Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Glamorous Motherhood

So today was just one of those days. First I went to work and little Red Fish somehow managed to poop all over my new (white) shirt and my pants yet nothing got on her clothing. I didn't have time to go home and change so I had to wash my clothes in the sink with hand soap.

Then I went to lunch with someone and Red Fish (who sat in a highchair for the first time) spent most of the meal barking and panting at my friend. I think she must be spending too much time with the dog. I kind of thought my little dog child was being pretty cute until she snagged a plate off a passing waiter's tray and caused a big collision. (Now there is food on my new shirt.)

Then I went for a haircut. It was badly needed because I have a big weekend ahead of me and my hair hasn't seen a stylist in 15 months. I took Red Fish's bouncy chair in hopes she would snooze because she hasn't had a nap all day. No such luck. Instead she climbed all over me the entire time inspecting each snip and giving her opinion on each step of the process. Very cute but not so great for the haircutting process.

Then when the haircut is finished I see the sign that I dread most- NO DEBIT OR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. Who doesn't take cards in this day and age? Then I have to leave her bouncy seat as collateral and run home and get a checkbook.I pull into the garage and try and shut the garage door so I can leave her in the car for 20 seconds (yes I'm worried in those 20 seconds she will be abducted because she is so cute) and I haven't pulled far enough into the garage and the door hits the bumper of my car. There is no damage but it still wasn't good. Of course by the time I get back to the salon Red Fish is dead asleep which means I have to wake her to go inside. So I carry the small screamer inside to deliver the check.

It's been a long day and I've accomplished very little. Although motherhood isn't doing much for me glamor wise there is a part of me that delights in the everday mishaps and drama of motherhood. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Playing Around The House

It's really fun that Red Fish loves our dog Blue Fish so much. He is really starting to pay alot of attention to her too. The trick now will be teaching her to pet the dog without pulling his fur. He's very sweet to her and doesn't even move when she has a fist full of his hair but it can't be that fun for him.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away!

Of course when you have a big project for your yard planned it POURS. We still got a few things done and I got a little shopping done with Red Fish. I spent most of the weekend teaching scuba for the first time in quite awhile. I had some friends who all needed to be certified so I put together a class. It was fun to teach but hard because I'm already so busy. Full time Mom, full time work, etc. is a lot of balls to have in the air. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance everything and keep my priorities straight. The best part though is that I spend so much time with Red Fish. I can't imagine having it any other way!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sad Sad Sippy Cup

This is a symbolic sippy cup- symbolic of the end of my tiny baby. She is no longer tiny- she is growing up too fast! I swear she changes daily. I put a sippy cup on her try just to introduce her to one. I thought she was much too little to use one. Of course she picked it right up and happily sipped away. She LOVES the sippy cup. She kept squealing and wanting me to put more in it so she could drink out of it. Her food repertoire now consists of: brown rice, barley, oatmeal, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and pears. We tried a finger food tonight but it went really badly so we won't be doing that again for awhile. She is also sitting up so straight now. She doesn't need any assistance and she hardly ever topples over. This picture is really blurry but you can see how well she is sitting.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Mommy Reflexes

I think I need to get my reflexes jump started. Yesterday Red Fish took a bite out of my napkin (don't worry i pulled it out of her mouth so she didn't eat it.) Then she snapped off a piece of a sugar cookie and ate it before I could snatch it from her. You should have seen how pleased she was with herself. It may be time to introduce some finger foods so she will stop trying to eat all of my stuff. It's amazing how fast those little hands move!

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's Official!!!

Today we went to court and FINALIZED OUR ADOPTION!!! It's been such a good day. It's so nice to know we finally have legal custody of Red Fish. It's a wonderful feeling! The judge swore us in and then our lawyer questioned us and our case worker. Then the judge went through the paperwork and approved our adoption. One Fish's Mom came with us. Then we went and applied for a passport for Red Fish. Poor baby had a long day. She kept falling asleep while they were trying to take her passport photo.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Weekend

Working in the yard- We spent all day yesterday trying to clean up our yard. Our sprinkler systems is garbage but we are hoping it will hold up for a little while longer if we can finish all the repairs on it. We bought some plants and flowers and our front yard is starting to come together. (Have you seen the price of plants lately? It's outrageous!) Red Fish was such a little sweetie yesterday. She was so happy to hang out on a blanket in the shade. She loved watching the trees blowing and the birds flying around. She kept patting the grass off the side of the blanket too. She is such a happy little baby. We also took her new stroller for a spin. That's going to make life so much easier! As you can see I'm a little obsessed with her wearing sun glasses outside. I read all these articles about how kids who wear sun glasses have better eye sight later in life because their eyes won't get damaged by the sun. So everytime she goes outside I put them on her. Along with sun screen and a hat if she is going to be in the sun. She is so fair I'm afraid she will roast!

Trying to swim across the floor. Red Fish is really trying to move around now. We've gone from rolling to trying to crawl. It looks more like swimming than crawling and she keeps getting beached on her stomach. I think in a few weeks we won't be able to stop her though. Anyone have any baby proofing tips?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Pictures

Picnic at the Park.

Gammy and Red Fish on Mother's Day.
We had alot of Mothers to celebrate this mother's day. We went to my Mom's house last Saturday to have lunch with my Mom and my grandparents. My brother J wowed up with his culinary skill by making us curry chicken in acorn squash. It was pretty good. Then on Sunday we had my Mother in law and Two Fish's siblings and family over for dinner. It was wild but fun. Blue Fish had alot of friends to play ball with in the backyard. I think he was a little overwhelmed after awhile but he did pretty well. It's good for him to be around a lot of kids. Blue Fish is still the only one of us who can get Red Fish to do a belly laugh. I guess Mommy and Dad just aren't funny enough or something =-)

Time For A New Look

I"m still not very blog savvy but I figured I could at least come up with a new header.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Yesterday we had Two Fish's family over for Mother's Day. I overheard one of my nephews say the funniest thing. First I need a brief explanation. Last October we had a murder mystery dinner for some friends. Two Fish's siblings and their spouses were all invited but no kids. I think it's the only time we have done something without the kids. We all dressed as pirates and had assigned parts. It was a blast and apparently my nephew hasn't forgotten we had this party.

So today I heard D tell the other kids: "You know, when the kids don't come over here everyone dresses like pirates. All the grownups have to- Aunt One Fish makes them." It made me laugh so hard that he thinks we just always require grown ups to dress like pirates when the kids aren't around.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My first mother's day. It's been a long journey getting here but I couldn't be happier. Red Fish is the sweetest child in the world. I swear sometimes she is so cute I can hardly stand it. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity I have been given to be a mother. It's the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I'm also My family makes me so happy.

I can't believe Red Fish is six months old already. She is getting SO BIG. She weighs almost 17 lbs. This week she has turned into such a little person. She has been rolling for months but now she is starting to use it to get places or reach things. We are in the process of seriously baby proofing the house. She just figured out a new form of mobility yesterday. She does a back bend with her stomach stuck up in the air and slides backwards on her head and pushes with her legs. It is SO funny looking. I’ve got to try and get it on videotape. She is going to rub all of the new hair off her head. I try to keep her on a blanket because I’m afraid she will get a carpet burn on her head.

We took the little baby sling out of her bath tub so she sits down in the water now and just goes nuts. She is wildly kicking and thrashing around while you bath her and I always end up soaked. It’s okay though I really want her to like the water. I already bought her a little life jacket to use this summer so we can take her in the pool at my parent’s house.


I took this picture off my Mom's computer because I think it is so sweet. This is my brother J after his homecoming talk and open house. He and Red Fish were tired.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


The baby is mobile people- RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bikini Atoll

Here is an article I recently wrote- just in case anyone finds it interesting.

In May of 2007 I had the profound honor of diving off the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands with my husband, my brother and eight other divers. The airplane trip to Bikini was not smooth. We touched down on seven islands and the trip took 48 hours. The plane was overcrowded; people had live chickens and coolers of fish and oysters sitting in their laps. We were in a third-world culture and sometimes felt uncomfortable, but the people were beautiful and friendly. The culture contained hidden layers of history that we couldn’t even begin to discover, but our aim was to touch a tiny piece of history that few get to experience.

The island of Bikini has had an interesting story of its own. In 1946 the US military arrived at the local church and asked the Bikinians to temporarily vacate the island “for the good of mankind.” The Bikinians were told they could end all wars by allowing the US government to test nuclear bombs on their island. They were promised a quick return that has yet to take place because the atoll is still radioactive and no food can be grown there. The Bikinians accepted the challenge and left their home to try and save humanity. Forty-two thousand military personnel descended on the island with 73 World War II ships, submarines, and aircraft. They filled the ships with goats, rats, pigs, and hundreds of Coke bottles. A series of 23 nuclear tests were carried out over the islands.

Divers go to Bikini Atoll to dive in the graveyard of naval vessels destroyed during Operation Crossroads, which consisted of two impressive nuclear detonations: the Able and the Baker. Only eleven technical divers are allowed to visit the island at a time.

At first glance the Island appears to be an untouched oasis. The beach is still covered in shells and a cafeteria and a tiny strip of rooms stand at the edge of the jungle. On further inspection there is something so unnatural about the whole island. Everything grows in perfect rows. The palm trees are all evenly spaced three feet apart--a little too aligned, a little too perfect. The whole lot has been planted to cover up the devastation that took place there. Everything on the island is irrevocably marked. The nuclear blasts have left footprints that cannot be erased.
Our group consisted of technical divers trained to dive with double steel tanks. Our main objective of the trip was to dive and hopefully penetrate the shipwrecks created by the detonations. An average dive comprised 30 minutes of bottom time to a depth of between 130-180 feet and a decompression time of 50 minutes. Decompression (to eliminate excess nitrogen from deep dives on air) was done on a series of hang bars and dangling regulators that supplied us varying percentages of oxygen. Every dive was a wreck dive and all of the ships, etc., had been active during World War II. We did two dives a day for a total of 12 dives.
Each day started with a history lesson and a dive briefing. I heard the stories of naval battles and war much as I had in previous history classes but none of these stories quite prepared me for seeing the ethereal remains. Nothing could have prepared me for the flood of emotions that accompanied the visits to each of these ships. The connection I felt to each of them was the greatest history lesson I have ever received.

The most majestic ship, the USS Saratoga CV-3, was the first aircraft carrier ever built in the US. Her decorated and impressive history made for incredible diving. I couldn’t help but feel the pride of the American people while staring up at her masterful bow from below. Her hangar had recently collapsed but three of her aircraft still lie around the ship and could be explored. As I swam across her deck at 150 feet I could see wisps of oil signaling yet another collapse inside. The ship was literally disintegrating before my eyes. I did multiple penetrations through her living corridors maneuvering through skeletal rows of bunks and sinks.

Little pieces of history still reside inside the Saratoga. Carefully protected treasures were everywhere. Dishes, dive helmets, torpedoes, a bugle, and artillery shells of every kind surrounded her. These artifacts are usually pillaged, but here they have been left undisturbed out of respect to the Bikinians (the guardians of these ships). Hundreds of Coke bottles still littered every ship, completely intact. We can all rest easy that in the event of a nuclear war, our Coke will be safe.

On day two our group parked above the notorious flagship of the Japanese Imperial Navy, the HIJMS Nagato. The series of dives I made here were truly amazing. Each dive began with a descent down a rope into complete darkness for the first 125 feet. The cold water closed in on me in total silence until I saw the looming giant suddenly appear below me. The ship had an eerie presence. It made me shudder--as if it had a personality. I was “waking a sleeping giant”--a piece of history that has lain untouched and hidden for so long. I could almost hear Admiral Yamamoto launching the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The enormous guns and propellers of the ship defied imagination. I could have swum up the barrels of the guns. As I stared down the barrel of one of the cannons I felt my skin crawl and I started to lose control of my limbs. My fingers would no longer do as I directed them and I kept causing myself to sink. A lack of air due to equipment malfunction and a paranoid case of Nitrogen Narcosis caused me to lose control a bit as I drifted closer and closer to the barrel. I tried to alert my dive team through hand signals that I was feeling loopy but nobody seemed to notice. Luckily as I felt myself blacking out, I caught the attention of the dive master and was able to ascend to a more agreeable depth and do my required decompression. Making some equipment adjustments allowed me to do two more dives on the Nagato, but it never lost its ominous, shiver-inducing presence. World War II seems to have left ghosts and echoes on all of the ships. I felt myself absorbing the vestiges of fear, triumph, anger, and pride that still haunt the ships. Every gaunt corridor or corral covered tank seemed to cry out with a long forgotten tale. As I swam through the remains of the Nagato bridge I could almost hear the infamous call sign “Tora, Tora, Tora.” I was able to penetrate the seaplane hangar, living quarters, and other sections of the ship in a series of three dives.

On the Anderson DD-411 we saw the tiny ladder leading up the side of the ship where over a thousand sailors found their salvation from drowning during every major World War II battle. Each diver took a moment to climb the rungs and take in the emotions that those war-torn young men must have felt as they climbed to safety. The emotional impact of seeing these ships is hard to capture. The awe and respect they command is truly humbling. It was life altering.
Besides the Saratoga, Anderson and Nagato we dove the Lambson, Carlisle, Arkansas, Anderson ships, and the Apagon submarine.

On our return trip we stopped in Hawaii and visited the Pearl Harbor memorial. We stood aboard the US Missouri pondering the war and everything we had seen under Bikini. We had seen the ship that called the US into action and now we stood at the spot where the truce had been signed. Even though I wasn’t alive during World War II, it has touched my life. I now carry a piece of it with me. History came alive for me on a small island in the middle of Pacific.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Preview of Our Family Pics