Monday, June 25, 2012

The EPIC tale of Grandma Bear….or filler, you decide.

I think, when you lose a parent, or anyone you hold dear, you start another leg, another chapter, in your journey of life.  You will sometimes cry, you remember, you laugh, you cherish, and I, sometimes create what my mother’s “worldly heaven” would be, in my head.  I, like many before me, and many after me, and many who are with me, will start my journey as a mother without my own beloved mother.  For the most part, I am very good at not shaking my fist at the sky and crying out to God, “why?!”  Even now, though I feel my child is in some ways, “robbed”, I know my mother’s love flows through me, she is in my blood.  My child will know their grandmother through me, and have her love and strength in their veins as well.  My mom was preparing for her grandchildren well before Mark and I were preparing for our 1st child.  We only got as far as buying a HUGE book of baby names, which in the end, was never even used.  My mom had collected books, toys, and had every intention of buying all of our baby’s furniture.  She wasn’t here, but she made good on her promise.  With that being said, I’d like to introduce you all to something very important to me.  I hope my child will cherish this toy as much as I do.  This is a toy that is specifically for my mom’s 1st grandchild.  She even has a name, Grandma Bear.
"Grandma Bear" in a Columbus, Ohio hotel.  She was there for the free breakfast.

When Mark and I recently went back to the states, we went back to relax, and for the 1st time in 4 years, we were going to go back home together, and enjoy our family together.  Not because of a tragic loss, not because we had a job to do, because we wanted to have time with family and friends that wanted to share in our joy of welcoming our 1st child in the world.  That is not 100% true, I did have 1 job to do, in Ohio, and Mark agreed to go with me.  I was also able to see my wonderful family and they showered us with gifts, but the original purpose for my trip to Ohio was to get my bear.  Well, my child’s bear.  Once Mark and I decided to stay overnight, we got to spend a bit of time with my mother’s side of the family.  I can’t remember where she bought Grandma Bear.  I assume it was from a Victoria’s Secret Associate sale.  When my mother was well, she worked for Victoria’s Secret Direct, where she worked as a lead there and she loved her job and the people she worked with.  My child’s bear is huge! Where was my huge bear when I was a kid!?  For me to pretend that I was not a spoiled child would be severely incorrect.  Like both my parents would tell you, I was never a brat, but spoiled, definitely.  I won’t be jealous.  I remember having the bear talk with her my mom. One day during an Ohio visit, we sorted through all the Vicky’s goodies she recently scored at an associate sale, and she showed me the bear that sat on top of her cabinet that was filled with Victoria’s Secret (and other Limited Brand) items.  Actually, you couldn’t miss the bear, but she told me who that big bear was for.  “This is for my 1st grandchild.”  Who, at the time, was a good 4 to 3 years away.  This huge, brand new bear, perfect in every way, was for the 1 person, she never realized she would never get to meet.  The tiny person who was on the way, but none of us had any way of knowing when.  That bear was my 1 job during my visit home; my child had to have his or her gift.  The 1st gift that was ever purchased solely for them.  No one else could give this gift for my mom and I had no problem making the side trip for her.  This token speaks volumes of my mother.  Much like a picture, her actions spoke a thousand words.  That is a mom for you, isn’t it?  So, once seeing the bear again, I told Mark, “The bear’s name should be Grandma Bear.”  He looked at me with nothing but love in his eyes, and smiled, and I took that as him agreeing, because though cliché, sometimes words get in the way.

So how does one get a giant Grandma Bear back from Columbus, Ohio to Okinawa, Japan?  I wasn’t going to risk mailing such an item; too many things could go wrong.  Grandma Bear stayed with me and she would fly back to Japan.  Basically, if I am going down, the bear is going with me.  That may be too morbid but hey, it’s the truth!  Wouldn’t need the bear to get to Okinawa after that!  No more dark jokes.   Mark, my packing and organizing hero, placed the bear in what used to be my mother’s big, pink suitcase.   Now, Mark did have to tuck the bear’s legs under its ears, but she fit, and once freed, the bear went right back to its normal shape.  That one agile animal!  I am curious, what did the bag screeners think when seeing that bag?  There was literally nothing else in that bag besides a bear, and a journal that I never leave on a trip without.  Now, the Scott’s are safely in Okinawa again with   a very special addition to our family.
Grandma Bear WILL watch you sleep, I told Mark we'll have to find another spot for her after Baby is born.  Not trying for early dangers and nightmares!

This story is not exactly an Okinawan adventure, but this story plays a major role in my new chapter of life that will begin on Okinawa.  Boy will THAT be an adventure!  I wanted to share with other family and friends because every now and again, it’s okay to open the window to your soul and let some fresh air in.  After all, it promotes healing and breathing, which I am still doing, and will every day I am allowed to.  Now on to more pressing issues, like how to clean a giant Grandma Bear when your child pukes all over her?  Something tells me if stuffed bears could talk, she wouldn't have it any other way.

Ja, mata ne! <3 Talya

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

                                   Our Okinawa adventures have slowed down to a crawl, by choice, of course.
18 weeks

     Everyone who knows us and is near and dear to us knows by now we are welcoming our 1st child in to the world.  Everyone who has children of their own also realizes how much this changes things!  Mark is working hard and none stop, he is staying busy so that when Baby Scott (the coined name of our little bun in the ol’ oven) gets here, we can rest as a family.  I have given up on derby and probably won’t return.  Close friends and family know I’ve (we’ve) been waiting on this for a while, so I am going to take on the new hobby of motherhood.  I can already tell you, I won’t be one of those mothers that doesn’t do anything without her child but, for a while, it’s going to be Mark, Baby Scott, and myself, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  We aren’t finding out our baby’s gender and we aren’t sharing the baby’s name until the day he or she is born.  I’ve heard, “you are having a boy and you are having a girl”, so time will tell.  I am already SO excited for baby’s 1st visitors, and help for the new mom and dad!  Mom and Dad Scott will be here 1st followed by Dad and Mom 2 Hood. We wanted both sets of parents to visit and I am already getting the apartment ready for the parents and for our 1st visitors in Japan.  Mom and Dad Scott have started a very expensive tradition of being there for every grandchild’s birth.  They’ve traveled across the states, Australia, and now putting Japan on the list.  The Hood’s and Scott’s are international families!  Though, if it wasn’t for Baby Scott, not sure if Dad Hood would have been to eager to come back to “The Rock” as he calls it.  He’s a tough soldier though, and this time he doesn’t have stay at Camp Hansen. 

After reading an article on MSN about infertility and how women struggling with infertility should speak up, I decided to share a little (very little) about myself and my family’s struggle.  I am not one to go in to too much detail and I still won’t.  What they said in the article I can’t say I completely agree with, it spoke of infertile women telling their stories, but women dealing with infertility shouldn’t have to stand on the tallest mountain and shout, “I HAVE INFERTILITY ISSUES”.  People should realize that just maybe, it’s none of their business what is going on in other couple’s lives and they should not be asking questions, period.  Mark and I tried for almost 5 years.  Tried is the perfect word when you realize how hard it is to actually get pregnant.  Mark being deployed didn’t exactly help matters, as asexual reproduction is just not how it works for human beings.  Months go by and friends that knew we were trying said just relax, go on a vacation.  After a year and a half, we run the tests and find out that nothing is wrong.  After year 2 I was sick of hearing the question, “when are you guys going to have a baby?”  It seems like a harmless question, and depending on whom it is from, it can be, as I eventually shared with family and some friends, what was going on.  Then the 3rd and 4th years pass and anyone who felt the need to ask the question I feared the most, were then met with, “if God feels the need to bless us, so be it,” or, “if it happens, it happens.”  All the while, on the inside I was mad.  For me and my personal experience with infertility (which by the way, is the term used for any woman who doesn’t get pregnant after 6 months to a year and is seeking medical answers for why she isn’t having babies) I found it beyond rude of the women, who had their precious bundles, and still felt privy to my inner most fears.  Most people didn’t realize what was going on because I didn’t share, and again, I shouldn’t have to.  As I talked on the topic with one of my friends, it’s the same as asking a woman who has lost a child the same question.  A family losses a baby, and though others may not realize the family’s loss, they ask the question, “so, when are you going to have a little one?”  That may put a person in a dark place that brings pain and tears.  It sure did for me with my infertility issue.  Holidays void of the thing I longed for, motherhood.  My mother waited and practically begged me to hurry it along.  “We’re trying”, was the answer, and it was true.  Hearing another person announcing they were expecting made me cringe.  Doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy for my family and friends, I was just dealing with my own problems.  Once in Japan, I was determined to spend everything I needed to, to make our dreams of parenthood come true.  Mark and I were slated to see a fertility doctor in January of 2012, but it wasn’t meant to be, because, as some women who have nothing “wrong” with them find out, sometimes, years later, it just happens.  I didn’t want to wait till 31 for my 1st, but then again, it was never up to me.  Then I had to figure out how to answer the question, “was this a planned pregnancy”, when the doctors asked.  How does one answer that question?  Simple enough, “we wanted this to happen.”

Mark and I just got back from the states.  It was supposed to be a treat for Mark’s coming home.  We went to see family and also, friends he hasn’t seen in 4 years.  We went to North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee.  My family in Ohio and Tennessee had baby showers for me.  I was super excited and now the baby will actually be clothed!  It quickly turned in to the LAST trip we’d go on before we become parents.  The flights were beyond rough on me.  I started off as an international traveler years ago, now, I am the international puker.  From Tokyo to NYC you don’t want to fly close to me.  When I could, I politely took my baggy to the lavatory to fill.  Finally Mark has his passport, but I am traveled out.  Next trip will be with Baby Scott…maybe.  I’d really love to go to South Korea pre baby.  I have waited this long though, it wouldn’t be the end all be all if I didn’t go, and besides, I have so much to look forward to!!
 A BIG thank you to my sister in law, Mel for thinking of it and Grandma Scott for hosting!!

Green and beautiful, Tennessee.  A Scott family walk in a Nashville, TN park.

Typhoon season and summer go hand in hand on Okinawa.  One day, rain boots, next day, bathing suit.  In true “honey badger don’t care” style, I bought a bikini to wear at the beach.  Some people think preggos showing it all is gross or uncalled for, I personally want the tan.  I have also found out that after about an hour and a half in the sun, I am done.  I am usually okay with a water bottle in one hand and up to my chest in water.  I plan on getting around as much as possible while I can carry the baby with the greatest of ease, well okay, I won’t go that far.  I do have a great pair of running shoes now though, thanks to the hubs, so it helps.  At least the summer also brings festivals and hanabi (fireworks)!  I won’t be wearing my yukata this year though.

I don’t want to give too much away because of what the military calls “OPSEC”, but this will be a year full of Okinawa and Japan, and trying to see everything we can while we still live in Asia.

Sayonara from the Scott’s!