Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Friday, February 24, 2006


I did it! I had the LASIK surgery today. It's only a few hours later and I can already tell that I can see. But my eyes feel dry like I have contacts on - I'm sure it will feel more and more natural as the hours wear on. (I shouldn't be at the computer now but I just had to report to you all).

So you're wondering what the surgery was like. All the people I ever talked to said it was quick and painless and easy. I hate to burst that bubble. It was quick, but I thought it was painful and scary - still worth it though. You're under this machine (kind of like the light at the dentist only it's up close against your face). The doctor tapes your eye back which is OK, you don't seem to have the urge to blink. You get numbing drops and the doctor makes three slits in your cornea to make the flap, which doesn't hurt. Then the part that I thought was painful was where he seems to be pushing your eye down with a ring around the edge and he keeps pushing until everything goes black. Ouch. Then the lazer, which doesn't hurt (but did smell like burning flesh ha ha) You have to look at the light, which is easy, but I was so scared that I was going to look away and screw up the whole surgery. Then it's done. But then you have to do the other eye. :-( Ten minutes was all it took. I walked out. He checked my eyes in the other room and I was pleased when he said that it looked very good. (Emphesis on very).

So I guess that's it. My eyes feel very dry. I accidentally rubbed one and it bled a little and felt like a scratched cornea (which it sort of is). But considering it's only been a few hours, I have to say the results are SPECTACULAR and I highly recommend it. Check out the LASIK Vision Institute for a place near you. Yeah, I know, shameful plug. But I have no connection to the place. I'm just a happy customer. Oh, I have to warn you about the "bait and switch" or so it seemed to me. The advertisements say they do surgery for as low as $299 an eye. But when I get there they inform me that I have a slight astigmatism and so I need the custom Lasik at a little over a grand an eye. I know they didn't just make it up or anything, but they sure have a nice little deal going, because who's going to argue with that? I mean, it's only your vision!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Our "haunted house"

Recently brother in law and cousins were fixing a car in the garage. It was propped up on a jack, but apparently not stable because when Sarom leaned on it, it started to wobble. Samnang was under the car and he says that something told him to get out. The instant he was out, the car crashed to the ground and everyone stood there shocked. Samnang came so close to death at that moment.

Timmy said that he was told by a neighbor that a previous owner died in the garage when his car fell on him. Timmy thinks that the ghost of that man saved Samnang's life by telling him to get out. If this is true than we are grateful. Timmy says we would have had to move if Samnang had died - we couldn't bear the grief of walking into the garage and remembering that moment.

So that's my story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

In honor of this romantic day I want to take a trip down memory lane, through some of the happy memories of my relationship with my husband...

When I first met my husband, before we were a couple, I used to ride around in his car with other friends. They were like "The Fast and the Furious" ten years before the movie even came out. I would sit in the back seat and make eye contact with him in the rear veiw mirror. I wasn't sure if he was actually looking at me or not, but years later when I asked him, I found out he was. The way his hand gripped the gear shift really turned me on.

Technically I was dating his friend at first. Not that I really had a choice about it. The group of friends just "decided" who would get to date me. But as I hung out with all of them I fell in love with Timmy. My heart broke with desire for him. I didn't know that his did for me too. Finally one day he called me. We proclaimed our love. I broke up with his friend and that night we met for our first secret rondevous. We sat in his convertable, he opened the hood and we looked at the stars together. For the first time we could touch each other (no, we didn't do anything bad). Just touching each other was electrifying after weeks of desire.

Two months later he was in a serious car accident. The convertible had flipped going a hundred miles an hour. (His friend was driving). They weren't wearing seat belts. It's a miracle they survived. Timmy called me that night from home, bruised, bloody, and scared. He said he needed me. Outside a noreastern blew snow a foot deep. My parents said that they wouldn't drive me and I could not go (I was home for Christmas break from college). I knew I had to. So I left in the middle of the night. Walking miles and miles, taking buses and trains, walking more miles. Finally arriving. His mother happened to be looking out the window as I walked up. She was happy to see me. She knew her son needed me. I took care of him. Then I was grounded for a month (the rest of vacation).

One rare occasion we went dancing at the local Asian club. It was dreamy - like a movie. Timmy got the band to sing a song with my name in it. We danced all night. We were the life of the party. It was so much fun. And at the end of the night there was a fight outside. Timmy sat me and his friend's girl at a table with an older man "to protect us" or keep us company - while the men handled the business of the fight. I know, it sounds corny, but I was attracted to the bad boy. That was the type of adventure that excited me. Once he was stabbed in a fight. The Florance Nightengale effect made me fall in love even more so.

Timmy taught me how to cook and how to share (white people can be so stingy). He showed me that he would take care of me by the way he took care of his mother. He bought me clothes. He took me out. He showed me a good time. He made me feel beautiful.

That spring - six months into our relationship he was in another serious car accident. This time he was driving. He was on his way to pick me up for a date. The car spinned out of control throwing him out the drivers side window. It was another miracle that he survived. A man pulled over to help him. We think it was an angel. The man spoke Khmer. He called Timmy's mother (in Khmer) and then he called me (in English) to tell us what had happened. I got a ride to the hospital and spent the evening with him in the emergency room while they treated him. He had a bruised kidney. I wanted to stay. My father (who had driven me) said I had to go back to college because the fourth quarter started the next day. When he dropped me off at the college I immediately got a ride back to the hospital where I stayed with Timmy for three days. I slept on a chair next to his bed - but never fully sleeping - constantly opening my eyes to see that he was breathing.

I began to fear that the love of my life would die. I wanted a peice of him to hold forever, so it wasn't a huge surprise (though also not planned) when I got pregnant. I remember taking the pregnancy test in his bathroom. The first one was one and a half lines. I knew that meant I was pregant. He wasn't convinced. The next test was a full two lines. He couldn't deny it any more. He sent his friend to the store to buy me some Pepto Bismal because I was already feeling sick. Later in the pregnancy he had to take me to the hospital because I had a strange severe pain (never really diagnosed). This time it was his turn to sit next to my bed and care for me. He bought me a teddy bear that I still have.

When I gave birth to Brandon he was there with me and as supportive as a father should be. He let me dig my nails in his chest. He held my leg when I pushed. He cut the umbilical cord. In the postpartum unit he played soft music on CD's and he showed his new baby off to his family. We always laugh when we remember leaving the hospital - how surprised the nurse must have been to see this young father pull up in his new Camaro convertable. Timmy just had it custom painted this amazing reflective green color. It was totally decked out. Yes, Brandon went home in style.

I lived with my parents the first six months because Timmy and I weren't married yet. Timmy came over pretty much every day though and helped me to care for his baby boy. Finally, September 6th we tied the knot in a garden in Arlington in front of friends and family. I remember walking down the isle at the end of the ceremony and holding his hand and we were both thinking the same thing - we did it. It's you and me against the world now. Our honeymoon was a trip to near-by Canoby Lake park. Ha ha. We didn't have extra money for a fancy trip and we didn't want to leave the baby anyway. I remember eating dinner at a sub shop across the street. I remember trying to evade the bees while we ate. I remember that he didn't want to go on the Pirate ship with me so I waved as I rode it myself. It was fun.

I remember when he showed me our first apartment. It was night and there was no electricity so it was hard to see. It was small. It was dingy. But it was all ours. I loved it.

One of our favorite memories was when he worked a six week job in Maine and I visited him one weekend with the baby. We stayed in his motel room. We had a romantic meal at a seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean. Then we drove to a secluded ocean front and walked around. As we stood out there a bevy of swans walked by.

I don't have time to continue in such detail, but some of my other favorite memories include... the baby shower he threw me for Dimitri, the night that Dimitri was born,every one of our Christmas' together, the day we moved to Townsend, the day we bought this house, our pig roasting feast to celebrate, and all the regular old day to day interactions that make me love my husband even more, including the way he has been really supportive of me as I go to school and work.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Iron Chef II

Yesterday, after my neice's birthday party, we played our second round of Iron Chef. This time it was me Vs. my (husband's) cousin, Samnang. He made a fried meat dish with a cute heart shaped garnish on top. I made my incredible chicken soup as well as a rice,greenbean, shrimp layered plate drizzled in a butter sauce. Ah yes, it was some good competition. In the end I won by a narrow two point victory. I thought I definitely deserved to win. We're thinking for the next competition: Me and Timmy Vs. Sarom (the "other" Iron Chef) and Saroem (pronounced "Sareem")

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A great weight loss tip

Today on Oprah, she gave a great weight loss tip. Now, I consider myself a bit of a weight loss expert. I am a former personal trainer and I also wrote a book about how to lose weight. I had never thought about this tip though. She said that when you feel that little tiny Gnawing hunger in the pit of your stomach - your instinct is to go to the refrigerator and maybe pour yourself a bowl of cereal, but if you can restrain yourself and live through that little hunger - THAT Is the time when your body starts burning your fat reserves. She is SO RIGHT. I never thought of it that way. I did give similar advice to go to bed slightly hungry so that you can eat a big breakfast in the morning. And the only caution I can give is that you only allow that hunger at night. I think it's important to eat lots of small meals during the day to kick-start your metabolism. Starving yourself all day will only work against your weight loss goals.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A fight

Last night my husband and I got into a fight about me oversleeping one day recently. It blew up because it hit a sensitive spot for me. It is so difficult to balance my family duties with part time work and nearly full time school. Plus, I am now a supervisor at work and I'm trying to squeeze gym into my schedule too. It would be so much easier to just try to concentrate on my wife and mother role. (I won't delve into why I decided to go back to work here - it is on previous posts). So I got really defensive and upset. I told him that if he wanted perfection at home then I would stay home, but he had to make up his mind. I suppose there were two other small factors that fanned the flames last night. First of all my thyroid dose was a little off yesterday. I could tell it was making me jittery and agitated so I'm going to lower the dose. Secondly, my sister in law took a pregnancy test at our superbowl party and it was positive! I was so happy for her, screaming and jumping up and down. But of couse that put baby thoughts in our head even more (Also we were passing around a small baby during the party). So as the thoughts of having a new baby is tempting, but incompatable with my current situation. Ugh. Life is not easy. Its full of choices. Even when you aren't aware of the choices you're making - you exclude things by the things you do choose to do. Does that make sense? I think there's a more poetic way of saying it but I don't have time to ponder it now.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Iron Chef Game

Have you ever seen the Iron Chef show? It's a fast paced Japanese cooking competition show. It's very captivating. Anyway, today at my mother in laws house they were playing "Iron Chef" when I went to pick up my son. So I joined in and got to be one of the judges. It was my brother in law Sarom vs. my cousin in law Setha ("see-ta"). The "main ingredient" - which is always a secret until the show begins - was Ramon Noodles (lol). Sarom cooked a tasty sweet and sour soup. He also made a cucumber, boiled-egg, noodle dish that was light and refreshing. Alas, Seta was not as experienced and he produced a noodle and egg dish and and noodle-rice dish that were both rather average. So Sarom is now the reigning Iron Chef champion and I look forward to future competitions between family members. As amatuerish as this first one was, I look forward to some serious competition in the future with some more interesting main ingredients like Salmon, lobster, or steak. My father and mother in law as well as the eldest children - Ra, Ral, and my husband, Timmy, are the best cooks I've ever met. I also look forward to competing against them. It will be fun.
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