Thursday, December 31, 2009

Interesting Christmas

I would like to note that for Christmas, Joseph gave me the Neiman Marcus version of TLC's "What not to wear."

I am THAT bad a dresser.

Actually, it's not that I am BAD... it's just that I do not dress appropriately. I am all about sweats and running gear. I used to dress really well. Then we went to business casual at work and I discovered Eileen Fisher and then I started gaining weight and along with that comes a desire to refrain from clothes shopping for a whole slew of reasons, not the least of wish is this supreme confidence that you will lose weight in short or, which we all know never happens...

Even in my daily out of work life, I live in running pants. It all started with that weight gain and jeans just cinched into my waist, driving me to distraction and I discovered the Elastic Waist. And I had a buncharunning pants with ELASTIC WAISTS!! Love at first try! Seriously.

And so... it culminated when I went into a meeting with my boss's boss. About 25 people. All men except for three women. There was me, the only female executive (I have a hard time thinking of myself that way), and the secretary, and the HR rep. And the secretary and HR rep were both dressed better than I was. I came home and told Joseph about it.

Then I was traveling and meeting with a new level of senior execs and I know that they noticed what I had on. I could tell. These are guys who wear tabbed or collar stay shirts with silk ties and custom suits. Ok. Off the Rack suits. This is a business casual environment, after all. But very expensive off the rack suits...

And so, on Christmas Morning, I opened a box, expecting the usual favorite gift, the Louis Vuitton pocketbook, and uh... hmmm... there was a card... and ummm... from Neiman Marcus (ok... that was a good sign)... and a gift card with some unknown amount and a business card of a woman who is a personal shopper....

Great. I have to call her. And meet with her face to face. Great. So not a people person....

Joseph told me that I have to call her on Saturday.

I wonder if I can use it on skin care?

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Christmas

Well. Christmas came and Christmas went.

Truthfully? There are Christmas People and there are "christmas people". I am a "christmas people" and Joseph is a Christmas People. :o) So for me, other than not having to travel for the holidays and being able to focus on a Little Someone (aka JJ) of our own, it was just another Christmas. A few people asked me "it must have been so special..." Or "did he (you) love Christmas?" Well...

Was it "special?" Sure. It was because JJ was home finally. But then it's more of a relief that he's home finally than it was "special." It was more "different" than anything else.

And does this one day have special meaning? Ummm... as shocking as it may sound... noooo..... Well, I think the day that the orphanage told our Agency they still had him and are we still interested in adopting JJ was "special" and filled with more meaning for me than a hundred Christmases. If you believe in karma and destiny, even if you just believe in coincidences, that single day exploded our world into more brilliant colors than any other day. So, yeah, Christmas was special, I suppose, but I'm going to take the liberty to disappoint everyone and say, it was not The Most Special Day of the Year for me. Ahem.

I think if we could communicate with JJ, explain to him the symbolism and magic of the day, and what it means, it might have been more special at least for me anyway. But JJ had a great time opening gifts and playing with all his new toys! And THAT was fun to see.

So, someone asked what JJ thought about Christmas. I'm a little flummoxed by this question. Hmmm. Well... Not sure. He doesn't speak English! How do I know what he thought? I dont' think he thought anything. Nothing at all. Just another day with a tree in the house. I don't think he really understands presents either.

What I do know, direct from his mouth to me through Chinese Nanny is that he has only heard something "little" about Christmas but he has never seen nor experienced it. Not surprising. And when I told a few people that last week, their excited faces fell and they seemed disappointed. Uhhhh.... Ok. Is it just me? Or does it seem like people have weird expectations about a boy from China, who didn't have religion, or celebrate Christmas, or any other American / Christian holiday for that matter?? So, Uh... No. He doesn't know what it is, and he probably doesn't care. Or even that he SHOULD care. And I personally think that is NORMAL!

Oh, and JJ doesn't know about Baby Jesus, either, so don't ask me if he knows it's Jesus's birthday (which really isn't his birthday but was picked as The Day for whatever reason that escapes me right now). And we're not going to tell him until he is older. He barely knew about Santa - from what I could see it was mostly from the kids at school. I did tell him that Santa was make believe and that he is Magic. Whether he understands that or not, he can't accuse of me lying later. Hah!

In my broken Chinese, I tried to tell him that "Santa knows ALL! And he is Magic. And he appears once a year if you are good." And that is why he got stuff in his stocking. Now, THIS is a story I can build on! It will be interesting to see later if he wondered about all the kids in China who Santa never came to. Yup. Flaws in the story everywhere!

Since we can't communicate, I'm not sure what JJ thought about the day specifically. He said he liked it and he was happy. But being happy is a continual state of being for him. He wakes up happy and goes to bed happy. And what's not to like when people shower you with Pez candy, spiderman stuff, motorized remote control helicopters and Ferarri's (courtesy of his "big brother" Peng Cheng who was Joseph's Chinese language partner and is now here going to UMass - a story for another day). Of course he got books and flash cards, too.

From what I could tell, I think he thinks it's just a day to get stuff. And it's a special day somehow because this time, Mama and Baba also got stuff and there was all that business with the stocking. He had a good time handing us our presents, too. He was concerned when we didn't have enough to take turns opening. LOL. We told him it was fine!

I also think that he was told about school vacation and he probably enjoyed not having to go to School. LOL. But I'm not really sure because he usually is happy to go to school. Anyway, imagine his surprise yesterday when the nanny came and he found out he had to study! Hah!!

I do know one thing without a doubt. He loves the Santa hat. Good grief! He wears it everywhere. He loves it. What's not to love? It's red (his favorite color), it's warm, it's soft, and it's pretty. I think he thinks it's "just a hat" albeit a different sort of hat. He will be disappointed when Baba puts it away tomorrow until next Christmas. Baba did mention that it is Baba's hat, not JJ's. LOL. We'll have to get JJ his own next year. But for now, we enjoy watching him enjoy the hat.

Ok. That's it for First Christmas. Next up...First American New Year (yes, there is a Chinese one, too, which Koreans also celebrate only we call it New Year).


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Cranial Facial Team Visit and others stuff

I thought that we'd be winding down on "Firsts" for a while, but I was wrong.

On the 18th, JJ experienced his First Research/Teaching Hospital Experience when we visited the Cranial Facial Team at Childrens. Last week's dentist visit was a cinch in comparison.

First we met with the Speech Pathologist. She said a lot of things which already lived through or noticed ourselves. She had him talk in Chinese (along with the Chinese interpreter) and then in English sounds. She noted that the lack of clarity between the interpreter and JJ was apparent. She also noted that he had lots of glottal sounds(substituting the back of the throat clicking for hard sounds like the K, T, SH, G, etc) and lots of hypernasality which means he sounded like he was talking through his nose - my definition of hypernasality, not hers, but you definitely know it when you hear it (like blowing through his nose instead of blocking the nasal passage like when we say the word "see", for example. Say it while you are blowing through your nose and you know what it sounds like. Yah. I know. Not pretty. ) And some facial grimacing with certain sounds.

Basically these are common "short cuts" that cleft kids learn to take at a young age because of the palate and lip issues. She said these were more behavioral than physical impairments that he learned early on. He can and should be able to correct them but he will have to work hard to break these habits. Oh great. You mean you can't just FIX it FOR HIM??? She also noted a short palate. It was bad enough to need correction but not bad enough that he couldn't start speech therapy before the palate was fixed. And it pointed to his bad speech habits as opposed to a physical accommodation.

She also did not think tongue exercises would do much. Since he is 8. The way to work on speech is to ... get this ... SPEAK! Gee, who knew. :o/ I liked that advice.

She wasn't sure about speech therapy since he can't speak or understand English. The issue is telling him how to place his tongue a certain way if he can't understand. So there again, the whole language issue rears it's ugly head. ARG!!! She is going to try to get info on a bilingual speech therapist she knows of. Either way, we would need to do a speech study. And we would wait to see what the doctors said. But we need to wait at least 3 months before starting any kind of speech therapy due to his language issues. In the meantime, time is just ticking away for Impatient Mama.

After that we went into a room to wait. Not long. And someone came in to warn us about what we would see when we walked in. Well, I knew exactly what was going to happen but JJ didn't know what was about to hit him.

They opened the door to another room across the hall. First thing I saw were 3 chairs in a row. We filed in and sat. In front of us was a long table with 5 or 6 people who I assumed were primary doctors on the Cranial Facial Team. And behind them were about 20 other doctors/students lining the wall, sitting on the counter that ran the length of that wall. JJ looked up with wide eyes, smiled, waved and slowly sat down. He realized it was all for him. He was very well behaved.

Then the discussions ensued. The lead surgeon could be pointed out right away. An older gentleman who commanded authority. And the Dental surgeon was the second person you noticed.

The Lead surgeon looked first. Asked me why China didn't take "that skin thing off his ears?" I said, "uhh because its China?" Of course I had been told that the Chinese think it's for good luck but I think that's a crock. Just an excuse. I can't imagine walking around with extra skin that looks like it's a tiny budding ear would bring you any kind of societal good luck. Anyway, it could also signal kidney issues. Just what I needed to hear...

Anyway, the lead surgeonlooked for about 30 seconds - ears, nose, mouth. The oral surgeon followed. Another minute. "Yup yup ... I see ..hmmm... Short palate..." And then sat down.

Then another doctor and the hoards of Doctors Lining The Walls came up. That took a little longer. Good grief. Again, ears, nose, throat... Explanations, people taking turns looking. Needless to say, this took a little longer. But JJ loves being the center of attention so he smiled the whole time, cooperated willingly, and was happy to accommodate. Unbelievable.

The oral surgeon also looked at the dental xrays we brought with us from two days prior. They all knew JJ's dentist, JJ's dentist, and said she was very good. Phew. He said they would need more xrays, though. Fine. Figures.

So after much discussion, it was decided to do two things in parallel, which I have separated into Soft Tissue and Hard Tissue (bone).

Soft Tissue would be faster - if you can call a year or more "fast.". He needs to get the Speech study done. Then he will get the P-flap surgery for his palate issues. While in there, Dr. Mulliken will also "fix" his nose, and take "those ear things off". I think there may be a deviated septum issue but hopefully he will even out the crooked nostrils as well. And he did mention that China did a better job than he thought on the lip but I hope he will get in there fix that too.

They also noted that JJ has a syndrome called hemifacial microsomia where the lower half of one side of the face is smaller than the other and doesn't grow normally. This is more than the usual "my right foot is a half size bigger than my left" issue. This is a syndrome with a real name that causes real issues if it is more than just "slight." they thought that JJ's was slight - maybe 10% or less. The lead surgeon said he would be fixing that as well when he goes in to do the bone graft.

In the meantime, we are scheduled for an Orthodontic Records appointment. More xrays. Great. I hope they don't make him choke again like the hygenist did. Afterwards he will get some type of orthodontics that will stretch out his palate because it is small. After that will come the bone graft surgery. That could be about 18 months away.

Afterwards, we saw the audiologist. And sure enough, he failed the test just like he did at school. He right ear is worse than his left and it's at certain pitches and sound levels. She said it was "a little odd." She noted the ear wax. Anyway, we will need to make an appointment with the ENT doctor and most likely they will have to put ear tubes in. This could also be a reason why he produces sounds differently if it is impacting his ability to hear, especially the fine gradiants in sounds like the B and the P. Of course, air coming through your nose and leaking all over the place doesn't help either. But they will take care of the Big Ball O' Wax and check for fluid in his ears before putting the tubes in.

All in all, we are talking about a 1 year to 18 month process. By that time, he will be older than 10 years old. Hopefully, his speech will have been improved somewhat with Speech Therapy and better hearing. And he doesn't need other therapy because he's been poked and prodded for the entire better part of his life.

Everyone agreed he seemed bright. Which will help him mentally process and rationalize what is going on. He has been through the drill so many times that I know he is used to a lot of the process but it's going to get even more intense and more painful.

We do not tell him much of anything until a day or two before the doctor's appointment.

Well, JJ has a long road ahead of him. But he is very cheerful and very happy and I think that will serve him well. I hope he looks back on all this and understands when he is older.

On another front, Joseph and I had our first Parent Teacher Conference. It wasn't too bad but I could tell that JJ was really worried. He stuck by us the whole time we were talking to his teacher. When I looked up at him, he was looking intensely at my face and he was NOT smiling. Well, that was a First for JJ. LOL. Now he knows that Mama and Baba have free access to his teacher. She said that his behavior has been better since we caught him the Big Fib about his friend not being at school. Anyway, she also said he was more attentive. And we told her that she should be giving him math and that he shouldn't be taking Spanish!!! She agreed.

And I also had to tell him that Santa Claus is make believe.

Ok. Let that one sink in.

And I told him not to tell the kids at school.

I'm just saying this because there are some people who will unknowing talk on and on about Santa and he will wonder what's going on....he is either gonna think that Santa only shows up for Non-asian americans or someone is not telling the truth or some people are wrong or whatever.

So. He says to me the other day that Santa is going to give him stuff. Uhhhh..... Who says? His friends said. Oh. Why? Well, he doesn't know why. Oh, really.

Well... Let's see. He is 8 1/2. Coming on the heels of chastisement about fibbing (LYING), I could LIE to him about Santa, have him come back in 6 months to a year and ask me why I LIED to him, or tell him the truth. So I chose to tell him that Santa is make believe. When it dawned on him what I was saying, he seemed disappointed. Not sure if it was because he thought no one was going to give him anything or what. Why would he care if he doesn't event know about Christmas much less Santa? I know that he had told his Nanny that he only had heard about Christmas but didn't ever experience or know anything about it. I am thinking of telling him that Santa only comes alive once a year by magic. I think that will lead into other discussions later about what that means. The spirit of Christmas, Karma, Giving all year, etc. It's something that I can wholeheartedly explain and believe in from a symbolic perspective.

Joseph was a bit chagrined by the whole turn of events but I know he KIND OF understood.

Ok. That's it. I'm sure I'll think up more ways to ruin JJ's holidays in the coming week. LOLOL. I know. Mean Mama.


Monday, December 21, 2009

ARG! Foiled again!!

I was going to start me diet today. And I saw it!

One word.

Needless to say, my diet is starting tomorrow.


Snowed in?

We live in Brookline.
One is never snowed in in Brookline.
It's a crunchy granola kindatown.
They clear the streets of snow right up to the curb.
They are a bit fanatical about it.
Actually, they are a bit fanatical about almost everything.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Race, First Doctor, First Dentist, etc etc etc

Well, it's almost Christmas and we've had a few more Firsts in the Life of JJ. Not surprising.

First of all, let me say that he has stopped saying "HI" and "NI HAO" to every Tom, Dick and Harry Stranger on the street. Thank GOODNESS! I had to explain to him that in America that is not so cute after the first day. Seriously.

So, JJ had his First Race last week at the Walter's Run that our running club puts on every December. The proceeds go to Charity and scholarships. Joseph and I volunteer every year. And Joseph runs the race, finishes, and then finishes his volunteer assignment all while cheering people on. But this year was a little different. He volunteered for the kid's race. It was divided into two heats - one for 7 year olds and under, and a second one for 8 and above. Not sure what they did with the 7-8 'tweeners but no one else seemed to mind this omission so I didn't say anything.

JJ was with the big kids since he is 8 years old. They had to run up the street to the orange cone, do a u-ey and run back. Well, I had to explain this to JJ in broken Chinese with lots of gesticulations, facial movements and general charades. He did this all with me. We must have been a sight! But he totally understood.

The race was about 200 yards. And as soon as they said "GO" he ran with all his might. But he couldn't muster up the power of the bigger kids and ended up being 4th from the back. The determination on his face was incredible. He did great. After, he was all smiles. Now he knows what a RACE is! I bet he starts training. LOL. I know I couldn't keep up with him.

JJ has also been going to a series of doctor appointments. So far in December, he has a total of 6 scheduled (2 more to go) and another 5 in January.

All of the doctors are at Children's Hospital. The pediatrician is wonderful. And there was a Chinese translator there who would also be at subsequent appointments. The doctor did a complete check up, reviewed his xrays and said he was generally healthy, considering. He had ear wax - which she deferred to the Cleft Team we are seeing on the 18th. And she referred him to a cardiologist and a urologist.

The next appointment was the following week with the urologist (they work fast at Children's), followed by the International Development Doctor. I was away on a business trip so I couldn't make these appointments but I wrote up a lot of questions. Joseph took a lot of notes and told the Dr that I come from a family of physicians. And he said the Dr gave him a knowing look. Jeez. Anyway, JJ will have his first surgery - not cleft related - in January 4. What a way to start the new year.

After urology, the Adoption Doctor didn't want to classify him as normal or not normal since there isn't a control group of kids from Beijing, orphaned, adopted at 8, with Cleft Lip and Palette III with VSD, post op. Good grief. So clinical! Is he NORMAL or NOT? Not complicated is that??

Anyway, he seemed bright, is in the 5th percentile for weight (skinny), and the 30th percentile for height (not as tall as I like but it'll do). Question is, is this for Chinese kids or American kids? Or Kids adopted from China? He has ear tags and she said that could indicate kidney issues - deferring to the Cleft Team. Speech, language, audio - deferring to the Cleft Team. Jeez. And the hearing test he failed at school two days earlier? Yup. Deferring to the cleft team.

At one point, the doctor asked him what he found the most shocking or surprising about America and he said, "...that mama and baba love him so much." The doctor said, not about people. What else? So he said, "the house is very beautiful and there are a lot of lights."

This was interesting. He probably lived in a very institutional style setting and our house is brightly colored Victorian. And he has a fascination with lights. He has a little flashlight he carries around and he loves anything that emits some type of light. I imagine they didn't have a lot of light in the orphanage. Ok. "A Lot" is relative but I doubt they had 8 recessed lights in a single room with a chandelier to boot.

We also found out that he knows he was abandoned by his mama and that he was living in an institution, didn't have a family, and that he now has Mama and Baba and a family. This kind of freaked me out. I can't imagine how I would feel as an 8 year old to know all this. I know I would not be as well adjusted as JJ is. I'd probably be depressed and in therapy!

The doctor said the kids know the difference between family and no family between the ages of 4 and 7. The light slowly dawns and they start to ask questions. Well, I certainly didn't know that!

He also has some eczema which could signal asthma - which we will watch for, and dry skin issues which could be the environment, water, air, etc - all of which is different from China (aka cleaner or more antiseptic). Or not. We will watch what happens. It could take 6 months to clear up. SIX MONTHS?? Lord.

So nothing more until the Cleft Team evaluation. But we have a Develpment followup in May to see where he is so we can do a plan for the summer while school is out.

Yesterday, we had JJ's First Dental Appointment. Ok. Can I just say, "GOOD GRIEF!!! WHAT A SEWER MOUTH!!!!!!" Everything was so dirty! GAH. They cleaned his mouth. Lots of blood. We were told it's the water (again) here, the lack of flouride in China, etc and general getting used to the environment (again). Can take SIX MONTHS! It's a pattern.

He had tons of xrays taken. The bottom line, baby teeth with cavities, baby teeth that had fillings with more cavities, cavities on top of cavities, cavities under fillings, inflamed roots, baby teeth that didn't fall out, teeth growing behind teeth. Ok. So, can I just say what a fanatic I am about teeth? I like them white, clean, straight... The first thing I look at are people's mouths (or smiles and their teeth), second to their eyes! At least JJ has beautiful eyes so no issues there. Yah. So. I guess a mouthful of teeth is an understatement. And typical for Cleft kids. So for the Major Work (huh?) aka Orthodontia aka LOTS O' MONEY we will need to wait for the Cleft Team. Sigh... But in February, he has four dental appointments for teeth extraction, fillings and root canals. Yeah. ROOT CANALS. For baby teeth that won't fall out until he's older. Good GOD! They are sectioning his mouth into four quadrants and tackle each a week, four weeks in a row.

So, I told Joseph, well if JJ bitches about flossing, I'm gonna remind him about this! No problem!

And at one point I said to Joseph, "ya know... I get a kid that pushes my two pet peeve buttons - he has BAD TEETH and he babbles when he talks (unclear because of his cleft issues)." And then in the same breath, Joseph and I both said "God gave him to us to teach me patience!" LOL. Whatever. Believe me. I know, it could be infinitely worse!

JJ was a trooper. He hung in there for a 2 hour dental appointment. At one point I could see what this cleft/mouth weakness does to him. He has no control over his tongue. Almost none. He can stick it out but when it closes his mouth, it goes back in and only with great effort, can he maintain the stuck out tongue while closing his mouth. The last xray was really bad. Deep in his mouth and he couldn't keep his tongue out of the way. And he could just breath through his nose. And so he gagged. What should have taken 30 seconds took 10 minutes. I went in to help. I told him to say Ahhhhh the whole time and it worked by moving his tongue out of the way. What an ordeal. But when he refuses to do his tongue exercises in future speech therapy, I can remind him of this. LOL. Ok. Bad Mama. LOLOLOL.

Oh. And at one point we looked up and saw something about the tooth fairy. We both looked at each other and shook our heads. We are soooo not going to do any "tooth fairy" stuff. No Santa either. We can't even explain the Christmas tree as it is! Poor kid. When he's older, he can go to therapy and talk about how not knowing the tooth fairy and santa ruined his life. LOL. I know I know. Heartless!

JJ also endured Mama's first Domestic Business Trip during the week of the Development Doctor appointment. We talked on the phone every night after his dinner. At one point, he kept saying I was coming home earlier than I was. Joseph said he was worried about the doctor. Anyway, what this taught us is that the phone is ineffective! You can't talk to a kid who can't speak English over the phone! And one that babbles when he talks fast! ARG! So, next trip we agreed I am taking my home laptop that has Skype on it. TWO LAPTOPS! Like I don't have enough to carry. Whatever. Anyway. I'm going to wait to tell him that Mama is going to Indu (India) for two weeks in January.

JJ also survived Li Laoshi's Chinese class with Mama and Baba. It's been fun so far. She calls him her TA! It also slows the class down for which Joe and I are infinitely grateful! Laoshi did a little "testing" and he is at second grade Chinese level and his stroke order for characters is a MESS!!! A MESSSS!! Good Grief. At one point, she had him watch Mama because Mama's characters are Piaoliang (beautiful). LOL.

We were not too worried about the grade level because he finished second grade and had third grade for only a month before we pulled him out. On top of that, we are realizing that he probably did not go to a Chinese public school but a school at the orphanage. Now it made sense. He had told his Nanny that he lived at school! Ahhhhh.

Now I am thinking he is enrolled in the wrong grade level here. But we'll see what happens.

The doctor said first and foremost, he must learn the language. She said it would take him 4-6 years to fully integrate. I assume, it takes longer the older you are. We know he can understand the American teacher during any classes, like math. They are using this touchy feely method of boxes instead of equations. What the...??? So I have started asking him to do some grade three math in a book I bought after he does his American homework.

JJ and I continue to battle over appropriate homework behavior, diligence, character, and a lie (he was totally busted). He's 8. I know I know. But he needs a good foundation of discipline and character in thought! He knows Mama hates crocodile tears. It's one of my character flaws - I know. He knows Mama likes good studying and working hard. He knows Mama hates cover ups and evasiveness. And Mama likes sitting and discussing instead of a buncha hokey emotions! I know I know! Poor kid! LOL.

Thank goodness we have the Nanny to explain to him that what he does and says or doesn't do, reflects on Mama and Baba. And that it's not all about him. And if he doesn't do homework, teacher will think he can't do it when we know that he can.

Overall he is doing well. He is adjusting to the routine and seems to be attaching ok for now (Mama the pessimist is looking for the other shoe). And he continues to gauge his progress by my facial expressions and body language. He does grab my hand when we are walking (a good sign). But I am not sure it's totally dawned on him that we're IT. That this is as good as it's gonna get. That there is no back door, no safety net in the stranger's smile (I think we're over this one) or a friend of Mama and Baba, many who drop in to visit (not sure we're over this one yet). Attachment is a whole other topic but it's seems to be progressing ok for now.

Anyway, JJ had is First Realization about Mama and Baba. We work. Sometimes we work a lot. I explained to him a little of what we do. He was VERY impressed that Mama manages a lot of people. And that Baba does too. VERY. IMPRESSED. He was so impressed , he clapped and jumped up and down and made up a little song. He even said that we were "principals." We thought he meant at school but when we looked it up, it was Principal of a school, a group of people, a company... And he was very impressed. So much that if one of us isn't home, he says, we are at work, working, with lots of people. LOL. Not bad for an 8 year old.

One last thing. He keeps talking about his mei mei. His little sister. He is increasingly comfortable with the idea of going to China next year and talks about it with his teachers and with some Chinese friends we have had at the house. And with me. Last night he brought out the photo album we sent him and he said he would give it to mei mei. When I said we would put in his pictures he counted out three empty slots, said he wants a picture of himself in front of school in his running clothes with his race number from the race he ran. And he would put that into the photo album and send it to mei mei.

I guess he figures he is here for the long haul. Or at least until mei mei gets home!

Ok. That's it.

Onto the first Christmas, which is pretty unspectacular for him now. And the First Parent Teacher Conference on Monday.


2 days

That's how long it took to review a spreadsheet, make changes to 5 lines, save it, and send it back.

Two days for about 15 minutes of work.

That is how interrupted, distracted, and overly prioritized I am.

Two. Freekin. Days.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nothing more frustrating than...

People who can't get it together at a checkout line at the Trader Joe's. Bumping into each other, trading places, confusion, and the other general idiocy. And they are together.

And wouldn't you know... they're ASIAN!

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

My Sister and Mountain Dew

My sister has a habit of popping in my email box while I am at work with non-sequiters from left field. The following is an example:
Mia: When you mix green and purple Mountain Dew, it turns GREY! and yes, I've had too much caffeine.

ME: Wow. There's purple mountain dew? So how long did it take you to figure this out?

MIA: The cafeteria started selling purple Diet Mountain Dew "Voltage". I just mixed it with my regular Mountain Dew today.


MIA: oops excuse me, it's called "Ultra Violet". Voltage is blue I think.

ME: That has so much caffeine! I can't believe you drink it!

MIA: I've been on a caffeine vacation for two months, so whenever I have it afterwards, I am completely hyper.

ME: Ah. That's healthy.

MIA: Hey I have to have something now that I've cut down on red meat!

ME: Good god. Why would you do that?

MIA: Because it's healthy! ..... I was just at the salad bar, the doctor in front of me was at the only place for dark leafy greens, and he was picking out certain leaves one by one. I wanted to throw a banana at his head.

ME: OMG. Do NOT make me laugh out loud when I am drinking hot tea!!!

MIA: Well, it's true!

ME: You need a blog.

MIA: Well I don't like talking to people, esp a bunch of strangers.

ME: And that's why you need a blog!

MIA: That's bananas!


Time out... the food court of the HMart.

Soooo funny.
A kid was wriggling around and not listening to his mom. Inside of a few minutes he was in a chair, facing the high pile of 50 lb bags of rice. Sniffling, and snuffling, and big heaves of breath.

JJ was the first to notice and point it out. Of course, he was such a good boy. LOL!

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Saturday, December 05, 2009


It's NUTZ!!!
A giant super store just for Koreans!!
I am so there from now on.

We took JJ. His intake of breath was loudly audible when we first walked through the door. He recognized some of the food so he was able to pick out what he wanted.

Afterwards we went to the food court with all the high quality Korean dishes. They even had CHAJANG!! And it was GOOD!! Not to mention a whole host of YUMMY foods!!!!

I can't wait for my next trip!


Friday, December 04, 2009


I just dropped off a prescription at the local pharmacy. It was packed with sick people! Not only that, an old guy with a cane almost stood on top of me! GAH!

I wonder if there's a full moon.
I know there was one yesterday!
I wonder if the full moon has residual effect.