Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life Lately

Russell loves any toy with wheels and although he loves his Sesame Street car he still needs to show his other vehicles that they are loved as well. He 'invented' his own way to ride this dumptruck. He has also realized that it works better in the kitchen than on the living room carpet. It took a while to get this picture because he loves to see himself in the camera and so he kept bouncing up... (see below!)

Last night, we made carrot cake-cupcakes for a friend's baby shower. Russell loves to watch me bake and I love my Kitchen Aid mixer which does all the work for me. The Kitchen Aid mixer is my favorite toy. Anyway, once cooled, Russell officially taste-tested one and was sent off to bed before he could beg for another;-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

5 Years + 2 Days

Yes, we have hit the 5-year mark! Some days it seems like we have been married for a long time (in a good way, considering all that has happened) and some days, it seems only like yesterday. This picture above was taken in England in the summer of 2004. We don't have any wedding pictures on our computer since our hard-drive (literally) blew up in early 2004. Thankfully for the wedding pictures, we bought the negatives from our photographer, plus we have the large album.

What has happened since September 14, 2002?
-finished immigration papers (June 2002- spring 2004)
-survived the Navy life- many weeks/months apart but nethertheless, we are stronger for it
-enjoyed most of the So. Cal. cities and areas during time off (Santa Barbara to Palm Springs)
-road trip around AZ, NM, CO, NV, and CA in 2003
-trip to U.K in 2004
-flooded apartment in San Diego the month before we moved to the Bay area.
-moved to the Bay in November 2004. Lived in a hotel suite for four months.
-moved to 'Crazy House' for 6 months. Got out of there ASAP.
-moved to current apartment, which we love
-had Russell in Jan '06
-in Russ' first year of life, he had six trips via the airlines (Oregon x2, B.C., AZ, D.C., and CO).

So, here is to another five years (Russell will then be in first grade!!), and many more:-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Julie's baby shower- Saturday, Sept. 8th.

Well, this is a few days overdue but four of us gals from church hosted Julie's baby shower on Saturday. We went with a Hawai'ian theme and it was a fun time. Cara bought miniature plastic ducks dressed in beach outfits for the favors and did the fruit platters. Ann (see side for blog) cooked up some teriyaki chicken (I didn't think it was dry!) and dumplings, and brought some fun beach music on her iPod, and I made the cake and bought the tiki torches and macademian nuts. Since the other Anne lent us her house, she did the drinks and bought the pineapples.

The four of us and Julie: Hillary, Cara, Julie (36weeks), Ann and Anne with young Grace (10months).

I can't remember who suggested this idea, but I really liked it. Ann and I bought baby outfits and strung them up as decor. Julie later took the outfits home with her as a gift.

Yummy desserts: Cara's lemon bars and my six-layer coconut cake (see Martha Stewart for the recipe). The cake was so good but everyone only had a tiny wedge since it was so tall. Thankfully, most ladies took a piece home so their wasn't much left over!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The fall TV lineup

This fall's new shows have begun already. I sat down this morning to watch Martha Stewart at the 11am timeslot and instead, the news was on. Hmm. So much for my daily housekeeping tips. I just found out that she was moved to the 1pm timeslot. Later this afternoon, I turned on NBC to find that Ellen had moved from 4pm to 2pm, but all's well that ends well because Oprah was still on at 4pm. Whew. The interview with David Letterman was very funny. (I really don't watch all these shows on one given day, but since Russell has a runny nose, we didn't go to any playgroups or other outings today.)

My favorite one-season-per-year show, though, is The Biggest Loser. It is not that I like to see the men taking off their shirts at the weigh-ins but the fact that watching the contestants struggle through the exercise regimes inspires me to keep active as well. Russell and I take our daily walks to the park but that does nothing for my upper-body strength. The trainer named Bob is my favorite because he doesn't seem mean like the women trainers but still pushes his team to succeed. I do feel guilty, though, when Dan (yes, he watches it too!) and I are watching and eating popcorn or ice cream.

The show also promotes healthy eating and offers good suggestions for tasty meals. I find it hard to integrate the quantity of veggies we are supposed to eat on a daily basis into our diets and the recipes are helpful (see TBL book).

On a side note, The Biggest Loser has had two couples get married (after the seasons end) in three seasons. If I recall correctly, that is a much higher percentage than The Bachelor/The Bachelorette! I suppose since TBL couples see each other at their lowest point emotionally, the stress and reality of the weight loss experience bond them. You won't see that on The Bachelor/The Bachelorette! A serious congrats to these couples.

Anyway, here's to another season of shows that won't last until Christmas because of their content- or lack thereof! Happy watching.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"Cake Please! Shwoo."

This summer, we met a couple of times after church with some other families and had a BBQ at the park. At the last BBQ in August we had some left over chocolate cake from another occasion and we enjoyed it as well. Russell says, "Ssss" for 'please' and "Shwoo" for 'thank-you'. Thankfully, I had remembered some WetWipes in the car or else Russell wouldn't have had any cake!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Understanding Hannah

I now know why Sarah laughed, Rachel was envious, and Hannah wept. They had experienced infertility and the pain thereof. For Sarah, she spent her entire fertile years waiting for the month that her menses would not appear. For Rachel, the constant reminder that it was her ‘fault’- for Jacob had gotten Leah and the maids pregnant already. For Hannah, the constant provoking of the other wife was a daily reminder as well.

‘Secondary infertility’ and ‘multiple miscarriages’ are two phrases I thought would never apply to us. We have been blessed with a healthy, strong son, who continues to amaze us daily with his antics. This past year we have experienced three m/c’s. At first, we thought, “Well, 20-25% end in the first trimester. Bad luck.” The second time, we almost announced the pregnancy since everything was looking good. We tried once again because we naively thought, “this could never happen three times in a row to a woman who had carried full term.” Boy, were we wrong.

This past month, my 43 year-old aunt announced her second pregnancy (yeah!) that will be due in January of 2008. Then, this past weekend, I saw a girl (yes, a girl) no older than 15 years old, probably 7-8 months pregnant with her child dive-bombing into the pool. Hmm. She’ll be a mother before she can drive a car.

We are so happy for our many friends who are expecting their babies in the next few months (or hours/days, as Alysun’s case may be!!). I would not have believed anyone if they told us one year ago that we would be swimming these waters but looking back, I would have earnestly gone through this just to know that one or all of my friends wouldn’t have to. Never again will I be critical of a married Christian couple without children (or just one child) because now I know that behind the smiling faces could be pain of disappointment and loss.

We initially had only told a few people, mostly because we (I) didn’t want looks of pity or sadness but as time has progressed, our story has come out in one way or another. If you are reading this and are wondering, “Why didn’t they say something?” please don’t be hurt. It’s not something we like to bring up in a phone conversation or in playgroups or on Sunday morning when we are together praising God. I originally never thought I’d post this part of our story but after talking with Amber (see side link) and her struggles, she has given me the strength to open up about this. Together, we have concluded that whether you have one child or none, the pain of losing a pregnancy is the same.

I’ve looked for books discussing miscarriage, and in the Christian world, there is little/none. Most books talk about preventing m/c’s: yes, I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. Great advice.

In two weeks, I’ll have some blood work done to start looking for answers. My doctor is a wonderful man and I’d hug him if I could. He has practiced for 26 years and his calmness and reassuring spirit is a blessing.

All that to be said, we are truly blessed in our marriage with each other and the friendship and love we have. Dan is my best friend. Russell is the joy of our lives. Our church family is a gift from God. And we love where we live. It is a honor to celebrate with our friends as they anticipate the arrivals of their little ones, and to bless them with goodies from CraigsList!

Thank-you, each and everyone of you who stop by our page- whether regularly or on occasion. We love you and thank you for welcoming us into your lives.

Labor Day- Windsor, CA

We were invited to spend the long weekend with our friends, Mike and Julie, who bought into a timeshare program. One of the timeshares is in Windsor. It is only 80-90 minutes from here but it took three hours on Friday afternoon. Guess we weren't the only ones thinking, "let's get outta town!" Our friends, Ann and Paul, also stayed for the weekend, and the suite we had had three rooms with their own bathrooms.
The resort had a nice pool but Russell just didn't like it. He loved the water last summer but we've 'missed' this summer (it has passed too quickly) and hadn't done any swimming at all. I want him to love water, though, so when he is four years old, he is getting lessons;-)

There were only six chairs, so Russell had to sit near Dad on the floor.

(Clockwise): Paul, Ann, Dan, Julie, and Mike. The last evening, we cooked steak and salmon on the BBQ and had roasted potatoes with garlic and a salad. Dinner for kings!