Friday, July 11, 2008

Photos from the Tulips that I never posted!

Latest photo shoot for Saraiah and Levi's Birthday

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dreams are what life's really all about!

They say that you work through the problems of your day in your dreams. I love pregnancy because it's the one time in my life when I actually remember my dreams. This is mainly because 3 times nightly, my slumber is interrupted for potty breaks. The last three nights, I have had dreams too vivid and funny not to record somewhere, so you my loyal blog site, will be their permanent record.
Nightmares and their aftermath had left me dragging through each day for a whole week. Normally I am blissfully unaware of what happens in my REM sleep, but, I'm pregnant. I would wake to go and pee, and go to sleep, only to continue with my dreams playing out all of my fears. At 2:30 one morning I woke for that night's second pee stop with my heart racing, and I couldn't stand it any more. My latest dream was the first to include the baby we are expecting. Brandon and I walked with all of our children along and endless coast somewhere in Hawaii. Brandon held a sweet little white bundle of a baby. We walked past seeing pool after pool, ending up at a sandy beach. Soon, waves started to rise, growing larger every second. Having grown up swimming in the ocean, I knew that in order to avoid being pounded into the sand, you needed to dive under them. I yelled unheard instructions to the family, and soon everyone was covered by the waves. Somehow, everyone survived the onslaught, and I woke up breathless. I decided to read my bible so that I wouldn't have the memory of that dream in my mind. It comforted me, but I knew I had to do something to stop these dreams so that I could rest. Prayer always works for me when I'm desperate, so I prayed for angels to be around our home, and for God to protect my dreams, so that I could rest and the enemy would leave us alone. I was desperate to sleep soundly.
My prayers were answered! When I awoke for my 3rd pee at 5:30AM the next day, I remembered being in Germany in my dream. I was there with my whole family to get a hearing or vision test. It was very frustrating to be wasting vacation time doing this, and I was sad realize we'd be heading home to the US without having seen anything. The German nurse gave me a cursory examination and ignored the rest of my family. We were done. Then I looked at my newborn, and realized that it was a boy! I had been told i was having a girl. This was very upsetting news, because i had sewn all pink cloth diapers for the baby. Not only was he a boy, but he had full sized adult teeth that looked like his dad's! I reassured myself that some babies are born with teeth, they disappear and then come back later when it's more appropriate. I also was calling him Liam, because he looked exactly like my friend's son. I could not for the life of me remember what we had named him. I drove with my family to the airport a very perturbed person.
The next night was the same way. I was in a hospital waiting for my husband, who was having a caesarean section because he had carried our baby in his belly. I asked the nurse how that works, since men don't have a uterus. She said, " Oh, it's fine, the baby just wraps around their heart." That was a strange and dangerous sounding situation, but I didn't argue with her. I walked into the recovery room to hear my husband discussing the reason for his C-Section. He didn't want to go through labor because of his anxiety, so he had opted for a simpler solution. I walked into the next room, where our baby lay in an isolette, all cute and lonely. A doctor sat in the corner. I noticed a tell tale shape in my baby's eyes, and commented to the doctor, He's a Down Syndrome baby, isn't he? His eyes are different, and his genitals are different...that's why he looked like a girl on the ultrasound! (where this idea came from, I don't know) The doctor praised my good eye, and I happily snuggled my baby. I wondered if he would respond to infant potty training, as did babies without the struggle of Downs. Happily, when I held him over the potty there and made the "pssss" sound, he peed, then pooped out all of his meconium. A nearby nurse was very impressed.
I am thankful that my dreams have developed into ones that deal with my fears in a humorous way. It's a lot easier way to wake up, and I've had so much more energy. My continuous prayer now, is "God, protect my dreams!"

My Most Embarrassing Moment in Middle or High School

Well, it's been a month since my last writer's group meeting. The title of this blog post is the writing prompt for this month. I usually bring things to writer's group that I've written the day of writer's group! I think I missed one meeting since the last blog post. How's that for accountability? At least I write maybe once a month! I wrote a blurb about Brandon's Habit Trainer for the last writer's group meeting. Brandon needed a "How it works" page for the site, and I had a lot of fun writing it. I've been busy doing end of the school year wrap up, summer activities, and preparations for Maia Jo, our baby who's due September 3. Lately, Baby Thoughts are beginning to consume my being, since Maia is coming in less than 8 weeks! I think I'd like to write about the silly dreams I've been having, but I want to write the writing prompt first.
Truly embarrassing moments are ones you would prefer to completely wipe from your consciousness. Maybe that's why I can't remember many from my middle school and high school years. I tend to be an awkward sort of gal, so I think I've developed a healthy tolerance for embarrassment. As a shy, young elementary aged girl, I encountered embarrassing moments daily. As I've matured, I've noticed my these tragedies have naturally lessened. Maybe that's a natural part of growing up or just that some healthy ego callouses have had time to develop.

There are two times in my teenage years that I was mortally embarrassed. Beyond that, I just had the weekly "foot-in-your-mouth" comments I always wished were boomerangs I could bring back to me. To have true embarrassment you must endure an event you most likely never would have foreseen. You are also required to have an audience of people paying direct attention to you, preferably large. Can you be embarrassed when you're all by yourself? Maybe. But I think this question ranks in the level of "If a tree falls in a forest all alone, does it make a sound?"
I grew up in Hawaii, and swam at the beach with friends and family often on weekends. I was a late bloomer, and started my period when I was in 8th grade. I didn't know how to tell when it was coming, and therefore was never prepared. The most embarrassing moment for me in middle school fell on that fateful first day of one of my early menses. I was blessed to never get debilitating Midol-style cramps, and had decided to wear some cute white shorts over my swimsuit that day. I frolicked across the beach thinking people were admiring me in my lovely attire. Heads turned as I walked by, and I was flattered. I didn't know I was much to look at, but I guess I was! Pretty soon, a friend came up to me and told me "I think you have your period...." The pedestal i was pirouetting on crumbled in seconds as I looked at the big red spot on my pristine shorts. Somehow I made it to the bathroom and got a hold of the right equipment, slinking into the background for the rest of that beach day. In retrospect, I am sure no one was disgusted by my experience...half the population is female, and has, or someday will experience the joy of that time of the month. Periods are private and largely ignored in larger society. I think that's where my feelings came from. I remember seeing commercials for tampons and douches that made periods equivalent to a peaceful run through wild flowers... as long as you had the right product. Well, I found out what happens when you don't have the right product at the right time! I am sure there were other girls or women who watched me that day, and recalled that moment as they endured their own similar moments. Maybe I helped them. Maybe they said...well, at least it wasn't as bad as what happened to her!
My second moment of sheepishness happened on a statewide TV broadcast. I liked schoolwork, and had gotten very good at speaking German. Being a quiet person, I was a little perturbed at having such an impractical gift. I was very determined, however, to go to college so I could figure out what I was good at. What can shy people do for a living? The University of Puget Sound was going to be the place I would discover the path for my life. Unfortunately, it was an expensive place to learn this lesson, and being from a family of average income, I needed to help with the costs by getting lots of scholarship money. There was a scholarship program that gave rewards to students who excelled in specific areas like Mathematics, Science, and Foreign Language. I had been disqualified for a high school German speech competition because the judges believed I was a native German speaker. I though that I might actually be able to compete for this scholarship, so I made my portfolio, trying hard to look like a person whose life revolved around speaking the German language. I must have succeeded, because I was chosen as a finalist in the competition. There were only 2 other people in my category. We were required to do an interview with linguists. After that, we were to find out the winner of the scholarship live on a tv show that would be broadcast to all of Hawaii! Oh dear! On top of that, the event was held on the collossal stage of the Polynesian Cultural Center. Normally, people ate fire and danced impossible looking hulas on that stage, but this time, we, the scholars of Hawaii's schools were the performers. My heart sunk to the level of my belly button as I walked onto the stage. I noticed that the male newscaste named Dan Cook, who was emceeing the show had about 1/4 inch of make-up caked on his face. Well, at least he'd look good, I guessed. I chalked up my lack of stage makeup to youthfulness, and stepped up on to the platforms made for us. Many awards were given, and soon it was time for the foreign language award. Mr. Cook built up to the moment by telling all the wonderful things he could about the winner before announcing their name. He started vague, and got more specific, so that it was obvious to the winner that they'd be stepping forward. As he worked his way down the list for our winner, I started to think it might be me! Pretty soon, he said, "Born in American Samoa...." and I knew it had to be me! Who else could be born there? So i went ahead and stepped forward...quickly halted by quiet snickers, and an awkward silence from the microphone. He had not said my name! I stumbled awkwardly backwards and up to my rightful spot and waited, praying that I really was the one to win. Gosh, what if it was someone else???? Soon, my name was said, and I breathed again. I stumbled up to receive the large block of wood that was to be my lifelong reminder of this day. Soon, I realized I had won, and, yahoo, that meant money for college, and a smile graced my face. Later, I discovered that my husband, who I had not yet met, had watched me at that very moment. He says he thought I was cute. He couldn't have remembered me unless I had my embarassing moment, and so I am thankful for that sweet connection we have.
Today, I am happy to be married, and to have children. I find it's so much easier to live through the less graceful times when you know you don't have to impress anyone. My husband knows i pass gas, and laughs with me when I do goofy things. My kids do odd things all the time, but they make me smile and wrinkle my forehead more than anything else. I've helped create a family, and am no longer the center of my own world. It's a refreshing feeling!