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Thursday, July 28, 2011

$#!& Happens

When the fit hits the shan, you can atleast be grateful you have somewhere to go.
Just something to remember.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Secret the first: I have been doing a little internet shopping. Not a lot, just a little. This is new for me as I’m generally a in-person browser who feels the need to touch and painstakingly deliberate about making any purchases. But this online shopping business is fascinating.

Get this: One fancy shopping website conveniently filters and search my recent history it come proposes other things I could buy.

For instance it was proposed that I could make these other purchases:

TV: The remaining seasons of The Big Bang Theory (which if you don’t watch it you should), Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother
Movies: Newsies, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver
Music: the newest Fleetfoxes and the remainder of Bon Iver’s entire discography
Useless things: Gustbuster Metro 43 inch Automatic umbrella

All fine. Whatevs.

But what? What’s this I see? They suggest the game Yahtzee?
Little known fact: I hate the game Yahtzee.
There I said it. The secret is out. There isn’t another boardgame that elicits such a visceral reaction. If it was on your what to get Cara for her birthday in 2 months list, you can go ahead and cross it off.

So there, two secrets. Don't say I never tell you anything. Also, clearly it’s a slow news day because I just blogged about a board game.


Goodwill Hunting

This weekend I spent Saturday at four Goodwills in the Seattle-area. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Not one, but four. I’m on the hunt to cost-effectively furnish my new digs. I just need 2 low bookcases, a long narrowish desk, a small dining room set and a love seat (preferably with a chaise lounge feature). And while I didn’t find any furniture, I did pick up 4 books, a pair of slacks, 3 pairs of shoes, a black leather bomber jacket, blue blazer, one skirt, one blouse and a new appreciation for thrift stores all for under 100 dollars.

And for the record, I took the longest shower of my life when I got home.

PS. I also went actual furniture shopping, because the idea of buying a used sofa gives me the heebie jeebies. C’mon, I still have standards people.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Oh and don't forget dear friends:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baby Beluga

When the earthquake hit Japan on March 11, 2011, I was fast asleep. At 4:30 am I woke up from a dead sleep; instinct set off my internal alarm clock. Unsure of what prompted my early wake up, I logged online and saw status updates about praying for the people of Japan, news of a large scale earthquake, and a death toll unknown and climbing. Tsumani, nuclear meltdown, and aftershocks became the hot button words of the media, with no new information no matter what outlet I scoured.

Thus began a distant emotional roller coaster as my sister, 8 months pregnant and unreachable, was somewhere among the disaster.

I immediately called my mother, knowing she would have seen the news and perhaps would know more. Empty hope, I knew. Only thing mom could find was that Sara was “fine” through a series of fb updates of friends of friends.

I was unconvinced. This began the repeated phone calls to my sister. Maybe every 20 minutes for the next 3 hours until I got ready for work. I headed in the office, placating my anxiety with the “no news is good news” mantra. At about 1:00 pm we received and email from my brother in law, at the time deployed to the middle east, that my sister had gone into labor and was at the hospital on base being monitored. However, sister was still a month out from her due date, and a hospital facility unequipped to handle the potential needs/complication of a premature birth, it was going to get a bit complicated. The closest NICU was in Hachinohe, 45 min drive away but with the earthquake they weren’t take patients in my sister’s condition immediately. Which left one option: stop the labor in the hopes a plan could be put into place and delay baby’s welcoming into the world as long as possible until the appropriate facilities were available. However, sister’s water had broken and without delivery in the near future, the risk for infection is increasingly high.

Meanwhile, back in Seattle, we are getting one or two sentence updates from Matt saying that she is ok and still no baby. We are watching to footage, devastation and a country put to the test of coping with disaster while preventing further more devastation. I found myself watching the footage over and over with a view hope to learn something new. It was all the same. Tsumani wiping out entire villages and townships, and immanent nuclear meltdowns. I still kept calling, this time the hospital hoping to talk to someone, anyone who was with my sister. If I heard “All circuts are busy, please try your call again soon,” I was going to lose it.

Back in Japan, when it was finally time to proceed with labor, the baby had other pinions. It seemed as though he thought otherwise from joining us and was quite content hanging out in the womb a little longer. Two rounds of petosin, Sara was finally in full labor almost 48 hours after her water broke. I’ll skip the gorey details but like a superwoman, on March 13, 2011, 2 days after the largest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history hit with undiscriminating force and destruction, a small miracle happened. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

Aidan Elliot joined us just with a few breathing complications and an infection and was taken to Hachinohe hospital almost immediately after his birth. Sara was held at Misawa Air Force Base Hospital for observation for 24 hours when she was then released to go be with her son.

Coincidentally, I had purchased tickets to see my sister closer to her due date as her husband official return-from-deployment date was still unknown. That date was 3 weeks away. Plans were going to change. I deliberated between canceling my tickets or rebooking to get on the next soonest flight. Once my sister told me that resources were being rationed and the trains were down, it no longer became a inconvenience to go but a necessary logical decision to not put extra demand on resources already scares: kerosene, gas, food, electricity, etc.

I remember being in the moment and feeling an absolute sense of helplessness. It wasn’t a matter of money or time or power, but we really couldn’t do anything from here. I wanted nothing more than to be there with my sister and there was nothing I could do and that’s real tough for me.

I’m writing this on the flight back from Tokyo after spending 12 days with my new nephew. We’ve had a lot of fun. Lots of hanging out, going for walks, singing baby beluga, cuddling, napping, feeding, bouncing, dancing, laughing and other such baby related activities. I think about him a lot wondering what he’ll be like, if he’ll understand the immensity of his story and what fun jokes we’ll get to play on his mom.

I’ve held off writing this story because there was a part of me that needed to see him to believe he was here and ok. Sure, I’ve seen him on skype and the pictures, he is obviously alive and well. But there was something about necessary closure to the story of having held him, heard him cry, heard him giggle and see him smile that made that miraculous story all much more real. I wanted to meet the team of women who cared for and helped my sister and answered the phone calls and drove her to see her baby, put together the baby equipment that my sister hadn’t quite gotten to. So many did so much.

The next time I’ll see Aidan and sister is in September when they finally come home to the States and will hopefully be much closer. There will be more stories, no doubt, but I feel really good about writing this one. There were heros and happy endings.

The End.

He met me at the train station.  Trust me, he was excited.

Baby A loves the changing table.

Flight Line

The only thing I could think was to not move one inch for fear of waking baby.  For 45 minutes I was frozen.

captured by SYTYCD


Tiny tiny arms

Mommy, stop squishing my face.