February 22, 2013

Lady Hiva is Chosen as February 2013's Mighty Mom

I received a message from one of Lady Hiva's good friends saying that she had nominated Lady Hiva for the February Mighty Mom Award on the popular blog Mother's Niche. Lady Hiva was chosen and the Mother's Niche team asked me to write a tribute to Lady Hiva.

OF COURSE I WILL! Who wouldn't want to write a tribute so such a special person?

There are so many things that I could say, so many aspects of Lady that I love. You can read it here:

FEBRUARY 2013 Mighty Mom Award

I am so thankful that Lady Hiva continues to be an inspiration to all.

(She also does not know that this is going up until I post this..so it will be a surprise to her as well!)

February 18, 2013


To bring back an old school commercial from an telephone company when the son calls collect (do they even HAVE collect calling anymore?) to tell his parents that they had a baby. Instead of wasting money he just says his name is "Jim Wehadababyitsaboy."

So when we went to the doctor this week we found out that we are "Dust and Lady Hiva We'rehavingababyitsaboy!" YAY!

Lady Hiva is 16 weeks now and things still are going well. So, keep up all that you are doing to help us because it is WORKING! :) We went in for a checkup and they did an ultrasound. Now, as you all know we have done this baby thing several times and are used to at which stages different things happen with the baby--and Lady--so we already knew that if things worked out well we would be able to know the gender. Lady even purposely did not eat much for breakfast (we had a 0700H ultrasound) so the baby would not be as wiggly.

As we walked in I asked the ultrasound tech, who is really a kind lady, pretending I did not know the answer, "At what stage can you tell the gender of the baby?" She gave a vague medical answer as she prepared the machines. The vague answer was OK with me in this instance because I was just passively hinting to her that we would like to know if she could find out. (I am usually ALL about the details when it comes to medical things...partially to make sure that I know how to care for the ailment and partially because it is REALLY interesting).

The tech was really just checking to make sure the cerclage was doing what it was supposed to do and that there were no problems to flag, however after a few quick swipes with the ultrasound she said, in her thick Russian accent, "Would you like to find out what you are having?" Lady said, "Yes" so she said, "Its a boy! See the peepee!" It was fun to hear Lady repeat this phrase to her family as she told them later, she had the accent down really well when she said, "see the peepee!"

It is fun to know what we are having, it makes it a little more real. We approach all pregnancies with apprehension because we never know how it is going to turn out. (We are 0/6 so far) But knowing the gender makes it undeniable that we are having a baby!

Now we just need to pray he stays in there cooking for at least several more months and we started the negotiation process for a name....wish us luck! haha...

February 14, 2013

The Language of Flowers

Valentine’s Day is not very high on my list of holidays. As you all know, Christmas is my big holiday and Halloween is my least favorite, so everything else falls in between. Valentine’s is not quite as low as Halloween, but my excitement level is not near as much as Christmas. So maybe it is around my feelings for Thanksgiving?!

The first year Lady Hiva and I were married she told me that she did not need anything for Valentine’s. Me, being one of those people that says things as I really mean—no hidden meaning—took it as face value. I did not get her anything. The next day I walked in to hear her telling her sister that I did not do ANYTHING for Valentine’s. There was a long conversation after that about how just because she says she does not want something means she may want it still but doesn’t want to say. HUH?!? So if you say you don’t want it, you really do want it? Needlessly to say, I was thoroughly confused. But I vowed to NEVER let that happen again.

A few years later I had arranged for some flowers to be delivered to her during her class. They were not delivered until three days later. Another EPIC FAIL!  Brrnmppp…

This year it was different. Lady Hiva and I both read a great book,THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. In the book it talks about the different flowers that are given to people and each have a meaning. The main character uses flowers to send “messages” to others. I decided that for my gift we were going to send messages to each other.

I told Lady we were going out—not telling her where—and we went to the flower wholesale market (Alexandria Public Wholesale Florist). The plan was to pick out flowers for each other to make bouquets and then we could find the meaning and make a message with those words. 

We both love flowers so we almost spent an hour wandering the place, watching the people frantically prepare flowers for the big holiday, sniffing, admiring and just soaking it all in. We were both in the 40 degree chiller for quite a while too.

What we Started with

We left with a box full of flowers, stopped and bought $5 dollar vases (that were 50% off) and spent another hour or two making flower arrangements. By the time we were done we had four HUGE bouquets! HAHA…I guess we bought a bit more than we needed, but the house smelled wonderful.

What we ended with!

My bouquet had these flowers in it:
Sunflower: False Riches
Ginestra: Intrinsic Worth
Tree Fern: Secrecy
Chrysanthemum (pompom): Truth
Statice (sea lavender): Remembrance
Cottonwood sticks: (they were just dead, supplied from the front yard)
Gerber Daisy: Cheerfulness

Lady’s bouquet had these flowers:
Orange Roses: Fascination
Snapdragons:  Presume
Golden Rods: Careful Encouragement
Chrysanthemum: Truth

The Extras!

As you can see, we ended up with some REALLY corny messages to each other! I did have a hard time fitting “false riches” in there though! I gave Lady her message with a bag of her favorite chocolates and she gave me mine with a story about cupid falling out of a tree but leaving behind his bow and quiver of arrows that had the clues to the message.

We had a great time…and at least it was a good Valentine’s memory this time! 

February 08, 2013

Hometown Diplomat

One of the things that is enjoyable about being a Foreign Service Officer is coming home and being able to talk about the job with people here in the United States.

Last October I was able to speak with several schools about my job and this week I was, through the Department of State’s Hometown Diplomat program, speak with a group of young professionals here in Washington, DC.

They were members of the Roraract Club, DC Chapter. You could feel their energy and willingness to make a difference in the world around them. As we looked around the room, we were a diverse group of people in many ways. But we all shared the common goal to do something for those people around us.

Lady Hiva and I enjoyed getting to know all of them before the meeting and after they stayed to ask questions. (This must have meant I did not bore them too badly! Haha). As they talked about the things that they do for service I was really impressed with them. For example, they go and play bingo with injured veterans in the hospital once a month. What a cool group to be involved with.

February 02, 2013

Lady Is One Tough Girl!

Now, I may be biased—just a little bit :)--but Lady Hiva is truly amazing. The pregnancy is going really well. We are now into the 14th gestation week and that marks the beginning of the SECOND TRIMESTER! It is so wonderful to have come this far with no complications. Although that makes us hope that later we don’t have larger complications.

All the prayers, thoughts and positive vibes from all ends of the world have helped…and we hope that it continues to help too. We have learned over the past few years that having a large support system is really helpful.

Yesterday Lady had a cerclage put in. There are generally two types of cerclage, a McDonald and a Shirodkar cerclage. Last time Lady had the McDonald and this time they wanted to try the Shirodkar because it is higher and sturdier. (If you want the medical nitty-gritty you can Google them). Needless to say they BOTH sound really painful to me.

Lady Hiva was willing to go through it for the chance to have a baby. I hope this time it works out, she deserves it. I married a REALLY special person (and no, not like ‘I ride the short bus special’)

It was a long day in the hospital, but things were going alright so they let us go. So more waiting…week by week we are getting closer! Here is to a full term baby…or at least close!