The Elusive "Gold Crown"

A couple nights ago I had some visitors to my new place … specifically three of my younger cousins, one who is in the area for her college spring break. I absolutely love these girls; they are the youngest cousins on my Dad’s side and I can clearly remember them as babies (well, at least two of them anyway). Now they’re all “grown up” and in college.

In any case, the reason they wanted to come over was to watch some DVD’s of “The O.C.” on our new HD TV. Except we never did get around to doing that. Instead, we hooked up the Wii and played some Roc.kband and Raving Rabb.ids. Way too much fun … except I have a feeling that our neighbors below weren’t too thrilled. Especially since playing Wii and the “photo shoot” (read: digital cam on timer at 10 shots per incident) lasted well into the night.

But oh … was it ever fun. And here are some pictures to prove it. Personally, I think we’re all set for the cover of Rol.ling! LOL!

[rockyou id=133909794&w=450&h=338]

Moving on …

Have I mentioned how much I liked working in the big city? I love not having to drive to work. I love not having to park in the same parking lot in the same general spot every single day. I love that there are multiple ways to get to my office building. So that on a cold crappy day, I can walk inside another office building and walk through the indoor pedestrian walkway. Or on a beautiful warm end-of-winter day I can walk down the busy avenue and enter directly into my building.

And let’s talk about that busy avenue. There are definitely more options for shopping and eating along the day. No more of that “get in the car and drive” to get out of the office just for lunch or to run to the bank. Nope, I can now just walk out of my office building and down the street. That doesn’t even count all the different cafes and restaurants in the pedestrian walkway inside; where I can run down in between meetings for a quick bite to eat. Believe me, having designer coffee available in the morning comes in handy after those late nights of Rockband on the Wii.

Anyway … there happens to be a Hallm.ark store in the walkway. I love going in there because … well, Hallm.ark stores are always such fun to look around in. (And besides, being a “Gold Crown” member has it’s little bonus coupon perks … !) It reminds me of my grade school days when Hallm.ark was the place to find cool stickers for your sticker book or cute stuffed animals to add to your collection. And in some rare instances, the young Asian girl in me would be delighted to find items at some of the stores (back when Hel.lo Kitty was just a blip on everyone else’s radar).

Except now, I find myself at Hallm.ark looking for a variety of different cards. Or other cute items to give as gifts. Personally, I love the whole Ho.ops & Yoy.o collection. That darn pink kitty and green bunny are too frickin’ adorable. (Must check out my cute totally new wave song and “music video” I created on their site! Tee-hee … !) And their selection of cards for any and every occasion makes picking out just one card nearly impossible. Especially when they have cool ones with music and sound effects now.

630006_mAnd their gift collections are just so chotski-ish … way too fun to look at, and on various occasions, buy as well. Like the whole series of clay jars that say anything from “Retirement Fund” to “Ashes of Former Employees” on them. Or all the Prec.ious Moments figurines with all the cute little sayings on them like “A tender touch makes love bloom.” I don’t mean to belittle them, because really … I would buy these gifts for the appropriate occasion. And I would certainly appreciate any of them if I were ever to receive them as gifts.

Anyway, the point of my rambling about Hallm.ark and their gifts is because I realized something the other day. I was in the store during my lunch hour just passing time after spending pretty much the entire morning in meetings upon meetings. It got to the point that by the time I got back to my desk my desk phone was lit up and blinking like a fire truck, my work-issued blackberry was vibrating non-stop, and my personal cell phone was personally notifying me about the “Devil Inside”. Yeah … it was a nutso day. And at that moment, I just had to walk away.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly enjoying my new job. And I’m clearly up to the challenge that face me in my new position. But as I’m still relatively “new” to the corporation, I find myself sometimes frustrated that I can’t pick up on processes as quickly as I used to in my previous job. I know that it will come in time. And believe me, I know that I should be proud of all I accomplished even in this two month period. I’d even go as far as to say that I believe I’ve made enough progress in my position that I’ve earned the trust of my staff and the respect of my other peers.

Yeah. I know … what a difference 8 months and a change in jobs and scenery makes. Amazing what it does for my self-confidence and self-esteem.

There I’ve gone again … I’ve once again digressed.

So as I was down in the pedestrian walkway, I strolled into the Hallm.ark store. I was tempted to buy a cute Ho.ops & Yoy.o plush, but I resisted. And then I wandered to the back of the store where many a picture frame and plaques were displayed.

I’m not sure if it was the effects of seeing the ceramic handprint in my boss’ office, but for some reason my eyes gravitated to all the “Mom” chotskies out there. The little paperweights or mirrored plaques with “Ode to Mom” poems. The angel figurines that talk about how ”Moms are a Gift from Heaven.” The picture frames or coffee mugs the proclaim how “Moms RULE!” The keychains or notebooks that proudly state, “Motherhood: The Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love.”

It’s that last statement about motherhood that had me a little hot under the collar. Not that I disagree with that statement. Nor do I discount how incredibly hard being a mother is. Because I am absolutely positively one hundred percent sure that particular statement is correct.

But the thing is … I’ve just never experienced being a mother. Nor do I know that I ever will experience motherhood. And while that truth does hurt … does make me incredibly sad … that last declaration evokes another unpleasant emotion in me. It creates this feeling of triviality in what I do with my job; my career. It’s as if what I do for a living will never ever top that of being a mother.

And what does that say for someone like me who has always wanted to be a Mom? Who has always held the idea that I could be a mother and a career woman? Who has been given these incredible job opportunities in her career but has not been given the opportunity to be a mother?

It’s thoughts like that … and all those tiny little observations that I notice on any given day … those are the things that also hit me square in the chest. They’re the things that knock me for a loop. The things that bring my self-confidence and self-esteem back down a notch.

I hope the receivers of such gifts; those mothers of children (or those other family members) realize what a hard job motherhood really is … I hope these moms truly appreciate the thought and the sentiment behind those gifts.

And I hope those mothers realize exactly what a gift motherhood is.

Because outside their world are those women who may never be on the receiving end of such gifts.

Hubby & Emily Plus … ??

I don’t know what it is, but just like Wordgirl, I am drawn to yet repelled by Jo.n & Ka.te 8. Actually, I’m more drawn to it rather than repelled.

I’m sure part of it is the whole Asian bit; as Jo.n is half-Korean. And I’m sure it’s the whole twin fascination thing I’ve always had. Except it’s not really the twin “look-alike” thingy … it’s more the science aspect of it. The whole nature vs. nurture thing. It’s just frickin’ amazing to see how all eight children who share such strong genetic traits have such distinct and unique personalities.

And I’m sure the whole “repelling” part of it is simply the fact that Hubby & I can’t experience even one-eigth of what they have. While I’d love to have a household full of kids, I’d be happy with even just one. As in one of the eight Go.sselin children. (I’d love to take Cara or maybe Aa.den or Hannah …)

I can’t quite be angry at Jo.n and Ka.te. After all, they also had issues trying to conceive. Like myself, Kate was diagnosed with PCOS. However, unlike Hubby & me … she and Jon were successful. Obviously.

So yesterday after Hubby left to go back home, I was left to my own devices. And seeing that I finally got cable in the bedroom, I promptly plopped myself in front of the TV and started to flip channels. I finally settled onto TLC and watched a marathon of Jo.n & Ka.te episodes.

Like a moth to a flame … (Or more appropriately, like a fly to a bug zapper … )

As I watched the episodes, there happened to be one particular commercial that would run in between TV breaks. And it got to me … Every. Single. Time.

Perhaps it was because I was missing my husband. Perhaps it was because I was watching a show that involved raising children. Perhaps it’s because it was because this commercial reminded me about something I will never be able to experience.

Or perhaps it’s because as much as I wish I could give my husband that gift … that moment in life … I will never be able to.

And that breaks my heart …

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.

Must See TV

Yes, this is one of those really quick posts. So I’m probably cheating on this whole “Post-A-Day” thingy. But I don’t care.

(Because … shh … I’ll probably put up tomorrow’s post much earlier than the usual!)

I’m excited for “Must See TV” tonite. Because tonite … Dr. Greene comes back to ER. Woo-hoo!

Yeah, I know I’m cheesy like that. Truth be told, I haven’t watched ER consistently in years. I personally think that once Anthony Edwards left the show, it just wasn’t as good as in the beginning.

I have fond memories of the first few years of ER. First of all, it’s inaugural season started the same year that I graduated from nursing school. So watching a show that was seriously all that “and a bag of chips” as a medical drama was seriously cool. And second … well, I’ve always had a crush on Ge.orge Cloo.ney since he was on “Facts of Life.” And third, it was written and produced by author Michael Crich.ton (RIP 🙁 ).

The show was SO good, that it was always THE topic at work the next day. And it was none of those silly sensationalized storylines that we see now on other medical shows (ahem … Grey’s). They were actually pretty accurate and the dialog was spot on.

Original Cast

Not that it’s no longer like that now … because it still is … but there’s just something about the original characters that made the show. And once they were all gone, the magic kinda left as well.

So that’s why I’m excited to see the “return” of one of the older characters tonite. And because this is the last season of ER, I hear there are supposed to be more “guest stars” throughout the season; culminating in a BIG (as in HUGE) series finale … with all the originals, including George and Julianne Marguiles. At least that’s what I’m hoping (and praying) for.

Okay, that’s it. 40 minutes to go. So I’m outta here!

Highlighting IF

Anybody else watch “Without A Trace” last night? It was interesting episode about a missing wife. Of course the first person they suspected was the husband. Apparently neighbors had mentioned to the investigators that the husband and wife were fighting often.

So when they went to question the husband, he tells them the reason they’ve been arguing lately. When they first got married, they immediately started trying to start their family. In his words, he said he wasn’t so worried at first; that things would happen in time. But after a year of trying, they still weren’t pregnant.

In the next scene, they show the husband coming into their bedroom all geared up and “ready to go” (if you catch my drift). Except the wife is getting ready for work instead. “Did I get my signals mixed?,” he asks and then rattles off that he thought her temp had spiked, the LH was up and the fertility monitor said that all systems were go. When the wife turns to him, she has this incredibly sad look on her face and basically tells him that she has too much to do and so many deadlines to meet at work … except that doesn’t look like the reason she appears despondent. And of course the husband sits down next to her and hugs her; tells her that one of the things that they talked about was controlling and reducing their stress.

And before I had the chance to get all pissed off about the whole “Just Relax” bit, the husband redeemed himself by saying to the investigators, “No one ever tells you how hard it is when you have problems making a baby.” (Or something like that, anyway.)

Well, the rest of the story was irrelevant (to me, anyway). We later find out that the wife was pregnant and had a baby in her teenage years. And that apparently she developed an infection in her ovaries that have now made her incapable of getting pregnant. Really, I was just incredibly surprised of the less than 2 minute period spotlighting infertility. And how “real” a condition this show made this couple’s infertility.

While I think they could have focused on the infertility aspect a little more … I’m just happy that they did. Because I think it’s important that there be more media attention on infertility and how it affects every aspect of a couple’s life.

What about you? Have you encountered any other shows or newspaper/magazine articles or movies that have approached the subject of infertility? And did you think they portrayed it in an appropriate way?