Thursday, July 31, 2008

Someone May Want To Stage An Intervention

Okay so the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Let's just say that if I wasn't already married, well then, is it possible to be in love with a cartoon character?
He's adorable.
He's nice.
He's helpful.
He's handy.
And he's got an accent that makes me swoon.

Have you figured it out? It's Manny of the Handy persuasion.

I don't know what it is about that accent, or the way he wields a screwdriver, but when my son sits down for an episode I alternate between wanting to pinch his cheeks--Manny's that is, not my kid's--and wanting to break something on purpose just on the off chance he might show up to fix it. It's not that I want to trade in my own husband for a cartoon but Troy shouldn't be surprised if he crawls into bed at night, looks up at the ceiling, and sees a poster of this staring back at him:

That's right. I heart Handy Manny.


When he's in his own bed at our house, my boy sleeps until 8:00--on average. Sometimes he's up around 7:45 and other times he sleeps until 8:30. This morning, courtesy of the machinery thudding around and beeping up a storm in the lot behind us, he was up at 6:30. Let's just say that the result was not a chipper morning. They've been building a school beyond the fence in our backyard and it's supposed to open in August. It has become quite apparent that they are behind schedule. Yesterday my house shook for over four hours as they laid asphalt. They worked until after eight last night and were at it again just after six this morning. Blatant disregard for anyone with children under the age of 32, I tell you. Oh I know they have to be ready to open and they're behind schedule but maybe if they didn't call it quits for the day every time it rains for five seconds they wouldn't be. I'm not kidding. You hear the thunder roll in the distance and they're all, "Oh heavens to Betsy, Chuck, storms a comin'! We'd better go hunker down with the children and the women folk this one's high and likely to be a doozy." Okay so, um, they don't actually talk like that but they really do run for their trucks the moment a drop of rain plops from the sky.

Speaking of things Utahns don't say (i.e. Heavens to Betsy) I've only heard the phrase "Oh my heck" TWICE since moving here. For those of you who aren't keeping track, I've lived here for eight months. (Oh my heck, where did the time go?) Oh my heck is supposedly something that is said here in abundance. So it is either a ridiculous saying that someone once made up and then blamed the Utahns for or it's said in other, less civilized portions of the state. By the way, I still hate the word Utahn and am thankful that, for the next 25 years, I can call myself a Californian based purely on the amount of time I lived there. If I have to start referring to myself as a Utahn I will boycott the word entirely and say that I am a Utahnian or a Utite. Oh. Yes. I will.

I am not the biggest fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On occasion I like peanut butter on toast or jelly on toast or, very rarely, both at the same time on toast. Every once in a while I'll eat a peanut butter cookie. Typically though, we go through a jar at turtle speed. So would anyone like to wonder with me why today I suddenly wanted to take a spoon and go at the jar? I read the nutrition label to see if I was lacking an important vitamin but the only things my brand of butter has are niacin, iron and vitamin E, all of which are found in larger doses in my daily prenatal vitamin--you know, on the off chance that I'll ever really need those again. So then, maybe for the protein, right? But I had eggs and yogurt yesterday, both of which have a decent amount of protein. For those of you who are thinking, "Hmmm, maybe you're pregnant." The answer to that is a resounding NO. So let's brush right by that thought and not go rubbing salt in my metaphorical wounds. As far as the peanut butter goes, I'm certainly glad that it was a strong desire to consume it and not a package of dryer sheets or a piece of lumber but still...

Did I mention that Garrett says mustache now? His Mr. Potato Head has one and so he learned how to say it. He also says Nemo. On the faith front he says a-en (amen), chich (church) and Esis (Jesus--which he says while running to get the Children's Bible that we read him every night) . Biss, on occasion, is turning into juss and my heart is breaking a little each time I hear it. Of course I want my son to master the pronunciation of the letter J but man if my ovaries don't shriek for a newborn when he proudly utters a real word where baby talk used to suffice.

And finally, if I pack and load the car for our trip to Tahoe will our week at the lake get here any sooner?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Dream

Last night I had a dream the likes of which I haven't experienced in a long while. Before I conceived Garrett I had these vivid dreams where I had a child of my very own. I held the baby, snuggled the baby, stared at the baby and then I woke up. Inevitably I would feel a sense of intense sorrow that the child was merely imagined. When I was pregnant with Garrett I had a large number of dreams about him but he was always a girl-child despite the fact that even though I first suspected him to be a girl, by the last trimester I just knew that he was decidedly male. We didn't actually know because we chose not to find out. In the two years since his birth I have had a few dreams where I find out I'm pregnant but nothing actually involving an actual baby. Until last night.

It must have had something to do with the fact that we had our home visit yesterday. (P.S. I think it went well but we have to wait about three weeks to find out for sure.) I had the most intense dream about our future child. It was the first time I've ever dreamt about adoption. I woke up several times during the course of the night and, surprisingly, each time that I fell back asleep I fell right back into the dream. When I woke up this morning and it was light out I wanted to sleep the day away, just for the chance to stay in that dream.

I was in a room much like the Department of Motor Vehicles. I was waiting. And waiting. Couples around me were called, in no particular order, and a baby was handed to them. I don't remember the dream beginning, just that I had always been waiting. At first Troy was with me but we determined that I might be there for months--we actually had a conversation about that--and so he left to take care of our son. I kept waiting. Finally they brought me this baby. It was wrapped in a yellow blanket with a yellow hat on. In the dream I could feel my heart swelling and thumping crazily. I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl and it was really bothering me. I had to fill out paperwork and, after signing all the documents I considered my options. I could either take the baby out to the car and strip it of all its clothing to determine the gender or I could simply ask.

Me: Um, excuse me, just one last thing...
DMV Worker: Yes?
Me: Is this a girl or a boy?
DMV Worker: (Without looking up. As though it was a menial detail.) Girl.
Me: Thank you.

And then I looked at her and of course she was a girl. She was beautiful. She looked nothing like us but she was gorgeous. Her eyes were crystal blue and it gave me pause. I've always wanted a brown eyed daughter. But they were the most fantastic shade of blue I have ever seen and I gasped at how wonderful they were. I loved her entirely in that one glance.

Then I went crazy. I drove to work--my old job at Fast Radiator. I haven't worked there since before Garrett was born. I left her in the car and I started entering numbers into my computer. I knew I couldn't breast feed her but I didn't know what to do instead. This makes no sense because Garrett took bottles whenever I was teaching. Very few of them were pumped breast milk so I know how to do the formula thing. My mom came in and I asked her if she would go figure out what to feed the baby. I kept entering numbers. At the end of the day she came back. "Did you feed her?" I asked. "Not yet," my mom replied. I knew that she needed to be fed but there wasn't a sense of urgency. "I should probably feed her," I told my mom. "Maybe," my mom answered*.

I think I woke up at this point and had some kind of conversation with my dream self about how I'd better go back to sleep and feed that baby because I remember taking care of business after that. I'll spare all the details but my family was so cute. I somehow knew that it wasn't real. I knew I'd wake up and I wouldn't have her. And so I didn't want to wake up. I wanted her. When I finally woke up, my heart was heavy.

I don't know if we'll adopt a Caucasian female or an African-American male or an Asian baby. I don't know if it will be a boy or a girl or if it will have blue eyes or brown eyes or green eyes. But if my dream can be relied on for anything, I know that I will love that child immensely. It'll be strange to bottle feed exclusively. It will be different not to look for signs of my own self in his or her nose or mouth or ears. I think I will miss seeing the resemblance but, perhaps, not as much as he or she will. Things will be different. But things will be the same. Snuggle time will be just as sweet. Nights will be just as sleepless--probably more so given the fact that Garrett was Angel Sleeper. Baths will be just as fun, milestones just as monumental, diapers just as stinky. I will be just as much in love. My dream showed me that.

Now we wait. And I've never been very good at waiting.

*My mom is also quite smart when it comes to babies. She's not a total moron. It makes no sense that the two of us together could not figure out how to feed a small child.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home Visit

We have the home visit portion of our homestudy today at 3:00 pm mountain time so please send some prayers my way this afternoon. I don't know how I've found the time to blog what with all the cleaning and scrubbing and trying to make it look like I know what I'm doing around here. And that's just with Garrett. Heaven help the rest of my house.

I must say that having him come down the stairs in tattered clothing with dirt smudges streaking his face has crossed my mind. I've also entertained thoughts of wearing the teeth just to see what might happen. I'm surprisingly less nervous and stressed than I thought I would be but when the apprehension creeps up on me I imagine outlandish conversations in my head.

Caseworker: Why do you want to adopt?
Troy: We don't like cleaning the house.
Lori: We need at least a few more to adequately keep this place clean.
Caseworker: Uh huh. So, what is your method for punishment?
Lori: Well, after my husband got out of jail we decided that we didn't want to raise a little thug. In order to curb any behavior that might be genetic, we make him go outside and get his own switch from the tree. Then there is a minimum of twenty lashes.
Caseworker: Um...okay. (To Troy) I wasn't aware that you were ever in prison.
Troy: Oh yeah. I escaped. Now I'm pretty much running from the law and hiding out as a pastor.
Caseworker: Alrighty. So, can you show me your son's room and tell me about your plans for where you'd put another child?
Troy: Our son doesn't have a room.
Caseworker: Excuse me?
Lori: Yeah, we use all the extra rooms for our drug business. The kid sleeps down here on the dog bed.
Troy: When the adopted child is an infant we'll get it a cat box and put it down in the basement so we can't hear it crying. When it gets a little older, we'll get it its very own dog bed.
Caseworker: I see. Look at the time. I really must be going.
Lori: But we haven't even had one of my special brownies yet.

I don't know why my mind goes to these places. I'd like to blame the theatre degree. In all honesty I don't think you can get much more clean cut than Troy and me without being downright weird. Our kid needs for nothing. I say needs instead of wants because he certainly wants more than he gets. He wants every single toy he sees. He wants ice cream for breakfast. He does not get these things. He has his own room and his own toy room. He has his own cabinet of children's movies and a whole bookcase full of kiddie reading material. He has basic language skills and a sweet disposition. He reminded me, just this morning, that we hadn't prayed for breakfast. He is my whole heart walking around in Lightning McQueen crocs.

Why do I want to adopt? Because next to accepting Christ as my personal Savior and marrying my husband, my boy is the best thing that I have ever done and the best thing that has ever happened to me. But I can feel in my soul that this family is not yet complete. I know that we have the capacity to love a child born not of my own body but of our hearts alone. I want a brother or a sister for the boy. I want a daughter or another son for myself.

I want another one so badly that I even thought about getting the germs off of the sponge. That's right. In case, you know, he tested it for bacteria. I read in the Parade magazine that if you wet your sponge all the way through and then microwave it for four minutes, all the living bacteria will die. After three minutes my sponge had a very dark spot in the middle and was smoking. I threw it away but that doesn't negate the fact that my house smells like a campfire.

Caseworker: Do I smell smoke?
Me: Oh. Yeah, probably just some residual smell from our ritual cat sacrifice. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I actually thought the bacteria on my sponge might keep me from getting another kid.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Strange Happenings

It's 91 degrees outside. And it's hailing.

I didn't know this was possible but I just walked outside and was pelted by more than one chunk of ice falling from the sky.

Go figure.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We Had A Death Today

We're having a family photo, as well as Garrett's 2 year old pictures, taken tomorrow. Last night Troy and I spent about an hour trying to figure out what the three of us should wear. We're very big on matching and not clashing so getting pictures taken is kind of an ordeal. We finally settled on putting Garrett in a new shirt with several shades of blue, me in a brown shirt, and Troy in a vintage off-white shirt with brown and blue vertical stripes. The shirt we landed on for Troy is one of his favorites. I noticed that it had a very small yellow stain on the front in one of the off-white stripes. I didn't think it would show up in the picture but I decided to wash it anyway.

This afternoon I did a load of laundry and when I pulled Troy's shirt out I discovered that, even with stain remover, the mark was still there. It actually looked worse than before. I decided to use the trick that I implement when my khakis get a stain that won't come out. I simply dip a Q-tip into bleach and dab the mark. Usually the bleach won't take the khaki color out but, even if it does, the spot is so small against so much khaki that it's never noticeable. So I gently dabbed at the yellow stain. I hadn't taken into consideration that the bleach would spread from the off-white section to the colored section. The yellow stain remained. I have no idea what it was but it sure had a mind to stay put. The nearest brown stripe, however, began turning bright red. Now the shirt that previously had a tiny yellow stain has a two inch section of red stripe smack dab in the center. I might have swore. I can't remember. I know I wanted to.

I had ruined what might have been my husband's favorite shirt. I know for sure that it was in his top five. Not only did I destroy his clothing, I destroyed the clothing he was supposed to wear in our pictures tomorrow. I ran to the Internet and searched for it, but with no luck. Both Troy and Garrett were taking afternoon naps so I turned on the baby monitor in our bedroom, left Troy a note on the back of the toilet that read, "Had to run an errand. Be home soon." I figured he'd probably visit the commode after waking from his nap and he needed to know that he was in charge of the boy and I hadn't been abducted. I shut his broken shirt in the laundry room and closed the door. Then I hightailed it to The District, the retail center by my house. I went to Ross, Target, Aeropostale, American Eagle and JC Penney. The only store that sells clothing that I didn't visit was Buckle because Buckle shirts are like 65 dollars and my money doesn't work on shirts that cost that much. I was desperately looking for a shirt that might replace the ruined one both in practice and in Troy's heart. Eventually I found a similar shirt at JC Penney and also bought a polo shirt because they were having a mad crazy sale. I'd already bought Garrett a solid blue shirt at Target because he has no solid colored shirts and it's hard to match our adult wardrobe to his toddler one. I got all three shirts for 22 dollars.

When I got home they were still asleep. The boy soon awoke and Troy was not far behind. I was folding laundry and the door to the laundry room was open. Troy's dead shirt was on top of the washing machine.

T: My shirt is on the washing machine.
L: Uh-huh.
T: I dry that shirt.
L: Yes. I know.
Apparently I sounded weird because he responded with
T: Did something happen to my shirt?
L: Yes. Yes it did.
T: Did you ruin my shirt?
L: Affirmative.
He looked at me skeptically because I tease him so much he doesn't know whether to believe me anymore. It's a problem. I'm kind of like the girl who cried "We didn't bring the camera and they didn't use the dental burqa and whoa look at that giant bald spot you have suddenly and by the way I ruined your shirt."
L: I know what you're thinking but I promise that I am not joking this time. I really did ruin your shirt.
And I proceeded to explain. Troy was sad. I apologized profusely. And then I presented the new shirts. It was kind of like if your dog died and you got a new puppy that very day. He liked the new puppy but he really missed the dead dog. He told me that he forgave me though, and that I made up for it by trying really hard to replace the old shirt. I married a darn good one. In fact, I think I might go as far as to say that I married the best one. If he'd ruined one of my favorite pieces of clothing there would have been a funeral and possibly a good ten minutes of the silent treatment. Although, truthfully, I suppose Troy would have to do laundry in order for that to happen.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Could Write A Book On This Dog

Seriously. It's like culture shock living in a place where consumer fireworks are legal and thunder storms roll in and then back out with the greatest of ease during summer months. And I'm not the only one feeling like I'm not in Kansas (or in this case, California) anymore. Toto (or in this case, Beck) feels it too.

In San Diego county, all consumer fireworks or "safe and sane" fireworks are illegal. Obviously, certain companies and organizations are granted permission to have fireworks displays and thus, we don't miss out on Fourth of July festivities. But the use of consumer fireworks is strictly forbidden. The San Diego Country Sheriff's Department has the authority to seize the fireworks and cite or arrest those bearing them. In Utah the following are legal for personal use: Cylindrical and cone fountains, wheels with no more than 6 drivers, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, smoke devices, wire sparklers under 12” in length, party poppers, trick noisemakers, ground chasers that do not travel more than 10 feet laterally, snakes, and glow worms. The dog has just survived two of the three "fireworks" holidays and now, I hope, we don't have to worry about him committing sparkler related suicide again until New Year's when we start these shenanigans all over again.

But the thunder is another issue. I quite like the thunder. If it weren't for the fact that I am the proud owner of a big hairy baby I would welcome the afternoon storms. But it's hard to get excited about a particularly loud clap when it sends your canine into cardiac arrest. This afternoon was no different. My dog was so inconsolable that all I could do was hold his head in between my legs, place my hands over his ears in hopes that I was at least muffling the sound, and let him shake. For real. He was shaking so violently it was as though he was experiencing a gran mal seizure. I kept speaking to him in the most soothing voice I could muster which wasn't much since all I wanted to do was ask him how, exactly, he could possibly come from the same order as the seemingly fearless wolf. My tone, to the trained ear, may have sounded slightly condescending. He continued to shake. I moved my hands from his ears and tried to calm him by petting his back. I could feel his heart thundering (Ha!) around in his chest and I wondered if it might, actually, explode. So then I got the brilliant idea to try to take his mind off of the noise by brushing his teeth. I realize that this seems like a pretty stupid thing to do. I'll admit that it wasn't the best laid plan but our dog is the sweetest fur ball on earth. He wouldn't try to bite a fly if it attempted to make residence in his mouth. He never snarls. Ever. Even if you cover his food with gravy, let him eat a bite or two and then take it away. I mean, we don't do that because that would be incredibly mean but that's just to say he is not possessive of his food at all. And he allows a two year old to clobber him, pounce on him, yank his tail, pull his ears, and grab his teeth with nothing more than a slight roll of the eye. Try brushing his teeth in the middle of a thunderstorm, however, and the dog goes berserk. He started out fine, laying his head in my lap, licking at the toothbrush when all of the sudden a clap of thunder erupted just outside. He clamped down on a couple of my fingers. It didn't hurt and it didn't break the skin and he wasn't mad at me, he was just very, very, thundiferously agitated. I decided that, really, it wasn't necessary to brush his teeth right that minute. He opened his mouth right after he'd closed it. And then he licked me with crazed eyes and proceeded to bury his head in my lap and shake with wild abandon.

The thunder has been gone for awhile now. I keep reassuring him that the world is, most likely, not going to end today. He's watching me with skeptical eyes, knowing that it's only a matter of time before the loud noises strike again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Neurotic Dog Strikes Again

I'm not endorsing a particular candidate on this here blog. Mainly that's because, like I said before, I think the prospects are dismal. Although I did see a pretty funny SNL sketch with McCain. So if I were voting on humor alone, I might have a candidate. But I'm not sure one should base her voting criteria strictly on funny. Obama is definitely the one I'd rather look at for four to eight years but, then, I don't think I should vote on looks alone. I suppose I'd better start researching their actual political views. Oh bother, that sounds like such a bore. Deep sigh. With all of that being said, if you haven't seen the new JibJab video, you maybe should. I'll warn you that there is a reference to cigars because, well, it features Bill Clinton and there are also a few slightly naughty words. Not words that particularly offend me but words that would horrify me if spoken by my toddler. But it is so worth the watch, even if only to laugh at Barack Obama prancing around the forest like he's Snow White.
I live in a house with an extremely neurotic dog. It would be endearing if it weren't so annoying. Apparently July 24 is a major holiday. I didn't know this until I moved to Utah but even my bank was closed in honor of Pioneer Day--the date that Brigham Young discovered the valley, or something like that. So, Utahns set off fireworks in honor of this holiday. Our dog is deathly afraid of fireworks and we'd gone out to dinner with friends and left him alone in the yard. If I had known that the entire valley was going to set off fireworks while I was gone, I would have come up with a better idea. When we got home I opened the back door and called for him. The house directly behind us was having their own show right in their front yard. I knew that the dog would be panicked. I called and called. Then I looked in all the bushes and under the deck. Then I very nearly burst into tears as I came back in the house, looked at Troy and declared, "He's gone. I can't find him anywhere." We're talking about my very first baby here. That dog took naps on my lap every afternoon when he was a puppy. He was basically my child until my son was born and he had to become The Dog. When I was in labor I worried about him because he'd been left outside alone all night and all morning. I managed to sleep for about a half hour after I'd been given the Epidural and I dreamed that I tried to leave the hospital to go check on him but kept falling over because I had no feeling in my legs. I think most of that had to do with all the emotions of being in labor but it doesn't change the fact that I am head over heels in love with that dog. The idea of him running frantically around Salt Lake City turned my stomach. We also live close to a major road and finding doggie guts is not my idea of a good time. Troy told me that he'd get in the car and look for him. I ran back outside and started screaming his name. Suddenly I heard the rattle of a collar. I called again. Rattle. I followed the noise. Beck was on the other side of our fence, running parallel to it, trying to get back in. The gates weren't open, there was no sign of any digging. This led us to the assumption that he'd jumped the fence. Our fence is quite short and we've been wondering why he hasn't ever tried to jump it before. We had chalked it up to a content animal who has no need to check and see if the grass is greener on the other side. Apparently, however, he did want to know if the noises were less scary on the other side. I have no clue where he went but he was close enough to hear my hollering. Now I'm afraid he'll hop it anytime he feels like it. I so hope that doesn't happen because one day he might disappear for good and I just don't think I'd handle that very well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Through The Years

Years ago I was watching an episode of Oprah dedicated to unique ways of making memories. The show featured a woman who photographed her children on their birthdays. She had started with her daughter. Every year she took a picture of her daughter wearing one of her own dresses. Of course, when the daughter was quite small the dress looked more like a giant frock or muumuu but, as she grew, it began to fit. It was such a unique idea to see a child's growth through an article of clothing. When her son was born she began photographing him in one of his father's old dress shirts. At first he was just a little tyke swimming in his daddy's shirt but, as he grew, the shirt seemed to shrink. The woman had the pictures lining her hallway as a testimony to the years gone by. I adored the idea but was still years away from having my own children to use as the subjects of this borrowed idea.

At some point I told Troy about the episode and he also loved the idea. I decided that, instead of waiting until Garrett's first birthday, I would take the first picture when he was just a few days old. Two years ago today I snapped the first shot of my little guy. Troy wanted to use his Seahawks jersey because it has our last name on the back and it's really big. So even if Garrett grows to be bigger than his pygmy father, it will still fit. You can see part of the name in one of the shots so it is evident that our last name is not actually Doozleberry. I've been lying to you all. It's actually Badoozleberry but we drop the first syllable out of convenience. Here is my tiny little man two years ago:

One year ago:
And a few days ago:
He was so easy to photograph during those first few days. Unless you tried to move his arms, that is. Those little arms were always thrown up over his head. If you moved them they just popped right back up. We also didn't realize for another couple of weeks that his head always fell to the right. Apparently it was bent in the womb and the tendons were too tight. We had to do little baby exercises to get him to look the other way. I know that he is mine and I held him and nursed him and bathed him but I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that he used to be that small.

He was an extremely happy one year old. If you held a camera up and made any kind of a funny noise the kid giggled and flashed a huge smile. We took about ten pictures of him with the jersey last year and he's grinning in all of them. Except when he's crawling away. He did that a lot.

This year he was not impressed. He's still a very happy kid and our house is filled with squeals and giggles for most of his waking hours. On occasion, however, it is filled with crying and toddler choruses of, "No. No." Two days ago, when I took the pictures, Garrett was demanding his blanket and his pacifier. I was not granting him Paci permission and had taken the Blankie away in order to take a picture where he did not look like Linus Van Pelt. So not joking. It's blue, even. He is usually very good with statements such as, "If you eat a bite of zucchini you can have another bite of jello." Side note: He actually likes zucchini which is great since the garden is producing them in mass. However, he was having none of, "If you smile in this picture I will give you your Blankie back." When I finally did get him to take some without sobbing, he made the cheesiest ham face. The final posted product was one in which he was trying desperately to maintain his pout face while not smiling at his dork mother behind the camera.

But oh what a difference two years makes. 24 months ago his goal in life was to soil his diaper moments after I'd put a fresh one on and keep me awake in between feedings with his constant, peculiar and disconcerting grunt. A year ago his goal in life was to learn how get from that crab crawl to an actual upright and walking position--a feat he mastered two weeks later. Now it seems that his goal in life is to take the world by storm. Just yesterday I found him climbing the outside of the staircase. Luckily he was only three steps up when I discovered him. I shudder to think about what I would have done if I'd found him hanging from the second floor landing which, I'm sure, was his ultimate destination.

I like this picture series. I enjoy watching him growing, ever so slowly, into his father's jersey. As long as, in the end, he's still a Charger fan.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Son Is Here

I just transferred this over from myspace. It was posted there on July 23, 2006 but I figured I'd give you something new to read on this, his second birthday.

Garrett John is here! He was born on Thursday evening (July 20) at 7:30. He weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. He's a pretty good far. It took him a full 24 hours to really find his lungs. I mean, he had them when the pediatric nurse was assessing him but then he forgot about them. Now he knows where they are and how to use much so that he is hoarse. But actually, he doesn't cry often and when he does it's during the day which is great. If he continues to be as great as he has been at night I won't have much to complain about.
Labor Alright so, I was induced on Wednesday night at 6:30 because an ultrasound showed that he was possibly a little IUGR (growth restricted) and that maybe we should have him come and eat something. Because my body was NOT ready to be in labor I had to have a medication that would start things moving. So...for the first TWELVE hours I pretty much just laid there in mild pain. At 8:30 am on Thursday morning they broke my water. At noon I was still only dilated to 2. And at this point I'd been laboring for almost 18 hours and about five of those had been no fun at all. So they decided to give me pitocin to make me dilate faster. But praise the Lord and the maker of the epidural...they allowed me to have that first even though I was only at 2. The pitocin worked its magic and I felt fine. It was actually kind of fun to watch the contractions raging on the machine and laugh at them. At 6:30 I was at 10 and the baby was ready to be born. I pushed for an hour and though it was really exhausting it was also really awesome because it was fairly pain free and it's just really cool to see your child being born.

When he was born they laid him on me and it was just so amazing. Troy was a champion too because it took a long time...25 hours is a long time...and he was tired but when it came time to get Garrett out, he was as helpful as any husband could be. I think he'd say I did pretty well too since I only snapped at him once. And that had something to do with my oxygen mask (at one point Garrett's heart rate dropped slightly and they put me on oxygen) getting caught on my ear or something or other. I don't remember exactly but I apologized so he can't hold it against me. Not that he would since I was actively bringing our firstborn into the world.

Alright...I could talk about it forever. I could talk about our very nice roommates in postpartum who we liked but who snored in alternating breaths and whose baby had a fever and shrieked often. I could talk about how said snoring Dad sang the baby a little ditty that never varied and went like this, "Daddy loves his Abby. Daddy loves his little Abigail. Daddy's baby. Yes. Daddy's little Abby," over and over and over and over. No but really, we liked them. I could talk about how awesome it was to have my doctor for the first part of my labor and the most awesome midwife for the second part and the delivery. I could talk about how my nurses were great but the nurse who was there when he was born was just the greatest nurse I could have asked for. I could talk about how amazing it was to have this little boy laying on my chest, staring at me with these huge eyes like he's known me forever and yet doesn't know me at all. Oh wait...I am talking about all of this. And I should be sleeping. I should be sleeping because Garrett is sleeping. More to come because I will never...ever...shut up about this child.

P.S. Maybe you should delete me from your blog subscriptions. Trust're going to get very, very sick of me.

I actually wrote that last part too. Two years later and how true is that statement!?!?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Carol at Beyond Black & White tagged me for this meme back on July 12 but graciously allowed me to wait until after my vacation to participate.

Think back on the last 15 years of your life. What would you tell someone that you haven’t seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life? You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize about you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love…

Fifteen years ago I was nearing the age of twelve. I was a month and a half shy of starting 7th grade. I guess a lot has happened in those years...
  • I continued to swim competitively for six more years. I decided not to swim at the collegiate level which is good because I blew out my shoulder in high school. It still hurts. The only time I regret the decision not to swim in college is during the Olympics. What can I say, I'm still that little girl who wants a gold medal.
  • As I transitioned away from swimming, I took up drama. After several supporting roles and one lead in high school, I majored in Theatre at Point Loma Nazarene University. I've directed many church productions and taught drama at the high school level.
  • I've been engaged twice, married once and divorced zero times. My ex fiance can best be described as a toad and my husband as Prince Charming. Troy doesn't ride a white stallion but he certainly swept me off my feet. We were married in August of 2003.
  • We have a son who just turned two.
  • Yes, we are thinking about number two. In fact, we've been thinking about it for so long that we've decided to adopt. Our home visit is next week.
  • I live in Utah. After spending the first 26 years of my life in San Diego county, my pastor husband took a position in the Salt Lake area.
  • I am not currently employed outside the home. Instead I spend my days chasing my toddler. In my "spare" time I enjoy reading and writing. I've written a children's book about adoption that I would love to have published but, so far, haven't put an ounce of effort into actually publishing it.
  • I went to Israel in 2005 and, despite dreading the trip, had a wonderful time. I spent about ten days there and would love the opportunity to go back some day.
  • I went to Hawaii for the first time last September. After spending a week and a half there, Troy and I have decided that we'd love to live there some day. Even if it's only for a year.
  • I've developed an affinity for lighthouses and much of my house is decorated with them. I've also developed an addiction for pita chips and cheddar cheese. I'm still addicted to ice cream.

And now I tag the following:

Mom at Empty Nest-Full Life
Veronica at Amazingly Life-Like
Heidi at Nothing but Blue Sky
Amy at James and Amylee
Brenda at Endoux

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

I apologize for my severe lack of blogging but aside from all the fun I was having, my son slept in the room with the computer. Generally the only time I write is when my little man is napping so this posed a logistical problem for keeping my six readers up to date on the happenings of our lives.

Let me just start off by saying, "Gadzuccs!" Before Troy flew out to San Diego on Monday to meet us, I had him pick all the zucchinis. He was instructed to leave only minuscule ones. When he arrived he assured me that he'd only left the ones that were smaller than his fingers. Imagine my gardening surprise when we arrived home last night and found four baseball bats masquerading as zucchinis. A picture, just for perspective.

Yes that is my full grown male golden retriever.

We had an amazing time in San Diego. Garrett and I were there for eleven days (Troy for seven) and in that amount of time we went to the Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Disneyland, the beach, the pool, a wedding, and the park where we celebrated my 6 pound, ten ounce newborn baby's second birthday party. I haven't sifted through all the pictures yet but the sheer volume is a testimony to the fun we had.

Garrett learned several new words while we were there including, but certainly not limited to, turtle, moon and Ruh-Ruh (my parents dog's nickname. He now refers to our dog as the same even though his name is Beck. I also asked him if he wanted a corn dog for lunch and, when the microwave dinged announcing its readiness, he emphatically shrieked, "Ruh-Ruh!").
On Friday we went to the beach and I was able to see my friend, Marissa. On Saturday evening we went to the Wild Animal Park. I have pictures but they are on discs and I haven't looked at them yet. Sunday night my brother and my grandparents came up for dinner. On Tuesday we went to Sea World.

We had a great time and Aunt Heather was able to take us back to see a newborn dolphin and a tiny baby sea lion. I'm a nut for dolphins but it was actually the sea lion that I wanted to take home with me. What? I have a big bathtub and a kiddie pool. Garrett rode two of the new rides in Captain Kid's World, I mean Shamu's Happy Harbor, I mean Bay of Play. Whatever, it will always be Captain Kid's to me. He saw Pets Rule along with the sea stars, manatees, penguins, flamingos, and bat rays which he referred to as turtles.

On Wednesday I had an appointment and we had a down day with a long nap for Garrett and a visit from my brother. Thursday morning we headed to Disneyland!

Here's Garrett and my parents on what might have been his most favorite of rides, Autopia. Troy and I were behind the three of them but we could hear our boy cackling for most of the ride. We were there for two days and had a park hopper. We took him on all sorts of rides including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, the Ferris Wheel, the carousel, the rides in Bug's Land, Finding Nemo and The Matterhorn. You have to be 35 inches to ride the Matterhorn (which is ridiculous because all the other thrill rides are at least 40 inches) and I was just dying to take him on it. He's about 34.9 inches long but he never stands up perfectly straight. We took him on it at night and they never questioned whether he was tall enough. He sat on my lap and I pulled his seat belt tight and put my legs in between his. Then I pretty much vice gripped him with my right arm and held his head with my left hand. This meant that I slid and banged around for the duration of the ride, but Garrett was safe. I would have guessed that he would either sob the entire way or laugh hysterically. He did neither. He simply looked around as though he was thoroughly unimpressed. It was quite humorous. We waited for about an hour for Nemo and about an hour for the Toy Story ride in California Adventure. Other than that we waited an average of ten minutes for the other rides. It was crowded but the lines weren't bad. Of course it's better to go in the winter but all I have to say to everyone who "warned" me not to go in the summer is, "HA!" We all had a blast.

On Saturday Troy took Garrett to his sister's house (well, it's actually our house but she lives in it. Again, anyone want a house in Ramona?) to play with his cousins and aunts and grandparents while my mom and I went to get all the food for Garrett's party. That night Garrett went to the park with all four of his grandparents and had a picnic and played while Troy and I went to my friend's wedding.

I met Jayni when I was seven years old. I don't remember the circumstances of our meeting but I am ever so glad we did. She is one of just a few friends that I have had for so long. She was there when Troy and I tied the knot almost five years ago and I am so thankful that her wedding happened to be the same week that we were in San Diego--although I would have been there regardless. Jayni is so beautiful inside and out and I wish her and her new husband all the happiness in the world.

Garrett's party was in the evening on Sunday the 20th and we celebrated at Ramona Oaks Park with hot dogs, watermelon, potato salad, chips, plums (because my parents tree is producing hoards of them) and cake. We had about fifty friends and family members there including some of Garrett's little friends from our church in Ramona.

(I kind of think this picture yells, "Hey, prospective birth mother, pick us! We're happy and smiley and we promise to throw your kid birthday parties!")

Garrett got a lot of good stuff which is still begging to be put away. Thankfully we were able to fit it all into the bags we brought and fly home with it. My son is wearing a complete cheeseball grin in this picture. I have no idea where he gets his goofy personality. I mean, neither of his parents are goofy. Right? This is taken at 7:30 pm exactly two years after Garrett was born. Of course, I think I look a touch better than I did two years ago. I still believe that I was every bit as much of a mother two months before he was born as I am now because I would have done anything for that fetus. But what I didn't know was the capacity of my own heart. I never knew I could love a child this much. My husband says, "I love him so much it sometimes hurts." I am acutely aware of that feeling. For some reason, at 7:30, I wanted the whole world to disappear for one minute. I wanted to hug him tighter, love him longer, thank him for being born and praise God once again for giving him to me.

Then we went home and he promptly ran into a coffee table leg with his head. There was an instant purple egg the size of a walnut sticking out of his forehead. We iced it and my dad checked his pupils and we decided it would all be okay. It was as if he said, "I'm a boy and I'm two. Let's see what fun I can have with this combination."

Monday morning was spent with Troy's family before putting Garrett down for a nap and then heading to the airport. Our little man had his very own seat because he's a big boy now and he's no longer free. Sigh. And I am left to wonder what happened to my baby...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take That!

On this, day 727 of Garrett's young life, he ended up on the losing side of the battle with a bee.

We went to the pool by my parents house and, at the very end of our time there, a bee landed on the side of his head. Being that he is four days shy of two years old, he didn't exactly know not to whack it with his hand. Needless to say, his little hand is a bit on the swollen side. But he's forgotten all about it.

And tomorrow he will come face to face with a very large mouse and discover, for the first time, The Magic Kingdom...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm Disappearing But I'm Leaving You Links

I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go to San Diego for eleven days! We're taking the kiddo to Disneyland for the first time and if one more person asks me why I would go to Disneyland in the summer I am going to scream. I know that summer is the worst time to go to the happiest place on earth. I lived in southern California for 26 years, remember? I am aware that there are better seasons to visit the park. But I live in Utah now. I cannot just hop in the car and head to Disneyland whenever I feel like it. Troy will be with me for the first time since we've moved so we figured that taking him together would probably be a good idea. We're also celebrating the boy's second birthday with about 50 friends and family members. Other than those events, I plan to spend time at the beach, the pool by my parent's house, and possibly the Wild Animal Park or Sea World. (We have passes to both courtesy of my brother on the Sea World front and the relative cheapness of passes to the Zoo/Wild Animal Park.)

Garrett is thrilled to be going on a "ane" and flying to visit his "Raraw" which, of course, is toddler speak for Grandpa. I'll try to post on occasion but given all the fun I intend to have, you may not see me for awhile. Because you may not see me for awhile, I've decided to post links to a few of the blogs I've written. The criteria was basically based on my own personal preference and blogs I felt like revisiting. I will post a link for each day I will be gone. That way the faithful can keep reading. If you pop on here and happen to see a new post, I apparently found time to blog. Cheerio and have an excellent week and a half. I know I will.

Thursday, July 10 (Happy Birthday to my very good friend, Jenni): This is a blog that originally appeared on myspace and was then transferred. The story took place in the winter of 2007 when Garrett was still quite small.

Friday, July 11: This story took place just before we moved. Awhile after this blog was posted, it was determined that the cause of all the vomit was Garrett's herniated bellybutton becoming incarcerated. It has since been operated on.

Saturday, July 12 (Happy Anniversary to my college roommate, good friend and bridesmaid, Michelle and her husband Kevin): You will notice at the end of this post that our last name appears as the alias Nelson. That is before I decided that I needed a really awesome alias. Not that there is anything wrong with Nelson but Doozleberry is just so much more glamorous. Yeah.

Sunday, July 13:

Monday, July 14: A Snippet from Red Thing March

Tuesday, July 15:

Wednesday, July 16:

Thursday, July 17:

Friday, July 18:

Saturday, July 19:

Sunday, July 20 (Happy Birthday to the best little boy a mother could ever have prayed many years for :) I just transferred this over from myspace so that you'd all have something new to read.

Monday, July 21: Another poop story because, well, they are funny

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Alright, so we know that Garrett inherited the cleaning gene from my father's side of the family but this is getting ridiculous. This afternoon I was dusting and Garrett was in his playroom. He came out to see what I was up to. Immediately he wanted his own duster. This is a common occurrence so I went to the closest and handed another one to him. He proceeded to follow me around, dusting everything I dusted. When I got into the family room I dusted a little table that we have pushed up against the wall. It wasn't long ago that I dusted it so there was little to clean. I opted not to move the set of coasters we have sitting on that table. Garrett gave me a look, picked the coasters up and dusted underneath them. I'm so not even kidding. My 23 month old son reprimanded me with his eyes and then did a more thorough cleaning job than his 26 year old mother was able to muster. And the frightening thing is, I don't think we've even begun to tap into the depth of his cleaning neurosis.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two Years Ago

Two years ago this was inside of my body and would be for another thirteen days. Two years ago my heart didn't understand the capacity that it could swell to. Two years ago my life was about to change forever. In my closest estimate, we've changed approximately 5,000 diapers. A good number of them have been disgusting. Garrett has learned to roll, sit, scoot, crawl, stand, walk, run and gallop. He gives hugs and kisses. He loves chicken nuggets, tilapia and PB & J. For some unknown reason, he hates pasta--except in macaroni and cheese form. Spaghetti and lasagna noodles make him shudder and gag. He loves to sweep the floor and go swimming. He has opinions about everything. At almost "doo" he is a little man. At the store today I stumbled upon some preemie clothing, the size he wore for the first four weeks of his life despite the fact that he was only one week early. I don't know how he has grown into a tiny little man, but he has. I love that dirty, sweaty toddler but oh how I long for a few more moments with that newborn. I'd inhale that baby fresh smell and kiss every inch of that tiny bald head. I'd rock him to sleep and marvel at his smallness. Two years ago I watched his elbows float across my abdomen and wondered if he'd be a girl or a boy and what he would look like. Two years ago my life hadn't changed forever.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our Trip

Troy and I are back from our weekend away. We spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday down in Moab, Utah at the loveliest Bed & Breakfast. Sunflower Hill was just spectacular. Thanks again Kevin and Joanna! We really, really, really appreciated it! Our room was wonderful and quaint, the breakfast was delicious, and we plan to go back simply because we never had the time to sit and relax by the gorgeous pool.

We went down on Thursday and, before heading into town, we drove through Arches National Park. Arches is incredible! It seems as though God decided to use that particular acreage as his sandbox. He stacked rocks on top of other rocks that, seemingly, could not possibly balance. Then he poked holes in other rocks to make implausible archways.

On Thursday evening we went to a western show/dinner and basically ate ourselves silly. I had barbecue chicken, a baked potato, beans, biscuits, apple sauce, and spice cake. It was a good thing I ate a lot because it prepared me for the next day where I would see this view:
How does one see such a beautiful view, you might ask. Well, any normal kind of person would charter a helicopter. We, however, decided to go wheeling. I don't know what Troy's idea of off-roading was but I thought you drove around on back country dirt roads and had the occasional obstacle like, oh I don't know, a two foot wall. We were passengers in the vehicles of some of the members of our church. They go wheeling on a very consistent basis, are mechanics, and know what they are doing. This was of some comfort on a trail that took us 12 hours to complete and has obstacles with names such as Launch Pad, Golden Crack, Widow Maker, The Wall, Double Whammy and Body Snatcher. Unfortunately the heat combined with the bumpiness of the trail left me feeling nauseated for about half of our trek. There was also a tense situation where a truck was contemplating whether or not it would roll over. Apparently my husband was not going to get squashed if it had, indeed, flopped onto its side but I thought he was. Visions of squished Troy and bashed and bleeding Kevin floated through my mind. But these people are professionals and the truck never rolled. Troy was unsquashed. Kevin was unbleeding. When we got on the highway at the end of the day, one of our fellow trekkers asked me how I liked it. I said that, on the positive side, it had been very impressive. I'd seen scenery I never would have dreamed of seeing. I never imagined that vehicles were capable of such feats. And on the negative side, I'd been pretty good and freaked out by the tense situation in the middle of the day. He looked at me with a blank face and asked me what I was talking about. For these hardcore wheelers (is that a word?) it had been all in a day's work. I, on the other hand, had clung to my husband and bawled about how I thought he was going to get smashed. It left a much longer lasting impression on my own self, apparently. So maybe I'm too big of a wussy for wheeling? But then the views were spectacular. I don't know, the jury hasn't gotten back to me yet. Below is a picture of The Crack.
I'm not entirely sure what this is a picture of but I thought it looked cool. Doesn't it just look like that vehicle is going to flip right up and over itself? I know, right! Impressive. I mean, these people are like serious stud drivers. For real.
On Friday we went rafting on the Colorado and it was a BLAST! I was born with a significant amount of fish DNA. Give me water in just about any form and I am so very happy in my element. I've rafted many many times before but only one other time with a river guide. The stretch of river that we were on only had class 2 and 3 rapids and we weren't paddling but I didn't mind the leisurely float one bit. There were several other rafts with our group and one raft, in particular, was full of instigators. They started the water fight and, when we retaliated, we lost our bucket and it was taken by the other raft. I found this to be unsatisfactory and I jumped in. Attempt number one at rescuing our bucket failed miserably and I swam back to my own raft. During attempt number two, these large men were literally chucking my body back into the river as I tried to get into their raft. Apparently they didn't get the memo that I am a smallish woman! Finally I got fed up with them and I decided to bring one of those fellas into the water with me. I wrapped my arm around his and tossed him over my shoulder. I yelled to my raft that I had a hostage. I mean, I assumed the other raft would gladly trade our bucket for their POW. I fully intended to use him as leverage. But then I realized that he was gasping and looking terrified. I'm not even kidding that this was a full grown adult man. Not only had he been tossed rather easily into the water by a girl who weighs less than 120 pounds, he was now panicking. Even I'm not mean enough to force a petrified adult male to bob up and down in a slow moving river with a perfectly safe life vest on. Plus rule number four in The Pastor's Wife Handbook says something about not being a bully. So I let him go. Without my bucket. And that's when I noticed that his wife was freaking out and crying and I realized that I had somehow tapped into some sort of giant family fear. Only when I was back in my own raft did I realize that his daughter (or granddaughter, I never figured out if he was an old dad or a young grandfather) was sobbing over the whole ordeal. I guess I broke rule number four without even knowing it. So let this be a lesson to you all. I can dish it out but I am generally very good at taking it. If you're going to manhandle me off of your raft, you're coming in with me. I'm feisty like that. Oh it was a fun day! I want to do it again. Right now.
We left after rafting and drove home. It was a great little trip. We even enjoyed the drive being that it was uninterrupted by toddler screams and squawks. Would you believe that my son looked bigger to me than when I left him three days ago? You know what else looked bigger? These.

My first harvest.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Zucchini Is Taking Over

Troy's mom is flying in tonight to watch the little one while we take a three day vacation down to Moab. I'm sorry to report that there will be a break in the blogging action.

For those of you interested in a garden update, here ya go (please ignore the beautiful weed border surrounding my plants. It's hard enough to keep them out of the actual garden and I spend many an afternoon plucking them out.):

We have taken the Butternut Squash plant off of life support. Granted, he's quite a bit smaller than his cousins, The Zuccs, but he's growing rapidly now. The corn is getting taller. Troy tells me that there is an old saying that corn is supposed to be knee high by the fourth of July. Well, it's pretty darn close. The tomato plants have bunches of blossoms and the strawberries have little white flowers all over them. And then there are The Zuccs. They are like the mafia of my garden. They are trying to take over the other plants by sheer intimidation. There are about ten little zucchinis growing under those huge leaves. It's incredible that they started as tiny plants with five or six little leaves on them. But then, my son started out as a small little bean looking thing and he'll be two in less than three weeks. Just for effect, I took a picture of my foot on top of one of the zucchini leaves. I don't have a tiny little woman foot. A wear an 8.5 or a 9.
So that is the garden. I did not kill it. I so did not kill it. I am actually starting to think that it may kill me. I think those two zucchini plants might just team up and take over the world.
I am going to miss Olympic swimming because we'll be in Tahoe. We do not have TiVo. I'm sure no one out there in the blog world wants to record it for me. Do you? Because of this travesty I have been watching the trials each night. I know that most people do not understand the appeal of swimming back and forth. I can comprehend it, intellectually. However, my heart does not get it. I watch them and I'm twelve years old all over again. I want to throw on a suit and drive to the nearest pool. I want to have shoulder surgery and find myself a coach and do it all over again. It is simply magical.

Garrett has been watching with me. Last night the Padres were on TV here (a rarity) and I was switching between the game and the swimming. The swimming hadn't actually started yet but Garrett saw the pool. "Oool! Oool! Oool!" he screamed when I changed the channel to the game. I told him I would turn it right back. He looked at me, narrowed his eyes and shouted, "Moah!" When I flipped back to the swimming he grinned and nestled himself tighter into the couch. I glanced out of the corner of my eye at my husband and smiled.

I would never force my son to do the sport that I did. But if he chooses it there would be no complaints from this parent. I'd just hope those Doozleberry calves he inherited from his father wouldn't sink him right straight to the bottom. I grow zucchini. Doozleberry's grow prize winning leg muscles.