Sunday, September 30, 2007


Initially I logged on to rant about what a sad day it was in the world of San Diego sports today, but this put it all into perspective. I don't know this family but I encourage you to read their story. I stumbled across their blog about a week ago. All you really need to know is that their daughter, Copeland, was born almost two weeks ago with Trisomy-18. The Lord took her home on Wednesday. If you only read one post, make it the one from today titled "home".

While I watched the video, Garrett crawled up into my lap for some Love-Love which is 14 month old code for snuggling. If you know him, you know he doesn't cuddle often. He laid his head on my chest and as I watched and read the post I couldn't help but hold him tighter than ever. By the end I was crying and he picked up his head to see what was wrong. With his big eyes staring into mine I realized that while being a sports fan certainly passes the time, losing is never going to be the end of my world.

Like I said, I don't know these people personally, but we are all one family in Christ. I'm sure they could use your prayers.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


When did I get so old that after an hour of Indian-style-bent-over-a-scrapbook I end up stuck in a pretzel position and when I try to stand up every joint south of my bellybutton aches?

And, more importantly, should this be happening to someone in her twenties?

And, if so, what will forty or fifty look like?

I'm not even gonna ask about sixty. I figure by that point, apparently, I'm going to bedridden.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I'm obsessed with California.

Oh sure, there are things I'm not altogether fond of. Things like Death Valley and El Centro and politics. But to have been born and raised here is to be called a Californian--and that's not something I'm ashamed of. Because to declare her heritage and her blood means that I get to claim the warm sand of San Diego beaches, the majesty of Yosemite, the snow capped Sierra-Nevadas,the driftwood of the gray northern seashores and Redwood trees. Lake Tahoe, my favorite place on earth, covers the crooked border that is shared with Nevada. And weather worn lighthouses litter the coastline in ghostly beauty.

I've been to 18 states (and it's a personal goal of mine to see them all before I die) and I find several of them to be quite wonderful. But the thought of leaving this place for any of them actually makes my throat constrict if I dwell on it for too long. Because she is beauty. She is familiarity and magnificence and wonder. She is home.

I adore the nearly year round warmth of my life in Southern California. The way my skin feels when the sun drenches it in kisses. The not-too-hot-and-not-too-cold way it feels when a breeze picks up on a lazy afternoon in late September. How the sky looks when dusk falls over Point Loma. I love it here in my little corner of the country, where dreams are not landlocked but have an oceanic eternity to come true. Where there is San Francisco and Crescent City and Hollywood and Tahoe City and as different as they all are, they're all in the same state.

And if e'er I am to leave, I will miss the smell of waves breaking just off the shore of my youth. I will cry for all I took for granted for so long. I will remember, in my new world, what it looked like to sit behind a computer screen, on my own slice of land, in a place my grandparents came to and my parents didn't leave, and watch the trees gently blowing as the October of my life waited to take hold. But even if I find myself in New Jersey, New Mexico, New York or New Delhi, I will call myself Californian. Because I can't imagine ever ending this love affair.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I'm not even really sure where to start. I can talk about how much I am not ready to be back. I can ramble on and on about the fact that in Hawaii one can forget all about the stress of the not selling house and the what ifs and the then whats and the whys and the hows and the electric bill. I feel as though, for ten days, I stepped out of my life and onto Paradise. A lingering moment of perfect summer before the uninviting autumn of it all. It leaves me to ask: If I moved to Hawaii would I be able to side step life? Would the world mist by on a wayward tradewind? And, dare I say, would I want it to? Would I want my hair to be a constant tangle of tropical breeze? Would I want to pay $6.99 for a bag of salad? And if life passed by, would I somehow be able to escape the evil mosquito which inhabits the island of Kauai and finds me to be a tasty treat? I can discuss every day in detail but the beauty cannot, really, be written. The fun cannot be siphoned through my mind's eye and into another. The laughter and experience cannot be translated. Nevertheless, certain stories need telling.

I'll begin at the end. I have never been on a more excruciatingly miserable flight--and I've flown halfway across the world. There were at least ten children under two on Hawaiian Air Flight 16 from Honolulu to San Diego last night. Most of these babies were on their way home from having way too much vacation and way too few naps. Most of them decided to scream for long portions of the six hours it takes to fly nearly halfway across the Pacific ocean. This, most assuredly, included my offspring who began the initial shrieking upon take off. Of course, he fussed and/or screamed and/or flailed violently for many many minutes during the duration of the flight as well. However, at one point, we decided to put him on the floor by our feet. He played happily until I realized that Garrett's version of playing is finding old crumbs leftover from previous flights and putting them into his mouth. When I realized he was doing this, I snatched him up from the ground and reached quickly into his mouth. At 14 months old, however, he's on to my tricks. Glump! He happily swallowed before I could do anything about it. Shudders and nausea swept over me. I didn't know where it had been or who had left it for my little explorer. Later in the flight I let him down again, this time putting my foot over the area with the previous passenger paraphernalia. He climbed around between our legs for awhile and then...bloop! He was gone. Nothing remained but his ankles. I grabbed one. Apparently the couple behind us didn't have anything under our seats. Garrett maneuvered the restraining bar and was happily climbing toward them when we halted his expedition. Trying to pull him back proved unfortunate. He let out a yelp and fought for forward progress. The woman said, "Oh, he's coming through. I see his head! Here he is!" And she pulled him out. And really, it was kind of like giving birth all over again only less exhausting and more embarrassing. See, when you give birth, you just kind of expect that they've seen it all so many times that yours is not all that impressive to them. When your child climbs under the seat and appears in some total stranger's lap, you've gotta think that no matter how good of a mom you might truly be, these people will always remember you as the crazy lady who let her hooligan loose on an airplane. Or worse, the psycho who had no control to begin with.

Other than that, Garrett did spectacularly well. He accompanied us on an all day kayak/hike/zipline/tractor riding event otherwise known as Kipu Falls Zipline Safari He adjusted to the three hour time difference like a traveling champion. He got in the car seat and back out more times than anyone cared to count and he did it all with his signature smile.

Troy and I went on three tours and also went to the Smith Family Garden Luau. My parents paid for our condo and the rental car Thanks Mom & Dad! Love you! and our tax return paid for our airfare Thanks Garrett! Love you! so our summer vacation money (and we hadn't had a summer vacation in a couple years) paid for these tours. They were amazing and definitely enhanced the trip.

We spent a day and a half on Oahu and Troy and I went on a Pearl Harbor and Honolulu city tour. Going out to the memorial over the USS Arizona was amazing. I'm more of an artsy languagy theatry kind of girl and generally less of a history buff and I was in crazy awe of this place. I've always heard of the men being trapped and all and felt moved by the story but when you get out there, and you look over, and below you is this old, sea life infested, rusted, barnacled ship it really hits you. It's a ship. I mean sure, it's doesn't look like it's gonna up and set sail but it still looks like a ship. And it's still leaking oil from the hull. Troy and I were standing there, looking at the watery graveyard lying peacefully beneath us and, wafting up from below like a black ghost was 66 year old oil. And, for all my irritation with Congress and party lines and politics in general, for all the sorrow I feel over the innocent lives lost at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for all the opinions I ever held as a bleeding heart teenager or a more conservative twentysomething, I was suddenly very proud to be an American.

On Saturday we flew to Kauai. And on Sunday we had a relaxing day around Poipu and at the awesome pool at our resort.

Monday was our all day adventure which began with kayaking. Some people who hear that I took a baby on a kayak think I'm crazy or brave or a hybrid of both. These people don't know me very well. I was swimming by the tender age of two and think every child should grow up with a good set of gills. Back in August we took Garrett kayaking off of Catalina island so we knew he would survive. The only problem is his loathing of the life vest. We did encounter some tears but they were purely a result of the giant, neck eliminating jacket. For the most part, he settled down and enjoyed both the views and squishing berries that landed in our kayak from trees that we passed under. After the kayak we met up with our Kipu Ranch tour guide, Clint Eastwood, and we hiked onto the ranch. (We had a baby backpack) We used a rope to swing out into a pond that was murky and kind of icky and had a distinct funk that was less than thrilling. We took a ride all over the ranch in an old tractor that clunkity clang bangaranged up and down and all around and Garrett actually feel asleep in Troy's arms with his head flopping all over the place. We had lunch. We ziplined. Well...Troy and me and my mom and dad ziplined and Garrett sat in the backpack. Apparently you have to be seven for that sort of thing. Whatever. :-) Then we swam in a swimming hole with a rope swing that was much higher than the first and also went into a pond that was not stinky with funk. Then we rode bouncy tractor some more. Garrett fell asleep--again. We got out. Said goodbye to Gary, er, I mean Clint Eastwood. Hiked some more. Got on a boat and traveled down the river and back to our car. Oh and wait...on the hiking adventure part, I got eaten alive by many mosquitoes and had over twenty bites on my legs plus more on other parts of my body and they got huge and red with yellow centers and it looked like I had a scary disease because mosquitoes love me and I am, apparently, allergic to them.

On Tuesday my parents went on a tubing trip which we did on Thursday. So, we hung out at the pool, played cards while Garrett took the longest nap ever, and read out on the lanai (patio, veranda, deck, etc). On Tuesday night my mom decided to stay up all night barfing her brains out. That doesn't really have much to do with anything but I mentioned it for two reasons. 1. She's not really one to discuss her vomit so it's kind of funny and 2. If I didn't mention it, she would have seemed like a total hag for ditching her family the next night when we all went to a luau.

On Wednesday my mother was recuperating from the Night O' Spew and laid in bed all day. We decided to leave her alone so my Dad drove us to Waimea Canyon. Later we had lunch on some beach and partook of a shave ice. Good thing my mom remembered the next day that our shave ice had contained blue raspberry. We were getting really concerned about why our kid's diaper deposit was an unnatural color. On Wednesday night we went to the luau and it was yummy and fun and we were sorry that my mom couldn't make it but chicken noodle soup didn't even sound good to her so I'm sure that kalua pig, mahi mahi, chicken, teriyaki beef, Chinese rice, mashed potatoes, salad, coconut cake, mixed vegetables, mai tais and poi would not have been high on her list. Actually, I don't think poi was high on anyone's list but we all tried it. Well, all except my dad. He claims he's tried it before...Then we watched the show which was really good but Garrett got bored so my dad took him out Thanks Dad! and they played and then Garrett fell asleep on him.

On Thursday we went to visit a couple of waterfalls and then went on the Tubing tour which was really neat. You ride a tube through irrigation canals for an old sugar cane plantation. Garrett wasn't allowed to go on this trip so my parents watched him. You get to wear a headlamp that makes you look, well, nothing short of dead sexy. With that and the swollen yellowed bites I'm sure I was irresistible. In any case this tour takes the Hawaiian wilderness and combines it with a water parkish lazy river atmosphere and you get a really relaxing and interesting concept as a result.

Friday was our last day there and we packed the day full. We drove to the north end, saw the Kilauea Lighthouse, had lunch on the shores of Hanalei Bay, stopped at different sea caves, hiked a little bit of the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast, swam at Ke'e Beach, had a shave ice and drove home.

On Saturday I tried to hide in the bathroom, hoping they would leave for the mainland without me but they found me. I was standing in the doorway. I wanted to climb in the shower and pull the curtain closed but no self-respecting adult can actually act seven. Can they? We flew from Lihue, Kauai to Honolulu, Oahu. Garrett was a good little traveler for the 20 minute flight. If only we knew then what we know now...

Maybe we would have purchased a tranquilizer.

I've left out so many details, so many stories about Garrett loving the white sand that surrounded the pool. So many tales of him trying to swim in the shallow waters. Such memories of him being covered in sand and stripped down to his birthday suit at an outside shower at Ke'e Beach. I forgot to tell about how I saw an old friend from high school in Honolulu. It was supposed to be a surprise when she knocked on our door but ended up being a comedy of errors as she was stuck in traffic and I was getting more and more mad at my family who was refusing to let us go to dinner so that I could feed my starving baby. I forgot to write about how our tour guide for the safari was a year behind me at PLNU and when we walked in I instantly knew that I knew him (Dan, not Clint). There was so much to see and tell and remember. There was so much to file into my memory. There is so much that I already miss...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wrestling With The Crib

So this blog isn't intended to be the "List Everything My Son Ever Does Implying That Since Becoming His Mother The World Decided To Revolve Around Him Blog" but it seems that it's going there anyway. To a certain degree, my world does spin on the axis of Garrett. I wake up when he wakes up, which is getting earlier and earlier (note to Garrett: Stop that please!), I play on his floor when he plays, I generally even eat when he eats. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying, that's why this blog always talks about him. So, yesterday afternoon he was rubbing his eyes so I plopped him in his crib. He never actually slept, just sat in there playing with his blankets. (I know this because we have a video monitor and it's the best thing ever.) After playing he stood up and made little happy noises for awhile so I left him in there. Suddenly the happy noises turned to very mad noises. These weren't, "Come get me now thank you very much" noises...they were "I am dying where is my mommy to save me this minute" noises. But, I mean, he was standing up so what could possibly be the problem? In any case I wandered in to his room. There he stood...seemingly fine. I went to pick him up and that's when I realized the problem. He wouldn't budge. His knee was bent and protruding out of the crib. It wouldn't even begin to move in any direction. What we had was a baby affixed to his bed--SCREAMING. I tried to wiggle it loose. Wailing. I tried to push it back from whence it came. Severe shrieking. Finally I walked away from the situation altogether.

To get the phone. To call my husband. To see if he had any bright ideas. His phone went straight to voice mail.

I thought about buttering his leg but it was so stuck that I just didn't know how that would work.

I tried pulling the two offending bars as hard as I could and telling Garrett to pull his leg out. (FYI: At 13 months, they glare at you like you're part of the problem and keep yelping. They don't follow the command at all.)

I tried pulling the two offending bars as hard as I could and using my chin to push his leg back through.

I thought of sawing off one of the bars but if God ever blesses us with another baby I don't really want a huge hole in the crib compliments of Garrett's knee. I decided this would be a last resort.

I briefly thought of calling the fire department but figured that I'd never live that one down. I filed it in the back of my mind to be contemplated if all else failed and I still didn't want to break out the saw...being that I didn't actually want to drive to the ER and explain that my son had lacerations because he got in the way.

I did not think of lotion...which would have been much cleaner than butter. I only just now came up with that one as I went through the mental checklist of all I had thought of.

Finally I decided to gently try wiggling it one more time. By now the sobbing had slowed. I think he realized I was trying to help and decided to assist me by calming the vocal chords...unlike animals who, when stuck in traps will generally be very surly with the humans trying to free them. Perhaps the fact that he had relaxed some is what did it. I pulled back on a layer of chub and his little knee popped right back inside the crib with the rest of him.

Today he has tiny bruises from wrestling with his bed.

It's not the first time he's been stuck in it. I'm sure it won't be the last.

Monday, September 10, 2007

eager anticipation

On Thursday we are going to attempt to take a 13 month old to Hawaii...for ten days. And I, for one, cannot wait.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Bloodied Tongue

This afternoon as I was starting to pack some things for Hawaii, I rediscovered Garrett's sunglasses--the ones that make him look like a genetically mutated frog--and wondered if he'd leave them on yet. He thought they were a riot so we went outside to wait for Grandma (who was stopping by). As he toddled happily down the pathway he began veering to the right. I'm still not sure if this teetering was a result of the sunglasses or the amateur walker himself but, in any case, he caught his foot on the side of the flowerbed barrier and, began to tumble. Being that I was five feet away, I was powerless to stop it. His head crashed suddenly into another part of the barrier. Even before the tears. Even before I reached him. Even before I saw it, or had any real knowledge that it was there, I knew there would be blood. I just wasn't sure how much or exactly where it would come from. I snatched him up and, because of the open mouth and silent gasping, I easily saw the mouthful of red mixing with saliva. I could see the hole where his new top tooth went through, I just couldn't tell if it went all the way through. I ran in the house and tried to get him to suck on a wet wash cloth. When, quickly, I realized that this method would not work, I brought out a popsicle. He stopped crying and the frozen ice worked its magic on Garrett's poor bloody tongue. By the time my mom pulled up, my son's popsicle was gone, his bleeding had slowed and we were able to determine that it did not make a complete hole. However, his chin was slowly turning purplish red. He seemed fine though. He spent the afternoon reaching into his mouth and touching his tongue. It was really quite funny. I think he'll make a full recovery.

But it made me realize (once again) how much like toddlers we are in our relationship with God. So there we are, and God is right there and He says, "Hey, look at all the pretty yard I have made for you. If the grass does not suit you, I have even filled a birdbath with water and put old seashells in it and I don't mind if you sit and get wet and splash around and bang seashells together. And we can talk. And you can crawl in my lap. And it will be good." And then we say, "Actually God, I'm going to walk over here and play in this filthy dirty flowerbed that has ants in it and spider webs. It's much more interesting." And God sighs. We toddle over to the flowerbed. And we fall and we bite our tongues. And it hurts. And God scoops us up. Even before we get enough air to cry, he is already holding us. And he says, "Suck on this washcloth." And we won't even open our mouths. The Creator of the universe is saying, "I know how to help you!" But we just don't comprehend it. We act like we're thirteen months old. And God says, "I made you. I know what to do." So sometimes...after a lot of coaxing...we let him help.

Also, I was thinking about faith. Honest to goodness...if there had not been blood I would have kept looking, unable to believe that it wasn't there. Why? Because I saw him fall. I saw the situation...I believed in a result. That got me wondering about John 20:29 "...Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." I had not seen the blood. But I knew it would be there. I knew because I saw the circumstances. How, then, can I look around me, at the stars, the flowers, the miracles, and not believe. I have seen the situation. I know it is a result of God.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Garrett is resilient...

So we spent Labor Day at my brother's girlfriend's parent's house up in Canyon Lake, hanging out in the pool and eating steak. As dinner was winding down, my brother threw a napkin at my son. (We were eating outside. My brother does not actually have the table manners of a barnyard animal.) Garrett thought the napkin was a splendid prize and carried it around gleefully. A few minutes later the story unfolds:

Jon: He's still carrying that napkin I threw at him.
Holly: (Heather's sister) How dirty was it?
Jon: I don't know. I used it. But he's resilient.
Insert pause in this conversation for a few minutes while other people continue to talk
Holly: (Suddenly) Wait. What are you?
Jon: What?
Holly: Well, you said the baby is Brazilian.

So, it's completely obvious that resilient can be mistaken for Brazilian, especially given all the different conversations taking place. The hilarious part is that she contemplated it for several minutes. In addition, my son is the fairest skinned white boy who ever toddled the planet. And...Troy and I are clearly not Brazilian. I wish I had heard the exchange first hand, but I had to hear it when I questioned why my brother and Heather were doubled over in gales of laughter.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Did ya know I'm retro? Did ya? I've lived in this county for the last 26 years. Consequently, these happen to also coincide with the years that I have been alive and breathing. This makes me, indisputably, a die-hard fan of both the Chargers and the Padres. Lucky for us San Diegans, the Padres have their own TV station which broadcasts nearly all the games. So tonight, while Troy was working on his sermon, I was passing time between a book and the game. We're in a race for first with a month of regular season play left, what do you expect? Imagine my surprise when I hear them talking about a "special event" coming up. On Friday, September 14, the Padres will play the Giants. They will be clad in blue pinstripe uniforms they wore ten years ago. This sporty event will be referred to as...

Alright. Now. I graduated in the 90's. Granted, it was the last year of the decade am so not ready for my high school experience to be referred to as retro. Unless, you know, I'm being sarcastic or something. I mean, it might work out if they have the Padres sag their pants and let their boxers hang out. If the male fans wear giant chains attached to their wallets. If the female fans dress a la Cher in Clueless and refer to the event as "That's So 1997 Night" I might understand. Oh wait a you even know what movie I'm referring to or is that too far in the past. Did I just date myself? I may be crashing toward 26 but I've never thought of the fall of my junior year as retro. At least not yet. I haven't even had a ten year reunion.

So anyway, I won't be able to go this game because I will be in Hawaii (booyah! um...I just did that so the word booyah would appear in my blog) but I would have loved to see the clothing that the fans show up in. I mean, what the heck? Dig into the back of your closet for...jeans that are cut the same way we're still wearing them and a t-shirt! If you can't find anything come over to my house. I'm still wearing half the stuff I had back then. Awesome. I'm so retro that I'm jealous of my own fashion sense. Who knew?