Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's a boy!

So, my little alien is no longer an alien! James Russell is doing well and right on track. His heartrate was 135 and he's about 10-12". I'm sure I'm a bit biased, but I think he's a cutie! We got to see blood flow to his kidneys, legs, heart and brain. They measured his whole body, stem to stern.

He's got 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 legs and is definitely a boy! It was amazing to see him moving and wiggling and punching during the ultrasound. T kept laughing when he punched and asked if I could feel it. I can never tell if it's a kick or a punch, but I definitely feel things at times. I'm looking forward to T being able to feel it, too. Only 18 more weeks to go before we get to meet JR!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bill's Korean Kaper

For all 2 of you who might be out in blogland, I thought I'd pass along a blog link that should eventually have some great stories. My dad is in Korea this year teaching English. He's finally started a blog. It's called Bill's Korean Kaper. He's only got one post so far, but I'm hoping he'll post pictures and keep it updated. He tells good stories, so this should be fun. Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our little "peanut"

So, I've been gone awhile from blogland. It's been busy with work and keeping up with T. He spent a month in Florida doing Navy stuff and was able to combine all of his drills for the rest of the year with his AT to knock it all out at once. That's nice so we don't have to pay for a plane ticket each month, but I'll miss my drill weekend freedom. It kind of sounds bad, but it's nice to have one weekend to yourself sometimes. But, I'll happily give up my weekend for him to be around the rest of the time.

Part of the reason I've been gone is that we found out we're having a baby! I am so excited. It's been a long time coming (at least for me). I just haven't had the energy to blog about stuff for awhile. We are 8 weeks this week and got our first ultrasound this past Wednesday. The baby has a good strong heartbeat - it was 168 during the ultrasound. It was surreal to see it on the monitor. It's one thing to see it on tv or to see other people's pictures, but to see it for our own and ourselves was the coolest thing I think I've ever done. I could have stared at it all day. I loved watching the small blip of a heart beating steadily. We got a few pictures, which unfortunately didn't scan as well as I had hoped, so I'm trying to scan them again. I'll post them soon. The majority of people I talk to think it's a boy. Except for cjoy and the "determine the sex based on heartbeat level" website, both of which say it's a girl. I'd really love a girl because I have such a great relationship with my mom and my friends' girls. Don't have nearly as much experience with boys, but I'm pretty sure it's a boy and have already started to love the thought of a boy.

We've gone round and round with names. We, of course, have boys name picked out. T has, since we first discussed kids when we were dating, suggested and advocated for Bubba Hoss. Bubba is because he will be from the South and Hoss because T loves the show "Bonanz". I have finally determined (I think) that this is a joke, but I'm not exactly sure. Now, he wants Robert Josiah to shorten to Bubba Hoss. I think we have settled on James Russell (the first legit sounding name he gave me more than a year ago). But, I also like Joshua Harrington. The weekend before I took the first test, I kinda new something was going on, I saw the name Joshua everywhere. I looked up the meaning (the Lord is my salvation) and loved it. Harrington was my grandfather's middle name and I just like it. But, I think it'll be James Russell (his and his dad's middle names). We have trouble with girls names. I like Grace as the middle name with several first name options: Caroline, Anna, & Elizabeth. My great-grandmother's name was Anastasia and I love the name, but it's long, so I thought shortening it to Anna would work since that's probably what she'd be called. So far, Caroline and Abigail have been nixed for various reasons. I tried Carolina (like Carolina Herrera), but it got vetoed, too. So, we're stuck with girls names, which means it'll probably be a girl. We find that out August 10. That seems so far away, but I've been told it'll be here before I know it.

So, that's what's going on in this little corner of the world. I've not enjoyed the nausea or the inability to handle certain smells or brushing my teeth, but things are so good right now I don't think I'd trade them for anything. T has been so sweet and comments often about being parents and how cool this all is. I think he's more excited than he's willing to admit. And, our moms are thrilled. My mom asked for pictures of the ultrasound and wanted at least a 4x6 - I jokingly suggested blowing it up to a poster size and she was all for it. It's a first grandchild for her and she's already planned her vacation time around Christmas when it's due. It's fun to see her so excited. I'm not sure how we'll balance both moms wanting to come at the same time, but I think it'll work itself out. I feel blessed to have so many people who are excited and love this baby before they even get to meet him (or her).

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm addicted to Facebook. I love reconnecting with friends and keeping tabs on what everyone's up to. I'll also freely admit there are a few games on there that I love to play. Especially if I'm at work and on hold on the phone. I've created buttons (they're called Flair on the site), adopted a beagle puppy named Copper (from Disney's "The Fox & The Hound") and a black horse named Elphie (from "Wicked"), uploaded photos, done surveys and those random "get to know your friend" kind of email lists, gotten a high score of 203 bowling, and have the 2nd highest score on the IQ test "Who Has the Biggest Brain". It unnerves me that our law clerk from last summer has a higher bowling score (230) and a guy I remember as a class clown (though pretty smart) has a "bigger brain" than I do (my head, I think, is physically larger, so logically I assume my brain is bigger to fill up the othwerwise extra space, but his score is higher, so his is "bigger"). All in all, Facebook is a great way to kill time and avoid working.

So, why am I blogging and not on Facebook? My computer randomly decided this afternoon that we have a new firewall installed and it blocks Facebook. Does it block any other website I use? Nope. Just Facebook. I think this may be God's way of not so subtly redirecting me back to work. But, my computer at home is so slow bowling will be out. I can still feed and play with the puppy, but anything requiring a semi-speedy computer will be out. Plus, now I have to find a way to kill time while on hold or talking to someone who really doesn't require my full attention (ex: the associate down the hall who just likes to talk). I think I'm going to go with withdrawal for a few days.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Birthdays and stuff

This 32nd post just so happens to be about my 32nd birthday. Random. It was different this year. I thought 30 would be bad, but it was so much fun going to NY with one of my best friends, cjoy, that I didn't really notice I was out of my 20s. 31 wasn't too bad because it didn't really seem that old. This year, though, was much harder. The day before, I had a mini meltdown in the car on the way to work. I started thinking about all the things I want to do with my life and how I another year was almost up and none of them were done. I managed to snap out of it by the time I got to the office, but I was kind of in a mood all day. The actual day started out just as bad. I stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth lamenting about how "old" I was and how nothing ever seemed to change and I am in the same place in life I was a year ago. Then, all of a sudden, I realized how crappy it sounded to be whining to God on my birthday and decided I needed an attitude adjustment. I decided I would be thankful for another day and another year. I had to keep convincing myself all day that things are good. I am happy, relatively healthy, have a great husband and a good job. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my plate, which is more than many people in the world can say confidently.

The day progressed and, other than getting fussed at by a judge, it got much better. My mom called to remind me that she felt better that day than she did 32 years ago (an annual tradition done for both me and my sister). My dad emailed from Korea to give me an update on things (he moved into his "permanent" apartment on my birthday and is doing well). Various friends called or emailed during the day to wish me happy birthday. Friends at church made plans to go out next weekend to celebrate. My office had cake, which everyone seemed happy to devour, and I hosted Bunco. It was a small group this month, but fun, nonetheless. We had more cake and enjoyed visiting and catching up. Overall, it was a pretty decent day. Not as joyful as birthdays past, but I finished the day content, which was a marked improvement from how it started.

Then, after everyone left, I opened presents from T. HE GOT ME A Wii! I was so shocked when I opened it and he was grinning the whole time. I mentioned the possibility of getting him one for Christmas after a friend got one for her birthday last summer. He didn't seem too interested (though he's playing the boxing game while I blog and loving it), so I didn't really pursue it other than telling him I thought we'd enjoy it. I was mostly interested in the fitness package they have. I stopped going to the trainer just before Ike to take a break. I decided not to go back after the first of the year because I feel very compelled to get my credit cards paid off and be as debt free as possible. If T gets mobilized, we may be able to pay off the house (or at least a pretty significant chunk of it) and by then, my car would be paid off, so we'd be doing pretty good. But, I digress. What shocked me the most was that I haven't mentioned the Wii since around Thanksgiving, but he remembered! I've gotten some strange gifts from him in the past, sometimes they seem like last minute desperation gifts, but they are always things I like (books, tickets to Body Worlds, movies, etc). This time, though, he really listened.

Today is Valentine's Day. I spent it babysitting for friends who are moving this weekend. They hhave 2 girls who are 3 and 4.5 and are getting ready for a boy in a couple of months. They are great, loving kids and very much fun (most of the time) to hang out with. We went to the park and then to lunch before going to grandma and grandpa's house for a nap. My friend thinks it was a blessing for me to take the girls, but really, it's a blessing to get to hang out with them. T and I made dinner and then exchanged gifts for V-Day. We don't usually do anything big, but I try to do something at least slightly romantic. I made him a bath basket with some stuff he's been talking about needing to get at the store. I usually get flowers at work or some kind of candy. He totally outdid me this year (not that it's a competition or anything, but you know what I mean).

He got me the other 1/2 of the Wii package I had been wanting - the Wii Fitness! The Wii came with a sport package that has baseball, tennis, bowling, golf and boxing. It's a lot of fun. The Fitness one, though, has so much more. It has a balance board that you stand on and real exercises, several of which are disguised like games (like hula hoops and ski jumping for balance or a race for cardio). We have spent the last 2 hours playing. It keeps track of your weight (measured from the board, so there's no cheating) and your fitness level. You can't do the harder versions until you've done the easier ones a sufficient number of times successfully enough that the machine thinks you won't hurt yourself. You can choose a male or female trainer for the yoga or strength training exercises and she's encouraging but not too cheerful (I don't really like the "you can do it" said with a too cheerful and cheesy smile).

So, I will now go to bed (after a good shower because you actually do get sweaty playing a video game) knowing God has indeed blessed me with a great husband who is listening more than I realized and who cares enough to play silly video games with me and encourage me in working out. I am a lucky woman.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

USS New York

"Terrorist Around the World Cower in Fear from the US!" That would be a cool headline. I just got pictures from a friend of one of the newest Navy ships - the USS New York. It looks like most other Navy ships - same drab gray all dressed up in her prettiest red, white and blue for her debut. This one, though, is different. I think this one will hold the heart of just about every American and those who have the privilege of serving aboard her will be serving on a piece of American history.

The USS New York is very appropriately named. She's built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the fallen World Trade Center towers. According to the press release I got, she's the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists and will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

The press release also said that "steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. 'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.' Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up.' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said. 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back.'"

The ship's motto is "Never Forget".

Terrorist around the world may not be cowering in fear just yet, but wait until the USS pulls in to port!

Monday, January 19, 2009


My dad's moving to Korea for a year! He leaves next Thursday, January 29, and will be gone for a whole year! I still can't believe he's doing this - even though I've known about it for a couple of months, until he got the visa number and a plane ticket, I wasn't really sure he'd go through with it. He'll be teaching English in a public school in Yang-ju, a city of about 150,000 about thirty miles due north of Seoul. I'm really excited for him, a little nervous for him, and can't wait to figure out how to afford a plane ticket to go see him.

He's getting a furnished 2 bed/ 2 bath apartment with a driver and everything. He'll also have a bus pass for the public transportation and medical care while he's there, so he'll be really well taken care of. I think they are happy he's coming. He's the first teacher they've had for awhile. He said that so many young college graduates that go only want to go to the big cities, so the smaller towns suffer a bit.

He'll have all ages - from toddlers to high school kids. Their goal is to make all of their kids truly bilingual, so his classroom will only be taught in English. He'll have a Korean aide to do the discipline and assist students, but he is to only conduct lessons in English. He's going to have to come up with some inventive lesson plans because teacing 2 year olds is much different from teaching 15 year olds! I can't wait to see what he comes up with.

After experiencing Korea through my friend's Air Force adventure (you can read about her adventures here), I'm hoping he'll find lots of amusing and unusual things and send lots of pictures. I hope we'll get to go visit and see a new part of the world while he's there. I think this will be a fun adventure for him.