Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Fish Bully and other tales

At 9pm, I was dead on my feet. Barely had enough energy to don my pj's and brush my pearly whites.

Yet here I am, two hours later. Wide. Awake.

My current book (Jane Austen Was My Best Friend) is not particularly entertaining, so I decided to open up Delicious as Pie and ramble a bit.

You might be wondering about my title. "Fish Bully?" you ask. "What on earth are you talking about?"

I am talking about the bully in our fish tank. He's a territorial little creature and seems to enjoy scaring the other fishies away. For the longest time, I thought that he and another fish just liked to play chase 'cause that's what they'd do all day.

Then we got more fish. And he's chased them right to the bottom of the tank and inside the blue turreted castle. "Hhhhmmmm," we said.

And so Fish Bully got grounded. He had to spend the afternoon in a glass bowl in the kitchen while we scrutinized the other fishies. Sure enough, once he was gone, they all came out of hiding.

Did you know fish can die from stress? So it's important to keep them happy. How to do that when there's a bully in the tank... I think Fish Bully might have to say adios.
I couldn't get a good photo of Skello,
so I found this one online. 

The new fish that Emma picked out (and named Skello) is transparent. Pretty funky, really. Especially when you really look at his insides. You can imagine the chorus of "Eeewwww! Gross!" when I pointed out that you can see his poop before it comes out.

Hayley's new fish is Chubbers. I don't know why.

And Scott picked out a tiny crab that eats the food that collects on the rocks at the bottom of the tank. We're calling him Pince William. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! (I tried to get the girls to name of their fish Kate (to go with Pince William, of course), but they flatly refused. Silly girls.)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aw, man!

I've been waiting with bated breath all week for a blouse that I ordered from ModCloth to arrive. Let me tell you... I fell so deeply in love with this blouse that I actually paid FULL PRICE for it. That's sayin' a lot!

The FedEx man rang the doorbell a few minutes ago and was barely back in his truck before I swung open the door, grabbed the box from the porch, ripped open the package and ripped off my t-shirt to try on my brand-new gorgeous blouse!

The color is perfect. A delicate peachy-pink. Lace accents. Sheer, capped sleeves. Empire waist. So romantic. *happy sigh*
Birthday Wishes Top

It doesn't fit.

No matter what size I get,  it will never fit.

It was not made fit any woman with breasts that actually poke out. I fill up a nice-sized bra cup, thank you very much, but I'm not overly-busty. But when I slipped the blouse over my head and finagled it over my boobies, I couldn't even begin to zip it up the back.

The length is actually much shorter than I anticipated and the width of the shirt (once it flairs out from the empire waist) is giant. Think hip length maternity top. Except without room for actual boobs.

And now, alas, I must gently fold it into its packaging and send it with a sad wave back to ModCloth. I shall be brave, lest my tears blur the return address label. (Is my overly dramatic prose entertaining you yet? I'm certainly entertaining myself. LOL)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So this is what it feels like when you get up early...

I woke up at 5:45 this morning for no apparent reason. Just wide awake. I read for half an hour, then got up and made pancakes from scratch for the girls. Then I did the dishes, made their lunches and got Hayley out the door before I got in the shower.

At 8:00am, I dropped Emma off at school and went to do errands. Back home by 9:15 and I'm feeling productive!

Now I've got some household paperwork to catch up on. Since the fam was here, I avoided all non-imperative chores in order to spend more time playing Scrabble with my mom. (We are Scrabble fiends, I tell ya!)

The house is in pretty good order since I cleaned/straightened up yesterday. So I'm left to my own devices...

Let's see.. make cards, work on my novel, adoption research, a little bit of everything.... hmmmm......


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guess who's adopting!

This is me adoring one day-old Emma.
We are! We are! We are! And we can't wait to get the party started! We're going to adopt a newborn from right here in the States.

Well, technically the party's already started with oodles and oodles of research. Agency vs. independent. Finances. Lawyers. References. Interviews. Home study. The list goes on and on. Good thing I love researching, isn't it? LOL

I've signed up for informational meetings at agencies nearby. One isn't until July and that seems forever away. But there's plenty to do in the meantime...

  • professional photos
  • writing the Dear Birth Mother letter
  • the home study
  • checking references/ratings of lawyers, social workers and agencies


So if anyone has any advice to share, I would love to hear it. And please, please, please keep our future baby and its very special birth mama in your prayers. Thanks!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Isn't she gorgeous???
Hayley, my amazing 13 year-old, confirmed her faith at church this morning!

This much-anticipated event warranted visits from my parents (Barbara & Ken), my sister (Gillian), niece (Sophia) and brother (Will).

Gillian and Will are Hayley's godparents, so it was extra important that they come and celebrate her transition into a validated church "adult". And Grandma and Grandad? They're such huge parts of our lives that it was absolutely imperative that they come. (Even though they were here just two weeks ago! LOL)

During the service this morning, Hayley and the other eight confirmands had to read their faith statements in front of the congregation. What fun it was to listen their stories, how each one of them has internalized Jesus.

Hayley's statement almost brought me to tears. Here's the video... And just in case the sound quality isn't up to par, I'm including her text below.

So many things have made up my faith life so far. Not only people, but events and so much more. One of the people who has helped and guided me is my dad; he leads by example, which is what I want to do. Whenever we pass by somebody on the street who is cold or homeless, he gives them some extra change or stops and prays for them. Once he gave his favorite pair of gloves to a man who was freezing in the snow. I felt bad for my dad, you know, losing his gloves and all and then I felt bad for not being happy for the person who wasn’t cold anymore. Same with giving to the poor, like donating to Good Will. I always feel sad when we give away things with memories attached and then I remember what God wants us to do: He wants us to share and to give and to feel good about it. This is a struggle for me sometimes, which makes it hard having parents who are so amazing at giving.
My mom is also very influential in my faith life. I can have conversations with her about God and how others treat Him and the difference between what we believe and what others do. They are really in depth. It’s easy to see some things when she explains it the first time and sometimes I have no clue and so we talk about it. Sometimes, well every time really, we bunny trail away, going in all sorts of directions that teach me new things and that make me look at life in a different way. When I received my first communion, she wrote in the cover of my Bible. “Don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” This was an easy-to understand version of Galatians 6:9 which says, “So let us not be tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we reap the harvest.
I think about this a lot. God is pleased when we do good works and will reward us when we get to Heaven. My favorite thing my mom has done that really reminds me of this was when she adopted our elderly neighbor as sort of a second mother. So, even if she isn’t my real grandmother, she feels like one. My mom took care of her from before we even moved in to the day we moved out. In return, she took care of us too. And even though we live two states away now, my mom was talking to her on the phone when I wrote this.
 Looking at my mom and dad, who are always giving and caring, I see real life examples of what it really means to do good, even when it’s not easy or convenient. In return, I see them being given to and cared for by other people. What goes around really does come around.
The other day in confirmation class, Pastor Bohdan talked about Jesus’ death and resurrection. He said that Jesus died for us—somebody died in our place. It really made me think about what Jesus means to me. I had never thought about it like that. It really put what He did into perspective.
To me, Jesus is like a best friend. Somebody who I can not only rely on but who I can talk to. I like how when you pray, it’s not like talking, where you get an immediate response in words. It really feels like He listens. You can ask a best friend for help and you can thank a best friend and isn’t that exactly what you should do with Jesus?
The first time I really came to realize what He means to me was at the Rock and Worship Road Show 2010. The Rock and Worship Road Show is a concert where a bunch of Christian bands get together and put on an amazing concert. I don’t remember what exactly happened that made me realize how much God means to me—it might have been the event as a whole. I loved how so many Christians can come together and just sing. And pray. So many people praising one God. Our God. It was amazing.
In my church life, I hope to be just like my parents, helping and caring and following Christ so fully. I also want to be an example to anybody who will watch, like giving money to the poor, or buying coffee for the person behind me. Maybe I’ll even save the rainforest! I don’t know how many people have told me that actions speak louder than words. I intend to prove them right. I know that with the help and support of not only my family, but my friends too, I can spread God’s love and make the world a better place—one tree, one smile, one kindness, one prayer at a time.

You tearing up yet? *sniff sniff*

And here's the gang...

Emma, Hayley and Sophia

Barbara, Ken and Hayley

Hayley when she saw the flowers Scott and I gave her!

Aunt Gillian and Hayley

Emma, Me and Hayley

Scott, Me, Hayley, Will, Emma, Ken, Sophia, Barbara, Gillian

Will and Hayley

Scott and Hayley

I'm so proud of my girl. But you couldn't tell, could ya?


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

9:00 and all's well!

Scott's tucking in the Em-Pie. Hayley just took herself off to bed. Mom and Dad, back again (yay!), are tucking themselves in as well. Maybe when Scott comes back down, we can catch up on a show on TiVo.

Only 14 more days of school left for the kiddos! Can you believe it? This year has gone by even faster than all the others. My mind (and the strangely cold and wet weather) keep telling me it's only January. The calendar, however, begs to differ, as does the continuous onslaught of summer camp brochures.

So what to do with three looming months of summer, two arguing daughters and one peace-seeking mama?


Well, first off, almost as soon as they leave their respective schools for the last time, we're hopping in the car to spend a few days up with my family. Nephew Matthew is getting baptized and I am Godmother! I can't tell you how excited I am about that. I've never been asked to be a Godmother before, even though I hoped and prayed several times that I would be. Now that I am, though, I'm gonna be the best Godmother ever!

Then home for a few days before Hayley starts Leadership-in-Training camp. A couple weeks after that, Emma's got a day camp, then hopefully we'll head up to the mountains to camp with our awesome friends, the Larmon family.

But before I get too far ahead of myself in time, this weekend right in front of us promises to be crazy-busy and super fun-filled! Emma is bridging from Junior Girl Scouts to Cadettes in a big council-wide ceremony-of-sorts. Hundreds of girls and their families will attend to all walk across a beautiful and historic bridge together. At the middle, they switch from the Jr. vests to their Cadette vests and they become officially older in the Girl Scout world!

At the same time as this is going on, my sister, Gillian, and her bouncy daughter, Sophia, will land in San Diego. (Fortunately the airport is 5 minutes away from the bridge, so Scott will just hop in the car to get them.) A couple hours later, my brother, Will, flies in.

You're probably wondering why my entire family is converging in San Diego this weekend. Because, my Delicious Readers, my beautiful and amazing daughter, Hayley, is getting Confirmed!!!!

Gillian and Will are her godparents and Grandma and Granddad are, well, Grandma and Granddad. It's imperative that they're here!

So we're gearing up for a full house, tons of laughs and one very grateful that Confirmation classes are over 13 year-old. I'll post photos as soon as I can!


Friday, May 13, 2011

How to dispel anger...

... or at least tame it a little...

I came home this afternoon absolutely livid about something. I really wish I could tell you what, but due to possible readership, I cannot.

Emma, who was with me when this particular incident occurred, gave me a hug when we got home. Then she put her sticky, Otter-Pop-colored hands on my cheeks and tilted my head down so she could look me right in the eyes.

"Mom, I know why you're so angry and I understand. You are handling it really well.  If I was you right now, [it] wouldn't be pretty. You are my role model."

And I felt a little better.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The most touching part of Mother's Day

Remember Neighbor Gloria? She lived two houses up from us in Vancouver. Gloria, at 89, is the healthiest older woman her doctors have ever seen. She's been through a heart attack, a hysterectomy, breast cancer and several other horrendous ailments, but you can't stop that woman. She still mows and edges her own lawn, for goodness' sakes!

Gloria, bless her heart, is completely deaf. She has a hearing aid (probably from the 1970s) and it helps. Minimally. So you have to shout to be heard. And naturally, she shouts since that's the only way she can hear herself. Our lengthy conversations often left me heading for the medicine cabinet for Tylenol.

Sweet Gloria is your classic elderly shut-in. She doesn't drive anymore and while she does have family nearby, they ignore her unless they want money. They've already bled her dry--she's living on next to nothing. That makes me livid! She's got so much to offer, so much love to share. Her family just isn't interested.

So she shared that love with us. She babysat Emma on occasion, took care of the house when we left town, helped when we were sick and generally treated us like the family she should have.

We, in turn, took care of her, too. I drove her to the store, the dentist and the doctor's. We got her prescriptions and lunched at Olive Garden. I brought her to the movies on a Girl's Night once. She couldn't hear a thing, but she got out of the house.

Scott helped around her house, fixing the VCR, pulling up tree roots, etc. He reminds her of her late husband and she never hesitates to tell me how much she loves Scott and appreciates all he does. I'm not a jealous person, but sometimes I felt sad that he got all the glory from her.

It broke my heart and Gloria's when we moved. I asked the other neighbors to take care of her, but no one has. I feel so, so, so badly for leaving her.

But I call her when I can, send her gifts and write little notes. I think about her every single day.

She sent me a Mother's Day card. It says, "For a Daughter who's Loved so much". Inside she wrote, "I miss you as my daughter".

There, just then, I felt that I've done something right with my life.

It's shocking, I know.

As my long-time readers know, I am not a fan of the vegetable. Nor the fruit.

Yet I found myself utterly delighted by a farmer's market the other day. So delighted, in fact, that we left to find an ATM, then came back to peruse and taste-test and discuss the merits of white carrots vs. orange and light red beets vs. dark red.

And even more shocking than the fact that I felt genuine excitement over buying produce is the fact that I'm genuinely excited to eat it!

You can all close your agape mouths now. LOL

We ate the green beans Saturday night and they were so fresh and delicious. The asparagus (part of my Mother's Day meal) was the best I've ever had here in California. (Michigan asparagus puts the CA variety to shame, sorry to say.)

We gobbled up chicken Caesar salad tonight for dinner and the lettuce actually had taste. Yum! Scott, Hayley and I cleared our plates in just a few short minutes. Emma? Well, we're slowly fostering a friendship between between Emma and lettuce. She did eat a small-ish piece without a fight. Granted, she wrapped it around a crouton and dipped it thoroughly in dressing. LOL

Tomorrow night Hayley has her second to last ever Confirmation class (!!!!), so dinner has to be early and fast. I'm thinking the corn is a good bet.

Go figure. Me? President of the Vegetable Haters of America club actually enjoying vegetables. (Don't tell them! It'll be our little Delicious secret!)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

No, I didn't forget you Delicious readers. I just got busy. Supa supa busy.

Mom and Dad were here for a full week and I kept them running. I think I wore them out... LOL

We celebrated Mom's birthday on Tuesday with lunch at El Torito--her fave! A trip to the quilt store, several games of Scrabble, a steak dinner and a luscious chocolate cake rounded out the day. I think she enjoyed it!

Hotel del Coronado
Scott had a company-wide holiday on Monday and what a treat that was! While the kidlets studied hard at school, we grown-ups drove down to the Hotel del Coronado for lunch. Then Scott and I went on a long walk on the beach. It was positively delicious, I tell ya.

Yesterday, an unexpected treat fell onto our dinner table. Actually, it practically crashed our table to the ground!

I dropped Mom and Dad off at Dad's favorite restaurant for an afternoon drink. Mom called me about an hour later, telling me to come about 3:30 since the owner of the restaurant (an old friend) was providing dinner for us to take home!

Wait! It gets better! Here's what he ordered for us... a prime rib roast big enough to feed six of us, baked potatoes with the works, sauteed mushrooms, garlic bread, a huge antipasto salad and a medium pizza. Can you believe it? That's a TON of food to provide completely free of charge!

So here's a huge Delicious shout-out to Richie at Filippi's Pizza Grotto! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The meal tasted heavenly!

Haha! I've been trying to finish this email for about three hours now. In those three hours, I've...

  • Reheated and eaten leftover pizza
  • Read three chapters of Nancy Drew to Emma
  • Helped Emma on her GS Bronze Award project (she made a Project Linus flyers)
  • Hiked around the neighborhood taping said flyers on mailboxes
  • Did a load of laundry
  • Straightened up the downstairs
  • Emptied and loaded the dishwasher
I do believe that any other news must wait until the morrow, Delicious Readers. Later!