Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Ultrasounds

Yesterday was my 20 week ultrasound appointment!  It's the only ultrasound my doctor orders (unless there's an problem), so I was really excited about it!  Plus, I was able to find out if we were having a boy or a girl!

I was told to drink a lot of water one hour prior to my appointment.  32oz to be exact.  Right away I knew I'd have a problem.  My bladder doesn't hold that amount of water for any amount of time!  But I dutifully drank my 32oz at around 9:30.  We got there to check in at 10:15 and I knew I couldn't hold it any longer.  I figured that if my bladder filled that full in 45 minutes, it would fill again if I chugged a bunch more water right then.  I guessed I'd still have about a half hour to wait.

And I was right.  Right after I came out of the bathroom, they called my name at the registration desk (My appointment was at the hospital, and I had to check in at the emergency room desk).  I grabbed three styraphome coffee cups and asked the lady if she would fill them for me--all they had in the waiting room was hot water for coffee.  She gave me a bit of a weird look, but then realized that I was coming in for an ultrasound and agreed to get me some water.  She came back with two bigger cups full of ice water.  While I drank, Derek answered all the registration questions.

She then sent us over to another waiting room.  We waited there for another 10-15 minutes and then finally they called my name.  Just in time too because I was thinking I'd have to start the process all over again!

Thankgoodness the full bladder part was only about 5 minutes.  The very kind ultrasound technician let me take a short break (again, thank goodness there was a bathroom within the ultrasound room) and then we continued with the ultrasound. 

It was so neat!  Part of the specialness of the experience was the fact that my dad was able to come with us.  Since my brother and I were both adopted, he and my mom never had the whole experience.  All three of us were shocked with the amount of detail you could see!  We could see all of the organs, once the technician pointed them out of course! :)

The pictures all have labels.  To enlarge, click on the picture.

Unfortunately, they didn't give us a printout with the tell-tale signs of gender.  :( Must be some modesty thing.

And we have...   


Or at least that's the professional opinions of the technician, handyman, engineer, and caregiver in the room! :)

Way Back Wednesdays - 10 Hamsters

We are animal fans.  We like to have a pet.  Preferably a kitten or a cat, but when that's not possible we go for a cute hamster... or two, or three.  Which is what we did in Korea.

We had one, lonely white hamster named Yuki.  One day, I decided that I wanted to get her a friend.  E-mart sold hamsters for the equivelant of only $3, so it wasn't going to be too expensive.  When I got to the store, I realized that Yuki probably wouldn't like any hamster I brought home.  They're solitary creatures unless they're brought up together.

So I decided that since I couldn't get a cage friend for Yuki, I would get two hamsters that would get along and put them in a cage next to Yuki.  I asked the E-mart employee if the two I picked out were girls.  He assured me they were.  I hapily took them home and named them Hamu and Hamu because they were identical; we'd never be able to keep track of who was who!

For the next few weeks, I didn't give their genders a second thought.  The employee had assured me that they were both girls, so they were!  They both seemed to be growing to be the same size at the same rate.

But one Sunday right after, one of the Hamus started acting a little weird.  She was running around the cage.  Then she stopped, and sort of flattened herself against the floor of the cage.  At this point, I picked up the cage and turned it so I could see what she was doing.

At that point tiny, squirmy, pink things started popping out of Hamus back end.  She was having babies, seven of them.  And one of the shes was actually a he!  I freaked out!  Derek and I looked up breeding hamsters online to see if there was anything we neded to do.  The biggest thing was separating the male and female.  We found out that hamsters can mate and conceive literally minutes after giving birth, and the father might eat the babies!

Even though it was a Sunday the proverbial ox was in the proverbial mire and I went to E-mart to get another cage for the boy Hamu and to see if perhaps E-mart would take the 7 babies once they were old enough to be separated from their mother.  After finding someone who could understand and speak English, they agreed to take them for free.  That made me happy because we couldn't keep 10 hamsters all in separate cages!

Baby hamsters are so cute!  Especially Roborovski hamsters.  They are so TINY!  We cooked Mamma Hamu eggs and gave her extra tissue to make a nest for her little ones and watched them grow from teensy pink gummy bears to mini Hamus!

When it was time to take them to E-mart, we were really sad, but glad we didn't have to take care of 10 cages!!! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Things to do while on hold

Recently, I called a government agency and was put on hold for "Approximately 8 minutes."  There were 20 people in front of me.  Knowing how government agencies and being on hold works, I decided to do a bit of multitasking.  So todays Top Ten is...

Top Ten Things To Do While on Hold

  1. Make lunch:  Today is Costco's yummy microwave lasagna.  Probably not the most healthy thing to eat, but hey, it's good!

  2. Check e-mail:  This actually distracted me more thatn it was probably worth it while I was trying to navigate the phone menu, but I needed to do something productive!  I learned that there's a video virus going around Facebook, so if one of your friends sends you a link to a video about your hindquarters, don't click on it!

  3. Blog:  Like right now, I'm on hold and blogging at the same time!

  4. Clip your fingernails:  Mine are getting way too long for typing effectively and playing the piano.

  5. Read the funnies: They're funny and a great distraction from the annoyance of being on hold.
  6. Eat a snack: Probably not the best thing to do just before lunch, but I'm pregnant and bored.  Bad combination!

  7. Visit the restroom:  This one is dangerous because an actual person might answer your call in the middle of this "visit."  But sometimes it's an emergency!

  8. Charge your cell:  This only works if you're set to sit while you're on hold, like me. 

  9. Rotate the laundry:  I have a HUGE pile.  How about you?

  10. Prepare a salad for lunch:  I love salad with lasagna!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Morning Musings - Sunday Lessons

Here are a few thoughts I came away with from church yesterday.  It was a wonderful Sunday!

Superhero power?... Faith!
In a talk given by my friend Amy, she spoke about superhero powers.  She has two little boys and they love superheros like Spiderman, Batman and Superman.  She wanted to teach them that if she could choose any superpower, she would choose faith because you can do anything with faith!

The Wentworth Letter
In our Gospel Principles class, we had a wonderful discussion on the Wentworth Letter.  This is the letter that Joseph Smith Jr. wrote to John Wentworth in response to his questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (it contains the Articles of Faith, 13 statements on our basic beliefs).  We were all impressed with how calm and non vindictive the letter was!  That thought led us to talk about how for the most part we as Mormons don't seek revenge for any past wrong doings.  Which led me to think about how that was a testiment to the truth of the Gospel.

Standing strong against adversity
In Relief Society meeting, my friend Hannah taught a wonderful lesson on standing strong against or overcoming adversity (I can't remember exactly which was the topic name, but they both fit!).  It really flowed right along after our Gospel Doctrine class.  In fact, she invited all of the class members--women and men--to attend Relief Society to continue the discussion! :D  I really loved her insights to adversity.  The lesson and class discussion helped me to see that I'm not the only one with a tough life at the moment.  And really, my life is not defined by the adversity that I'm (and everyone else in my family is) experiencing.  Life is good.  Hard, but good!

And a cool giveaway!  Blissfully Domestic is having a huge "Geek Shic Giveaway!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Record Attempt Reaps 217k Texts, $26k Bill.  Um, insane?

Piano Lesson, Igudesman and Joo.  Just be glad you didn't go to school in Korea.

Kids Say the Darnedest Things, Overstuffed.  Lara has a give-away going on!  Check her out!  She's reposting some of her favorite post from the past celebrating her blog.  Her posts on what her kids say are hilarious!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In process of moving

We are moving, slowly moving.  But we should be moving faster.  We've got a lot of stuff to go through/get rid of/reorganize!

Last night was our first night officially living at my parents'.  Not as weird as I thought.  Definitely not as nice to not to have the bathroom attached to our bedroom, but I can live with that.  I think I'll keep house better here.  Who knows, I might even vacuum! :D  But I have been a little more emotional about this move than I thought.  I don't have any doubts about moving in to my parents' house; it's definitely the right thing for us to do.  But for some reason I feel really sad about leaving our apartment!  I almost cried last night.  It's not even that great!  I guess I feel attached to it because it's the first place we've lived in the US completely on our own.

And here's a random picture of Willow.  My grandma sent this lap quilt to my mom and Willow fell in love with it.  You should see her on it now.  One big ball of fur! :)

Thankful Thursday - Idaho

This week I am grateful to live in the state of Idaho. It's taken a while to really appreciate where Derek and I live now. I've always thought of Idaho as being a little too country for me. But times are changin' and so am I!

My dad and I went on a short road trip on Monday and Tuesday (which is why I haven't been blogging much this week). He wanted to get out and see some "country" as he put it, and I was happy to tag along. It's no fun traveling alone!

We drove all the way up to Riggins, then turned back and stayed a night in Mccall. The drive was so beautiful! We passed through a bunch of tiny farming towns.  All their fields were a beautiful verdant green.  We also passed through a lot of open land. 

Now I understand why my dad's always had this huge draw back to Idaho. He's been talking about moving back here my whole life. I just always thought he was crazy!

In Mccall, we walked around a few shops and then went to an amazing restaurant, The Mill.  We went there hoping to avoid high prices for steak, but it was still pretty pricey, but not bad for a nice restaurant.  I was determined to order steak cooked just right.  I've never really liked steak, mostly because I always order it too well done.

So that night, I ordered an 8oz. Prime Rib (I know, I know! Prime rib isn't steak).  I asked the waitress what she thought would be best for me as I had never really had a great steak.  She suggested that I try it cooked medium.  That way it would be nice and juicy, but not bloody.

It was PERFECT!  I was in heaven eating that prime rib!  I ate the whole thing, plus a salad and half a baked potato.  Yum!  Going to the Mill is definitely on my birthday wish list!

The weather was perfect!  Just warm enough to enjoy being outside but not being too hot either!  We even saw a bunch of deer just outside of our hotel room!.  There were four of them, and we think they're part of the town.  They seemed pretty comfortable with us being close by. 

We had a nice, relaxing trip back home Tuesday afternoon.  We went by a couple of stores in the Boise Town Square Mall, and then on to Meridian Meat Packers to get more Ed's Western Style Beef Jerky.  Great stuff and you can order it online!

It was a lot of fun to go on this trip with my dad.  He was full of stories from his childhood.  I had never heard a bunch of them!  It was great to get to spend some time with my dad!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Silly Childhood Thoughts

I, like many of you, had a ton of silly thoughts as a child.  Here are just a few.

  • I love/loved the smell of matches and candles burning.  One Christmas, in an effort to get a good whiff of a candle, I took a deep breath in and accidentally sniffed it out.  I momentarily froze because I thought that what I had just done could be considered smoking.

  • I used to think that I could get AIDS by not wearing a band-aid on an open wound.  Subsiquently, anytime I was bleeding, I always had to have a band-aid.

  • Half of my childhood was spent in Utah.  At the time, there wasn't that much ethnic diversity.  The only exposure to African-Americans I had was the Cosby Show.  One day, I asked my parents why Bill Cosby painted his fingernails white. 

  • One day, I asked my dad to blow up a balloon for me.  I guess he was busy at the time, so my mom offered.  I told her that I wanted dad to do it because when boys blow up balloons, they float in the air.  My mom laughed and said that nobody could do that.  That was helium.  I blame that thought on Winnie the Pooh.  I swear there was a scene in one of those movies where Christopher Robin blows up a balloon, ties a string to it, and it floats.

  • Speaking of Christopher Robin, I thought he was a she for a while.  I think it was because in my mind, Robin is was a girl's name, and even though Christopher was a boy's name, adding Robin to the end of it made it a girl's name.  He also wore some pretty gender neutral clothing.  AND what boy plays with stuffed animals.

  • When we moved to North Carolina, our toilets were "low flow."  Meaning, they had less water in the bowls.  After living in our brand-new house for a few days, I asked my parents when we'd be getting more water in our toilets.  You see, I had no concept of "low flow," and since our house was just built, I thought that somehow affected the water in the toilets.
I really have no shame, do I?  Or maybe a better word would be pride.  I seem to have a need to share some of my most embarrassing stories!

PS:  Sorry for being MIA lately!  My dad and I went on an impromtu road trip up through scenic Idaho.  It was great!  And now I love steak!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Cleaning Supplies Using Food Storage Items, Food Storage Made Easy. With all this talk about going "green," I think companies try to make us think we have to buy "green" things.  This post gives you simple recipes to make cleaning supplies with stuff in your house already!

Self Reliance Homemade Laundry Detergent, Modern Molly Mormon.  Interesting idea for food storage.  I think I'd like to try it.  Who knows what kinds of stuff is in the store bought brands.

Mormon Messages. Great YouTube resource!

Caterpillar Cat, Japan Probe.  Too cute!  How can I get my cat to do this?

Twenty Reasons I Love a Tiny House, Remodeling Guy.  This post makes me want to go out and buy a tiny house.  I know it sounds crazy but when we lived in Korea, I felt the same way about our 500 sq. ft. apartment.  It obviously wouldnt work for a family, but we really enjoyed the small space!

Josh Blue at Last Comic Standing.  I've avoided this show because of the language and vulgarity that usually accompanies stand up comics.  This guy is good.  There's a little bit of language, but not too much.  I'd recommend it.

Welcome to Holland, The Hamilton Family.  Honestly, Hannah is high on my list of top five favorite friends.  She is awesome!  She always has a happy, upbeat attitude despite whatever challenges come her way.  This week, she posted a great analogy.  Even though it was intended to be about raising children with disabilities, it really spoke to me because of the situation I have with my mom and her MS.  There are a lot of people out there caring for an ailing parent, but not many who are in their mid-20s and just starting a family.  Most people going through what I'm going through have already raised their families and their parent is older.  Anyways, boo hoo, pitty party for me! :)  I really enjoyed Hannah's post!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Relatives

I have been really thankful for my relatives this last weekend.  They are great!  Both my grandparents and my aunt and uncle came to visit. 

My grandparents had hoped to stay for the weekend, but unfortunately, my grandma wasn't feeling well.  We think that it was allergies, but no matter what it was, she was miserable.  They ended up only staying Friday night and then half the day on Saturday.  Even though their visit was way too short, we enjoyed seeing them!  And we're looking forward to seeing them again sometime this summer!

My aunt and uncle--who happen to be my great aunt and uncle, but they're the same age as my parents--came by on Monday unexpectedly on their way home to Utah from visiting their kids and grandkids in Washington.  My aunt called just a half hour before they got here and told me they were only going to stay 5 minutes.  I offered some lunch, but she declined saying they had a schedule to keep.

Well I was having none of that!  I really wanted to see them!  So I decided to make a quick lunch anyway, my chicken sandwiches with a salad.  Yum!  I figured they needed to eat, so why not eat here?  We ate and talked for a few minutes, then they were on their way.  It was so great to see them!

I am very grateful for relatives who take the time to come visit us.  It's hard/impossible for us to get to them, so we really appreciate them coming to us!

See that new widget?  I'm trying out Mr. Linky!  Write a post about something you're grateful for and link it back here! Make sure you copy and paste the link to your specific post, not just your blog address!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Give-away!

5 Minutes for Books is doing an excellet give-away this week!  One book a day!  Go check them out!

Way Back Wednesday - Visiting an Otolaryngologist in Korea

I woke up one cold, winter morning with a shooting pain in my left ear. It was the kind that if I layed my head on my left side, it felt like someone was sticking a crayon into my head through my ear, just awful! Being in Korea, I wasn't too excited about the prospect of going to a doctor.

Korea is a wonderful place. They have a rich, beautiful culture, amazing cuizine, and a complex language to boot, but they really stink when it comes to interacting with new foreigners, especially at a doctor's office. They're already feeling awkward with speaking English. Often they know a lot more than they think they do, but stumble over words and end up saying weird things.

But after a couple of days, my ear pain moved to both ears, and my throat was sore and my nose was stuffy. I knew I needed to go visit a doctor. I had been to a doctor in town before, so Derek and I both thought that we could go visit him again. We bundled up and took a taxi down to the Shi-ne (main street).

We walked into the doctor's office, checked in, and waited. Pretty soon, they called my name and we went in to see the doctor. We briefly explained what the problem was, and he got this really weird, confused look on his face. He spoke basic English, so he was able to ask, "Why did you come here?"

Then it was our turn for a weird, confused look on our face. We said, "Because you are a doctor."

He again replied with, "But why did you come here?"

We told him that we came because we had come there before. Then he understood what the misunderstanding was. He was a specialist. Not a doctor you would go to for an ear infection. We laughed a bit and then asked where he recommended we go. He told us about an Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngologist) doctor down the street. He told us the name of doctor's office which was Korean for Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor, but we didn't really realize it at the time. And we went on our way.

Now as soon as we got out the door, we forgot what he had said. It's really hard to remember Korean words. At least it is for me. A lot of things sound so similar it's hard to remember anything unless it's written down. Maybe that's because I'm just a beginner. So we walked and walked and walked. It was so cold! But finally, Derek saw a sign that said, "Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor," but in Korean of course, and we went inside.

I was immediately impressed or comforted rather, by the waiting room. It wasn't really all that impressive, but it felt very familiar. I was afraid that it would be more third world feeling even though Korea is a first world country with the 11th largest economy. It had good flooring, nice couches, and big wrap-around windows with a great view of Sokcho (it was on the 5th floor of the building).

The doctor must not have been very busy that day--I think it was a Saturday--because I didn't have to wait more than a couple of minutes. As comfortable as the waiting room made me feel, the examination room made me feel that much uncomfortable. It wasn't becuase it was unsanitary or anything like that. It was because it looked like a dentist's office and a doctor's private study produced offspring!

The room was rather large. On the right side was a big desk with some chairs and bookshelves filled with doctor books, many of them in English. on the left side were two large dentist-type chairs. In between the two mammoth chairs was a large oval table with TONS of small, pointy, stainless steel instruments. I nearly turned around and ran out of there! But my ears hurt and I was irrationally afraid that my eardrums might explode, so I stayed.

The doctor was a kind man. He spoke a bit of English, but the problem with Korean doctors' English is is they know a lot of medical English and they speak it with a heavy Korean accent. Medical terms are hard enough without the accent. But with his limited English and Derek's limited Korean--actually it was mostly Derek's Korean that carried the conversation, he's a lot better than he'll ever admit to being--the doctor understood the problem.

He asked me to take a seat in the first mammoth dentist-type chair. He told me to sit back and tilt my head back. Then he picked up a pair of mini-forceps and opened each nostril and shined a pen light up them. Then he used the forceps again to spray a little bit of water or saline solution (I'm not sure which come to think of it) in each, and then again to blow some air in them to dry them out?

After spreading open my nose, he looked in my ears and down my throat. Next, he told me to move to the other chair on the otherside of the oval-shaped table. I thought that was weird because the other chair was just as close to the table as the first, but I thought that maybe he was done with the scary looking instruments and was glad.

Once I was settled into the second mammoth dentist-type chair, he raised the chair up so my head was at his height. Then he pulled out a tiny camera. The kind that looks like a straw with a light on the end. He stuck it up my right nostril and pushed a pedal on the floor. I heard a click (not in my nose, thank goodness!), and then he stuck it up my left nostril and pushed the pedal again. He repeated the process with my throat and ears.

I don't remember if he wiped it off, or if there was a cover on the camera, like there is on thermometers. I was so totally freaked out that he was sticking things up my nose to take pictures, I didn't pay much attention to much else. Part of what contributed to this internal freaking out--did I mention that it was internal? I was trying to keep my cool--was the doctor didn't even try to communicate what was going to happen next. I was surprised by his every move!

After taking pictures of the insides of my ears, nose and throat, he took out a laser pointer and started explaining the pictures. He started with the insides of my nose. Here's how the explanation went.

Doctor (pointing to my right and then left nostril pictures): Here is your right nose, and here is your left nose.

Pause while pointing to the gooey inside stuff

Doctor (still pointing to the pictures): And this is your.... um....

Me: Snot... that's called snot.

Doctor: Oh, ok.

This mostly one sided conversation kept going about my throat and then my ears. After a lot of explaining, most of which we didn't understand, we understood that my ears were "too clean" and that I did have an ear infection with a sore throat and stuffy nose. He decided to give me a prescription, and an "injection," and "physical therapy."

I was ok with the prescription part. Korean doctors usually prescribe a bunch of vitamins with the antibiotics. And surprisingly, it doesn't bother me, even though I don't really know what medicines I'm taking. Plus, it's cheap to boot. I think it was $3 for the medicines?

And the "physical therapy" part didn't phase my too much. By this time, I'd been in Korea long enough to know that what they say isn't always as weird as it sounds. I was curious, but it didn't really bother me.

But the injection. Now that's another matter. I've been mortally afraid of shots ever since I was a little kid. I used to scream and cry even before the needle came in the room. I would tighten up my buttocks (I usually got shots there, not sure why. Maybe a doctor's cruel joke) so tightly that my rear end and leg would be sore for the next couple of days.

So needless to say, I was REALLY nervous about getting an injection, in a doctors office in Korea. The doctor told me to go down the hall to an injection room. Well, Derek and I walked down there, and the room was more like a closet with an examination table in it. Like I said before, I was REALLY scared, so I asked Derek to come in with me and hold my hand. He did.

When the nurse came in, she asked me something in Korean. I didn't understand so I looked to Derek. He had sort of a funny look on his face and told me she had asked me to pull down my pants. "Oh, great!" I thought, "just what I need, a shot in my rear!" But I complied and pulled my pants just enough. Just then, the nurse started pinching and slapping my rear like I was a little kid! I was so shocked, but I still noticed the needle.

After this, the same nurse led me to another alcove in the hallway with a bunch of strange looking devices. "This must be my physical therapy." I thought. She demonstrated what I should do with the first device and told me to do it for three minutes.

The first thing looked like a tiny hair dryer, but instead of blowing hot air, it had a tiny heat lamp. I was supposed to hold it over my nose for three minutes. I felt really stupid doing it. My first though was maybe it was some sort of sick hazing this doctor does to his foreign patients, but soon after I started, a young Korean man started doing "physical therapy" too.

After three minutes, it was time to do the next thing. It seriously looked like a bong for smoking drugs! It was a glass teapot shaped instrument that had a hose coming out of the back of it connecting it to something under the counter. There was tons of steam coming out of it. The nurse told me to hold it under my nose and breathe through my nose. I tried to ask her what it was just so I knew I wasn't breaking any commandments. She didn't seem to understand me or Derek, so I just did it. It turned out to be water vapor.

After three minutes of that, I moved on to another steamy, glass teapot where I was supposed to breathe through my mouth. I still felt really silly doing the "physical therapy." I got how it would be beneficial to do it, but not just once for three minutes! Oh well, Korea's an interesting place...

The pharmacy was in the basement of the building, so after we finished up in the doctor's office, we headed downstairs. Service is pretty quick there too, and luckily, everything needed is written on the prescription paper.

The pharmacist handed me my strip of doses. In Korea, they don't give you bottles of medicine with instructions on a sticker. They give you a string of packets, each with one dose. They put all the doses in a little paper baggie and write when and how often to take the medicines. Kind of weird, but easy for us foreigners! After paying our $3, we were on our way home! And I started feeling better within a week!

Way Back Wednesday - Four Vials, a Plastic Cup, and the Bathroom Floor

I visited a hospital a couple of times in Korea.  Health care semantics and general health care is different there.  For instance, they call doctors offices and hosptials, hospitals.  When Derek or I would call in sick to work, our boss would always ask, "Are you okay, do you need to go to hospital?" (Koreans usually leave out articles).  We would always decline, thinking that he was really talking about the hospital.  I always thought, I have a bad cold!  Why would I need the hospital?!

Health care in general is different, too.  Not bad different.  Just different.  I feel like even thought I was really uncomfortable when I went to see a doctor, it wasn't because I felt like they were incompetent.  It was just because things are different in Korea.  Very different.  I've posted about this before, Getting Glasses in Korea and today's bonus Way Back Wednesday, Visiting an Otolaryngologist in Korea.

This story is another example of feeling well taken care of while being COMPLETELY uncomfortable...

Around October of 2007, I was having some pretty severe heart related issues (After a thorough check up, it was determined to be stress related and nothing serious).  I asked my boss, Mr. Kim, to take me to a doctor.  He first took me to a doctor in town.  He thought it was stress and prescribed me a sleeping pill and a muscle relaxant.  They only mildly helped.  He then suggested that I go to a hospital to get further tests.

There was a hosptial in Sokcho, but evidently, it didn't have what I needed, so Mr. Kim made me an appointment at the hospital in Gangneung, our prefecture's capital, about 1.5 hours away.

Because Mr. Kim was a very busy man, he sent his wife to take Derek and I to the hospital (We went everywhere together.  Plus, he was my moral support and my back-up translator.).  She spoke decent English, which was good.  We needed someone who could navigate the unfamiliar system and translate for us.

I was really, really nervous.  Not only did I think I could die at any time (I was a little dramatic, but come on!  It was my heart!), but I had NO IDEA what to do, where to go, or what to say.  The doctors were very kind and took great care of me.  I did all kinds of tests.  One doctor was cute, if a little odd.  He and I were chatting during a test and he said, "I thnk it is really interesting that even though we are different on the outside, everything looks the same on the inside."  I think he was referring to the Caucasian/Korean differences.

After doing a few tests, they needed some blood for testing.  Not my favorite thing.  I get really light-headed when my blood is drawn, and I've even fainted once!  Compound that with being in a foreign hospital and being scared to death about death, and I had a real problem!

The area they had to draw blood was in a very open, public hallway.  There were about 4 desks set up with little arm pillows.  Derek stood next to me and held my hand as the nurse drew four vials of blood.  FOUR VIALS!

Then she handed me a plastic cup and indicated that I needed to give them a urine sample.  A regular plastic drinking cup.  No lid!  Huh!  So Derek and I walked down the hall to the bathroom, feeling increasingly light headed with every step.  As soon as I got into the bathroom, I knew I would have a problem.

Bathrooms are often different in Korea.  They have Western style toilets (the kind that we think of when we think of toilets).  These usually have a sign on the stall door pronouncing them "foreigners only."  And then they have traditional asian style toilets.  Asian style toilets are in the floor.  They only way to describe them is to say they look like a small urinal imbeded in the floor.  To use them, you have to squat.

Usually, squatting wouldn't have been a problem, but when you're already feeling light-headed, it makes things a little difficult.  I squatted the best I could and gave them a urine sample, but standing back up again increased my light-headedness to the point of almost fainting.

I needed to sit down.  But without a toilet there was no where but the bathroom floor to sit!  I decided that choosing the least dirty spot floor was better than fainting and falling randomly on to it.  I quickly looked around and found a decent looking spot in the corner of my stall.

I sat there for a minute or two until I felt like I couldn't stand it any more.  I tore off a piece of toilet paper to put over the cup (I thought it was gross to be carrying around a cup of open urine!), and stumbled out of the bathroom.  Mr. Kim's wife and Derek were waiting for me just outside the bathroom.

They could see that I was going to fall over and drop the open cup of urine at any moment, so she took the cup and Derek took me over to a waiting area so I could sit down.  I found 3 or 4 open seats so I decided to lay down across all of them.  If you could only imagine the looks I got from the other people in the waiting room.  First of all, I was the only horizontal one.  Second, I was white.  That fact alone created instant interest anywhere we went.

Long story short, I didn't faint.  I just looked stupid.  And all my tests came back normal.  There wasn't anything wrong with me.  I was/am just an overdramatic freak boardering on hypocondriac when it comes to my health.  But hey, my excuse is it's my health!  What's more important than that?! :D

If you've got a fun Way Back Wednesday or any day story, post it and link up here! Remember to copy and paste the direct link to your post, not your blog address.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Smells

This list is probably going to be a little weird, but I think it's funny to hear what other people think smells good.  That's probably weird too.
  1. Rain:  The smell of the air just before rain, during rain, and after rain.  It smells so nice and clean!

  2. Pink Erasers:  I don't know where or when this one started, but in 9th grade my best friend gave me a pink eraser for my birthday because she knew I liked them.  It's probably related to #4.

  3. New textbooks:  Whenever I was lucky enough to get a new textbook in college (I was a poor girl), I loved to flip the pages just under my nose.  There are some non-textbook books that smell great too, but not as many.

  4. New Tires:  This is admittedly the strangest one on my list.  They smell so good to me!  But I don't sniff them on cars.  Just as I'm walking out of Costco.  They have their tire center near their exit.

  5. The Heater:  I love the smell of the air the first time the heater turns on in the winter time.  It always reminds me of Christmas.  I'm not sure how to describe it.  My mom said it was the "burnt dust" that built up in the furnace, but I don't know.  That sounds nasty.

  6. Grapefruit:  Even just thinking about grapefruit makes my mouth water!  I love grapefruit, but I hardly ever get any.  I'm the only one in my family who eats them, and they come in large quantities that I can never get around.

  7. Korean Food:  I know that sounds really general, but it all smells AMAZING! Korean food uses a lot of garlic, green onions, red pepper and sesame oil (my personal favorite oil).  The combination of those ingredients is one wonderful smell!

  8. Bath and Body Works Wallflowers:  Any of these scents are heavenly!  And they're not too pricey either!

  9. Bounce Lavender Fabric Sheets:  I put two of these babies in my dryer with towels and sheets, and they smell great for at least a week!  Such a good smell!

  10. Sawdust:  This is another one that might sound weird.  The smell of sawdust reminds me of my childhood and more specifically, my dad.  He's quite the do-it-yourself-er and builds a lot of stuff with wood.  My husband is a handyman now and he builds stuff with wood, too.  It makes me happy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Morning Musings

I'm changing things again.  I really enjoyed doing Book of Mormon Mondays, but that ended up putting too much pressure on me to get something amazing out of the scriptures.  I might still write about what I've read, or I might just write about something else inspiring to me; musings is a nice general word.

So on to the musings!

Everyone seems to be posting about Easter today, and I have a most excellent picture to share...

Derek's Easter present was an Amazing Spiderman Easter Basket!  Notice the Spiderman head eggs?  It took my sister-in-law and I forever to find all the blue stuff.  But he LOVED it!  My Easter present was giving him the basket.  I'm a gift giver.  It's my love language.  I'm really happy to just give Derek a gift.  Unless it's Easter.  Sorry Derek, the gift giving only thing doesn't work on that holiday! :D

And speaking of Easter, I've been reading a book all about the real reason to celebrate, the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It's titled, The Infinite Atonement, by Tad Callister.  It's amazing!  There's so much great stuff in it!  I started reading it around Christmas, and I'm still only about half-way through.  It would be a shame to read it any faster! 

Here's the first paragraph of the first chapter.  It's amazing and really got me hooked on the book.

"A person studying the Atonement is somewhat like the man who retreats to his mountain cabin to enjoy the scenery.  If he looks out the window to the east, he will see the snow-capped peakes of the Rockies; but if he fails to examine the view on the west, he will miss the crimson-streaked sunset on the horizon; if he neglects the scene to the north, he will never see the shimmering emerald lake; and if he bypasses the window on the south, he will fail to witness the wild flowers in all their brilliant glory, dancing in the gentle mountain breeze.  Beauty besets him in every direction.  So it is with the Atonement.  Regardless of our vantage point, it is glorious to behold.  Every princible underlying it, every consequence flowing from it rewards our intellect, animates our emotions, and enlivens our spirit.  It is a doctrine for all seasons." (pp. 1)

Isn't that beautiful?!  The whole book is like that, beautifully written yet simple to understand.

And one more thing for you on this beautiful Monday morning...  Everyday Food Storage is doing a really great giveaway this week.  They've put together a recipe book with all their great tips and recipes from their site!  And like they said on their blog, "It’s like having my blog all in one place (so your laptop can be safe OUT of the kitchen ;)."  I love that!

Anyways, they're giving SIX away and there are multiple ways of entering!  Check it out!  The fun ends this Friday so hurry!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

So Hot They're Smokin', Noble Pig.  I love potatoes!  Especially red ones.  I'm making this ASAP!

Easter Potpourri, Cake Wrecks.  In honor of the Easter holiday this weekend, here is a whole post of Easter "cakes." Or maybe I should have put the quotation marks around the word Easter...

Thursday's Freebies, Scrapping with IkeaGoddess.  Have I already linked her yet?  This blog is great!  She has collected daily freebies.  DAILY FREEBIES!   How awesome is that!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Job!

My brother got a job at Wal-Mart!  Wa-hoo!  He's been looking for quite a while now.  It's probably been about 4-5 months.  We're so grateful that he's got one now!

I'm also really thankful for General Conference this last weekend.  I really appreciated all of the talks on adversity.  Especially President Eyering's.  He always seems to talk directly to me and it's not preachy sounding.

AND I am SO GRATEFUL for the WONDERFUL SPRING WEATHER that has finally come!  My daffodils are blooming!  My first sucessful flower from a bulb!  I really need to get outside and do some more active things!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Way Back When Wednesdays - Automatic Car Doors

Derek and I were lucky enough to visit each other about twice a month during the summer we were engaged.  That probably doesn't sound lucky, but when you think about how we met at BYU in Utah, and we were both from the East Coast (Me - NC, Derek - VA), we felt pretty lucky.  We lived only 5 hours away from each other.

One weekend he came down to visit me, I decided that I would take him to the Outer Banks for the day.  If you haven't been there yet, go!  Those beaches are amazing and so fragile!

Since the drive was about 3 hours, I didn't want to wear my swimming suit the entire ride.  I wore regular clothes and planned on changing once we got there.  When we got to the beach, I realized there weren't any bathrooms or changing rooms nearby, so the obvious choice was to change in the back of the van.  I told Derek to stand outside the van, DON'T PEAK IN, and make sure no one else does either!  He agreed and politely faced the other way... 

Until I accidentally pushed the door opener button.  I had the keys in my hand, and as I was pulling things down, I squeezed the convenient button on the key chain.  Oops!  Derek--thinking I was done changing--started walking over to the opening door.

I was half undressed and panicked.  The closest thing to me to cover myself with was a beach towel, but I couldn't get it unfolded in time.  I laid it across my lap and hoped he wouldn't be able to see anything along the sides.

Now you might be thinking, why didn't she just close the door?!  Well, being a magical, automatic door, comes with one fatal flaw.  You can't really close it until it's finished opening.  So I had to sit there, with a beach towel folded up to the size of a dish towel on my lap, and yell to Derek that I wasn't done and that he'd BETTER NOT COME OVER HERE!

He got the message pretty quickly and only briefly saw me in my predicament.  To this day, he claimes he didn't see anything except a bright red, panicked face!  I really hope that's true! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Changing it up!

I am changing it up around here!  Newsworthy Tuesdays are now Top 10 Tuesdays as inspired by Amanda of!  I was getting sick of the news.  It's all Obama, war, or North Korea.  Over and over again!

So this week's list, Top 10 Pet Names!  I'm a picky person when it comes to pet names.  They can't be too cutesy like "Brownie" or "Whiskers."  They need to be real sounding names.  I like people names for pets, but not names that I'd actually name a child.  That would just be awkward...

  1. Willow:  Our current cat's name.  She came with it and it fits her well.  She's kind of wispy like a weeping willow tree.  Plus it's a real person name, but too trendy for me to use for a kid.

  2. Chloe, Zoe:  We had three cats while we were in college, two girls and a boy (named #3).  We liked the idea of rhyming names, but didn't want a Blinky and a Winky.  So we picked the two trendiest names we could think of and they worked!  Those two cats had some serious girl cattitude!

  3. George Washington:  I was reading a book about George Washington and was so impressed with him I named my Siamese kitten after him.  Lame, right?  We didn't actually call him George Washington.  Usually we just called him Georgie.  But that's probably even lamer! :)  But the name did fit him really well.  And he was a really cute cat.

  4. King Charles:  If I ever get a Great Dane (which is my dream and only dog I'll ever consider owning), I will name it King Charles.  Don't know why.  It just popped into my brain as I thought about owning such a HUGE dog!

  5. Kimchi, Gimbap, Sushi, Cham-chi:  While we were preparing to move back to the States from Korea, we planned on getting three kittens ASAP.  We thought of naming them some foreign foods because foreign words rock as pet names, and it would be funny to name kittens after food.  My favorite was Cham-chi.  That means tuna in Korean.

  6. Ko-neko, Koyang-i, Mao: The other idea we had for our three future kittens was the word "cat" in three languages, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.  The only problem was Chinese.  The word for cat in Chinese is Mao, which is spelled and pronounced the same as the communist dictator in English.  It has a different character and tone in Chinese, but no American was going to get that. Not going to work for us, but I still think it would be fun!

  7. Hamu and Hamu:  In Korea we had three hamsters.  Two were identical in everway (except for gender, but we didn't know that until they had 7 babies), so we named them Hamu and Hamu--the shortened Korean word for hamsters.

  8. Yuki:  Our third hamster was all white.  We named her Yuki because "yuki" means "snow" in Japanese and it's a real Japanese name. 

  9. Shouka:  On a recent episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8, they got two puppies, one of which they named Shouka.  I really like that name!  They named the puppy after a security guard they met in Hawaii.  A huge security guard.  Appropriate because the puppies they got were German Shepherds.

  10. Rika: My friend Andrea also has a German Shepherd.  Her name is Rika.  I like it because it sounds like a German name.  And it's just fun to say!
What are some of your favorite pet names?  What's your current pet's name?

Friday, April 3, 2009


Idaho Cheneys Wordle

Wordle: IdahoCheneys

A Wordle of's news today (click on the image to see it larger)

Wordle: today

A Wordle of's news today (click on the image to see it larger)

Wordle: Today

Have you done a wordle before?  They're fun!  Check out wordles here ...

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Why Not?, Scribbit.  My favorite part was, "I have only done this once before."

How You Can Fire Up Your Friends to Hear the Gospel, Meridian Magazine.  An interesting read.  I had never thought of sharing the Gospel in this way.  You can apply the idea in this article to a lot of other situations as well.

How to Blog, Part 3: All About Writing, Blissfully Domestic.  Great tips for how to write on a blog!  I liked how she said throw out all the rules of writing you learned in High School.

3 Pack Face Stamp Emotional Rubber Stamp, Japan Trend Shop.  Found these beauties from an Asian blog I read.  They're... interesting?  I might be tempted to buy a set.

Why Do the Japanese Love Waterproof Phones?,  I always love to hear about cultural differences, especially ones with Japan.  And I really, really, REALLY want a Japanese style tub.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Here it is, late at night, and I can't sleep!  I don't even remember the last time I felt like I couldn't sleep and actually got out of bed, came downstairs and got on the computer!  I thought I was tired, but guess not...

Another random thought.  My cat is so cute!  As I'm sitting here typing, she's standing up next to me and pawing my elbow.  It's like she's trying to get my attention or something! :)

Thankful Thursday - The Rain

This week, I've really struggled with being thankful for rain.  Which is weird because rain is usually my favorite type of weather next to partly cloudy in the upper 60's.

But this week, it's been difficult.  It's been rainy off and on all week.  And again, that's usually not a problem--my hair and skin do best in humid weather--but this week both my husband and brother were trying to do outdoor work!

It totally ruined Derek's Tuesday.  He had about 5 jobs that day and at least 4 of them were halted by the rain.  PJ was trying to do some aeration work.  He couldn't really even go door to door because of the weather.

And the worst part was the rain would fall like crazy, then the skies would clear look sunny and blue.  So they'd go back out again only to be stopped again by another insane shower.

This post is turning out to be more of a Complaining Thursday rather than a Thankful Thursday.  I guess the point is, even though the rain isn't helping us any, it is helping somebody.  Mostly farmers.  They're who I've been thinking of all through the rain.  Without rain, no crops.  And without crops, no food.  And I'm thankful for food, so this week, I'm thankful for rain.

Really, I am! :)

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Making Rocks

I did a lot of weird things when I was a kid.  One time in about 2nd grade, my friend and I decided that we would make rocks.  I had heard somewhere that rocks are just made out of dirt and time, so we decided that that we would get some dirt and stick it together with water.  That worked alright for us so we put them on some cement in the sun to dry.

A few hours later we went back to check on our "rocks" to see their progress.  They looked nice and solid so we tried to pick them up.  Unfortunately, they crumbled between our fingers.  I was so disappointed!  I thought we did everything right.  I guess we forgot about pressure and millions of years! :)