hurt as much. it's still hard to bend, but only because it's scabbed over by now, and anything that causes my knee to bend pulls on the scabs. Disgusting. The bruises are darker and my leg has stopped aching, the swelling is mostly gone. What a day I had.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

fourwayfree

I love music. It's like books, where you can find one that means exactly what you've been trying to say, without actually saying it. That's why there existed the Mix Tape. When tapes began to fade away into obscurity, Mix CDs came about (and I made quite a few of those myself), and now you can literally send people itunes song lists. Gotta love technology.

Today Laura and I were talking about a friend of hers who has an indie music career, selling music on MySpace and CD Baby. That reminded me of my old high school crush, Genji Nakano, who also has a band named FourWayFree, and a page on CD Baby , where you can hear/buy some of his/their beautiful songs. When I hear them, I remember our high school days, hanging out with him, adoring him from afar while he dated around, so sure that someday I'd get him for my own (and I kind of did, later).

As I listen to the first few words of "Gasoline", "You said, is she pretty, would you like me better if I looked like that", I am taken back to the days when he used to call me at night, playing the piano (he had this knack for playing a song without even needing the music) and singing me little songs. How do you not fall for a guy like that? Anyway, "Gasoline" plays and I just nod my head, YES. This song is what every woman wants to hear, "Trust me, she's not you". Even though Genji and I have more than lost touch (aside from one day he gave me a ride from the bus stop, one of those random things just happen oddly), I'm so proud of him, I know he wanted this for as long as I've known him.

These songs bring me back to the era of mix tapes and going to school all with the sole intent on seeing that one person. Then I remember his comment in high school, "Your cousin is beautiful, did you know that?" Ah. Yes. Thank you, I did know that. It doesn't hurt as much now as it did then, because at the end of the day, I was the one he used to joke with and call late at night. Still, what is better? Being the beautiful one, or the one to rely on for advice? Ha. Ahhh, I guess you never grow out of being completely self-conscious.

Okay, okay, enough reminiscing about the days of old, the days of high school (how did that become days of old?? Good lord), the days when we used to hang out and joke and watch tv together. As the last edition of the Culver High newspaper read, "We'll always have breakfast" (they let you give little "shout outs" to people who meant something to you). Inside jokes are the best, no?

Congrats Genji, I wish you and the boys the very best of luck, and thanks for "Gasoline", it really touches my heart.

Readers: you should really listen to their songs, they're fabulous. And I'm not just saying that from the point of view of a girl who used to love one of the singers!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I have a confession: I have eaten two cans worth of French's Fried Onions in as many weeks. I had bought the first can with the intention of making the world's best side dish ever- the Green Bean Casserole. Then I got hungry. And ate the whole can (shared a few rings with Paul, though). Had to go to the store and get a new can. And ate it yesterday for breakfast.

I'm disgusting.

And now I'm out of stuff to make green bean casserole, and I'm afraid to buy more cans.

Can't hear you, lost my voice

It's been five days since I've lost my voice. Well, technically, I haven't lost it. It's just not up to it's usual... ability to work. It kind of sucks. I feel perfectly fine. No coughing, sneezing, any signs of any sickness at all. I just HAVE NO VOICE. I'm speechless. For those of you who know me in actual life, you know that this is one of the worst things to happen to me! I talk all the time- to myself, to other people, to the radio, on the phone. I feel otherwise normal, which is probably why it surprises me whenever I attempt to talk. My voice sure would have come in handy this weekend, when I was treated to lunch at The SOUTH PARK STUDIOS!

Remember I mentioned the parent at Paul's school who is a producer for South Park? Well, since Paul was coaching as well as working the football playoffs on Saturday, he didn't want me to have to be there all day long like he was going to have to, but he knew I wanted to watch his team play what would probably be their last game. So I asked the wife of the producer who lives near us if I could get a ride home with her, as she had asked me millions of times if I needed a ride to just call her. She told me she'd love to have me, and if I wasn't pressed for time, we'd go to lunch (she and I, and her 11 year old daughter).

After the game (they lost, sadly), we got ready to go, and she asked me where I'd like to eat. We tossed around a few ideas, and her daughter mentioned, "Why don't we have lunch at South Park?" Inside I was thrilled, but didn't want to appear too stalkery, and said nonchalantly, "Yeah, that's fine with me". They get Gourmet Catering there, and since a large portion of the staff were vegetarians, there was a good chance I could get something good to eat. We showed up and saw it was Mexican day, and I ordered a lunch of vegetarian enchiladas and rice. With a side of cookies and fruit. :) I poured myself a glass of lemonade (they had pitchers of iced tea and lemonade), and followed the daughter into the studio, where I saw all sorts of memorabilia and framed posters celebrating their 10th anniversary and things like that. I met various people working there, sound techs and animation gurus. We settled into the producer's office and ate our lunch. As we were eating, guess who walked in? Trey Parker, one of the creators of South Park. Of course I was stunned, and shook his hand, and tried to speak, but all that came out was a horrid, "Nice to meet you" interspersed with squeaks and croaks. Fantastic. So that was appalling. To make me feel better, the daughter took me on a tour of the studios, where I saw the room dedicated to CANDY, the drawers filled with gums of all kinds (sugar-free and regular), the tubs filled with individual cookies and snacks. There were two refrigerators, one for the regular food items, and the other for drinks only. It was heaven. Before we left, the producer took us into an editing bay where we heard/saw the rough shots of this upcoming week's episode. Running on Wednesday, they were not even close to finishing, so they've been pulling all-nighters trying to get it done.

It was seriously one of the funnest places I've ever been, and when I was saying goodbye to the producer he said I was very lucky, as not many people have met Trey Parker! It was a lucky day for me, for sure.

On another note, as I was washing dishes last night (oddly enough, even though I FEEL normal, this voice thing really exhausts me. When I try too hard to talk, I feel this pressure in my ears and throat, and it's just not FUN! I mention it now because I've been very lazy dish-wise lately- I've had no extra energy at all), I began to think about how I want to be a writer. I'm almost 30 now, why not finally get started on that novel I've always wanted? After posting this , and this and then this , I thought about our relationship, and how many things happened to get us here. I then thought that despite my preference to be a poor man's David Sedaris, writing short non-fiction stories about my life, I may do better writing this story as fiction that well, isn't fiction. So, I'm going to start on that right now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why I love my husband

There are a trio of special days this week, yesterday was our anniversary, today is election day, and tomorrow is my 29th birthday. It's funny when you think about it, how things are so different between your family and your husband's family. Take for example, our anniversary.

Now, I'm not making a case out of this because I dislike my in-laws. I adore them, but as with any new family members, you're not really sure where you stand. As of November 1st, I've been with Paul for five years. His mom and I are quite good friends, always chatting via email, and going to family things together. Paul is eight years behind his brother, and 7 years behind his sister, and is often treated like a child, despite the fact of being the only one to move out permanently when he was 18, and paying for his own high school education at a private school, and actually helping to FUND his sister's wedding, while in high school. It's odd to me, that although he may not have a college degree, he's the only sibling who has worked his butt off for ten years doing whatever he can to provide for himself, yet they still treat him like a charity case. It's easy to lord your college education over your brother when you didn't have to pay for it yourself. Maybe if he had been given the chance, Paul would have gone to UCLA, or CAL like his siblings. He wasn't given that chance. That's why it incenses me to think about how he's treated. When it comes to dinners with the family, we were recently upgraded from napkins to rolls, because how can we screw up bread?

The difference between our families is obvious to me, but he tends to not think about it. My family called, emailed and sent cards on our anniversary, recognizing that yes, one year of marriage is a milestone! Congratulations, you two! Even my blogger friends left us congratulations on various forums. Paul's family? Not a peep. Not a card, email, phone call, text message. Nothing. It kind of breaks my heart, because I've seen the contrast in how our anniversary was celebrated, and how my brother and sister in laws anniversaries are celebrated. They get cards, phone calls, VISITS, and my MIL will take a day off work to go visit them, and take the kids off their hands for a little alone time. And perhaps this is childish of me, as any anniversary is special, but isn't a first anniversary more special than a 6 year anniversary?

I hate to sound self-absorbed, I really do, but I feel bad for Paul. It seems that no matter what he does, people don't recognize how amazing and loving he is. He's by far the most emotional of the siblings, easily hurt but not quite willing to say anything, and part of me really wants to say something to his mom, because she's the list keeper in the family, she's the one who makes the big deal of things. Why can't Paul just get a little bit of recognition that he needs? That he DESERVES?

We talked about this last night at dinner, how although my brother is now living in Australia, my dad now has Paul as a surrogate son. Sure, he's a lot sportier and manly than my brother was (no offense Shawn), but I've heard my Dad gloat about Paul, and it makes me happy and sad for Paul. Dad likes to tell people about his son-in-law who is a teacher. He's a coach, and inspired by John Wooden. He's a good guy, 6 foot 4! Huge! A big teddy bear, he says. Paul's family? "He's just baby Paul". No one brags about how he's instrumental in children's lives. Not a peep about how he's supported himself on his own, after his dad passed away when he was 19. No, they just criticize him about his weight, and lack of college education.

Sometimes I just wish we only had my family. I'm not saying his family doesn't love him beneath the hurtful comments, but how hard is it to tell your son, or your brother than you're proud of him? That's all he needs. And perhaps a little "Congrats on one year" would have been nice too. After all, we are the only siblings to have paid for our entire wedding ourselves. Sure it wasn't a fancy Yacht Club shindig, nor was it a Bel-Air Country club fete, but it was in our budget, and we were able to save for years to put it on. Now how about a little recognition for how hard Paul works for this, in-laws?

Monday, November 3, 2008

On this day...

On this day in 1912, Ora Durham was born. She was to become Ora D. Brown when married, have four children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, with three more on the way (seriously). Also on this day, ninety-five years after her birth, her youngest grandchild would be married. That would be me.

As most people know, Grandma was the only grandma I had growing up. Past the age of 7 or so, she was the only grandparent left as well. She sure made of for the lack of grandparents, by being everything and everywhere for us. Even though she had passed on in 1996, there isn't a day that goes by without thinking of her. It's because of that, Paul and I decided to get married on her birthday. Now I have something to share with her for the rest of our lives (other than the fact that I was born two days after her birthday).

On this day last year, at this very moment, I was walking with my dad down the aisle. We'd had a momentary freak-out, when he pulled his bedazzled sunglasses off his eyes (he'd picked them up without anyone else knowing, when usually I'm there to tell him which ones are feminine) while we were waiting for the "great unveiling" of the bride and father. He was unsure of where to put his glasses, so we had to hustle for a bit and cram them in his inside jacket pocket. I swear, literally at the last second before the doors were opened, my dad was stuffing those glasses into his pocket.

Now that it's taken me a half an hour to get here from the last paragraph (ah, the joys of blogging while at work), at this very moment last year, I was sitting on the chairs at the altar, tears silently falling down my cheeks. I had just passed by my aunts and uncles, my cousins and nieces and nephews, all people who had seen me grow up, and now were watching me get married- the baby in the family. I saw my aunt Sharon crying (although smiling as she did it), and when I saw that, I knew my Grandma was watching. I knew that she was proud of me, and proud of who I was about to marry. As the childrens choir began to sing the songs we had picked out, I heard a girl's voice begin singing "The Rose", a song that brings me to tears every time I hear it. Hearing that angelic voice singing at our wedding just caused the tears to begin to flow, and my vision to blur. One of our altar servers (who was also the star player on Paul's A Boys Football team) saw me crying, and began to make faces and mimic a scene from Napoleon Dynamite, with "The Rose" spelled out in sign language. With that, I started laughing, shoulders shaking as I mouthed a "Thank you" to one of my favorite students ever.

At this point you should know that Patrick wasn't just asked to be an altar boy. No, we had specifically chosen him when we got engaged, and had also invited his family to the wedding reception. For weeks leading up the wedding, he would do the countdown whenever he saw me. "Hey Amber, 3 weeks and 4 days until the big day!" His mom would tell me about how excited he was to be going to the wedding, and taking part in such a huge day for us. I never thought about it, but at Paul's school he's a bit of a celebrity, and our wedding was announced in the church's weekly paper, inviting all members of the parish to attend. The church can hold hundreds of people, and we had at least 300 there, students and families who had come to watch and celebrate with us- watching their beloved "Coach Paul" finally tie the knot.

So many things happened that people didn't see. Another family at Paul's school, of Polish descent stood in the vestry with my dad and I, waving at us and smiling. After the wedding they would come up to me with a bouquet of red and white roses, telling me that it's a tradition in their culture to give the bride roses for her wedding. They're already one of the sweetest families ever, and that just added to our adoration for them. When Paul and I were standing outside the church, finally married, one of his kindergartners was standing outside with her friend, and the friend said, "Which one is the bride?" and the student said, "The one who isn't Coach Paul, duh!". Things come back to my memory, and I just smile- it was the best day of my life, despite how ambivalent I am about that dress (which I will be trying on tonight before I finally box it up).

That day was so special for us. We became a new family, we got to celebrate with all our family and friends, and Paul's team won their first playoff game- without Paul. Patrick's mom (who is now art teacher at Paul's school) told Paul that it was amazing to see so many people who had gone straight from our reception (leaving in the middle) to their playoff game, all dressed in their fancy church/wedding clothes. The boys were dressed in suits, and quickly changed in the school's bathrooms to be ready to win one for Coach Paul, as were my orders to each of them as they came up to say goodbye at the wedding. Another of our altar servers, Marty, said to us when we came up to the teenager's table, "This food is GOOD". His own mom had gotten married there just 7 months before, and had the same food, so I said, "This is what your mom had, what did YOU eat?" Apparently she had given him chicken fingers, the kid's plate, and he was honored to have the grownup's food. It's little things like that that we'll remember for a lifetime.

So, on this day last year, I became a wife. And on this day last year, I was given a whole new set of memories to cherish, and today I will taste the top tier of our wedding cake, because I'm sure it's going to be pretty terrible. Good thing we're going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner! I'll have to pick up a tasty cheesecake for dessert.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oops

Paul has been playing a video game called "Star Wars Battlefront". It's got the most annoying soundtrack with a lot of "Beepbeepbeep... boopboopboop" noises that are liable to drive whoever isn't playing insane. Lately he's been very courteous about that noise, and mutes the game when he knows it's going to appear. This is quite lovely, and I truly don't even care that he's playing that video game or one like it.

Since he's been on a scary movie kick lately (all in the buildup to Halloween), we've been trying to rent movies from Netflix that are scary or spooky. Unfortunately we had given Dad "Run Fatboy Run" before we set out on our spook-athon, and had to get that back and watch it before we saw got our next movie.

The movie was really great, I adore Simon Pegg! I set about putting the movie in it's sleeve and sealing it- then sent it in yesterday morning. When I got home after my flu shot (which hurts like a bitch right now, btw), I saw we had another movie, a 1987 gem called "The Monster Squad", one of those movies from your past that you can't believe finally made it onto DVD. To keep our movie rotation going, we watched "The Monster Squad" and had it all set to send out today. Paul decided he wanted to play "Star Wars Battlefront", but what's this? "Run FatBoy Run"? Why is that... uh oh.

I mailed Paul's not-made-anymore video game instead of the movie. CRAP. So I called netflix to notify them of the error and the guy said we'll most likely get it back. I felt a little better about it, but man, how guilty do I look? I had just complained about it and then sent it in. Dang.

This morning I got an email from Netflix, saying my envelope had been received, but empty. CRAP. So I call again to tell them that it's been sent in with a personal DVD instead, and the girl tells me that she'll make a note of it, and hopefully they'll find it. I KNOW there was a movie-ish type of thing inside that envelope, so it wasn't empty, but perhaps someone stole it! I know, I know. Totally insane. I guess I've never really gotten over Paul's wedding band (v.1) being stolen from UPS.

Keep your fingers crossed that his video game will return!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stay tuned for next week's episode....

On the brighter side: does anyone watch "How I Met Your Mother"? I love this show, but MAN, it seems every episode ends with a cliffhanger! I haven't watched last night's episode yet (DVR is waiting for me!), but I don't know if I can take it! I've never been good with cliffhangers, and have despised season finales for that very reason- most end in cliffhangers- Jim and Pam anyone???!!!

I think it's part of being impatient. I just can't sit there and wait a week, month, or season without needing to know what happens. In part, I've started reading ahead in some of my books. If I suspect an ending that I find unsavory, I will actually stop reading the book. I'm serious. I will put it down, give it away, return it to the library. I want everything to have a happy ending. I wonder if that means that despite my TTC rants and raves that I'm characteristically an optimistic person who just wants the best for all?

Eh. I just want everyone to be with the person they love, I think.

Still clicking my heels together

It's funny to me, at the moment I feel like I don't belong anywhere. I mean, I have my family and friends, and I belong with them... but I don't have a distinct group I belong to. When I was at Weddingbee, I was getting married. My group was engaged women planning their weddings (some in public on a national site, others in private), waiting to be "wife" instead of "girlfriend" or "fiance". Then, months after our marriage, I became a TTCer. And now, months after that, I'm not really associating myself with anything anymore.

I'm not chipper or upbeat enough to be a contributing part of the TTC group that I was previously a member of. Instead I've turned bitter, unable to congratulate all those who pop in momentarily to share in TTC, and then find themselves pregnant on the first try. When one of them announces a chemical pregnancy or a (god forbid) miscarriage, I wonder briefly which is worse: to know you're capable of getting pregnant, yet suffering a loss like that; or after ten or so cycles, not yet finding yourself pregnant with no possible explanation as to why. Maybe that makes me a horrible person, if so, I apologize for how I seem to you readers- especially those of you who have suffered such devastating losses, but being on this side of the fence leaves me with many questions to be answered. Therefore, I find myself willingly leaving the TTC thread, because I couldn't POSSIBLY be trying any harder to get pregnant. So while the new girls appear sporadically, all excited with the newness of TTC, I can't share in their joy. A shiny, new basal thermometer and a perfect looking chart on Fertility Friend is all novelty to them. For me, I've had to extend my FF membership past when I thought I'd be done, and have since bought another basal thermometer. It's not fun anymore. So I can't congratulate and wish them a happy and healthy nine months to these gals who breezed in and sneezed and wow, pregnant my first month!, or worse yet, had accidental pregnancies because they thought it'd take longer (as evident from me, the crotchety old hag rocking away in her chair muttering "Someday it'll be my turn... someday...", while renovating her cubicle in TTC hell), and are "making do". I hate that I'm that person. I'm bitter! I'm usually upbeat! What the hell has happened to me? TTC has ruined my life.

So now I don't belong in TTC worlds, nor do I belong in the world of the almost marrieds, I definitely don't belong in the world of mommies and daddies, as being around babies right now isn't really the best choice for my remaining mental health. Right now, Doctor Amber has prescribed many alcoholic drinks, a trip to Disneyland (nine days!) and a kind and loving husband who wants nothing more than to help give her that dream of a baby. Until that happens, I'm going to retreat back into my dark and musty corner, and continue to make baby name lists in my head. Henry? Sounds like a winner.

Forgive the rants and gripes. I'm on a fast train to Angry and Bitter town, with a quick stopoff in Pityville.

Friday, October 17, 2008

At the tone...

I love my husband very much. Despite that, sometimes I want to punch him in the face. Yes, it may sound mean and unwarranted, but hear me out- he's a horrible waker in the morning. Hm. Me thinks "waker" isn't a word. Well... I've just made it one. Anyway, my husband is optimistic, since he sets his alarm for 5:30am every Monday through Friday, with full intent to actually get up at that time.

The problem is, nine times out of ten he'll hit the snooze button at LEAST twice- both times making sure I'm nice and panicked when that alarm starts blaring. I have just enough time between each snooze to fall back to sleep enough to be rudely awakened with the next alarm.

I'm a little more realistic, I set my alarm for 6:11am, when take my basal temperature and get out of bed. Every morning, like clockwork. Pun greatly intended. I've never been a snooze button presser, and from what I remember from 4 years of living with Paul, he's ONLY been a snooze presser. He claims it helps him wake up. I say you should just set your alarm for the exact time you want to wake up, none of that waking up in installments junk. Because I'm so used to my own schedule of waking up exactly when the alarm starts to make a noise, when his alarm goes off and keeps going off (because it's not enough to wake me with his snooze, he also has to keep the alarm going for at least 30 seconds) I get thrown off, and think it's MY alarm that's going off, so I turn MINE off. Bad news.

It's funny to me because it's been like this every weekday morning of our lives together, and I never really paid attention to how mean it is to snooze when you're sharing your bed with someone who has a schedule to keep as well. Since he's such a great guy despite all this snooziness, I think I'll keep him. And keep my eye out for a better alarm sound!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Abandoned

Wow, long time no post! Sorry for the teensy break there, I'd had a couple of off days, a cold and a busy schedule.

I'm close to a couple of gals from my weddingbee blogging days, and recently one commented on the toughness of marriage. Part of the reason we are close is due to the time we got both got married- now that there are often new generations of Bees, certain generations tend to stick together. We're both at the same place in our lives- celebrating our one year anniversaries (18 days until mine!), and getting used to the day to day grind without the chance for the party at the end of the tunnel.

Right now I'm feeling frustrated. I'm an adult now. Now I'm the person who gets called when her mom is in the emergency room, when her dad loses his job, and when the dog has a skin infection. I have real life responsibilities now and I'm not sure I'm okay with this. Saturday night my mom calls asking for my brother's phone number in Australia, because she was told by my aunt that he was worried about her and her shoulder. Now, I hadn't told him about it because Mom asked me not to, it's not my decision to make- it was all taken care of and she's fine now. So, I tell her it's at home, and I'll call her with it later. At the game, I shoot off a quick email on my sidekick telling him a brief, "Mom's okay, her shoulder is taken care of and she's taking her pain pills and doing exercises, don't worry about her."

The next day I get an email back from him, basically saying he had no idea she was hurt until she called him (she figured out the number by herself), and that he doesn't have time to worry about her anyway. What? Well, his daughter caught a cold from her first day in daycare (she's 10 months old), and they were so worried they took her to the hospital (gotta love the ER care in Australia), and NOW they're both sick. So he tells me he has no room to worry about mom and that "He's just done". Even though I send him a quick, "Sorry to hear about the baby, hope she feels better soon", inside I was incensed. I guess he figured "out of country, out of mind, out of life".

Since he's moved, he's been almost like a figment of my imagination. I have a brother? And a sister in law I've met once? Really? I don't talk (email) to him more than once a month. We don't share any news. I sent him a postcard from Hawaii, and that's the most I've done. I know it's both ways, but come on. I've sent him onesies for the baby and things like that. There was that issue with the photo albums that my parents got (each) as well as my aunt, the baby's great aunt. Did I get one? Nope. I feel like an only child, since he doesn't seem to give a crap about what else people are doing in our family. My dad's side gets teary when they talk about how he shuns them. Join the club, family. You're not the only one. There's nothing worse than knowing you're alone in something, even when technically you shouldn't be.

I have a niece I've never seen. I may not see her for years, because I'm sorry, planning my OWN damn family comes first. You want your child to know your family? Make a goddamn effort. Send pictures, write letters, let us talk to her. Don't just send us a freaking link to her flickr pictures. I have best friends in this country that I consider to be more family than my brother. My friend Tricia knows about how hard things are right now. Laura is part of my daily conversations about life. And these are people who weren't even raised with me. They don't share my blood, yet I'd be more than thrilled to be an "Auntie" to one of their babies.

It feels like my brother was trying to escape something here. Yeah, it was a pretty hard home to grow up in, but he hasn't tried to talk about it, he'd rather ignore it than help me figure out what went wrong. I have to think he intentionally found a girl to marry that wasn't in the US. He met her online, the girl could have been from anywhere. I feel abandoned, and it just makes me sad. God bless Paul, he's been the strongest person for me to lean on,and this isn't even his family. Well, technically, it is now, but it wasn't a requirement. My brother has created his own life somewhere else, and it seems to me that I'm not part of it anymore. When we hear from him, it's usually in response to emails we send- and those feel almost like being tolerated by someone who dislikes you.

I have four other nieces and nephews, eleven first cousins, and four-going-on-7 second cousins who are like nieces and nephews. I'm surrounded by love, so why does his dismissal of us feel like such a hit?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Upside of Having a Cold

Our one year wedding anniversary is coming up. We'd hoped to be pregnant by then, but in the meantime I'd been trying to think of reasons I was glad it hasn't happened yet. Stupid little things like: oooh, at least I can enjoy a margarita, even though I don't drink. So I'm starting to drink more. It's a filthy cycle, I tell you. I'm almost taunting myself here, with these insipid reasons why it's good I'm not pregnant: at least I'm not pregnant in the summer! Good thing I'm not pregnant right now, Woofie has allergies (?). Then it started becoming: Good thing I'm not pregnant right now, I don't know if I wanted another May baby in the family. All these little things that hurt to say, trying to make myself feel better.

Today is a low day for me. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I was sidelined with a pretty bad cold this morning, one that had my throat hurting (Hey! Good thing I'm not pregnant this morning, I couldn't take any medication!), eyes watering and uncontrollable sneezing. The past couple of days have been just a sea of routines; going home, taking Woofie out, talking to my dad, making dinner, eating dinner, watching a movie... then my mom's dislocated shoulder was tossed into it and it turned into, "God, this is hard, I hope she'll be okay (hey! Good thing I'm not pregnant, that x-ray would not be good to be around)". Then her friend tells me, "You need to start having babies, your mom promised to quit smoking when you get pregnant." Great, so my Mom's inability to have some damned willpower has now deemed me the person who will get her to quit smoking, all I need to do is get pregnant. Because you know, it's easy.

So yeah, now I'm at work, spewing my misery of TTC around to the other ladies TTC with me, the lucky ones who have only been at it a month or so. When people say the first year of marriage is the toughest, I wonder if they were also TTC.

As I mentioned in my title up there, at least with my watery eyes and runny nose, no one at work can tell I'm crying. So there is an upside after all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Very South Park Christmas



Ahhhh, "South Park". A bastion of both political satire and commentary on the superficiality of entertainers. It's also a lifesaver for my family. I know, I know, what kind of family would consider "South Park" a lifesaver? With its lowbrow humor and often disgusting content (which I find endlessly hilarious, so sue me), it's not what you'd call family entertainment. At least, not in families other than my own.

Let's go back to 1996, my cousin Ellen and I were in our senior year of high school, I had just turned 17 on November 5th. Our grandma had been sick for going on 3 years now, which was both good and bad- good because we got more time with her, bad because she was changed- our grandma was gone and a shell of her remained. Christmas was coming up, a holiday our extended family used to spend at Grandma's house. I had gotten all the gifts for my friends and family, carefully choosing those gifts that were the best fit for each person. It was a Wednesday afternoon two days before Christmas break began, and my mom and I had just returned from Target. We had a message on the answering machine. It was Ellen's sister Amy, three years older than we are. The message was chilling, "Hello? Mark (my dad)? Can you give us a call? Grandma's gone." You could hear the tears in her voice, and then my Dad's voice as he picked up the phone in the midst of the message being left. Then the phone rang- it was my Dad calling to tell me to get over to my cousin's house.

That was probably the worst Christmas of my life. Spending your holiday break numb inside, waiting for the inevitable tears to fall. I couldn't understand why everyone else in the family was crying, and I couldn't. I loved her too, I missed her, I wanted to be back in her arms again, smelling of rose lotion and Coty powder. It's funny, how now just writing that phrase brings tears to my eyes, yet back in 1996, I was a stone. It wasn't until her funeral, when it all hit me. Ellen stood at the podium and talked about our grandma and what she had brought to our life. I sat there, alone in the pew trying to keep my sobs as quiet as possible, only succeeding in making them echo throughout the room. When I saw the parents I had baby-sat for, neighbors of my grandma, sitting in the pews, I cried harder. This was it. Grandma was gone. She wouldn't be leaving tomatoes on their back porch anymore. She wouldn't wave across the street to me, while I walked the halls consoling a teething 2 year old.

What does this have to do with "South Park", you ask? Well, as I had mentioned, Grandma had passed away about 5/6 days before Christmas, and we were all just so down. It was like the world was in color, and we were all in black and white. What to do for the usual festive holiday? The gifts were bought and wrapped, and yet the joy was gone. My cousin Mike was working for MTV at the time, and they had received a demo of something they had ultimately passed on. So, Mike brought it home to us, and showed it to us on Christmas day. It was the "South Park" Christmas card (aka The Spirit of Christmas), a precursor to South Park.

For some ridiculous reason, MTV passed on this goldmine, and Comedy Central picked it up. "The Spirit of Christmas" gave us a Christmas filled with laughter and crudeness, just what our family needed (as evidenced by our Thanksgiving choice of entertainment: "Kingpin"). There were horrible references to Santa Claus, and disgusting references to a pig, and there were smiles on our faces. Amazingly, my cousin Mike and South Park had saved Christmas- our very first without Grandma.

Luckily, one of the producers of the show is a parent at Paul's school. Paul coaches his kids in various sports, and we've been invited to their house for various holidays. Their daughter Milan (who actually has done a few voices on the show) looks exactly like me at that age, and their son is a sweetheart. After 10 or so years, I was able to thank "South Park" for what they did for us all those years ago. And yes, we did make fun of MTV for passing on that opportunity.

It's not often you can say a cartoon (especially such a foul-mouthed one) saved Christmas, but it did. And that's why you'll find "South Park" being DVRed every Wednesday in our house. I owe them.

Sun through the clouds

Good morning all! I'd like to welcome all the new readers who have followed me from WeddingBee. For those of you not in the "know", Weddingbee has been sold to eharmony. You'll find a variety of posts on the site regarding the sale and subsequent loss of many Bees, both old and new. I'm not going to go into my say of things, but I think people should know that we Bees shared our lives with readers by choice, and it's also our choice to leave. I'm not making any grand gesture of leaving the hive, my time there had ended a long time ago, and there are no more posts in me about our wedding, or married life. Well, none I'd be willing to share on a site with national readers. No, I'm much more comfortable here, in my cozy baby-obsessed cave with temperatures and bitterness towards other people who manage to get pregnant before me. (hint: laugh at that please, I'm joking. Kinda. :) )

Anyway, a new day has begun. In honor of that, I have these:


Chocolate and peanut butter chip cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. What do you do with 24 cupcakes? Also, I wasn't told the silicone cupcake liners had to be greased first! Now I decorated all these pretty cupcakes and I have to tear them out of the silicone liner. Suuucks.

This weekend was a busy one. I originally woke up at 7:25am on Saturday to go to Paul's flag football game. It took me a good minute to shut off my alarm and stagger out of bed, exhausted from the lack of sleep I had this past week. When he saw my face, puffy and creased from a horrible night's sleep full of nightmares about my mom's arm snapping off (WTH?) he told me to go to bed and he'll see me a little later. So, I gladly went back to sleep, and woke up at 11am!! Good lord that was a long sleep! Paul called from the road, and asked if I wanted to go to the USC football game that night. Since I've never been to a college football game (actually, never been to a football game that wasn't high school or 8th graders), I said sure, despite being a UCLA fan! So I got bundled up because it was looking rainy, and took the dog out and went to the market to get stuff to make for dinner. Annnnnd tater tots. Because although they're really just formed tubes of reconstituted potatoes I love them anyway. Ask Napoleon Dynamite. You can't have any of my 'tots. So, we left early for the football game so we could grab a bite on the way. Once we parked it was a good 20 minute walk to the stadium, with drunk collegiates staggering into my way every 5 to 10 feet.

It was worth it, when we saw the view from our seats:



After a nice snack of cheese popcorn, cotton candy, a soft pretzel and water, I was all set to go home. After all, I'm only there for the food!

Sunday we had more football games, and I made dinner of enchilada pie and those cupcakes above.

I had a fitful sleep, as nothing is less conducive to sleep than a tossing 300lb husband who is "sick" and wants someone to talk to him, because he can't sleep. Again, I awoke from nightmares- this time involving my boss' son, who I used to babysit back in the day. Someone was messing with him, and in trying to protect him I was beaten up. What is up with my sleep lately? I didn't eat late, or anything weird, I'm just having the oddest dreams!

Friday, October 3, 2008

When it rains... well, you know

Just a quick pop in here as I'm at work and exhausted and would like to take this spare moment to take a quick nap. Yesterday was a sack full of crap. We had a gas leak in our oven (which is why it never turned on), a majorly backed up sink and a visit to the emergency room.

First things first: I left work at 1:15 to hustle home to let in the oven repair guy. Dad had gotten there at one, because the plumber was supposed to be there between 1 and 3pm. Of course, isn't it always the tail end when people come in? I had just arranged for Dad to head over to meet the plumber when the oven repair guy called me and said he was going to be there in 15/20 minutes. Eeeep! So I begged my boss to leave, and he said he had made other plans, and apparently we absolutely MUST have someone here to answer the non-ringing phone. The second he took off, I texted my boss and gave her a quick scoop of info, got permission to leave and took off myself, managing to make the buses just in time to get home before the oven tech.

After being told that my oven was completely broken and that it was leaking gas, I told him to do whatever he needs to, and I'll be sitting on the couch with dad. He finished up and left, and we proceeded to wait for the plumber, who was finished in all of ten minutes.

Dad and I went around buying stuff to bake, then I came home and waited for Paul. When he finally got home, we got a phone call from my mom who was in the ER with a busted shoulder. We were there until eleven, standing beside my mom, who was in major pain. She had slipped on a puddle of oil and dislocated her shoulder. They drugged her up and popped it back in, and went home with a friend of hers, since there's no way she'd be comfortable on the couch with a dog fighting over her spot.

I just spoke to her, and she's feeling much better. And now, I must take a nap, well wishes for my mom please!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

It seems like I've been a selfish person lately. Everything is poor me, bemoaning the lack of a new life beginning for us, and not celebrating the new ones already created by family members. I've been wallowing so deep in my own muck that I've neglected those I love, and haven't been supportive. It's not that I'm not supporting them, it's just that I'm being a total bitch and keeping it to myself. Not quite sure why, but I think the time has come to get over myself and my failings and rejoice in the successes of others- K and L, my wonderful cousins.

I'm very happy for you both (and your kids and husbands, of course!), and I just can't wait to see you all soon. Please forgive me for my terrible attitude of late, A happy and healthy 6 months for the both of you (is 6 months right?). Let me know if I can do anything for you both, even though I STILL don't drive. God, I am a horrible lazy bastard.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A New Title

As you can see, I've changed the name of my blog to "A Fetal Attraction". While I had originally thought I'd just start a new blog that was pregnancy/TTC/baby centric, I then thought about what this blog would be without all the baby talk. So, I've decided to name this blog what my life is all about right now: a fetal attraction.

Perhaps it's because I'm sick right now, or maybe it's because that damn mouse is still in our kitchen (where the dog sleeps) and we have yet to hear from the landlord, or maybe it's the fact that ovulation is coming up in a few days, but I'm feeling a little down.

I hate the fact that I'm afraid of our kitchen (although it's now at the cleanest it's ever been, yay me!), and that every day there is a MOUSE in our private space, who could possibly bite Woofie. Speaking of Woofie, he's got this skin issue right now, patches of dry skin with missing fur in some spots, and you can tell he's just itchy. We've bought medicated shampoo, an instant relief rinse, and he's been flea medicated. It kills me to see how annoyed he is by his itchy skin. I've got him on doggie supplements and I'm vacuuming the house constantly (I swear, with this mouse, everything is spic and span!) to try to make him a little more comfortable, but so far no go. We'll take him to the vet if it gets worse.

As I said before, I'm ovulating this Monday, most likely. How do I know? Well, judging from my last year's cycles, I have a 28/29 day cycle with a 13/14 day luteal phase (the days between ovulation and your period) which is pretty typical, and this means I usually ovulate on the 14/15th day of my cycle. It's like clockwork. Which would make it easy to get pregnant. Ahhh, not so, apparently. Yesterday my dad's doula friend gave me a whole box of pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth and postive birthing books, and I sure did send myself into a deep hole reading about pregnancy day to day. So the books were sent into the closet where they could relax until needed. Paul's starting to remark on how many movies and tv shows are centered around babies. I've noticed it for months, and I can see how our so far unsuccessful TTC is affecting him now. Makes me feel bad.

And now I'm sick. It's kind of weird to be sick when it's still hot outside and the sun's shining brightly. Still, all the aches and pains from yesterday (along with the sneezing and fever) are gone, and now we're moving on to chest cold. At least I'm not aching!

A bunch of this stuff has caused me to kind of pull inward, venturing out only to go to work and errands with my dad. At work, I prefer to just stay inside instead of getting lunch and will often go from the morning coffee (of which I am now making myself!) to 4pm without food. I just don't feel like being social, I'd much prefer to curl up on the couch with my itchy dog and one of the hundreds of books I have lying about the house. I'm sure I'll come out of this self-imposed cocoon, but until that happens I'm just going to have to get used to cleaning the house for fun- since that's what I do now. Weird.

Anyway, that's a little update from us. Hopefully things'll pick up soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eeek!

Last night I prepared a Mexican supper, complete with homemade rice with tomatoes and cilantro and homemade tostadas (vegetarian beans), we had two loads of laundry in the dryer, and another two waiting for our turn at the washer (man, I hate having to share two measly washers and dryers). We had just finished our meal, and started to watch "Jumanji" that we had DVRed previously, when I turned to say something to Paul and saw a large brown mouse pattering across our kitchen floor. As if in some kind of horror movie, I silently pointed past Paul and gaped, just shaking. Paul stared at me wondering what on Earth I was doing. Finally, I managed to gasp, "MOUSE!" And shoved Woofie the dachshund (who I may add is a HUNTER by nature) toward the kitchen. The dog had no idea what we were doing.

So, we got up quietly in time to watch it scamper back into the wall somehow, we're guessing it got in through the dishwasher. Nothing makes you feel creeped out more than seeing some kind of vermin traipsing across the very floor you were just standing on- BAREFOOT- not more than an hour ago. So, despite our fatigue from all the other things we were doing (I was making the beans, frying the tortillas, cutting the tomatoes, shredding the cheese and making guacamole all at the same time), I got to work scouring the kitchen, since now I just felt so... skeezy. I put away all the leftovers, washed all the dishes, set them in the rack because the shoddy dishwasher hasn't worked for a bajillion years now, and set about cleaning the stovetop, mopping the floors, cleaning beside and under the fridge, and putting away the dishes once clean and dry. I had just folded up Woofie's blanket and sprayed the floor with bleach when I did something to my back. I have a feeling it was something to do with my sciatic nerve, as it was mainly on my left side, and radiated down my leg. It got so bad I couldn't even walk. So that was fun.

We'll talk to the landlord tonight about that huge problem (hello, anyone read Princess Bride? Sucker was a R.O.U.S!), and then go about getting that vermin out of our apartment. I'm telling you, living off one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles has a definite downside. Our front gate is facing a small side street, but our bedroom/kitchen windows face the big boulevard. Another downside: the two tylenol pms kicked in and I fell asleep, only to be woken up at 1am or so with a group fighting (in Spanish, no less, the night's theme continues) and crying literally right outside our bedroom window. Being nosy, I usually would get up to see what was going on, but due to the tylenol I had taken, I'm pretty sure I would have been mighty unstable on my feet.

Ahhhh, the joy of apartment living. How do you go about getting rid of a mouse? Would they call an exterminator in? And if so, does he spray poison, or set traps? Would we need to take Woofie out that day? All things to ask the landlord, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Discouraged

I've been a member of a forum for diamond lovers, but it's not strictly about diamonds. There are separate areas for posting questions about stones and settings, for posting pictures of your new stone/settings, an area to just "hang out", one for all the ladies in waiting, who were waiting for their proposal to come. I originally joined as a Lady in Waiting, even though my story wasn't so much about anxiously awaiting a proposal, since I chose my own stone and setting. After I was proposed to, I then moved on to the Brides World Wide area, where we posted wedding planning questions, pictures and updates. Since I was asked to be a blogger for Weddingbee, I pretty much spent all my wedding planning time over there, and didn't really post on the BWW forums as much. In the diamond world, when you're done with the wedding, most people move to the TTC forum, where you chat with like-minded ladies who have the research bug as well- the whole reason we found the diamond forum to begin with- a need to know MORE. When you get that BFP, you move to the "Expecting" area, where you commiserate with other pregnant ladies, and THEN once you have the baby, you move to the Mommy thread. Yeah, it's like a little world in that one forum!

Today a fellow TTCer got her BFP. Yesterday another one got hers. A week before that there were three, count 'em, three new BFPs. I am now the longest residing TTCer, and it really is the most depressing thing possible. It seems like everywhere people are pregnant, and I sit here with my cramps and mood swings (can you tell?). I never really thought about how long it would take to get pregnant, but still, I just keep getting lapped by the other girls who come into the TTC thread, spend one cycle there bemoaning their lack of a BFP, and then voila! Pregnant, adios, I'm moving on. I feel like the older dog at the pet store, just sitting there while the puppies come in and out like a revolving door of newness, pleading and hoping that someday I'll get my ticket out.

Every month an egg works through like clockwork, mocking me with it's regularity. I know exactly when I ovulate, I temp every morning, examine every fluid (gross, isn't it?), and purchase insane things called pre-seed. Yes, it's come to that. I don't even know what to do anymore, other than sit here wringing my hands and marking off dates on the calendar. Every month another cycle comes by, and I tell Paul, "If we conceive this cycle, the due date would be..." And yet again, that month goes by fruitless.

Somewhere along the line I became that girl. The one with the permanent frown lines between her eyebrows with eyes constantly brimming with tears, the one who everyone makes hold the new baby, because then I'll want one, they say. If only they knew that holding that baby and smelling her sweet head just makes me ache inside. Of course, we can't tell them the truth, because should we do that, and things take longer than they are already, I couldn't bear to have to explain over and over WHY it's taking so long. I've become the one who instead of congratulating the recent recipients of the positive pregnancy test, pulls away from the crowd and keeps her misery inside. It's not that I don't have anything nice to say (ahhh, the words of Thumper, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" thankfully don't ring true in this case), it's just that I'm a bitter old woman. :) I don't feel like being nice. I feel like being a bugger and simply emanate my angry bitterness.

I've said it once, I'll say it a million times- I'm a horrible person. Somehow, in my Grinch-sized heart (pre Whoville makeover), I do manage to feel happy for the pregnant, I do. I'm not truly self-obsessed. I just can't immediately congratulate them, because I'm too immersed in my own pathetic misery, and need some time to formulate a reply that isn't focused on my "Lucky you, I wish I could be so lucky" mentality. Still, once I do manage to give them the congrats they rightly deserve, I may bow out of the TTC thread, it's just too hard for me. Again, don't you know it all revolves around me? I must say, though, if any of those friends complain about being pregnant (again, they've done it before), they'll be hearing from me. I may even have to revoke their children and raise them as my own little Mexican babies. We'll start a soccer team. The incredible sporty family. I can see it now.

Once my friends have been pregnant for some time (and the pain has lessened), I'll gladly lurk in their lives, watching as their bellies get rounder, and they pick out nursery furniture. I'll search all over for that perfect stuffed giraffe, and the right kind of bottle, and possibly a soft blanket the baby will never part with, so I can say I had a part in it. I'm really not that terrible after all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Anniversary, of Sorts

Nine years ago yesterday, something momentous happened. Shield your eyes, those of you who want to retain the vision or image of a pure, innocent Amber.

Done?

Okay, nine years ago yesterday I lost my virginity. *gasp* Although I had plotted it to be the day before it happened (9/9/1999, how much more perfect could you get?), things don't always work to plan. My virginity had long plagued me, all through high school and beyond. It was almost a joke amongst all my slutty friends at the time. Who will it be? After a while, it almost became somewhat of a nuisance. Okay, I'm tired of writing the word "virginity", let's call it... Margot.

Margot and I had started out like those neighbors you have that you don't really notice until something interesting happens, like the cops are called, or their dog gets loose. She didn't bother me, I didn't bother her. Even when the boys started asking after Margot, I still ignored her presence. Until that fateful day in my junior year, when I was a teacher's assistant, and roaming the halls with nothing to do. I ran into a friend, and talked with him for awhile. The next day came, and all of a sudden the existence of Margot was questioned. What? First of all, should I relinquish Margot, you think I'd do it at school?! REALLY? That's what you think of me? Secondly, I do have morals, you know. I'm not about to just lay Margot out for any friend passing by. Of course, you know how it is with Margots, people don't believe you. Even your friends begin to doubt you.

That's when I started to debate- what AM I waiting for? Oh, yes, a steady boyfriend who doesn't call me Knobs. That would be nice. Hey, call me choosy, whatever. At one point, I think even my mom thought I'd asked Margot to walk the plank. Sex-ed gave you gobs and gobs of condoms, and some of us didn't use them all to water balloon our fellow students. Ahem. Well, not ALL of them. That little conversation with mom went like this, "Um, Amber, you DO know condoms aren't 100% safe, right?" Me: "OH GOD, MOM! Don't even TALK about that with me! And get out of my ROOM!" Yes, totally mature.

As the years went on, friends said goodbye to their Margots, and bothered me about mine, asking all sorts of questions: Are you waiting until marriage? Not that I know of. Is it a religious thing? I don't have a religion, so I'm going to say no. Are you scared? Of what? No! Pretty soon after graduation, I had my first job. Working at Jamba Juice really helped you "get out there". I had dates all over the place, but nothing serious, no one to make me think: this is the one. At that point it was a novelty for my co-workers, almost a sideshow. Meet the incredibly Chaste Woman! I was just trying to find a steady guy who wouldn't immediately drop me, in LA, you'd think it would be easy! Well, it was TWO full years after graduating from high school, and good ol' Margot wouldn't leave. I stopped thinking of her as a virtue, and started thinking of her like some kind of virus. Guys thought I was an oddball- an almost 20 year old virgin? In Los Angeles? Of course, while it was a novelty, no one wanted the kind of commitment I would need to give Margot the boot.

Until I met A. I had met him the previous year, at a party for my good friend. I thought he was Mr. Right. He wasn't Mr. Wrong OR Mr. Right, it turned out. I guess lying to him and telling him I was half Armenian (the friend who brought me to the party was Armenian, as it was an Armenian party!) didn't really set the stage for a good healthy relationship. Annnyway. We had met in 1998, and he bugged the crap out of me. I couldn't stand him. Then we ran into each other a little later, and hit it off. We began dating, which was hard, given the distance- he was a student at UCSD. So, months passed, and we got along really well. Our friends liked each other, and we were happy. So, I sent him an email one Thursday night telling him it was time to evict Margot. I got a call the next day, he was in town. Wow, that was some speedy drive home!

The actual act I will keep to myself, but it was a Friday night, and it was in a car. Yes, in a car. A two-door. Every time I moved, I hit my head on the overhead light, turning it on and off. It was like a freaking disco in that car. Still, it was finally over with. Our relationship lasted a good three years, until he told me he had met someone new- and get this- She's MEXICAN! Damn! So, it ended, I finally got to stop lying about my race, and we both moved on and married other people. He married the girl he left me for, so that's nice. As you all know, I married Paul. Sometimes I want to email A to see how he's doing, and to break the "I'm really not Armenian" news, but it's been such a long time since we've spoken that now I think it's best to leave things alone. We had many good times, and I was able to stop being such a headcase about Margot.

If you speak to my parents, I'm still a virgin. Despite being married. I'm sure it's best for us all to just let it go at that. It's funny to me, because now that we're trying to conceive, when I actually DO get pregnant it'll be like, "Oh my god, now everyone in the world will know I've had SEX." Apparently, I'm still a child!

Paul

My dad brags to people about his son-in-law, and how great of a teacher and coach he is. Dad, who isn't sporty in the least, will go to games just so he can sit there with me and cheer on Paul's (MY) team. Since Paul is the "least successful" of his siblings (and I say that because of how it's been said to US), people don't brag about him, they don't praise him for doing a job he LOVES, and doing it well, at that. I think our marriage came along at the perfect time- Paul's dad has passed on, and my brother moved to Australia- a father needing a son, and a son needing a father. When I tell Paul about how my dad likes to brag about his son-in-law changing children's lives, I can tell he gets excited about it. For once, someone else recognizes what a fantastic person Paul is, and what a great difference he's making to this world.

Although Paul is very busy with work, and quite often brings it home with him (and by bringing home work I mean various viruses and all the other factors that occur with children), I'm so glad to have someone who obviously cares so much about other people. The bad side of being a teacher/coach's wife is the attachments I form. It's easy for Paul, he's been doing this for over ten years, and while this is going on my 5th year as number 1 team supporter and fan, I can never get used to saying goodbye to these kids when they graduate. It's widely known that I cry at every graduation ceremony, every "last game of XXXXX's elementary school career", because I just get so attached to these kids. Being around all the boys (Paul coaches mostly boy teams) on weekdays, weeknights, weekends and holidays you start to learn about them all.

Paul isn't a normal coach. He cares about these kids, sometimes too much. One boy in particular was growing up with only his mom, older sister, and younger sister to guide him into adulthood. His mom was working at least two jobs, his older sister had a job, and he was to take care of his younger sister. He was at St. Mark's because of a gift from a God-Mother type, who wanted to make sure he made it to high school. The boy had a father, although he rarely saw him. For one summer basketball season, Paul noticed the student was running awkwardly, and asked him what size his shoes were A 10 and a half, he replied. Gently, Paul asked, "and what size do you wear?" A twelve, he replied sheepishly. That day, Paul worked out a deal with a friend who works at Footlocker, and bought the student a nice pair of basketball shoes. Not wanting the kid to feel like a charity case, Paul pretended his brother got him those shoes, but they were the wrong size, and did he want them? The kid took him up on his offer and took the shoes, and played so well that season. This boy would be a constant source of worry for us over the years. There would be days that he'd come to school with no lunch, having had no breakfast. He would act out against other teachers, and when brought to talk to Paul would break down in tears because although he's not around much, his father hadn't gotten in touch with him in over a year, and he was afraid he was dead. His sister attempted suicide, and his mother began having heart palpitations. A twelve/thirteen year old boy, left to parent himself. There would be nights that I'd beg Paul to let me invite him over for a nice hot dinner, and a calm place to study and just be a kid.

I think his father figure was Paul, and although I know Paul can handle that, it just breaks my heart to think that he's probably in a public high school, where the teachers won't care as much as we do, because he's just another of the 34 students in their class. They won't notice that he's worn the same shirt three days in a row, won't notice that he hasn't eaten in three days. Even though we know he's acting out because he's scared, hungry, tired, and just weak from all the pressure put onto his 13 year old shoulders, I worry that the school will see just another troublemaker who takes school for granted. Even though he's been gone for a few months now, I worry every day that we're the only ones who can help him, which may be irrational, but I can't help it.

So although I say Paul brings his work home with him, sometimes I wish he really would bring it home, so I can stop worrying about whether or not the kids are doing okay.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Selfish Me

Yes, I've been away for some time now. We have passed yet another month with the frightful appearance of AF, or my period in less childlike terms. The reason I'm here right now is a selfish one, and one that will surely come off as highly bratty.

I'd like to reserve a name. Technically two names, a first and a middle. Now, I know sharing your future children's names aren't "done" in this day and age for fear of the name stalkers (People who will take the names you've so carefully chosen for your children, and then act like they came up with it themselves), but I must put this out there for anyone who is reading or listening:

I stake claim to this name. Paul and I have had this choice in our hearts for the 5 years we've been together, we've made up nicknames for it, and have imagined the child who would possess it. Since we're not yet lucky enough to have an infant in the works, I'd kindly like to have any of my friends and family take pity upon us, and let us keep this name for our own.

Ready? It's Piper Jane. PJ for short. She'll be a dark haired, light-skinned little girl with blue eyes that quickly turn a light brown like her parents. She'll possibly be a little chubby, because how can she not coming from parents like us? It's only realistic to assume so. When she gets older, her hair will turn longish and wavy, to be sloppily parted in the middle into pigtails, since she is her mother's daughter. Piper will love to read and be read to, and will relish being her grandpa's girl. She'll hopefully take after her father, and along with a propensity to care too much, will be able to catch a ball without having it bounce off her forehead first. We hope she'll be smart, giving and loving, trustworthy and energetic, and most of all, happy.

I know it's unfair to try to lay claim to a name for a child that hasn't been conceived yet, but we've already put so much love and happiness into that name that it would be a shame to have to give it up due to a uncooperative uterus.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Queen

I had my x-ray done on Monday, and it was quite uneventful. Didn't do much other than sit around waiting for my name to be called, put my foot up on the table, and "Don't Move". They will call my doctor, and I will hopefully move on to a new course of treatment.

I'm pretty sure I'll need an MRI, since judging from the x-ray tech's response to my ankle ("Wow, it's still not looking very good"), something is aggravating it, and needs to be taken care of. Despite my ability to hurt myself constantly, I've never had real surgery. Yeah, I did have that cataract surgery almost ten years ago, but I didn't really have much recuperating to do after it. Just wear the dark glasses, take my antibiotics to ward off infection, and DON'T RUB. The idea or arthroscopic surgery (when there are two teeny incisions made into the area, one of which is used for a camera) just creeps me out. The bright side, the surgery will be less invasive due to the small cameras, and recovery time will be shorter than regular surgery. The downside- I do not take well to being under the knife. My last eye surgery had me waving about like the queen of England (the doctor's words, not mine) so much that my arms had to be strapped down!

Hopefully the news will be good, and I will not need surgery. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You've Got Mail

Today I got nostalgic, in an effort to distract myself from ticking the days off on my calendar. When I get nostalgic, I look through old emails from past friends and boyfriends. Yes, I keep them. It's the only thing I have left from my past that I keep- no letters or pictures, no gifts or clothing. Paul has never asked me to remove anything, and I don't keep them to think of what could have been. I keep them to remember myself of old. They help me fill in missing pieces, and give me dates to recollect. I'm a very sentimental person, and reading these old emails just make me think of the days that were spent with that person, and how much I've changed since then.

In my collection (so to speak) I've been broken up with, propositioned, loved, missed and berated. I've been left for other women, I've been told that I'll be notified should the person's current relationship fall through, and dropped from a best friend's wedding. Oddly enough, I look back at these past conversations and shake my head or smile. What things I agreed to, what situations I tolerated for years upon years. In that one email box I have three long distance relationships carried out, with two of them ended via email. What kind of person would end a relationship through email? The same person who will tell you that despite waiting four years to date you, after one month WITH you he has found someone new. It's not you, he says, it's me. Actually, since you waited for all those years to be with me, once you got the "real" me, you bolted. So me thinks it actually WAS me.

I wonder, knowing what I know now about myself, what would I do differently? Would I have told that one guy No? No I won't wait for you while you try to see who else is out there. No, I don't mind waiting for you to get back from Iraq- just please come home safely- what's that? You met a new girl? Ha! Isn't that just spit on your neck kick you in the crotch fantastic? It's amazing to me how little spine I had back then.

As I peruse the emails by name, I see witty comebacks from myself, and the few times I FINALLY got to say what I thought. Sure, it was post-breakup and they had moved on by then, but I GOT THE LAST WORD. Perhaps it's because of that, or maybe it's because I'm this person I am now because of the few morons I dated- but I wouldn't change a thing. I like where I am now. I love my life, and my husband. If I had stayed with that Marine, or that guy I completely lied to about my race (He thought I was Armenian, like he was), or the 13 years older than me guy with a kid, where would I be? I could be in San Diego, or Santa Rosa. I could have a step-son, or in-laws who had no idea I was in fact, Mexican. I could have been living on a base somewhere, biting my nails waiting for my husband to come home. Or, I could have been divorced and heartbroken. Instead, I'm a block away from my dad, mere minutes away from family- with a husband who loves me and a dachshund who gets excited whenever I come home.

Despite this TTC ordeal, I'm pretty lucky I ended up where I did. I only wish I had some email record of this.