Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Ramble

So we finally got Christmas under our belts and out of the way. Another year over, and boy howdy am I glad. After a long flight home and all day waiting, C ripped into the gift extravaganza last night like Reuben Studdard at a Golden Corral. She was quite thrilled with her loot. I have a tendency to get a little carried away on the giving, but this year I remained reasonable. Her mom buys the bulk of the toys and we get to do clothing and more sedate items like this and this. I like to do the clothing part, because it takes lots of effort to undo the Stevie Nicks/Bon Jovi look she gets from her other maternal influence. Because of C's genetic lack-o-fashion sense, I put the entire outfit together in a gift box and triple dog dare her to mix and (not) match. Under the tree this year were skinny jeans, babydoll tunics and jailhouse stripes. She was in love.

One thing B knows about me (Kathy if you're reading you'll remember this) is that dolls totally freak me out. C never brings dolls to the house because even she knows how I feel about them. One Christmas she got one of these, and regardless of the price, I let it leave the house and never return. It's probably at the bottom of some yogurt soaked, unopened marker laden toybox with green play-doh matted in it's hair. I don't care. I hate them that much. Even though he loves me and usually respects my quirks and weirdness, B bought Ruby her first doll and put it under the tree. He warned me about it and told me to just suck it up. I was hesitant to open it because I knew I would see the dead eyes staring back at me and I would be sucked into a vortex of fear. I finally conceded after opening everything else. I was so, so happy to see this, my eyes got a little leaky. My man - he knows me well.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

ABC Me, Me, Me

A is for age:

B is for Beer:
None really. I really don't enjoy beer or wine. I do love a really good and icy gin and tonic though.

C is for Career:
Social worker for a nationwide health management corporation that contracts with Medicaid. I work with people who have mental retardation/developmental disabilities. I am also a full-time doctoral student.

D is for my Dog’s Name:
No pooches. Just my kitties Darwin and Eliza.

E is for Essential Item I Use Everyday:
Conditioner. Because of this and because I highlight. My hair is very dry.

F is for Favorite T.V. Show:
Oh where to begin? Right Now? Project Runway, Top Chef, The Apprentice, House, & The Office (both the BBC and NBC versions) **subject to change at any time.

G is for Favorite Game:
Board Game - Life
Computer Game - Civilization III - Conquests

H is for Hometown:
Charleston, WV

I is for Instruments I Play:
None. "My voice is my instrument." (this is a direct quote from C when she was asked if she was going to join school band this year).

J is for Favorite Juice:
Really pulpy orange juice over ice or cranberry.

K is for Whose Butt I’d Like To Kick:
Don't wanna say, but I'd like to thank them for the anxiety.

L is for the Last Place I Ate:
At my kitchen table with C and B.

M is for Marriage:
7-1/2 years

N is for my Name:
My name is KID... sorry... DebraSue

O is for Overnight Hospital Stays:
A couple.
In 4th grade I was in for several days with double pneumonia and chicken pox.
In 2003 following my breast reduction.

P is for People I was With Today:
A client and his family
C and many movie-goers at Night at the Museum

Q is for Quote:
“Keep on keepin' on” -Joe Dirt

R is for Biggest Regret:
Too many to list.

S is for Sport:
Have you seen any pictures of me? My only sports are Table Push-ups and Quick Draw Remote.

T is for Time I Woke Up Today:

U is for Current Underwear:
Fruit of the Loom Low-rise briefs. Magenta.

V is for Vegetable You Love:
Brussels Sprouts

W is for Worst Habit:
Biting my cuticles, asking for reassurance, eating in the car. I am sure there are more that B and my friends could list.

X is for X-rays I Have Had:
Head, vaginal cavity, uterus, heart (do echocardiograms count?), and lungs.

Y is for Yummy Food You Ate Today:
Very hot Chicken McNuggets. I was stuck in a very rural area (they don't even have Walmart), but they do have the Golden Arches. It was hopping.

Z is for Zodiac:
Leo baby! Cuz I am a Queen!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

6 Months - Yay (not).

Today marks 6 months that we've been Logged In with the CCAA. 6 months in a wait that is fraught with anxiety and tension now that the new regulations have been confirmed. If they go retroactive we are out. The medical regulations will slam us to the ground. This is the reason I haven't been blogging - I am way too down. Sorry for those 3 or 4 that follow our journey. It wasn't a planned break, it just sort of happened. I am scared, anxious, depressed and my fate is in unseen hands. For a control freak, that's pretty hard.

We chose China because I am a control freak. After months of research, we chose China because the process is/was so streamlined and secure. Granted this isn't the only reason, but it did play a part. We wanted as close to a guarantee as we could get. Well, hello Karma! Is that you biting me on the ass?

With the way things stand now, we could be pushed back for weeks or months, denied a referral, or granted the joy of our lives. It's all in the air and I hate, hate, hate the way it's making me feel. I just can't cry anymore. Goddammit.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I've been around, just not blogging. Not because I haven't thought of things to talk about and not because I am sick, or tired, or worried about various sundry. Which, truthfully, I am. Regardless, I haven't been blogging because I am lazy. Something you should know about me by now.

Things here are fine. I have healed from the surgery, and have a little lip on the bottom part of my belly button. It's weird and I am hoping the scar will relax.

About a week after the surgery, I ended up with some funky low-grade fever thing that was just hanging around like an unwanted houseguest. In fear that I had some crazy infection from the surgery, I called and received a Rx for Cipro. I took my meds like a good patient. 3 days after finishing my meds I woke up to this really swollen place behind my ear that was sore, painful, and hot to the touch. It also felt like I had an ice pick in my ear. I went to my new doctor and she said I had Mastioditis - a bacterial infection in my Mastoid bone. As you know, this shit only happens to me. Very weird, but treatable. Mastoiditis used to be the leading killer of children, but with the advent of antibiotics, it's no longer a threat or even very common. It's also common in children, not adults. Oh well, it's weird and I have it.

A positive? The Cipro probably kept it from being as bad as it could have been, which would have entailed IV or a needle aspiration of the pus. GAG.

So I am on more antibiotics and I am fine. Home today, traveling for work for the next two weeks.

In other news -
  1. We are going to Texas! My group's proposal for a symposium for a conference was accepted. That's really good news, BTW. To make it better, B is going with me. His work thought that the conference would be a good way for him to get more information about online learning, so no hotel fees for me! Being a hick, I have only flown once. I am a little freaked out, but I'll fake it and pretend I am worldly. I am a good faker.
  2. I am slowly building my committee and program of study for my doc program. So far, my first choices are on board. One more to go before the holiday, so keep your fingers crossed he'll say yes!
  3. C will be in Florida for the entire Christmas holiday. I cried for 3 days. She's really excited, but this will be our first Christmas without her. On a good note, this will be our first (and probably only) Christmas as a couple. B is planning something romantic to try to make me feel better about C being gone.
  4. I am almost finished Christmas shopping. I have a few more items for my Secret Pal and stocking stuffers. That's it. I received $100.00 in retail gift cards from AmEx Membership Rewards, so spending those will be gravy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yet Another MeMe

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? I really need to stop eating Chinese food - it all lands in my face. My nose is so swollen I look drunk or pregnant; maybe both.
2. How much cash do you have on you? A dollar and some change.
3. What word rhymes with “DOOR” Score!
4. Favorite Planet: Earth. Second would be Saturn.
5. Who is the 4th person on the missed call list on your cell phone? A client - no names due to the confidential nature of my J.O.B.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? Old School Ringing Phone
7. What shirt are you wearing? White Timberland t-shirt under a black cotton sweater.
8. Do you “label” yourself? Oh yeah.
9. Name the brand of shoes you are currently wearing? New Balance.
10. Bright or dark room? Bright due to the fact that I have 6 windows in my living room.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? Cool enough to copy from them.
12. What does your watch look like? I have a watch, but I don't wear it. It's a lovely silver and gold Fossil that B bought me for my birthday 4 years ago.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? I was watching an episode of the Rachael Ray show on DVR.
14. What did your last message you received on your phone say? I can't repeat it, this is a family blog. B was ranting about the car dealership and he used many, many cuss words that include the letters F, P, MF, and SOB.
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? A couple blocks over. I don't go there because they are robbed frequently. I hit the One Stop instead.
16. What’s a word you say a lot? Goddammit and Okay.
17. Who told you s/he loved you last? B. Every day.
18. Last furry thing you touched? Darwin. He's my shadow when I am at home.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Illegal = none. Prescribed = 6 per day. I am sick. Back off.
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? Film? I think I have a roll from my brother's first wedding in 1995.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? Dunno. Every year has had joy and strife. They are connected at the hip.
22. Your worst enemy? Myself. I beat myself up frequently, worry constantly, and do the wrong things when it comes to my health sometimes.
23. What is your current desktop picture? Spiderman 3
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Darwin! What the hell are you doing? You big dork!”
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? Get real.
26. Do you like someone? Oh yeah. Many, many someones.
27. The last song you listened to? All the way through? This Fire by Franz Ferdinand.
28. What time of day were you born? 12:31.
29. What is your favorite number? 23
30. Where did you live in 1987? Cross Lanes, WV
31. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes I am, but I don't like to discuss it. Jealousy is ugly and envy is a sin.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? I hope so.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? At work. I had just come out of the bathroom and a guy from another office was walking out of the men's. He said, "Did you hear? A plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers?" I walked back into my office suite, and we all crowded into Carol's office because she was the only one of us with a radio. I eventually went to my parents' and watched the coverage from there.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Cuss and try to either shake it or buy the item behind it. I don't do vending machines very often.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Not really. I do kind things, but rarely have kind thoughts.
36. If you had to get a tattoo where would it be? A bee on the top of my foot. This will never happen, BTW.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be? Spanish.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? If I had too; good thing we both like it here.
39. Are you touchy feely? No. I will touch, but do not like for people to touch me. I totally one-sided and unashamed.
40. What’s your life motto? Don't have one. Maybe "Keep on keepin' on" like Joe Dirt.
41. Name three things you have on at all times? My wedding bands and my engagement ring. I have two thin bands that surround my diamond.
42. What is your favorite city/town? Probably the one I live in. I have a city love.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Coffee from McDonalds for my mom and me. 44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Years ago. How sad.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? Yes, but I don't.
46. Your first love: What is the last thing you heard about him/her? He is living in a rural county and practicing law and is married to his second wife. He is very politically involved and is considering running for office. His wife is a teacher and they are infertile. I worked with a woman who is married to his best friend. When we figured it out, she asked him about me. She said he talked about all of these great times we had when we were teenagers (we knew each other for years). She said he was really excited to hear I was doing well, which is nice.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? All the way to the first step off the boat.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? I don't dress fancy. I dress for work and that's fancy enough.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Yes, the back of my head. I heart my sinuses.
50. Have you been burned by love? See #46.

Monday, November 27, 2006


About a month ago Shannon2 tagged me with this meme. I am just now getting around to it. Getting a little stir crazy, so filling it out filled some time.

1. A Cuddler? Only with B
2. A morning person? Yes and no - I am an early riser, but not a very nice person.
3. Are you a perfectionist? Not really.
4. An only child? Nope...I have a younger brother who rules.
5. Catholic: No.
6. In your pajamas? Yes I am.
7. Currently suffering from a broken heart? No.
8. Okay styling other people's hair? Why would I want to do that? I've been out of Junior High for a while now.
9. Left handed? All the way.
10. Addicted to MySpace? No. See #8
11. Shy around the opposite gender? No. I love boys.
12. Loud? Yes.

1. Bite your nails? No, but I do bite my cuticles. Nasty, I know.
2.Get paranoid at times? Yes, I am a little bit insane.
3. Currently regret something that you have said/done? Constantly.
4. Curse frequently when you get mad? I curse all of the time, I don't have to be mad.
5. Enjoy country music? No not really. Unfortunately I know a lot about it because I am a celebrity gossip whore just like my mom and she fills me in on the scoop.
6. Enjoy jazz music? I would rather slit my wrists with a dull spoon.
7. Enjoy smoothies? No they freak me out - texture.
8. Enjoy talking on the phone? No. I hate to talk on the phone, but when I do it's usually for a really long time.
9. Have a lot to learn?Always.
10. Have a pet? 2 cats - Darwin and Eliza.
11. Have a tendency to fall for the "wrong" person? In the past, but no more. I have a keeper.
12. Have all your grandparents died? All but one biological - my maternal grandfather, Poppaw Kitty Kat. He remarried so I also have a stgrandmotherher, Helen.
13. Have at least one sibling? Didn't I answer this earlier?
14. Have been told that you are smart? Yes. Actually B told me the other night that my "brain is sexy." Whatever. I was fishing for something more superficial.
15. Have had a broken bone? No, I am incredibly lucky because I fall down a lot.
16. Have Caller I.D. on your phone? Duh. I am a social worker who worked in mental health for 6 years.

1. Changed a diaper? Yes, but I am currently on strike until Ruby arrives.
2. Changed a lot over the past year? Yes.
3. Had friends who have never seen your natural hair color? No, I stick close to the original.
4. Had surgery? Yeah, last week. That's why you're reading this instead of something profound.
5. Killed anyone? Only with kindness my friend, only with kindness.
6. Had your haircut within the last week? I wish, it needs it.

1. Saw you cry? My mom earlier today.
2. Went to the movies with you? Lori.
3. You went to the mall with? Caroline.
4. You went to dinner with? B.
5. You talked to on the phone? My brother.
6. Said 'I Love You" and meant it? My brother as we ended our call.
7. Made you laugh? B.

1. Pierce your nose or tongue? Neither. The nose piercing stinks and I have a porcelain veneer on my front tooth, so the tongue is out.
2. Be serious or be funny? Funny. Seriously.
3. Drink whole or skim milk? Neither. Milk tastes like blood. GAG!
4. Die in a fire or drown? Smoke inhalation. I think it would be somewhat peaceful and then the cost of cremation is voided.
5. Spend time with your parents or enemies? I like my parents and talk to them daily.

1. What time is it? 6:11 pm
2. Name? DebraSue
3. Nickname(s)? Deb, Debbie, D, Sister, and Doo Doo
4. Where were you born? Charleston, WV
5. What is your birthdate? August 3
6. What do you want? My daughter, a donut, sleep, and some good coffee
7. Where do you want to live? Wherever B and my family are.
8. How many kids do you want? Just my girls. They're enough.

Friday, November 24, 2006


So I went around the block to my parents for a little family time and some Turkey Tetrazzini earlier today. My brother and his family stopped in to say howdy. I noticed that my nephew had a large scratch on his nose...

Me: "Hey Noah Bob, how'd you get that big scratch on your nose?"

Noah: "Sissy (my niece Lauryn) and I were playing and she accidentally scratched me."

Me: "Oh yeah?"

Noah: "Yeah, and my fist accidentally hit her in the mouth."

No lie.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

On the Mend

The surgery went well. I am now officially cleaned out, sewed up, and sterile. Pshew.
I am taking Advil around the clock, cat-napping, eating Turkey, and playing Civilization III - Conquests.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Time to heal.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good Grief

I know it's been a while, and I may have lost a few of my 10 or so readers, but things have been a little hectic here at home. Life's fast and we are just hanging on for the ride.

It all started a few weeks ago with a crazy sinus infection, jittery eyeballs, and the spins. I was in a meeting for work and as I bent over to get some paperwork out of my bag, I kept right on going over. It was pretty scary. Fortunately, I work in the medical field and a nurse was at the meeting. Logically, I called my doctor and got another appointment. He suggested bloodwork and a CAT scan to see what was going on. I did the bloodwork the next day, requested they send the results to my gyno because of my surgery, and scheduled my CAT scan for a week later. On Monday the nurse called and told me my bloodwork was fine. I specifically inquired about my TSH (thyroid) and glucose levels because I have a pretty strong family history (foreshadowing here) , and she told me, "No they're perfect."

So B and I go to get the CAT scan the next Saturday. Well, my doc didn't inform me that I was getting a CAT scan with contrast or that I couldn't eat or drink anything beforehand, so I was a little surprised when they whipped out the "You can die from this dye" contract. I had a major panic attack. Tears and a little hyperventilating because I was so pissed and upset that no one prepared me. I should've known, but I have never had a CAT scan of my brain before! I felt like an idiot, but finally consented and did the test.

I got the call on Monday that my brain is fine and that's that. No follow up, no nothing. Oh I did let the nurse know I was pissed, and she totally blamed it on the hospital. Whatever.

Here's the kicker - I go in Thursday for my pre-op appointment with my gyno. The NP started asking the typical questions, and when she asked about meds, I told her "BP meds only." She looked at my chart, and goes, "Well, when are you starting synthroid?" What?

Of course I had no idea what she's talking about. She then informed me that my thyroid levels are above normal according to my latest round of bloodwork on November 3. Remember the foreshadowing? To add insult to injury, the Pre-admission Testing nurse at the hospital asked the same freaking question when we got to the med review! ARGH!

If you know anything about hypothyroidism, and you've been around me for the last month or so, you would quickly put 2 and 2 together. I am beyond pissed. So pissed I can't even call my soon-to-be-former doctor because I can't trust myself to be rational.

Needless to say I am (yet again) firing another doctor and finding a new one. My friend Alicia has always been vehemently opposed to having a DO as a PCP, and after experiencing 2 really quacky ones, I finally concede to her belief. Sorry to those of you out there who are pursuing this degree, but I will no longer consider a DO as an option. This will be the third one we have fired - 2 for me and 1 for C.

So that's just a drop in the bucket of the excitement in the Ladybug house. Add that on top of traveling for work, finishing the semester both as a student and instructor, wrapping up cheerleading, and trying to get my house in order before surgery and you get one busy, busy DebraSue. So busy that lamenting the very real possibility that we may be traveling to China at the height of the 2008 Olympics doesn't even phase me - now that's some stress.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Flying by the Seats of Our Pants

Just wanted y'all to know I am still alive, but just barely...

1. Whatever illness I had is dying the slow lingering death a'la Pee Wee Herman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - the movie, not TV show;
2. News about my CAT-scan incident and panic attack;
3. Travel (only bits and pieces because it's all work related) and related ills;
4. C's cellulitis in her left eyebrow;
5. My dad's scary PSA results and possible prostate issues (keep your fingers crossed it's not cancer).

We're all just a damn mess here at the Ladybug house.

The good news is B is feeling great.

Friday, October 27, 2006

No Parties at this House

Since it's so close to Halloween, I thought this pic was appropriate. Today we are 4 months LID. How are we celebrating, you wonder?

Well, B is at a business meeting, C is at her mom's house, and I am sitting in my bed surrounded by journal articles, Halls Honey Lemon with the medicine center, copious drugs and a book about curriculum adaptations for students with learning and behavior problems. Yep, I am sick and finishing a paper that's due tonight. Sore throat, nausea, cruddy chest and fever. God only knows what I am saying, cause I am feeling rough.

Back to the grind.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Never Knew I Had a Twin

I saw this over at Mrs. Figby's and thought I would give it a try. I think she'll get a kick out of my match with David Hasselhoff. Hail to the Hoff! Go check it out and tell me, who do you look like?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fat and Fashionable

So I was scanning some of my favorite blogs and came upon 2 different posts containing the words "leggings." Fortunately, over at buttercup it was a language issue. Leggings = tights. However, Karen addressed the real issue of the Great Legging Comback of 2006, which distresses me to no end. My problem really isn't that leggings are coming back. No, really, it isn't. Everything circles around again, and it's time for an 80's revival. No biggie.

My problem is with the women who choose to wear leggings. In my book, if you are over the age of 9, you should not own a pair of leggings. EVER. Nonetheless, many women decide that comfort overrules fashion. To take it a step further, overweight women choose comfort over fashion. Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing the big girls - I am a big girl. A plus size woman. Voluptuous, Reubenesque, Zaftig, Fat, Curvy, and Healthy. I shop in the "Women's" section, I wear double digits, and buy the majority of my clothing at Lane Bryant. Do not flame me saying I hate fat people. I am fat and I am okay with it.

What I am not okay with is the fact that plus size women do not know how to dress to emphasize their shape or bodies. This makes me crazy. It drives me bonkers to see a curvy, beautiful woman in leggings, or even worse, a shapeless jumper and tights. No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Oh Mama Mia! Dressing like a little girl (child) does not make you look like a little woman (petite). Ironically enough if you check out Clinton's Fall Fashion Trends he advises about both of these horrible pieces of clothing. See? I am not the only one!

I know all about how hard it is to find clothes that fit. I also know how easy it is to fall into a rut of comfort and acceptance. The top 5 most common trends that I see in larger women's fashion are:

1. Wearing knit pants - leggings, sweatpants, and/or drawstring, tapered knits that cling to the butt and thighs. Often, cellulite on the butt and thighs is seen in a mesmirizing dimple pattern through the fabric.
2. Large, voluminous T-shirts/shirts that are tent-like and unflattering. These usually are worn with leggings or knit pants.
3. Jumpers worn with turtlenecks and tights. These hang in a tubular column from the shoulder, creating a silo effect.
4. Wearing too tight jeans and shirts. With this phenomenon, women get the rounded gut protruding over the low cut jeans. Also known as a Buddha belly. Further, the tight jeans create a "muffin top" on the back and sides. The muffin top is emphasized by the tight shirt, and you can see the strain of the shirt in the small of the back as it is stretched between the flesh pouring over the sides of the waist.
5. Droopy butt. A lovely effect that occurs on Apple shaped women who wear pants that fit in the waist but are too large in the hips and thighs. This is a lovely "full-diaper" effect.

This is a call to arms. If you are a voluptuous woman who commits these fashion crimes, Stop Now! Get help. Call a friend who will tell you the truth. Be fat and fashionable, starting now.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lonely Reader

Need a little help over here. Being active in the role of A-parent of a Chinese daughter, I have agreed to participate in several Secret Pal exchanges. Actually only 2, but anyway, this month's theme for one exchange is children's books. Not Chinese Adoption children's books, but all-over-the-charts children's books. You would think this would be easy, being as I have a 10 year old who was 2 when I became her stepmom. No, sorry. Being just like her father, C hates to read. I know, I know. I punctures my soul like a bullet, because I read every single day and feel like my arm's been cut off if I don't have a stack of to-be-read books sitting on my table. When C was small we didn't have story time, we had singing time. I would sing to her every night before she would go to bed. Songs that eventually became part of a lullaby CD that still works, 8 years later. I am hopeful and a little determined that Ruby will be a reader. If she's not, I don't know what will happen to the lonely reader in my house.

I have several books in my collection that I love, but aren't age appropriate for the exchange. They are books I remember loving when I was a child - Eloise, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (all of them), The Little House on the Prairie collection, the Ramona Qumiby chronicles, all Judy Blumes, and several in the Anne of Green Gables series.

As you can see I am in a quandary. These won't work, not for the little ones. So tell me, what works for you? What have you purchased to get ready and make your little one love the written word?

Friday, September 29, 2006

September Secret Pal x2 Whoo-hoo!

I have the greatest Secret Pals ever! For the past two days, my front porch has been filled with the delights of presents. Every month, I look forward to sending and receiving Secret Pal gifts. People weren't lying when they said it makes the time go by more quickly.

We are in love with all of our booty, and greatly appreciate both wonderful Pals for thinking of Ruby and C. You two are the best!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap Your...

I have to say my Mountain Girls weekend was one of the best I have ever had. I can't say much because what's said in the Mountain House stays in the Mountain House.
Top Ten Highlights include:
1. A formation of the "Tiara Girls" club. Memberships are being accepted, but the criteria for entry is fierce.
2. Shannon 1 is the CEO of the LSKs.
3. Shannon 2 and I share a deep love of reading and chatted at length about books - something I don't get to do very often.
4. If we get bad service, we don't tip.
5. Must get a pug NOW.
6. Interpretive dance is so worth watching, especially after several 16 ounce mojitos.

7. Mountain driving takes on a new meaning when you have 4 women in the car singing along to Madonna's Crazy for You.
8. Luke! You are our waiter...
9. Yes, grown ups get pimples, and even though we were together less than 72 hours, I am sure our cycles are synchronized. It was just that much bonding.
10. I have made girlfriends for life - same time next year? Count me in.
The Shannons
Susan and Me

Room of Snark
The Princesses of the Tiara Girls
Yes, I really do wear shoes like these!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Okay is it me?

Or is Joey Lawrence trying to cash in on the Chris Daughtry sultry bald man look?
Ewwwww! He looks incredibly creepy. Dead eyes, man. Serial Killer Dead.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Leave The Light On

As much as I travel for my job, you would think I wouldn't want to spend my weekend traveling. Well, most weekends you would be correct. Not so this time; I am getting ready to head down to over and down the mountains to visit my bloggy posse - Susan, Shannon 1, and Shannon 2. I am so excited I am ready to slap myself.
When I return pictures galore, bloggy news, and all about the fun, fun, fun we're gonna have!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bunny Love

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a TV hussy. I love evening TV and watch as much of it as I can. I have ghetto TiVo (DVR) and spend lots of time watching silly things that only I enjoy. Nevertheless, I think everyone would enjoy the 30 Second Bunny Flicks by Angry Alien that are showcased on Starz. My favorites include "Brokeback Mountain" and "Pulp Fiction." Check them out.


See that image ladies and gents? That, my pals, means that I finally have a chair for my doctoral committee. If you are unfamiliar with the process, basically it means that I finally have a mentor that will help me navigate the dissertation process and finish the last leg of my program.
To me, asking someone to chair my committee was a little like proposing - stressful, anxiety-inducing, and immensly relieving when she said yes. All is well in the land of Deb.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Disclaimer: I am incredibly predictable and oftentimes have very little to discuss. Therefore, I have adopted the need to cut and paste memes from other people's blogs. Furthermore, I am inherently lazy and will not forward things like these to anyone; thus guaranteeing that I will most likely never be tagged by another blogger in the future. So, here we go...

1. FIRST NAME? Debra
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my parents truly believed that I was going to be a boy and had full intentions of naming me Dwight (thank God I was female) and had not chosen a girl's name. My mother says when she looked at me she said "Debbie her name is Debbie." They chose Debra because they felt Debbie was a better nickname.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Yesterday.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes I do. I have very nice print and cursive handwriting, especially for a leftie.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so. Sometimes I am a bad friend, so my expectations for my being my friend would be low.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Just the blog and sometimes it's a chore; see disclaimer
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes and they are disgusting harbors of infection and other gross things I am choosing not to discuss
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Get real. No. Gravity is good.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I am not really a cereal person. Occasionally I will eat Smart Start. I do like the Fruit Cheerios, they're pretty tasty once in a while.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No. There are few times I wear shoes that have laces. I have to dress for work so I wear sandals, pumps, or dressier casual shoes most of the time. On the weekends in the winter I'll wear sneakers, but I don't untie them.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically, no. To use the words of my coworker Tami, "I have the upper body strength of a kitten." Emotionally, yes.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I like Strawberry, Strawberry from Baskin Robbins. I also like Ben & Jerry's Pistachio, Pistachio. What's up with the double titles? I really love popsicles.
14. SHOE Size? Depends on the shoe. I go from 8 1/2 to 10.
15. RED OR PINK? Definitely Red
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My legs. I also worry constantly.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My friend Alicia. We are both very busy living our lives right now, but that doesn't mean I don't think about/worry about her.
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Gray gauchos, bare toes.
19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The hum of the laptop fan.
20. WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE RIGHT NOW? Although, I'm pretty comfortable right here, I wish we were in China.
21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Royal Purple. It is dark and rich and represents lushness.
22. FAVORITE SMELL? Sesame oil, the back of B's neck, and Wrigley's spearmint gum.
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? B. I called him to come out to the car and carry in groceries.
26. FAVORITE SPORT? Not a fan. If I were forced to watch any it would be men's swimming or women's gymnastics.
27. WHATS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Purple, green, and red
28. HAT SIZE? I don't know.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Very infrequently. I have an astigmatism and very abnormal vision in both eyes. Contacts mess with my depth perception.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? A big fat cheeseburger. My mom's Cajun chicken pasta. BLTs, and creamed tomatoes with buttermilk pan bread.
33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter, I love to walk in the snow.
34. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs. Kisses are reserved for the one who is worthy.
36. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? None. It's hard to believe, but I am not reading anything. I am hitting the library today before C's football game. I just finished listening to "The Cover of Night" by Linda Howard. Don't waste your time.
37. WHAT'S ON THE MOUSE PAD? My finger.
38. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? "Chicago" and parts of ''The Big Lebowski."
39. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOUNDS? Mail coming through my mail slot; B & C laughing and making up silly songs.
41. WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIAL TALENTS? I am a pretty good singer. I can also cook well.
42. AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Charleston, West Virginia.
43. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I actually swiped it from Krista and Connie.
44. WHAT DAY IS IT? Sunday

Thursday, September 14, 2006

All About the Idols

Thirteen Things about The American Idol Concert

1. Ace Young is so much hotter in person than he ever was on television. Oh man, he's beautiful. I needed a fan. I am a fan.

2. Don't ever assume that you'll be able to see things on the large screens most concerts provide. For some reason the most visible screen hosted pictures of flames, the moon and other nonsensical items. I would much rather have seen close ups of Ace's abs and lovely Crest smile.

3. There are people out there who love to sing, but can't. If you are one of them, do the person in front of you the courtesy of not screaming every lyric to every song. Sing softly so that people won't hear that you have absolutely no ability to hit one note in tune.

4. Katherine McPhee is just stunning. She looks like a young, thin Linda Rondstadt. She sings almost as well.

5. Taylor Hicks is awfully cute, but when standing next to Ace, he doesn't have a chance.

6. I was as giddy as C and my niece Lauryn when Elliot Yamin came on stage. He's a phenomenal performer. I heart Elliot.

7. Little girls can only handle so much excitement before they become emotional and cranky. We hit our excitement quota about 9:20. It was all downhill from there.

8. Kelly Pickler is just a shame on the face of womanhood. All I'm sayin.'

9. I loved the fact that there were people of all ages in the audience. We were surrounded by moms, dads, children, and grandparents. It was a family-style love fest.

10. Taking two pre-teens to a concert is a superior act of kindness and patience. I should be commended for both.

11. Seeing the looks of awe, excitement, and extreme pleasure on the faces of C and Lauryn was worth every dime spent.

12. Chris Daughtry is going to be a mega rock star. I have not heard that type of squealing and screaming since Duran Duran in 1983.

13. Did I mention that Ace Young is smoking hot? Oh, yeah...he is!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Warming Up for Tomorrow's Concert

C had a brief brush with fame this evening. While out dining with her mom and brother, she noticed this cute boy down the way. Well, being any red-blooded pre-teen she immediately was in his business. Autographs, pictures, and giggling excited phone calls ensued.

I guess she's ready for the concert tomorrow, huh?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Welcome Back

New Season of Nip/Tuck. Hello Lovah.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Dictator in my Head

I am still being a state traveler, so blogging may be sporadic. Actually, that's just an excuse for being lazy and somewhat discouraged with the whole referral process. 9 Freaking Days. All I'm saying. Grrrrr.

I try to fill my time with work, school (which is going well, thanks), prepping a proposal to hopefully present at this conference, getting excited for my trip to meet Shannon 1, Shannon 2 and to see Susan again, reading other people's blogs, thinking about gifts for my Secret Pals, and making lists of the things I need to do before my surgery in November. But it's still there. A constant whisper in my ear

... 9 days, new restrictions, 9 days, years of waiting, 9 days, rejection, 9 days, what if? 9 days...

It's in my head when I travel, when I shop, when I am driving and listening to this (which is terrible) and this (which is great). It's my mantra. Over and over, the broken record of a little Chinese devil that unfortunately looks like this guy, who's not even Chinese!

I am taking suggestions for anything else that can fill my time and get this guy off my back. Any takers?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Revelations from the Road

I just wanted to let everyone know I have been traveling out and about my great state. I can't really discuss work, but in general I have been forced to enjoy the pleasure of my own company.
During this time I have learned that...
~I have become comfortable eating in restaurants alone. In the past, I have had some anxiety about this because I felt like people are watching me/feeling sorry for me. Now I know bringing a book helps pass the time. Eating alone is no longer a big deal. Besides, these people will never see me again, so who really cares?
~I enjoy going to movies by myself. One evening last week I went to the dollar movies and had a blast! It was a weeknight, so there weren't too many people in the audience. I bought a drink, sat back, and enjoyed absorbing myself in the flick for 2 hours. No worries about bathroom breaks, conversation, or sharing popcorn.
~Chatting on the hotel phone is pretty fun. No one to interrupt your conversation with their commentary. Thanks to Shannon for making the evenings go by a little more quickly and a lot more fun.
~The Hampton Inn is a sure thing. They are always clean, have 24 hour fresh coffee in the lobby, and they have new beds; you get to sleep in a mound of comfort.
~I can go hours without making a sound. When I have to answer the phone or say something after this respite, my voice sounds like I have been napping. It's kind of breathy and scratchy. Weird.
~Wireless connection keeps you sane.
~I miss B terribly. We would have loads of fun if we were traveling together, but he's at home and I am out. After a day, I am ready to be back home with him. Being away has brought appreciation for my marriage and our relationship to the forefront of my attention. My love for him gets stronger every day I am away.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Kickin' It

Yesterday was the Chemical Valley's Midget League Football Association's Annual Kick-off Classic. Yes, we live in a chemical valley. We could experience a Bopal, India incident at any time; yet we choose to live here with hundreds of thousands of other people. Wonder what that says about all of us?

Basically the Kick-off Classic is the beginning of the midget league football season, as well as C's first foray into the world of cheerleading. She did a great job practicing and participating despite the incredible heat. Unfortunately, she and I both got too hot and had to bail before the second game. Nevermind the fact that the games were running over an hour behind and it was 1000 degrees hot. Sunburned and sweaty, I made the call when she polished off her fifth bottle of water. She felt terrible leaving her only other teammate, Madison, but we were all sick from the sitting in the hot sun all day. As you can see in the pictures she's giving it her best.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

13 Things You Were Dying to Know

Thirteen Things about Debra Sue

1. Sue is no longer my middle name. I dropped it when B and I were married and assumed my maiden name as my middle name.

2. I am a reality TV show whore and I am not ashamed. I watch Treasure Hunters, Big Brother All-Stars, Rock Star: Supernova, Project Runway, and Hell's Kitchen. I can't wait for the new season of The Apprentice.

3. I refuse to live in a house in which someone has died - this is an extreme phobia of mine.

4. I am bitter and disappointed that having a child has been 7-8 years in the making.

5. I really don't like chocolate candy. I will eat chocolate cake and ice cream, but a piece of chocolate candy makes my throat feel full of phlem. Gross.

6. I have extreme flatulation issues. I have never consciously passed gas in front of B. It is the one thing in the world that can totally embarrass me, so please don't fart in my presence.

7. I love B's hands. They are my favorite part of his body. They are wonderful.

8. Audiobooks are the best. I love listening to them while I am driving. I travel an incredible amount and listening to a book on CD helps pass the boring driving hours.

9. When I was 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD. My pediatrician wanted to medicate me, but my parents refused. I did not make my first A until I was in the 10th grade. I have learned to cope. As an adult I have developed my career around working with people who have mental illness or mental retardation. I think my childhood issues have had a direct effect on every aspect of my life - for the best.

10. There is something in my brain that helps me memorize insane amounts of celebrity and pop culture trivia like a savant. What's worse is I will talk about celebrities and their lives as if they are close friends of mine.

11. I am crushing so hard on Julian MacMahon from Nip/Tuck. My God that man is beautiful.

12. I would really love to know who should play me in a movie of my life. I already know who would play B, C, my mom, my dad, my brother, and my SIL. I just can't get who will play me. If you say Camryn Manheim I will never, ever speak to you again.

13. I will not drink milk. To me, milk tastes metallic like blood. I will drink half & half in my coffee, but sometimes I can taste the metallic blood flavor. The colder it is, the more metallic it tastes.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


So the "extensive travel" part of my job starts this evening. I'll be out on the road for the next 4 days.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My Secret Pal Rocks!

How cool is my Secret Pal? I am especially smitten with the "My Daddy is a Rock Star" onsie. B is going to flip when he sees it! Apparently my Secret Pal has been paying attention.

It was so great to come home from a exhausting week of traveling and working to find this package on my porch. At first I thought it was some books I ordered from Amazon, but low and behold a box of goodies, a lovely poem and a birthday wish for me! Thanks Secret Pal, you're awesome!

I cannot even begin to tell you how hard it is not to look at that postmark. The box is in the garbage and there it shall remain!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Those Partridges Have Nothin' on Us!

One of the traits B and I share is the family value of eating at the dinner table. Every night, whether C is home or not, we sit and share a meal. Well, tonight was no different even though the last 2 weeks have been hard. My work has been insane, B is gearing up for fall semester and a new crop of freshly minted M.D.s, fragile egos and all, and C has cheer practice 4 nights a week. So tonight we were all slap-happy tired. Toward the end of the meal, C decided she wanted the pepper from the pizza box and asked me to hand it to her. I handed it over, and said, "Here, take it." Well, from that point it was on, because another common trait B and I share is the ability to find a song in every situation. B immediately jumped up from the table and began singing REO Speedwagon's Take it on the Run. I promptly followed suit, and soon we were dancing around the kitchen like we were in junior high, singing at the top of our lungs. C was torn between cracking up and being totally mortified. REO Speedwagon segued right into Lights by Journey, then onto Renegade by Styx (at which point C was begging us to a) stop embarrassing her and b) pleading with us to stop before the sisters next door called the police). Nevertheless we persevered and had her singing right along for the grand finale of We are the Champions by Queen. Breathless, we all collapsed at the table and laughed our butts off. Now that's what I call a family dinner.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Late Birthday Highlights

I've been a little busy lately. So busy in fact, I forgot to post about my birthday! Last Thursday, August 3, was my 35th birthday and I finally wrapped up the celebration on Sunday. Once I find my cord to download pics, I'll post some. Until then, here are some highlights...

~Got a surprise cake at work from my pal Arlene. I was so excited by said cake, I forgot about taking a picture until it was 2/3 way gone.
~Received 2 copies of the same CD from Lori and Caroline. It's refreshing to know they listen to me when I am obsessing.
~Got a super-duper handmade crafty card from my pal Shannon.
~Did not get my awesome bike. It's retired. Dammit! B worked diligently to find it to his great disappointment and mine.
~Got a new game to take with me on my upcoming trip to N.C. to see my e-pals Shannon 1, Shannon 2, and Susan. It is on, ladies.
~My momma made me my favorite breakfast, creamed tomatoes and biscuits, and my favorite cake, Sunshine Cake on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am so Hot the Back of My Head is Throbbing

So today I walked into the house after dropping C off at cheerleading practice and almost had a heart attack when I felt the heat slap me in the face. Panic set in as I waded through the heat and humidity to look at my thermometer. 80 degrees - in the house. I immediately thought, "Oh shit, the air is out." I decided to try to push the button down to see if it would kick on. As I did, the set temperature flashed 86. What the hell? We never, ever, ever adjust the thermometer in the house. It stays on 72 all summer and 70 in the winter. I learned this from my best friend's mom when we were kids. Connie instilled the fear of her wrath if Kathy or I were to ever touch the gauge. Connie could sense it from 15 miles away if that needle moved even 1/16th of an inch.
As I am resetting the thermometer and the air kicks on at warp speed, both cats run to a respective vent and crash, dizzy from the heat. I call B at work who proceeds to tell me that C said she was cold this morning so she reset the temperature "a little bit." Yeah right. Now I am sitting here in a t-shirt and panties in my living room because it's so hot upstairs it's hard to breathe. She'd better be thankful I have BB7 on Ti-vo and she's spending the night with her mom (in the air-conditioned comfort of her bedroom, of course). Punk ass kid. A little bit, my sweaty ass.

Monday, July 31, 2006

My Summer of Reality (T.V.)

I know, I know I have been MIA lately. Well, I've been busy dammit. So far this month I have...
  1. Driven over 2000 miles - all within my state.
  2. Just spent 2 hours in the sweltering heat watching 52 little girls do cartwheel after cartwheel. Cheerleading season has begun.
  3. Ate at a restaurant where a woman was eating with her right hand and swatting flies with a lime green flyswat with her left hand. She never stopped eating. This is totally true!I.Swear.My.Hand.To.God.And.The.Baby.Jesus.
  4. Finished all assignments for my summer class, but have not finished writing/developing the class I am creating for my portfolio.
  5. Saw Clerks II and laughed so much I think I peed a little.
  6. Have made a decision about school - if the person I have asked to chair my committee refuses, I am either a) dropping out or b) switching programs to a Master's in Teaching and calling it a day. Okay, she's really the only person I have asked sincerely, but it's so stressful. It's like being in 4th grade and telling [insert hottest boy name here] to "go with" you.
  7. Written copious amounts of emails to Shannon.
  8. Joined several Yahoo DTC groups and will probably be spending 50+ bucks a month on Secret Pal gifts. What was I thinking?
  9. Broke up with my hairdresser and went to the salon under my office. Nice job. No pics yet.
  10. Watched way too many episodes of BB7, Rock Star Supernova, Project Runway, What Not to Wear, and Hell's Kitchen.
  11. Researched bicycles to find the perfect present for B to buy me for my birthday. I am really stuck on this one.

The Electra June

Friday, July 21, 2006

I Have Been Tagged

I have been tagged by wzgirl for the first time in the year I have been blogging! So here goes...

1. Sing the Blues in a smoky bar
2. Go to Ireland
3. Plan my daughter's wedding
4. Finish my doctorate
5. Retire to Alaska
6. See the Pyramids
7. Write a novel

1. Swim
2. Run a mile
3. Kill a person or animal
4. Knit
5. Compromise my personal ethics
6. French braid
7. Read music

1. Sing well
2. Cook well
3. Roller skate
4. Answer questions about celebrities and pop culture like a freaking savant
5. Flirt
6. Public speak with ease
7. Grow roses

1. He's a great dad
2. He makes me laugh every day
3. He let's me be the center of attention
4. He calls me on my shit
5. He's my best friend
6. He's a really great kisser
7. He's the kindest person I know

1. I know...
2. Does that make sense?
3. I am so hot, cold, hungry, tired...[fill in whine here]
4. I love you too
5. What the hell?
6. Goddammit
7. What do you think?

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2. All Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books - Francis McDonald w/ Hilary Knight illustrations
3. Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
4. Crows - Charles Dickens
5. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
6. Contemporary romance novels - the trashier the better!
7. Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman

1. A Room With a View
2. Grease 1 & 2
3. Sixteen Candles
4. Garden State
5. All Kevin Smith movies
6. Hustle and Flow
7. The Transporter

I so don't know how to tag anyone, and I am really kinda lazy, so if you're reading this then, TAG! You're It!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Random Questions

~Why is it that at least 2 times a year I forget the nausea and subsequent vomit-in-my-mouth taste I get every single time I eat anything from Capta'n D's? I'll get this wild hair that I really need to eat some greasy, deep-fried fish and end up inhaling it like a Hoover. Within minutes it all comes rushing back.
~ Why have I had the weirdest songs in my head lately? Two days ago it was "Valerie" by Steve Winwood, whom I greatly dislike. Today's hit - "It's Only Natural" by Crowded House.
~When did I decide not to shave any higher than right above my knee? For some reason, the razor stops there and I've never really thought about it before now.
~Why do I have a mental block about important things like answers to test questions or remembering important facts about my job, but yesterday I answered fifteen questions about this 5 years after it happened and had such an effect world events?
~What is my fascination with James from Big Brother 7? He's scrawny, has a lisp, and wears sleeveless T-shirts (which no man should EVER WEAR). I had one of "those dreams" about him and since then he makes me a little breathy when he's on the TV.
I just don't get me sometimes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

20th Reunion

Last Friday, B had his 20th reunion. His band, Whistlepunk, was supposed to play and it was a big deal. B was not looking forward to the trip down memory lane, but was a little bit excited about playing. Well, at the last minute, the singer (the small guy in the sunglasses) decided he didn't want to play for a group of people who know every word to Hank Williams Junior's Family Tradition. I can't say I don't blame him. Dude, they know every. single. word.

Anyways, after S bailed, B didn't want to go anymore. What the Hell? After many conversations of "I'm too fat, old, [insert self-degrading adjective here]... and one argument later, B and I gussied up and made our way to The Blue Parrot, a local bar owned by one of B's classmates. The room was spinning with disco lights, and the synthtic sounds of Roxette's The Look was blaring over the speakers. I have never seen that many desperately tanned bodies and bleached teeth in my life.

After a couple of beers and the arrival of the other bandmate, B finally loosened up and relaxed. He didn't say much about anything or anybody, and more often than not, I had to just jump in and introduce myself. We left after about 3 hours, came home, and went to bed. I thought that was it. Oh no, all I have heard about for the last few days is this reunion - who was there, what they looked like now, etc... For somebody who didn't want to be there, he sure has a lot to say about it.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Today I got the email from our agency saying "Congratulations, your dossier has been logged into CCAA!"
How bizarre is it that our LID was 6/27/06 - the same day I wrote this post?
Off to celebrate~

Friday, July 07, 2006


I'm ready. Bring on the Mooby's

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Asphalt Summer

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Not the 4th

Even though today was a workday and not the 4th of July, my city decided to celebrate. B's brother Allen and his three children were in from Nashville, and it's always good to see them. In the picture are Carlie and Peyton in the front and Ethan and C in the back. Ethan and C are six months apart. Yeah, puberty's a real bitch. She's not only a foot taller, she's twice his weight. I'm thinking some of it may have to do with the fact that the only food he eats are hot dogs (no bun), chicken fingers, and pepperoni pizza. Occasionally he'll eat macaroni and cheese. Fortunately C got some of her mom's DNA and doesn't have that Children of the Corn pasty skin, light hair, and light red-rimmed eyes look that her cousins do.

As you can see, C's hair is a lovely shade of plum. Her mom's hippy friends came in last week and taught her how to dye her hair with vegetable dye. She loves it. My FIL almost had a stroke. C dyes her hair and Ethan let his grow out. My FIL eats-lives-breathes fifties mentality. It wears me out.

So they all had to try the Mentos & Diet Coke Experiment. As you can see from the picture, C had to put it in her mouth and let it foam.

We live about 50 yards from the riverbank where the city's fireworks are set off, and they all walked down to watch. I stayed back and started cleaning up from the havoc wreaked by Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3, otherwise known as C's cousins. About 30 minutes later, instead of hearing fireworks booming overhead, the entire house lights up with lightening and I hear a huge clap of thunder. That storm hit so hard and fast, everyone was soaked to the skin within seconds. I was amazed at how fast they ran the 50 yard dash! Needless to say, the fireworks were cancelled

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Family Cookout

Nothing says summer better than a boy swimming in his underwear. God, I hate to think how many hits I'll get because of that statement. Anyways, after getting up at the butt-crack-of-dawn (6:30 am) to finish writing a narrative about "schools being key institutions in creating social change," slaving over homemade hot dog chili (which I don't eat), and making macaroni salad (which I do eat), B and I sludged over to the Parents to have a "just us" family cookout. B had a hangover and I was working on about 4 hours sleep, so sludged is the word. The only person who wasn't a part of our immediate family was my SIL's grandmother, Thelma. She's pretty cool and fits right in. C was at her mom's house playing "mommy;" her mom still can't lift the baby, so she's keeping C in her clutches tighter than Anusol suppositories.

We had gigantic cheeseburgers - my favorite, drank gallons of water, and ate all fruit popsicles. My SIL, who works for a major children's retail chain that's not Baby Gap or Children's Place, and I made plans to shop for Ms. Ruby next weekend. Several "collections" are on sale and I am starting to cave on the "No Shopping Till LID" big time. We had a great time.

Evie loves her some cupcakes!

I'm With the Band

I finally bought new furniture for the living room. For the three or so who follow along, you may remember I tried this once back in January and it was a bust. Well, I tried a different furniture store and ended up buying a sofa, chair 1/2, ottoman, and 4 tables. Whoo hoo! Here's my mom hanging in the chair. It's not quite as yellow and green in real life.
We then went to Applebees and I had the new Grilled Greek Chicken Salad and it rocked. We shopped some and I bought Ruby this and this from LeapPad.
Later I went to the Vandalia Lounge to see Brian's band, Whistlepunk with Thea, Caroline, and my brother-in-law Allen. The Vandalia Lounge is a swanky little joint that has a kick ass drink menu. I had a java martini and it was fabulous. Oh yeah, the band was cool too. Don't tell anybody, but I took the drummer home with me!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome Elizabeth W.

Blue Suede Beauties - FR: Caroline, Me, Karen. BR: Susan, Tracy, and Cindy - who finally got her girl!

Congratulations to Cindy and the boys on their referral of the newest addition to the family, Elizabeth!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Waiting and Worrying

We are now waiting on our LID. To me, in my mind,this will be the final step that will confirm that we are going to get Ruby. I worry about being turned down. A lot. I want reassurance, I want a "done deal." I want to be able to register for baby gifts and buy pretty things and not get nauseated thinking I may have to return them, "Sorry, no baby."

At my annual exam last year, my GYN recommended an endometrial ablation. Ironically my virtual twin, Shannon, just went through this a few weeks ago. My GYN and I decided to wait until B and I returned from China. I distinctly remember saying, "We'll travel next year." That was a year ago. In March. Now, we are looking at least another year after we get our LID, which could be now or a month from now. I have decided to go ahead with the surgery. I can't wait another year for this. I know I can wait on Ruby, albeit not patiently, but I don't want to put this off for another year or more. I am at the point where I am either in PMS mode, bleeding, or recuperating from the endless period. They are lasting around 10 days now, and are debilitating.
The deal with endometrial ablation is sterility. Granted, B and I are as barren as they come, but this surgery will make it an in-your-face reality. My GYN will also perform a tubal ligation just to safeguard, you know, just in case pigs fly and people in Hell drink ice-water. I will be going in on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and will be taking that entire next week off. I decided November for reasons. 1) My job should be in a groove by then and I'll have a better sense of scheduling clients, 2) I really want Thanksgiving week off to hang out with my mom to cook and shop, and 3) We will know for sure by then if we are definitely going to China because we'll hopefully be 5 months LID. Hopefully.

Bottom line? I want to quit worrying. I want to enjoy shopping for my girl. I want to do all of those things that make me want to puke. I want my LID.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Quiet House

C and her brother went home today. The weekend was rough, B pulled his back on Saturday morning and it basically went downhill from there.

B and I learned quite a bit from this experience:

  1. Having a baby in the house can be a lot of fun. We laughed a lot.
  2. Having a baby in the house can be very stressful. We bickered a lot.
  3. Soy formula really stinks. That smell, like instant mashed potato flakes, permeates everything.
  4. Babies need to have their teeth brushed. You know, from the beginning, we have been on C like white on rice about this. Religiously. Don't ask me why we kept bailing on this poor kid. If he develops massive tooth decay, we're pleading the fifth and deleting this post.
  5. Sam's Choice wet wipes are crap. They smell awful, no sweet baby smell from these and they shred when wiping copious amounts of poo. We won't be purchasing this brand. Ever.
  6. Speaking of copious poo, I have a history of poo related issues. This weekend did not help me overcome them.
  7. B and I are very different types of parents; I stress and he sleeps. We have a lot of middle ground to find.
  8. We are both incredibly out of shape. We have a year (or more) to remedy this.

It was a good week, but I am happy to have my house back. Next we need to get to work on Ruby's nursery, we're going to need the space.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Shhh...We Don't Know Yet!

I just checked our Parent Access page on our agency's website. Guess what? We were DTC Monday June 19! We haven't received the official email yet, so keep it to yourself, 'kay?

Awesome Gifts

Ruby's first Ladybug book. Thanks Secret Pal!

Ducky T-shirt and "Quack Quack" from my bloggy pals! Ruby's gotta represent the Blue Suede Beauties!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cutting Off My Nose

C's mom had her second thyroid surgery today. As of yesterday, we are keeping C and her 13 month baby brother, M while mom recuperates. It's looking like we are going to be the home base for these two for the next two weeks, maybe more. Unfortunately, C's mom doesn't get any support from family or M's father. She has to rely on friends to help her out. B and I debated the issue of keeping him (and being his guardian should something happen) for a long time. It's kind of strange, and many wouldn't understand, but we couldn't say no.

It's not always been easy being a stepmom. From the beginning, I have been hyper-aware of my place. I am not C's mom. Oh, more times than not I call her my "daughter," I don't love her any less, and I discipline regularly just like any parent would. Nevertheless, there have been too many times to count when C's mom would remind me of my place. Over the years, I have been told "no" to requests to take her places, not allowed to spend time with her one-on-one because she "needs to be with a parent," denied access to school activities or parent-teacher conferences, had new clothes returned or destroyed, and received parenting and nutrition magazine subscriptions as gifts so I can "learn and understand" what it's like to be a conscientious parent. No I am not exaggerating. But honestly, I wasn't at all surprised when she asked if we would adopt M if she dies of cancer. Why? Because despite all of her spite, I love her daughter. I always have and I always will. No, I am not the "better" person, and I am positive our animosity toward each other is only on hiatus, I am just a person who will not hurt these children because their mother and I don't get along.

So far, my house looks like a bomb dropped, I have been spit-up on twice, endured a 2 am diaper change, I smell like soy formula and laughed till I cried more than once. It doesn't matter though, because if being with Ruby is half this much fun, we've got it made in the shade.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lost in Translation

As of June 15, we are currently in translation and almost ready to be DTC. I had to get an additional letter from my doctor telling CCAA that because I have hypertension I can still parent a child. This is letter #3. 3! Regardless, we were pushed back et another week and now we are just hoping to be DTC before July. AAARRRRGGGGG!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Bright Light City Gonna Set My Soul...

Oh, how to describe my recent trip to Memphis to meet some of my bloggy pals? It was a fantastic time. I would love to include pictures with my narrative, but blogger is not being cooperative. I downloaded some, but they are lost in space. I'll try again later, or maybe they'll just pop up. We'll see. Anyways...

Friday we drove all day. My friend Caroline went with me to offer moral support and conversation on the long way down and back. Caroline is quiet and unassuming and calls me on my shit when I'm being a spaz. The drive wasn't bad, just long. There's just not a lot to see on the Blue Grass Parkway. Ironically when we arrived, Traci was in the car in front of us, and Karen pulled up in a taxi right behind. We met up with Cindy, who'd arrived earlier, and all went to Bahama Breeze. It was wild to see these women that I felt like I knew, but really didn't know at all. We had a great dinner and went back to the hotel. Susan had arrived while we were out, but Caroline and I were so tired we just said hello and made plans to meet in the lobby the next morning.

Saturday, Karen, Susan, Caroline and I hit Graceland with a vengeance. After a breakfast at the secret I-Hop, we ran around like tourists snapping pictures, getting temporary tattoos and giggling like we were in high school. Caroline and I hit the car museum, while Susan and Karen admired the airplanes. We dashed back to the hotel, freshened up and met up with Susan and Traci to head to downtown Memphis. We had lunch and the waiter was a hoot. He called me "love" and was gracious enough to snap pictures with 5 different cameras. We started a trends and 2 other tables whipped out digitals and hit him up for some snaps.

We had reserved a carriage ride through the city and once we piled into the seats, I bailed. Too tight a squeeze, and 20-30 feet into the ride my butt was asleep. I jumped out and tooled around the air conditioned Peabody hotel while the rest of the ladies toured Memphis. I am sure Chester the carriage pony was appreciative, and I had a great time. I shopped and talked Pencil Pointer puzzles with a Russian storekeeper who was whizzing through one in his native language (v. v. cool, btw), watched a very young wedding party in very expensive attire swig Bud out of the bottle, and watched the Peabody Ducks do their evening parade to their private penthouse. All in all, my hour alone was really fun.

After the carriage ride, we shopped a little more, and the ladies all chipped in and bought Ruby a gift, which was really sweet. If blogger wasn't being a bitch, I would proudly share a picture of her ducky t-shirt and puffy "Quack, Quack" Little Golden Book. Soon, soon. Thanks again, pals.

We walked to Beale St. and ended up BB King's Blues Club. We listened to music, Karen and Susan were Ikettes, drank a blue cocktail called "Lucille" and finally ate BBQ. Cindy split to shop without 3 boys clinging and pleading for mercy, and the rest of us hung out and rested our dogs. After a while, Susan, Caroline and I walked the length of Beale St looking at the bars and shops. I was amazed to see children running around, but the most shocking sight was seeing a pregnant woman chugging an industrial sized beer. Nice. We looked into the grimy windows of Coyote Ugly and saw the bartenders dancing stripper-style on the long bar, and a skinny Elvis impersonator that was kind enough to let Susan snap his picture. Around 11:00 we caught a cab and headed back to the hotel. I sat up front because I get carsick and chatted with our driver, Gregory. On the way out of the taxi, he handed me his card saying, "Here's my card. Give me a call if you're ever back in Memphis or you get a divorce." Wow, I haven't been hit on in forever. Thanks, Gregory, for capping off a great day.

The next morning Caroline and I dropped Susan off at the airport and headed home. I was exhausted, but would do it again in a heartbeat. I met some wonderful women who gave me a little bit of hope during this bleak time of waiting for Ruby. What a bunch of great broads. We have to do this again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More on Memphis tomorrow

Man, photos + me + Blogspot = headache and hours of irritation.
It took over an hour just to get those pictures lined up.
I'll post about our awesome trip tomorrow. Yawn.

Takin' on the King

Self-portrait in Elvis' mirrored stairwell

Karen of Gwenblog (password protected) and my very quiet friend Caroline getting ready for a rocking day at the home of the King - Graceland!

Susan getting her "Burning Love" shimmer temporary tattoo by Sequoyia, a very sweet Graceland employee.

The final resting place of the King

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Hope No News is Good News

Well, everything has been submitted to CCAI for a week now. We are officially in critical review and translation. If all goes well, we should be DTC in the next 5 to 10 business days. That's all I'm saying because I don't want to jinx it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Story of We

A few days ago one of our directors was discussing her daughter's wedding. It's planned for May 2007, and they have budgeted 25K for the whole shebang. Firstly, knowing this person, I wasn't surprised. Secondly, I thought, damn, that would pay for another adoption. Thirdly, the conversation got me thinking about my own wedding 7 years ago today.

B and I had only been together 11 months. We were living together, to the chagrin of both our parents. Memorial Day weekend, I was supposed to have surgery to determine what was making my period so crazy. The day before the surgery, Friday, I came down with tonsillitis which caused the doctor to cancel. That night, as we were getting ready for bed,B asked me what I was going to do with my time. My response, "Clean the house." His rebuttal? "Well, let's get married." I said okay, rolled over, and passed out in a medication-induced coma. Romantic, huh?

Because it was a holiday weekend, we had to wait until a Tuesday. We loaded C into the van and headed to Catlettsburg Kentucky to get married. Our parents followed us down and we the whole thing was complete by 12:30, because the minister had a root canal scheduled at 1:00. C was very excited and somewhat disillusioned as to why we were there, When we arrived, she asked me, "Where is she?" When I asked about whom she was talking, she said "Married? We're here to get Married!" To this day, this is one of her favorite "when you were little" stories.
We all had lunch and came home. B and I gave C a nap, took her to her mom, and went to see Star Wars: Episode I. I'll never forget sitting in that empty theatre running my thumb absently over his wedding band, thinking to myself that this is it, he's the one.

I still feel that way. We had a good day. I got the requisite flowers and gifts, and we also had dinner at Cafe Cimino, a lovely Italian restaurant owned and operated by our neighbor's father and stepmother. The food and atmosphere were romantic and delicious, respectively, but the best part was the drive up and back. For an hour each way - the pleasure of each other's company. Seven years, and we have yet to run out of things to say.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Holiday Hell

Man, today was rough!

  1. Using my new chef's knife Rachael Ray style, I almost sliced off my right pinky. Let's just say I filleted it, and it is continuing to seep as the rest of my finger turns bluish-purple. Still. 12 hours later. Yes, I know I should've had a stitch or at least some of that human super glue stuff, but no. I didn't realize how much you use your pinkies when you type.
  2. I have to make a big decision. C's mom has another child, who's only a year old. She has asked us to help out with him while she's recuperating from her next surgery. She has no family willing to help, and her best friend just said no. I don't know if I can do it for many, many reasons I can't discuss here.
  3. Said bio mom came to my parents picnic with said baby. It was hard, not because of the baby, he's a baby, what's not to like? C on the other hand has assumed the "mommy" role because she's doing the bulk of the lifting. It's nerve-wracking and frustrating, plus she's really annoying about it. I guess that's one reason I am discussing here.
  4. B and I were talking about this as we were leaving my parents, and I backed my Sorento into my father-in-law's new Chevy Trailblazer. Big crunch, but no major damage. My truck barely has a scratch. We have decided to get an estimate and go from there.
  5. I had to come home and write a paper that was due on a freaking holiday. The hell?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

How Bizarre

I just noticed that in the picture of B and me and in the picture of Elliot, they are holding their heads the same way. B is way cuter!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Here's the Deal, Pickle

So, B and I made this big trek to D.C., went through the harrowing process of fighting with the State Dept, relyied on strangers, and all-in-all had a pretty good weekend. I mean, we had fun, I got a Nine West purse for 12 bucks, and we ate really good Italian and really bad Mexican food.
Well, amidst all of this fun, we didn't realize was that we took 2 copies of B's police clearance reports and none of mine. Basically, when CCAI got our dossier, it was one document short. Plus, they wanted more pictures of us with friends and family.
Pictures I could do - that's easy I have a new camera. Getting that document authenticated was another story. Prior to crying tears of frustration and embarrassment, I called our dossier rep Amanda who confirmed the news and led me in the direction of an Adoption courier. Now, I really wasn't sure if I wanted to trust a stranger with our precious cargo, but what choice did I have?
I contacted Laura of The Assistant Stork, and she took care of us. Although it cost us a little more, she had it taken care of in less than a week. As of yesterday, CCAI has the last of our dossier documents, and I hopefully can say we are in critical review. My hopes for being DTC in May are shot, but my DTC group hasn't kicked me out, so I guess that's okay. Besides, with the wait, what's another week?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yes, We Are

Just wanted to let everyone know that C, my mom, and I are gonna be on the floor at the September 14 show.
Don't be hatin'

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Word of the Day - Antagonize

Well today we found out that C's mom definitely has thyroid cancer. She had surgery on Monday and was told she was cancer free. When she went to have her post-op check-up and have her drain removed, her doctor said, "We were wrong, you do have cancer." So it's a massive radiation treatment and a second surgery. Damn, that sucks.
C's bully situation has escalated over the past few weeks, and we can't wait for school to be out, just to get a break. The problem is, C just can't get it and she antagonizes this one boy and two girls who torture her. She gives as much as she gets. Where they are mean, hateful bullies, she is spazzy and annoying - on purpose. We've tried to work with her on calming down and recognizing that she's being a spaz/annoying/childish, but it's just not clicking. I don't even want to go into how she handled herself this week at After School Care. I won't go into the details; they're too painful for me to type and for you to read.
It's hard for B & me to see her struggle, but for very different reasons. B still sees her as an innocent, precious baby. I see it from a clinical perpective - anxiety inducing plummeting self-esteem that can scar teenage girls into making bad decisions. Before I began working in the field of MR/DD, I was a Family Preservation Specialist and worked with children exclusively for 6 years. I have seen the damage children can do to each other, especially girls her age. I can't separate from this situation the way I could then. This is my child. You can't imagine how thrilled I am that she has one more year of elementary school. The thought of her going to middle school at this maturity level makes me want to puke.