Wednesday, June 30, 2010

bruises for hairnets

My Mom wanted me to take pictures of my Lovonox bruised stomach, so that when our kids were being shit-heads as teenagers, she could show them, and say "This is what your Mother did to have you!"....

Well, we all know how that ended...

But have no fear, she can now say "Your Mother worked at a cheese packing factory for you".

(not my actual plant... but I get the same hairnet, and my jacket is blue!)

Yes, I have a new job.

At a cheese packing plant.

It kinda tastes like humble pie.

And smells like cheese.

Cheese and cardboard.

I've done data entry so far, the first two days, literally transferring numbers off forms and into Excel.

Tonight, I measured cheese.

---I'll let that soak in----

I MEASURED cheese.  You know, from shredded cheese packets.  Ya, I went through 3 cases, and measured 30 pieces from each package...

Bundle of fun I tell you, a bundle of fun.

Oh well- I'll survive, its only until school starts (and I hopefully have a full time job- if not just sub again).  Luckily I don't HAVE to have this job, so I feel blessed.  We have our budget to live on my husbands salary, with a nice cushion (minus the new (to us) motorcycle...), so my money goes to the adoption war chest.

I chanted in my head- as I measured cheese- adoption, back rub, sex....  (the last two Travis promised me when I got home!).  It wouldn't be so bad, but so far, I'm in a room 

Monday, June 28, 2010


Six years ago, I met a guy who rode a motorcycle.  It was red.  He was hot.  He was even hotter on a motorcycle...

The fact that I even liked him on it was huge

Several years earlier I had a major fucking catastrophe somewhat bad accident on a dirt bike my Dad had.  He got a pair of them for us to ride around the property on ( I grew up on 5 acres in the middle of a big city, with a surrounding 10 acres to 'explore' because our neighbors didn't care).  I had just had my first (out of five) knee surgeries, so I was  on crutches for 8 miserable weeks during my first year of college, holy shit the campus is big, why the hell do I live on the third floor completely non weight bearing, restricted activity for a while. 

It was a Friday.  I had my appointment with Dr. Racca.  He gave me the go ahead for all activity.  I go to my Friday classes, and head to my parents house before work.  My Dad begins to teach me how to start and stop and such.... I finally can go 10 feet with out stalling out sorta get the hang of it, and we decide to be more adventurous.  We go down to the arroyo, which is basically a ditch to carry water.  Except we live in New Mexico, so the only time ours got full was when there was a flash flood.  The water had carved out a path so we followed it.  At one point it turned sharply, and the dirt bike and I parted ways. 

(not the actual arroyo of near death... but just to give you non-New Mexico folks a visual)
I flew up about 15 feet my Dad guesses, and had the wind knocked out of me.  I had on all the safety gear, so besides being scared shitless and breathless, I was fine.  Not even a scratch, no blood, nothing.

I dust off, get back on, and we start heading home.  I take a shower, 2 aspirin (it's important later...), and get ready for work.  I worked as a front desk clerk all through collage, at a hotel that was right near my parents house. About half way through work, my left shoulder started bugging me, so I took more aspirin.   Thirty minuets before I was supposed to get off, I could hardly move it, so I called my Mom
to come pick me up.  I knew there was no way that I could drive my old standard truck home.  She came up, with just her purse, and in her house shoes.  She was going to take me home, and then have my Dad take me to my dorm room which was on the other side of town once he got back from wherever he was.  In that 30 minuets, things went from fine to bad.  I got in the car, and told her that she had to take me to the ER.  She wanted to run home, and grab her cell phone, and for whatever reason, I grabbed her arm, and said "No Mom, now".  We drove to the closest one, and by the time we got there, I could barely move.  They had to get a male nurse to lift me out of the car.

As my Mom was filling out the admit paperwork, they had me sitting in a wheelchair at the end of a row of chairs.  There was a Dad with his child on his lap, who didn't feel good.  From this point on, I don't remember much, so I'll put in italics what I've been told.  I fainted, and he put his arm out across my chest to prevent me from falling out forward.  My Mom started pounding on the plastic window trying to get someones attention.  They came and got me.  I woke up to them rubbing my sternum really hard as they were wheeling me back to the rooms.  I was lifted onto the bed, and they began taking vitals.  I didn't pass out again (yet), but all I remember is being stripped down, and realizing it, and then trying to cover my tattoo that I had recently gotten on my hip.  Mom saw what I was trying to do, and just patted me and said, "We won't tell your Father".  I couldn't reach it, because I had oxygen and an IV tube.  They put a gown over me.  I sat up, but started feeling like I was going to throw up.  The went to go get me a bucket, and I was out again. 

When I woke up again, I had an IV in one arm putting fluid in, one in the other arm putting blood in, and one in my ankle for them to take blood.  They were asking my Mom if I had a will, and told her that she needed to get my Dad and any other relatives and possibly a priest or bishop.  Because of the aspirin I had taken, I bled internally 'a bit faster'.  This really did save my life, because I likely would have taken 2 more before bed (that whole 'take two aspirin and call me in the morning' thought process), where I would have died in my sleep from blood loss.

My little spill on the dirt bike almost cost me my life.  I ended get up 2 units of blood transfused, with a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, and an 8 day hospital stay.  

After that I wouldn't get on the back of the dirt bike with my anyone.  Not even my Dad.  I couldn't even stand to hear it being started up. 

But, as this story began.... I met a guy.  3 years later.  With a motorcycle.  My Dad said that he knew as soon as I rode up on the back of Travis' bike, that I was going ot marry him. 

When I look back a the brief time we dated, his red motorcycle weaves in and out of the memories.  Our first real date.  Going down to the race track, and having someone steal his helmet.  The long treck around Albuquerque, along the base of the mountains.  The beautiful Sunday in August when we rode up to the top of Sandia Crest and realizing to late that a riding jacked disguises a ring box very well!  I was so surprised he did it there, because we had never been there before together, but he knew it was my favorite spot. 

His red motorcycle was stolen about a week before we got married, and ended up in Mexico 18 months later.  We got the call to see if we wanted to buy it back before it went to auction.  We had missed that bike, but had moved on, both in our lives, and to the midwest.

For the last 5 years, when the winter fades away, and the spring days begin, one of us still mentions what a good day for a ride it would be.  We have been known to call or text each other if we are driving, "found a good road to ride on".  That red bike will forever be ingrained in 'the story of us'. 

So, in "Travis Notes" ( kinda like Cliff's Notes):

Six years ago I fell in love with a guy that had a motorcycle... One day we rode to the top of a big mountain, and he proposed.... tonight, that guy has a motorcycle once again... all is well with the world!

Travis on it as the guy is signing the title over to us

On the highway headed home.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


Ok... so you'll notice, the 2nd task on the list is somewhat crossed out.  I've done three coats of the polly, sanding with 220grit sand paper between the 1st and 2nd, and using steel wool between the 2nd and 3rd, man its getting smooth!!!
Also, boxed up and addressed everything for the USPS to take tomorrow morning.  Now to figure out what to do for this evening... I'm thinking trying to finish up our adoption stuff, so we can get it in the mail as soon as my parents come for the 4th.  They picked up our certified copy of our marriage certificate.  It was going to be something crazy like $18.00 for them to send it to me... or my mom could go pick it up for $1.50.  Ya, guess what we chose! 

So thats my 10 in 10 update. Hopefully tomorrow I can check off a few more!

* Sand and Stain my bench

* Polyurethane the bench (it has to be done a different day, so technically a different project)
* Finish the tutu's for my neighbors twins
* Clean our front bricks off (mortar is ALL over them)
* USPS (package and mail secret sister gift, and baby gift)
* Finish the Family Pictorial Album for our adoption packet
* Finish the questions for our adoption packet
* Stabilize, stain, polly, assemble antique-ish dresser (biggest project on the list...)
* Re-pot flowers for newly stained bench
* Touch up paint in kitchen and master bathroom

****Paint living room (Woohoo!)****

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Certification Rant

Just a little rant.  For any of you that are teachers, I'm sure you'll understand. 

For those of you that aren't, teacher certification is the bain of our existence!  I went to University of New Mexico, and moved right after I graduated, but before I ever taught there.  However, I was granted a license in New Mexico that I transferred to Missouri.  Except it didn't transfer.  I can teach K-8th in New Mexico, but only 1-6 in Missouri... so I tried it out for a year, (3rd grade) and mostly hated it....

Flash forward four years, I've now worked 3 years for my parents, then we moved and I subbed for this past year.  I really wanted to get back in teaching, but needed to take a few classes to get me my 7-9 certification (read the back posts on how much I LOVED going back to college!). 

Classes are done, transcripts got sent... on May 28th.  I received my copy June 1st, so I sadly assumed that the Educator Certification office received theirs.  I called June 6th, just to follow up.  They said they didn't have any transcript, so I sent them a sealed copy that I had received.... certified.  They signed for it at 3:38 pm on June 7th.  Logic says that they should have it through the mail room rather quickly, so I wait a few days to call.  Nope, still no transcript (everything is put on hold until they get the damn transcript!!).

I'm told that there are 14 floors in their building, and it takes a while for it to make it up to their floor... I understand, but 10 days?!?! really????  Fine, I'll wait a few more days.

I called back just now, and I got the same cheery soul that tried to explain about the mail room, the 14 floors thing...blah, blah, blah.

I told her I understood, but that I would like to talk to a supervisor (I'm about ready to drive my ass up there and hand them my damn transcript honestly!).

The lady I talked to was super nice, and totally understood my frustration! (She looked in my file... there were two sets of transcripts there... imagine that, one dated that it was received June 1st, and one June 7th- holy shit, it's like I knew what I was talking about!).  She took it to her supervisor, who confirmed that the classes I took did indeed allow me to upgrade and renew my certificate (there would have been crying and gnashing of teeth if not...).

Alas... In five minuets, I went from having an expired certificate to having a much better one (one that let's me teach middle schoolers!).  She said they would print it out over night, and the mail would take it out tomorrow.

I know she will never read this, but Brenda, I *heart* you!!!


* Sand and Stain my bench
* Polyurethane the bench (it has to be done a different day, so technically a different project)
* Finish the tutu's for my neighbors twins
* Clean our front bricks off (mortar is ALL over them)
* USPS (package and mail secret sister gift, and baby gift)
* Finish the Family Pictorial Album for our adoption packet
* Finish the questions for our adoption packet
* Stabilize, stain, polly, assemble antique-ish dresser (biggest project on the list...)
* Re-pot flowers for newly stained bench
* Touch up paint in kitchen and master bathroom

****Paint living room (Woohoo!)****

Soo... I thought I had blogged about my bench building.... I guess looking back, I just posted pictures on facebook, so here's a little background
The 'beginning'

I made both sides, all by my self

While I did that, Travis and his daughter put together the table saw... good thing, we needed it later!

Helping me cut the top of the bench (the seat?)

I was to cheep to go buy a 1''x12'', so we put two smaller pieces together.


It's sanded and stained... as soon as it dries, I'll start putting the final coats on it!


* Sand and Stain my bench

* Polyurethane the bench (it has to be done a different day, so technically a different project)
* Finish the tutu's for my neighbors twins
* Clean our front bricks off (mortar is ALL over them)
* USPS (package and mail secret sister gift, and baby gift)
* Finish the Family Pictorial Album for our adoption packet
* Finish the questions for our adoption packet
* Stabilize, stain, polly, assemble antique-ish dresser (biggest project on the list...)
* Re-pot flowers for newly stained bench
* Touch up paint in kitchen and master bathroom

****Paint living room (Woohoo!)****

Are these not so cute!!!  I've seen them on the internet for not cheep prices.... each one was less then $8.oo!!!  I might add some flower petals, but for now they are done, so mark one off the list!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I'm notorous for starting something.... and then


I was really looking forward to painting our living room (actually was wanting to do it while he was gone at training, but then I went along, so it didn't really happen!).  Had the colors picked out and everything.

Yesterday, on my way to buy paint, he suggested I finish some projects before I start another one.  We came to the agreement (he came short of canceling the debit card so I couldn't buy the paint) that I would finish several things before I painted...

So, I have ten projects to finish in ten days (roughly)!!!

* Sand and Stain my bench
* Polyurethane the bench (it has to be done a different day, so technically a different project)
* Finish the tutu's for my neighbors twins
* Clean our front bricks off (mortar is ALL over them)
* USPS (package and mail secret sister gift, and baby gift)
* Finish the Family Pictorial Album for our adoption packet
* Finish the questions for our adoption packet
* Stabilize, stain, polly, assemble antique-ish dresser (biggest project on the list...)
* Re-pot flowers for newly stained bench
* Touch up paint in kitchen and master bathroom
****Paint living room (Woohoo!)****

shhh... don't tell.... I got a free pallet that my friends husband rescued from the side of the road (ok, more like a very busy intersection just off the highway).  For anyone watching, I'm sure it was quite interesting watching me (all of 5'1") try to fit a huge (H-U-G-E) pallet into the back of my car (Galant).  I got it in, but not without some grunts and groans.... it will soon be turned into this....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


That's kinda how I feel.

But not always, just moments.

Like when I found out that we can't get our TB test until Friday

Or that one of my records is wrong, which will likely delay some paperwork for the adoption

When Travis said it was going to be a late night to catch up

But, then I remember, that today I got to go donate blood (they had an 'all call' for my blood type).

And got to help return phone calls at my husbands office (yea! not...), and pre-qualify applicants (double yea... not)

Spent the afternoon at the pool with a girlfriend

And now, I'm sitting on the bed, blogging, watching The Office, and eating chocolate cake with my husband. 

So I guess life is pretty good.... I just have to remember the second half of my list!

***Which- ohbytheway- chocolate cake, beer, the hot tub, and a girlfreind who always makes you laugh is just about the best combination on a Saturday night after a stress full weekend with your step daughter!***

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have loved the last few days... I was able to spend time at a hotel a few hours away.  My husband had Air Force training, and I tagged along.  And It. Was. Bliss.

Beautiful two room suite, awesome pool, great book, free drinks... we had fun.  It was fun.  I needed it, I needed to get away, I needed some time alone (hello pool!), and I needed some time with him.  And the Air Force paid for it .... well, I had to drive my own car, but that's a small price to pay for what it did for me, and what it did for 'us'!

But then I called our agency on the way home, and discovered that we had to have a certified copy of our marriage certificate, and that we only had one (out of four) recommendation letters, and there were a few more things and I got discouraged...

I know they are all little things, but dang.

Oh, and then 2 hours later, the blood work we did last week... ya, they didn't do all our labs.  We have to go BACK next week... on more delay.

We aren't going to have our packet done by the end of June, which means that we won't be done with our home study and profile book by the end of July, which means that we won't be in the 'match book' by August.....

So maybe we'll pay off the damn truck.  We'll have enough time to build up our account again before we have to give our 'down payment'.  In September... or October...


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back to us

I realized that today, that my husband and I are slowly getting back to 'us'.

For so long, our life has revolved around cycle days, ultra sounds, injections, 2ww, positive tests, and tears. 

We went to the pool today with some friends (who are also neighbors-our subdivision has a pool).  We all had fun, but eventually everyone left, and it was just Travis and I.  We sat on the lounge chairs and talked.  We laughed.  We made some plans for our future. 

I guess the one thing about adoption is that we know eventually we will be placed with a baby.  Our first match might fall through, and maybe our second, or third.  But... eventually we will have a baby.  That is something that my body could never guarantee us.  And that makes us happy.  Really, really happy.

I asked him what he was looking forward to once we had a baby, and he said taking them to our parents, and laying with them on the couch... but his final reason on the list (I may or may not have forced, nagged, asked him to give me 10 things...) was that he can't wait to see me so happy.

We had brought up water bottles and animal crackers to snack on, and as we were sitting there talking, and he said "I like them better soggy"... I just looked at him, and he reminded me of the time that he substituted in the 4 year old Sunday school class at church... a little boy had his cup of water and shoved all his animal crackers in it.  Travis asked him why he did it, and he told him "they are better when they are soggy".  Travis tried it with him, and agreed.  I *heart* my husband.... and all his little things that make me laugh!

We enjoyed our time together talking, and walking home holding hands, and making dinner together.

Tonight we were 'us', the way I love 'us'. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Packet II

I would be lying if I told you that yesterdays trip to the post office didn't hit me like a ton of bricks.

I literally put the packet on the mail counter, and just kinda stopped breathing for minute.

This is real.

We are adopting a baby.

We are going to have a baby.

We are still waiting on copies of our birth certificates to get mailed from our 'home states', and our letters of reference from our friends and family to be mailed to the agency. 

We also still have to finish our questions (there are 9 different ones we have to answer), and our family pictorial album (basically it puts a personality with the profile for the adoption review committee to 'get to know us'). 

But dang... we've taken another big step yesterday.

Once we get that all in, we wait for acceptance (I hope) or denial (not logical).

Then we start our home study process.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Adoption Books

Our agency requires that we read two different books before our home study.  One of them is "Dear Birthmother, Thank Your For Our Baby" by Kathleen Silber and Phylis Speedlin, and the other one is "Raising Adopted Children" by Lois Melina.  I'm about 1/2 way through the first book, and have the second book waiting. 

The first book is very 'pro open adoption', and so I can see why our agency wants us to read it.  They prefer open adoption whenever all parties agree, but I'm not so sure.

My adoption was closed. A private, closed adoption.  So was my little brothers.  Its normal to our family.  We turned out ok.  We had our parents support to find our birth parents, and I did.  But not when I was legally allowed to.  I was almost 20.  And it was ok.  I was ok.

I guess I'm just really torn.  I was up last night, because I couldn't sleep (curse of taking a Sunday afternoon nap.... though it was so so good!).  I started thinking about our baby.  That this time next year, I should have a baby.  I thought that in this 'electronic age' that we live in, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with an open adoption, but I think that I'm definitely ok with using e-mail.  I don't mind sending pictures of my child.  Or videos.  And think I would like to collect letters from my baby's birth mother.  Put them in some sort of 'book' that they can read.  To know that they are loved not only by Travis and I, but by thier birth family as well. 

I don't really know.  I guess I'm just figuring out that I am WAY more well rounded then some adoptees out there.... so my parents did something right!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dirt Track

Once again, it's hard to complain about the Air Force and stupid recruiting duty, when we get to go to fun places.  This weekend, a local raceway hosted a race, and the Air Force had a big display. 
Man... I'd join the Air Force.... but hey, maybe it's just me that thinks he's smokin' hot!
They have this SUV that has AF crap all on the outside, and then the inside has the flat screen, x-box, and radio with some killer speakers.
One of the 'national assets' that is on tour.  The guy from pimp my ride (Mike something) and 7 Airman designed this car.  It looks like a cockpit inside, had radar reflecting paint, and an inferred camera on top, so you can drive at night with all the lights off and still be able to see.

See those magical blue bands on our wrists... they were like a magic key- they got us into air conditioning, places with free water, close parking... it rocked!

Us standing above the seats, during the time trials.

Us right down next to the track... we had mud in our hair!

It was so stinking hot (and I only went up there after I got off of school....) I know the guys were dying, but once again, its things like this that almost make recruiting duty (and the occasional 14 hour day...) worth it.