Friday, May 7, 2010

What's in a name...

For the first time, ever, I'm participating in what I like to call a "Blog Party." I have read Kelly's Korner for some time and her Show Us Your Life for today is about names.

For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted a daughter. However, I married a man I shouldn't have married and then divorced. All of a sudden, I was 37 years old and single. How did I get to be this old?

Then I met the man I would spend the rest of days with. We wanted at least one child but didn't want to waste a lot of time. All of a sudden, I was bombarded with articles of adopting from China. I would share these with David and each time he would be moved to tears. We moved forward knowing that we were meant to adopt. Adoption runs deep in both our families. We (and our siblings) were all adopted. My father was adopted.

The name I had given my daughter in my mind was Lillian. I had a great-aunt less "l" but pronounced differently. By some spectacular coincidence, Lillian was David's paternal grandmother's name. What are the odds? The middle name was a given. It would be Hope after my younger sister who died in 1990 after a kidney transplant. We also wanted to use part of her given chinese name and we just hoped that it was easily translated. We also felt it was important to know WHO named her.

Yue Tao Jia (Yue being an orphanage name that all the kids share, is actually her "last name." Tao is peach, and Jia is beautiful.) While in China, we learned that the head nanny named her and she chose Tao Jia because it was April and the peach trees were blooming.

Lillian Hope TaoJia

It's a strong name that honors the memories of loved ones gone and her Chinese heritage. It gives her options. When asked what her name is she replies, "Lillian, but you can call me Lilly."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was another birthday for me. I dread them. I turned 45 and I feel so old! I remember when I was in my teen years, 45 seemed impossible. I just never thought I'd be this old!

In our family, we celebrate birthdays by having "birthday weekends." The birthday person gets to choose what we will do and eat. We went out Friday and Saturday nights and I was terribly disappointed in the food. I sent it back. I was determined that my actual birthday dinner would be different. We went for hot wings. I've been craving them and they were delicious!

However, all day yesterday I was bothered by a nagging kidney stone. I've had about 23 in my life, and of course a good size stone decided to start making its way down. It was painful at times. I was dreading a visit to the ER, but managed to spend the evening on a heating pad that helped. Happy Birthday to me!

We've finalized plans for my "art studio" and I think I've got David on board to start moving things this weekend. I'm excited because I've got so much "stuff" to organize and so many projects planned!

I'll take pictures of the before, during, and after. I just need David to show me how to download photos on my new laptop.

The snow is just about gone, but we're still cold. No signs of spring yet. Lilly is so excited to see grass instead of snow. I can't blame her!

Enough rambling. Time for action!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We're alive...we're alive!!

It's been a long time since I posted. We have survived a major snowstorm and I feel Spring is not far away! Work on the art room was stalled, but I'm hoping to motivate the hubs to help me this weekend. That depends on if my back cooperates, because it's not too great right now.

Lilliput is doing great in school and is growing like a weed! I can't believe she will be 8 in April! I need to schedule her appointment for pictures. She was able to celebrate Valentines Day and Chinese New Year on the same day this year. She took fortune cookies and red envelopes with a dollar in them for all her classmates. She even wore her silk Chinese dress to school.

David is back to work and is working hard. I've been applying for jobs but there are just not enough jobs for all the unemployed in NW Pennsylvania.

That's about it. I'm exciting to be included in a special art group where we will follow a new book, The Artistic Mother. So I better get that art room set up! I'm going to be late with our first project.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peeping out from under the covers...

Wow. It's been a long time. Surgery was difficult and the recovery is still ongoing. My wish that no mesh would be used didn't come to fruition. I'm told that I have to give my recovery a full year. A full year full of chronic pain. Sucks. I'm not on pain meds but once Lilliput returns to school next week, I might reconsider taking them.

Speaking of Lilliput, our summer has been very low key. Unfortunately, I was not physically able to do much with her and she spent too much time in front of the tv. I did set her up with some art projects which she enjoyed. She's grown about an inch and a half over the summer and a veteran mother thought she was 9 or 10 years old. Oh my! We've been slowly getting ready for school with the purchase of supplies and clothes.

Lilliput's highlight was in late July when she swallowed one of the steel balls that goes with her magnet sets. She claims she put it in her mouth "to keep it warm." She ended up in the ER where they x-rayed her. We were told to check her p**p for the next 4 days and if it hadn't passed, bring her back in. On the 5th day I took her back to the ER where they repeated the x-ray and it hadn't even moved. Next thing I know they are transferring her to the Children's Hospital by ambulance thus requiring an IV. Such a waste of time. Pediatric Gastroentrologist said she was fine and it would eventually pass. We were instructed to have a monthly x-ray to check its progress. We had an x-ray yesterday and it has passed!

We've had a cool and wet summer and have only had about six days over 80 degrees. Our trip to Texas was rough. The days were anywhere from 100 to 104 degrees. We didn't get out much. We had a wonderful family dinner to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary. I'm so proud and fortunate that they've made it work so long. Marriage isn't easy but they set a wonderful example for their children. David's parents will celebrate their 60th anniversary next month. We feel so blessed to have the parents we do.

Even though I entertained Lilliput with art projects, my muse has been absent. I'm hoping when she goes back to school next week that I'll find time to finish putting my studio together and finding some inspiration.

David is doing great. Not only did he get a raise this year, but was placed on the "executive bonus plan" which is unprecedented after only 4 years with the company. I'm very proud of him and have tried hard not to burden him too much when he gets home. We've eaten out a lot and have consumed a lot of take-out because after a full day minding Lilliput, the pain and lack of motivation haven't allowed me to cook much.

We are attending two Steelers games this Fall and since we haven't been to Heinz Field yet...we are all looking forward to it. I'm really for college ball to start. Go Horns! They have a soft schedule but I'm anticipating they will have a stellar season.

That's about it for now. I promise to post more often and hopefully will have some new artwork to showcase.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trying times

I've been MIA for some time. There are many reasons ranging from mental to medical. I don't care to discuss the mental right now, so we'll talk medical.

In the past year, I've had six, SIX surgeries. I don't blame my surgeon(s)...I blame my lame body. I don't heal well. For the past two months, I knew something was wrong but delayed seeking a medical opinion because I was 99% sure it would involve yet another surgical procedure. I started with my PCP who found "inflamation" and punted me to the plastic surgeon who operated and put me back on the wound vac. Fun. He insisted that there was no new hernia and suggested I see my bypass surgeon. Evil insurance took way too long to approve a CT scan so we ended up going to the ER this past Monday. This resulted in an overnight stay with lots of IV Dilaudid.

Results? Large ventral hernia...again. The good news is that it is "big enough to drive a truck through" which translates into it is unlikely any bowel will strangulate. Yeah. Pain? Hellish.

Punted to NEW plastic surgeon who gave me four options for repair: do nothing, repair with mesh, repair with pig mesh, or total abdominal rebuild. BTDT with mesh and have no desire to have any part of a pig placed in my belly. Doing nothing would mean pain control and I need to live my life wide open. So, we are opting for total abdominal rebuild. Not a tummy tuck, but a wide open procedure where they pull good muscle together to reinforce said belly. It will be an awful painful recovery...but I have to look ahead to working again.

Our appointment with the new plastics surgeon is today and hope to at least walk away with an approximate surgical date. They have to coordinate the surgery with my Bypass surgeon because he has to be present to make sure everything is A-ok in there.

Because the Gods didn't feel that I had been through enough, the CT showed a mass on one of my ovaries. Thanks for that. That will be addressed in six weeks with an ultrasound. Gyn Surgeon is aggressive and said if it is still there, she wants to remove it. Nope, can't do it in conjunction with my non-tummy possibly another surgery is coming. Thanks again.

Lilliput is kicking butt in first grade. Math appears to be her favorite subject but she aces every spelling test and reads everything she can get her hands on. Her taste in TV has moved from Sprout and Nick to Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, The Jetsons...makes me feel a little better.

I keep busy looking for a job and reading. Our king-size bed has become my home within my home. David moved upstairs because he hates this mattress. This means my bed has become my desk, mail depot and cat bed. As long as Moe stays on one square inch in the top right, Mabel will allow him on the bed. If he moves anywhere close to her, she immediately wakes and gives him the old lady smack down. She's so cranky these days.

I've become addicted to Discovery ID. I'm sick of the news. I still watch it because I have to know what's going on...but I discovered that I was becoming increasingly angry when I watched too much news.

I will end here. I will try to share a few books I'm reading right now. They are helping me cope with all the crappy things going on in my life...and making me look at the good and precious things and people that surround me.


Friday, December 26, 2008

"The best Christmas EVER!"

That's exactly what Lilliput told me today. I felt so proud. We had a self-imposed lean Christmas since I had lost my job and our income took a drastic nosedive. We didn't buy for each other although we did end up getting something small. I got him an I*tunes gift card and I picked out some Ru**ermaid storage containers.

Once we wrapped Lilliputs gifts, I panicked because there wasn't much under the tree. However, we bought smartly getting only two items she asked for (accordion and guitar). The other gifts were games, mosaic travel unit, mosaic designs to color and HUGE set of markers, Cr*cs were 50% off so I got her two pair, one outfit for school, and a few games that will be challenging for her. All things she enjoys. As you see, it wasn't when she told me it was the best Christmas ever, I was truly proud. Of her, and of us.

We are going on a 7-day cruise with my whole family in February. We've been trying to scrape together the spending money for this trip. Our trip is paid for. My parents are taking the whole family as a celebration of their 50th anniversary. We are really excited and know that Lilliput will have so much fun with her cousin and will get to go to the beach!

Thus, our Christmas was lean. We spent the second half of the day with his family and it was unusually enjoyable. Lilliput was lavished with gifts from aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had made everyone aware that we would not be buying for anyone but Lilliput and asked them to please honor our request for no gifts this year. We just couldn't afford it. We were blessed despite our request. Instead of feeling angry or embarrassed that our request was not observed...I accepted their generosity with graciousness and appreciation. That's what family is for.

We've had quality family time with Lilliput and we still have two days to go! I hope to do some more baking with Lilliput on Sunday. I'm catching up on laundry and digging out summer clothes to get ready for the cruise.

We have found childcare so that He and I can go out alone for our 9th anniversary on the 30th. I'm hoping for a dinner and a movie...but we'll see. He still has to work next week as does the family that Lilliput will be staying with. We'll see...I'm all about being lean right now.

I hope everyone has had a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Card Pictures...

I FINALLY felt good enough to get these taken.