Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pieces of Life {Not Forgotten} Chapter 2

You know what you want, you're too much like me.

You pull me up off the floor, and gently lead me, your tiny hand in mine to what you want.

You don't take 'no' for an answer. Neither do I.

So I can't get too mad.

Some days you look so much like your dad.

This makes me love you both more.

And also makes my heart ache.

because how can I love two of your dad?

There just isn't room.

I keep finding it.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

1st Hanna Family Road Trip

Elise, Sam and I just returned from the first of what we hope will many many memorable road trips. We drove from Jupiter up to Columbia, South Carolina to visit Elise's dad, grandmother and aunt and uncle before travelling on to Washington, DC to visit her other aunt and uncle at their beautiful home on the Chesapeake Bay.

I'm sure Elise will follow with photos of our journey. We pulled out of Somerset at 4:00 a.m. Friday morning. We both concluded that the only way to drive 8 hours with Sam is if he slept half the way. Of the 4 days we drove, we only left after 4 a.m. once and it was far and away the longest day of travel. Other than that day, Sam was a champ in the car. Definitely a Turbeville! :)

Elise and I made two special trips to Target to buy Sam novel toys and books specifically for this trip. We did it again in Annapolis for the return journey and the purchases were worth every penny. He quadrupled his stash of toys in the span of a week!

In Columbia, we ate lots of BBQ and fried chicken (and was introduced to the concept of fried corn on the cob. Though I didn't try any, I was thoroughly intrigued!) and played with a beautiful and spunky weimaraner. Despite the 100 degree + heat we spent one morning at the Columbia zoo. Three days prior to our visit, the gorilla had escaped while the zoo was open. Thankfully, he was behind bars the day we went, because--let me tell you--that was one BIG gorilla. We spied him in the concrete portion of his domicile, arms crossed, back to the visitors, bottom lip puffed out, thoroughly pouting and protesting his confinement. Sam saw elephants and fed a giraffe and a goat. We also went to the Schoolhouse for Father's Day, the best BBQ place in all of SC if not the entire South.

In Maryland, we stayed with Elise's very accommodating Aunt Joyce and Uncle Robert who Sam knew as "Bobotz" (or something like that :) who have a place right on the bay where you can watch giant freighters float by into and out of the port in Baltimore. Our first full day there, Elise was treated to a mini-spa day and shopping excursion while Sam played at the park and I enjoyed a few treasured minutes of quiet to read in the sun room looking out onto the bay.

The following day, we drove into DC. We were cut off by an official caravan on Constitution Ave. The limo sported Texan flags and we hypothesized it was W in for the day. Sam pointed at every tourist double-decker we passed and tried out his new word, "bus". We met up with Elise's cousin, Nick, and his new bride, Sara, for a Vietnamese luncheon. They left today for Manilla, Nick also in the Foreign Service and beginning his first tour. It gave me the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the orals (the next step in the Foreign Service recruitment process, if I am lucky to make it that far) and gave both Elise and I the opportunity to see where Nick and Sara lived while he was training.

To me, that was one of the most interesting aspects of our trip, because it gave us a sense of what life was like for those in training and awaiting deployment. There was a pool at the apartment complex Sam and I swam in, and we got to meet and talk to some of Nick and Sara's friends who were also in the Foreign Service. It was both refreshing and a relief to know that they, too, came from all walks of life, were all at different points in their lives (married, single, had kids and were about to have kids) and also shared a nervous apprehension and excitement.

Our last full day in Maryland was spent in DC. Elise, Sam and I took the Metro into town and visited the Air & Space Museum, the Canadian Embassy (where we witnessed the ACLU still protesting Bush....they must not have gotten the memo....) and the Museum of Natural History. Sam saw planes and rockets hanging from the rafters and the blue whale and elephant at the Natural History Museum. He was so zonked at the end of it all, he actually fell asleep in the back pack on the Metro.

We shared a lot of great moments, not the least of which was sipping a tall boy of Fat Tire in the hotel room in Santee, SC as Elise read from Richard Scarry's "Cars & Trucks".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting to know the neighbors

So begins the dreams of a hormonal pregnant woman. Some women dream about 'shacking up' with celebrities, I am privileged enough (or demented enough) to have the pleasure of dreaming about my neighbors.

Mind you we live in Florida where neighbors don't really say 'hi' to each other let alone bring over a basket of fresh baked goods when you move in. So, we don't really know our neighbors. In fact, we hardly know their names, we refer to them as:

Deeded: a man who was adamant about no one parking in his 'deeded space' when our parking was still assigned

Mrs. Deeded: self explanatory

Lexus Guy: drives a Lexus

Mrs. Lexus Guy: again

S.B.: Shit Bag, for reasons to plentiful to list

Skittish Cat Lady: Walks around confidently everywhere until someone says 'hello' then she skitters off like a stray cat oh and she reminds us of Paul's crazy ex-cat.

Limo Guy: husband to Cat Lady, drives a limo

Republican Lady: election signage :) also owns "Republican Dog"

This is just a smattering of our neighbors, I shudder to think what they may call us, or worse what they may dream about us?

Now that you have an idea of the tight-knit community we live in, you can fully enjoy the comedy that surrounds two neighbors that I have had 'relations' with in my pregnancy dreams (and only, dear God, in my pregnancy dreams)

Pregnancy #1: S.B. Mind you this is our most immediate neighbor and worst of the bunch. It took me months to get over that one. In REM Sleep I was fighting off many of the other lady suitors that frequent his home, I however was not wearing an asymetrical, tropical print, spandex dress with white stripper heels. Or was I?

Pregnancy #2: Skittish Cat Lady & Limo Guys grown son who still lives at home and is a frightful mix of the two of them. I encountered him in dream land at the lunch table at my high school cafeteria. We chatted over tater tots and pre-calculus, then sadly he left me for his student exchange to Japan. We promised to write.

When will it be my turn for Anderson Cooper in dream land? Hm?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pieces of life {not forgotten}

you reach up and grabbed my hand when you are frightened by a lawn mower

you reach up and grab my hand to cross the street without me having to ask

you still reach for my hand 1.2 babies and 4 years later.

it all makes my heart buzz like a mason jar filled with fireflies.


It's my party...I'll blog about it if I want to!

SO, I hate surprises. I take after my mother, I need to know everything that is happening at all times. I find out at any cost. But, this time...no.go. The following photo I wanted my husband to take of Sam and I before we headed out to dinner with our friends to a quiet and sweet little French restaurant. (In lieu of actually being in Paris for my 30th birthday, we were going to make the best of it and mange like we were in the city of lights. )

So.... I had him snap a photo, decide and then return home after re deciding to not take my fancy camera so we could have the server take a couple of photos of my big night. We were to drop Sam off at a park by the beach where his Nanny would be watching a volleyball tournament. Ha.

Paul = 1
Elise = 0

We arrive and I notice that there are more people I know at this tournament than I had anticipated...oh and what lovely decorations for a volleyball game. Ha, again.

I refuse to get out of the car and swear that I will kill my husband for pulling one over on me. I reluctantly emerge and we party, all fancy 10 weeks pregnant style, with cupcakes, water and lots of yummy food.

All my friends were there, in fact I didn't know I had so many friends.

The party was perfect, Paris-in-Jupiter. It was a blast the weather was beautiful and the kidlets played and ran around entertained for hours without a peep. The adults (oh God am I an adult now that I'm 30?) talked and laughed, we ate, I wore a tiara and a boa (thanks to my dear friend Camie who knows how I loath such things!) and enjoyed a better than a quiet dinner, or even a night in Paris with all my friends.

My husband is just about one lake shy of walking on water. Now just come through for me on Paris 2010 ;)

more photos to come.......


Saturday was Elise's ______ Birthday. I have to leave it blank because after this date, I will no longer be allowed to reveal how old she is :)

Her friends threw a surprise BBQ for her at the beach in Juno. It wasn't Paris, France as she had hoped (I told her she must have confused this birthday celebration with next years birthday celebration!) but there was a Parisian theme throughout.

The surprise.

The birthday girl!

Everyone had a cupcake...

....But some partied harder then others! :)

The Test

Today marked the first step on the road to a completely new and completely different career path. I sat for the Foreign Service exam. Working for the U.S. State Department overseas would be the kind of life-altering, relevant and altruistic pursuit that my work has, heretofore, been missing. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would be locked in work for the sake of work or that I would pursue a career that had as its only goal, its only end, the accumulation of wealth.

I shouldn't complain. At this point, I would sit in a windowless cubicle for eighteen hours a day to put food on the table and provided for my family. But I know there are greener pastures. The most wonderful thing about pursuing the Foreign Service is we have no idea where those pastures lie. Stockholm. Santiago or Suriname.

It is an incredibly competitive process. I read somewhere that of the 18,000 who sit for the exam annually, only 300 or so are eventually hired. If I am offered a post, it, most likely, wouldn't be for a year. That's a lot of deals that will go south or a lot of tables I have to wait in the interim.

But the test went about as I expected. There are 4 sections: job knowledge, grammar, personality and essay writing. The job knowledge was the first section and it was a combination of U.S. government, history, geography, math, management techniques, computer literacy and pop culture. In my practice tests I was scoring about 75%. ugh. But since this morning, I have checked my answers on the questions I remember being iffy on and finding myself pleasantly surprised that I got them right, i.e. the Camp David Accords of 1978 (I ordered a book of modern Middle Eastern history on eBay but I hadn't read it yet) and just two night ago I was flipping through the world atlas Elise got me for our 2nd wedding anniversary and for some reason was studying the geography of South America and I got a question on that exact region! Having gone to business school, you would think I would be comfortable with the business negotiation and management questions, but they seemed incredibly arbitrary to me. And I don't know why I read Joseph Heller's Catch-22, but I'm sure glad I did.

The next section was the personality test. You just answer basic questions about yourself, i.e. "Do people look to you as a leader in emergency or stressful situations?", "How many immediate friends do you have whose primary language is something other than English?" and "At a party, how often do you strike up conversation with complete strangers?" I felt completely inadequate. Mostly, because I have very few close friends and the only place fun and exciting I go is with Sam & Elise to the park.

The 3rd section was grammar. This was the only section I didn't go to the wire on. In fact, I had like 15 minutes left. Not to brag, but when I took the GRE I scored in the 98% on grammar so I wasn't too worried.

The essay...okay, I admit it...I went in completely cold on the essay. Yes, I should have written some practice essays, but, seriously, who has time to write practice essays? Not Sam, that's for sure. It took me at least 5, probably closer to 10, minutes to process the essay topic. Literally, I have 30 minutes and I spent close to 10 of them staring blankly at the screen. But when I did start writing, I was happy with what came out. I threw in some current events (Kin Jong Il and his Taepodong-2 missile) some 50 cent words (amalgamation and unequivocal) and hopefully my grammar was spot on. My heart raced. I distinctly remember looking at the stopwatch and it telling me I had 45 seconds left and knew I had to write the last sentence of my conclusion paragraph.

Maybe I said too much about the test, but I'm excited. Ask Elise. It's the about the only thing I've been excited about recently except EHP, #2 and the new season of "So You Think You Can Dance"!

Now I have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for my results....................................

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The answer...

So in case you are still stumped by the photo in the previous post (which naturally you would be if you aren't a parent) and are wondering why, in fact, I would post an xray of my uterus on our blog. There is a baby in there! It is the white blob in the middle of the big black blob. It is the size of an olive and looks just like a gummi bear, so taking after Paul already. Ha ha.

Paul spilled the beans, I'll provide the details. Ok maybe not those details but the baby stats :)

1. Hanna Baby #2 is due to arrive on January 8th, 2010.

2. We have amazing timing because that is just 5 days shy of Sam's due date.

3. We realize that if our children our born on the same day they will hate us forever, but we don't care.

4. I am not ready to get fat again. no, no, no. I just reached my happy place and with a couple weeks of morning sickness I was SOOO starting to look like the short-haired, petite, overweight version of Heidi Klum, but I feel that those rockin' coral skinny jeans that I recently purchased will soon have to be 'shelved' until post bambino. *rolling tears*

5. I am ready to not feel like I am spinning around in a centrifuge anymore.

6. I will be happy to remove the tape from my upper eyelids that has been keeping them open for the past 9 weeks soon....please.

7. No we don't wait any period of time to shout our baby making from the rooftops, we stink at secrets.

8. We will again not be finding out the sex of this baby and thus will make our entire family crazy with wonder.

9. If it is another boy, we(I) will think about having another baby (remind me of this one at about 2 weeks post partum or 2 years!)

10. If it is a girl, we are done, done and will be accepting wedding fund donations and family counseling sessions if she is anything like me. Kidding, I was an angel (ahem)

So looks like we've got it all figured out. **roaring laughter** Stay tuned for updates....

e,p & s & #2

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Guess what...