Wednesday, December 09, 2009

At 7 weeks....

I'm happy to report that as of now, I am still with child!  We're going to get a second ultrasound on Friday before this doctor (the fertility doctor) releases me to a regular ob/gyn.  (I hadn't found one yet, but I really hadn't tried either.)  Our first ultrasound, which was done at week 4 (give or take) showed a blob the size of a grain of rice with pulsing heartbeats!

So far, I haven't had any overt morning sickness, thank God! I do, however, feel more tired than usual, and have these pangs of cramps to which the doctor explained as my "inside" is trying to grow to accommodate the new life. My pants are starting to feel tighter, so I guess elastics will be my new best friends sooner than later! The GF and I couldn't be more excited about the addition of this little guy/gal!

No one in my family knows except for my sister, I plan to tell what remains of my family at about another 5-6 weeks from now, as that time will be somewhat of a milestone.... the end of the first trimester, I believe. I don't exactly know what their reaction will be, they've not yet accepted my GF as my GF, but for God's sake, it'll be a new child, you know?

A handful of my friends also knows and they seem to be very happy for us. People at work don't really know it yet, but they'll find out as I expand.

I haven't really had regular exercise for the past few weeks and my diet probably could stand to get a bit better.  (I don't eat badly normally.)  With the holidays and work it has been a kind of difficult to juggle, but I'm sure that things will eventually get to a certain level of normalcy and I'll be back at it!

Lastly, for now, we're calling this baby Pinhead, because when we found out that we're finally expecting, the size of the baby's head was approximately the size of a tip of a pin. That nickname just stuck. No, we're not going to call it Pinhead for the rest of his/her life (I won't find the gender out until about week 24) so don't you worry about that!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big news to report

Long time no see! Sorry for the long pause in blogging! My life now involves about 3+hours of commuting time to and from work, and it's not so much the distance that I've got to drive, it's more or less the Northern Virginia traffic. Maybe one day it'll get better, but then again, maybe not.

Things are changing at a fast pace after my grandpa's passing in family make up is changing, with my uncle's upcoming move to China, my sister is working and trying to do what she can to make the ends meet, I'm still at my job and working for da man, and this army thing for me is still neither here or there.

Turn to the last 3 weeks, the GF and I had our 4th. try for a baby, and the what are different this time are that: 1. I had a little bit of help with a hormone shot that the GF administered to me, and 2. I picked a different sperm doner. (I have almost no information about him, except that he's 6' 2", wavy brown hair, and possibly in the military.) It took this time! So at this point, I've been with child (or children) for about 3 weeks now and the GF and I are very much looking forward to finally meet this person!

Next week, we'll go and get an ultrasound to make sure that the little Pinhead (his/her current nickname) is in the right location and that it's growing properly.

It's so hard to make sense of it all, after having experiences 3 deaths in the family in the last 3 years, to having a new life come in, due in July/August of next year. It's too small for me to feel so I'm not really feeling much yet physically, but I am sure that'll be changing sometimes soon!

Here's to the hope of a happy, healthy life for this little being, and end of life as we know it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A month later...

Today marks the one month anniversary of my grandpa's passing, funny that it actually feels longer than that, for some reasons. I'm doing alright. Made the decision to go talk to a grief counselor through my work's employee assistance program, but so on the lists of counselors which was provided to me, most are not taking new appointments (in these tough economic times, I guess there are a lot of people grieving over the loss of $) and the one person who was available not only didn't want to work with my insurance, but she'd leave these ass-long messages on my phone that just went on and on.  (I guess that she is one of these people who have problems communicating in short sentences... can you imagine being counseled by her? She'd be the one doing all the talking instead of yourself!) I'm not giving up yet and will keep you updated.

I miss my grandpa, and the rest of my folks who have passed away over the last three years, and I think I always will until the Alzheimer takes over or the bus finally runs me over.

My sister has been doing really well, since grandpa had passed, it's now just her and her dog living in the house. I don't even know how I could have handled living alone in that house, so empty but yet so full of memories.

The GF has been trying to keep herself busy, now that her work situation is being wonky. I do feel for her and hope that she'll be able to find something that she'll enjoy. 

With my job? Well, I like the pay but that doesn't mean that it's that interesting or I feel a sense of strong bond of loyalty with my bosses. While I am grateful to have a job, in the back of my mind, I'm always wondering what's next and how I don't want to spend such a long time in commutes anymore. My sister called me today right as I got out of work, and during the course of our commute conversation, she had driven from her job to a buffet restaurant, eaten 5 plates of food, paid, and then drove home... while I was still driving. That was just an example of how the commuting traffic is, and today has been a good commuting day!

Still no news to report on the army front of things... so I am still in limbo. As far as I know, I am still a reservist, but my level of involvement is so low now, it's amazing to think that just about this time last year, I was waist deep in the affair of that particular reserve unit. Well, that's life, for now, and I just hope that it'll all end well, whatever outcome that might be. I'd think about some of the people who I had gone to the officer course with, most of them have already finished with their training and have now either gone back to their civilian lives (if they're reservists) while others have moved on to their duty posts (if they're active duty) and I just wish them lots of luck, safety, minimal politics, and knowing when to say when.

I will post more later, but right now, I'm just trying to enjoy life and the people in my life the best that I can.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rest in peace, grandpa

My grandfather left this world at about 5:30 PM today. I knew his time was limited so I purchased tickets to fly down to Houston, but I didn't know it was that limited of a time. I've been getting updates on his status from my sister via phone or e-mail, and when I im'ed her today, she told me to fly down to Houston right away, it had gotten so much worse that grandpa was no longer taking any food, and the hospice nurse that the hospital had provided started him on a morphine drip about two in the afternoon. He made it until about 5 ish and when I frantically called the house down in Houston just a few minutes after the im.... my uncle answered the phone crying, telling me that grandpa was gone.

They held the phone close to his ears so I can say something to him while he was still warm. I told him not to worry, go and be with grandma, plus my father and all his friends who had passed on before him, that we'll do the best that we can until we meet again.

So this heaven thing will have to be true, otherwise, I'm going to be pissed!
I will be traveling down to Houston soon, I think his burial will be sometime this weekend.

I'm glad that I was lucky enough to have him for the majority of my life, and that I'm really thankful that he did his best to take care of all of us.

Even though I knew this day was coming, still there is simply no way to really prepare for it.

So until later, we'll do the best that we can until we meet again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Long time no see!

I know that it has been awhile since I've last blogged. I've not been entirely dormant in the blogosphere though. I've started my first food blog "Nerdstar Eats", with the encouragement of my GF. I am hoping to post more on the site soon. The writing is nowhere near that of a professional food critic, but simply from my own perspectives.

My new job has been good so far, but the longer commute is something that I can do without. Learning how to adequately arrange time to sleep, eat, work, and exercise is a fine art. I don't really know how these people do it, you know, those upward-mobile carreristas who go to work during the day, then attend graduate school, and still finds the time to party looking like these people from these fashion or fitness magazines.

Could it be that I'm older and slower?

As far as things on the family front are concerned, my grandfather has not been doing too well lately. He was at the hospital for the last week and a half with some dehydration and pneumonia. During his stay, the doctors also found that he has an aneurysm in his abdominal cavity and on top of that, his organs are failing. Being 92, he is already too old to undergo surgery, and as much as we don't want to face it, his time is running out. I'm sad and wondering what's going to really happen after he is gone. Ever since my grandma had passed away, things just have not been the same with my family, as if the glue that held everyone together just all of a sudden gotten weaker. Right now the best that I could hope for is that grandpa will not have to endure so much physical pain and will finally feel some sort of peace. If it's true then he'll join my father and grandmother on the other side, partying it up until it's our time to go too.

Of course, I really hope that he'll be able to make it through the year, but I don't even know if it's a possibility at this point.

I will, of course, update any changes or the lack thereof from time to time.

What about the army thing? Well, lately it has just been "live and let live".

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just thought that I'd share it with you.

This is a picture of my gorgeous blister that I've acquired from army officer basic officer leadership course. I've been home for about a week now...and so far it has been great getting some rest and just let things settle for a bit.
The army is still being somewhat of knuckleheads about what to do with me, so far, I've got mixed messages to my request to be medically discharged. No matter what happens, I've got to get back to working and generating some $ for the new house that we've purchased and get our lives back on track. I'm just glad that I'm not doing this thing full time!
Without anymore delay, allow me to present to you the image of my war wound!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A turn of events

Sorry that I've not updated anything for a while, but here is a chance for me to try to do just that.

I'm now in my 5th. week of officer basic training, and it has been very trying at best.  I've so far passed about 3 of the 6 requirements for graduation, but not without a price.  My feet thanked me for putting them through a 5 mile road march by treating me to two really bad blisters that required emergency medical care.  I'm also not very good at the skills of land navigations....I've just completed my second try, and aside from the usual tiredness, my joints/muscles have been screaming for me to give them a break.

That sort of leads to the title of this entry, my cadre (consists of one higher ranking officer, and a few non-commissioned officers) has recommended that I'd be sent home based on the fact that I'm simply not physically fit enough.  It really is quite unfair because I've so far passed all of the physical requirements despite that I had injuries (blisters, and twisted ankles.).  They wanted me to go home to "get more fit", and heal my injuries and then repeat the whole course.  I am thinking no to all of the above and while I don't mind going home, I would like to use this opportunity to make a case for requesting a medical discharge from the reserves.  

Some of you might know that I have been contemplating getting out for a while, and just what solidified this intent?  

a. I am truly sick of dealing with people whose only intent is to see you falter.
b. My overall  army experience, while good at times, have been made up of mostly frustrations.
c. The benefits (for me) of getting out outweighs the benefits of staying in, and it's simply not all monetary.
d. My body is simply not going to magically heal and this is probably the best physical shape that I will have for me being in my late 30's.
e.  Why would anyone want to return to Ft. Benning? (Okay, if you are an airborne infantry ranger, you pretty much have to be here for a while.)

I don't know what's going to happen as I go and talk to the company commander, but I'm just going to be honest with him and hopefully he'll be receptive to that.  13 years is a long time (my total combined active duty/reserve time.), and hopefully he'll understand how tired I have become.

As much as the cadre has been giving me a overall hard time about me not being as fast and strong as the other 20 something year old officers, I have to say that most of the students here have been really nice to me.  I almost never lacked rides if I needed to goto somewhere, never lacked friends to go out to eat with, and have gotten much encouragements/advices (some not so sound ones.) from them, so I cannot complain about that.

I am very looking forward to be going home to be with the GF and our pets!  God willing, the departure process will be swift and ultimately, I hope they'll grant me a medical which I know will be yet another uphill battle....but at least I could be at home.

Will let you know what the outcome is as soon as it becomes available.  Wish me luck on this one!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back in armyland

Hello everyone!  Sorry for the late update on things.  As of 8 days ago, the GF, the dog, and I drove down to Ft. Benning, Ga. to begin my officer basic leadership course.  As I checked into the barracks, the GF and the dog drove back home.  

To my pleasant surprise, I am not the oldest or the most broken (as in physically unfit/injured) person out there, but it has still been quite an effort to try to keep up with in the majority of the people in the age of 25 or lower.

One of the most beautiful part about being a reservist is that for just about the other 28 days of the month, you don't have to think about the army. ( or whatever other branch that you might be a reservist of.)  In this particular experience, you're army 24/7 for 7 weeks...with a few days of breaks in-between, until the more "professional" phase comes about in the middle of nowhere, Arizona.

The hardest part so far for me has been the physical are some examples of what this school requires for graduation:

1.  Passing the Army Physical Fitness Test.
2. Run a 4 mile run in a 8 minute a mile pace.
3. Combatives training.  (Kind of like a combination of wrestling/ultimate fighting)
4  Road march with a 35lb. rucksack on your back for 10 miles in 4 hours or less.

It hasn't been a comfortable experience so far, I don't think that it's supposed to be.  I miss the GF and the pets, a bathroom with a tub, Chinese food, not having to wake up before 7 AM (way before 7 AM), etc.  Right now, I'm living my life one assigned task/test at a time, and feeling grateful that I will not have to go back to armyland once all this is over and done least only for a weekend a month.

It's both cute and annoying at the same time, watching these young 20 something year olds who has yet to be really challenged by far, everything have been college/high school/rotc/boy scouts....

I have no idea if this will end up making me a better person or anything lofty like that, but I do know that this is one of the places that I don't ever want to comeback to!  (Sorry Western Ga./Eastern Alabama!)  The army, with the exception of one or two forts, have a knack of picking some really depressed, middle of nowhere/bumfuckville places to designate as duty stations.

I will have more posts from this almost surreal experience laster...remember, I've still got 6 more weeks of this!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Hello again! Long time no see in the blogosphere! It has been quite a busy last two months, and my life has been taking on a series of twists and turns.
First of all, I was not able to get out of the reserves with a medical discharge....they promptly lost my paperwork. (Losing paperwork seem to happen a lot in the service.) While I do have an arthritic back, it's not bad enough yet to require surgery or wear a back brace all the I guess that brings me to my destiny for the next 5 officer basic course.
That's basic training redux for the first 7 weeks, and after that, you'll go somewhere else to learn the "tricks of the trade" for your particular branch of army service. I will start in April, and come back in early September. I don't feel physically or mentally ready for it....but I'll try and hope to God that I'll get through. Not looking forward to trying to keep up with people who are at least 10 years younger than me, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.
In other news, the GF and I have been looking at houses in our area, and there have been a lot of hits and misses. The GF so far have done most of the legwork because I don't have as much time due to my work obligations. We were with this one realtor, but he seemed shady and was kind of sucky in terms of him not returning our calls or e-mail in a timely fashion, plus the fact that he kept showing us these really shitty looking houses. That made us feel really hopeless that we'll find a good place. The GF then found this really nice lady realtor who also is of the same "orientation" and she has been really helpful in helping us look for places. There were a few places to which we had found to be promising...but they fell through due to multiple offers or being under "short sales". (Meaning that the house is bank owned due to foreclosure and the banks usually are really slow in accepting the hopes that the market would bounce back and they can make a killing on the property.)
We got up early (for a Saturday) this morning, I got an excused absence from my reserve unit (who wants to do weekend drill when you are going to be playing army 24/7 for the next 5 months?), and the GF and I headed out to look at some more properties. We took the dog with us because who could resist his look of "please take me with you"!?
Long story short, after looking at about 5 places, we locked down on this cul-de-sac without a basement or garage, but with a fenced in backyard, a big kitchen, and a good deck. We placed a bid on it and are hoping that it'll get accepted. The property is such a good one that I think that there definitely will be multiple bids on it...God willing, we'll get it.
I will post again before I depart for armyland....and will probably post sporadically during my training pending how much free time I will have.
In the meanwhile, keep on keeping on and I'll see you again soon!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Long time no see...and other updates

The GF and I started off the new year by attending the "PBR Baltimore Invitational Rodeo" and it was a really neat event! You'd never thought that events like that (the rodeo) would even come to this part of the country, but they do, despite the fact that they don't enjoy nearly as much popularity as they do in the midwest or the southern states. Not that I'm not that big of a fan, but I do enjoy watching those cowboys getting thrashed around and bucked off of the bulls every once in a while!

We went to see the event with our friends J&B, this young (younger than us) and intellectual couple (one has a Ph.D and another one is pursuing his... by the way, they're married and straight couple... we don't have other gay friends that we hang out with.) They actually also spent new year's eve with us.... which is something that had never happened before... sharing new year's eve with friends, that is.

Did I tell you how making friends has since (from my army and college days) become a whole new game to not only myself but also to the GF? The GF had a lot of friends who she had met during her church-going days, and for one reason or the other (I'm sure being with me has got to be one of the reasons) her friends started to distance themselves from her. I don't know what will become of our friendship with J&B, because they're so different than us... but I wish it well!

I've been at my new job for 4 months and counting... and I'm itching to be somewhere else again. What can I say? It's a big fault of mine... I get bored so easily as well as get bored with people that I don't think are "interesting". I will update again when (you know it will!) something happens again in that front! One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of living in this town, and possessing a certain set of so-called skills qualifications, is that you're almost never at a loss for finding a job.... you just have to be able to live with the fact that most of these jobs are the same type of jobs at different places. (Not much as far as variety is concerned.)

Speaking of jobs, in regard to my other job with the reserves.... let's just say that I don't know where it is going. I was hoping for a medical discharge, but now I don't know when/if that will happen. You see, I had turned in medical document to the big green machine, they then promptly proceeded to sit on my paperwork for a whole year without rendering (or close to) any type of instruction or decisions. In the meanwhile, the unit that I belong to became this barely functional unit that I'm wondering why it hasn't been disbanded yet.... so we're all just going through the motions. Thankfully, the blessing in this whole thing is that I don't really have to depend on the army for a steady paycheck anymore... I also think I'm simply getting too old for a lot of this stuff. (Yes, I have heard of, and seen, 40 some odd year old junior officers.... but I also do believe that there are other ways to show your patriotism.)

So, I'm putting all this in God's hands...however it'll all turn out.

My grandfather had a bout with a respiratory condition a few weeks back, he had to go into the hospital, but thankfully has since recovered enough to come back home. I don't really know how he is feeling on the inside, I mean, imagine having outlived your spouse, most if not all of your friends, and even your son. When I do see him, I can see how frail that he had gotten, and sense how tired he just is overall. I really don't know how much longer he will be around, but I do know that my family will not have a patriarch anymore once he is gone.... as my father is now gone (he wasn't really much of a figure of authority while he was alive anyways), and both of my aunt and uncle don't really get along with one another too well.

I am therefore grateful that my sister and I have a good relationship so far. She has just graduated from culinary school, I am really proud of her, and I wish her all the opportunities and luck in the world!

Here is to a great 2009! May you and yours get what you wish for, be it $, or love, or a child... etc.!