Wednesday, October 31, 2007

National Blogging All the Live Long Month

Alright so I'm gearing up for this blog every single day thing. Every. Single. Day. And I thought there was something I should explain. In case anyone happens upon this blog who is a grammar whiz. When I write sentences like the above "Every. Single. Day." I do, indeed, realize that this is a grammatical nightmare. However, I like to blog as though you're in the room with me and I'm telling you what happened, word for blessed word. I am sorry if this bothers you. I'm afraid you'll either need to get over it or stop reading my blogs. I mean, people who spell their convenience store Qwiki Mart or their company Qwest or their restaurant Kountry Kitchen bother me but I'm trying to deal with it. Anyone know a good 12 step program?

In other news, I have approximately four loyal readers. Yes, you're one of them! Duh. So, since I have to blog everyday this month, yes have to I was challenged by my friend and I'm not one to step down from a little healthy competition. Wait, what? Bethany, you didn't actually challenge me? Um...oops. Okay, so I'm not one to not make a competition completely up outta the middle of nowhere thus adding some much needed drama to my mundane and otherwise boring and non eventful November. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. If you're one of my four loyal readers, please leave me a comment with a suggestion on something I could write about. It could be something you've always wanted to know about me or a story you've heard me tell that might make a good blog or what my favorite musical is and why or my most embarrassing moment or what I'd do for a million dollars or a question you've been dying to know the answer to. I know, I just made my life sound I really have deep dark secrets you'd love nothing more than to pry out of me. But come on, there are four of you, that's four potential posts out of thirty. Help a blogger out. Start leaving those prompts~


So, my good friend Bethany introduced me to this and I'm going to try my hardest. Which won't be easy since we are moving after Thanksgiving. It starts tomorrow. I'll try not to let you all down~

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update on Situation with Melt

Okay. So. Update on the situation with Melt:

Dear Friends of Mine,
Please do not ever give your business to Melt in El Cajon at Parkway Plaza. However, please do give your business to any other Melt location you might happen upon in your travels. See, after I wrote the corporation a letter complaining about the two crazy inhabitants of the Melt in the mall, I was contacted by the President and CEO. His name is Clive Barwin and he is a fantastic Australian man who is moving to San Diego (lucky executive) and is so incredibly sorry about how my family was treated. He apologized fifty gajillion times in both email and on the phone and even asked all about how the fires were and whether my home was alright and etc. Apparently, the El Cajon Melt was seriously lacking in the sales department and is being shut down anyway. He tried to contact the manager to get his side of the story, as any good CEO would do, and even though he emailed the manager TEN times and called him SEVERAL times, he has not heard back. This has Mr. Barwin quite annoyed. Anyway, he was super upset about how we were treated and I wanted to make sure that I didn't have any of you boycotting all Melt franchises on the basis of two pyschos.

To recap: El Cajon Melt= BAD. We give them an F. All other Melts=Good (I assume. I mean, I can't speak from personal experience but you should give them a try. Clive Barwin, President & CEO=Great. We give him an A+. And by we, I mean, of course, myself and...myself.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Here Is Simply Not There

Less than a month left...

and if I actually let myself think about it, dwell on it, meditate on its depth, the weight of it all suffocates in my throat and my eyes hurt around the edges.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Garrett and the Great Vomiting Evacuation Excursion

There has never been a more miserable three hour car ride in the history of the world ever. Since the dawn of time no vehicular extravaganza has been worse. I promise. It all began with the psychotic winds and giant flaming fingers of fire and reverse 911 calls. The Witch Creek fire was rapidly approaching Ramona and I was rapidly throwing Garrett's clothes into a suitcase before putting him to bed. After all, we'd only gotten the "prepare to be evacuated" call at this point. I put the boy down for the night and starting sifting through stuff. Which stuff was just stuff and which stuff was stuff that was more important, more sentimental, more necessary than the rest of the stuff? Throughout the whole decision making fiasco I had a nagging stomach ache that I tried, somewhat successfully, to ignore. 60 mph winds were knocking on our door and whirling past our windows, neighbors were shouting back and forth in an attempt to get photo albums and important documents into their cars, sirens were screaming and motorcycles were revving. Garrett suddenly began crying. Of course it was because of all the noise, so I ignored his wails, knowing full well that he'd put himself right back to sleep. Troy began packing the car in case we got the official notice to evacuate. Garrett fell back asleep. I grabbed odds and ends we might need. Garrett screamed again. This time he sounded mournful. I thought that, perhaps, he had lost his beloved Paci. I went into his room to pop it back into his mouth.

Vomit. Vomit. Everywhere. Chicken nugget chunks in his bed, on his blanket, in his hair. I got him up, stripped his bed, threw the barfy sheet, mattress pad, and jammies into the wash. Troy gave Garrett a bath and wrapped him up in snugly new jammies. I called Kaiser to find out what to do. (I mean, not that I can't handle a little puke but he weighs 23 pounds, he'd dehydrate pretty quickly). They told me that he would be fine as long as I kept fluids in him. One teaspoon of pedialyte every ten minutes. Sounded simple enough.

And then we heard the sirens very loud and very clear and very much driving down our street and telling us to get out of our homes because the fire was a-comin'. And Garrett puked again. And again. And again. And there was no warning. Just a quick heave and then stinky chunky saliva everywhere. Somehow we managed to get all our stuff (well, ok, so significantly less than all our stuff but enough of it anyway), our vomiting baby, our panting and panicked dog, our extremely irritated cat and a feral cat who we had been keeping well fed but had never actually picked up before until right that second, all loaded up into our Hyundai Santa Fe. Our street alone was a disconcerting shade of gridlock. My son was a disconcerting shade of vomit. Our house, as we drove away, a disconcerting shade of wood and stucco and fire food. "Goodbye home. Hope you don't burn." We started out heading for my grandparents house down in San Carlos.

The Evie, (affectionately changed from Evil when we decided, about 18 months ago, that she wasn't all that bad) was in a carrier in the front seat, moaning and bellyaching and carrying on. The Oliver was in the back echoing Evie bellow for bellow. The Beck was in the back panting and trying to lick The Barfer's head. The Barfer was in his car seat refusing so much as a drop of liquid. So much for that pedialyte scenario. The Me was in the backseat next to The Barfer and, despite bringing a trash can and towels and papertowels, was catching his vomit in my hand because that was the only thing he would throw up into. Crying and retching he would shove all other things away and pull my hand toward his pathetic face to make a repulsive deposit. The Husband was in the driver's seat, trying to use one of three roads to exit Ramona--along with over half of the population.

It took us just over three hours to get from our house to the emergency room at Kaiser down in Mission Valley. I've made that trip a billionty times before and it takes 40 minutes. It took us just over two hours to get from our house to highway 67. Um...I've made that trip 80 billionty times before and it takes ten minutes. TEN MINUTES MORPHED IT'S LITTLE SELF RIGHT INTO TWO HOURS BECAUSE ALL OF RAMONA WAS SIMULTANEOUSLY LEAVING. Horray! As we were crawling, wait, no, I am sure I could have crawled faster, down San Vicente we watched the flames licking the hillside. We surveyed the gridlock. I caught puke. I felt myself getting more and more nauseated. My bladder filled. My cell phone failed to work. It got to the point where I literally decided it was in the best interest of my child to not be in his car seat. So I made the conscious decision to Britney Spears it. I'm not proud but let's look at the facts. An old man on a bicycle flew past us. Where he was going I haven't a clue. We were driving less than a mile an hour. If it wasn't safe for me to hold my son, it's not safe for me to push him in a grocery cart. He writhed around. He fell asleep in my arms for a few minutes. He stood up, cried, and began retching. I tried to stop it but it was too late. He vomited in my face. It wasn't the first time I'd ever had someone else's barf on my face (hey Katey, here's your personal shout out!) but that on top of the stress of the fire on top of the fact that Oliver had decided to crap and spray in his kennel on top of dog breath on top of needing to urinate badly on top of really starting to worry about my small son who was quickly dehydrating caused the following:

Whilst bursting into tears I sobbed, "Troy, I seriously can't handle this."

Troy is very rarely extremely firm with me. He adores me in ways I never imagined possible, but Sunday night was cause for putting a foot down. He looked at me and replied, "You have too." And that was that. I stopped crying. We inched along. Garrett slept here and there and cried occasionally. And then we finally turned on to the 67. I fastened the boy back into his car seat and there was much silent rejoicing. Then the retching interrupted the rejoicing. No, not Garrett. Me. Into the trash can (I knew there was a reason we brought that!) I purged. Not once. Not twice. But three times over the course of the next hour. Initially I thought it was whatever Garrett had but, I recooperated quickly so it must have been the smells and stress and the sheer weight of it all.

The car smelled of pungent smoke, cat urine, cat fecal matter, infant vomit, apple pedialyte, dog breath and adult vomit. It took three hours to drive 32 miles. I tried to force feed my son liquid. I held pedialyte and a trash can filled with my stomach contents in between my legs. I held my son's stomach contents in my hand. I wondered when I know if fire consumed my home or if I'd return to it again. It definitely wins for worst car ride ever. But the night doesn't end there. Sometime near my grandparents house I realized that Garrett was vomiting red. I don't know a whole heck of a lot about puke except that I happen to do it somewhat frequently and after you get ride of whatever you ate you start upchucking bile. And bile is yellowy and thin and not slightly thick and red. We had been toying with the idea of the ER because of the fluid loss. This confirmed it.

We evacuated our home in Ramona at 9:50 pm. We went to sleep at my grandparents house in San Carlos--40 minutes away--at 5:15 am. To make a long emergency room visit short, after sitting in a little cubby for over two hours, where he continuously vomited, Garrett was given a suppository to stop the hurling. It worked and, despite being a little tired and a lot grumpy the next day, he was really no worse for the wear. The color of his vomit was deemed "normal" although I've never seen that color come up outta me.

The night was overwhelming. The days that have passed have been calm but exhausting. We were the first town evacuated and we will be the last to return. Because of our water situation, we are being told that we can't return until the first of November. Praise God that my home is still there. But I'm trying to figure out why my last few weeks of California life--when I have so much to get done--are spent sitting around my grandparent's house. All that comes to mind is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Gridlock aside. Emergency room aside. Impending move aside. There is simply nothing I can do other than be still and know that He is God.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I’m a pastor’s wife. I’m a high school teacher (for one more week before I become a stay at home mother of one living in Utah). I was an honor student in high school and graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with pretty decent grades. A competitive swimmer for ten years, I lettered during all four high school seasons. I’ve been on stage or behind the scenes of numerous plays. By all accounts, I’m not exactly a thug. So, imagine my surprise today when I was thrown out of Melt with my pastor husband, my graduate student brother, my mother and my toddler son. Imagine my greater surprise when three security guards were sent to find out why I had been involved in an altercation.

So we’ve been staying with my grandparents during this whole evacuation situation and today we decided to head over to the mall for a little while. Parkway Plaza in El Cajon has their parking lot open for evacuees so the mall is a giant zoo of displaced families, high on smoke and emotion, looking to get out of the ash-filled air and chill for awhile. Regal Cinemas was giving away 700 free movie tickets—because they wanted to bring some cheer to the stressed masses. Of course, we couldn’t share in the good fortune because—well, ok, so we could have but no one likes a toddler in a movie theatre. My brother took Garrett on the carousel, we walked around, we spotted a friend from church sitting in a café. (I should explain that he was sitting at the first table in a deserted store, actually). It was Melt Gelato and Crepe Café, and I’ve always wanted to try it. It has a kind of chic, New York City feel and, in the past, when I walked by, I could almost see myself eating my tiramisu gelato (oh how I should have been born an Italian) over my laptop (very Carrie Bradshawesque). We entered the restaurant and while Troy, my brother and my mom went to talk with Ryan, I scanned the menu and made a mental note to ask if anyone wanted to share a gelato with me. I walked over to the group and chatted with Ryan about evacuations and where animals went and which houses in Ramona were confirmed destroyed. As I listened to him talk I gazed at advertisements on the wall for gelato to go. It was so beautiful. Why am I not Italian? I heard an Asian man behind me ask us if we’d purchased anything. The fact that he was Asian isn’t important other than to explain that the confusion during the following conversation was, in small part, because of a language barrier. It was, still, in large part, because the man was a complete idiot. We told him that, no, we had not bought anything but we were talking to our friend.

“You have to leave, you can’t stand here.”
“We’re just talking with our friend about the fires.”
“You need to get out now!”
“Are you serious?”
“You are not allowed to stand here.”

At this point my husband informed the employee that we would not be buying anything there ever. The man replied that we were not welcome to buy anything there. Then he went on to say that we wouldn’t let him into our home just to sit. Troy, who was getting really mad said, “You can come over to my house and help me sweep up all the ash.” What someone should have said was, “Wait, what? You live here?” or “If I even have a home! Ramona is burning, buddy!” But at this point he was yelling that if we didn’t leave he would call security. So, we, well, we did what any sensible person would do and we left. I mean, this was seriously like the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame. What we had here was the Gelato Gestapo. I’m so not even kidding. If there hadn’t been so many witnesses I honestly would have thought it was a hallucination.

Hallucination or not, I was getting angrier and angrier by the second. And I saw two people walk in to the café. And I honestly don’t know what possessed me but I quickly approached yelling, “Do not buy anything here. Please, they just threw us out.” I was really happy when the people who turned to look at me were people I knew. “Oh, I know you. Seriously, don’t eat here. They just threw me out for standing on their tile.” At this point the man behind the counter runs to get his cell phone and, as became apparent later, calls security.

We walked a few stores down and I told them what had happened. We talked about their family and whether their home was alright. And about five minutes later, security came strolling up. Not one guard. Not two guards. No no. I’m hard core. I’ve got the body of a linebacker and clearly I was carrying numerous firearms and threatening to steal gelato at gunpoint. I needed three security guards to hold me down. They asked if we’d been involved in an altercation at Melt. I told it like it was. And there were a whole lot of witnesses with the same story. At one point someone asked what we had done wrong.

“Well, it is considered loitering if you go in there and don’t buy anything.”
To which my friend said, “If I walked into Express and didn’t buy anything they wouldn’t throw me out for loitering!”
“Hmmm. Good point.”

It was at this point that my mother interjected, “You’ve got Regal Cinemas giving away 5600 dollars worth of free tickets and this guy down here won’t let someone stand on his tile for five minutes? I think he’s the one who needs to be talked to.”

They headed that way. It was probably just to pacify my mom but whatever. I would have understood if we’d been there for three hours—we were there for less than five minutes. I would have understood if I’d unrolled my sleeping bag and curled up for an autumn afternoon nap—no sleeping accouterments were involved. Even after calling security on me the man continued to stare me down where I stood, a good three stores away, not interrupting his business at all.
I sent a letter to their corporate headquarters. I just don’t think behavior like that is called for. It might not have been the best idea for me to start telling people not to buy things there—I’ll chalk it up to stress and exhaustion and dumbfoundedness—but I do think that their behavior warranted losing a couple of customers. In fact, I think their behavior warrants losing more than just a couple.

So I’m asking you, if you live in the San Diego area, not to give your money to Melt Gelato and Crepe Café in El Cajon. I’m not telling you never to eat at one again. After all, it’s stylish and you can feel like an Italian at best and a New Yorker at worst. But, next time you’re walking through the mall and you get a hankering for gelato, please think of me and my family, including my sweet little toddler son, getting thrown, without reason, from the shop, and don’t give them your business. Please?

*edited to add that I am currently having an email discussion with the President and CEO of Melt Gelato and he is appalled. I will keep everyone updated as to what occurs with this matter.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Top Five Things

Top Five Things I Feel The Need To Discuss:

1. This just in, the boy hates hot dogs. So far, in his young little life, I thought this was a result of the aversion to textures he's been having. I mean, let's face it, you've gotta bite into the tube steak to get the explosion of warm meaty goodness that comes from eating, well, something that we all try not to think of while we're eating it. I, myself, am not even sure what a hot dog is. I've heard everything from left over bits of the animal to ground up innards to piggy willy. For awhile, in high school, I boycotted them altogether. And by awhile I mean a few months until I realized that while it may, in fact, be piggy willy--hence the lovable nickname wiener--it is darn good tasting and I vowed never to uncover the true source of its goodness. I digress. Garrett hates 'em. Today I made him one for lunch thinking, yah they cause brain cancer but I think you have to eat like 92,000 of them, not, you know, one. And I held it in his mouth like we do with all the foods that he has a texture aversion, and not a taste aversion, to. The poor little guy made the worst face ever and, when I let go, promptly gagged it out. So I ask you, what kid hates hot dog? Mine will be the four-year-old at the birthday party who rudely turns his nose up at dinner. "Excuse me, could you make me filet mignon? I detest tube steak."

2. Grey's Anatomy is getting on my nerves this year. I'm still going to watch it tonight but let's get real. As my good friend pointed out, if any of the doctors at Seattle Grace took on Callie Torres, they'd be crunched in a matter of seconds. With the one exception of Dr. Bailey. And maybe Alex. Maybe.

3. I have an unhealthy obsession with my gynecologist. I mentioned in my last post that I was going to desperately miss her when we move. Actually, I said that I was going to make her come with me. Well, I had my annual intrusion this week and, turns out, she's not coming. I mean, I didn't come right out and ask. That would be...well...she's not supposed to know I'm her stalker. Inside I pleaded, "Come with me come with me come with me come with me puhlease!" What I actually said was, "I'm not looking forward to getting a new hairstylist and a new gynecologist. So, I'm just going to get my hair cut when I visit my parents but, I don't suppose Kaiser will let me keep seeing you." She thought about it for a minute and then said, "Probably not." She did tell me that I could call her anytime and that Salt Lake has wonderful doctors and that goodness knows they're in the business of babies there and blahblahblah. "Yes. It might be true. Give me a hug. Hold me. Don't ever let me go."'t...actually...say...that...last...part...I'm...not...truly...insane. But oh how I love her. Okay. I am. I am indeed, truly, insane.

4. I'm shifting through memories and trying to figure out which ones are worth keeping and which ones can be sold at a garage sale. It makes me nauseated. Even things like old green chairs that were long used when we acquired them. Nostalgic Me: But we used them in the MVA shows last year! Declutterer Me: Get rid of them, pack rat! And things like t-shirts from when we were going to adopt a kid from Ukraine. Nostalgic Me: Oh, remember how we were going to get a kid from Ukraine and how it was going to cost $32,000 and we had $1,000 and we were just praying and praying that God would provide? Declutterer Me: He did provide. He gave you a beautiful biological son and even though you want to adopt some day in the future you are not going to use America World because once you were pregnant and you tried to get your deposit back they were really rude and kept it all even though no services had been rendered so sell the shirt, stupid.

5. I want another baby. Now. Please. Actually, immediately. Just for the information of anyone who has been dying to know but hasn't asked--I think there are still a few of you out there. Yes, we would like another one. Yes, we have been trying to have another one. Yes, we have, in fact, been doing so for 6.5 months. Yes, many people have no trouble getting pregnant again once they have a child. No, I am not those people. No, it is not even a little bit close to the horror it was the first time. Yes, it is still horrible. Yes, I am still besidemyselfjealousofwomenwhocanjustsmilesweetlyattheirhusbandsandgetpregnant. No, I do not wish these same people dead. No, I do not want Garrett to be 35 years older than his sibling. Yes, I am a little concerned about what it will be like to be infertile in the land of 20 billion babies. No, I am not going to try to steal your baby. I promise. Any questions?

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Prognosis: One month left of life as I know it.

I've been on a blogging hiatus. You see, the only thing I can even think to write about is moving, leaving, saying goodbye, putting a period at the end of the sentence at the end of the paragraph at the end of the 26th chapter set here in sunny Southern California. And, until now, I couldn't write about it, couldn't let the cat out of the bag (although, apparently, the world is chock-full of people who tell one person who tells one person because some people found out two weeks ago that I was moving. I find this very peculiar since I, myself, did not find out until a week ago). To say that I don't really, particularly, want to go, would probably be the understatement of the year, if not the decade, if not the past 26 years. My life is here and always has been.

But Sarah probably didn't want to follow her husband to Canaan and Jonah didn't exactly jump at the chance to go to Ninevah. I, personally, would rather not see the belly of a whale, thank you very much. So, in an attempt to go where He sends us, my little family is packing up and heading to the Great Salt Lake. (Insert no we are not LDS here). Troy has accepted a Senior Pastor position at a church in the Salt Lake area of Utah. Fortunately, he will be receiving enough of a raise that I will get to stay home with Garrett. While I don't mind working a couple days a week, I love being with him all day long and this will be a huge blessing.

Of course, I could write forever about how much I'll miss seeing my parents whenever I want and how hard it will be to leave the church I've been a part of for the past sixteen years. I could talk about how no climate will ever suit me as perfectly as this little niche on the map. But I have to go to work in a few minutes so for the time being I'll just make a list of ten things I'll miss:

1. I'll miss being able to drive to my parents' house in less than fifteen minutes.
2. I'll miss my entire family being within 40 minutes (this includes my brother, sister-in-law, neices, nephew, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins)
3. I will miss the Chargers and the Padres more than any female should ever miss any sports team. But I will remain a steadfast fan.
4. I will miss my hairdresser and my ob/gyn. Wait. Strike that. I will come home for visits and get my hair cut. And, since I will no longer have Kaiser (I WILL MISS KAISER!) I will have to take my ob/gyn with me to Utah. Goodness knows there would be plenty of clients for her there. What? I'm a little obsessive about who touches my head and my-- well, I just don't want to find a new person. At all.
5. I will miss In & Out Burger.
6. I will miss my church.
7. I will miss Sea World and the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park and being within very short driving distance to Disneyland.
8. I will miss my students at MVA.
9. I will miss the way the sun sets over the ocean. (I doubt it looks the same when it sets over the barren Salt Lake.) And, for that matter, I will miss the ocean. I think I'll feel landlocked and all claustrophobic inside.
10. I will miss my life as I have known it for the past 313 months.

More to follow...probably a list of 62,000 or so.