Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fun with Vaccinations

I had a long conversation with my insurance company today. I was put on hold SEVERAL times.

Here are the bottom line answers to my questions:

1. When Husband and I travel to Vietnam, we have to take a letter from our insurance carrier, indicating that we have medical insurance. With this letter, allegedly, should we god forbid need medical treatment while in Vietnam, we would be able to prove that it will be paid for. (It seems to me the odds of this being needed, or being effective if it did, are slim.)

2. Any child adopted by us in Vietnam would be covered by our medical insurance upon boarding a plane, with us, bound for the United States. (Evidently, they have thought about this before.)

3. There are no pre-existing conditions clauses that would affect the child's coverage once he or she arrived in the US.

4. Under no circumstances with our health insurance company pay for the vaccinations we need for this trip. :-(

So, I called the county health department. And, as luck would have it, they have a travel immunization clinic where they will happily administer the following immunization to Husband and I:

HepA and HepB - (this is a three shot series that takes six months to complete, and we need at least the first two shots before we travel)
MMR - (because evidently the fact that we both had this in 1977 isn't really good enough.)

Anyway, they will provide us this service at the rock bottom price of $300.00 per person.

It beats the $450 per person my regular family doctor would require.

I made an appointment for June 21.

Just watch - this is the day before our INS appointment. We will probably get all these shots and be too darn sick to go. Maybe we should just start the HepA and HepB series and wait until the next month to do the rest...


Some Musical Questions for this Afternoon

Have you been sitting, waiting, wishing...that SOMEBODY could answer the immortal question:

What are the 52 most depressing songs ever recorded?

Well, this guy has the answer:

I read a review of this book this morning over my morning coffee and cereal, and about snarfed my breakfast all over the paper. I have to say I am in 100% agreement with him on what the number one most depressing song EVER is: The Christmas Shoes, which the reviewer described as "more depressing than the Cure's entire career." I have to agree that this song puts me in a DEEP BLUE FUNK at any point it comes on the radio and it will CRUSH ALL CHRISTMAS CHEER for hours at a time, and what is worse is that we are destined to be subjected to it every 12 months for the rest of our lives.

Other musical questions I am pondering:

1. Why did James Taylor include the song "Steamroller" on his greatest hits CD? This defies logic. Who would even begin to suggest that this bizarre song belongs with the rest of this greatest hits collection? Come on, what was he thinking?

2. Why did Eminem include the song "Fack" on his greatest hits CD, Curtain Call? Okay, as a closet Eminem fan, I am well aware that Mr. Mathers has, to say the least, a certain tendancy to use foul language with relish (and yes, I know this is an understatement), but, really, this song is so unbelievably, incredibly, indescribably dirty that I cannot listen to the song, alone in my car, without blushing, gagging and hitting the "skip" button on my cd player. It seriously makes me want to throw up a little bit, and I have only ever managed to listen to the first 45 seconds before having to dive for that skip button.

3. Is "Fack," in fact, the dirtiest song ever recorded? I thought so until this morning when I was putting gasoline in my car, when the patron next to me was blasting a song even dirtier. If I knew the name of it, I would share, so that you could share in my shock that such a song could exist. Instead, I was just glad that I decided to get gas AFTER I dropped off my six year old at kindergarten.

4. How is it possible that the granddaughter* of a blue grass musician could have Eminem's Curtain Call and James Taylor's Greatest Hits, both in her record collection, next to her Alison Kraus and Greg Trooper cds?...yeah...I don't so much have the answer to that question...


*that would be me

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

No Asian Festival for Me

We had the best intentions of driving to Columbus on Sunday for the Asian festival.

However, this didn't happen, because, at the last minute, my mom called and asked us to host a barbeque at our house on Sunday. She said that she would have a barbeque at her house, except that the kitchen still isn't put back together due to the Great Kitchen Remodeling Event of 2006. (Second only to the Great Insomnia Inspired Wall Tear Out of 1978, when my parents, unable to sleep, decided to knock down an entire wall in order to create more living room and less foyer. THAT was a nightmare that was not entirely recitified until 1981.)

Anyway, my brother A~ and sister-in-law W~ were visiting for the wekeend with their baby, D~, who was born May 6. Only my mom and step-dad had seen the baby, so, of course, the rest of us had to see the baby. (Insert soundtrack from Seinfeld here...You gotta see the baby, you gotta see the baby.) And Sunday was the only day that A~ and W~ had available to show off the baby...

Hence, I spent Sunday with most of my siblings and their children and my grandmother and aunt, etc., at my house. It was a lot of people, and our pool was not ready for swimming. (We took the cover off on Saturday and spent all of Saturday cleaning and vacuuming it. It is ready, finally, for swimming, now.)

It is very hard to explain to six disappointed kiddos that there are reasons why they cannot jump into a pool that looks like it might be lots of fun, even if it is still a bit green. (The green is gone, now, but, on Sunday, there were still some serious algae issues.)

We may have some adoption news this week, but, I don't have any definitive info...

In bloggy news, I am really really sad to see that Karen over at is no longer blogging. I have been following her story and hoping to see her get a referral sometimes in the next six weeks. I hope everything goes okay for her family.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

The USCIS...again

Husband just called me to tell me there is a letter from the U.S. C.I.S. in today's mail.

It tells us to be in Cleveland at 12:30 PM on Thursday, June 22, not to bring any "unnecessary parties," not to arrive more than 15 mintues early, and to bring our passports or Ohio driver's licenses.

I am breathing a sigh of relief. And annoyance that the appointment is four weeks away...

I'm trying to figure out what to do with Gabe that day, since Husband is a stay-at-home dad in the summer (starting June 7), so we don't have any daycamp or anything for Gabe to be at, and I am pretty sure the USCIS will consider Gabe to be an "unnecessary party"...maybe my mom or my sister will watch him that day...worse case scenario, I could check with an old friend who lives in a suburb of Cleveland and who is a firefighter so he only works one day out of every three, so, I suppose odds are good he would not be working and making Gabe could play with his little girl, who is the same age...I'm babbling...I'll stop.


Asian Festival?

Columbus, Ohio is going to be hosting a large Asian festival this weekend. Many of the families from our FCC group are going to be going, as well as our friends L~ and M~, from Cincinnati, who were DTC ("Dossier to China", i.e. the beginning of an approximately yearlong wait for a healthy baby girl from China) about six weeks ago. (FCC here in town has families with children from several Asian nations, although, I would say, 95% are from China. But, they have been very welcoming to Dave and I and excited about our Vietnamese adoption.)

At first I didn't want to go, because I thought it would just make me depressed - going with the families whose children are already home, etc. But, I see from the website that several Japanese culture booths will be set up, and cuisine from Japan, Vietnam, China, Thailand, etc. I like to expose Gabe to the idea that his parents lived somewhere other than the U.S. before he was born, and Gabe likes to look at the picture albums from the time we lived in Japan, and ask me questions - mostly, "how do you say dog/cat/crayon/baseball in Japanese?"

So, anyway, I think it would be a good idea to go - to talk about Japan, and to talk about Vietnam, and "this is where your little brother or sister will be coming from", if I can convince my husband that it is worth the road trip, I think we may go.

Last night the phone rang - at 1:22 AM. I picked it up and there was a heavy breather on the other end. To be honest, this freaked me right the hell out. First, the light incident at 1:22 AM, and then the next night the phone rings at the exact same time??? What the heck is happening???


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Things that go CLICK in the night

Oh, I forgot to mention a bizarre incident that occurred in our household at 1:22 AM this morning.

Husband and I were sleeping soundly. The big orange tom cat was sleeping on Husband's head, as he is wont to do. (The small auxiliary cat was sleeping outside Gabriel's bedroom door.)

Husband and I have a ceiling fan/light connected to the recessed ceiling in our master bedroom. At the time we ordered it (spring 2004) they told us the manufacturer had a remote control available, but, that it was backordered. (I think the idea of a remote control for our bedroom light seemed so incredible that we declined it - maybe it was the extra $30.00 for something that we didn't know when we would see - at any rate, we opted out of the remote control.)

However, we can only conclude that SOMEONE ELSE in our neighborhood purchased the remote control for the light/fan, because at 1:22 this morning, the light CAME ON. At first I assumed that Gabe had woken up and turned the light on in our room, and my first instinct was to start yelling (because A. he knows better than to wake his mother up that way - he knows enough that mommy HATES being woken up and that the appropriate way to wake mommy is to sneak into our bedroom and shove his cold fingers under the duvet to grab whatever part of mommy happens to be lying there, but, for the love of all that is holy DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHT, and B. who wouldn't want to yell at someone for turning on the light when one is sleeping soundly at 1:22 AM?) But, Gabe was not there. No one was there. About a minute passed, during which Husband finally realized the light was on (because the big orange tom cat was covering part of his head) and he said, "what the hell?" and then the light WENT OUT BY ITSELF.

Husband commented, 'I think somebody in the neighborhood has the remote control for our light...the other day I came home on the fan was on.' Husband then went back to sleep. I got up and went to see if Gabe was sleeping. He was. I came back into the bedroom, shut the window, pulled down the shade, and went back to sleep....there were no further incidents with the light, although, the big orange tom cat went two rounds with the shade around 5:00 AM. I can't win...


Life, the Weather, Etc.

Yesterday I tried to call the international adoption form submission information telephone number at the Cleveland Office of the USCIS 40 times. FORTY TIMES. It was busy contstantly. At one point I just kept hanging up and dialing for 10 minutes straight, but, that didn't help matters at all.

I'm not even sure at this point what I want to ask them, I just want proof that the line is actually connected to a human being.

At 3:55 I got a ringing line - and I thought I had hit the jackpot - but, then, a recording picked up and told me to call between the hours of 1:00 to 4:00 PM. It was 3:55!! I wanted to leave a angry message, but, the recording kindly told me that it did not accept messages.

That is the only news on the adoption front. That there is NO NEWS.

In other news, my life does go on.

We are getting ready to open up the pool. We thought we were going to have to add at least a foot of water, since we took two feet of water out last fall - but, the winter cover is stuck to the top of the pool like pudding skin on pudding (like pudding skin ever forms on anything else - like pudding skin on...turkey?) - anyway, the point is, the pool is FULL. Like, if we get another hard rain (and it has felt like monsoon season around here the last few weeks (since when did NW Ohio have to worry about typhoons, I ask you??) the pool will OVERFLOW.

So, we need to get that cover off, REMOVE some water, and start chemicals and filtration going.

I'm looking forward to diving in, once, you know, it's all clean and chlorinated and stuff.

Gabe is reading like you wouldn't believe - last night he was up until 11:00 reading "My First Dictionary of European Languages." I feel like he refuses to listen to a word I say when I am telling him to do something like, "sit down and eat" or "go put your pajamas on" - but, at least I know I can feel okay about it when he is teaching quantum physics at MIT or something... ;-) He was grumpy, this morning, though, which is no fun.

I finally got a book from the library yesterday that I have been waiting on for a few weeks - Definately Dead by Charlaine Harris. It is the sixth book in the Southern Vampire series. So far, it's as good as the previous five. It's not going to win the nobel prize for literature, but, it is definitely good amusement reading.

Ta ta for now,

Monday, May 22, 2006

The USCIS is not my friend

I have just learned that the USCIS in Cleveland is processing 1600A applications with a "receipt date" of April 1, 2006.

The date on my "receipt" is May 3. (You may recall that this receipt is a teeny tiny little slip of paper that I almost threw away?)

This means it will be another month before they process our application and tell us to come for fingerprints. At least, I assume that is what they mean.

They do have a telephone number for adopting parents to call, between the hours of 1 to 4, but, it has been consistently busy since 1:00 PM.

So, I guess it's totally irrelevant if we receive a referral anytime soon, because we sure aren't going to be sending our dossier to Vietnam until we have that precious piece of paper...


Nothing much else to report. We saw the DaVinci Code over the weekend. It was not as good as the book, but, not nearly as lousy as the critics are saying.

I just LOVE bureaucracy!


Friday, May 19, 2006

Now that I have figured out how to put up a picture, I can be super-obnoxious mom and say, "How cute is my kid?"

Wedding Ring Dilemma

My husband's wedding ring has gone missing. It is either in 300 pounds of mulch in our front yard, or, it went out in the trash on the day the mulch was put down.

We have borrowed a metal detector and gone over the mulch, to no avail. A picture of what the ring looked like is above. (Nifty that I finally figured out how to load an image to the blog, huh? Now, if I could just figure out how to make a "blogs I read" column down one side...)

Anyway, the ring was made by Landstrom's Black Hills Gold company, which, I can tell you, makes some pretty tacky jewelry, but, we do both like this particular design, and both of our rings looked like this. Mine still does.

Now that he is ringless, we are trying to figure out if we should replace the ring with an identical ring - provided we can find a Landstrom's store that is carrying this model, or get something else.

We both like these "Song of Solomon" rings:

It says, in Hebrew, "My beloved is mine and I am hers".

Signals has a similar product:

But, is available in both Latin and Hebrew, and has a gender-neutral, "My beloved is mine and I am my beloved's".

So, should we replace the ring with one that matches mine and looks like the one he lost, or should we replace it with a ring that we could not afford to have purchased at the time we got married, although probably would have liked, and do like now? (We paid $45 a piece for our wedding rings, which we got on special sale...)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I am an Asshat

I've been reading alot of blogs today. (Because I am, kind of, not getting a whole lot of work done...which is bad. Really bad.)

Anyway, many of these are adoption blogs or adoption after infertility blogs, and they are talking about Mother's Day. And that it blows big chunks.

This is what makes me an asshat. Seriously. It never occured to me that Mother's Day would suck big nasty chunky rocks for mothers who don't have their babies yet.

I will say, in my defense, it did occur to me, quite clearly, that it would be horribly painful for mothers who have lost their babies. I am not THAT much of an asshat.

But, really, for moms who are waiting for their babies from China or Vietnam or Kazahkstan or Cleveland Children's Services, or still trying to make their babies the old fashioned way, and not having any luck...I say, I am sorry I am such an asshat. For not even contemplating that such a sadness could exist. I am sorry Sunday sucked for mommies-in-waiting-and-waiting-and-waiting.

I hope out hope that next Mother's Day...will be joyful for all of us.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We are still looking for Samuel

I talked to the doctor. And Columbus Children's Hospital. And two families who have children with spina bifida. And a fellow adopting mom who knows first hand about spina bifida.

And I felt like I could probably handle the issues raised by the little boy's spina bifida.

But, what I did not feel so confident about was handling the emotional issues faced by a child who has spent the first three years of his life with 700 other children. Without knowing if he has formed attachments to one or two consistent caregivers and no way of finding that out. No way of knowing what his personality or nature is.

We told the agency "no".

I wonder if I am being unfair. I wonder if I am holding up an ideal of the first child, C~ H~ Dung, and comparing him to every other child who comes our way, and finding him lacking...

I know this not fair. But, I really...I loved that little boy. I know you can say I could not have loved a child I did not know. That I only loved the "idea" of that little boy. Maybe so.

Maybe I have not given myself enough time to grieve about him. (I was reading a note from another adoptive mom, who lost out on a daughter the exact same way we lost out on C~ H~ Dung, and she said it was almost three months before she could even think about adopting another child.)

I have written a note to Sam...this is what it says,

Dear Sam,
I know that you are out there, somewhere, waiting for your parents to find you. I am looking for you everywhere, and each false lead makes my heart break. I hope that the next phone call is the phone call telling me that you have been found.

Lately, at night, after I tuck in your brother and read him a book and sing him a song, I lay down in “Sam’s room” and I watch television, and I lie on the quilt with sailboats on it, and I wonder when I will have you home, to tuck both of you in, to sing both of you a song, to read both of you a book? I wonder if you will love books like your brother does. I wonder if you will love to have your back scratched, if will make friends with T~, the little boy across the street.

I know you are out there, Sam. It breaks my heart to know that you may not even know that your mother and father are looking for you, that we want so much to bring you home to your forever family. I promise I will find you, Samuel. I promise.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


My six-year-old has been "helping" his father grade his tenth-grade English students illustrated versions of Beowulf.

This is an actual conversation I overheard, between Gabriel and his six-year old buddy, D~ and M~, the 12 year old down the road, while they were playing soccer in our yard yesterday.

"Hrothgar was the king of the Danes. "Bearwolf" was a great warrior of the Gaets. Grendel was this big monster. Hrothgar KING OF THE DANES asked brave "Bearwolf" to kill Grendel the dragon. And so "Bearwolf" took his sword and he SLAYED him dead! Then, "Bearwolf" had to kill Grendel's mom, because she was SO MAD about "Bearwolf" killing her son. So, "Bearwolf" SLAYED Grendel's mom. And was the mighty king of the Gaets for fifty years. It's much more cooler than Power Rangers."

Um...I'm a little worried what the other moms in the neighborhood are going to start to say...


Monday, May 15, 2006


My cousin's Gwen's off-broadway show was written up in Variety magazine, and a pick of the week for - check it out at:

Anybody who is going to be in Manhattan in the next two weeks should check it out.

Shamelessly plugging for talented family,

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Feeling better...

I'm feeling a little bit less like strangling strangers...

My boys came home from their weekend away. We picked up take out Indian food and took it to my mother's house for Mother's Day, because my mother loves Indian food, and because they have completely torn their kitchen out and are in the process of installing all new applicances and flooring and cabinets, so, they cannot cook for themselves anyway. We ate Indian food, and a chocolate chip cookie cake my brother J~ had brought over for Mother's Day, and Gabe gave me a locket and a homemade card.

We drove home, and I made a huge pitcher of sweet tea (because I was craving my mother's sweet tea from having been at her house, where she did not have any because she has no refrigarator nor a stove for boiling the water to make the simple syrup*, for the next two days) and I listened to the Folk Sampler on public radio, and gave my son a bath, and generally feel better about the state of universe...

*my mother's recipe for sweet tea, courtesy of her mother, who got it from her mother - boil two cups of water, pour one cup of boiling water over 1/2 cup of sugar, and pour the other cup of water, still boiling, over 3 standard tea bags (I like Lipton, but, any standard black tea will work), allow the water to dissolve the sugar and stir, allow the tea bags to steep for 5 minutes. Pour the sugar water and the tea into a half gallon pitcher, add ice and cold water to the top. Voila.


I'm not quite sure why I am so angry...

but I am. Really, truly, just p*ssed off. Mad at the universe.

Part of it is this:

I did not know this woman in person, but, I read her blog, back to the beginning of it. She was eloquent. She was...strong. She was funny, even, sometimes, in the face of personal tragedy. She was only 33 years old. She was loved, I am sure, by many many people - a husband, friends, family.

And she was killed on Friday, by something bigger than all of us. Ovarian cancer.

From her blog entries, she wanted to be a mother, and she wanted to live. And her options for motherhood were limited after they had to take out all her girly bits, and her options for becoming an adoptive mother were stripped from her when her cancer struck her again. And now it has stolen even her options for breathing, and DAMMIT. DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT.

There are people who go through every day of their lives doing horrible things to their children and to other people. People who take pornographic pictures of their little girls and post them on the Internet. People who adopt children from Russia and then keep them locked in basements and who later have to testify about their sex abuse in front of Congress. (Did anybody else see that footage last week?? Who else wanted to rip that adoptive father limb from limb?) People who steal things, and lie, and cheat and corrupt. Men who kill women. Women who kill men. Grown ups who kill children.

And damned if I can figure out why on earth LOTS AND LOTS of those people will probably smoke and eat bacon three times a day and they will live, anyway. They will live to be nasty, lying corrupt senior citizens, probably.

And good, caring, eloquent, fabulous people...get smacked with ovarian cancer or breast cancer or heart disease or a semi-truck or genetic disorders, AND IT'S NOT FAIR.


I was reading the newspaper this morning, and two things did not help my mood. One was an article about women having babies after 40. And they were interviewing one woman who said, "the doctor told me I would never be a mother, but, I prayed about it. He [the child she later gave birth to in spite of the doctor] is a faith baby. I prayed for him, and he came."

I am bothered by this statement for two reasons. First because, just because a doctor says you won't have a biological child does not mean the doctor is telling you, you won't ever be a MOTHER. OBVIOUSLY, there are alternative methods to becoming a mother. So, that crawled up my craw and bit me hard.

But, the other thing that bugged me was the statement that she got pregnant because she prayed about it.

Um...cause I know a lot of people who have prayed about pregnancy - both for and against it.

And sometimes they get pregnant, and sometimes they don't get pregnant, and many women who want desparately to become pregnant, and who pray about it with a true, open heart...will never become pregnant, and others will become pregnant in spite of their best efforts NOT to become pregnant. (Ask the wife of a Methodist minister I know, who became pregnant after her husband's vasectomy. She will tell you, God has his own agenda.)

Maybe I am misconstruing this woman's words, because what I heard when I read them was, "If you just pray hard enough about something, it will happen, and if it doesn't happen, you must not be praying hard enough."

And I think that is a crap attitude. I think God has a plan for each of us, and maybe sometimes what we want for ourselves is also what God wants for us, and in that case, we feel God has answered our prayers. But, when he doesn't answer our prayers - does that mean we are not in God's favor? Does that mean we didn't pray hard enough or with enough sincerity?

No, I don't think that's what that means. I think it means God has another idea. But, I do think that's what the mother of the "faith baby" meant. And while it is undoubtedly un-Christian of me to say so, it makes me want to find and slap the sh*t out of her. (Did I mention I am ANGRY today???)

The other thing that made me want to poke my own eyes out with a fork was an article about a woman who was fired from her teaching position at a private school because she became pregnant through IVF. She became pregnant through IVF and the school FIRED HER. For violating church teaching. I am not sure the details of this - whether or not her bosses asked her how she came to be pregnant - "Excuse me, Gertrude, could you tell me if you got pregnant boffing your husband in the usual way, or were there medical personnel involved, because we think having such information effects your ability to teach second grade." I don't know the details...but, I read it right after the article about the faith baby, and I had to put the paper on the recycle bin and eat some chocolate, or my head was going to explode.

Which is when I logged on here, and discovered the death of cancerbaby...and, well, I think I am going to have to go find some more chocolate, now, or bad things might happen..

Mad at the universe...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Lo Mein, Low Mom

The doctor has not called....:-(

I stopped last night at the Yum Yum Palace (yes, that's really the name) to pick up some lo mein and a spring roll for dinner. (Because my long distance runner/food police Husband was not around to object.)

Anyway, the boy working the counter was about 16, and as I sat down to wait for my order, I found myself staring at him, and wondering what "Samuel" would look like at 16...I think he noticed I was looking at him intently, and then I felt bad, because I am pretty sure it made him uncomfortable. Need to remind myself not to stare at Asian children anymore...even teenagers.

I find myself asking lots of questions, like,

Do I really want to switch country programs?
Who has been caring for this child? Who loved this child? What happened to this child for the 27 months of absent information?

Then, I look at his sweet face, and I wish the doctor would call and give me SOMETHING. Some kind of information.

I stayed up until midnight last night, watching episodes of "Dead Like Me" on DVD. I love that show. I don't understand why Showtime didn't renew it for a fourth season...I had trouble sleeping without my boys at home...despite what some might say, a borrowed dog is just not as good at keeping one company as a Husband.

Well, I suppose, arguably, a good dog of one's own is preferable to a LOUSY husband...but, that just doesn't apply in my case...

Must go to a pre-trial now,

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My boys have left me...

My boys have headed up to northern Michigan for their annual romp through the woods to find morel mushrooms.

So, I am boyless until Sunday. Except for Lucky, my brother's dog, who I borrowed to keep me company and to protect me from any suburban burglars who can get through our security alarm...because, well, our big orange Tom cat and our small auxiliary cat are not much in the way of making a girl feel safe. Although, I am pretty sure if the burglar tried to get at the food dish or the cat condo, well, THEN, Nolan the wonder cat MIGHT try to drool them to death...or something.

There seemed to be a typhoon here last night. For a while last night I worried that our roof would blow away...because, that would be my luck, to have our roof blow off while Husband was out of town.

I have nothing to report vis a vis the little boy in China. Waiting to hear from the doctor...


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In lieu of a cigarette, I have eaten a snickerdoodle...

with toffee chips in it.

I think the the snickerdoodle is much less likely to form a fatal habit.

Although it will certainly show up on my abdomen...

Perhaps to the extent that people will start asking if I am pregnant again.

The answer to which is "Are you expecting?" "Why, yes I am. But, that doesn't account for my fatness!"


I would really like a cigarette right now...

Which is, um, ironic, because I have pretty much not had any cigarettes in a really long time, nor was I ever anything other than a "social smoker" - i.e. if other people at a party were smoking, I might smoke one cigarette.

It's possible that I have, in my entire life, smoked 20 cigarettes.

Perhaps it is because I was commiserating with another attorney about a case, and HE was smoking a cigarette, which seemed extremely CALMING to him, and I kept thinking, 'damn, it must be nice to have something that makes you so calm.'

On the other hand, HE was in the middle of trying to draft a defense for a guy who is facing the death penalty, and, um...fighting for someone's life, I imagine, is a terrible burden. Because if you lose, even if you think your client is guilty, well, I don't think I could personally live with that kind of pressure. Which I why I have a very narrow criminal practice that only involves defending those accused of owning nuisance real estate...none of those clients gets threatened with anything worse than a fine, and possibly having their property bull-dozed, which I have managed to avoid every time.

The reason I am clamoring for something calming is because I feel all "awhirl" emotionally.

Part of this comes from an email I received from my uncle this morning. (Not the one I work for - a different one.) Anyway, said uncle is living in China right now, doing...something. I'm not really clear about what it is he does. Something with computers.

Anyway, he and my aunt are living near Beijing for two years. So, I had emailed them to ask if they are any where near the province where this little boy is. (Which they are about 200 miles away.) But, anyway, my uncle had spoken with the attorney for his company, a Chinese attorney in Beijing, who then emailed me as well, and expressed astonishment that there could be a fairly healthy three year old boy living in an orphanage, because most boys living in orphanages have "many serious special needs", and his advice was to 'proceed with extreme caution' and 'question all reports' and to 'make sure I am working with a reputable agency'. Well, the only thing I am sure about is that I am working with a reputable agency...but, unlike this agency's work in Vietnam, they have no direct control/access/input in the care of this child. (He also asked if I had considered adopting a baby girl from China, since he knew this was such a "normal practice" and he had heard American families were generally very happy with "such placements.")

Ugh. I feel sick. I really feel, kind of like I've just gotten off one of those twirly rides at a county fair.

My immediate temptation at the moment is to hide under my desk, a la George Costanza, and take a nap under there...


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

FedEx has landed

This is a very handsome child with a bright smile. He likes to build towers out of blocks, and he is very particular about the "method of building." Evidently, he likes to do things his own way. He also likes drawing on a chalkboard.

He seems to be very normal - running, walking, climbing stairs.

He has a scar the size of a very large coin - I'm thinking a 500 Yen piece, if anyone has ever seen one of those - bigger than a silver dollar or a 50 cent piece - in the center of the small of his back.

According to the file, he came into care with the scar on his back. Which is odd, since it also indicates he was only 10 days old.

He was not taken to a doctor regarding the scar until he was 27 months old. That was last August.

The doctor who examined him diagnosed "post-operative meningocele", which, according to, is the least common kind of spina bifida, and "often no further problems arise after correction". Which is reassuring - IF the doctor is right about what the surgery was done for.

The doctor based this diagnosis on "experience and the nature of the scar."

An MRI was done in March of this year, that notes a fissure at L4, diagnosis, "spina bifida at L4." "No other abnormalities of the spine are noted, vertebrae is intact." Followed by two lines of medical mumbo-jumbo that mean nothing to me.

What is astonishing to me, is, after having seen three files from Vietnam, which contined child reports every 90 days or so - there is almost no information on this child prior to August, 2005.

He was found at the mouth of a coal mine, with the scar tissue on his back, on May 12, 2003. For 10 days, they looked for his family. On May 22, 2003, the social workers declared him to be 10 days old (this seem impossible - he must have been at least a few days older - he was born and had surgery, and was FOUND on May 12, 2003.) He was taken into care.

That's it. That's all there is, prior to August 2005. It's like the first 27 months of his life didn't matter.

The file says he was taken to the hospital in August of 2005 so that he could be made available for adoption. I wonder what they thought would happen to him before that?

He is in an orphanage with 700 other children. SEVEN HUNDRED OTHER CHILDREN.

Can I repeat that? SEVEN HUNDRED.

And, uh, China has been SLOWING DOWN their referrals. One orphanage has 700 children in it, and they are keeping families waiting for 11 months and counting.

I'm feeling a little angry about that, reading this. But, that's beside the point. I'm not at the mercy of the CCAA, with the exception of whether or not they will approve my dossier and travel approval, if we accept this child. I'm at the mercy of what some doctors are going to tell me about what is under the scar tissue on this child's back.

And at the mercy of wondering if, a child who lives in an orphanage with 700 other children, for three years, can form an attachment to my family...

Up half the night

My six-year-old snores like a longshoreman. Or a ninety-year old man. Or something.

When I was putting him to bed last night, he said, "mommy, my head hurts, I need to go to sleep." I thought that was odd, but, I turned off his light and shut the door and it seemed like he fell asleep right away. (Usually we have about 4 trips back and forth from his room to wherever Husband and I are - "what time will the sun come up?" and "what word is this?" (he likes to read before he falls asleep). Last night, nothing.

Then, at 10:30, when I was reading a book and Husband was already asleep, Gabe stumbled into our bedroom, holding his head and crying. "mommy. mommy. mommy. my head. my headache." he said, over and over.

He was holding the back of his head and I immediately jumped to the worse case scenario of meningitis - terrified of being back in the hospital. (We had an incident last summer where Gabe was in the hospital for three days with a fever of 105 degrees, and people kept using terrifying words like "meningitis" and "leukemia" - and while it turned out to be a bad virus and none of those scary things - the frightening possibilities of the bad, horrible, wretched things that can happen to your baby, and the vision of my baby plugged into IVs and machines - well, it haunts a person.)

I put my hand under his pajama top, expecting to find that he was burning up with fever, but, he was almost cold. His skin felt funny, papery. "Too dry" was the thought that jumped to my mind.

Then I remembered the wicked headaches that used to hit us without warning, the year we lived in Tucson, AZ. "The dehydration headaches" we called them. (We were transplanted midwesterners - the idea that we could be losing tons of water in the desert heat without feeling sweaty - it never occurred to us. We began to understand why everyone carried water with them everywhere they went.)

"I bet he has a dehydration headache" I said to Husband. "He was outside at the zoo all day with his friend R~, and then when he came home he played basketball with the little girl down the road for almost two hours. He hasn't had enough to drink."

At this point Gabe was hysterical and clinging to my husband - hyperventilating, unable to control his own hysteria, which he wailed, "I can't stop crying. I can't stop crying. I can't get a breath, I can't get a deep breath."

I had to coax him to take some junior strength Advil. Then, he refused water, and because he was still hysterical, he couldn't seem to swallow anything. Husband went downstairs and found some Gatorade - the red kind, Gabe's favorite.

We told him if he could calm down, he could have red Gatorade, as much as he wanted. He slowly got himself under control, and then he laid like a lump in the center of our bed, cradling his head in his hands. He reached out for the cup and the straw, and slowly but steadily, and at a really odd angle (so that his head didn't leave the pillow) drank about 10 oz. of red Gatorade.

He then fell asleep, smack in the CENTER of Husband and my bed. Efforts to move him to one side or the other were fruitless - "don'" he murmers.

Husband went to sleep in the guestroom. I didn't feel comfortable leaving him, so, I slept at the edge of the bed all night, listening to the sound of my six year old sawing logs like you wouldn't believe.

I don't think a skinny little boy should snore so much. So, I think I am going to call the doctor about that.

I have the morning off, so, I think I am going to try to catch some more sleep, while Gabe watches Peep in the Big Wide World...this morning he seems to be perfectly fine, though I've poured him another big cup of Gatorade, which he is drinking pretty steadily.

I am anxious for the Fed Ex truck to come...


Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm hesitant to write this post...

All day long I've had a feeling, almost like an itch, like a niggling, strange sensation...of SOMETHING, like, something is about to happen...

At 5:45 my cell phone rang. I was still at work, since I am taking most of tomorrow off (Gabe's school is closed this week - it has to do with them following the University schedule, since they are technically part of the U, and the University is closed this week.)

Anway, it was 5:45, I was alone in our office - which is kind of creepy - alone on the 22nd floor of an office building...but, I digress. My cell phone rang. It was my husband. "Call A~" he said. (A~ being the social worker who is the waiting child coordinator for my agency.) "She thinks she might have a little boy for us."

"What do you know?" I asked him. "He's three, almost, "he said. "He'll be three on Friday. He came into care at 10 days old. He had back surgery before he came into care (surgery prior to 10 days of age), probably for spina bifida. But he's walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs. Potty trained. Developmentally on target. Call her."

So, I called.

I was surprised to learn the child is in...China. Not Vietnam.

"He has a scar on his back, his lower spine. They've done an MRI of his spine, last March. He seems to be doing very well." A~ tells me. And then A~ says, "He's just, I can't tell you. This child is beautiful, physically, he's just...gorgeous."

Ouch. Way to get a PAP (potential adoptive parent) hook, line and sinker.

I refuse to bite. I refuse to let my heart be led with an irrational attraction to physical beauty.

Instead, I throw a practical question at her. "What happens to my dossier fee? Would we lose the dossier fee we already paid and have to pay it again?"

It depends, she says, on if the money has already been sent to Vietnam. If it's been sent to Vietnam, well, they aren't going to give it back.

"I only mailed it on Saturday." I say.

"I will find out" she says. "I don't think it will be a problem, since it obviously hasn't been sent to Vietnam yet. But, I will call you tomorrow if it is a problem, so, you'll know, right away, before you get the file."

I cannot afford to lose $2,800, it's just not feasible.

I'm trying to control myself. I'm trying to avoid...HOPE. Hope and expectation. This will be the forth child's file that I will have examined. Not counting the little girl with the eye problem, and the little boy on the waiting child list, and the little girl with atresia of both ears and anemia, whose issues were either so great that I couldn't comprehend dealing with them, or I couldn't bear the idea of having to compete with another family for them.

But, we have been offered this child first. Before he goes on the website, so, there would be no competition. He can be ours if we want him (and if we can have him without losing $2800 - I mean, that's just NOT an option.)

Is this another chapter in the story? Or is this the climax?

I just don't know...



I keep telling myself that I need to think about things other than this adoption, that I need to concentrate on other events going on in my life, being in the "present" and not constantly and endlessly contemplating the when, what, whys, and hows of this adoption.

That said, I find it is never far from my mind. Even in sleep, I find myself dreaming about paperwork and faceless children.

I remember that I was extremely preoccupied when I was pregnant with Gabriel, that there was little else I thought about or wanted to talk about.

I'm trying to throw myself into work, but, it's not easy.

So, I've been trying to distract myself with things like:

1. Trying to put pictures of our family, to this point, in photo albums. As I have mentioned before, I'm not very good at keeping up with this. And I feel like I will only get worse when I have two children whose lives I need to document in pictures!

2. I'm reading a book called, "Towing Jehovah". It's an interesting book, and it's keeping my attention, but, I'm not really sure if I like it very much. The premise of the story is that God is dead. Not figuratively, but, literally dead. So, a sea captain and a priest are contacted by the Archangels Rapheal and Gabriel, who set them off on a quest to tow the 2 mile long corpse of God to the Artic, where it can be preserved. Like I said, it's an odd novel.

3. I've just finished reading the new Margaret Atwood novel called "The Penelopiad". It tells the story of Odysseus from Penelope's point of view. It's short, but really well done, and it takes me back to freshman year in college, taking Greek Mythology and Literature, when I had a long discussion with Dr. Poliakoff about why on earth Penelope would wait around for 20 years for her unfaithful husband to come home.

4. I've watched all through Seasons 1-4 of Gilmore Girls and I am itching to borrow Season 5 from my friend M~.

5. As always, I am watching Law & Order, Cold Case Files, and half the shows on the Food Network...

6. Worrying about the fact that my house is pretty much a disaster with only one child living in it, how much worse is it going to get when there are two children living in it??

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why do we have an empty envelope from the Department of Homeland Security?

This was the question Husband asked me when I walked into the house yesterday afternoon, after having spent the afternoon with our son at the science museum, celebrating his friend B~'s 6th birthday.

"What do you mean we have an empty envelope from the Department of Homeland Security?" I asked.

"I think this means FOR SURE they are easedropping on us now. Probably they are easedropping on us RIGHT THIS SECOND, to find out what our reaction to the empty envelope is," Husband suggests.

"We are expecting an envelope from the Department of Homeland Security," I said. "A letter telling us that they've received our I600A and instructions regarding a fingerprint appointment."

"Isn't that supposed to come from USCIS or the INS?" he asks, like a totally reasonable human being would.

"USCIS fka INS is underneath the DHS. It's a whole alphabet mish-mosh." I say.

I look in the envelope. It appears to be empty. But, wait, then I see it. IT being a teeny tiny scrap of paper. About two inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. In very very faint ink, it says, "Receipt $685.00. I600A. Fingerprint. Fingerprint. THIS IS AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT."

That's right folks. An OFFICIAL DOCUMENT. Slightly larger than a postage stamp.

It's astonishing to me that it did not get thrown away, and might have gotten thrown away, if the envelope didn't bear the scary logo of the Department of Homeland Security on the outside.

Anyway, the good news is, it's proof positive that the government has received our petition. The bad news is, we still don't have a fingerprint appointment.


Further bad news is the fact that my husband has left the house in a huff. He is upset about the neighbors. The neighbors children have a rock band. They have, evidently, been playing since 10:30 AM this morning, when Gabe and I left the house to go meet an old friend of mine at the Zoo. So, twice this weekend my husband expected to have the house to himself, in peace and quiet, for 4 hours or so each day, so he can get ready for final exams, etc. But, no, instead, while Gabe and I have been to the science museum and the zoo, he has been trying to get work done and has been tormented by the rock band next door.

So, you can see why he might be in a huff.

He has escaped TO THE GROCERY STORE. The neighbors have driven my husband to the edge, I think. He is escaping loud music by running away to Kroger...


Saturday, May 06, 2006

A crush, A birth, Coincidences, and Tam has a family

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with A~, the “waiting child” coordinator at my agency. (The “waiting child” program was the program through which we did NOT get the child, C~H~ Dung.) I wanted to let her know that the referral from the “regular” program had fallen through, and that we were still waiting for our child.

The reason I did this was three-fold:

1. There is a child on the China photo-listing, a little boy, who photo I keep coming back to. I wanted to ask her if any families were already pursuing him. Yes, of course there were already two families in the process of going “to committee on that child”. (A~ asked me if I wanted the information on him anyway. I told her no. I am not going up against another family – I just don’t think we can stand any more heartbreak like that. The fact that she asked if I wanted the info led me to believe that neither of the other families is “homestudy ready” – but, regardless, I refuse to open myself up to that kind of pain again, even if odds are more in our favor this time.)
2. I had also noticed that Tam, the 4.5 year old boy we looked at before we got the file on Tung, had a happy, “I Have a Family” banner across his picture. I just mentioned this because I was, honestly, HAPPY to see that he had a family. But, this made A~ apologize for not calling us first to make sure we had accepted the referral on Tung. But, truly, I was just happy to see the child had a family – we would not have competed with the other family over him, anyway ~ certainly not LAST WEEK. No way.
3. Because we ARE in a position of having our homestudy done, A~ can call us if she gets a waiting child referral that she thinks would work for our family BEFORE she puts that child on the website. I just wanted to make sure she knew we were still open to such a call. I know the odds of her receiving a referral on another child like C~H~Dung (healthy, three year old child) are small, I just want to make sure we are in line, in the event such a thing occurred. A~ said they are expecting a large referral group from China in the next four weeks, and if there is a child in that group that will fit with our family, she will call us.

In the meantime, I keep holding my breath that the Vietnam coordinator will get a child for us…waiting…hoping….wishing…

In the meantime, my six-year-old has fallen in love with a twelve-year-old girl down the street. What I find shocking is that the twelve year old deigns to spend time with my six year old son and his two six year old friends. They spend A LOT of time playing basketball in her driveway (we do not have a basketball hoop), or soccer in our front yard (we have a soccer net). It might be because there are almost no other “tween” girls in our neighborhood. It might also be because I suspect she has a crush on the 13-year-old boy who lives next door to us, and is the big brother of one of Gabe’s six-year-old posse. The thirteen-year-old boy joins them fairly regularly to play soccer in our front yard. (The family next door is from South America, and they are, in fact, INSANE for soccer. Crazy mad soccer fanatics.)

Anyway, Gabe is just crazy crushing on this little girl. “Maybe she can babysit me some time.” he says. “Maybe when summer comes, she will want to come swim in our pool.” It’s mildly amusing.


My brother’s wife gave birth to a baby boy at 3:45 AM this morning, making this grandchild number 12 for my mom and step-dad. The baby was born on my sister A~’s birthday, which I find interesting. My sister A~ had a child on my brother J~’s birthday three years ago. And sister A~’s husband has the same birthday as brother J~’s wife. I only share this because I find it astonishing that in a family of 27 people; six of them share birthdays with another person.

On my husband’s side, a family of only 9 people, my sister-in-law and I have the same birthday. This is slightly less weird than that fact that, until my younger brother-in-law got a divorce last year, BOTH of my sisters-in-law had the EXACT SAME NAME. First name, middle name, last name. Identical. It made for some difficulty opening gifts at Christmas…needless to say, my mother in law has, on more than one occasion, called me Kim. Which is obviously not my name, but, the name of the other two. She usually corrects herself by saying, “oh geez, you’re the only one that’s NOT Kim!”

Clearly I am babbling now, so, I’m going to stop.


Friday, May 05, 2006


I cannot stop listening to the Shakira ditty, "Hips Don't Lie."

No, I am not sh*ting you. Yes, I am 34 years old, I have 8 years of higher education, on occasion people actually entrust me to take care of very large and serious problems in their lives, and I just cannot seem to turn off the Columbian pop princess.

What is wrong with me??


Frustrated with the INS...

or rather, USCIS, which is what the INS is calling itself these days.

They have had the check for $685 that I sent them along with my I-600A (petition to adopt a foreign orphan) for three weeks now. (I sent my petition as soon as I had an official, notarized copy of my homestudy).

They still have not cashed it.

I can only assume that since they have not cashed it, they have not begun to process my application.


Daily checking of the mail for news of a fingerprint appointment has evidently been fruitless.

(You would have thought it would have occured to me to check and see if the check had cleared earlier than today. But, quite honestly, it hadn't occured to me until just now...)


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Not sure if this is a good idea

Several years ago, before I got pregnant with Gabe, before I went to law school, I was working for a research company, mostly crunching US Census data, and occasionally trying to work out odd statistics, such as how many households in Boston owned dogs, or how much garlic the average American consumes in a year. I also had a minor duty of writing articles for the company newsletter, which came out once a month.

Based on those articles, one of the company VPs called me to her office one day with an unusual assignment: the daughter of one of the company employees needed a bone marrow transplant. The family needed $100,000. We were going to raise it. She needed someone to write press releases. She thought I was the right person to do that. (Evidently, she liked my little articles in the company newsletter, which were mostly about who had had a baby, or who had sold the most research projects, or what people were really enjoying in the company cafeteria.)

And so began a four month quest to raise $100,000 to pay for the bone marrow transplant of a little girl I didn't know, whose mother I barely knew.

Well, I came to know her quite well over those four months, and I wrote a lot of press releases about her daughter, who was 8 and adorable, and very very sick.

It's really not that hard to raise $100,000 for a child who looks like an angel. People generally want to help in such cases. We had dances and raffles and penny jars all over town, that kind of thing.

We raised the money. The child got the transplant. We were all hoping for a happy ending. The whole company was pulling for her. The news media was pulling for her.

But, there wasn't a happy ending, and the transplant didn't work, and the little girl didn't make it. She had a rare genetic disease, and it refused to let go, and she passed away.

The family had a daughter who was a year younger than her sick sister, who had dodged a bullet - a 50/50 bullet that hit her sister and not her.

Shortly after the child's funeral, I found out I was pregnant, and then I left the company was Gabe was 6 months old, in order to go to law school.

I hadn't thought about the child, or the child's mother, in a long time.

And then, last week, I was having lunch with a friend who still works for the company, and we were talking about how our adoption was going. And then all of the sudden, for no reason, I said, "How's D~ doing?" (the child's mother.)

My friend said, "Oh, I think she's doing well. She and her husband adopted a little girl from Guatamala last year."

It didn't really surprise me. It's not like having another biological child was an option - not with a 50/50 chance of losing that child at age 8 or 9, just like her older sister.

Anyway, I've been thinking about her a lot, and wondering how her experience has been, and wanting to call and ask her to lunch, or email her and ask what her experience with attachment and her biological child reactions to the whole thing...

But, I'm afraid, really, that it will just make her feel bad. Her only "real" contact with me was our effort to save her daughter's life. Which failed.

Maybe I'll send the email anyway. Maybe she'd want to talk about her experience with me, anyway. I guess the worst thing she could tell me is, "I don't really want to talk about it with you."

Maybe it's better to let bygones be bygones...


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Like a Kick to the Head

I woke up at 5:30 this morning feeling like someone had kicked me in the head. Or, possibly, whacked me in the head with the business end of a hammer.

I stumbled to the bathroom on a desperate quest for Excederin (the headache medicine, of course.) I downed two of those, a glass of water, and two sudaphed (which, thankfully, I am still able to get, even if I have to jump through three hoops, stand on my head, show my driver's license, and double pinky swear to the pharmacist that I will not brew any illegal substances with it). I crawled back in bed for thirty minutes, when the alarm went off, and the silky voice of the NPR reporter might as well have been a Three Six Mafia rap the way it sliced through my skull. Husband thankfully turned the alarm off, and I lay in bed, holding my head for 15 more minutes while he got ready. I could have kissed him for choosing to use his regular razor this morning, as opposed to a quick electric razor shave - I really don't think I could have stood the noise from the electric one this morning.

Eventually I crawled out of bed and drank some coffee, and I think the potent combo of aspirin, acetominophin and caffeine, along with the blessed sudaphed, started to work.

I got in the car, took Gabe to school, and managed to get to my office at any rate. I have to go pretend to be a real lawyer here in a few minutes, though - I'm not sure how well I'm going to pull that off.

I hate sinuses...


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Life Books

I stood in the scrapbooking supply aisle of a discount mega-mart yesterday, contemplating buying a scrapbook to make a lifebook for Sam or Sophie.

Being a discount store, they had pink albums, and baby blue albums, and a red and white checked album with a rooster on it, and black albums, and dark navy albums.

What they did not have, was green or yellow, which was what I was looking for.

"Why don't you just buy the blue one?" Husband asks.

"Because if I get the blue one, and if, by some bizarre twist of fate, we get a girl, what are we going to do with it? We'll be out $15.00."

Husband contemplated this. I could see the look in his eyes. It meant, "pigs will fly before they give us a girl when they know we'll take a boy" - but he just said, "ok." Then he said, "once we get the child's referral, we'll have several months to put the lifebook together before we leave for Vietnam. Let's just wait."

So, we didn't buy a lifebook. Or rather, the container for the lifebook.

I am a lousy scrapbook person. I suck, I really do. I have boxes full of pictures of Gabe and pictures of vacations and birthdays and Christmases, which are not in any order whatsoever.

Until a few months ago, all of the digital pictures we had taken with our digital camera were on the computer. Neither of us had the mental energy to figure out how to get them printed.

When Husband finally did upload them all to, we had 100 photos (culled down from some 350 shots taken) going back over a year and a half.

There are two nearly identical pictures of Gabe and I standing in front of the Cheese Haus in Frankenmuth, Michigan on two Thanksgiving weekends, (2004 and 2005). We are wearing the same coats in both pictures. Only the fact that one of us is taller (Gabe) and one of us has slightly longer hair (me) makes the pictures discernable.

I guess we are predictable folks.

Maybe I should concentrate and getting these pictures in an album before I worry about the lifebook...


There was commentary on NPR yesterday afternoon, by a Vietnamese American named Andrew Lam. He has written a book about his experience, leaving Vietnam at a young age, and growing up in the America. I think I am going to try to find the book, but of course I cannot remember what the name of it is - I'm going to have to go to to look it up.

I need other reading suggestions, because I am at a loss. I picked up "Track of the Cat" by Nevada Barr at the library last night, at the recommendation of a friend of mine who is a wildlife biologist for the US Government, and who loves this series about a National Park ranger. I am hoping it will be great, because there are about 10 books in the series, and that could conceivably keep me reading for a while.


Monday, May 01, 2006

I need to stop drowning my sorrows in Cheetos

I need to get the Cheetos out of my house. Also the cookies.

Evidently, Cheetos and cookies are my own personal crack cocaine. I need to stop eating them.

Ditto with the cake batter flavored ice cream. (Seriously. Cake batter flavored ice cream. IT TASTES LIKE CAKE BATTER. Yes, I am totally serious. I would not joke about such a thing. Also, the cake batter flavor from Cold Stone Creamery or Handel's is infinately better than the "yellow cake batter" flavor that one of the national brands is selling in the grocery store, which has crap pieces of already baked chocolate cake floating in it. DON'T EVEN BOTHER. What I am saying is, if you NEED the cake batter flavor ice cream, go get the good stuff. Don't settle for the crap stuff at the grocery.)

Anyway, for the last two weeks, I've been eating like there's no tomorrow and it must stop, here and now.

I'm doing okay, so far today. I had a high fiber bagel for breakfast, and a healthy choice entree with carrot sticks, hummos, and light yogurt for lunch. So, really, so far today, I am doing just fine.

However, I know there are cheetos in the vending machine on the 5th Floor.

And I am NOT going there. Not. Going. There.

I need to concentrate on the following:
1. Stay on Weight Watchers - count my points
2. Stay on top of all my cases - even the ones that give me a headache, even the ugly divorces. I need to stay on top of these things so that, in the event that say, 8 or 10 months from now, I need to be out of the office for 2 to 3 weeks in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City or both, I will not have a serious scramble regarding my cases. I need to keep on top of every case.
3. I need to cook healthier meals at home. And insist that my child eat some of them, rather than live on his current diet of turkey sandwiches, cheese, bananas, yogurt, chocolate, Nerds and broccoli.

These are my goals.

That's all for now.


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