Imagin me wearing stirrup stockings with this dress and kitten heel pumps ... yep, how 80's!
Imagin me wearing stirrup stockings with this dress and kitten heel pumps ... yep, how 80's!

Well, since I finally made it home this weekend I got a chance to find a couple more 80’s pictures … including that one picture of me in a dress that reminded me of this one … the one I wore at the Addy Awards last weekend.

It’s actually quite funny, when you think of it. Because both dresses actually are a mod dress inspired from the 60’s fashion styles. And yet … here I am wearing one dress in the 80’s and another one, some 20 years later again. Amazing how fashion styles recycle.

Anyhoo … Pretty scary that I was only 14 years old in that picture. And I seriously can’t believe my parents let me out of the house in that dress. What’s even more “scandalous” (well, at least in my eyes), is that my Mom was the one that picked this dress out. Because looking back at this picture now … it’s a pretty sexy dress for a 14 year old to wear, don’t you think?

True 80's Fashion ...
True 80's Fashion ...

But I remember the occasion at which I wore this dress for, which was a family friend’s 18th Birthday/Cotillion. It was during the summer before starting high school and I remember feeling quite self-conscious in the outfit. Which is probably why I can recall how socially “awkward” I felt that night.

And I realized this past weekend how some things never change. Hubby & I had some time to spare before heading over to my in-law’s house to celebrate my nephew’s 13th birthday. So we headed to the local mall just to walk about. (It was such crappy weather all weekend long, that doing anything outside was useless …)

Anyway, as we were there I headed into the local Sep.hora to look at some body lotion that a co-worker recommended to moisturize skin, but not leave it all moist and clammy especially when in the midst of a hot flash*. Now, I’ve never been inside a Sep.hora before; the reason behind it pretty obvious to anyone who knows me. I’m just simply not into make-up and dressing up.

A Bonus 80's Shot for y'all
A Bonus 80's Shot for y'all

I mean, I’ll dress up … when the occasion calls for it, I clean up quite nicely … but on an everyday basis? I’m the type of gal that’s more comfortable in a pair of jeans and a tshirt. And coming from a company where we could wear jeans daily to a company that requires leadership to dress business casual every day … well, that’s been a challenge.

So getting back to Sep.hora, I figured that while I was there I’d get some lip gloss to moisturize my lips … and maybe add a little color to it. Except I couldn’t believe how many choices were out there and I simply became overwhelmed. I mean seriously … all I wanted was a “leeetle” plum-rose color to my lips and what I saw was 50 zillion different varieties of plum or raspberry. I ended up just walking out of there with nothing.

But going back to the “some things never change” bit … I’m just not a “girly” girl and I never had been. I was the girl that climbed trees and ran her bike through muddy trails. I was the same girl who loved walking through puddles at school (seriously … whenever it rained, there would be this huge puddle in the middle of the parking lot that I believe I named “Lake St. Vincent”). I was that pre-teen (or “tweenager,” as they’re now called) that still loved to stay up and watch the movies at slumber parties rather than play dress-up or put on make-up.

For that, I still believe it’s because I never had that consistent female “bond” with another girl … a sister, or a mentor that could coach me through some of those things. And I still believe it’s because I was that first-generation Filipino-American; my parents not quite familiar with what typical American things that pre-teens (or even teenagers) do.

This pic was taken after one of my "modeling" classes I took. I think this is the class they taught me how to put on makeup ... ha!
This pic was taken after one of my "modeling" classes I took. I think this is the class they taught me how to put on makeup ... ha!

I give my parents credit though. They did the best that they could do. And they, particularly my mom, did try to encourage me to do things that most teens might do (within reason, of course). One of them was signing me up for modeling classes after I turned 16. Now, I must be honest … this would have been something I would totally wanted to do at the age of 13 or 14. But by 16, my personality was such that doing anything that surrounded using your “looks” to get ahead with anything was something I was SO against. (Helloooo …. New Wave/Goth chick, here!) But I faithfully went; partly out of obligation, as my Mom shelled out a lot of money for these classes. And partly out of sheer curiosity. Because, the girls that were in my class … they were the antithesis of who I was.

And what did I learn from these classes? Posture (which still sucks), poise and grace (which doesn’t work with my two left feet), and that I look best in “Summer Colors” when it comes to clothes and makeup. I think that last thing is the only lasting impression from that class … because I realized recently (after years of simply wearing black and/or white) is that I do like to dress myself in those “Summer Colors.”

Not that it matters too much anymore … but sometimes I wonder how I come across to other people, looking the way that I do. Given that I tend to wear my hair pulled back in a ponytail (or even piggy tails … not. kidding. you.) and I am one for sacrificing fashion for comfort, I think people think that I’m young and immature. (Which I can be … ) But after talking to me for any length of time, these same people tend to realize that I am older and more mature than they originally thought. That I’m smart and intelligent. That I’m knowledgeable in certain areas. But that’s only after they get to know me. And probably after they see how much grey hair I actually have.

In any case, going into that Sep.hora brought me straight back to those days of self-consciousness. And back to such an awkward phase in my life.

But enough of looks and awkwardness and fashion and lack of make-up. Let’s talk about how much fun I had being back home this weekend. We celebrated my nephew’s 13th birthday on Saturday and I still cannot believe he’s officially a teenager now (well, really he’ll be one officially on the 12th …) by having dinner at a local restaurant and then heading over my in-laws afterwards for birthday cake. From the moment he saw us, my nephew didn’t want to leave our side. And as I know those moments are going to start to be few and far in between, I relished every moment of his closeness. I also got to see my niece for the first time since December and I can’t believe how much bigger she’s gotten. She’s now 6 months old and her personality has definitely started to develop. My favorite moment of that night was this following video.

This video was taken while my SIL and I were “video chatting” in iChat on our laptops. We were both in the dining room facing directly across from each other. And when my nephew sat down to chat with me, he took his baby sister with him who, of course, was fascinated by seeing me (and herself) on the computer screen. I wish we started recording it sooner, because the first few times were priceless … but this video is still awesome. She (and my nephew, of course) is such a cutie!!

And Sunday, I was supposed to meet up with a couple of grade school friends for brunch. Unfortunately, since the weather’s been sucking a$$ right now I think we’ve all come down with some sort of sinus thingy; one of my friends worse than myself and my other friend. It would have been great to see them both, as I haven’t seen them since … like, forever … but we’re going to reschedule for the end of this month when I should be back in town to help Hubby move. 🙂

Instead, Sunday was spent going for dim sum with my parents. It was nice to sit and talk with them; and I think I genuinely surprised them by making the time to see them during this weekend home. The truth is, I would have made the time anyway … I just didn’t have a chance to call them until I got into town.

And while at that restaurant, I ran into one of my best friends from Nursing School. He’s now working as a professor for a local University and we’ve recently caught up in Face.book. But nothing beats actually seeing him and hugging him in person. We managed to make plans to catch up next time he comes into my “neck of the woods.” Can’t wait for that.

And now … about 6 hours from now, I’ll be boarding the train back to the City. Another weekend home gone so quickly. This being the second time I’ve been back to Detroit since moving, I realize how much I miss parts of this area. I miss all the shops and the ability to jump in my car and find parking anywhere. I miss how much cheaper going out to eat and/or seeing movies are. I miss seeing Sabrina on a daily basis. But the thing I miss the most? Yep, my family.

But the good thing is … we’re never that far away by email or phone. And not even by physical distance.

Yay family!


* Nope, not having hot flashes so much anymore. But when walking the distance I do from the train to my office building every morning … I do tend to work up a sweat. It usually is worse whenever I take a shower in the morning (and therefore putting body lotion on at that time) … Anyway, I’m sure this was more information that y’all needed to know.

My Hubby, My Hiro

Not to be completely cheesy here, but I’ve always believed that my Hubby is my own personal, honest-to-G*d hero. I’m sure part of it is because I met my Hubby during my sophomore year in high school and were friends first before starting to date the summer before starting college. And I’m not saying these things to put him high up on a pedestal. Simply put … he is my best friend and because of that, I place all my trust in him.

One of Hubby & My Favorite Telly Shows
One of Hubby & My Favorite Telly Shows

That song … the one by Enrique Iglesias … came out just before my laparotomy. This was the big surgery where I’d get my bikini c-section scar without the baby to show for it. The surgery to do some major clearing out of the endometriosis that was thought to be the reason I couldn’t get pregnant. (Little did I know then that it was also a combination of my “tricked out” hormones thanks to PCOS. Oh, how hindsight is always 20/20 … grrr.) And even though I had two previous laparascopies beforehand, the thought of this surgery somehow scared the living daylights out of me.

But it was that song, “Hero” that seemed to pacify my nerves. Perhaps it was because that particular song came on during one of the many tearful moments spent prior to the surgery. When Hubby held my hand while wiping my tears off my cheek with his other hand. All while Enrique would sing about kissing away my pain. And standing by me forever. So yes, to this day every time I hear that chorus, I think of that particular moment.

Okay … so really, this wasn’t supposed to be all serious here. What I was actually getting at was how Hubby & I have loved watching the TV show “Heroes.” When we first saw previews of the series two years prior, we both knew this was a show we wanted to watch. I mean, really … we’re talking about two people that have traveled as far as San Diego for Hubby’s love of comics! So to have a TV show based on poeple with “special powers”? Yeah, totally up our alley.

"Heroes" character, Hiro Nakamura
“Heroes” character, Hiro Nakamura

For those of you that have never seen the series, one of the major characters is an Asian with the power to “bend” time. Of all things, his name is “Hiro,” which is pronounces just like the word “hero.”

While Hiro’s power is cool, the thing that has made him our favorite character is who he is as a person. In the beginning, Hiro is this typical Japanese character who works in a boring office setting feeling as if he’s destined for greater things. When he learns about his power, he immediately relates it to his best friend, Ando as having special abilities just like in one of his favorite comic book series, X-Men. Among a series of events, Hiro and Ando find out that their “lives” are being depicted in a comic book written by another person with special powers. By reading this comic , he comes to the conclusion that it is destiny to use his powers for good. And throughout the past two seasons, Hiro and Ando have managed to get into difficult situations but have always managed to come out of the scrapes together.

My Hubby, My Hiro
My Hubby, My Hiro … Like the Spidey tee he’s wearing?

So, I’m sure you’ve probably figured out why I’m giving you this whole schpiel. First, the “Hero” song. Then the TV show “Heroes.” And finally the Asian character on the same show, “Hiro.”

Obviously, this all relates back to Hubby and how he is literally my Hiro. Let’s just say that not only are there character similarities between Hiro and Hubby. Well … see for yourself. Don’t you think Hubby could kinda pass for Hiro too?

Seriously though. Seeing Hiro’s character reminds me of some of the reasons I love Hubby. The Asian thing. The sense of responsibility to do what’s right. Even the whole comic book lover thing. (Yes, I’m serious!) But what gets me the most is the like Hiro, Hubby has this incredible loyalty to those he cares for the most. And that despite everything that we’ve been through together , he has managed to stand by me forever. And every day, he continues to take my breath away.

Have a … Wha?!

As if I wanna see THIS during my favorite time of the month ...
As if I wanna see THIS during my "favorite" time of the month ...

Someone needs to shoot (and kill) the Marketing Department / Ad Agency for Always. Seriously.

Whoever the freakin’ frack came up with the slogan “Have a happy period” obviously:

  1. Never had seriously heavy crampy “can’t take a sh*t” periods (yes, waaay too much TMI), and
  2. Never had difficulty procreating.

With that said … it’s time for me to crawl back into bed and resurface once bloating and exhaustion subside.

Shades of Turquoise

Besides catching a movie on Friday night and going to the Lion’s game today, I’ve not been out of the house much this weekend. Truth be told, I had piles of laundry to do and a house that (still) needs a lot of polishing up. But really, the reason we spent most of the weekend at home was:

  1. The weather’s been incredibly crappy outside. It has been raining, what seems to be non-stop, since Friday night. And …
  2. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer working on a special secret project (details forthcoming in a later post).

In fact, I’m still working on said project while doing a load of laundry and writing this post. Talk about multi-tasking …

Another hand-knit Hat & Booties gift set
Another hand-knit Hat & Booties gift set to mail ...

Anyway, the combination of such yucky weather and listening to nice, jazzy music (read: Sade, EBTG, Julia Fordham, etc) has got me feeling a little melancholy. Not the waves of depression that I felt last week (and the week before). Just an overall sense of cheerlessness (is that even a word?!).

I’m sure part of the reason is because we just got word this past Friday of yet another joyful delivery into this world. Our good friends in Oregon welcomed their son, Matthew Elliot this past Thursday … and he looks absolutely adorable. Believe me, I couldn’t be more happy for the two of them. And yet …

As if having two birth announcements within two weeks was’t enough to throw me over the edge … the return of the missing punctuation mark (read: period) from months of Lupron Therapy certainly did.

After I had stopped the injections back in mid-June, I thought that maybe the magic of Lupron might just have “jump-started” my female bits.* And because I also expected that my cycle would return by mid-August and it was already nearing mid-September … part of me thought maybe … just maybe … I could have finally gotten knocked up.

But obviously Mother Nature (and God) once again had other plans.

Hence the shades of green and blue I’ve been emoting for the past few weeks. Because of that, I’ve decided that turquoise is probably my new favorite color. A nice brilliant bluish-green color that reflects my mood.

The most recent place I’ve seen such a beautiful shade of turquoise was the lakes in Canada’s Banff National Park. Now if you’re familiar with this Canadian National Park, you’ll know that it’s located within the Canadian Rockies. The bodies of water within this park are primarily formed by the melting of glaciers. And the brilliant hue of turquoise comes from the mixture of glacier-made lake water and glacial rock flour (rock sediment that has been ground by the movement of a glacier).

Beautiful Turquoise Moraine Lake in Canada's Banff Nat'l Park
Beautiful Turquoise Moraine Lake in Canada's Banff National Park

Yes. It’s the perfect color for how I’m feeling. Green with envy for what I want, mixed with blue for the sadness that comes with what I don’t have. Glacial for those cold emotions I’ve had for others, mixed with rocky sediment (sentiment?) for the way my relationships with others have been lately.

The fact is, I’m still reeling from the events of these past weeks. And it seems like every time I try to float to the top to catch my breath … yet another event happens that pushes me back under water.

So forgive me for once again, being downcast. I am trying to shake this feeling of sorrow. And one day, hopefully sooner than later, these shades of turquoise will fade.

* As Lupron would while using it short term prior to an IVF cycle, or even “plain old” medicated-cycles, for that matter.

Heinz 57

Well, I admit it. I failed at NaComLeavMo. I was doing so well the first two weeks … oh, who am I kidding? I failed the minute I set foot in Orlando in the beginning of the month. But it’s not for lack of wanting to do so. Honestly. It’s just been a horrifically busy month, both personally and professionally.

Work has been work. My normal assignment has been abnormally insane. Normally, this time of year hospitalizations around our area tend to slow down. More people are on vacation and are therefore not around to be hospitalized; less people schedule elective surgeries around this time of year. But for some reason, we’ve seen an incredible rise in our caseloads.

Add that to the fact that the workgroup I’ve been on is now on super-rush mode … all in efforts to make sure that we have at least 90% of our projects done by mid-July. And at that time we get to present our work to not only the Executive staff for our department, but to the big wig Board Members in mid-August. Yikes.

And then there’s the personal life. Ack. Where to begin?! Well, since the beginning of this month, I have now traveled out of town for three of the five weekends in June. First Orlando. Then Chicago. And this weekend? Calgary, Alberta. More specifically Canmore, Alberta. That’s right, Mrs. Spit … I’m actually in your neck of the continent. And if I could … I’d be delivering Lord Stanley’s Cup to your doorstep. At least for a lookey-see.

Hubby & I have no particular reason to be out here for the week in the Canadian Rockies, other than to take in the absolutely beautiful scenery. My parents are part of a timeshare program and asked if we wanted to tag along. And of course we said yes. Free lodging and all we had to do is pitch in for groceries and buy airline tickets? How could we resist? That and the fact that I have a cousin that currently lives out this way and haven’t seen, like, in forever. Plus she and her Hubby just had a baby boy last September and this will be the first time I get to meet him. I am truly excited to meet her little one, as he just seems to be the most adorable baby. At least in all the pictures I’ve seen of him.

What more should I tell you about my personal life lately? Hmmm … I turn a big whopping thirty-six on the first Sunday in July. I’m still trying to put the feelers out on exactly how I feel about being yet another year older. Part of me is trying to be incredibly optimistic about it. You know, be happy that I’ve made it through another year. And can I actually believe how much I’ve changed for the better over the past year? Yeah … yada yada yada. And truly, I am grateful for all that I’ve done since July 6th of last year … all the friends I’ve made online and all the moments I’ve broken out of my infertility shell and stopped feeling so alone.

But the other part of me feels like I’m physically falling apart. Yes, I’m done with the Lupron (praise be all the fruitless goddesses!), which should help temper the fiery demon I call endometriosis. That’s the good part of my health. The bad part is that I have horrible blood pressure control (despite being on two different drugs to lower my blood pressure). And have, for over the past year, been finding myself incredibly exhausted and fatigued all the time. Of course none of this has anything to do with the fact that I’ve been, probably for the past ten years, incredibly stressed out.

These are the concerns that I brought up to my new primary doctor, whom I saw for the first time yesterday morning. I decided that I needed to “break up” with my old primary doc, who I’ve been seeing for years because, quite frankly … I just need a change. I needed another person’s opinion on all the issues I’ve had. And so far, I’m liking her. But of course, I think I would like anyone who can be empathetic towards a blubberring idiot who fell apart when she asked whether or not I had kids.

I’m sure I’m making too big of a deal over this birthday. And even though I’m trying very hard not to focus on the whole childless aspect of it all, certain things just seem to pop up. Like the adorable 3 month-old sitting across the aisle on the plane ride here. Or the parents at the airport with the child who was obviously adopted from China.

But the best one was the commercial I heard on the radio to work the other day. It was for the Ch.evy HH2. And it talked about how busy this 36 year old woman was. How she ran around every morning going to the gym for weight training. And then meetings across town. And to the yoga studio afterwards for some cardio. And all while taking care of her new baby.

Ouch. Nothing like emphasizing to me how different I am from the rest of the population.

But right now … while on vacation … I’m going to focus on enjoying life. And relaxing. Because at the rate I’m going with my hypertension … I may just have a stroke before I turn 40. Yikes.

I will try to post again later on and tell you just how HIGH my blood pressure went at the doctor’s office … and how incredibly stressed I was this morning before we flew out. And maybe this week I’ll be getting around to posting some comments on other people’s blogs that I’ve been wanting to do for the past few weeks. Like KC – I seriously wish I could give you a huge hug right now. And Sara – when can I come and keep you company for a day? Or Kara – who I’ve been meaning to contact about my trip to SD at the end of July. And many many more of you … that I wish I could pick up the phone or IM you to tell you that I’m thinking of you.

And now … since my body is still in Eastern Standard Time … I’m going to crash. Even though the clock here in Canmore says it’s only 11 pm. Good night, y’all.