Friday, September 26, 2008
Troy needs alone time. He needs quiet time. He needs "Get away from me everyone else so I can hear myself think" time. At night, when the world gets quiet, Troy tucks me in and stays up for an hour or so just soaking in the silence. I, myself, do not need this kind of time.
But oh how Garrett does. He's been having a blast playing with his cousins over the last two days but today he asked me if he could lay down in his Pack n Play. He needed some Garrett time. For twenty minutes that kid laid in his portable crib sucking on his pacifier and contemplating the finer points of solitude. I don't know if it's a first born trait--I missed the memo on that one if it is. Perhaps the lack of a sibling contributes to his feeling overwhelmed in constant company. In any case, he was overstimulated and he thought it best to remove himself from the situation.
Like father, like son.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Life is hectic.
Monday, September 22, 2008
You see I'm not a soprano. I'm not really even an alto. I'm more like a tenor. Or, maybe, a baritone. Okay, probably not a baritone. I'd really define myself as a Basso-Alto, if there were such a thing. That's Italian for low. I think. In any case, I think my head voice sounds just atrocious and my head voice is the voice I have to use to hit any note above, oh I don't know, there's no piano around me right now but it's not exponentially high. If I was a man I'd be set. I can sing the parts in musical theatre that were written for men. But then, my husband and I would have a great deal of martial problems. In any case, I don't have a lot of confidence in my voice. I was cast in a musical in college which certainly helped give me a confidence booster but, for the most part, I don't think it does much for making a joyful noise.
So how then did I come to sing with the worship team on Sunday morning? Funny you should ask. Last weekend was our church men's retreat. The worship leader attended along with several men who typically sing or play instruments. As a result, my husband led worship on Sunday morning and, before rehearsal on Thursday night, was slightly afraid that it might be him and one other person and a piano. So, I stepped up. I'm not sure he welcomed this stepping up although he kept insisting that I do have a good voice. I think he's obligated to say that, however, because of the fact that I shoved his heir out of my body some two years ago. I went to worship practice just in case. There were plenty of people who showed up for rehearsal so I figured I was in the clear. And then I made the mistake of singing a teeny tiny portion of a new song with my husband so the pianist could practice. Apparently, it sounded okay enough for the rest of the worship team to tell me I needed to sing with them.
So I did. Yesterday morning. In front of the congregation. And the weird thing was that I wasn't nervous. There were definitely times when I sounded like a man but I'm totally used to that what with the testosterone laden pipes the Lord blessed me with. There might have been times where I was actually on key. I don't know for sure because all I could hear on the monitors was the piano and my husband's voice. I was told afterward that I should sing with the worship team more often. I was thanked for sharing my talent (to which I nearly choked on my own tongue) with everyone. I was told that I looked natural. I was not told that I sounded like a cat in heat. I think the people who felt that way graciously abstained from letting me know.
But I sang. And the world didn't end. Jesus didn't come back right then and there just to put the Christians out of their misery. It might have actually turned out alright. And it might have actually been...fun.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The requirements are to answer the following questions:
1. Where is your cell phone? On my nightstand. Plugged into the charger because it needs a new battery and I refuse to give Verizon anymore money where that piece of junk KRZR is concerned.
2. Where is your significant other? Pioneer Men's Camp (I think that's what it's called) for our church's men's camp. Otherwise known as getting into the Word and eating lots of red meat.
3. Your hair color? Pureed Potato Skin & Tomato. For real. Also known as Dirty Blondish Auburnyish. Filling out information for my driver's license is ridiculously impossible.
4. Your mother? Probably at home. In San Diego county. Where it's awesome to live. Sigh.
5. Your father? I imagine he's in the same place.
6. Your favorite thing? Pick just one? But there are so many things. My husband & son. Theatre. Ice cream! Doing a piece of theatre that involves eating ice cream while my husband and son watch from the wings!
7. Your dream last night? I watched Baby Mama so then I dreamed I was smelling newborn heads. But then, this really isn't much different than my dreams when I don't watch Baby Mama.
8. Your dream/goal? That when I stand before God at the end of my life I have no talent left and can say, "I used everything you gave me." (paraphrased Bombeck)
9. The room you’re in? Bedroom.
10. Your hobby? Writing and reading. Theatre.
11. Your fear? My family dying.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Loving on my kids (plural) and husband. Leading people to a real and authentic relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe somehow making money for writing.
13. Where were you last night? Alone in my house with my toddler just waiting for someone to come and kill me.
14. What you’re not? Quiet.
15. One of your wish-list items? A digital video camera.
16. Where you grew up? Southern California
17. The last thing you did? Answered question number 17. Before that it was 16. Before I started this meme I got Garrett up and gave him milk and Kix.
18. What are you wearing? Pajamas still
19. Your TV? What? Brand name? Size? Where it's located? This is a silly question.
20. Your pet? We have 3. There is Beck the lovable golden retriever, Oliver the tabby cat and Hiss the baby garter snake.
21. Your computer? We have a laptop and a PC. The laptop was a gift from MVCC when we left to move to Utah.
22. Your mood? Um...apprehensive. I have all that packing to do. And I'm singing with the worship team tomorrow morning. And that is quite apprehension inducing.
23. Missing someone? I live a 12 hour drive from my entire family so, yeah, you could say that.
24. Your car? Hyundai Santa Fe, silver. Chevy Cavalier, champagne colored (I think).
25. Something you’re not wearing? Uh. Shoes.
26. Favorite store? I love New York & Company for clothes but I've been really disappointed in the NY&C here in Utah. I don't know if the lines have been stinking all over the place but I sure don't like what they have here.
27. Your summer? Went way too fast and now we are barrelling, once again, toward snow time.
28. Love someone? My husband, madly.
29. Your favorite color? I like shades of blue.
30. When is the last time you laughed? Last night.
31. Last time you cried? My birthday, I think. That was the 8th.
Carol tagged four people. So that's what I'm going to do. Even though I'm not really the follower type. Also, you're supposed to insert the photo onto your blog.
Mom at Empty Nest-Full Life
Heidi at Nothing But Blue Sky
Veronica at Amazingly Life-Like
And My Husband at Empty Wooden Horses
Friday, September 19, 2008
After my husband and one of my favorite guys, Pastor Ed Hearn, left for camp I took my kiddo for a walk. We went over to The District (a shopping area just around the corner). We used my gift card to get a Jamba Juice and then we walked through Petco, one of Garrett's favorite hangouts. I decided to pick up a terrarium heater for Hiss who, by the way, is growing like a rotten little weed and has shed his skin already. I walked up to the counter and stood there for a good five minutes. Then I started wandering around looking for someone. Then I went back and stood there some more. Finally I went over to Reptile & Fish Girl. Now, I am not a big fan of Reptile & Fish Girl. There used to be someone else who worked there who was always really nice to Garrett and I liked her. New Reptile & Fish Girl is not my personal favorite. This is because of the fact that when we went to pick up the terrarium for Hiss she was less than helpful.
Me: We just caught a little tiny garter snake. Should I just give it tiny feeder fish and meal worms?
Her: Um. Well. Uh. (Now I don't expect her to know everything but she could have asked someone or looked it up or something). I don't even think we have meal worms right now.
Me: (thinking about how that was so not my question) Ooookay. Can you just fish out three of your smallest feeders for me? (I say as I point to the feeder fish aquarium and chuckle to myself about my hilarious play on words. HILARIOUS. Are you laughing?)
At this point she seems really annoyed at having to locate small ones. I kind of wanted to say something along the lines of "I'm really sorry for inconveniencing you, what with all the other customers waiting for your help." The place was dead. What I said instead was, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience." And I said it nicely because I don't have a single confrontational bone in my body. Well, maybe my incus is confrontational but being that it's very, very small I think it hardly counts.
So today, after waiting for well over five minutes but not quite ten, I walked over to her. She was helping someone else but I said, "Do you know if there is anyone else here who can help me check out?" I just realized that it sounded kind of like I wanted to buy drugs and then have myself a nice little trip but I think she knew what I meant.
Her: (Gives me a look as if to say, "Can't you tell that it isn't your turn?") I'll help you when I'm done here.
Me: Oh. Okay. Thanks. No rush. I just thought maybe someone else was around.
I went back and stood at the counter for another few minutes. Then she appeared, walked into their little office, reappeared, looked at me, and snipped, "I'll be with you in a few minutes." At that point Garrett was getting really bored and starting to grab candy bars and push buttons on things and I was trying to corral him. Why, might I ask, do they have candy bars in Petco? Now I'd been waiting for a really long time and I'd pretty much had it. She never said anything like, "Hey, I'm sorry. I'm the only person working right now." Instead she just acted extremely perturbed with me and I know she wasn't the only one working because I saw another worker walk through and disappear behind a mysterious door. I looked down at my terrarium heater, considered the fact that I might be able to find it cheaper at WalMart, and walked out the door. Without it, that is. I didn't shop lift.
I never do that. What's wrong with me? Am I getting surly now that I've turned 27? On the walk home I had imaginary dialogue with myself about how it was only a twenty dollar purchase but it was twenty dollars they'll never see simply because of the fact that their employee, Reptile & Fish Girl, doesn't know the meaning of the word customer service.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I shook myself out of my make believe world and smiled. "My uterus is doing flips." (She knows we're a few steps into the adoption process.) She smiled back and lifted her son, the two-month-old out of his carrier and into her lap. "There go the fallopian tubes," I replied. More to little Jeremiah than to her, I suppose. We proceeded to have a conversation about how God works in mysterious ways. She talked about how her four children came one right after the other but she knows so many people who've had to wait for a long time or who never receive the blessing at all.
I thought of a time when a woman with four children who came one right after another simply because her husband and herself reside in the same state and sometimes brush past each other on the way up the stairs would have made me sob buckets. A time when I would have contemplated stealing one of them because, what with three others, would she notice? Instead, today, several years down my path of infertility and one precious miracle later, I thought about how tremendously good God is. Infertility is my thing. Seeing my answered prayers in a tangible toddler taught me, more than anything else, about trusting God. It's what makes my heart break for people on their own journey through infertility. It's an ache that is sometimes dull and sometimes acute and didn't go away with the birth of my son. Certainly it ebbed. But then it swelled, again, over these last 17 months of trying to conceive again. Sometimes I hurt for myself and always I hurt for other people who don't have a toddler to remind them that it's all going to be okay. And always, always, I am waiting for a second child to be welcomed into this family.
Today, over at Shannon's blog, a guest writer speaks on this topic. The writer of What I'd Like For You To Know: Infertility tells it much better than I ever could and has experienced a much higher level of grief associated with infertility than I ever did. In fact, her story makes my own battle seem like a Saturday frolic through daisies. But the bottom line is, there's a whole gaggle of women (and men) out there who just might look like they're momentarily in another world. The truth is, we are. We're in a world of tiny fingers and tiny toes. A world that a whole lot of people in this world take for granted.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Garrett took to loving this particular plush toy a few weeks ago. He insisted on taking it to bed with him and, when he rolled onto it in the middle of the night and we heard Jesus Loves Me over and over and over again on the baby monitor, we decided it was going to need to be a non sleepy time animal. So, in the morning, when Garrett gets out of his crib, he grabs the duck and carries him around for half the day. Because he knows that the tune the duck plays has something to do with Jesus, he has started referring to the animal as such. Just this morning he patted the spot next to him in his high chair and shrieked, "Jesus!" Two nights ago he ran around the house looking for him, spotted him and yelled, "Jesus! Hi!"
And yesterday, he took him swimming. The back door was open to let the dog in and out and Garrett was playing outside. Suddenly he came running in and handed me a soaking wet Jesus. Apparently, the dog's water bucket is an excellent duck pond. That duck is still not completely dry. And, obviously, his song is a little (oh alright a lot) out of tune. He's apparently got a short in the system because now he bursts into worship all on his own from time to time. And other times he flat refuses to sing, even when his wing is pushed repeatedly. Here's the little guy drying out in our sink.
This poor duck smells awful. The dog was in need of some fresh water anyway and now Jesus smells like algae and dog saliva. I am aware of just how irreverent that sentence sounds. I've encouraged my son to name him something else but it just won't work. In his mind that duck is Jesus. Plain and simple. If he wasn't two and at the very beginning of his spiritual journey, I'd worry about having a golden calf situation on my hands. Anyway, I sprayed him with air freshner to try to relieve some of the stench but now he just smells like vanilla dog breath.
I explained to my son that we don't submerge stuffed animals under water but I think my lecture fell on deaf ears. It's a duck after all. He's no dummy. He knows ducks belong in the water.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
1. That's our pastor's wife? Maybe we should rethink our staff in the coming months.
2. She so does not have anything figured out. Someone get that girl a beginner's Bible.
So aside from starting to get a little nervous about all things retreaty, I'm starting to get a little nervous about all things adoptiony. When I get home from retreat I have approximately 53 hours before I fly to San Diego. I'm a wee bit worried about orchestrating the packing for all of these frolics around the greater northwest, greater Heber City, greater San Diego and Los Angeles areas. I'm a little worried that during our adoption interview they'll be all, "Which home study agency approved you freaks?" I'm only slightly kidding when I say that I might stand up in front of the women at retreat and mumble something about, "I knew I forgot to do something. Talk amongst yourselves for a half hour."
Also, my stomach is going crazy with odd gurgling. When Troy and I were dating my stomach did this all the time. We used to joke about how I was allergic to him or something. It was ridiculous. One time his dad told him to go get me something to eat. It would have been completely mortifying if we weren't already so totally head over heels in love with each other. So is it a stress thing or what? Maybe I was completely freaked out the whole time we were dating that he might find out how totally lame I really am. And now I'm crazy stressing over my psychotic life between now and October 11. Who says stay at home moms have nothing to worry about? Come over here and say that to my fist. What? What's that? How do I find time to blog? Say hello to my left fist. It's not good for much but it helps my right one feel less lonely. Look at that, I'm even practicing not putting my thumb inside my fist. My husband will be so proud.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I just don't know how Tina Fey can look and sound so very much like the GOP VP nominee. If you haven't seen it yet, you just have to watch it. Click here: Palin & Clinton. I pretty much dare you not to crack up. Go ahead. Try.
Disclaimer: Of course, in true SNL fashion, there are some unpastoral remarks. I don't advocate such statements, as they fly in the face of the Pastor's Wife Handbook.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Today we started rehearsing for the Children's Christmas Musical at church. I had written a letter to the parents explaining my background in theatre and the rehearsal schedule, etc. As a result, the following exchange occurred.
Kid: Hey, were you really an actor in college?
Kid: What kinds of plays were you in?
Kid: I mean, were you in Beauty and the Beast?
Me: No. I did...
Kid: But you were on Broadway and everything?
Me: (As I almost shoot milk out of my nose despite the fact that I'm not drinking anything) Uh. No. I've been to Broadway but I've never been on Broadway.
Kid: (clearly disappointed) Oh. So, then, what did you do, exactly?
Me: I acted in some plays in college and I did a lot of work behind the scenes of shows.
Kid: Like what shows were you in?
Me: Twelfth Night and Godspell. Oh and Hamlet, sort of. And I did backstage work on Into the Woods and Waiting for...
Kid: (Interrupting and dripping with disappointment) Huh. But you're sure you were never on Broadway?
Pretty sure, kid. Pretty sure.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Me: Um. He's really stubborn.
Me: (to myself) Already? He's been a mule since he was 18 months old. (To her) Well, he has two stubborn parents so, yeah. It doesn't surprise me.
Her: Do you find it difficult to deal with him since you're both strong-willed?
Me: Actually, I find that it works well. When one of us is at our wit's end, the other one steps in and won't back down. I think he's just as stubborn as we are but we're bigger. It works well.
Her: Excellent. The more you can battle that now the easier he'll be when he's older.
Me: That's what we're hoping for.
Her: Sounds like you've found a groove that works for your family.
Me: Oh don't get me wrong, we have our days.
Her: We all do and I'd say you were lying if you told me otherwise.
Me: And I would be.
Her: (laughing) Toddlers are tough.
The real questions on my little survey were things like how much milk does your child drink in a day and does he sleep through the night and is your child exposed to second hand smoke? But the final questions were these: What do you find the most challenging about this age and What is the best thing about this age? I'm sure you've guessed that I answered "stubbornness" as the most challenging. The other night Garrett refused to eat scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs have been one of his most cherished foods for well over a year. And he flat refused to open his mouth and taste even one bite of them. He always wants to be held when I am trying to cook dinner. And I do mean always. If Troy isn't home he climbs me or throws himself on the floor and kicks and screams or anything else that might delay the dinner making process. Sure, there are things I do to curb this incessant need to be in my arms. I put him in his high chair with crayons and paper. I give him play-doh. These things pacify him for a good five minutes before he wants down rightnowrightnowrightnow! Stubborn. Mule like. Relentless.
But the answer I wrote down for the other question makes all the stubbornness somehow bearable. I simply wrote down Discovery. I wish I kept track of everything Garrett discovers in a single day. I wish I chronicled his every hysterical conclusion drawn. I can almost see connections fusing together in his brain. Just behind his eyes there is a flicker of recognition and then sheer delight on his face. The other night there were tiny, whole mushrooms in our dinner. As I stabbed one with my fork Garrett pointed at it, smiled, and declared, "Turtle." Apparently, from where he sat, my mushroom looked like a turtle shell. Now, I didn't particularly want him thinking we go around eating turtles (especially because he is quite fond of Crush on Finding Nemo) so I explained that it was a mushroom. I don't know if he believed me. Yesterday we were working on his puzzles. He's been pretty hit and miss with puzzles and, truthfully, I hadn't busted them out in quite some time. He knew where almost every single piece went. He didn't always have the patience to get it lined up just right but he certainly knew the shapes. When he wakes up in the morning, if I get him instead of Troy, he asks, "Daddy home?" If Troy is not at home I say, "No, daddy's not home right now." He then replies, "Daddy church." It doesn't matter if Troy is at the church or not--although he usually is--that is always Garrett's solution to his whereabouts. Watching him discover turtles in my dinner and numbers in a puzzle and clues to where his daddy might be is nothing short of amazing. My baby becoming a stubborn little person before my eyes is incredible.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Yesterday was Garrett's check up. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Hey, didn't Garrett turn two a month and a half ago?" And the answer is yes. Yes he did. But this was the soonest they could see him. He weighed 28 lbs 7 oz and was 35.25 inches long. That put him in the 62 percentile for height and the 48 percentile for weight. She said he looked tall for his age to her and that she would have guessed a higher percentile. Tall for his age? Those are words I never thought I'd hear. When the doctor first walked in, Garrett, who is always shy around new people for five minutes before he remembers that he thinks he's the life of the party, pointed immediately to the trash can and announced, "Trash!" She said, "Well yes, that is the trash." Then he pointed to another trash can and proudly declared, "more!" They were instant friends but then she tried to put the stethoscope on his back and he freaked out. As he buried his head in my shoulder screaming, "Mommy! Mommy!" I apologized.
Me: (To her) I'm sorry. (To him) Buddy, it's not scary.
Her: Don't worry about it. I examine about 25% of the toddlers from under the chairs. Another 25% won't let me get within two feet of them. He's doing good.
Garrett: No MOMMY!
Me: Garrett, stop. You're fine.
Her: You know, it's great to see the attachment he's formed. As the pediatrician, I'm really glad he knows you'll protect him.
As annoying as the clingy can be sometimes, I was so sad to think about toddlers who don't think their parents will protect them. One Hepatitis A vaccine later, I think Garrett fell into that category. My ballistic toddler, the same one who barely shed a tear when he got vaccines as an infant, glared at me as though I was the enemy. He repeatedly looked into my eyes and said, "Owie!" Long after it stopped hurting he pointed to his leg and said, "Owie here." Funny thing was, he'd started pointing to the wrong leg. Overdramatic much? I don't know where he gets that.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I ran next door to my friend's room and shook her awake. She looked at me like I was crazy and I spouted something to the effect of, "Terrorists attacked New York!" It wasn't a very good way to wake someone up on her birthday. Congratulations for being born 19 years ago today. America is reeling. Get up and watch these buildings burn with me. The three of us stood in my room staring at the screen when all of the sudden the south tower collapsed. Until that moment everything had felt slow, as though we were existing in a dream world. But the speed of that tower coming down propelled me out of my dream state and into the reality not that we'd been attacked by radical terrorists but that the loss of life was going to be enormous. I instantly thought of mothers and fathers and husbands and wives who would, on that day, lose the world as they knew it.
I've had a couple rotten birthdays. There was my 21 birthday when my fiance (the ex) burned his eyes with special contact solution and spent the day groping around like blind Bartimaeus with his eyes glued shut. We couldn't go out to dinner on account of the fact that we were worried about him losing his sight. And there was this birthday which was effectively ruined by an email. But I think it's safe to say that both of these pale in comparison to Kristin who was born on September 11. The day was spent in mourning and, when I tried to round up a group of people to have a mini celebration of Kristin's birth, no one really felt much like a party.
Kristin lives in New York City now and I've had the good fortune of being able to visit her twice. On my first trip to the city I made a point of going to Ground Zero. The silence was deafening and the hole in the ground seemed filled with grief and gravity and the guts of anguish. I remember for all the people who lost their lives. I remember for all the children who lost their parents. I remember for all the husbands and wives who sat stunned while they spoke to their loved ones for the last time. And I remember for Kristin who, although she always shared her birthday with the numbers 9-11, now shares it with the remembrance of devastation.
Happy Birthday, Kristin! I hope your day is filled with fun and celebration. I hope, for all our sake's, that the terrorists stay away this year.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It would take forever and a day to completely chronicle that summer. I would have to elicit help from my friend, Michelle. We would probably need to get our moms in on the blogging action. I would have to call He Who Shall Not Be Named But Whom, Yes, I Did Give The Ring Back To on the phone to be reminded of some of the details but, clearly, that's not happening. The very long in the very short of it is that this woman threatened to fire everyone on an almost daily basis. If you work at Point Loma for the summer, you stay in on campus housing for free. If you get fired or quit, you pay back every day that you've been there. Or, at least, that's how it used to work. By the time she started threatening, we'd been there long enough that our hard earned cash would have all gone toward paying back our summer housing. Had she fired us on the last day of work, I think we would have been in major debt.
Our boss was constantly threatening us with the fact that her husband was a lawyer and she could sue us. For what you might ask? Well, a whole bunch of things, really, starting with defamation of character and ending with something that had to do with the Good Samaritan law and Prescott prayer chapel. I'm sure that doesn't make any sense to you but I can't word it any better because it never made sense to us either. She'd probably sue me now if she found my blog so instead of calling her by her real name, I'll call her Stormy McGraw.
The summer started out innocently enough but then, after a week or two, Stormy made the CS workers participate in some kind of all night military training action complete with a fax machine and undercover tactics. I can't write intelligently about it because I wasn't there. I had gone home for the weekend but when I got back on campus I was hit with the story. I never sorted it all out in my head. I rolled my eyes, called her crazy, and went about my job. I should have quit right then and there and paid the school for two weeks of on campus living. Almost immediately, people started leaving CS for other on campus positions--this way they could continue living there for free. Stormy McGraw went to the powers that be and put a freeze on any Conference Services workers being hired by other on campus divisions. This meant that we were stuck.
Michelle and I were living in Flex Housing with a third member of our team when that third member was fired. Stormy got it into her head that we should not be living in Flex Housing by ourselves because, well, you know, we had boyfriends (Oh the scandal!) and what without the third girl living there to stop us, we'd abandon all morals and throw caution to the wind and the world would end right then and there. It didn't matter that her apartment was right across the street and she could look into our apartment and often stood on her front steps and did just that. (creepy!) In her mind, apparently, the thought that she could, at any time, gaze into our home wouldn't stop us from our pursuit of moral abandonment. So do you want to know what she did? Oh, you know you do. Instead of asking us to move because now there were just the two of us taking up a whole apartment and she, as the boss, would prefer for us to move to a smaller dorm room, she created a whole messy mess of a scene out of nothing.
Apparently my friend and her boyfriend were contemplating consummating their relationship when other members of Conference Services walked in on them. At least, that's what the story was by the time it had been repeated 80 jillion times. The real story is that they were laying on her bottom bunk reading. With the door open. Fully clothed. But Stormy McGraw (read: psychopath) banished us to a much less inhabited dorm because we were so scandalous and couldn't handle such a big responsibility as having our own on campus apartment that she stared into. The day that she made me move I was running a fever of over a hundred degrees. I called in sick and she thought, since I wasn't working that I just had to move right that moment or the entire world would stop spinning on its axis. Move to Klassen or move home. Those were my choices. We never even unpacked. We lived for the rest of the summer out of boxes. We assumed that when we were finally fired for no reason whatsoever, we'd be all packed up and ready to go.
Like I said, I could write for decades on this topic but I won't. I just want to tell you about the curtain rods and the time I really seriously lost my mind for a minute. At the beginning of the summer Stormy asked me to get curtain rods for some of the dorm showers. Apparently they were rusty and Stormy just didn't approve. I was the leader of the transportation team and she sent me on a wild goose chase to find very specific rods. I came back and reported to her that after going to just about every store I could think of, I still hadn't found what she was looking for. As the summer trickled on, she became more and more obsessive over it. She'd send me out, when I was in the middle of something else, to look for curtain rods. When I got back, my job would be waiting. I'd get overtime pay because I wasn't finished when everyone else clocked out for the day. I'd buy rods. They'd be wrong. But not because they were actually wrong but because she would suddenly change the parameters of what she had asked for. Eventually, after weeks and weeks of searching, I found what she wanted. In the right size. With the right amount of tension. In the correct color. That was as far as I went with the rods. I was transportation team. We picked up candy bars at Costco and lugged around dirty laundry. We didn't install curtain rods.
At the end of the summer, on one of the last days of work, when I had still not been fired, we were all cleaning out our storage house. I marched to and fro with clean linens and pillows and, as I walked out, I saw He Who Shall Not Be Named But Whom, Yes, I Did Give The Ring Back To standing with something in his hand. His face looked puzzled.
Me: What's wrong?
HWSNBNBWYIDGTRBT: Is this one of the curtain rods you bought?
Me: (narrowing my eyes) Yeeessss.
HWSNBNBWYIDGTRBT: Are those the rest of them?
Me: (following his finger with my eyes) YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
There, in a pile, were all of the brand new curtain rods. The curtain rods that weeks and weeks ago just had to be purchased or all the world would cave in on itself. I had handed them to her. She had glared at me and mumbled something about, "Finally. Took you long enough." And then promptly plopped them down in the storage house. Of course. Because I always throw the things I want most into storage. In that moment, standing out in the hot sun staring at a pile of curtain rods that had taken hours of my life I'll never get back, I flipped out. Thankfully she was nowhere to be seen because I most certainly would have lost my job on that afternoon. I stormed over to the pile screaming something about, "Who does she think she is? No, I'm serious. She's been threatening us all summer and I am sick of it. First she loses the credit card and then gives me a huge lecture and threatens to fire me when I wasn't even working but she spouts something about how I'm upper management so it's essentially my fault and then I find it in her desk and hand it to her and she's all, 'oh you found it? Where was it? In your wallet?' And I'm all, 'uh no. In your desk.' And she's all, 'oh. That's funny.' And then she moves my whole team to other positions and leaves Melanie and me to lug all the dirty linens from all the dorms by ourselves. And then she never even hangs up the stupid curtain rods!" And I think there was an expletive or two in there because I'd literally lost my mind and I didn't know that one day I'd be a pastor's wife. I remember the scenario as though I was hovering over it while it was happening which makes me think that somehow my spirit departed my body because I was in such a fit of rage that it didn't want to be connected to me. I know that doesn't happen but that's what it was like is all I'm saying. So I marched over to those rods and I picked one up and I started beating it against the side of the Lotus House (that's the storage house). I'm not exactly short but I'm fairly smallish and I remember even big guys backing away from me like, "Holy smokes. It snapped." I wasn't female anymore. I was an "it." Completely beside myself. Eventually HWSNBNBWYIDGTRBT came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me and told me it was all going to be okay and to please put the gun, er, in this case, curtain rod, down. I collapsed and started sobbing. Over curtain rods. And over the most stressful summer of my life.
When my mind returned to my body, I glanced down and saw a mangled curtain rod. Another team member picked it up and casually buried it in the bottom of a trash can. The summer ended and I never got fired. But Stormy McGraw did. The other day her account popped up on my Facebook as someone I might know.
I ignored it.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I thought the ball went through the receiver's hands. Why did I think this? Because no one made any noise at all and it took the announcers a full five seconds to explain that the Panthers receiver had actually caught the ball and thus, the Panthers had won the game. So now I want to punch all of the Panthers in the face also. Hard.
I might be too attached to football. Someone should maybe stage an intervention. God just took my halo away.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
So, the first time I ever heard of Uncrustables was several years ago. I was directing the Children's Christmas Musical at our church and one of my little actors brought one of these in for her lunch. I vowed then and there that if I ever had the good fortune of being a mother, I would never purchase these. For starters, they're missing the crust and, at the risk of sounding like every adult I ever came into contact with as a kid, the crust is the healthiest part. But aside from that minor detail, I could not believe that someone would waste their hard earned money on something they could slap together on their own kitchen counter for a teeny tiny fraction of the cost. I would never be so frivolous.
If you've spent any considerable of time around my toddler son, you've probably seen him with an Uncrustable. Why? Well, isn't a girl entitled to change her mind? It was actually my mom who bought them first and they were a treat at Grandma's house. I certainly wasn't going to tell her not to spend her own hard earned money on something that clearly made her grandson happy. I think it was back in January when she sent one with me for our plane ride away from Paradise and back to the tundra. We took it out of the freezer and voila, it was ready to eat an hour later. It was relatively tidy considering our world of sticky fingers and laps full of crumbs. And Garrett devoured every bit of it.
So I broke down. I broke my word. I changed my mind. I bought a box at Costco. But I still refuse to let him have one at our house. They are for days when I know we're going to eat on the road or we're going somewhere for dinner that might not be serving one of the eight or nine foods that my son will actually eat. He's really not that picky considering the age but he won't touch chicken unless it's in nugget form and he thinks noodles are spawn of Satan himself. There are times when we have to wake him to go back to the church for a meeting or event. Uncrustable to the rescue. There are times when I have to do my grocery shopping during lunch time. Uncrustable to the rescue. And, of course, there is still the occasional plane flight. You guessed it. Uncrustable to the rescue. Yes, I am capable of slapping peanut butter and jelly onto a slice of bread for these occasions but they make a much bigger mess. Trust me, I've done that science experiment.
So what items did you vow never to purchase but did anyway?
Friday, September 5, 2008
The bottom line is stated that, "*Agency Name* approves Troy and Lori Doozleberry as prospective adoptive parents. They have the physical, financial and emotional means necessary to successfully adopt and parent a child." Amen, praise and glory. Thank you caseworker. Oh and Ha! I don't really think anyone has the physical and emotional means to successfully parent a child. Parenting a child is hard work. Obviously, to get a real picture of our parenting style, he would have had to arrive at 7:00 am. He'd hear our son wake up and he'd witness Troy and me pulling our covers tighter over our heads, each pretending that the other is the only person who can hear it. I used to try this method when I was little and I didn't want to go to church. I faked sleep for as long as possible. Sometimes my parents were standing over me, attempting to pry my eyes open, and I would merely let out a soft snore. Nevermind the fact that if I were really and truly sleeping through their antics, I would have had to have been in a coma. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now. Eventually one of us manages to roll out of bed to retrieve our son. And it's pretty much downhill from there. I now say the word "no" more in a single day than I said it in the rest of my life combined. I'm contributing to obesity by bribing my son with pretzels and goldfish crackers. I don't know when the last time he ate a vegetable was. And the other night I managed to get him to eat dinner by putting tiny marshmallows on top of the things he otherwise wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole.
I most certainly do not have it all together. Sometimes the idea of adding another child to this family terrifies me. I mean, it already takes both of my arms to vice grip the tantrum throwing toddler so he doesn't collide with the food table at a wedding. What would I do with another one? Lay the baby down next to the sandwich tray so I can properly discipline the older brother? Leave the baby in the car? Take the baby and leave the toddler in the trunk? Leave them both and get some peace and quiet? But then I think about that terrible toddler folding his hands at the dinner table in two-year-old reverence and my heart melts. I watch him petting the head of a newborn and whispering the word "baby" ever so softly. I hold his hand as we cross the street because he's insisted that he should "rock" all by himself. He is a big boy, after all. I sit in his room at night and the three of us read a bible story together and then I lay him in his crib. He grabs my arm and holds it to his face, insistent that I sing him a song. He cries for a moment when I walk away. I look in the backseat and know that one car seat is just not enough. I look at my dinner table and see room for another high chair. I don't think I always have the physical and emotional means to parent a child. I certainly don't always have the patience. But what I do know is that I have enough love. I may not be ready to parent an adopted child, but I am willing.
But first I am going to order a third arm to be installed in my torso. This way, when I am holding the new baby I can reach out and grab Garrett with my extra appendage. I'm also waiting for the eyes in the back of my head. Apparently they're on back order.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
This morning I stopped at WalMart on my way home from MOPS and picked up a can of fish food because this morning the conversation went like this:
Me: I'm going to get fish food.
Me: I don't want them to die.
Troy: Looks at me with a really strange look on his face
Me: Well. That is to say, I don't want them to die without a cause.
I determined that we might release the snake and be stuck with three goldfish instead because the snake seemed less than interested in those gilled suckers. This morning we watched him swim around in the water bowl. With the fish. We watched him lay his head on top of one of them and take a little cat nap. We saw them becoming close personal friends. We saw our future and it involved letting a snake go and asking for name suggestions for our new fish instead.
I fed the little goldfish and went about my afternoon. I just went to look at something in the kitchen and As Of Yet Unnamed Snake was sitting in his little terrarium. On the kitchen counter. Because I haven't figured out a good place to put him. I glanced into the water dish and discovered not three, not even two, but one fish swimming around. And then I saw another, dead on the rocks. And then I saw the lump in the center of AOYUS (As Of Yet Unnamed Snake--hey, how do you suppose you pronounce that? Silent A maybe? Oy-us? Silent O? Ayus? Hmmm.) I feel sorry for those poor fish because, it looks like the baby may have been learning just what exactly he's supposed to do with fish. The one that is still alive is laboring rather hard for every breath. The little orange one lost his life for no good reason. And the silver one, well, he is now just a lump.
I'm not a fan of feeding live animals to other animals. But, in the absence of a human baby in my home, I'll turn my attention elsewhere. In this case, apparently even a baby snake can kick in those maternal instincts. I rejoiced that he'd eaten.
Me: He ate. Now we can keep him!
Troy: My mom wouldn't let me keep snakes when I was growing up. Now my wife won't release them!
Me: Why wouldn't she let you keep them?
Troy: She didn't like them.
Me: Oh well, that makes sense. But how can you not like snakes?
I get that it's not a good idea to harbor poisonous snakes in your home. I also understand not wanting antelope eating boas living in your basement. But I think catching a baby garter snake and getting the chance to watch it grow and change is fascinating. And, let me remind you, it practically wanted to be caught. It was all, "Hey. Here I am, coming out of your fireplace. Let me cuddle up in your lap and tickle you with my forked tongue." And I was all, "Come to mama, we need something little around here!"
So now he really needs a name. Keep those suggestions coming. I haven't settled on anything yet. And then, reaffirm our friendship. I feel like there are some of you out there who have decided that you may not want to converse with the snake charmer.
*******Edited to Add******* Oh no! I just went to see if the snake ate anymore fish and I found the third one. It has been regurgitated out of the stomach of the baby snake. The lump is gone and the fish is draped over the side of the water dish. This is a most unfortunate development.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Earlier today I was all set to post a blog about how my kiddo made me take him swimming at 10 am when the temperature outside was a blazing hot and steamy 65 degrees. But then, as I was checking something on the laptop, I glanced down and noticed a snake crawling out of the wall right next to the fireplace. It was itty bitty. We have a gas fireplace and I am seriously concerned that there is an entire nest under there. I like snakes as much as the next Fierce Mom of Boy but even I draw the line at snakes nesting in my home. This snake is so tiny that, after determining it was not going to bite me and inject vast amounts of venom into my body, I decided that we must keep it. Here it is in a tiny, children's size cup.
And here it is after I convinced my husband that, yes, having a snake is in our best interest and yes, it is all fun and games.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
OK, so Lori has long made fun of my sleeping peculiarities. Fair enough. After all I do have a few strange behaviors. All of these pre-date our relationship. To fully explain these idiosyncrasies would take an additional blog (or two or three).
One of these quirks is my inclination to sleep in odd places. For instance, I’ve occasionally taken naps on the floor of our walk-in closet. Why would anyone do this, particularly when there is a nice comfortable bed nearby? Here’s the thing. When I nap I prefer it to be a dark and quiet place where I can be undisturbed. If the bedroom is light and/or noisy then (in my slightly skewed way of viewing the world) the closet becomes a better napping alternative.
Like I said, this isn’t a new thing. Growing up I liked to sleep in tiny, dark and quiet places. Back in High School I would sometimes take naps under my day bed. It was darker, quieter, and (in my mind) comfortable. When my father found this out he decided I was nuts. He wondered how on earth I would come up with such a peculiar habit and likened it to sleeping in a cave or hole or coffin. I’m sure he chalked it up to exposure to lead paint, or consumption of mercury-laden tuna, or too much TV. Lo and behold it may have been hardwired into the DNA.
Today it was time for Garrett’s afternoon nap. Lori took Garrett to his room. With pacifier in mouth, Garrett grabbed his blanket and a stuffed toy and crawled UNDER his crib. He had to pull a rolling drawer out of his way in order to arrive at his dark and quiet napping place.
“Do you want to sleep under your crib?” Lori asked.
“Yeah.” Garrett replied.
“Don’t you want to sleep in your crib?”
So there you have it. At least one of my sleeping peculiarities has seemingly been passed to my son. I’m sure Lori is worried. Me? Well it makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Sleep well little G.*
*Note: after about 20 minutes of failing to fall asleep, we did return him to his crib. He was not happy. Now it is not unusual for him to silently play for 30 minutes to an hour while fighting off Zzz’s, however, We weren’t 100% sure if he was seeking out his secret sleeping place or if he was in his fort to hide away from nap time.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Labor Day is supposed to be a day off for working citizens. In 1981, my mom sure didn't get the memo on that one. Or maybe I was the one who didn't get the memo.
*****Update*****My mom clarified, in the comment section, that my dad had not yet left for work. He was, apparently, walking out the door when her water broke. I suppose he still could have gone to work. I wasn't born for another whole day, after all. Not that I'm suggesting that he should have left my mom, mind you. I'm just saying, he shouldn't blame my gender for lost wages. It was his choice. Am I right?