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Ours was kind of uneventful and unproductive.  Case in point:  I am waiting for a laundry load to dry on Monday  morning, because it didn’t get done over the weekend.  The laundry is critical for the rest of my week because it contains my only bra (stupid boobs), my only two pairs of jeans (stupid tummy), and my only shirts (although I did end up buying a few larger ones yesterday, because getting dressed in the morning and deciding on DB’s massive sweaters every day is getting a little…old?  Can I say that?  Although very very comfy….)

Last week I decided to look somewhat fashionable, and pulled out a blazer and a cute (form-fitting) sweater.  And walked out the door.

And promptly lost some blood circulation, because it was REALLY FREAKING TIGHT.

So then I caught a glance of myself walking by the mirror, and almost died in horror.  Yes.  That was me.  About two of me, actually.

It’s back to DB’s sweaters and my fat jeans.  Oh, and the Bella Banded jeans.  I tried that yesterday and it wasn’t terrible.  It sure doesn’t contain the bump, which is a real bump now, not bloat, but it held up the jeans okay.

(Side note:  I went into Mimi Maternity last night, in the mall.  HOLY MOLY!!!!!  I love love love this stupid shirt they have in their window, and it had some cute jeans with it, and I just casually went in to see how much the cute shirt with the cute jeans might cost – $68 for the SHIRT?  $118 for the jeans?  These are clothes I will wear for a minute, people!)



So in the second installment of Monday Morning’s Boring Post, I have a question for those of you who have been pregnant before:  water retention?  Specifically peeing, and being hydrated, but basically being unable to pee all that much?  Yes, it is an awesome question for the internets.  I am waiting for the doctor’s office to call back, because I think it is probably not an awesome sign to want to pee, and pee clear, but not pee that much.

I would be more concerned if my ankles or hands were swollen, or something, but they’re not.

So I have a question – where the hell is that water going?!?

Anyway, pray that this is a boring UTI or something…that would be so nice. Or that it’s normal.  Is it normal?

I CONSIDERED going to the ER on Saturday night to investigate this, BUT! had eaten some extremely salty popcorn that night and thought perhaps (?? I have amazing rationalization powers) that was it.  BUT!  No.  I also thought about paging the on-call physician, BUT! it was 2 am by the time I began to get concerned, AND! salty popcorn?

So I called this morning.  I am a very kind patient.

(**UPDATE:  Doctor’s office called back and I get to go pee in a cup in their office when…the laundry load finishes.  I have given them a whole ton of my pee these days!!**)


Speaking of salty popcorn, DB and I went to see “Taken” with another couple on Saturday.

**Spoiler alert** – if you are not a spoiler person, don’t read below.  Although seriously, the movie is insanely predictable.

We could NOT stop laughing at the part where the dad finds his daughter and slaughters the sheik.  I mean, seriously?  I think everyone around us was horrified, but SERIOUSLY!  Plus, DB and I have this conversation often, usually when watching ridiculous cop-and-negotiator movies:

Me:  If someone held a (knife/gun/torch) to my head, and dragged me out in front of you, would you shoot them in the head like that dude just did?

Him:  NO.  That is the dumbest thing you could ever do.

Me:  You mean you don’t love me?

Him:  NO!  I don’t want to shoot you!

And he is a pretty good shot.

So when the guy did that, after already killing about half the population of Paris, undeterred, we. cracked. up.

Anyway, we thought the movie was dumb, but it was a good distraction.  It was also not that scary, in case you were curious.  I thought it would be terrifying.

I was wrong.

So…that was our weekend.  How was yours?

So after that little interlude, we are back to the thoughts o’ Rachel.  I’m sure you are all relieved!  Ha.  I am still funny.

1)  I popped my puking-in-complete-public cherry last night.  My school is sadistic and LOCKS THE DOORS that lead to the bathroom at night.  Someone (ahem) really needs to discuss that particular approach to security with them.  I climbed the stairs, howled at the locked door, and on my descent, plopped down (on the stairs) and yacked into a brown paper lunch bag.  (The lunch bag was in my bag for a very good reason.  See bullet point #2.)

And, because I am STILL not a quiet puker, the ENTIRE building could hear me vom.  Yeah, me!  DB had come to rescue me from class and stood there, helplessly.  He couldn’t even hold my hair back.  It was already in a ponytail.


On the up side, I felt *much* better after the event, which lent further credence to my theory that I was actually *sick*.  I had a fever and EVERYthing.

2)  It took me 48 hours to collect my 24 hour pee.  Yes, I officially rock.  I started the 24 hour pee on Monday, when I thought I’d have a rockin’ 24 hours at home to pee, pee, pee my day away.  Well, it just so happened that DB accidentally POURED MY PEE OUT!!!!! before I could dump it in the oil jug (I was GOING to pour it in there, but he had to pee so I told him to pee around the pan – I know you are all hanging on every word here) (seriously, we have some class.  I know this is going to be hard to believe at this point, but for reals, y’all, we do).  So I had placed the pee-pan thing on the seat of the toilet (I was IN A RUSH! I had to PEE!) and DB was MORE in a rush, and he LIFTED UP THE TOILET SEAT with the (FULL!!!!) pee pan on it.  And poured it out.

And I cried.

So yesterday I was more diligent (and Very Strict about when DB can pee) and successfully collected my Very Valuable pee.  I know you are all impressed.

I ended up keeping it in the fridge.  Go ahead, gag now.  I am.  I started with it on the porch but then when it looked like more of a process than the 24 hour pee would indicate, I moved it to the fridge.  (Yes, I dumped out what I had already collected, but…remnants?!?  GROSS! GROSS!  GROSS!  Even if pee is sterile, GROSS!!!)

This afternoon, I am going to run into the hospital and I have never been so thrilled in my life to part with…anything.

3)  I am going to puke again, and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

4)  I find it fascinating that Obama gave his latest speech in Mesa, Arizona.  Take that, McC.  Hee hee.

5)  I really think I should write a post on the Patriot Act because the bad press is already starting about how the policies of the Bush and the Obama administrations are not going to differ much.  But, see, no one actually reads this blog (do you?) and also?  I am really behind in class.  Like remarkably so.

6)  We are replacing the floors.  They are going to look amazing.  I am looking forward to walking barefoot all over my house soon.

7)  CNN is beginning to drive me insane.

8)  Here is my to-do list:  call these people for work, call the hardwood people, puke, take a shower (probably in the reverse order, those last two), do physics lab (ugh), change sheets on bed, and do laundry.  A lot of laundry.

I used to ADORE doing laundry, when my laundry machine didn’t royally blow.  Now it kind of does.  You have to wash everything at least once, but dry it at least three times.  This means it takes 50 years to do one load.

I wish I could line dry things, but – oh yeah! – it’s really freezing cold outside.  Not gonna happen.

Plus, I had my PEE out there!

Has everyone else been watching the peanut recalls from the FDA?  Holy smokes!

It almost makes me wish I had followed through on my plan to avoid all peanut products – I tried it for about a week, then needed protein.  I did the research.

I concluded that to avoid peanuts was pretty much impossible, and I would screw up too many times to make it worth it.

Anyway, HOLY COW.  I have been checking Peter Pan‘s website every few days to reconfirm that it is, in fact, made from uncontaminated peanuts (as few peanuts as there are in Peter Pan PB…I mean, c’mon, I know that it’s not the healthiest thing out there…but man, it tastes SO GOOD!) and today I checked the FDA site.


All I have to say is…WOW.

(I mean, I have other things to say, like HOW THE HELL COULD IT GET THIS BAD?!?, but WOW is the most truncated version of that.)

And because the power of suggestion is very very strong for me, I now want Keebler PB crackers.

I think I am going to ask DB to buy some cheez-its so I can make my own!


I am not taking my physics final right now, but I am studying.  Hard.  I have so much to learn.  I hate physics. (Taking a break now.)

The exam is now on Monday or Tuesday.  Thank you, God.


The obligatory stomach update – I lost 3 pounds yesterday (I was up 2 the day before, so no real worries), kept water down, went my first full night without peeing in the last many, many weeks (silver lining), and kept down some cheesecake for dinner.  Don’t ask.

I am a big believer of listening to my body, and it said cheesecake.  Which, incidentally, was the only thing that stayed down, so chalk one up for the body.

I doubled the Unisom (to the normal dose) and feel okay today.  So far, so good.

(Of course, I ate cheesecake for breakfast.  We’ll see how well it goes from here on out, since I’m now out of cheesecake.)


I have this post brewing.  Well, I have one that is peripherally on adoption and on family.  I mentioned it before, and I have been writing it in my head.  So it’s coming.  I have a lot of thoughts on it and I usually have to wait for them to sort themselves out before anything I write sounds reasonable.

The other post is funny.  Like really, really, really funny.  About the other side effects of being with child.  Now, the only reason I do not post this one is that it is totally embarrassing, but hysterically funny.  As in, I giggle thinking about it.

Maybe now that I’ve built it up, it won’t be nearly so funny.

And now…back to physics.  Sigh.

I wrote this whole long post about vaccines and autism.  Not really about research, because anyone can check out Dr. Google, but about my thoughts (as a professional in autism research) and our position (as a couple with a significantly increased genetic risk of having a child on the spectrum).  

Then I didn’t publish it.

Which, to my credit, is a Big Deal.  I usually just impulsively hit “publish” and wonder if I’ve pissed anyone off.  I mean, I hope I don’t, but sometimes I do.  And then I feel guilty about it for days, weeks, months.  

I’m not even kidding.

So I am going to sit on that post, and if you are interested in it, I will publish it later.  Anyone?

You know, I’ve also totally failed on the Patriot Act post.  Sorry about that.  I’ll get to that after finals – or maybe on Inauguration Day.  🙂  Yay, Inauguration Day!!

Speaking of Inauguration Day, I cannot wait for spring.

So anyone?  Vaccines?  What do you think, before I spout off my soapbox?  I was inspired to write it because of the Private Practice episode last night (did anyone see it?  Yes, sad, but not nearly as sad as some other episodes of late).

Speaking of sad, Grey’s Anatomy?!?  WTHeck?  Seriously?  Does Izzie have a brain tumor or something?  DB thinks that they just really regret ever killing off that dead guy.  I mean, didn’t he DIE already?!?

Back. to. cleaning.  

And studying.

And “forgetting” other various seemingly unimportant things.


Every Thursday, I have physics homework due, at 6:00 pm SHARP.

Now, in my defense, there have been a few (maybe even several) weeks when DB and I have bonded together on the couch, completing said painful homework on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  Those weeks are Good Weeks.  I learn the material and I do not (totally) suck at it.  (Notice I did not say, “I do not cry”.  Oh, for sure, tears are involved.  But I still end up learning the stupid material.)

This week, and particularly today – not one of those weeks.  (And did you notice I eliminated the is/are there?  I couldn’t figure out which one to use, and my battery juice is running low.)

I have been sitting at this table in the library for the LAST THREE HOURS staring at the physics book.  I check the Internet.  I read blogs.  I look at Facebook, the timesink of all time.  I look back at Physics Book From Hell.  I do a problem (ish).  Check my email.  (Hint:  clicking “refresh” does not make people write to you.  Seriously!) Blah blah blah…

I have, like, a few more problems to do, and then I’m going to call DB with my woes (the ones I didn’t understand – which is a painful ton of questions.  Have I mentioned that physics isn’t exactly a strength?  To say that is a gross understatement.  I SUCK AT PHYSICS), and then I’ll probably walk over to turn it in with such speed and grace that it is a wonder I had EVER dragged my feet completing such an assignment.  People watching me walk will say, “wow!  That girl!  She has so much energy!” 

But right now?

No energy.

I just want to sleep!

In fact, I am no longer SITTING at the desk.  I am STANDING at the desk.  Trying to convince myself that, really, self, it is in your best interest to finish your homework.  Really!  Keep studying!  Just 4…3….2…more problems!  You can do it!

My brain:  very, very, very frustrating.

In other news (before the computer dies), I went to my favorite doctor today – my opthalmologist/internal medicine guy.  He is awesome.  Verdict on my eyes?  For the first time since, like, 2nd grade, my eyes are AWESOME.  No change in acuity.  No change in color perception (that’s a big one).  No change in pressure.  And:  the biggest one:  no change in my optic nerves.


So why, again, does my exuberance over my eyes not translate to enthusiasm for physics?!?

(If you actually read this post, congratulations.  Seriously.  It wasn’t very interesting, I know.)

This is not deep, funny, or thoughtful at all.

Last week, something really weird happened.  My previous most-popular post (because it was publicized on adoption buzz) was usurped by this one, which, by anyone’s imagination, is a totally pathetic rant.  There is nothing remotely exciting about that post, as far as I can see.

I started noticing that I was getting a LOT of hits for “phi symbol”.  Like hundreds of hits per week for “phi”.  Before, if I published something with “I-6oo” in it, during the period of time when that was of critical importance, I would get lots of hits for that.  But suddenly those disappeared (which is good, because it always made me feel bad about the people who ended up here for that), and they were replaced by – and completely overtaken by – the phi people.

Except that I couldn’t figure out how the phi people got to me!  DB and I searched on Google and got though 35 pages – no mention of this blog.  But then I put a little note on the post and asked people how they found me, and someone FINALLY spoke up and enlightened me to the fact that it is the first post linked for Google images of phi.

(As a side note, you will note that only ONE PERSON responded to my request.  In the several HUNDRED people who have read that post, only ONE responded accordingly.  What does THAT mean?!?)

At any rate, how is it possible that I am the first image link on Google?!?  I took the images off of Wikipedia!

I thought it might be seasonal – like when college classes in chemistry are covering concepts that require the phi symbol, people would start to check for images at that point.  No.  Apparently people need to see this symbol ALL YEAR LONG.

So now I am faced with a conundrum. I am not psyched to have all of these people checking me out for my free phi pictures (especially since they are available, free, in THOUSANDS of places on the internet).  At the same time, it is nice because it makes me feel like people are reading here, even if they are only people dropping in to read about phi!  And they never really stay long.  But still, it makes me feel like I should keep blogging, even my readers are not all that consistent.  (My brother thought that if he didn’t meet some comment quota, he’d be denied a password.  I think that’s funny.  Dan, here’s your chance.  Weigh in now!)

Should I delete the post?  If it was a cool post, I’d be all happy that people wanted to read it – but instead I feel kind of weird about people checking in solely for my phi symbols (although I will say – it is a very pretty picture of both symbols).  And the picture is relevant to the story, and perhaps I will want to remember that story, which is now cached, so there’s no point in making it protected or private.

As a bragging point, I can make anything seem like a debate.  Even something as stupid as blog stats.  But how weird is it that I got 30 hits for phi-symbol related searches this morning alone? Who knew it was in such demand?!?

Wow, was I in a bad mood yesterday. Holy moly. I even peed on a stick*, I was in such a bad mood, because seriously? Is it even NORMAL to be in such a bad mood? It just got worse…and worse…and worse. And now I am going to write about it, because maybe in hindsight, it is a little funny. Plus, I just got out of going to the dentist to have my teeth fixed again – not because I don’t need to go (I really do) but because I just…didn’t want to. (I had 5 fillings filled last week and I am in agonizing pain now. Advil works wonders.)

So…bad days?

1) Aforementioned pain. You know it makes you mean, too. OK, maybe not, but DAMN I am in pain without the miracle that is ibuprofen (yay ibuprofen!). I am never again going to get top AND bottom fillings. Nosiree, I am going to get top, heal, then bottom, heal. At least that way my bite will be less mismatched, and my marriage will be saved.

2) No job. Yeah, this one is a PITA. I *really* want a job. Like not a job that is on my couch (although I will admit – the location of my current job is enviable, until I cannot get in touch with the people I need to from my couch). I am a little depressed about the job market now and I feel as though I will *never* have another job (and at the height of the agony that was yesterday, I decided that it was a terrible idea to go back to school last fall. I’m not sure how I feel about that now.)

This was augmented by the conversation next to me between two 22 year old girls in physics – “I work at [major medical center where I, Rachel, have been trying to work for a while now – on four separate job-search occasions in this blessed city].” “Oh, really? ME TOO!” “No way!”

WTH? How can they get positions in these places and I cannot?!?!? Am I really that unqualified? Seriously? (This attitude would make you think so, huh?) Then I overheard the one girl say that she was a pharmacy tech – and not to knock pharmacy techs (actually, I know nothing about them, or the competition to get that type of job) but that was not a job I was competing with her for, and I felt a teeny tiny bit better

This moves into the death-spiral of thinking that becomes me:

3) I have No Skills. No, seriously. How am I going to *get* a job? What are my marketable skills at this point?!? I have none. Actually, no, I can tell you if your child is on the autism spectrum, which is a valuable skill for a remarkably tiny population (despite what you hear on the news). Let’s just say that I have a serious hang-up about my lack of skills and value in this world.

Also: I know a lot about adoption. Oh, wait, I forgot, it’s not possible to get a job in that field. So maybe we should edit this to read: I have Skills, but they are Worthless.

4) And I really want a child, which would make me feel a bit better about being on my couch, because *that* is a *very* valuable job (raising a child). But oh! – no! – not possible right now.

5) And the FBI REALLY should give up that cash. Working for The Man = entitled to get upset when The Man bails out the fat dudes on Wall Street, lets innocent people default on shoddy mortgages, renders REALLY innocent people who are RENTING from the property owners HOMELESS, and fails to pay those who put their asses on the line in a country that we shouldn’t be in in the FIRST PLACE.

(I’ll tell you how I really feel about that! Ha!)

(To be fair, it is only 15 days after the money was expected, and perhaps this was a pipe dream that it would come on October 1st, so perhaps it is not late after all. However, it seems awfully damn late. If you ask me, it is really friggin’ late, considering DB returned in JULY).

6) I got a parking ticket even though my meter was paid, because I fed the meter. I hate you, parking attendants.

7) The ceiling in my kitchen is leaking over a place that has no water above it. (??)

8.) For the XXth night in a row, my car would not start. This is a source of extreme annoyance at this point. The effing car has dementia – it sundowns every. night. It runs just fine all day, and then at night – the battery dies. We carry a self-starter to jump it whenever we need a jump. It’s, like, regular life with this car (which is not THAT old). WTH does the car do this?!?

9) My neighbors sent us all an email: “DB, thank you for all of your hard work. Love, us.” Which is really effing annoying, since we BOTH did the work and they know it, and it was a low blow, and I am just beyond hurt. And I want DB to go downstairs and punch them, but he won’t.

10) DB won’t resort to violence against parking attendants, the car, HR staff, and my downstairs neighbors.

11) Seriously, people who try to link Obama with William Ayers? SERIOUSLY?!? Go after the Reverend Wright stuff and alienate your teeny-tiny inner-city electorate, but AYERS?!? Who is a renowned education researcher?

12) SERIOUSLY, McCain? “Obama is…he’s an Arab.” “Oh, no, ma’am, he’s a decent family man.” Did you seriously suggest that the two are mutually exclusive?!? And are you seriously not going to clamp down on the evil rhetoric emerging at your rallies except when the press is there to give you a sound bite? SERIOUSLY?!?

I think I’m running out of complaints now. I realize that these are little things and I should be grateful for the big things and really, seriously, I usually am, and I will be more positive soon.

*OBVIOUSLY it was negative. I HAVE AN IUD. Although we own stock in EPT, because even a smart person without a normal job tends to read too many things like this despite the fact that it is totally ridiculous (not that I doubt those people. I just think there are very few of them.)

(Also, I realize this post makes me sound like a egomaniacal crazy woman. Yesterday’s post was a struggle and a half to put out nice things about the world, and then the day just got worse and worse, and you know what? I feel better now. Thanks for reading. Love, me.)

…think again.

This little thingy is circulating adoption blogs recently, at least on the blogs that I read stalk. It’s pretty cool: you plug in your name and the little script tells you how many other people in the country share it.

Here is Mary Smith:
Logo There are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Here is DB, which should certainly highlight for you why he has the fake name DB:
Logo There are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

So the other day, we were driving in the car and I casually bring this up – “hey, did you know that there is another person in the U.S. with EXACTLY your name?” – I say I bring this up casually because, actually, it was casual to me. This isn’t a big deal to me.

Before I go on, I should say that DB adores his own name. I find it odd that someone could like their own name so much, but he REALLY likes his name. I think his first name is fine, but I frankly don’t care for his last. To be fair, I don’t really care for my own last name, either. However, I never changed my name to his last name when we married, mostly because I moved around a lot as a kid and I didn’t want to lose touch with everyone I’d ever known, AND I didn’t love his name, AND he had a cousin with the exact. same. first name as me (which means hundreds of “twins!” pictures at family gatherings, and I think she’s awesome, but it’s not really my cup of tea), AND I was lazy. And I thought about hyphenating, but my name is German and his name is German and neither of us are ethnically German so the hyphenated combo is just uber-German, and that’s funny.

So when we got married, I suggested that we combine the two into a cute hybrid. I came up with two hilarious options. He looked at me like I had four heads.

So it goes – I have one last name, he has another, and I’ll change before or after we have kids (before if our first is a bio kid, after if our first is adopted. The subsequent kids will be adopted, no question, so my name will be forever that name however it is after #1). (Like you care.) (I am so off-track on this post.)

All of THAT to say that DB loves his name.

AND, when he was at the Academy, “they” (the instructors) allow each person one free pass to search their own backgrounds and history and such. “They” (FBI agents) can obviously run background checks on people in the U.S., but For Official Use Only. No checking up on your roommate to see if he really got busted back in 1995 for snorting cocaine. No background checks on babysitters, insurance agents, dog walkers. No checking to see if his wife’s surprise encounter with the police the other day* made it to her background check. Nothing. Nada. Nope.

Except that one day at the Academy.

And after that day, DB called me excitedly and said, proudly, I might add, “There is NO ONE ELSE in the U.S. with my name!”

And…here I was, telling him that my free-internet fad-thing challenged the FBI computer.

Hee hee.

So here’s the skinny on this: DB was quite resolute on this one. Having conducted a number of background investigations and other such investigations where various details, like, oh, say, someone’s NAME, are critical, he is absolutely confident that there is no one else with his name in the U.S. (I did suggest that MAYBE someone gave BIRTH to a new mini-DB in the last four years, but he was doubtful. I am, too, given his name…it really is a weird one.) There are two records with DB’s name on them, but they are probably from two different periods of his life. To parse out official records, one also uses different addresses and other information. DB moved around, too, so his theory is that the computer records identify two people when he is really one and the same.

That was a whole lot of writing to say something really boring, huh? I’m procrastinating from packing.

Thanks for your feedback and thoughts regarding my conundrum. I’m still working through things and if I finish packing in the next few hours, I will write another post on my thoughts. As always, feel free to comment in the meantime…I am *always* looking for input.


*See next post.

This morning, I was riding public transit to class. Train was packed because my class starts (early) and I was (late). There was a guy sitting there with a sketch pad, drawing. I look closer (remember, packed train – I was pretty much standing on his feet) and realize that the guy is drawing us. His fellow passengers.

I spent the entire ride debating whether that was creepy. At one point, I justified it by thinking that he would start drawing one person, but then when that person departed the train, he would keep going on the same person with a new subject (so the drawing would be a hybrid of all the passengers on the train). That seemed less creepy to me for some reason.

But oh, no. When someone got off the train before he was *done* drawing them, he would sigh, shake his head, flip the page, and scour the train for a new target. And furiously, furiously, furiously start again.

I made it a little game – trying to figure out who his target was before he finished drawing the person’s hair (he always started at the hair). It got boring pretty fast.

But here is the weirdest part – when his target would look up at him and watch him, he would assiduously study something else. Like all of a sudden, the train map above our heads would become really interesting.

In my 20 minute ride, he probably drew 10 people (not finished, of course).

I didn’t see if he got around to drawing me.

Poll: Creepy, or am I overreacting? I kind of feel violated for some reason. We got off at the same stop, so the likelihood of a subsequent run-in with this guy is fairly high. Should I run?

I mentioned that I read a lot of random blogs on a previous post. I don’t know what it is about blogs, but I find them absolutely fascinating. And I don’t know if I should be thankful or annoyed with Go0gle Reader, but it certainly makes it very, very easy to keep up with a whole heck of a lot of blogs, and to add insult to injury, it *suggests* additional blogs to follow!! As if I have not located enough blogs on my very very own.

So one blog that I read (a pregnancy loss blog – I do not know why my friend Mr. Reader suggests so many pregnancy loss blogs to me. This particular one, however, is filled with phenomenal writing and I get really excited every time she updates her blog) gets a ton of hits every week (something like 100K/week!) and I never read the comments, but tonight I did quickly, and one comment in particular stood out to me.

A woman asked for prayers for a decision she and her husband had to make – their close friend was dying of a metastatic brain tumor (I think that’s what it said) and she had a very young baby, and she (the friend) wanted this woman and her husband to be the godparents. To care for the child when something happened to her. And this woman and her husband were taking the decision very seriously, as they wanted to do the right thing for this child and their friend, they had just started trying to conceive, and they had step children from a previous marriage.

DB always says that I have more thoughts going through my head in 10 seconds than he has in an hour. That might be true. In that instant, I thought: Wow, “that’s like Beaches”, “the woman in Beaches didn’t want to raise her friend’s daughter but didn’t she end up to be a great mom?”, “did we ever see what kind of mom that woman was in Beaches?”, “it doesn’t matter”, (I am a little embarrassed by this one) – “wow, how could she even think twice?” – then “what would DB and I do if someone asked us this?” – then “well, I guess maybe that did happen once”*- and then “what an amazing honor to be asked to raise someone’s child” – and then I actually got teary thinking about what an amazing gift it would be for someone to ask someone else to raise their child (let me be clear – I was thinking about the gift of love from the parent gone to the parent caring for the child – I feel like I need to be clear given the post from Laura yesterday). And I thought, “wow, what difficult conversations to have with a child. ‘I knew your mom very well, and she would have loved to be here with you today. I love you very, very, very much, and I am so blessed to raise you'” – through every major life event – starting school, doing a book report, playing sports, graduating from various school grades, getting married, having children.

(I am not kidding when all of that – and a lot more that I couldn’t articulate here – passed through my head in about 2 seconds.)

Three seconds post-glance, I thought, “well, how much different is that from adoption?”

And the answer – for me – is, “Not much.” Or is it?

I think the difference is in the fact that in international adoption, we don’t know the woman who birthed our child, and we don’t know the man who fertilized the egg that created the child that the woman carried. And although in an open, domestic adoption, we may know the mother and include her in our child’s lives, she will still not be there for every minor development. Nor am I trying to say that she should be – as parents, adoptive or biological, we *are* the parents. Our children should look to us for cuts, scrapes, celebrations, and encouragement. That’s the point. But the point also is this – in adoption, as well as in godparenting, a parent looks at her child and says, “I won’t be able to raise you, so I am going to ask someone else to do so.”

This isn’t all that deep or different from what I’ve said before – I think it is only different in the way it’s framed. I think of raising my best friend’s baby and I think of Beaches. I think of adopting a child, and I think of that child as born in my heart – not excepting the fact that there is a woman with an absolute connection to my child – a woman that with whom we will encourage a relationship but cannot exactly speak to her identity, character, or situation beyond what is on a piece of paper. But I would like to think of the two as the same in terms of how we refer to the child’s first mother – is that possible?

Does that make sense?

*Friend of friend of friend of friend had daughter who got pregnant at 16 and was trying to find a family to adopt the baby. Friend of F of F of F thought of us, because she knew we were adopting, and we had just gotten married (or maybe weren’t yet married) and we just did not feel that we were the appropriate match for this family, so we asked other friends who were struggling with infertility if they would be interested in speaking to the family. That was before I developed my Strong Views on a lot of things. Friends said no, not interested in adoption;  we said yes, if the girl said she wanted a couple from outside her family to adopt the child, please contact us, but the baby was ultimately adopted within the family. And yes, that also pretty much went through my head in a split second.

I’m so sorry. I hope you found what you were looking for before you ingested the stuff, because eating it kind of sucks. I know, I’ve been there.

I originally got on here to proclaim the virtues of the most amazing dessert ever, which I sucked up and purchased from a local Indian restaurant tonight in honor of my impending exam tomorrow (in – you guessed it – chem! yay!) The latest laudable food is…kheer. Which, apparently, is extremely easy to make, but the Woman Who Can’t Make Toast (aka, me) didn’t realize that before purchasing the delicious kheer. Unlike my friend Liz who takes attractive pictures of her foods, I did not take a picture, mostly because I didn’t have my camera but also because a) I didn’t make it, and therefore it would almost be like the culinary version of plagiarizing, and b) it isn’t all that attractive. Just picture it in your head: white milky yumminess with rice. Yum.

I don’t know why I blog about food so much. It’s kind of funny, actually. Maybe it’s because I have so little going on otherwise (more probably that I cannot write about the other things that are going on).

One thing that is really really exciting is that a few weeks ago, I went over to food-picture-taking friend Liz’s place, where she, her husband TE, and her dog, the King, concocted an amazing brunch! She made phenomenal cinnamon rolls, since she knew that DB made them for me when he is in town, and a delicious fruit-Greek yogurt-granola dish. Delicious fruit-yogurt-granola concoction is on her blog here, but the cinnamon rolls are TBP (to be posted). Check her blog for pictures. She made them from scratch, and they were amazing. They were also lowish calories, because she’s doing this calorie restriction study, but I couldn’t tell. As I said, it was awesome. Sure beats cookie dough!

So I know I promised not to bring up chemistry, but actually, I think I am going to look back at this and either hang my head in shame or remember with joy that this was a fun summer of chemistry. So I’m trying to memorize what is endothermic (delta H is…positive?) and what is exothermic (I hope delta H is negative). For some reason my notes reflect both “truths”, although one is clearly not correct, and for a more mysterious reason, my brain absolutely refuses to absorb this particular tidbit of information. It’s a little obnoxious.

I made a little acronym for the differences between water and salt water: BFPS UDDU. Boiling point Freezing point vapor Pressure entropy(s) UDDU (ok, UDDU has no meaning whatsoever – Up Down Down Up – but it works nicely in my little schematic). BFP is what people on infertility blogs use for “Big Fat Positive” – as in the coveted second little line on a pee stick. (BFN is the negative. Sometimes the F in the middle also refers to other words in that particular instance). Adoption blogs and infertility blogs often run in tight circles, so I have read many an infertility blog. There is a whole language that goes with cyber-infertility discussions – AF for “aunt flo”, aka menstruation; TTC (trying to conceive), IF (infertility), IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (everyone knows what that is, and if you don’t, you need to listen to the radio more often), DPO (days past ovulation), OPK (ovulation predictor kit), PG (preggers), ER, ET, FET (egg retrieval, embryo transfer, frozen embryo transfer). It’s like a crazy acronym language all by itself. (I’m actually rather impressed that I knew all those off the top of my head. We are not going through infertility and we will never be doing IVF for myriad reasons beyond the scope of this ramble, so it is a little frightening that I am up on the lingo. Obsessed with babies much, maybe?)

Anyway, back to studying my BFPS UDDU and delta H and delta G and trying to figure out why it is that my brain so ardently rejects this. I did come up with another acronym: DOX. If I write it on the side of the schematic in the right places, it lines up well with the accurate delta Hs. That’s about as close as I’ve gotten with that. What is my problem?!?

PS – I started my autism post and realized that it’s pretty heavy stuff so I’m trying to figure out how to lighten it a bit. So many non-linear thoughts. Stay tuned. Eventually through the ramble there must be something exciting, right?

Watch out for those wooden coffee stirrers!

So I recently rediscovered the joys of Ani DiFranco’s music. In college, I used to love her song, “Little Plastic Castle”, and I even knew all the words to the song, but I never really actually thought about what they said (am I the only person who just sings the words to songs like a robot? Hopefully not). Anyway, tonight I realized what she was singing (emphasis mine):

in a coffee shop in a city
which is every coffee shop
in every city
on a day which is every day
i pick up a magazine
which is every magazine
and read a story then forgot it right away

they say goldfish have no memory
i guess their lives are much like mine
the little plastic castle
is a surprise every time

Yeah, so that would be an accurate depiction of me. In freshman chemistry. Freshman like the undergrad freshman. Yeah, that’s right. Me. That little plastic castle is a total surprise every time.

In other news, I decided to enlighten all of my readers (and I commented on a few well-trafficked blogs, so maybe this is going to be useful to a lot of people – who knows? Maybe I’ll get more traffic!) about the important things I’ve learned that you might never have thought someone would have to learn, but really – I defy the odds. Ready?


1) You know that wooden stirrer for your coffee? No, not good to lick clean. (Learned: December 2007, when I first started drinking coffee at the tender age of 28.) Yes, I got splinters. Ouch.

Moral of the story: If your latte is so amazing that you want to lick the little stirrer, either a) get a plastic stirrer, or b) go with the grain. You’ll regret any other decision.

2) You should always make coffee with the lid ON. Even if it looks like the coffee can’t make it into the pot – it’s a secret, but trust me – the lid needs to be on the carafe thing. If you take it off, the coffee apparently can’t find its way into the carafe and winds up all over your counter. (learned: August 2007. Also age 28. Yes, embarrassing. WHOOPS.)

Moral of the story: Keep all parts of the coffee machine in their rightful places. They work best that way. Don’t try to improve upon the design of the coffee maker. It doesn’t want your help.

3) At Whole Fo0ds, the “Hearty Whole Grain Toasted O’s” are NOT fake organic Cheerios. No, no. They are SWEETENED! They are fake organic Honey Nut Cheerios!!

This was devastating to me this weekend. (Learned: then.)

Moral of the story: Read the side label. REAL Cheerios only have 1 g of sugar. Darn Hearty Whole Grain O’s.

4) If you look up the lyrics to a song, like, oh, say, Little Plastic Castle, and it says, in a flashing sign, “FREE RINGTONE! FREE RINGTONE!!” – do not be fooled. Even if it only asks you to put one, little, seemingly innocuous phone number in the spot so you can get your “free” ringtone – resist. Resist!! If you are eager like me, you plugged in your number in eager anticipation of your “free” Little Plastic Castle ringtone (how cool would that be? Notice I said “would”, and not “is”) without ACTUALLY reading the fine print, which ACTUALLY says that my “free” ringtone will cost me $10 PER MONTH! (Learned: 10 minutes ago.)

Moral of this story: Read fine print BEFORE committing to something, ESPECIALLY if that something has any flashing signs on it. If there are little flashing arrows pointing you to the place where you type in your number, take that as a warning signal – “don’t type your number here!” Also, don’t sign up for things at 10:00 pm, because apparently, offices are conveniently closed at that hour.

With that, back to…what am I studying? Oh, yay! Chemistry!!

PS – I didn’t forget my more interesting post topics, but I am just taking a break and waiting for my sinus headache medicine to kick in. Stay tuned. I promise this blog will get more interesting – ha!