Reunited and it hurts so good

So the entire clan is gathering on Sunday to witness the CHRISTENING, not baptismal, of my nephew Joey and then immediately following we will be celebrating my other nephew Jake’s 2nd birthday. I really don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. People don’t believe our family stories until they meet the kinsmen themselves. Some of it is rather hard to believe. It’s mostly difficult to fathom that all this craziness is wrapped up in one family tree. Monday morning I will be posting pictures and I’ll be armed with enough blogger material to last a lifetime I’m sure. But before the weekend comes I’d like to give you guys a primer, so as to not skeer ya right outcha britches come Monday. A who’s who if you will (don’t worry, I’m not covering the entire guest list, neither you nor I have that kind of time):

-Nanny & Pappy: My paternal grandparents. Nanny is Irish and only in the last 5 years did she become a citizen. Pappy is my blind grandfather who until his eyesight totally left him, would watch his 60 inch plasma tv with binoculars. Unfortunately, due to Pappy’s health, they won’t be able to make it to the party (they live in Florida). But they’ll be there in spirit.

-Uncle Kevin & Aunt Marcia, Troy: my Dad’s brother and his wife & their son. Just last year at this time Kevin cut his thumb off in the woodshed. We visited him to check up on him as well as Troy because Nanny told us Troy had gone blind. Troy actually had hives (Nanny’s just hard of hearing) and Marcia was keeping Kevin’s severed thumb in a paper bag in the freezer. You can’t make this stuff up.

-Stephanie, Mike, & Cody: Cousin, her husband, their newborn son. Mike, bless his heart, is the skinniest highway patrol officer I’ve ever seen. I have earrings bigger than him. His head is so tiny it’s hard to believe he’s not a shrunken head from some tribe. I’m DYING to see this baby.

-Junior, Marilyn, Chad: My Dad, his 4th wife (we think, he’s shady, could be # 5 or 6), my brother. They all live in Florida so we don’t see them much. Marilyn married my Dad around Thanksgiving so she’s new to the family craziness. She seems relatively normal, although we’re thinking they may smoke the ganja (sp?) on occasion. Chad is 18 and is epileptic. Breaks my heart. I don’t joke about him. Now my Dad…..oh Lord. Where to begin? He’s just a nut job. The poster child for why you should never drink or do drugs when you’re young. He’s recently calmed down enough for us to allow him at family functions again. We went about 10 years without seeing him. That’s why we’re not exactly sure how many wives he’s had. I don’t know if he even knows for sure.

-Lisa: My best friend. THANK YOU LORD for lowering air fare enough so she can be here. I need a witness or you may all cry liar later.

-Rita, Gary, Jody, Pete: Aunt, Uncle & cousins on Mom’s side. They live in a town called Tookiedoo in a double wide trailer with a big screen tv, satellite dish, & golf cart. Gary’s the one who blew his face off a year or so ago with lye while unclogging a pipe in a pool. He’s healed now, and looks exactly the same as he did before the accident.

-Grandmommy: my Mom’s mom. Grandmommy lives in a house in the country. Her boyfriend, Ray, lives in a trailer in her yard. Ray’s the one who got so drunk he fell out of a tree while hunting, had a heart attack and a stroke, landed on his face and stayed there for 2 days before he was found. HE SURVIVED. Grandmommy is a no nonsense country girl who does not like fuss. The last time she was told there was a big function and she had to put on a dress she took a drag off her cigarette and drawled “Oh, shiiiiiit.”

Now, since my sister apparently refuses to post pics of her darling boys, I’ll do it. Here’s Joey:

And here are some more pics of him and Jake that I took last night. Such cuties! They have no idea what kind of family they are growing up in.

Where’s your head at?

Sunday is my nephew Joey’s Christening and my nephew Jake’s 2nd birthday party. It will also be the first time I’ve seen a lot of friends and family in a long time as I missed Jake’s 1st birthday (I had my fallopian tube surgery the day prior) and it seems my girlie bits like to schedule d&c’s and other random girl medical crises during holidays and family get togethers. I’d been worried about this gathering since I first heard of it. I know who’s invited. I know that 99% of them are either pregnant or have babies. I know what 99% of the people are going to ask me as soon as we get past the hey how are ya’s. And that is…So, what’s taking you guys so long to have kids? Or, I figured ya’ll would have kids by now. Or, my favorite Are you still having problems getting pregnant? No- I’m 8 months pregnant with triplets right now, I just don’t show much. I have Truthful Tourettes and have a really hard time using a vague stock answer like “Oh, we’ll have kids when we’re ready.” Especially since we were ready over 3 years ago. So if you ask me about our fertility issues you’re bound to get an earful. You’re lucky I don’t have pictures or we’d set up a slide show. And then, inevitably, I’d cry.

Not anymore. Now that it’s a done deal, now that we’re adopting, we’ve started the process, we’ve named her, we’re on our way, things are better. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, praying, and studying material on adoption. A couple of weeks ago I had a remarkable day when I watched a dvd sent by an agency that really addressed a lot of my feelings and answered so many questions. I now know that I’m not the only one who asked “Why me, why us? Am I being punished for something? Maybe those poor choices in college hookups? What am I supposed to do if my whole life I wanted to grow up get married and have kids and now I can’t?”. Stuff like that. This dvd showed me that adoption isn’t plan B. Like Oh you can’t have kids so you’ve sunk to the bottom of the barrel and are going to adopt. Adoption is just as wonderful as birthing your own. I learned to stop saying things like “We can’t have kids” because yes we can, we won’t be giving birth to them, but we can have kids. And I realized that not everyone can or should adopt, that it takes special people. So even though my girlie bits are screwed up, God knows that my heart is good and He chose a Chinese baby for us to bring home. (By the way, Ling means bell, or tinkling of a bell in Chinese so Lingling is ok to say. I was worried maybe we’d chosen something weird like the Chinese word for upset stomach or cow turd, but we’re ok).

Back to the party. Now that my head is in the right place, and I have friends and family to support me (Lisa is flying in for the weekend to be with me- how awesome is she?), I know that I can face those people, hold my head high, answer questions, and hey, maybe even educate someone just a little about how great adoption is.

Plus, my favorite cowboy is turning 2 and he needs his Aunt Shanny to be all smiles on his big day!

Say my name, say my name

At Easter brunch we got to talking about names. We are referring to our future daughter who we’ll be bringing home from China in approximately 18-24 months as LingLing. For a few reasons:

1. It is much easier and more fun to say LingLing when we speak of her than to constantly say our future daughter who we’ll be bringing home from China in approximately 18-24 months.

2. Our last name rhymes with Ling and if you know our last name and say it with LingLing as the first name you’ll realize how ridiculous of a name that would be for a child.

3. We’ve already chosen a forever name for LingLing, but we are keeping that secret. Adoption means so much isn’t secret, no surprises. If you give birth you can wait and see if you’re having a girl or a boy and that is a HUGE surprise (Jake was a wait and see). So by keeping her name secret we at least have that.

So we shared our decision with family on Sunday (Jon’s aunt & uncle & cousin were there at the inlaws, as well as a couple Marsha & Larry who are very close family friends- we think of them as our cool aunt and uncle fate forgot to give us). And we answered a lot of questions. And it was so great to see how excited everyone is! There’s already talk of how spoiled Lingling will be, and how to decorate the nursery, etc.

And then the conversation turned to names and it was so funny, and yet so horrifying to hear what real people actually named their children. I swear to you it seems like people are just throwing sounds and letters together with no regard to spelling or how their children will deal with these names. Everyone seems to have known someone with a terrible name and here are the ones we heard on Sunday: (they are all true I swear!) & (I’ve left off last names to protect these poor souls)

-Shasta

-Valencia

-Princess

-Unique (pronounced Unikay)

-Dorkus (a girl!)

-Janel (a boy!)

-Early May (guess when she was born)

-Kids who’s parents have gone nuts with spelling- Breeahnnah (why not just Brianna?) Charee (supposed to be Cherie the french name)

Then we started talking about unfortunate pairings of first and last names.

-Cherry Berry (the lady who signs off on the safety of elevators. I’ve seen her name every time I ride one).

-J. Peter Seaman (say it outloud then wonder why not use whatever the J stands for?)

-Harry Butts (asked Marsha out in high school)

-Blank Beaver (I dated this guy for 4 years. I won’t publish his first name, but nothing goes well with Beaver. Thank God his name wasn’t Harry. It all got out of control when I had to place a take out order for Beaver at Cluck U chicken in New Jersey. Oy.)

-and the prize for most unfortunate name heard on Easter Sunday goes to: Ima Hoar . (went to high school with Larry) Poor, poor girl.

So- what crazy names have you heard? Please share!

Puggy Bank

We received fabulous Easter baskets from Jon’s parents. They gave us beautiful wine glasses suitable for red wine (we only had white wine glasses), a great corkscrew, a couple of books, lots of candy, a cute Nicole Miller umbrella, adorable pug note cards, and my favorite item in our baskets was this puggy bank that I’ve been wanting for over a year. So cute!

Egg-cellent

Have you seen the Eggstractor? I love this thing so much. Click the pics to enlarge. I gave a bunch of them for Christmas presents this year and kept one for us. We use it all the time. I’m constantly looking for excuses to boil eggs. It comes with a big egg slicer and a recipe/instruction book. The recipes are a riot. Dishes like “Boiled eggs and Jam”: boil eggs and serve with Jam. Ha! It’s so fun! And so fast- I can peel 18 eggs in no time flat. The eggs make this pop noise when they get blown out of their shells. And the shells are left pretty much intact. Now if I could just figure out a craft that uses 3/4′s of an egg shell. Hmmmm.