Jan 21, 2010

The Perks of Marriage

I know some of you are thinking "I am going to strangle my husband!" (or wife. Whatever) But don't do that. Because he really is a great guy. That's why you married him, after all. And being married is nice, most of the time. We all know there are a few things that make it hard, not the least of which is the fact that you are different after a few years of marriage than the young, virile, energetic, always-up-for-adventure single gal/guy you were when you got engaged.

I mean, who acts the same now as they did when they were dating?

Personally, I was too busy wanting him to like me to really let loose and be my unguarded self; i.e. eating corn-on-the-cob in front of him, laughing naturally (my actually laugh is mostly just a huge burst of a "BAAAAAAAA!!!" and tends to scare little kids), or tell him how much I really love watching TV. It's not like we don't care what our spouses think about us anymore, it's just that over time it seems we sort of forgot to put our Best Foot forward and all that's left is just our regular old Boring Foot.

So here we are, almost 8 years later, and I'm married to a guy who farts at the dinner table and reads "Building Application Frameworks" (which I'm going to bet is a lot LESS exciting than it sounds) in bed for fun. And he's married to a lady who snores like a trucker, and is always interrupting his relaxing nighttime reading by singing little ditties to him that go something like:

"Nerd Reading! Reading for nerds. ♪ It's fun to read when you are a big nerd!
Nerd Reading! But where are your glasses? ♪ How can you read without big dorky glasses?"

The lyrics aren't groundbreaking, but the tune is really quite catchy.

So, ANYWAY, the point is, after a while you realize you are married to someone who is just a person. A person who drives you crazy and makes you laugh and there are a whole lot of ups and downs, but BESIDES all the relationship stuff there are perks to just being married, which is why we have gathered together today. Besides the obvious ones of Companionship, Parenthood, and lots and lots of Money, there are perks you might not have expected or ever even thought about on your way into all this, which is a GOOD thing. Here are a few:

For Him:
  • A Greeting Card Company: He now has someone that will send Thank You cards to his Grandma, and Birthday cards to his mother (This list is meant to be general, and not necessarily specific to me. My husband doesn't have a wife who does this, but some men do, and they are very lucky.)
  • A purse. While still being manly and not overloading his pockets, he gets to enjoy the benefits of a purse. He can have his wife carry stuff in her purse for him, like his cell phone, wallet, scriptures, wire cutters, zip-lock baggy full of worms, etc.
  • A Spider Killer. That's right. I am the Spider Killer in this relationship. I believe it is truly important that each relationship have one, so keep that in mind when searching for your eternal companion.
  • A memory bank. Now he no longer has to remember his phone number or the phone numbers of any of his friends and family, his social security number, important dates and birthdays, directions to his mom's house, how old he is, etc. His memory can essentially shut down without negatively affecting his life at all!

For Her:
  • Insta-heater. When her feet are cold at night she can just stick them on his legs and shazam! Warm Toes!
  • A Comforter: Waking up from a nightmare is no longer a big deal because HE is there.
  • A Pipe-thawer-outer. When the pex pipes freeze in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter, and someone is going to have to crawl under the house with a blow dryer to try to thaw them out, the wife can happily curl up in the warmth of her bed, thanking her lucky stars for her gender.
  • A Noise Investigator. Hear an unexplained bump in the night? Now that you are a married woman, you no longer have to curl up under the covers with only a finger-sized hole to breath out of, replaying your favorite episodes of The Office in your head until you forget all about that weird sound you heard and just fall back to sleep already. Now you can just send your man to check it out!
  • And I just realized that all of the benefits for woman have to do with night time. I think what that really means is that I'm scared of the dark and the cold. I'm positive it doesn't mean anything deeper than that.
  • A back cracker. Without my husband, I would live in constant pain and misalignment.

For Both:
  • A built in excuse. Don't want to go somewhere? Blame it on your spouse!
  • A checkpoint before you walk out the door: Someone to say ''Wait sweetie, your skirt is tucked into your nylons again, or, "Hey! Your fly is down" before you waltz out into the open for all the world to see. Which is why Richard gets so mad at me when He realizes he forgot to do his hair and has been walking around with a fuzzy head all day and I didn't say anything! (Or even notice) That is my job!
  • Being with someone who gets you. If my husband ever sat me down, and wanted to sing painfully cheesy loves songs to me, like Enrique Iglesias, or Richard Marx, I would probably have to punch him in the head. But he doesn't. Which is why we are still happily married.
  • Learning to Truly Communicate with Another Person: Sometimes it feels like trying to communicate with my husband is about as effective as exchanging information through an elaborate dance involving The Running Man, beating each other with sticks, and wordy legal contracts. BUT, if we stick with it, every once in a while we actually manage to really understand each other. And THAT is priceless.

So now it is time to sit down and think of some of the perks you enjoy about marriage. And spill it! I am truly interested to know!

The Saddest Happy

So adoption is a miracle, and it is wonderful and has blessed my life in countless ways, but sometimes it just sucks. I subscribe to this really great blog called The Happiest Sad written by a girl who placed her baby for adoption 9 or 10 months ago. I love it. Her insight is fantastic and stuff I think I need to hear. Recently she gave a list of questions that a birth parent might want to ask when choosing an adoptive couple. It was a good idea and included lots of good questions, but also reminded me how much pressure there is on us to be perfect. Which is impossible. And not just because it is actually impossible but because every girl's idea of perfect is different.

But one of her questions bothered me. It was why the couple chose adoption. Is it something they are both excited about, or is it a second best way of having a family? If I step back, I can see that it is a good question. You don't want birth parents who are bitter about the whole thing. But at the same time, it sounds like adoption should have been my first choice. And I am sorry, but who would choose this? I'm not one of those women who is grateful not to have to go through the pains of childbirth. Quite the opposite. All I want is to have children, but that is only possible if a girl I don't even know happens to decide she likes me based on a picture and a paragraph. What if your ability to get pregnant was contingent upon the whims of a stranger, or their parents?

I do sound a little bitter, don't I? I know part of it is just where I currently am in the adoption process. We have been in the adoption pool for 14 months. We have had a few nibbles in that time and every time we try not to get our hopes up and every time we fail. I imagine it's a little like having a miscarriage. I know I shouldn't fall in love with that baby, but I can't help myself. Someone dangles a baby in front of me just long enough for me to hope, and then yanks it away. Why would I choose this?

The flip side is looking at it all from the perspective of 3 years ago. Harrison's birth mother chose us and 2 months later we took our baby home. And she is wonderful and he is everything. I couldn't love him more. I couldn't have produced anything as amazing as him. So, no, adoption is not my first choice, but I am immensely grateful for it, because it brought me my little boy. I love him and I love his birth mother and I am truly happy that she is part of our lives. It is a blessing I never would have chosen, but who ever said I knew what was best for me?

Yeah, adoption is hard, but I have faith. I know it will work out eventually and someday we will bring another baby home. Because I know it is not just based on the whims of girl but is carefully watched over by a very loving Father in heaven. I know it. Even when it is hard I still know it. I wish it was easier, but that is not really how life works. So for now, all we can do is wait. Wait and pray. . . And wait some more. . . . . . And occasionally slip our pass along cards into pregnancy test packages.

Jan 10, 2010

You Dirty Bum.

If you are eating messy foods, like, for instance, bbq chicken wings, and you find yourself without a napkin, and are at a total loss what to do with your messy hands, just remember that your bum is always an option.

And with some misdirection, careful maneuvering, and traveling from room to room with your bum to the wall, nobody else ever needs to know!

Jan 9, 2010

The Christmas of The Skull

So, Christmas. It's over. Has been for a little while now. I hope that it has been long enough that I can bring it up again without reopening old wounds. (Christmas is painful. Don't tell me it's not.) I've never really been into Santa Claus. I think the tradition is silly. I don't usually tell people that though, especially around Christmas. Bagging on Santa at Christmas is a little like running into a sports bar and shouting "Football is Stupid!" Every idiot knows that is just a bad idea.

But that is not what I wanted to say. Not even why I sat down. I even thought about deleting the above paragraph, but that "football is stupid" line just cracks me up.

So lets get serious and begin our discussion of Christmas in the natural place: Halloween.

Harrison thought Halloween was awesome. Far from being scared by any of it, he loved it all. And the one thing that stuck once Halloween was over was his love of all things skeleton. Several times a day we talked about skeletons, and I finally checked him some books out of the library about them because every night he was asking me to read him a skeleton book. (And sing him a skeleton song, of course. So now my awesome, honky rendition of "Dem Bones" is the lullaby of choice each night.)

The first time I drew him a dinky skeleton on a piece of paper he was thrilled. He never let it out of his sight and had to show it to his dad when he got home from work. He also asked for it first thing the next morning, but by then I had thrown it away.

So, being the kind and benevolent mother that I am, I went online and found him his favorite old Ben and Jerry's skeleton and printed it out on some white paper. He stood next to me while I cut it out and taped it together and he was so excited he was crying. I kept saying "You gotta stop crying. I"m doing it." He would say "Yeah", but then his excitement would get he better of him and he would start to cry again.

Paper toys are awesome. Very cheap, easy to store, pretty simple to repair. Mostly. For a little while. That skeleton was just not durable enough for the love it was showered with, and I got sick of taping it together. So, (wow, are you bored yet? I feel like I have been writing this forever! Feel free to leave now if you like. Is not like this story is really going anywhere.) inspired by my mom, I made him a skeleton out of shrinky dinks.

That went over pretty well. He likes skeletons even better when they are wearing Santa hats. He requested this one special:

But was NOT pleased about having its picture taken.

Anyway, I bought him a skeleton for Christmas. A cool little 9" tall anatomy model. And due to some shocking oversight on my part, it was the very first present he opened. He was so excited, all he wanted to do was open it and put it together and play with it. He could have cared less about the rest of the gifts. We had to coax and cajole to get him to open anything else. It's not like he had that much stuff, but when he didn't want to open any of them, it just felt like a lot of stuff we had to talk him into unwrapping.

We did stop in the middle and put the darn skeleton together, to Harrison's utter glee, and then I had to bribe him to open the rest, like I do when I want him to finish his food. "Just two more presents Harrison! Just open two more presents and you can play with your skeleton!" He calls it Skull and loves it more than me.

This picture was taken right before Skull beat up G.I. Joe and took his vest and boots.

To the victor go the spoils:

It turns out the other half of the battle is actually knowing how to fight, which apparently G.I Joe doesn't. Poor Joe.

And that is all! The end! Good for you!

Love is in the Air (or is it the in water?)

For the record, I am not trying to get pregnant. 4 years ago it was eating me up inside, but now I think I have come to terms with my infertility, thanks in large part to a very small boy, who is so cute it hurts a little.

I am, however, writing about infertility, and was looking for some weird tips and tricks people like to give you to get pregnant. I looked online for the Old Wives Health Almanac, but all I could find were tricks to planning the gender of the baby. Some of those are pretty whacked. But I couldn't find anything on actually getting pregnant.

I was thinking that was kind of weird, but maybe because medical science hasn't had any luck in the gender control area, herb lore and witch craft still holds the corner on the market. And maybe because modern medicine has been so successful at getting people pregnant all the old wives tales in that area have faded away. Who knows.

And you all are so nice. If there is anyone who is looking for just a little help in the getting pregnant area, you've come to the right place. Here you have access to lots of really great, supportive people, with lots of really helpful advice. So thanks.

But while we're on the subject, does it seem like this has been the Christmas for babies, or what? I don't know about you, but over here, there seems to be something in the water cuz babies are coming out of the woodwork! (And don't make fun of me. I know where babies come from.) Within the last month there have been babies poppin out of:

A friend who has been trying for 6 or 7 years to get pregnant again.

A friend who was surprised with baby number three, after being sure she was all done.

3 friends who have been married for years but are finally having their first. (They are friends, but I don't actually know whether the waiting was a choice or not. I always wondered, but never asked.)

My brother and his wife. Hooray!

My husband's cousin and his wife who have been trying to adopt for a while, and just brought home their first little girl from the hospital.

Not to mention all the babies born throughout the world that I don't know about, which has got to bring this number up to at least 10. That is a lot!