Thursday, March 29, 2007

Teagan's Birth Story

In honor of my youngest nephew's birthday today, I will tell the tale of how he came into the world. Now it's a long one and sometimes graphic. So heed that warning before you proceed.

But it's hysterical. It's much funnier when told in person though. It loses something in the translation when written out. But since I can't see all of you in person, you'll have to settle for this version. Remember the "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy and Ethel were working the assembly line at the chocolate factory?
It was a lot like that. Out of control, crazy, fast and hilarious!

On March 29th 2005, my phone rings at about 9:15pm just as I was settling in to watch the Amazing Race. It's my sister, Carla, saying that she thinks her water just broke. Now this is her 4th child AND she's a labor and delivery nurse. I'm thinking she should know if her water just broke, right? So I ask her "Well did it or didn't it?"

She's not sure because none of her other labors had started like this. With the others, her water didn't break until the very end when she was ready to push. So I ask if she's having any contractions. She thinks about it for a second and says "Uhhmmm...I don't think so."

We talk for about 20 minutes. By the end of the conversation she's realized that she's having a few contractions and the fluid is definitely from her water breaking. So I plan to head over to her house since her husband is at work and she's alone with the kids. I almost said I'd be over after the Amazing Race ended. Hey, I love that show! And I figured her labor just started. I've got some time.
Or at least I thought I did....

I change out of my comfortable pj's and head over to her house which is about 20 mintues away. I got there just a few minutes after 10pm. The kids answer the door and tell me that mommy is having a baby. I'm like... "yeah yeah. She's having a baby soon. But not right this second." So I head upstairs and find her in the bathtub.

Now I have to preface this part by saying that my sister's a trooper when it comes to labor. She labored so long at home with her third child they almost didn't get the tub filled in time for her water birth once she got to the hospital. She's a pro at the labor thing and seems to have a high tolerance for pain. So when I turn the corner and see her gripping the sides of the tub in obvious distress, doing the blow-blow-blow thing with her breathing I got a little worried.

I mean I just got off the phone with her not even an hour ago! At that point, she had to really concentrate to figure out if she was indeed having contractions or not, ya know. So I realize that we'll be going to the hospital much sooner than anticipated. I call my brother-in-law and my mother and tell them to head over.

I line the 3 kids up and tell them to get shoes and shirts on. I tell Tatum to go grab a diaper. I get them all situated and a diaper bag packed with juice boxes, snacks and things to occupy them while at the hospital. In the meantime, my sister is still blow-blow-blowing away in the tub.

My bro-in-law and mother show up a short time later. We ask Carla how far along she thinks she is as far as the whole dilation thing. This is important to know. Because her worst fear is delivering the baby in the car. She absolutely wants to avoid that happening. But the hospital is 20 minutes away.

So do we have time? Is this just a more difficult labor than the others as far as the pain goes? Maybe she's not that far along since it's only been about 2 hours since her water broke? We really need to have an idea of where we stand. She says she tried to check it herself but under the circumstances she can't quite get her hand in there.

Okay.. have you visualized that now? Good. Let's move on.

I, being the great sister that I am and since I'm trained to remain calm under pressure, ask her if she wants me to give it a try. Yes, my sister and I are very close. Even closer now that I've had my hand up her.... well you get the idea.

We move her from the tub to the bed. She has an emergency kit at home with the necessary medical supplies "just in case". So I glove up and dive right in. She talks me through it. She tells me to feel for "the ring". It's like a circle, she says. Well, there's no circle anywhere in there.

The tip of my fingers are hitting a hard object. This doesn't register with her and she insists that I need to find the ring-circle thingy, which I now know was her cervix. But at the time she's just telling me it feels like a ring. I again explain that THERE IS NO RING!

She's getting irritated at this point. Hmmmm ...wonder why? Could it be her sister's hand up her hoo-hoo maybe? She tells me to explain what I feel. I tell her that I feel a tunnel which is the birth canal, right? And then something hard. I think at that point, we all start to realize that I'm feeling the baby's head and he's way past "the ring".

Now we all start moving a bit faster. Bro-in-law rounds up the kids and heads them off to the van. My mom and I start working on getting her dressed. Which is nearly impossible. Every time we try to get an article of clothing on her she tells us not to touch her. We manage a pair of undies, a bra and one sock. Remember she was dripping wet naked in the tub a few minutes ago.

Finally, she says she's not going to make it. My mom and I try to convince her that she is and continue trying to get the other sock on. She starts undoing her bra. Nooooo! It took ten minutes to get the damn thing on. But it's too late. She's stripping again and heading back to the tub.

I look at my mom and tell her we've moved on to Plan B. I send her to the van to help bro-in-law unload the kids while we come up with whatever Plan B is supposed to be. I head into the bathroom and that's when things start to get interesting.

K: "Should I call your midwife?"
C: "No she won't make it."
K: "Okay how about one of the nurses you work with? Maybe someone's off tonight. Maybe they can help."
C: A little louder now and more excited "No they won't make it."
K: "Paramedics then?"
C: Screaming now and very excited. "They won't make it!!! Oh ##$$@ Oh $$%%%!! I'm going to tear! Help me!"
K: "What am I supposed to do?!" A little perplexed on how I'm supposed to help with that.
C: "GET IN HERE!!!!!!"

Since I'm in the room standing right next to her in the tub I assume she means to REALLY get in there. So I push up my sleeves and try to head in.

Okay now picture this scene. We're alone in the bathroom. She tried to get back in the tub but apparently the baby started shooting out so fast that she didn't make it all the way. So she's in the tub on her knees, completely nude, leaning forward gripping the sides of the tub with her bare bottom up in the air and out of the water.

I'm trying to "get in there" but since she's leaning forward her arms are blocking frontal access. I try to go over her arms. I try to go under. It's not happening. "I can't get in!!" I yell. She screams out "Go from behind! Go from behind!" I really wish I were making this up but it's a completely true story and this is actually how it happened.

I step to the rear...pun intended.... and just that quick the little guy's head is out. COMPLETELY out! At this point, I realize there's no going back now and I've got to deliver this baby.

I start to instantly process everything I know about delivering babies. What I've been trained, what I've seen on TV, my real life experience with friends who'd invited me into their delivery rooms. My mind is whirling and I'm remembering that the shoulders are the hardest thing to deliver. I'm thinking I've got to grab the baby around the neck and pull up then pull down. These thoughts are passing through my brain at the speed of light.

I'm just about to start the shoulder manipulation and coaching her through when out he slips. So now I'm holding this slimy, slippery baby and trying not to drop him in the bathwater. My bro-in-law is running in now. I yell at him to get a towel and the snot suction thing to clear his mouth and nose.

In that second, I have a brief moment of panic because I think "what if he doesn't start breathing? What am I going to do then?" He looks like a little fish out of water trying to breathe with his mouth opening and shutting. But finally his chest starts moving and I hear a gurgle noise from him so I know he's good. I'm wiping him off, suctioning his nose, flipping him over to pat his back to get him breathing good and he starts to cry a little. I think that's when I finally breathe too.

Now my sister's arse is still up in the air and she's looking back over her shoulder trying to get a glimpse of him and asking if he's okay. I tell her that he is. She says for me to give him to her. I look at her like she's lost her mind cuz how am I going to do that. They're still attached by the umbilical cord so I can't just hand him to her.

She tells me to duck down and she'll swing her leg over my head. Seriously. So she does and it's not graceful. I'm still trying to not drop the slippery sucker in the water. We get her settled in the tub and she lays him up on her chest. She checks him over and he's fine. Ten little fingers and ten little toes, pinking up, breathing good, not even a conehead since he came out so quick All is well.

On a sidenote, Travis, who'd just turned 5 at the time, really wanted to see his little brother born. He and Tanner witnessed the water birth of their sister, Tatum. But because Travis was only almost 3 at the time he really wasn't that interested.

This time he was in to it. He talked all the time about the birth of his baby brother and was very excited to be a part of it. So when he made it back up to the bathroom and saw that the baby was already out, he was pissed off! He got mad because we hadn't waited for him. Uhhhh ..... sorry buddy.

Now a police officer arrives because my bro-in-law had called the paramedics. Sis and baby are still hanging out in the tub. I'm on my knees right next to the tub as he timidly peeks his head in. I assure him that everything's okay. Baby is out, baby is fine. I'm a cop and she's a labor and delivery nurse. We've got it all under control.

He looks relieved and hightails it out of there to go outside and wait for the medic to roll up. Then the paramedics arrive. They ask my sister (who we've now at least covered with a towel but is still hanging out in the tub) if she wants to be transported on the stretcher. She looks at them as if they have 3 heads and says she's not going to the hospital.

With that response from her, they look at her the same way. Why bother now? The hard work is done and he's fine. That's her rationale. So just to make sure, she calls her midwife and the midwife approves.

She asks the paramedics if they have something to clamp off the cord. But she doesn't want to cut it yet. She wants to wait a bit until all the blood is out so it doesn't make a mess. And she wants to deliver the placenta first, too. See, she just got new carpet. Which is also why she went to the tub for his delivery. Way to think it through, sis.

The medics don't want to touch her if she's not going to the hospital. They basically just want her to sign the release so they can get the hell out of there. She does and they leave.

We get her out of the tub and help her to bed. Now don't forget... baby still attached to cord, cord still attached to momma. It was a little precarious. She gets in bed and gets comfortable. She's already been breastfeeding him the whole time she was in the tub so she continues.

Travis now has become fascinated with the placenta. He's determined to see something come out of there so he camps out at the end of the bed waiting for it. Hey, you have to understand my sister. She's very "all natural-crunchy-granola" with her family. It's just biology and nature. So she wanted it to be a learning experience since the kid was so interested.

Well now it's coming up on 2 hours later, there's still no placenta coming out. She's using all the tricks.... massaging the uterus, breastfeeding, etc. But the sucker ain't out yet. Travis still only has a 5 yr old's attention span so he decided to go play. But makes us promise to call him when it's time. Every 15 minutes or so he checks in, yelling from the other room "Is that THING out yet?" Nope not yet, buddy.

She's starting to get pissed cuz she'll be damned if she managed to deliver the baby at home but then has to go to the hospital for the stupid placenta. She tells her husband to go look in the bathroom and bring her a vial of this special medicine (of which I'm not allowed to mention the name of at her request) that she had "just in case".

So she loads up a syringe and after about 10 times of chickening out finally jabs herself in the leg. I told you she was a trooper. The special medicine then starts working. But all it's doing is increasing her contractions. Still no damn placenta. Call to the midwife. Midwife tells her to go ahead and cut the cord then go sit on the toilet. Apparently that will allow the placenta to drop down naturally.

Too much information? After the last few paragraphs you've been so engrossed in, I don't think anything is sacred anymore.

This time she yells out to her hubby to go get the sewing scissors and BOIL THEM! Seriously...WTF?! Are we pioneers now?! So he brings them in and she cuts the cord with the SEWING scissors. Craft projects will never be looked at the same in that house.

No mess cuz the placenta's been empty of blood and goo for awhile now. She hands the baby off after tying the cord with some kind of dental floss looking stuff. Then heads for the toilet with a big old plastic bowl. Did you think she was supposed to flush it? C'mon! How would she explain that clog to the plumber? LOL!

A few minutes later we hear her frantically yell out to her husband again. This time cuz she apparently sat the bowl on the counter out of her reach. "Bobby!! Hand me the.... uhhhh nevermind."

Oops! So she fishes it out of the toilet and inspects it. That's what nurses do in the hospital. Well, inspect it, I mean. Not fish a placenta out of the toilet. Plus don't forget little Travis and his curiosity. He checked it out and thought it was pretty cool.

Next thing you know she grabs a mirror and inspects DOWN THERE. She mentions that she has a slight tear but uses a much longer medical word for it. I swear at that point I halfway expected her to yell for hubby to bring the needle and thread. Thank gawd she didn't. Call to the midwife who says it's fine and so minor that it'll heal on it's own.

We finally choose a name. He was Tucker or Teagan for the first 2 hours. They couldn't decide. But after a group vote, everyone decided that Teagan fit him better.

At the suggestion of my mom, Christopher was chosen as his middle name in honor of the most awesome super amazingly-calm-under-pressure aunt that helped deliver him.

Okay fine, Carla. You DELIVERED him and I CAUGHT him! Semantics.

So at 11:15pm on March 29th, 2005, Teagan Christopher made his wild and crazy entrance into the world. Only 2 hours and 15 minutes after my sister THOUGHT her water had broken and she MIGHT be in labor. He was in a hurry.

Oh and about the placenta. The next day when I drove her to the pediatrician to have Teagan checked out I asked what she did with it. She told me it was in the freezer. WTF?! She was going to use it to plant a tree. Apparently, it's symbolic. To use this thing that nourished a new life to then nourish a new tree and watch them grow together. Uhh...yeah okay. Whatever.

And recently when I told this whole birth story again in her presence, I turned around and said "By the way, whatever happened with the placenta anyway?"

Yep... you guessed it. It's still in the freezer.

This pic was taken before the cutting of the cord and as you can see by the look on his face, Travis is still pissed off about missing the whole thing.

So that's the unforgettable, crazy, magical story about how my sweet little nephew was born.

Happy 2nd Birthday Teagan!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

For my friend Melissa who lost her beloved Zeus

by Lisa Carmel Singer

From the silence of your pain I heard my name
and on the wings of light I have come
to see the sadness in your eyes
that cry without tears.

Can you see me?
I am here.
I will always be near you
to calm your shattered heart
and to make you smile at the memories.

Do you feel me?
Perhaps a soft brush of fur.
You ache to believe it's real
but you are afraid to hope.
You brush away a strand of hair
But it was I, whispering.....

I am only here for but a moment.
The silver thread gently quivers.
I will leave behind my love in a dream.
When you awaken, and without really knowing why

Your heart will know at last
That it is all right, for now
to say good-bye

Monday, March 26, 2007

Last Call for Quilt Squares!!!

If there's anyone out there that wants to be included in Mia's 100 Good Wishes Quilt now is the time to send in a square. I have my 100 already but, just in case, I thought I'd put it out there one more time. My grandmother is coming next month to start working on it so this is
I've decided that if I get enough over the magic 100 then I'll pull out some of the pink and green fabrics and make a smaller quilt to match her nursery. Maybe like a 24 Good Wishes Quilt or something. LOL! Actually, I should say my grandmother will make it cuz she's the talent around here in the quilting department. So if you want to be forever immortalized in my daughter's blankie, shoot me off an e-mail and I'll send you my mailing addy. The e-mail link is in my sidebar. So is the link to the quilt if you want to see what I've gotten so far or if you can't remember if you sent one. They're all recorded there. It's up to date with every one I've received.
I know that I still owe some of you squares and when I get off my lazy arse... ahem, I mean when I find time to get them done, I'll ship them out. I'm planning on setting some time aside one evening this week to work on them. Promise.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Jumping On The Meme Train

Nothing interesting going on over here so I'll join the meme that's going around. By the way, what the hell does "meme" mean and why are these little questionnaires called that?

1. Can you cook? I can do the basics and I can follow directions in a cookbook. But I don't like to cook. My meal preparation consists of poking holes in the plastic to vent and nuking for about 4 minutes.

2. What was your dream growing up? That my Prince Charming would come and sweep me off my feet to a gorgeous house in the 'burbs with a white picket fence where we'd live happily ever after with our very well behaved 2.5 kids and dog. Well, at least I got the dog, right? :P

3. What talent do you wish you had? Singing. Like the Carrie Underwood or Mariah Carey kind.

4. Favorite place? In my bed with clean sheets fresh from the dryer.

5. Favorite vegetable? Peas.

6. The last book you read? I barely have time to get through blogs these days.....

7. What zodiac sign are you? Aquarius.

8. Any Tattoos and /or Piercings? 2 tat's and 1 more planned. Double-pierced ears. Used to have the belly button pierced but it got ripped out. That sucked.

9. Worst Habit? Running late. Always. Even though it's never intentional.

10. Do we know each other outside of this blog? I got this from Connie & Stacy who I've had the pleasure of hanging with on more than one occasion. I also saw it over at Melissa's & I plan to meet her someday.

11. What is your favorite sport? Watching Bengals football. Playing would be soccer.

12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? Optimistic. See #14. Things could always be worse.

13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator? Take a nap if the floor wasn't too nasty.

14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? I got sick and almost died. Click here if you're interested in the gory details.

15. Tell me a weird fact about you: I delivered my sister's youngest son. I'll have to tell that story someday. It's a good one.

16. Do you have any pets? Only the most magnificent dog in the world, Griffey.

17. Do you know how to do the Macarena? Yes but it requires alcohol. A lot.

18. What time is it where you are now? 7:30p.m. but who cares really?

19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Cute. Unless they have a butcher knife or chain saw.

20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? To have a body like Beyonce. Bootylicious!

21. What color eyes do you have? Hazel.

22. Ever been arrested? No but I've arrested many.

23. Bottle or Draft? Bottle. But prefer margaritas.

24. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it? That's easy. Adoption fund.

25. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Sugarfree Green Apple but I forget the brand.

26. Which is your favorite bar to hang at? Been there. Done that. Over it.

27. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes.

28. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? These days sleep. But usually hang with my family and friends.

29. Do you swear a lot? F*ck yeah!

30. What is your favorite swear word? See above. It's a job hazard but I'm trying to clean it up.

31. Biggest pet peeve? Mean people. And people who drive slow in the fast lane.

32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? A-little-wild-and-crazy-super-cool-funny-chick. That's one word, isn't it?

Go ahead and hop on the meme train if you're bored....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Who the hell is voting for this kid?! Tonight another GOOD singer who deserves to be there was sent home. He seems like a nice enough guy but he just can't sing. Seriously. What is going on here? I'm at a loss.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Playing Hooky... And Hooker

I didn't get the message this morning. Apparently I'd run myself into complete exhaustion and my body didn't want to get up. So I stayed in bed. I guess that's one positive thing about this wait. I don't have to horde all my vacation days anymore since it's pretty clear I won't travel in '07. I can afford to give one up here and there. I picked a great day to stay in my jammies, too. It's thundering rain outside today. I counted how many hours I worked in total during the last 7 days. It was 72. That's pretty ridiculous. But I chose to do it... so no complaining. It'll be worth it when I get my paycheck.

I've gotten a lot of comments on my crackhead ho story I mentioned in the post below and was asked to elaborate. For those who are new to this blog, I wasn't really a prostitute so don't run to my social worker to report me. I'm a police officer who worked undercover as one. Are we clear?

"My Best Offer Ever" day was back in the summertime several years ago. My hooker attire that day consisted of a nasty pair of baggy shorts, a beat up stained tee shirt that I actually dripped ketchup and smeared some food on to make look dirtier, grass stained tennies, no make-up at all and crazy, unwashed hair. Well, technically I did wear a bit of make-up. Just not on my face. You see, most street corner prostitutes have bruises. Either from shooting up drugs intravenously or just because of the hard life they live. So to make me look a little worse for wear I used a purple eye shadow-black eyeliner combination to paint a few fake bruises on my arms and legs. No dudes, I'm not kidding.

Now get that mental image going. We're not talking Julia R0berts in "Pretty W0man" here. We're talking the skankier the better. I wore a wire under my clothes so the arrest team could hear my conversation. But when you're on the wire, you can't hear them. Only they can hear you. So sometimes out of boredom you end up standing there mumbling away to the arrest team...but not getting answers. I guess it just lends itself to the whole slightly crazy, strung out, persona you're trying to make believable. It always amazes me the level of nastiness of some of these women. And that men are paying them for sex. Gross.

Anyway... back to the story. I worked my corner in front of a Chinese restaurant. Funny, huh? Another red thread to my daughter? Uh... I think I'll keep that story outta the scrapbook.

The guy drives up and makes some conversation. We're not allowed to mention sex or money first. They have to open the door to that. So he ends up offering me $50 for the basic stuff. Since this is mostly a PG rated blog I won't get specific. But you can use your imagination. Now $50 is a fortune in the crackead ho business.... even for the "Everything Special". Really it is. One real live crackhead ho once told me she got $1.25 and a bag of potato chips. I swear, people, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. My "john" asked if I'd wait 5 minutes for him to run down the street to the ATM. Apparently, he didn't plan ahead and I was just an impulse buy. LOL!

We're not allowed to get in the car when working undercover. Way too dangerous because we have to be unarmed. So we always tell them something along the lines of "meet me 'round da corner cuz a cop drove by before and I don't wanna be seen gettin' in da car witchya". You'd think the guys would know we're undercover cuz we're the only corner girls who DON'T get in the car. The real life ho's jump right in. When he pulled off, the team stopped his car and arrested him. And there you have it. A day in the life of a pretend ho. I don't do this type of work anymore but it was great fun at the time.

Can you imagine the crazy web hits I'm gonna get today? Sorry guys it's not what you think. Try another website.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cool Stuff!!

Mia got some new goodies this week so it hasn't been all bad. Check out what Aunt Carla presented me with on Monday after the pink eye-daycare pick up-unplugged phone catastrophe. Dontcha just love it!! My FAVORITE colors and it has my sweet baby girl's NAME on it! I'm a sucker for personalized things. And I love love love these! The downside is I have to wait awhile for her to wear them cuz they're a 2T size. But it'll give me something to look forward to. Thanks sis! I really love them.
Then today my Secret Pal package came in the mail. My dragging arse perked up when I opened this one. More of my FAVORITE colors!! And her NAME again! Life is good! You done good SP. This is my favorite by far! Couldn't be more perfect for me. Thanks so much. You made my day. And coincidentally, I was just checking out the Gymboree website the other day with plans to buy the Snugglebug tee and the sweet little bathing suit in this line. You and I... in sync baby! I think you must be psychic or something. I can't wait to see who you are. (Even though I voted to keep going with the SP thing longer so guess I'll have to be patient. It's not like I'm not used to waiting! Snort!!)

This is off topic but I wanted to explain for Stacy that when you sit in your car drinking coffee and eating doughnuts that's called a "stakeout". It's just watching someone and maybe tailing them (that's cop talk for following them around inconspicuously ...wink) . Tomorrow I'll actually be playing a part and working instead of eating doughnuts..... but can't tell ya what. Sorry ...maybe later.

And for those curious commenters, my undercover stripper name is Cherry Bush. (I really hope my dad is not reading today.) Okay I really am just kidding! I'm a little too uh... curvy... to go undercover as a stripper. But I have played a crackhead prostitute before. Seriously. And to make it more believable, I didn't wash my hair for a couple of days, painted on fake bruises with purple eyeshadow, wore the tennies with grass stains that I mow the lawn in, and then rubbed my holey tee shirt in dirt and threw on some food stains, too. I really did. The sad thing is that I got the highest offer that day. Scary, huh?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Running On Empty

So here's a re-cap of my week. Go to work on Monday. Start out the week a little tired from the not-yet-used-to-time-change lack of sleep. About noon my sister's daycare calls to say that Travis has pink eye and needs to be picked up but they can't get a hold of mom or dad. I'm next up on the emergency contact list. I try my bro-in-law only to find out that he's in Cleveland for the day. I know my sister is at home asleep after working the graveyard shift at the hospital but I can't get her to answer the phone. She lives about 2 minutes from the daycare. I, on the other hand, am about 20 minutes from the daycare. For a second, I contemplated just calling in a favor to the police department in her small town and asking an officer to go bang on her door to wake her up. My partner talked me out of that. He thought that'd be mean and my sister might have a heart attack. So I leave work early and drive over there. Of course, I have to get all the kids cuz Aunt Krista couldn't just get Travis. That'd be the crime of the century to them. So back to their house we go. Thank God I have a spare key. Carla was surprised to see us. We found that the phone had been unplugged. She blamed the cats. Yeah sis ...sure. So I hung out for a few hours entertaining them so she could get a couple more hours of sleep. I go home tired.

Wake up bright and early the next morning at 5am to get on the treadmill because I'm still chipping away at the new years resolution diet. Go to a special training class for work on interview and interrogation techniques. Then find out the guy who shares my second job is sick and asks me to cover his shift tonight. So my work day ends up being 10 1/2 hours long.

Same thing the next day except I sleep in until 6am. Today is my long day with the second job so I end up working for 12 1/2 hours. Still tired and it's not getting better. Oh and there's a huge thunderstorm ALL NIGHT LONG which wakes me up at least four times that I'm consciously aware of.

Wake up tired. Same thing the next day. BTW ... it was a 3 day seminar but at least I'm now better trained to perform electro-shock in order to ellicit confessions from bad guys. Relax you liberals, I'm kidding. Again the other guy is sick so I cover his shift at the second job. Another 12 1/2 hour day.

My arse is dragging. I haven't had the energy to get back on the treadmill. Tomorrow is my turn at the second job so it'll be another 10 1/2 hour work day. Then the weekend. But do I get to rest. Oh no. I'm working 8-9 hours both Saturday and Sunday on a special undercover assignment. I'd tell ya about it but then that'd defeat the purpose of it being undercover, right? (So if any of you locals happen to bump into me this weekend, pretend you don't know me. LOL!) The good news is it'll be much more fun than the average work day and it's all overtime pay. Woo Hoo!

I'm busting my arse for my baby girl. Every dollar I can save for the adoption fund is less debt for me when she finally does come home. Which means a more comfortable lifestyle for her. I'm tired but it's worth it.

I'm going to bed now. Nite y'all.

PS. To my fitness group gals (cuz I know you read here) nothing new to report. Down a couple more I think but too tired to post. I'll catch up next week. Keep up the good work. Rah Rah Sis Boom... awww the hell with it... I'm exhausted. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Logged In 9 Months Now

9 months down! If I were physically pregnant, I'd be just about at the finish line. But nope. Who knows how long it'll be before I see the sweet face of this amazing little girl waiting somewhere across the sea. But I'm still hanging in there. Praying and hoping I'm AT LEAST halfway there!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Made A New Friend!

Yesterday was the best day! A co-worker at my second job mentioned a few months ago that she has a Chinese friend. She thought it'd be exciting for us to meet. So I finally got to meet her yesterday. Her name is Qin (pronounced Ching) and she's not much older than I am. She has a 7 year old son named Zhu (pronounced Za) and has been in the US for about 6 years, I think. She is wonderful! Just the sweetest lady ever. She's so excited about my adoption plans and wants to do whatever she can to help me. I had to explain to her how the process works because she had no idea. So after I tell her all about it she wants to know where the CCAA office is located. She's planning a trip back to China in May to visit relatives and said she'll go to the CCAA and ask them to give me my baby soon. While I greatly appreciate her enthusiasm and willingness to help, I explained to her again that it doesn't work that way and I had to wait my turn in line. LOL!

We talked for several hours getting to know each other. I met her son. He's a doll. He came here 2 yrs ago not speaking a word of English. Now he sounds like any other American kid and loves Sponge Bob. He called me "Aunt" because Qin said that in China this is what the children call their mother's adult female friends. I brought him the book of "Shaoey and Dot". He was very excited because it was about China and he said he was happy that I was adopting a baby there. He told me about his classmate, Grace, who's also adopted from China. He's just adorable!

I had the best time just soaking her in. She said she'll teach me all about China, the culture, the customs, the holidays, the language, the history, anything I want to learn. She even said she'd teach me how to make dumplings and other traditional Chinese food. She was as excited as I was to be able to share these things about her homeland. She told me that I will be a "wonderful mother because she could tell that I had great love in my heart for my Chinese daughter". We both got a little teary when she said that.

It was so interesting to get her perspective on the government and how it feels to be a woman in China. It sounds like she grew up in more of the middle class although she said she has traveled to the "countryside" and explained to me the great poverty there. Her mother is an OB which I think is very, very interesting in terms of the abandonment issue. Although we did speak of this somewhat when she told me the story of a friend who found a baby by the side of the road and kept her, we didn't discuss the experiences of her mother. Her father is a mechanical engineering professor at the university. She was raised by her grandparents until the age of 12 when she went and joined her parents. Qin was a librarian and worked for a time at the British Consulate. She learned English in China but said that when she got here she had to basically learn it again because her pronunciations were different and very few could understand her. She still speaks somewhat broken English but I didn't have any problems with it. She laughed and told me that if I ever couldn't understand to stop her and we'd try to figure it out. She works here locally as a translator. She speaks Mandarin and the dialect that was where her parents lived but I can't remember now what she called it.

When it was time to go, she walked me to my car, told me we'd be great friends and gave me a big hug. But she was sure to also use it as an opportunity to educate me and told me that "in China you no hug". She said that Chinese are not affectionate people and I'd embarass and offend them to do the hugging thing. It was a great day! This is another reason to be thankful for the wait because it'll give me more time to educate myself and get to know Qin. I feel so very blessed to have met her.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Baby Carriers

There's been some discussion lately on the blogs about which baby carrier to use. I also recently saw someone over on the Single Adopt China Yahoo Group asking about them. My sister is somewhat of an expert at the whole baby wearing thing. She swears by it and has done this with her own 4 kids. She actually has an addiction to carriers. I've lost count of how many she owns. The good news for me is that I have my pick of which ones I want to borrow when we're ready to go to China. Woo hoo! I'm definitely taking the Ergo and maybe the Mei-Tai. Anyway, I asked her to write a blog post to help guide those of us who are trying to figure this out. So if you want to check out the opinions and advice of a BTDT baby wearing momma as she discusses the baby carriers click here. Thanks Carla!

Off topic, but who watched American Idol tonight? WTF?! I was shocked to see that Sabrina got voted off and that Haley girl stayed. Sabrina can sing!! Haley.... well if the show were American Broadway Idol maybe cuz that's what she sounded like for EVERY song she sang no matter what the genre. But she absolutely did not have the range the other girl does. I was glad to see Antonella finally go. And Sundance is gone too. Now I like Sunjaya's personality but the boy just is not the best singer. He should not have made the top 12. Just my opinions though.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Priceless Memory Only Cost $11.56

Not much to blog about so I'll tell ya a cute little story instead. I bought my house 10 years ago this month. When I moved in, I realized how much stuff I had and thought "I really should have a garage sale". Well, fast forward to last May and 9 years worth of procrastination and 9 more years worth of crap. So I decided that as part of my preparation for motherhood it was time to simplify my life, re-organize, and hopefully make some money for the adoption fund at the same time. My sister and brother-in-law live in a town where they have a community wide garage sale which draws many shoppers. They also live on the main street so we figured that was a great place to have it. Which meant not only did I have to sort through things, clean, box it all up but also had to haul it over there. All the work really sucked and was exhausting but it was so worth it. I made $741!! Can you believe that?! My sister sold a lot of her stuff, too. We figured between the two of us our two day total was $1100!! We'd made big signs explaining that the proceeds would be used for my adoption. This helped to keep people from haggling over price too much. Come to think of it, most paid what was on the sticker. Everyone was so nice and encouraging. Many asked about the process and gave me good blessings.

But best of all was my sweet nephew, Tanner. He's the oldest of my sister's four. (I guess you loyal readers are familiar with my niece and nephews since I talk about them so much. But I figured I should repeat it in case there are some rookies here. LOL!) At the time we had just recently explained my adoption plans to her children. That Aunt Krista is now going to have a baby of her own but she will come from China instead of her belly. Tanner is the only one who's starting to get it. The younger ones talk about it but I don't think they really understand the concept.

Anyway, Tanner decides to make some money by having a lemonade stand during the garage sale. I help him make the signs and my sister helps make the lemonade. Later in the day I ask what he's going to spend the money on that he earns. He tells me he's going to donate it to me. I told him he didn't have to do that. That he could keep the money for whatever he wanted. He replied "It's okay. I have plenty of money in my piggybank. I don't need this. I just really want a cousin from China." I was so touched I just started crying. He made $11.56 for the adoption fund that day. At 25 cents a glass .....that's a lot of lemonade. Man I love that kid!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Referrals Are In

Looks like the CCAA has matched through October 24th, 2005. This is not great news. The last batch stopped at Oct 13th. So that's only 11 days worth.

Only time will tell how long I'll wait. But I've lost my optimism that there will be some big speed up. I won't see Mia in 2007. It's already March and they still have 2 more months of 2005 to get through. Rough predictions based on this average have me getting a referral late spring or early summer of 2008. Yep you heard me right. I may wait 2 years from my log in date. I know she'll be worth the wait but it doesn't make it any easier. And I really didn't want to travel in summer '08 because of the Olympics in Beijing. But I'll go when they tell me. At least now I have more time to save money for the inflated airfare and hotel prices I'm sure to pay during that time. There's always a bright side. Right?

But in good news congratulations to all the families who are now seeing their daughters for the first time!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just sad

I went to a retirement party last night for someone I work with. It was nice to see some friends that I'd not seen in awhile. Towards the end of the night, after the flowing of the beer and wine taps, I bumped into a female acquaintance who'd consumed quite a bit. I'd just heard that night that she was going through a rough time. It seems her husband of 25 years had left her for another woman. He'd sprung it on her completely out of the blue. She had no idea it was coming. So the inevitable conversation began.... and she poured it all out. She had joined our secret club. The club that no one wants to be a member of or chooses to join.

I completely understood how she felt. I've been there. In the exact same place. Although I was a newlywed and he didn't leave, just strayed. No difference really. The pain is the same. That feeling of betrayal and rejection. That feeling of having everything you know that's true in the world turned completely upside down. She said it would've been easier if he had died. And I agreed because I knew she was right. To grieve the loss of the life that you knew and the person you loved is hard. But when that person is responsible for shattering your heart, it changes you... forever. She was a wreck and the alcohol just made it worse. So sad. So devastated. So broken. So angry. And I saw myself 6 years ago.

I tried to tell her that in time things will get better. She will be strong again. And someday she'll be happy again. But in a new sense of normal that she must create for herself. First, she has to go through all the stages of this process. Then she can start to heal. It's too fresh for her right now. She couldn't hear me. She's still in that part when you can't do much other than curl up in a ball on the floor. The part where you absolutely lose your mind. The part where it hurts so bad you think you might die. I remember.

But what I couldn't bear to tell her was that you never really heal. Not completely. After the person you trusted with your heart breaks it, that crack will always remain. And each time after, when you try opening yourself up to the possibility.... and it happens again, that crack deepens. She'll never look at relationships and men quite the same again. She'll put up a wall to protect herself. She'll never completely trust anyone ever again. No matter how strong she gets, part of her will always be broken. It's sad really. I wish that somehow men and women could understand the long term damage they do when they betray their lover's trust. Maybe it'd make them think twice. To suffer through tragedy that's beyond our control is hard enough. But when that suffering is caused by another person. The person who promised to love you forever. Promised to never hurt you. The person who made you feel safe. It's devastating. And you never feel safe again.

I've been on the floor curled up in a ball three times in my adult life. They say three time's the charm. I guess that's why I choose to be alone now. I just don't have the energy to get through it again. And now I have more important things to focus my heart on. My daughter is coming.

I don't know why I wrote this today. I guess seeing her pain brought back more memories than I care to admit. And it made me sad. No comments today friends. This was for me and it was hard enough to push "publish".

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mailbox Goodies

I've been so busy I have to send out some belated thank you's as well. These came in the mail recently.

The ladybug magnet came anonymously. I had to check the postmark to see that it came from Salt Lake City, Utah. I only know 2 people there. And I mean "know" as in through bloggerville. Well, I won't give the secret away but someone else did. Hee hee. Click here if you'd like to try to figure it out. This was a birthday present from the very thoughtful Doris. It came all the way from Canada. It's so adorable.

I'm constantly amazed at the connections we make through this blogger world. I've met so many amazing people both in real life and just through this technology. It's been such an awesome source of support. And makes passing the time a little easier knowing that there are so many others out there in the same slow boat to China. LOL! Thanks again for thinking of me Doris and anonymous person!! You both made me smile.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Travis!

February 26th was the little Travis' 7th birthday. There are two Travis' in our family which causes confusion sometimes. The little guy was named for our brother. We used to call them Big Travis and Little Travis just to tell them apart in our conversations. But lately, our brother has morphed into Uncle Travis. Anyway, I digress....
Here he is with his birthday cake and the blue ice cream that he picked out himself. Yes it tasted just about as good as it looked. Blech. Travis LOVES dinosaurs and trains. I've been buying him those Imaginext dinosaurs for several years now. In fact, I think the novelty has seriously worn off of these as presents for that kid. Next year, I've gotta come up with a new gig. Especially when he opened it and said something along the lines of "Awww this is the one I didn't want. " Well, I crashed and burned on that one. At least somebody liked it. Can you say tomboy?
Travis is the second born of my sister's four. He's our sensitive, overly dramatic child. You can't joke with him AT ALL. And forget sarcasm cuz it's lost on him. He takes everything you say literally and gets his feelings hurt easily. But he's very loveable and sweet. He loves to cuddle. When he was younger, he'd accompany the cuddling by professing "I yike you." He stills does it but has now learned to pronounce his L's. He's going to be the athlete while his older brother, Tanner, is more of the bookworm. Hey this kid slid into the base last year in T-ball like a pro. He bent his leg, went down for the slide and bounced right back up on his feet on the base.... at 6! He and Tanner were born in Texas. When Travis was 2 weeks old my sister and her husband loaded up a U-Haul and drove here because my sister was homesick. I'm so glad they moved back. Thanks to her husband, Bobby, for agreeing to that one cuz I couldn't imagine my life without the T's. Here's a rare picture of all of them at once without any fighting, crying or fussing. Check out their adventures over at my sister's blog Tales of the T's.
Happy Birthday Travis (a little late)!! I love you.
Disclaimer: I didn't forget his birthday. Just forgot to post about it ON his birthday.