Wednesday, December 28, 2011

You should get smell-a-vision.

Or smell-a-puter.
(That doesn't sound very good, does it?)
Or whatever.

Christmas Eve.
Be jealous.
If the wise men lived in Kansas, they'd be bringing these gifts to baby Jesus.
Or, at least to his parents.

Poinsettia Punch

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
These are not your China-buffet-msg-coma egg rolls.
These are my dad's spring rolls.
And they are the bee's knees.

Follow this by Cheese fondue
and salad
and chocolate truffles.
Merry Christmas.

The one about amazing people and our not-so-amazing tree.

So remember when I used to have some sort of crazy blog?
And I actually wrote in it?
Sorry about that folks.
I was busy stuffing my face and sleeping.
Because I am on vacation.

I have now been off of school for a week.
And, you know what?
I think I could do this stay-at-home-wife thing.
Except the whole health insurance
and retirement
and paycheck
and recess duty in the bitter Kansas wind
and grading my life away on Sunday afternoons
are kind of nice.

I have already taken down all of our Christmas decorations.
And, by all, I mean about 4 of them.
Including the tree that was ransacked by our crazy cat.
Anybody have some ideas about how to stop fat cats from destroying Christmas trees?
I asked Dave (thinking that he was some sort of crazy animal expert)
and his reply was nothing short of giving Sarah McLachlan and her ASPCA friends a heart attack.

You're welcome.

Our tree looked extra special this year.
Not because all of the ornaments were on the top 
or chased under our couch.
But, because we got some extra special ones.
I already showed you this one that my coworker gave me.
But then, her mother (and house seller extraordinaire) gave us this one.

And then, remember back in October when I mentioned some college acquaintances that lost their baby?
Yeah, well.  
They are no longer acquaintances.
They are dear friends.
Whom I have a bond with that I don't have with many other people.
N has an amazing heart.
And I am disappointed that I didn't know her well in college.
And I am even more disappointed that we know each other now
because of Maggie and Violet.
She sent two things for us to remember Maggie.
Of course, my National Geographic-photography skills were not up to par when I was doing my photo shoot.  Instead, I got blurry craziness.  (Does it have something to do with me not wearing my contacts or glasses while taking the pictures?)

The other item was a beautiful necklace.
(I am not even going to make you suffer through my photos of that one. It was pathetic.)
It was a horseshoe for good luck
for a new year.
(Not a Colts necklace like Dave originally thought).
She got it from this talented lady (who also has an etsy shop) and it is beautiful.
I have already gotten a ton of compliments on it.
Thank you, N.
(And, I'm glad Georgia is enjoying the butterfly ornament.)

Finally, for Christmas, my parents internet-searched the heck out of the googs and found this.
It's a freaking red-tailed-hawk ornament!
How in the world they found that, I still have no idea.
I love it.
This should show you how thoughtful and amazing my parental units are.
Thanks, ma and pa.

And if Kitty destroys any of these ornaments she will be the next star on Sarah's videos.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's find the good in all this.

Okay. So I'm trying to stay positive.
I'm trying really hard not to be Negative Nelly.
I know life could be way, way worse.
So I'm working really hard at
thinking about the (wine or beer or mixed cocktail) glass as half full.
I'm trying to find the humor in all of this.
But I can't.
I'm finding it rather hard.
So I thought maybe you could help me.

Here are the things I'm needing help in finding joy in:
(and don't ask but I'm hen pecking this on my iPod.
Therefore I cannot use the bullet function for some reason. That's dumb.)

Number 1:
I have a sharps container on my kitchen counter.
And it is half-way full already (literally not figuratively).

Number 2:
More empty syringes will be added to it tonight, tomorrow night, and Wednesday night
after Dave gives me more shots.

Number 3:
I have talked with the doctor's office and pharmacy more in the last few days
than I've talked with my own family. They are on speed dial.

Number 4:
3 doctor's appointments an hour away in 6 days.
Totally overrated.

Number 5:
And after al this there is still no certainty that
things will work out.

Number 6:
Another year that we aren't sending out a Christmas card.
It's not too exciting to send one out of just the two of us.
Plus those are supposed to bring good news, right?
Pretty sure no one wants to read about Maggie in a Christmas letter.

Number 7:
I feel like a disappointment and failure.
I've disappointed my family by not giving them
a child or grandchild or niece or nephew.
This is something that I should be able to do easily.
And I can't.
And it's humiliating and embarrassing.
I know, it shouldn't be.
It's not my fault.
It's nothing I can control or do anything about.
But ask any woman who has dealt with infertility or lost a child.
And I can guarantee they feel humiliated and
Completely ashamed.

Number 8:
What if Maggie was my only chance?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You know what?

You know what?

It's kind of annoying when you're looking for tissue paper and you stumble across your daughter's Christmas dress.  Super annoying.  It is such a cute dress.  And her fattiness and giggles would have looked adorable in it.
Cats really like Christmas trees and ornaments. And they also like to sleep.  All day long.
NPR did a story on how scientists have found that mothers retain fetal cells for decades after the child is born. For more, go to this site to listen or read the transcript.   So incredibly comforting.  
Maggie is with me.  Every single day.  Every minute.  She's more than just in my heart. And, all you other moms who have lost babies?  Your sweet ones are with you too.
My heart goes out to Michelle Duggar.  Yes, she's really good at having kids.  Too many kids? Probably.  Are they people I would probably be friends with?  Probably not.  Do they need to lay off the J names?  You betcha.  But, they've still lost a child.  This Huffington Post article tells more about it. And, as much as it saddens me, I appreciate that it is bringing the topic of miscarriages and stillbirths out in the open.  The article mentioned:

  • The risk of miscarrying in the second trimester drops to just one or two percent.
  • Research shows that women who experience miscarriages or stillbirths experience the same levels of symptoms and sandess- no matter how far along they were.  So, it doesn't matter if you were 6-weeks along or 30-weeks along.  Coping with loss is hard and heartbreaking and a journey.  No matter what.
  • Michelle Duggar may not get the sympathy others do, as she has so many children already.  However, it's important not to judge each other's grief.
Maybe people will actually start talking about this.  And realizing that it's an issue.  A huge issue that is never addressed.
Well, it seems like either hawks are proliferating like crazy
or I'm noticing them more.
Or maybe Maggie is trying to tell me that she's with me.

Whenever Dave sees one now he says, "If we were Native Americans, we'd be pumped."
I'm pumped anyways.
Even though I'm a German-Arizonan-Minnesotan-Kansan.

Well, someone sent me some information about hawks.
What hawks symbolize to Native Americans.

A hawk is called a messenger, protector, and visionary.
The hawk indicates that you are awakening to your soul purpose; it can teach you how to fly high and still stay grounded.
The hawk is an animal of flight; it sees everything while looking down and, therefore, it has a larger perspective of what is going on down below.  

It can see the smallest creatures below. 
Like Mags.

Hawks teach you to be observant and they soar with the power to overcome difficult situations.  They soar in circles over the life of the earth, asking you to circle over your life and view it from a higher perspective.

If a hawk has soared into your life, you require a higher perspective. You need to see the details of what is going on and look at the bigger picture.  Take a look at your situation from above.

Much easier said than done.
But, I'll keep trying to fly high and stay grounded.
To have a bigger perspective.
To soar with power and try to overcome difficult situations.

More ornaments

I've been enjoying me some Pinterest crafts.
(If you're unaware of what Pinterest is, that's great.
You'll save yourself some time if you don't know what it is).
And, I haven't just pinned stuff.
I actually made stuff too.
Thanksgiving cornucopias.
And today I made ornaments.

Every year I make ornaments for my students.
But honestly, folks.
It took me to make those blasted things.
I would spend hours writing their names on them.
And waiting for it to dry.
Then I would spend another night 
painting polka dots or basketballs and such on them.
It was a 3 night event.

But Pinterest saved me.
I found these.
And, what's even better?
They are done and wrapped.
And they only took me 4-5 hours to do it all.
And I hardly needed anything.
And some Pledge tile cleaner.

And that's it.
I added their names, some dots, and some ribbon.

And, if you have a kid in my class.
Please don't tell them. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Christmas came early.
My sweet, sweet friend and co-worker 
handed me a box this week.
And, inside was this.
Isn't it beautiful?
It's hanging front and center on our tree.
(The tree that our cat is obsessed it and will not leave alone.  She's going to National Lampoon herself pretty soon if she's not careful.)

 Even Fergie likes it.

And, next to Maggie's ornament is the oldest one that I have.

I got it for my first Christmas from my Aunt Ellen.
She's not technically my aunt, but she is.
In our hearts.
She made this for me 31 years ago.
This past May her wonderful husband, Dan, passed away.
He joined Maggie.
Ellen and I know that Dan is teasing and hugging Maggie.
Just like he teased and hugged me.

So, I'm hanging it next to Maggie's.
So that I can remember Ellen
and Dan.
And pray for peace
and moments of joy
amidst the moments of remembering
and sadness.
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