Saturday, November 21, 2015


I am not a fan of scary movies.

You see, my brain isn't spongy when it comes to remembering things like the periodic table or even, like, what I ate last Wednesday. But when it comes to frightening things, my trusty ol' noggin will soak all that freakiness right up and present it to me in vivid detail at fun times like 4am, or when I close my eyes while washing my face in the shower.

Unfortunately just reading the news lately has felt like a super scary movie, but it's one I can't stop watching. Not even looking at pictures of adorable baby animals makes it better. Well, I mean, not after my eyeballs move away from the animals, anyway.

Baby Panda twins at Atlanta Zoo. | Cute Animals | Pinterest
Here you go. Maybe it'll work for you.

And it's not just what the "bad guys" of the world are up to that has me awake when I really should be snoozing. It's the reactions I've seen that make me toss and turn. I mean, bad guys are always around, and that's why the good guys are supposed to be there to help, right? RIGHT???
Here is a good guy, presumably helping with something. Like they're supposed to freakin' do.

Instead I see people all over the place making excuses to not help fellow humans who are so desperately in need. The funny thing is that I am 100% positive that if those same exact people were put in a horrific situation and needed help, they wouldn't say, "Hey world, I totally understand if you don't wanna help me and everyone I love, because I wouldn't help you, either." Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion that it's those very people who would say, "Me first! Me first! Get me and my family outta here, PRONTO!"

The whole thing has me feeling incredibly sad in a way that not even eating a whole family size pack of Oreos can fix. Here is the evidence that I did, in fact, try.

But I guess that's the thing, right? Most of us just don't understand that kind of scary desperation. For the most part, our daily problems include things like getting stuck in traffic, having slow internet, being so dang busy, or, ahem, being fresh out of Oreos. We enjoy our sweet little first world lives with absolutely no clue what it's like to fear for them on a daily (if not minute by minute) basis. We have no comprehension of what it must be like to be so terrified that we'd choose to leave everything we have and everything that is familiar to us, and put ourselves and our children through dreadfulness with an uncertain outcome because we have the tiniest sliver of hope that Destination: Anywhere Else In The World will be better.

Most of us are simply blissfully unaware.
We're so lucky.

After all, it really is just luck, isn't it?
The fact that we happen to be Here and not There.
The fact that we happen to be the Haves and not the Have Nots.
The fact that this time around we happen to be the Door Openers (or as many would disappointingly have it, Closers) and not the Door Knockers.

If ever I need help, I hope the door I have to knock on looks this cool. And I hope to gawd that whoever is behind it will happily let me in.

And speaking of luck, it's that time of year again to thank our lucky stars for all our blessings whilst gathered with friends and family 'round giant platters of main course deliciousness and a whole slew of scrumptious sides. The list of things I am grateful for this year is loooong and includes things like finding the perfect drapey tunic at Old Navy that hides all the things I want hidden, and rediscovering that little Chinese massage place next to Californos in Westport. If you go there, ask for Chris. He's the best.

Topping the list is my beautiful, healthy son, and my sweet, loving husby. They are the center of my universe, and I would do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in my power to make sure they are always safe and happy.

Because I am a normal human being. 
Because everyone wants that for the people they love. 
Because safety and happiness are obviously what every person on this whole earth deserves and should receive from whomever can provide it, and from wherever it may be.


Here you have Mr. Chubby Cheeks and Mr. Thunder Thighs (aka The Center of My Universe). I'll let you guess who is who.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Catching Up


It has been a reeeealllly long time since my last post. I've meant to write many times... like about the glorious six weeks I spent with my family in Hawaii after leaving China. And about all the things I miss (The outstanding people! The food!) and don't miss (Toxic air! Squat toilets!) about China.

Curtis and I prefer eating mounds of ice during the holidays instead of shoveling it off our walkway. Here we are eating snow cones in Hawaii this past winter after leaving Beijing.

Then I wanted to write about the super weirdness of pregnancy and how my body felt like it had turned into one big, curvy science experiment. I had spent many, many years in a body that my former gym coach described as looking like a baby giraffe (Sweet lady, that one.). Then BAM! Everything turned all kinds of unrecognizable. My 2.5 year old nephew asked me if the baby was growing in my boobs. I was all like, "My eyes are up here, 2.5 year old nephew!" Just kidding. I actually thought that was a fantastic compliment since prior to being pregnant, there were really no boobs to speak of. (Fun fact: I have wished for boobs ever since the magic puberty godmother forgot to bring me some. However, my lack of specificity with my wish means that the set I have waited nearly four decades to receive are less Cosmo and more Nat Geo. Wah wah.)

This is my adorable nephew sitting in an inflatable pool that bears a striking resemblance to what I look like pregnant.

Oh! I also had every intention of writing about my birth experience. People share those things, right? I was gonna talk about how while I was extremely excited about meeting our baby, I was completely freaked out about the actual birth-y part. In the months leading up to my due date, I kept fantasizing that a little fairy door would appear somewhere on my body so the baby could make a graceful entrance that would leave everyone with their dignity in tact. When you are bad at science like I am, your mind allows you to ponder such things. I can tell you that while I had what would be described by any birthing professional as a "very smooth delivery," it was one of the most... um... unpleasant experiences I have ever had. "But wait!" you say. "Wasn't it beautiful?" Wellll... if wearing a hospital gown while trying to scarf down a roast beef sandwich between contractions, then going to the bathroom and having an incredibly strong contraction which made me fall to the ground yelling something like, "OMYGOODNESSWHATISHAPPENINGTOME????" followed by a bunch of other strong contractions prior to the Amazing Epidural that had me feeling like My Body the Science Experiment had turned into My Body the Torture Chamber... then yes. It was very beautiful.

Here you have a photo I took a few years ago of a scene that's ACTUALLY beautiful.

Of course the REAL beauty part was getting to meet that little tiny human my body grew (with some key ingredient help from Curtis). The first time Micah heard my voice, he immediately stopped crying and we just stared at each other. He eventually fell asleep, but I continued staring at him non-stop for about the first three months of his life. I would probably have been much less sleep deprived if I could bring myself to stop staring at him and just close my eyes. But that would have been impossible, because I am not good at making very many things but HOLY WOW WE MADE AN ADORABLE LITTLE PERSON WHO HAD ALL THE RIGHT PARTS IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES!!!! I still stare at him a lot, but I have also rediscovered the joys of napping and blinking. I used to just think babies were cute. After having one, I think they are the most miraculous, amazing creatures ever in the history of ever.

If one of these had been in the room when Micah was born, I probably would not have even noticed. Other thought: The fact that women's bodies can make actual people but cannot make a simple and convenient little fairy door is beyond me.

You know what else is amazing? That parents around the world survive those first couple of months with a newborn because man oh man those months are both incredible and incredibly nutso. A friend of mine with a one-year-old said she didn't think anyone had any business visiting a family with a newborn unless they were going to bring something to eat or clean something. Thank gawd we had a good number of friends who did both.

Unbelievably, Micah is already 4.5 months old. He smiles a whole bunch, is excellent at grabbing his toes, and can shimmy himself pretty effectively around his crib using mostly just the weight of his large head. Obviously he is very advanced for his age.

Here is our large-headed, sweet baby. It's going to take me an extra 15 minutes to publish this post because I'm going to get stuck staring at this picture thinking, "Awww... our son is so cute!" I might be just a teensy bit biased.

Right at this moment, that cutie patootie is fast asleep in his crib, and if I'm lucky, he will stay asleep for another 4 or 5 hours. He has just started sleeping for large-ish chunks of time, which Curtis and I feel is reason for joyous celebration. It means I finally have the energy to get out of my jammies.

It means I finally have some time to do a little bit of that writing I've been meaning to do.