Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Catching Up

And so, as the MA-NA-PA eight-week-long celebration comes to a close, I say "thank heavens!" I've had enough birthday cake to last me for a decade and I'm all partied out. The next person's birthday is The Nana and I'm just taking her to Teatro Zinzanni.

Pa's birthday was very fun, though, with oysters and sea bass at The Brooklyn and champagne cocktails and dancing at Pampas. We also celebrated my finishing the chapter two edits (finally...and I'm not revealing how long it took!) I owe a big thanks to two of my writer friends who met me for coffee, lunch and writing on Friday, where I made tremendous strides. It's amazing how a change of venue and chit-chat with some lovely women can make a difference!

I'm in the middle of reading The Winds of War by Herman Wouk and I have to say, it's an amazing book! That's what has been taking up my free time. That and, oh, I had a beautiful run today. It was only a four miler, but when I finished, I felt invigorated. I just love that feeling. I was jamming to The Killers--which, oddly enough, I really don't listen to that much; but when I'm running, it's awesome!

On a sad note today, one of my dearest friends just told me that her ex-husband has cancer. I was floored. I mean--he's so young and I just can't believe what a horrible illness he has. So far, it sounds like he has a few months left to live--although he's now going to see a very good oncologist next week--so perhaps there might be some better news on the horizon. So far, he's been told it's inoperable and he would need a liver transplant among other things.

They were together for 16 years and officially divorced about 6-7 months ago. Despite going their separate ways, she's made every effort to help him as best as she can during treatment. My friend is an amazing and incredibly strong person; but seeing anyone go through anything like this would shake solid rock, I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What were they thinking?

I've been involved in a lot of silly PR stunts: world's largest cookie; world's largest salad; etc. But this was just poor planning on their part.

What a goofy idea to make the world's largest popsicle and drag it around the streets of Manhattan in 90% humidity.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm a sucker for Cheerios

Click here to see a recent Cheerios commercial called "Adoption Story".

I'll admit, I cried...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Cuts in funding threaten public broadcasting

I'm sure you've all seen those bogus e-mails floating around cyberspace for a few years claiming that NPR, PBS and the NEA were in peril should legistlation pass to cut funding.

This time, sadly, it's true. According to and this article making its way through the wires, the House Appropriations Committee approved a 23% reduction in budget for fiscal year 2006, thereby eliminating services such as "Ready to Learn" for children.

I don't know about you, but I love public broadcasting, especially shows on NPR like All Things Considered, Fresh Air and This American Life. Likewise, I love shows like Sesame Street for Mr. Na and Frontline, which, in my opinion, is the most honest news program, bar none. I'd hate to see these quality television and radio programs disappear.

Monday, June 13, 2005

This is MY bike

Mr. Na and I took a spin on his new trike today (actually, he rode it, I pushed it). He still hasn't figured out how to work the pedals quite yet but I'm certain by the end of this summer he'll be a regular speed demon. I loved the fact that I could just wheel him into the drugstore so I could pick up my prescription and he made the most of it by telling everyone in the entire store that this was his new bike. He discussed the trike's features with anyone willing to listen, and showed them his handy dandy hand brake. which he's learning how to use at every stop sign.

Our weekend was just chock full o'goodness and Mr. Na's birthday party was a smash hit. We had twelve little indians converge on our home to feast on the Thomas the Tank birthday cake and burn through their sugar high by running up and down the stairs. As I went to grab some language CDs in my office upstairs to give to a friend who was leaving, I found three littleuns in Na's crib, bouncing up and down and giggling--but they were at least polite enough to take off their shoes first!

I took it all in stride--I had to--given the lack of sleep I had the night before. Plus, I had some really wonderful friends help me to direct traffic. I have Phantasiewriter to thank for being the best toddler wrangler in the West.

Anyway, part of the reason for my lack of sleep--aside from the stress of holding a party at my house--was that I came down with a nasty UTI on Friday; but I was fortunate enough to be able to see my Dr. that afternoon to get some antibiotics and pyridium. That evening, I dosed my self up with Motrin and ran the Fremont 5k (which tells you that either I really love to run or I'm just plain stupid). All things considered though, I felt fine and the race was a cinch to finish!

Now it's time to plan Mr. Na's Pa's Father's Day Extravaganza! I think there will be baseball and Eggs Seattle involved.

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I wonder if I could enter the Tour De France this year?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Diet Vanilla Pepsi Break...

This has been the first day in a week that the sun's bothered to come out and Mr. Na, Fifi and I took a lovely stroll before their nap (yes, Oatmeal actually goes to sleep on her bed until she hears Mr. Na wake up. Cute, huh?)

Now it's time to roll up my sleeves, suck down my pop and get back to "chapter two" (sigh)...I'm changing lots of stuff around, but I guess that's what I get for writing without an outline. One of these days, I am going to have to write an outline to make sure everything in the book is consistent at least!

I'm all registered to run the Fremont 5k tomorrow night. And afterwards, it's date night with Pa for some sushi and SIFF! There's a documentary about Death Cab for Cutie playing at the Neptune but, er, uh, I'm not that big of a fan. But there is a Steve Buscemi film starring Casey Affleck called "Lonesome Jim" which looks pretty cool!

Speaking of documentaries (or rockumentaries...whatever!) I am dying to get my hands on this!

Ok, well my pop break is over...I've got to get back at it so I can spend some time finishing one of the most borrrrrring books in the world: Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer. Actually, I'm in the home stretch, with only 50 pages to go and it's getting interesting (Finally! It only took 600 pages)

If you're in Seattle, get out and enjoy the sunshine because it's going to turn crappy again by tomorrow! And for my friends out on the East Coast, I hope you don't swelter too much from the 84% humidity! (K, you're gonna have to train for that marathon at 5 a.m. girlie!)

Oh, p.s...keep your fingers crossed: Na and Ma might be going with Pa to Paris and Italy in early September! Wooooohoooooooooo!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Happy Birthday Mr. Na!

My little guy turned three today. And as I write this, he's in the next room with Pa, singing "The Alphabet Lost and Found." His latest addition to this song has been to sing the part where they say "slang words, you're in the wrong building!" He knows that part cracks me up when he does it and since he hears me typing next door, he shouts,

"You hear that Mama? That's comedy!"

(I like him. He's silly.)

I'm always so amazed how quickly time is passing, yet I'm sad, too. As much as I love watching my son grow up, delighting me every day with his new skills, I often get these stupid fears that creep up on me every once in awhile. What if, once he realizes what adoption is all about, he winds up hating us? I mean, I know all kids at some point "hate" their parents for one reason or another; but I'm talking about real resentment. What if he blames us for having been abandoned by his birthmother? While I can't control my son's feelings (and I wouldn't want to) I try very hard every day to show him how much I love him. I suppose, initially, it would break my heart to see any anger or resentment taken out on us--but as always, I'm preparing for us to have a lot of open communication so that we can help him work through his issues. Of course, all of this could be a total non-issue and he'll keep trying to make us laugh--as he does each and every day!

During Monday's episode of Six Feet Under, David and Keith were talking about adopting children. David said, "when you adopt, you fall in love with that child as you would your own." To which Keith replied, "maybe." I gotta tell ya, there's no "maybe" least not for me. I remember how much I mourned over the fact that we could never have a biological child. Now I'm thankful that things turned out the way they did. I love my son with every inch of my being--and probably appreciate him moreso than I would have had I been able to get pregnant without any problems and given birth to him.

I feel so blessed that our paths crossed in Ukraine. Not only is Mr. Na a handsome little boy, he's smart as a whip, too, and is starting to develop a very witty sense of humor. Of course now he's in the "why?" stage where everything we say is followed by him asking "why?" And lately, too, if we say something like "because..." and leave it at that, that's not good enough for him. So he'll then ask, "WHY NOT?????"

Now THAT'S comedy!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

aaaahhhhh...Monday's coming!

We had such a busy, crazy weekend that I can't believe I'm writing this but: I'm glad tomorrow's Monday!

Most of today was spent doing some late spring cleanup in the garden: weeding, pruning, edging, mowing which all lead to sneezing, coughing and tearing. The rest was getting ready for the big shindig next weekend: Mr. Na's third birthday party. So far, we've got about 10 wee ones confirmed. Gulp! I keep reminding myself if it gets too far out of hand, there's always the park two blocks up.

I'm anxiously awaiting the 20 pound package from My Toy Box this week. In it is the super duper Thomas the Tank party pack and his very own trike!

I've ordered the Thomas the Tank cake, the helium tank and balloons. I've bought the chips, dips, pop and juice. Now it's just a matter of running around next Saturday to collect the goods and get the lunch-type food.

His little head's gonna explode next week! I can't wait!

All of this has been a fun distraction, but I'm itching to get to my writing desk this week and continue with my edits. If I can edit a chapter a week, I could be finished with this draft by fall. That'd be nice!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hair of the dog...

This has been, for me at least, the worst allergy season to date. Since January, I've been hit with not one but two major allergy attacks that left me wheezing and practically laid up in bed with a sore throat, stuffy nose and raging cough. At one point, I actually thought I had the flu, except my temperature was well within the normal range.

I wasn't always like this. When I was 20 and living in a smog bank, otherwise known as the San Fernando Valley, I started getting these weird panic attacks. I couldn't catch my breath and the more I tried, the more panicked I became until I would go into full blown hyperventilation. I went to the ER during one of the attacks and they treated me for asthma. The next day, I went to a specialist who tested me positive for asthma--and that was my first bout of it. I was given an inhaler and sent on my merry way. When I moved out of the San Fernando Valley, my asthma disappeared about as fast as it came--which was nice, because I hated using the inhaler--it gave me the worst heart palpitations. I started to feel a little bit like Felix Flanken--where I'd take one thing for one ailment and it would lead me to another.

When I moved to Washington, D.C., I discovered seasons--and with them came seasonal allergies. The green dusting of pollen on my car should have been my first clue--but sadly, it wasn't. It was the week-long bout of cold-like symptoms that made me wonder why I moved away from my cozy life in West L.A.

For the last eight years, I suffered season after Seattle season, trying one form of over-the-counter medicine after another, as I vowed to make an appointment with an allergist to find out EXACTLY what the hell I was allergic to and to be put on the same drugs as everyone else in the club. So, today, I finally did what I had been wanting to do since I developed these symptoms in my 20s: I paid a visit to my friendly neighborhood allergist.

It wasn't an easy appointment either: from the moment the nurse pricked my skin with 12 different allergens, I began to feel itchy all over and developed these massive hives around some of the areas she hit. Then, she had me WAIT for 15 minutes and told me not to scratch. I squirmed uncontrollably in my chair and decided to SMS the hubster since it was all I could do to keep my hands occupied. I kept him apprised of the situation:
"Looks like Dog/Cat dander are neck and neck...wait a second, coming up fast, it's grasses and pollen, followed by dust mites and red oak..."

The nurse came in to check me and she told me the winners of the first round: red oak and grasses. Then, she told me we'd have to go to the next round: injecting under the skin by creating air bubbles with larger needles. At that point, I was awfully glad I had gone through infertility treatments. Needles used to scare the living shit out of me. After injecting myself with hormones everyday, twice a day, in my stomach voluntarily in addition to having a FOOT LONG needle inserted into my vagina, piercing a wall and an ovary to retrieve eggs voluntarily, these little needles this afternoon were childsplay.

Thankfully, the second round didn't bring about the awful itching I experienced during the first--but it did manage to raise a few more angry little welts on my arms.

The results? I am allergic to dogs, cats, grasses and dust mites, in addition to oak.

The Doctor came in, discussed my reactions, gave me a "what you need to know about your allergies" welcome packet, loaded me up with Astelin, Rhinacort, Flonase, Singulair, and Nasonex and said, "Try these and whichever one you like, just check off on the prescription form..."

As I read through my "welcome" packet, I literally laughed out loud:

"Ideally, it is best for highly dust mite allegic individuals to avoid vacuuming or dusting duties..."

"For patients allergic to animals, it is best to keep the animal out of the house. Keep the animal 100% out of the bedroom."

"Don't mow lawns or be around freshly cut grass; mowing stirs up pollen and molds. Don't rake leaves, as this also stirs up molds..."

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