Monday, January 26, 2009


How does more than a dozen needles places all over your body and face sound? Sounds crazy? Well, it is a medical practice/art that is thousands of years old. And there is some substantial "Western" evidence that it works.

My mom saw a program on television about acupuncture and infertility. She sent me some info on it. I was open minded about it and when I was talking to my friend Jamie at work, another girl I work with, Kristen, overheard me and told me she had done acupuncture when she was undergoing IVF and got pregnant with her twins. So I took Kristen's reference and made an appointment.

Justin and I went last Thursday. The acupuncturist, Jerry, is treating me with infrequent acupuncture and daily Chinese herbs. He said Justin would do herbs too. He put fifteen needles total in me, mostly in my legs, four in my arms/hands, and one right between my eyes. And for the record, the needles did not hurt. My left hand began aching a bit and I told Jerry that. He explained that the needle in between my thumb and forefinger is one of the stronger chi points and that's why my hand was aching, because there was so much energy there. That was the only thing that "hurt" about it. I could feel my limbs buzzing. It was so weird. And I had these sensations of rushing cold in my limbs, almost as if my blood had turned to cold water. Again, I was told it was the chi. I had the needles in my for about 30 minutes.

I had only told Jerry about Justin's fertility issues, and he was planning on treating that with just herbs. He wanted to see Justin's tongue (he looked at mine too before the needles) so he could tell what was going on with Justin and what herbs to use. He looked at Justin's tongue for a couple of seconds and said "Do you have kidney problems? Stress and anxiety? Trouble sleeping? Aching in your lower back and knees? Sinus problems?" (for the record, last week Justin had an undiagnosable kidney problem--not even a CT scan at the hospital could detect what was wrong, he has an anxiety disorder he takes medication for, he has sleep apnea, he has constant undiagnosed joint pain especially in his legs and back, and he's had sinus troubles ever since he was a baby). This guy hit the nail on the head. We were both floored. He now wants to treat Justin with acupuncture as well as with the herbs. With so many undiagnosed ailments, Justin's ready to give it a try.

We figured that spending a little money on traditional Chinese medicine is nothing compared to all the money we've thrown at fertility specialists and adoption agencies. What's fifty more bucks? And I don't know how passionate I am about acupuncture, but I do believe that Western medicine lacks something when dealing with the body as a whole. Everything here seems to push pills to treat a symtom. Either pills or surgery to remove whatever the problem is. There has to be something more for total health. I can see that with Justin. He has so many problems and ailments and just isn't a generally healthy person, whereas I am. So we'll give it a shot (or a needle poke!) and see how things turn out.

And I have a question any of my adoption friends - did any of you ever try anything out of the ordinary to get pregnant?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ah, Manhood

Justin says he feels like he's finally a man....

His car was really starting to give out after the accident with the guardrail. We didn't mean to buy a truck this big, but somehow it happened. It was a really good deal (I negotiated the dealership down more than three grand) plus it will tow our trailer.

I don't know trucks so hopefully I get this right. It's a 1999 GMC S-something. It's 3/4 ton. Short bed. It has the backseat and a third door. It has a towing equalizer thingy that means we tow from the frame instead of the bumper (see, I don't know truck lingo but I can grasp the concepts!), it has 4 wheel drive, auto everything. Basically it's a nice truck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

I watched the inauguration online at work. Despite my personal political opinions, I couldn't help but feel excited at this momentous occasion and hopeful for our future. I think one of the best things about Obama leading the U.S. is that he has the support of the people. With so much support from Americans, perhaps we can all be more unified. And with support from so many other countries from around the world, perhaps America will be better at making friends than enemies. So good luck, Mr. President, and godspeed.

And thanks to President Bush for his service and leadership. He certainly has a sense of candor and humanity about him. It's probably a combination of his cowboy heritage, his verbal flubs, and his roguish good looks. He had a very eventful and rough presidency. From the California energy crisis that occurred right after he took office to 9-11 and a host of other problems, it has been a tumultous eight years. None of us citizens really know all the stories and have the intel that he had making the decisions he did, and I don't feel I can pass judgment on his leadership. I do feel like he's a genuine person, though, and I believe it when he says history will shed a kinder light on his actions. I always thought Laura was such a classy First Lady. I'll miss her style.

But I am looking forward to this youthful, energy the Obamas bring with them. Maybe it's because of adorable Malia and Sasha. America now has its princesses. I'm already in love with them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Couch Potato

3 Reasons that I will not leave the couch for the next 4 months:

Two notes on American Idol - really like Kara (she's gorgeous) and Ryan Seacrest attempting to give a blind guy high five. That made my night!
On a totally separate note: I am having an intense hot flash right now. Sick of this! It will be over soon. I am on my last dose of induced menopause with the hope that this has "rebooted" my uterus. Whether it works or not (and it was worth a shot) I am happy to be done with this hormonal menopause crap and will dread when I have to go through it again in another 20-30 years.

Couch Potato

3 Reasons that I will not leave the couch for the next 4 months:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Advice I Hope You Never Need

Justin and I have had a totally unbelievable, ridiculous thing going on lately. It’s kind of embarrassing so we’ve kept it quiet, but it’s so obnoxious and I feel like the lessons we are learning the hard way might benefit someone else if this ever happens again. I’m not saying Justin is faultless in this. There is a certain amount of stupidity on his part, so please don’t judge, but it was totally taken too far.

In a nutshell:
In the early part of November, Justin was driving home from school on the freeway. He dozed off, causing him to drive erratically (concerned drivers called the police at this point fearing he was drunk). He pulled off at the next exit to clear his brain. He went back onto the freeway. He reached for his cell phone, which has fallen to the floor when he had swerved before and while messing with phone, he drifts onto the shoulder, overcorrects and scrapes a guardrail.

Two police cruisers pull him over. They are yelling very nasty words. They put him in the back of the car and instruct him to write a statement. While he is writing, they search his car. They find a can of Dust-Off (compressed air used to clean small nooks and crannies, like the laptop that was also in Justin’s car). They take him out of the cruiser and perform a field sobriety test. Justin is able to do everything they ask—walk the line, hop on one foot, count, say his ABCs, etc. They demand to know if he inhaled the compressed air (if you do not what huffing is or the dangers involved, read this). He says no. He says he’s a substance abuse counselor and would never do that. One officer tells Justin that he’ll personally see to it that Justin never works as a counselor again. They tell Justin that they will let him go if he says he breathed it. Justin says he sprayed his vents out with it and probably inhaled some then. They then ask how someone even uses compressed air to get high. Being a substance abuse counselor, Justin knows the answer to this and explains it. The police take this as a confession. They put Justin back in the cruiser and make him write a new statement that coincides with his confession, which Justin does. They tell Justin they need to take him to the hospital and then he can go home, but they must arrest him first. They place handcuffs on him and take him to the hospital.

The police take a blood sample and a urine sample. He is booked on one charge of leaving the scene of an accident and one charge of driving under the influence. I come and bail him out of jail ($820). I finally figure out what is going on (imagine my surprise at getting a call asking me to bail out my dear husband). The next morning we retrieve his car from where it had been towed ($200), talk to Justin’s boss about the impact of this charge on his career, and find an attorney ($900).

This past Tuesday was Justin’s pretrial. Our attorney thought we had a pretty good shot of getting a deal since there was no real evidence of a DUI. He was pretty confident that it would be worked down to reckless or inattentive driving. No such luck. The prosecutor wouldn’t budge. We think the reason why is because the blood and urine test results are not back from the state lab yet. The prosecutor is probably certain that the tests will show evidence of alcohol or drugs. We will meet at another pretrial meeting in February and hope to make a deal then. Because Justin wasn’t Mirandized, his “confession” is inadmissible. We are providing proof from doctors that Justin suffers from sleep apnea and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which help explain his sleepiness and why he always keeps canned air with his laptop. If we don’t get a deal in February, we go to trial. Also, at this point, our attorney is now charging $125 an hour in addition to the flat fee we already paid. It’s been a costly mistake.

Now for the things we’ve learned:
  • It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident. An accident doesn’t have to involve another vehicle or someone else’s property. If you do more than $300 worth of damage to your own car (even if you don’t hurt any other else’s property), it’s considered an accident. The law requires you to stay put, call the police, and report the accident.
  • If you ever have a run-in with the police, the moment you feel that you are not free to leave, you are under arrest. In this situation, the first time Justin was placed in the back of the car was when he was arrested.
  • Police do not need to read your Miranda rights or put handcuffs on you to arrest you.
  • Police must read you your Miranda rights if they are going to ask you questions/interrogate you have been arrested. They can read you your rights at the scene of the arrest or later on at the station. But it must happen before they ask guilt-seeking questions.
  • Police can ask you questions/interrogate you before they arrest you and use your statements against you. They do not need to recite your Miranda rights to do this.
  • Whether or not the police tell you your rights, you have them. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. It’s easy to forget this in a frazzling situation, but you do not have to speak at all or write any statements whatsoever.
  • The police have tricky, manipulative ways of getting you to waive your right to silence. Sometimes they just talk very conversationally without asking you questions, so you don’t realize your being interrogated and you don’t realize you’re waiving your right.
  • At any time when you are talking with police and think better of it, you can stop talking and say you want an attorney.
  • Police officers lie. They bully. They push. They threaten. They manipulate. They do what they have to in order to get what they want out of you. While you can argue the morality of it until you are blue in the face, there is nothing illegal about them misleading you, such as promising to let you go if you just do/say this.
  • It is best to cooperate with police officers, but do so silently.
  • A police officer may search your car, including the trunk, if there is probable cause.
  • If police violate your civil liberties, they are not really accountable for it. (Justin’s civil liberties were violated because after arresting him they made him write his statements without reading his rights. This only means that his statements are thrown out as evidence.)
  • If you uphold your right to remain silent, the police cannot threaten you or implicate that your silence is bad. A prosecutor cannot use this against you either.
  • The worst thing people do in an encounter with the law is talk.
  • The police have a right to identifying information such as your name, date of birth, and address.
  • I’ll say this one more time because it will be hard to think straight if you’re ever in a similar situation: DON’T TALK! Don’t defend yourself, don’t explain yourself, don’t answer questions, don’t write anything down, don’t fill in the awkward silence—just don’t talk! If you must say something, just say, “I need to have my lawyer present before talking to you.”
  • One more time for good measure: DON’T TALK!
Now that you know the story, go ahead and roll your eyes along with me. Small town cops. What can I say?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Green Eyed Girls (and boys)

An Ode to My Peepers

Beautiful eyes of verdant green
Are the rarest color on the scene
I once thought you'd be hazel and boring
And leave all who looked at you snoring
But like the foliage that darkens each spring
Finally, oh finally, you turned distinctly green
And just like my sisters, my eyes are a hue
So special and unique, a green so true
Be green with envy, all you blues and browns
For beautiful green has come to town!

A Cody Christmas

We drove to Cody, Wyoming on Christmas Eve to be with Justin's family on Christmas. We were nervous about the roads but they were fine. Justin hadn't been home for Christmas for seven years, so it was nice to be able to do that. We had a great time and had to go home much too soon.

The Christmas tree

Drinking my traditional eggnog on Christmas morning

Justin (and Piper) next to his huge pile of presents

Haiden disappeared for a bit and then we heard him screaming in frustration in teh dining room. Jon found him with his shirt halfway over his head.

Gabby always finds a comfortable place to sit.

Justin always loved making popcorn balls at Christmas with his mother, so we made sure to do it this year too.


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