Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's Always Something Going On

I know...I know...I tell a lot of Trouble stories.
But seriously...that girl...
Yesterday whenever the phone rang I heard her say 'Linden Nursery.'
She was practicing.
Remember...she's three.


Today I was in one office talking to a customer on the phone.
Trouble was in the other office eating an apple she stole from me.
The other line rang.
I heard Trouble say 'Linden Nursery' and I waited for the phone to ring again.
It didn't.
A minute later I heard "No, this is Sami.  You want to talk to Well?"
And then with a little bit of frustration, "No, it's Sami.  You can talk to Well if you want to."
And then, "Hello?  Hello?  Helllllo?"
And then Trouble comes, holding her stolen apple and says, "The customer wanted to talk to you but he hung up."
What does one do with such an imp?

I've included some pictures from our trip to Mexico.
Just because...
The one of the salad?
That's what you get when you ask for a Caesar salad.
Amazing.







Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ahhh...Life...

Have you met my sister Heather?


She's Trouble's mom and she's a spitfire.
If you ever have any doubt where Trouble gets her spunk, just talk to her mom.
Heather is Ben's twin sister.


Ben has a son named Josh.


(Josh is the older one, Tanner is his younger brother.)
(AND Ben and his wife just announced that they are having another baby, due in September.)

One day Josh and Trouble were outside playing.  (They are best friends and enemies all at the same time.)
Trouble came in the house crying because Josh hit her.
She sought comfort from her 'favorite Grandma' and then left to play with Josh again.
After Trouble left my dad said, "That's fitting I guess.  Heather's daughter and Ben's son fighting."
I laughed and reminded him, "Except if it had been Ben and Heather, Ben would have been the one crying because Heather hit him."
That's just how she rolls.

ANYWAY...

Heather lived in Chile for 18 months.
When she came home she had added a new phrase to her vocabulary.
'Be Chilean honest with me...'
Latins are known for their blunt honesty.
Here's an example.
A few weeks ago a guy from Mexico came into my office to say hi.
I've known him for years.
He took one look at me and said, "You've gotten fat."
He didn't know I was pregnant, a fact I quickly set him straight on.
And then I lectured him on how to talk to women.
I don't think he got it.

ANYWAY...

Back to Heather and being Chilean honest.
If Heather were to ask 'Do these pants make my rear end look big' I would say 'no.'
But if she were to say, 'Be Chilean honest, do these pants make my rear end look big?'
I might have to tell her, 'Yes, you look like a fat cow.'
I only give that example because even if Heather tried for a year to eat everything she saw, she still wouldn't look like a fat cow.
It makes me kind of bitter actually.
Okay, not really.
I like her too much to ever be bitter about how cute she is.

I tell you all of this...and it was a lot...sorry...to tell you that I'm going to be Chilean honest about something.
Here it is:
In all of my Chilean honesty, I am so sick of throwing up.
Really.
Hold your horses...that doesn't mean I'm not over the moon thrilled with having a baby.
It just means that I would love to be able to eat something that actually stays in my body.

Here's something else I'm going to be Chilean honest about.
Answering the phone 700 time a day is not my favorite thing to do at work.

And finally, the grand finale of Chilean honesty...

HUSBAND - you're supposed to call your wife every night while you're traveling.
It's in the marriage handbook.
We've talked about it before.
If you don't call her...especially when she's pregnant and spends her evenings draped over the toilet...she might think of every worst case scenario and end up balling like a baby.
(Oh don't worry, I didn't end up balling like a baby...I'm just saying it could happen.)

Could this post get any longer?

I just have one more little question.
Are nose bleeds a normal part of pregnancy?
Please tell me yes...otherwise I'm going to assume I have a brain tumor or something.

Oh...and too?
I was laughing when I wrote that last part...I'm not nearly so dramatic in real life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Family Bonding

Jason left me.
Not for good, just for the week.
And because I've been feeling crummy the last couple of days, I cried when he shut the door.
I made him promise to text me when he arrived at his destination...safely.

I come from a big family.
My dad has seven siblings and my mom has six siblings.
All of those siblings have lots of kids.
I have six siblings.
Growing up we spent time with our cousins on both sides of the family.
With my mom's side of the family we mostly had sleep overs.
With my dad's side of the family we had adventures: camping and backpacking and road trips...oh my.

We don't do a lot with my mom's side of the family but we're still tight with my dad's family.
Once a month we get together with all of the aunts and uncles and cousins who live close and have a family night.
Last month we played a rousing game of basketball.  It was great.  There is nothing that warms my heart like family.  And to see my uncle playing ball alongside his brothers, and grandson...it made me happy.
Last night was my month in charge.
Initially I had planned to have everyone meet at my house but then thought of a better idea.
I texted everyone and asked if they would be willing to meet at our business, after hours, and help us move out of one building into the new one.
My dad, who doesn't like to ask for help from anyone, was opposed to my idea.

My uncles and aunt and cousins showed up and spent two hours hauling load after load from one building to the other.  We accomplished in one night what it would have taken my family weeks to do.
And when the move was completed I treated everyone to milk and chocolate chip cookies.
Jason and my uncles stood in the corner of the room talking and laughing and I said to my mom,
"Do you see that scene?  Jason and my uncles?" "There is nothing that makes me happier than that."
And it's true.
My family means everything to me and I love them.
I am one lucky girl.




Monday, March 28, 2011

BOO!

I've been at my desk this morning trying to beat an order deadline.
I've been focused and single-minded.
From behind my chair I heard, "Look Noelle."
It was Trouble's voice but I had no idea what she was up to.

I turned to look and I squealed.
Really and truly squealed.



Everyone needs a little Trouble in their lives.

* * *

Trouble just looked out the window and saw that her uncle was on the tractor.
"He's still there!"
"It might be dangerous!"
"I don't think it's dangerous," I reassured her.
"It is to me!  Once I got dirt on my shoe!"
"That's dangerous?" I asked.
Apparently it is.

* * *

Jason, the ultrasound tech, and I played with Emily this morning.
We were there about 30 minutes.
Emily was in a good mood for the first 20 minutes but then got tired of posing for pictures.
There's a spot on her heart, and one of her kidneys has a bit too much fluid.
Looks like I'm going to another doctor for another ultrasound.
"Noelle, DON'T WORRY!"  is what the ultrasound tech told me.
"She's fine.  We're just OCD around here."
To be honest, I'm not worried.
Not even a little bit.
I love her just as she is.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That Little Emily...I Can Feel Her!!!

Remember the girl?
She's been busy and can't find the time to sit down and draw you pictures.
She misses the coloring.
BUT...
She has something to show you.
Something that she has spent hours trying to find.

The girl is not a huge fan of pink.
 She will have no problem dressing her little girl in pink from time to time, but to decorate a nursery in pink?
Not so much.

How's this for something not pink?


The girl is so excited!
She can't wait for the mail to come!
Oh...and maybe the girl and her husband should buy that crib they've picked out.

The girl loves her blog friends.
The girl thanks all of you for coming back day after day.
And the girl wishes you the best of weekends!

Please? Won't You Answer My Question?

Because I have a lot of spare time...
About two minutes between 9:45 and 10:00pm...
I'm going to start a new blog.
But I'm stuck on the title.
Care to help me out?

It will be a blog for my business (I manage a garden center if you didn't know).
I'll give gardening tips and post lots of pictures and...
Well, I don't know any more than that.
My dad said "Noelle, you should start another blog."
So that's what I'm going to do.

Ben thinks it should be called 'Your Gardening Angel.'
But honestly, I don't see myself as an angel.
My uncle gave me the title of 'Green Side Up' but I think I had a customer with that name.
And as much as I appreciate my customers, I don't want to name my blog after them.

What do you think I should name it?

I just interviewed a lady who wants a job.
She's charming and has a southern accent.
I hired her.
Before she came in for her interview Ben said, "There's only one thing she needs to know."
"And what is that?" I asked.
"She can't ever be ornery.  We've got ornery covered already."
I told Ben I was going to tell her that word for word.
And I did.
A few minutes into the interview Ben came into my office and sat down.
The job applicant assured Ben that she wasn't ornery by nature.
Ben looked at her and said, "My sister Noelle has no filter.  She wasn't supposed to say that."
Ha ha ha. 
Poor Ben.  He doesn't know what to do with me.

Here's one more little thing...
The other night I was just about ready to fall asleep.
Jason was watching some late night comedy show and I rolled over towards him to say goodnight.
He looked at me for a minute and said, "You have pretty eyes."
That man melts my heart.
Every single day.

PS.  I might have just felt Emily kick...either that or it's gas.  I'm not really sure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kitchen Tales

I don't often write about my culinary skills because frankly, I don't want to make anyone feel bad.
I'm that good.
This morning though, something happened that impressed even myself.
Jason has some business associates coming to town and he mentioned how nice it would be if he could take them some homemade chocolate chip cookies.
I thought about my schedule and knew the only time I could make them would be early this morning.
"What if I mix the dough and you bake the cookies?" I asked.
Then I threatened him.  "Do NOT grease the cookie sheet.  Don't even think about greasing that cookie sheet.  And then when you think maybe you'll just try it anyway, DON'T do it."
I think he finally believed me.

But back to this morning.
I had finished mixing the dough and was about to clean off the beater when I decided to add a little bit more flour.
Remember how Jason gave me an awesome red kitchenaid mixer for Christmas?
I had lowered the bowl to add the flour, but forgot to raise the bowl to mix it.
Oh...it was amazing.
I turned the mixer on and chunks of dough went flying everywhere.
There was dough on the floor, on the wall, on the counter, in the sink, on my shirt...
All I could do was stand there and laugh.
Like I said, I'm that good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Heartburn Might Kill Me!

Ahhh...family business.
I was just talking to my brother about a pressing matter.
He answered me but his answer included the rolling of his eyes.
I smiled and handed him a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
"Will a cookie help you to talk to me without rolling your eyes?"
"I did not roll my eyes."
"Yes you did."
"Any eye movement I make cannot be interpreted as conversation," is what he came back with.
Note to self:  When Ben rolls his eyes it doesn't mean anything.
Right.

Want to know what's humorous?
It's me trying to figure out how to use the new phone system we just got.
If you happen to call my place of business and I hang up on you, please don't take it personally!

The 700 chickens that were supposed to come last week are lost in transit. 
I'm worried about the little things.
I hope they're not dying of hypothermia somewhere in the back of a mail truck.

Jason took one look at me this morning and asked 'Are you feeling okay?'
Maybe I should comb my hair once in a while.
Maybe.
I told him I was feeling fine but that I would feel better if he would gain 20 pounds.
He just hugged me and laughed.

I've got things to do...
I can't spend any more time filling you in on all of the random nonsense that is my life.
As soon as I push 'publish post' I'm going to the mailbox.
I'm praying that I'll find a check for a million dollars.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It Might Be A Long Four Months

Dear Blog Readers,

I come before you today with a serious question.

At some point during pregnancy - around the 20 week mark to be specific - do you wake up one day and discover you're ornery and on edge?  And even though you fully recognize that you are snapping at everyone around you, you can't seem to stop?

Please say yes.  I think people are more patient when they know it's pregnancy related.  In fact, my sister Heather laughs at me a lot and her husband told me that the word ornery is an understatement.

I'm probably going to have to lock myself in my bedroom, and only come out for chocolate chip cookies.

Love,

Noelle

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Wedding In Garbanzo

If you're willing to spend an hour in a truck, driving to the top of a mountain,
on a steep dirt road covered in rocks and filled with holes,
you'll come to the small village of Garbanzo - home to 25 or 30 families.

For the poorest of the families, the average home looks like this:


As recently as just two years ago the government of Mexico ran power lines to the village of Garbanzo, although most homes are still without power.
And they have no running water.

For those few lucky enough to have land, they farm.
They raise corn for tortillas and goats for meat and milk.
For another lucky few, they obtain visas to work in the United States.
And for those who remain, they do what they can to eek out an existence.

Ten years ago Baby Sister and I visited Garbanzo for the first time.
We were there to build an elementary school.



Just a few weeks ago Jason and I returned to Garbanzo, this time to attend a wedding.


(The school...ten years later.)
(Easy on the comments ladies.  If one more person mentions how big I am - and I'm not talking about my belly - I may refuse to post another picture as long as I'm pregnant.  I'm just sayin'.)

The people in these village look for any chance to do something other than their daily routine.
This wedding gave them that chance.
People dressed in their finest clothes - and came from villages as far as two hours away.
The young men come on their horses, looking for a pretty young girl who could possibly be their wife.




The family of the groom killed six pigs to have enough food to feed everyone.
Jason and I were grateful we didn't see how they cooked the meat until after we had eaten it.


The groom is from Garbanzo, and the bride is from the 'big city' - an hour away.
She left the comforts of her parent's home: electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, the convenience of grocery stores, etc. to move to Garbanzo.
My friend Ana and I hope she will be happy.  It's a big adjustment she will have to make.


This is the 'church' where they got married.


The groom spent a few years working in the United States and was able to build a home for his new bride.
The home has two rooms: a bedroom and a living room/kitchen area.
Theirs is the only home in Garbanzo with a bathroom.



(The white building to the left is the bathroom.)


(The bedroom)

We left the party just as it was really getting started.
The groom's friends in the United States went in together and hired a mariachi band for the evening.
The music was loud - the people were drunk - and it seemed that a good time was going to be had by everyone.


It did my heart good to spend the day in Garbanzo.
Maybe it was because Jason finally saw that part of my life.

And somehow, spending those 10 days in Mexico helped me to be at peace about putting that part of my life away for a little while.
I'll go back someday, and I'll be involved again in doing humanitarian work...
But in a few months from now I'll have a different focus - and it's exactly as it should be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Horseshoes Cost $2.50 If You're Interested

Yesterday this little one was living up to her nickname 'Trouble.'

She was into things she shouldn't be, climbing on top of things she shouldn't have been, and doing it all in the name of 'helping you Well.'

After I told her to stop playing with the same thing at least three times she glared at me and then growled.

"Grrrrr...you are really irritating me Well."

"I'm irritating you?"

"Yes, a lot - and it's really bothering me."
"Really?"
"Yes, I'm so frustrated right now."
"Sami, you don't have to stay."
"Fine, I'm going to ride me bike."
And then she stomped off.

I called her mom over and said, "She didn't learn those words from me."
I think her mom was secretly proud of that little imp.

In other news...

Ha, I don't have other news.
I've spent the last 5 minutes trying to come up with something.
I'm not entirely sure what it is that keeps you people coming back...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Times Are Changing

Would you like to know the first thing on my list of things to do today?
Price the horseshoes.
You read it right...price the horseshoes.

Yesterday's #1?
Price the dog treats.

Once upon a time I worked at a garden center.
A garden center that sold lovely things like this:


I still work at the garden center.
And we'll still sell lovely things.
But now...
Now we're adding to our inventory.
And those additions include all things animal.

I told my dad a few months ago that I never wanted to sell horse feed when I grew up.
He said, "What happened to my girl who loved horses?"
"She was 10 Dad."
That's what I said.

We took a vote - who wants to sell farm supplies - I lost.
We're anxiously awaiting a shipment of 700 baby chickens.
Because I'm nothing if not optimistic I asked, "And what do we do with the chickens that don't sell?"
Mom says as long as they don't go in her back yard she doesn't care.
Baby chicken anyone?



Monday, March 14, 2011

Today I'm Trying To Find My Desk

This little girl has a crush on my husband.
Do you think I should be concerned?

I think maybe it's karma.
You know...because I dreamed about Steven Tyler the other night.
Good grief.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dear Husband


In a year we've gone from this:


to this:


I couldn't have imagined a better life if I tried.
Little Emily and I are the luckiest girls alive.

Thank you Husband, for the last year.
I can't wait for the years to come.

Happy Anniversary.
I love you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Here's An Update

When I walked into my doctor's office this morning, for what has become my daily appointment for a shot, the nurse at the front desk said, "Noelle!  You look like you might live!"
I told her that for the first time I felt that I might live.

As I was walking to the exam room I passed the doctor, who was on the phone with another doctor.
He looked at me questioningly and whispered, "Please tell me you're starting to feel better?"
I assured him that I was.

A few minutes later, after he had examined me, the doctor said, "I have good news and bad news."
"The good news is that I finally feel like I won't have to admit you into the hospital.  The bad news is you need another shot and then you have to take another antibiotic for the next week."

He continued, "Young lady, just because you feel better doesn't mean that you are.  You are grounded through the weekend.  You don't go to work, you don't do any housework, you stay home from church...you stay put on that couch."

Before I left home this morning I said to Jason, "I'm going in for another shot, and then I'm going to work for a little while."
"Do you think that's a good idea?" Jason asked.
"I'm fine," is what I said.
I guess the doctor read my mind.

I am at work...but only for a few minutes...and as soon as I pay a few bills I will obediently plant myself on the couch.  Have I mentioned how grateful I am that the couch is at least comfortable?

Oh...and for added peace of mind, we went yesterday and listened to Emily's heartbeat.  That little girl is as strong as ever, moving all over the place.  (I haven't felt her yet, that's just what the nurse told me.)
Last night as a coughing spasm overtook me I put my hand on my belly and whispered, "Hang on little one."

Between you and me, I'll be glad when this is over.  In the meantime, I bought a new book to read, and I have the world's most patient husband.  A girl can't go wrong with that combination.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Is The Song That Never Ends

What started out as a sore throat ten days ago turned into tonsillitis.
The medication the doctor finally gave me for the tonsillitis made me sick...
in more ways than one.
The tonsillitis and the negative reaction to the medication led to the stomach flu.
Somewhere in the middle of all of this I developed congestion and a cough.
The sore throat, which had begun to improve, worsened again...
and by this morning I had had enough.
I called and made an appointment with the doctor.

The doctor did an exam and had this to say: "I'm not sure if I should try to treat you or just amputate."
I have the beginning stages of pneumonia.
I have a double ear infection.
And I'm on the 'you don't need to worry about your baby YET' end of dehydration.
The doctor is worried about the amount of oxygen I'm getting.
He gave me a shot, an inhaler, and strict orders on how much fluid I need to be drinking.
"It's a good thing you came in today," he told me.
"A few more days and you would have been in trouble."
"And as it is, I want to see you again tomorrow."

The nurse came in with a needle and said, "I'm sorry about this."
I told her not to be.
I have never welcomed a shot more than I did today.
She told me not to be surprised if the doctor orders another shot tomorrow.

I had to go to work for a minute and one of my co-workers said, "This is what you get for going to Mexico."
I thanked him for his sympathy.

The last 10 days have had their bright spots:
My mom made me homemade chicken noodle soup.
My DVR is finally 0% full.
Whenever my sister comes to visit she brings me cute baby clothes.
I've lost 6 pounds.
Wait...that's not a bright spot when I'm pregnant is it?
I don't have to put on makeup every day.
Jason and I have memorized the list of every cold medicine approved during pregnancy.
(None of them work.)
I folded some laundry.

I have so many things I want to talk about that have nothing to do with my health.
I have a wedding to blog about...
And pictures to post...
And stories to share...

But for right now I have a blanket and a couch that are calling my name.
Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and well wishes!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is There A Doctor In The House?

My wife is sick.

I feel really bad that I can't do anything about it. She asked me to help her by writing a blog and since there isn't much else I can do, I agreed.

Unlike Noelle, I'm really not very good at coming up with ideas off the top of my head. She is exceptionally talented in that way and I'm daily in awe as I laugh my head off or cry or, well, I guess we all know what I'm talking about. I really appreciate her talent and am constantly encouraging her to write a book. Maybe one day...

I feel bad for another reason. She is really tired of being sick. I told her that because of her pregnancy, her body is having a really tough time getting rid of the stupid bacteria that are reeking havoc. She agreed, but is still really tired of it. I guess I am too. Not because I'm tired of hearing her cough (except for the part that's painful for her) or because she's so tired and beat up, but because it's really effecting her happiness. That makes me sad.

I also feel bad that I haven't been able to kiss her in the past 79 hours, 32 minutes, 18 seconds. A couple of days ago I had a compulsive moment and dove in momentarily for a second of passion. This apparently came as surprise to her because of the stuff she was hacking up (disgusting enough that the morgue guy on NCIS wouldn't touch it), but I joyfully expressed it was worth the risk. Patience grasshopper...

But she's been really good. Because her body is going through more than it's ever gone through before, you would think that she would take advantage of her absolute right to complain. Actually the opposite is true. As proof to this is the fact that she goes downstairs to sleep because she's worried she'll wake me in another fit of throat-scratching coughs. I think I need to be the one to go downstairs, but I'm fast asleep. I really would go downstairs if I was conscious. Really. And no matter how much I plead for her to wake me and tell me to get my fat rear end downstairs, it never  comes to pass. I've learned she's much stronger than me...

It's funny how we learn the most from those we love when they are not at their best. I've learned that my wife is incredibly strong, thoughtful even when she shouldn't be, laughs in the midst of a series of violent coughs, and helps me realize that true character only matters when things are at their worst. More and more I realize what an incredibly lucky guy I am...

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Post In Which I Whine For 10 Seconds

It's 6:55 am.
I've been awake since 3:00 am.
I'm sick.
So so so sick.
I've been sick since last Saturday.
And this is me whining.

If I could eat - and keep it down - even once - I might feel like the luckiest girl alive.

Here's hoping little Emily is a fighter...


Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm All Over The Place

For Valentine's Day Jason got me a gift certificate for a pedicure.
If there's one thing you should know about Jason it's this: he researches everything.
There is no way he would randomly walk into a pedicure place and just buy a gift certificate.
I'm just guessing but he probably walked into 4 or 5 places, and even had a mental checklist:

-it smells funny
-the lighting isn't very good
-they don't have very many customers
-they don't speak English
-how much do they charge and how good is their service
-etc.

The place he finally chose was a place I had never been to.
And as someone who has had her fair share of pedicures, I'll have to admit I was impressed with his choice.

Not so many days ago, we were stuck in the Salt Lake City airport.
Our flight had been delayed.
After an hour of just sitting there Jason said, "Let's play a game."
"Look at the people walking by and tell me what they do for a living."
We began:

That man is a businessman.
That woman is probably a cheerleader.
That guy must be in the mafia.
That guy is a car salesman.
That dude plays basketball.

And so the game went until Jason pointed out an Asian man and said, "He runs a nail salon."
I didn't realize his pedicure research had made such an impact!

* * * * *

Yesterday that little Trouble ran right up to my belly and wrapped her arms around it and asked, "Well, how's your baby feeling today?"

* * * * *

Here's my question of the day:

What is the best home remedy for a sore throat from you know where?
It's only gotten worse since Monday, and I'm to the point where I can't eat.
I gargled warm salt water because Jason told me to and I'm obedient...it didn't help.
This morning I handed Jason a headlamp and said, "In the husband's handbook it says you have to look at your wife's tonsils and tell her that you see white puffy pockets so that she doesn't think she's delusional."
He looked but couldn't see what I saw.
After sitting in an insta-care for thirty minutes...where I was in line waiting to talk only to the admitting nurse...I finally walked out and drove to my mom's house where I cried.
Because I'm mature like that.
I handed her a flashlight and said, "Mom, tell me I'm not crazy."
She agreed, I'm not crazy.
I came to work and handed my brother a bottle of throat spray and said, "In the brother's handbook it says you have to spray this in your sister's throat because she has lousy aim."
He obliged.
Anway...

I told that husband of mine that I would try hard not to whine...so, tell me oh wise ones, what is the cure?
Anyone?
Anything?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Can Call Me A Chicken...Just Don't Make Me Eat Chicken

I'm not very good at being sick.
As I sat in my doctor's office yesterday waiting for the results of a strep test, I might have cried.
The doctor said I don't have strep.
What he did say: "You're really sick."
I'm thinking I could have been a doctor.

I have a story for you.
The story requires that you know two things about me:
1. I am picky...super picky...about eating leftovers that have been left out of the refrigerator.
2. If something has gone beyond it's expiration date I will throw it out...no questions asked.

We arrived in Mexico on a Thursday morning, and within just hours of our arrival my milk chocolate candy was starting to melt.
There was a freezer against the wall in the hallway, and I opened it to put my chocolate inside.
I noticed immediately that the freezer didn't seem very cold, and there were some bags of ice that were mostly melted. 
I had the thought "maybe they use the ice to keep things cold, and it's time to replace the ice."

Fast forward a week.

I was sitting at Ana's kitchen table talking to Juan, her husband.
Ana was getting ready to prepare lunch, and from the hallway I heard a screech.
"JUAN!  The freezer quit working!"
So much for my melted ice theory.
The smell coming from that freezer was ... I don't have a word ... let's just say it turned my stomach more than once.
Everything in that freezer was meat: chicken, pork, and goat.
Some of it had already been cooked...most of it had not.
The freezer had been out of commission for at least a week.
At least.
Considering that when I had opened it a week earlier, the ice was melted, it had been out of commission for longer than a week.
"So you'll have to throw everything away?" I asked with regret.
"No!  We will just cook the meat and refreeze it."
And that's what they did...for the rest of the day.

Ana pulled something out of the freezer and cooked it for lunch.
All I know is that it was a combination of rabbit and sheep meat, and when Ana asked if I wanted some I graciously declined her offer.
"I'm not hungry," I said.
Which in fact was a big fat lie.
I'm pregnant.
I'm always hungry.
My husband, who had gone on an anti-Mexican food diet the day before, also declined.
As they were eating their lunch Juan asked, "Where did this come from?"
Ana replied, "It's from your birthday party."
"Last year's birthday party?" Juan asked.
"Yes."
So...not only had the meat been unfrozen for over a week, it was more than a year old.

That night...somewhere in the air between Mexico and California... the stewardess served us a sandwich.
A warm chicken sandwich.
I couldn't eat it.
I may never be able to eat chicken again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

For Those Who Have Been Waiting

Many years ago I dreamt of a baby girl.
In the dream I knew that this little girl was mine.
And even more, I knew that this little one had chosen me to raise her.
In my heart I knew her name was Emily.

I had the same dream three times over the course of a few years.
...and in my perpetual state of singleness, it gave me hope.
"There is a little girl waiting for you to be her mommy" I would repeat to myself.

From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I felt that I would be having a boy.
And if anyone suggested otherwise I would quietly tell myself, "It's not your Emily...not yet."
Over the last few months I have found myself praying to love a little boy as much as I would love my Emily.
As we walked with the nurse towards the room I told my mom, "She is going to tell us it's a boy."
And I was happy with that.

When I realized that it was my Emily I was looking at on the screen, the tears came.
And they've been coming ever since.
Emily, your Mommy can't wait to meet you.