Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tahoe Tessie

If you know Tahoe, you know the legend of Tahoe Tessie. She's the lake's resident monster. Stories about her began sometime during the early 1800's. Some people believe that any photo evidence of Tessie's existence is just camera angles making the small waves look serpentesque. Some think that sightings of Tessie have really just been large sturgeons. Others believe that there really is a lake monster living in the depths of Tahoe--for 200 years. I don't know, sea turtles live to be pretty darn old so I guess when you're talking about the lifespan of a monster you never can be too sure.

I believed in her when I was a kid and they made her out to be a friendly Puff the Magic Dragon type creature. I've always kind of thought of the East shore with a slight frightened curiosity. In fact, one summer when I was in college, my parents rented a boat and we spent the day tubing and skiing. Every time I jumped into that chilly water or fell off the tube I thought of the 1,600 feet of water between me and the floor of the lake and I felt my hairs stand a little on end. I was still worried about Tessie or, at the very least, large fish coming to get me.

Tessie isn't the big deal that she used to be. It's difficult to find friendly dragon merchandise anymore. I think that the museum dedicated to her has long been closed. But, apparently, old footage has been discovered. See what you think about whether or not there's a lake monster swimming around in Tahoe.

video

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christian Mafia

So this one time, in college, my friends and I pranked a statue.

Do you need more of an explanation than that?

Sometime in the spring, I changed my major to Theatre. I started hanging out with "theatre people" a little more frequently and, if you know anything about actors, you know that we're trouble. When you put us together you get, well, a lot of trouble. Many of the upper classmen were part of a group they called "The Christian Mafia" and not everyone was allowed in. It was a silly secret society of sorts and I'm sure that I'm probably not supposed to be talking about it. I hope none of them find me and kill me--although I don't recall death ever being explained as a punishment. By the time my sophomore year rolled around, most of the CM had graduated so the club fizzled out. I don't remember a whole lot about it but I remember the first rule.

1. You have to be invited. (Otherwise you don't know about it. Except now you do because I told you).

And I remember rule number two. In order to become a member, you have to pull a few secretive pranks. The other members were permitted to help. I remember "stealing" a flower from the guard shack without the employee noticing me. If you've ever been to Point Loma Nazarene University, you know that 30% of everyone's tuition goes toward the floral arrangements in front of the college. This picture doesn't do it justice but it's the best one I could find. Flowers run up both sides past the sign (at least they used to) and, behind the sign, sits the guard shack. I think it has a more official name than that but students, alumni and, for all I know, faculty as well, refer to it as The Guard Shack. I don't remember how I managed to run out and grab a flower unnoticed because I seem to recall an employee who took his position way too seriously was working that night. In any case, I stole a flower. No real harm done. Between myself and my parents, I'm sure I owned the rights to at least one of them.
But then some senior member of The Christian Mafia (I feel like it needs a dun dun dun sound after it) concocted the idea of apprehending a large table umbrella from one of the various tables around campus and moving it to some other area of campus without being seen. Now, for starters, those things are extremely heavy. It took several of us just to carry it. Second, I was a freshman and, at that time, freshmen at PLNU had a curfew. So, it wasn't two in the morning. It was more like 9:30. Moving around campus with a gigantic umbrella without getting caught was a rather tall order. But, with a little help from my friends we managed to take possession of the umbrella from a table back by the Early Childhood Development playground. Sneaking stealthily around campus with our totally and completely inconspicuous umbrella, we somehow ended up on our bellies in front of Rohr Science. I'd kind of like to blame someone else here but I'm pretty sure that the next part was entirely my idea. It was a move that I knew would either have them throwing away our new friendship or initiating me immediately into The Christian Mafia dun dun dun. I suggested that we prop the umbrella up against the statue of The Calling. Pictured below.

The story doesn't end here so obviously they thought it was a good idea. With spies covering for us in several directions, we wrangled and maneuvered that umbrella across Caf Lane and deposited it between Jesus and Peter. I think I said something about it being a rainy day on the Sea of Galilee. Someone snickered. Then we high tailed it out of there. I was initiated almost instantly.

The next morning I walked to class. As I got closer to the statue I saw major commotion. There was a lot of attention being paid to my prank. People walked by and laughed. Groups congregated and wondered aloud just which Senior ASB member had done this. I gave it a glance, let out a small chuckle, and kept walking. I wanted to take credit for it but I knew I couldn't. Even if I had, no one would have believed me. After all, we weird theatre students kept to ourselves holed up inside Salomon. It was funny though.

The actual definition of sacrilege is "transgression against or irreverence toward the virtue of religion, sacred persons, places or things." I go back and forth. Sometimes I think Jesus might have snickered and said something like, "Peter's an open target as far as I'm concerned and that other guy well, he's just a graven image and he doesn't even look like me." On the other hand, I've gained some perspective in the last nine years and I think Jesus might have looked at me sternly, shook his head disapprovingly and muttered, "My you're an irreverent little one, aren't you?" I can count on two hands the number of times, in seventeen years of schooling, that teachers shook their heads disapprovingly at me and I wish I could take all of them back. That's how much I care about not being in trouble. So you can bet that if Jesus physically shook his head at me I'd be sick. (I know that he shakes his head at me from Heaven. I'm a major work in progress.) So see, I took a gamble on whether or not my friends would think it was funny. I didn't stop to think about whether or not God did.

I don't regret it. I think pranking a statue is better than a lot of decisions I could have been making at the time. I just sometimes wish it hadn't been a statue of Jesus.

But man did it ever look funny.

I'm Just Sitting Here Eating My Crow

Okay. So I'm just sitting here eating my big plate of crow. And boy is it tasty! I'm so glad that I at least have voting options now. Like I said before, I won't vote for a ticket with Romney on it--unless God bashed me over the head with one of his campaign signs. Every political show I could find said that the announcement on Friday would be a resounding Romney. Silly me for believing them.

Now, I'll admit, I don't know a thing about Sarah Palin but you can bet that the self proclaimed feminist that I was in college is all over this action. Granted, I would never vote for someone simply based on their anatomy or their age or their ability to crack a joke. I care about the issues and I will research which candidate lines up better with my own views. When I find that neither does, there is always my husband. And if he picked Idina Menzel as his running mate, well then, all the better.

I'm excited about how historical this election just got. I know it was historical before but now it's really historical. Palin is 44. That makes her old enough to be my mother but only if she made a teenage mistake or grew up during biblical times. She's a former beauty queen and sportscaster. That means she might actually know which football teams play in which city. In high school, playing point guard for her basketball team, she was known as Sarah Barracuda. Think of it. Vice President Sarah Barracuda. In just a couple years she could take over the Oval Office. Because McCain is like 130 right? And with the way the Presidency ages someone, I'm thinking he's only got a year or two in him. Think of it. "Excuse me, Madame Barracuda, Airforce One is ready."

In any case, it just got interesting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clearing One Thing Up

Concerning the post earlier, let me explain that McCain has not announced a running mate yet. I have just been hearing a great deal of buzz that it will be Romney.

Finally, tonight, Obama explained what he means by change. I don't know exactly how he plans to cut taxes and pay teachers more and get out of the housing slump and lower fuel costs all at the same time, but at least he outlined his plans. And he made fun of his name. And I'm pretty sure that, with the camera aimed right at her, his littlest daughter yawned. These three things alone are enough to make me stop making fun of him.

For a day or two.

Bring on John McCain and the Republican Convention. I can't wait to get my hands on some more blog fodder.

Politics...Again. I'm Sorry.

I was poised to write a blog about how I'm really up a creek now that McCain has chosen Romney as his running mate but then, the official announcement is yet to be made. I suppose that post will have to wait until tomorrow. But I'll give you a preview. It goes a little something like this. Oh shoot. There are a plethora of reasons I don't want to vote for the "Gosh I'm so tired of divisive exchange and I've got one or two things to say about change. Like the change we must change to the change we hold dear. I really like change have I made myself clear?" candidate. But then, there have always been a hoard of reasons not to vote for McCain. Like, for example, if you're going to be a liberal, don't masquerade as a conservative. And also, please don't keel over before you have a chance to address the nation. Now, add to that the fact I promised from the get go that I wouldn't vote for a ticket that had the name Romney anywhere on it and I'm pretty much up my metaphorical creek with no paddles and a raft that is rapidly losing air. Maybe I won't have to post about this tomorrow. I think I just said most of it. Oh bother. When did this turn into a political blog? I don't like it. I liked it better when I talked about, "Oh gosh, so Garrett's poop was everywhere!" Maybe I need to get back to blood and barf and stories about tantrums.

Apparently I filled out a survey where I said I wanted to continue my education. Really? Because I don't remember that. Sure, it's a pipe dream of mine to get an M.F.A. in Directing or Creative Writing but it's not happening anytime soon. Or probably ever. But in any case that's not what these calls are about. These calls are like, "Are you interested in attending Heart of the Riverbank Launch Pad Community College of the Valley Floor to get your A.A.? We have classes open at 3:30 in the morning." So then I say:

Me: I have a B.A. from a four year University. Thanks though.
Them: Okay. Would anyone else in the home be interested in community college?
Me: Probably not. My husband has a master's in exegetical theology.
Them: Exewhata?
Me: It's Bible stuff.
Them: I see. Any children.
Me: My son is two. He's asleep at 3:30 am.
Them: Then why did you say you were interested in furthering your education.
Me: I didn't. *click*

I mean, I must have. I guess. But I don't remember. I was probably too busy trying to turn this into a political blog to keep track of a tiny little decision like going to community college.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Concerning the Button

Adoption is pricey. Ever since we first started looking into adopting a child, we wondered how we'd finance it. I researched fundraisers, grants, and projects that would help us achieve our desired goal. Three years ago, when we originally embarked on this journey, we sent a letter to friends and family asking for prayer that God would provide in a major monetary way. Many of those individuals responded with donations to our adoption fund. I was thankful, humbled, and amazed. And then I found out I was pregnant. I returned the money to all who would accept it back. I don't want to send another letter out. Most of the people it was sent to are aware that we're adopting and are praying--I hope. And this time our process should be considerably less than the projected $32,000 that our Ukraine adoption would have cost. We've decided to adopt domestically from a ministry in California. It will still be more than we have.

Don't get me wrong, we have enough to clothe, feed and care for the child once s/he's here. It's just that we don't have enough up front to pay the listing and legal fees and the potential birth mother fees. Our homestudy should be completed any day now. We've done all we can do on our side and now we're just waiting for a finalized copy. In October we have a meeting and, at that point, a hefty sum is due. After that, we wait. I've been told that, in the meantime, I should raise funds. Once our homestudy is finalized we can apply for grants but, honestly, our decision to adopt domestically will probably keep us out of the running for most of those. After wracking my brain for ways I could raise money, I've decided to put a donation button on my blog, among other things. If you are the type that is severely (or even moderately) offended by donation buttons, please understand that I do not expect anyone to give to our cause. I also realize that this particular blog does not receive a whole lot of foot traffic and that's okay. What I am hoping to achieve by the button is a dollar here or there. I'm also hoping that, by having it at the top of the page, my six avid readers will remember to pray for our process and for our finances. If you ever feel led to skip your morning latte or donate that dollar you found on the street, please consider our fund. I assure you that any money raised here will go into a bank account set up for our adoption and will be used to pay for adoption related expenses.

As always, we truly covet your prayers. I will continue to keep you updated on our progress.

Party System

I was born into a Republican family. For my first act of rebellion, I decided to vote for Michael Dukakis in my second grade class poll. Why? Because his name sounded so much cooler, of course. But we were called up to vote in alphabetical order and it was a public poll. My last name fell near the end and the student's who had gone before me mirrored their parents political views. The Republican was winning by a land slide. In that moment I chose not to be a leader. I choose not to swim against the current. I put a big broad check next to George Bush. But I desperately wanted Dukakis to win the election. When you're seven years old there isn't much to politics but one name verses another.

Some people turn 18 and get tattoos or have an older friend buy them beer. My parents maintain that my act of rebellion was becoming a member of the Democratic party. But it wasn't rebellion. Despite hating politics, I took my right to vote seriously. Though I was moderate, I felt that my views lined up better with the Democratic party. Of course, I was a pretty idealistic teenager.

I've been Independent ever since I had to register to vote with a different last name. My favorite thing about being Independent is making fun of both political parties. What I hate the most about the party system is that Republicans and Democrats alike will be at each others throats during the Primary screaming about one candidate or another and then the convention comes around and they're all, "Obama!" or "McCain!" It's as though they completely forget that half their party was rooting for other people only a few months back. But it's okay because I get to make fun of both conventions! Take, for example, the fact that this year the Democratic convention is supposed to be the most green convention ever. Um. Ever? To paraphrase a guy I saw last night on Glenn Beck, were there no conventions in the 1800's? Then I flipped over to some channel that was covering the whole boring thing and I heard Caroline Kennedy say, "I've never had someone inspire me the way people tell me my father inspired them. But I do now. Barack Obama!" And, if you didn't see it, let's just say that Caroline did not get her father's speech delivery skills. I have nothing against her at all and, in fact, cannot imagine living through the things she has lived through, but the way she said, "but I do now," sounded like high school level bad acting. I'm sure Obama will get up on that stage this weekend (have you seen the stage? It does not look one bit green.) and talk about how he's the change we need. Maybe, Obama, you could be a little more specific? For once.

Democrats, you need not worry. I promise that the Republicans will do things at their convention that will make me close my eyes, shake my head, and then run to my blog. Just because I was raised with Republicans and now sleep next to one doesn't make them off limits. After all, I've never spent anytime registered with their party. I have participated in two Presidential elections and I've given one vote to the Democrats and one vote to the Republicans. I'm still moderate but, I must admit, I am creeping slowly to the right on a lot of issues. But never fear. Even if I am one day registered as a Republican, I'll still find things to pick on them for. And it's doubtful anyway. I much prefer sitting on the outside, popping some popcorn and watching the blood bath during the primaries. And it's much more fun being able to be extremely right on a particular issue and a little left on another.

And then, it doesn't matter who I make fun of this year because you know who's got my vote:
This guy.* I mean, really, the State of the Union address would be so much better with Garrett running in between his father's legs.

*Video provided by my wonderful Aunt Vicki.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Football

Ah Chargers verses Seahawks. It doesn't get better than that in my house--even if it is preseason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Letters

Dear Cynthia Potter,
Please stop talking. I know that you know more than I do about diving. But I know that a big splash=bad diving marks. I don't understand why, when the women were diving, you could not stop talking about how you couldn't stress enough the importance of speeding up their dives and how if they didn't go faster they would get a warning and blah blah blah. Then, last night, when Matthew Mitcham, the studly (and, if I wasn't a pastor's wife I might add, hunky) Aussie who eventually won gold, took his sweet time you said, "This is the epitome of poise. Matt Mitcham took his time. He controlled the pace. And as a result he takes control of the entire contest." So, which is it?

Signed,
Annoyed
******************************************************
Dear Oliver,
What part of this do you not understand. I LOVE the birds you are bringing me. I LOVE that you have become such a tremendous hunter. I LOVE finding feathers all over my basement. In fact, I feel that maybe you are spoiling me. I'm afraid that if you continue with such avian pampering I might stop loving the dog on account of the fact that he doesn't bring me such wonderful treats. You wouldn't want that, would you? If you would like to continue bringing me birds, please try not to strip them naked and leave their clothing all over my carpet. I prefer my carcasses feathered.

Signed,
The One Who Feeds You And LOVES The Bird You Brought Me Today
********************************************************
Dear Uterus,
It is not my fault that you are not currently housing a fetus. Yes, I realize that Garrett is big and two and generally his cuddler malfunctions. Yes, I am aware that my good friends Joelle and Michelle have had babies during the last eight days. (Congrats Michelle and Joelle!) Yes, I know that those babies are cute and cuddly and very, very small. But please stop having a conniption fit. If you have a personal problem with the arrangement of things, you need to call a meeting. Invite all the reproductive parts and read them the riot act. You should probably personally escort the ovaries. It seems that they often don't get the memo.

Signed,
The Vessel Who Houses You And Often Times Wants To Rip You Out Because What Good Are You Anyway?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sleeping Woes

So now, twice in the past week we've had to deal with our toddler deciding that he just doesn't need to sleep in the middle of the night. Last night he woke up sobbing at eleven, one and three. We're confused. This is the angel sleeper we're talking about. This morning our conversation went a little something like this...

Me: Garrett, what happened last night? How come you kept waking up? Did you have a tummy ache?
G: Yeah.
Me: You did? (pause) Did you wake up from bad dreams?
G: Yeah.
Me: You did? (pause) Were you scared of something in your room?
G: Yeah.
Troy: Did llamas attack you in your sleep?
G: Yeah.

So, you see, not only does my child speak in slang, he also tells lies. But. BUT. He's taken to calling me Mommy and it's one of the cutest things ever. He still calls me Mama on occasion but within the last few days he's integrated Mommy into his vocabulary. There is something about that sweet little voice saying those two syllables that really melts my heart. Even if it is just before seven o'clock in the morning when he's been up several times during the night.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Do Your Pits Sizzle On Occasion?

By and large, Olympic sports announcers drive me completely crazy. I'd mute my television but then we'd be sitting in silence listening only to the sound of our own exhaling and I'd miss the grunts of defeat and the shrieks of success emitted from the depths of the athletes. Oddly enough, swimming announcers bother me the least. I find this surprising given the fact that I know, by far, the most about that particular sport. I'm sure that, on occasion, they've said ridiculous things such as, "If he drowns here, he probably won't medal." For the most part, however, they seem to be the less annoying of all announcers.

Take, for example, the announcers during last night's Men's Beach Volleyball final. There was, in fact, a moment when the words, "He really Sizzled his pits," were uttered. Actually I can't remember if that's exactly what it was or not because Troy and I have taken to using the phrase completely out of context ever since. Not that it made any sense in the original context. I know that pits and sizzle were definitely part of the sentence though. Now maybe this is some well known volleyball term and it should have made total sense to me. But, alas, I am not the supreme volleyball player in these parts or any other parts for that matter. Typically if I see a volleyball coming my way I start picking at my nails and assure my teammates that even though it is headed right for me it is their responsibility to get it. Immediately. Preferably before it hits me. All I know is that I stopped breathing momentarily and I looked at my husband who was looking at me.

Me: Did he just say something about sizzling pits?
T: That's what I heard.
Me: What does that even mean?
T: I have no idea.
Me: But I heard it right?
T: I'm pretty sure.
Me: I hate announcers.

But my favorite thing--as in not favorite at all because it is so annoying--is when they make comments that any individual who has ever watched even a moment of sports would know.

Track: "If he can get a good start and run the best race of his life and not hit any hurdles and cross the finish line first, and he doesn't disqualify, he'll be your gold medalist.*" -Really? You don't say.

Diving: Whispering very quietly as though we are hanging on every word she utters, "If she can stick this dive she'll win.*" -Hmmm, now see, since she was leading to begin with you'd think I would have been able to figure that out myself. It's not the college degree. It's not even the high school diploma, really. It's based on knowledge I acquired sometime around, oh I don't know, kindergarten.

Gymnastics: "Now all she has to do is stick the dismount.*" -I'm no gymnast but the fact that you've been saying all along that it's been a perfect performance would have led me to the same conclusion.

I realize that they need filler phrases and that, without their brilliant insight, there would be a lot of silence but actually, I'd be alright with that.

I have to admit that it has been fun to think of alternate ways to apply the Sizzling Pits phrase. I think it should be the new He/She makes me weak in the knees. Because let's face it. No one really says that anymore, do they? So instead, I vote to replace it with Man, he/she sure makes my pits sizzle.

Oh crud. I just looked up the term and, apparently, Sizzle the pits is a low, hard spike that travels under the blocker's arms. I'd feel like an idiot but I don't want to waste any energy on that. Rather, I suppose the announcer should have explained that to me. I mean, he was busy coming up with a lot of other junk to say to fill up space, why not give me the definition of a good old-fashioned pit sizzle.

*Not actual quotes, just reminiscent of things I feel like I've heard during the past few days. I'd have more, mind you, but I was on vacation for the first week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cheeseball

I think if you were to look up the word cheeseball in the dictionary, you just might find this picture.

I'm not entirely sure where that particular word came from. I mean, I'm sure that the phrase, "You're a cheeseball," came well after the invention of the party type food commonly referred to as such. So then, how did it become a phrase we use to describe silliness? I myself have never thought of consumable cheeseballs as being particularly humorous. Tasty, yes. Gut busting hilarious, not so much.

We purchased the CD from Garrett's recent photo shoot and I'm really glad. See, I never would have bought the picture featured above because of the aforementioned cheeseballness. But now, I have it forever and always and if he gets out of line as a teenager I'll threaten to blow it up and plaster it all over the halls of his school. It's probably pictures like this one that will stick in my mind when we take to the dance floor at his wedding reception. If you happen to be there you'll see me become a heaving mess of emotions right there in the middle of everything screaming, "Don't leave me! You're my baby! You're just a little boy!" In case this happens, you have my permission to tackle me straight to the ground and deposit me in the nearest loony bin. I simply request that you stop by every now and again to loosen my arm restraints a wee bit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer

Today I woke up feeling slightly sorry for myself. Well, actually, I woke up feeling extremely groggy. It was very odd and I could hardly pull myself out of it. When the grog finally vacated I was left feeling a little off. I'm sure part of it has to do with Hello There, This Is So Not Tahoe and another part of it was probably Hey, Also, Your Parents And Brother Don't Live Here. In any case, I really wanted to take Garrett and get out of the house because yesterday we had a horribly whiny day. But finances are really tight what with the third quarter of taxes being due next month and adoption costs we can't afford and Stupid California House bleeding us dry so spending money wasn't really an option.

I'd heard about a place out in Herriman called the Splash Pad so I looked it up on the Internet and then we actually found it. Of course first I drove down the road and had to turn around and go back into the house because Garrett needed his eyes. That's what he calls the sunglasses that he is currently obsessed with. Daddy won't leave home without his so, logically, neither will Garrett.

The Splash Pad is built next to a regular park with normal toys for little people. The Splash Pad itself, however, is not normal. At least not to me. At least not for free. It has all kinds of holes in the ground that shoot water up and out. Additionally there are "shower" type hoses, a palm tree that has water falling over its leaves, buckets that spill water, etc. I seriously made Garrett's day and, being that it is only about ten minutes from my house, I intend to take him again before The Stealth White Wonder hits sometime in the fall.

Here is Garrett running around like a crazed maniac. I wanted to get the majority of the Pad in the picture so that's why he is so dern small.

Right before I took the following picture, he was facing me and cracking up. Of course, he decided that when I actually snapped the shot, he ought to show me his Lightning McQueen clad booty.
So since I couldn't get him to stand still for anything, I decided to shoot some video footage.
video

When we came home he played in his pool, had lunch, and watched a little bit of "Memo" before getting put down for a nap. Seriously, he'd watch Finding Nemo ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY if I would let him. But alas, I think he needs most of his brain cells so I limit that action. He's still awake because I can hear his squeaky Mater car in his crib. I sat down to half a banana, some cheese and crackers and an entire tomato from my garden because they are seriously delicious. With the morning at Splash Pad and my tomato, I decided that it just doesn't get better than summer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tahoe Wednesday-Sunday

Well since you were updated through Tuesday I'll just start with Wednesday...

On Wednesday my parents went to pick up my brother and his girlfriend, Heather, from the airport in Reno. We decided to drive down to Emerald Bay which, aside from the east shore which I didn't get to on this trip, is the prettiest part of the lake--in my opinion. And I've been there on 12 (I think) different occasions so I think my opinion should matter. I lost my first tooth there which has to count for something. This was the first year that you had to pay to park in the main lot at Emerald Bay so we drove down a little ways and parked for free. We walked to the falls and Garrett was obsessed with the tunnel that goes under the road. We had to wade into it and talk in loud voices so that we could hear our echo. I took pictures of the bay even though I have many from previous trips. There is just something about Fannette Island that I love. It's hard to see it in the picture but I've always wanted to have tea in the Tea House located at the top. No one has tea there anymore, mind you, it is now just the shell of what used to be Lora Knight's tea house.
Here is one of the little pools made by the falls and the aforementioned tunnel. Garrett did not want to leave and would have played here all day if we'd have let him.
Later in the day we went to the beach near the cabin we stay in. I think this is where this picture was taken. The only reason I am posting it is because I am making the weirdest face. I don't think I knew Troy was taking my picture but my face is still all like, "Dude, what the heck are you taking a picture of me for?" Also, if arches were a weapon, my feet would so be totally deadly.

On Thursday we had a delicious breakfast at the Fire Sign Cafe. Then we rafted the Truckee from Fanny Bridge to River Ranch. If you know anything about this stretch of river, you know that rafting is a bit of an overstatement. Floated the Truckee would be a more accurate choice of words. We all had a great time. Especially this kid:

The questionable hat that he's wearing is circa 1970 something. My dad found it down at the bottom of the river well before I was even born. We've affectionately referred to it as the Truckee River hat ever since. There are pictures of me wearing it when I was a baby, although not on the Truckee because the first time I ever visited the most wonderful place on earth I was five years old. Our dog also had a good time on the river. He swam a little too much though and had to take a nap in our raft.

On Friday Troy took our car to the Car Doctor in Truckee and right after he got there they lost power for two hours. Neat. He was stuck there for half the day and they were unable to fix it. Of course, it took 131 dollars to figure out that they couldn't fix it. We have an appointment with the dealer on Friday. Please join with me in praying that the compressor is one of the parts still under warranty. While Troy sat in Truckee (this is a common occurrence for us--last time we realized that Troy's license had expired and we had to sit at the DMV there for hours and the employee was totally flirting with this girl and let her go in front of us and it was ridiculous and I do not have fond memories of the Truckee DMV) we all went back down to Emerald Bay. We hiked down to the beach and toured Vikingsholm Castle. I hadn't been there in probably 16 years and the bathroom situation was much improved. The bathroom experience of my youth is etched into my mind as the worst smelling restroom ever. EVER. I almost puked it smelled so bad and was so yucky ucky nasty filthy.

Jon and I debated swimming to Fannette Island even though it's, um, how do you say, illegal. But not, like, put you in jail illegal just you'll receive a stern talking to from the patrol boat illegal. I got about a quarter of the way there but he had chickened out (yes Jon, chicken. As in bagock or however you spell the sound a chicken makes) and turned around and I decided that I didn't really want to get in trouble all by myself. Plus, rule number 496 in The Pastor's Wife Handbook says something about obeying all posted signs. It was probably a good thing we didn't swim out there because, on the hike back up, I got a clear view of the island and the beach we'd been on and let's just say it looked a great deal closer from the beach. I'm a strong swimmer but I might have decided to live the rest of my life on that island instead of ever swimming back.

On Saturday morning Troy and I rented a wave runner for an hour for our anniversary. Even though we had to stay relatively close to the beach we rented from, we had a really good time. For those of you who think a toddler has no business being on a waverunner, don't worry. My parents kept Garrett for us. Later in the afternoon we went to the beach with my mom's cousin and her family (they live in the Reno area). Then we ate ourselves silly and had a great time catching up.

Early Sunday morning (1:30 am) my son decided he didn't need to sleep anymore and he woke up shouting my name. Well, actually, shouting Mama. It would have been really weird if he'd been screaming "Lori" for all the cabin to hear. Eventually we put him in bed with us because tiny cabin=rule breaking when child decides not to sleep in his own bed. After three hours of being wide awake he finally fell asleep. It was weird. He never does that. I am glad. My brother and Heather went parasailing on Sunday morning and they had a great time. I've wanted to go parasailing for most of my life but then I married an acrophob. My brother invited me to go with him and Heather but I figured that, for my anniversary, I should probably rent the wave runner with my husband instead of parasail with my brother. I'm certain that Troy agrees. We loaded up our car and then took Garrett rock hopping up Ward Creek while we waited for my parents, brother and Heather to get back. A few hours later I entered my state of mourning.

I've decided it's really not a good idea for me to leave Tahoe. I have an extremely hard time walking out of the cabin and getting in my car. I often wonder how long it would actually take for me to get sick of it and I think the answer is FOREVER. We drove into town and, after waiting for a long long time, were seated at The Bridgetender. I finally delighted in my scrumptious burger and, before I knew it, my trip was over. I almost cried as we drove out of Tahoe City.

Troy drove the first hour. I drove the next 3.5 and he finished with the final four. When it was his turn to drive I popped my contacts out and pulled Troy's blanket up around me. Nestling down into my seat I took a deep breath and the smell caught me off guard. It was the cabin. I'd know that smell anywhere and, to my knowledge, it's never stuck on a blanket like that before. I looked at him and smiled, "Your blanket smells like the cabin!" He smiled back and whispered, "Good."

It's wonderful to be married to someone who likes Tahoe. I know he probably doesn't like it as much as I do but then, probably few people really do. I'd go back this very moment if I could. Even though it would mean driving on the least scenic and most boring stretch of road. I'd still do it.

Here are a few more pictures:

Oh man are they so cute or what?

My four favorite boys in the same place! According to my son this photo features (clockwise from left) Dar, Dada, Raw-raw (sometimes now it is coming out as Raw-pa) and Baby. How Dar is toddler speak for Jon is beyond me. Since he calls himself Baby and his middle name is John maybe he will start referring to himself as Baby Dar. I think it sounds like something out of Star Wars but then, I've never been able to sit through Star Wars so who am I to know?

Below is a picture of my mom and Heather and Garrett. I feel like my mom is making a weird face but it's small on my screen so I can't tell. Mom, if you want me to change it just let me know. You know what, no. I'm changing it right now. You kind of look like a ghostly alien. I'll replace it with one where you look like your regular self. Garrett won't be looking at the camera but that's ok. He'll just be eating pretzels, like he did all week.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Home Again

We are home. We actually left last night because the place in Truckee was unable to fix our air conditioning and driving through the desert, in the heat, again, was not an option. I pretty much think it's a sin to leave Tahoe a moment earlier than you have to but driving through the desert, in the heat, again, was not an option. We were tired and Bridgetender took a really long time to get seated so we left late and we didn't want to be in the car until 2:30 am but driving through the desert, in the heat, again, was not an option. I had intended to blog earlier but what with the laundry and the no food in the house there wasn't a good time. I plan to post a few pictures and some stories tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There Is Internet Here In The Rustic Cabin

The tiny little pea soup green cabin has no phone and no cell phone service but, as we discovered today, has free Wi-Fi. We're apparently confiscating the service from someone else who lives around here and pays for wireless Internet. I don't feel badly about it because I am sure that, back in Salt Lake, someone steals the wireless that we pay for.

We drove through the Nevada desert on Sunday afternoon with absolutely no air conditioning. Upon arrival my father figured out that the compressor isn't turning or rotating or whatever it does. We're maybe taking it to a car doctor in Truckee before we have to endure another desert trek without a cooling system. It was fine, really. We just had to roll down the windows and scream over the sound of the wind whipping through our car. We made it in 9.5 hours with about an hour of stops including 40 minutes at McDonald's in Winnemucca to allow our toddler--the one who was an angel for the entire car ride despite sleeping for only 90 minutes of it--to frolic in the play area. We had also stopped for gas and an ice cream break in Elko where the following was overheard at the Friendly Neighborhood Gas Station Redbox...

Burly Motorcycle Dude's Wife: We could rent a DVD.
Burly Motorcycle Dude: Okay.
(They approach the Redbox which is right next to the table we were sitting at)
Burly Motorcycle Dude: Honey, they have Nancy Drew!

And then my idea of stereotypes was shattered. We got gas in Reno and then headed up to the cabin. The vent was open and, as we climbed the mountains in the dark, I pressed my nose into it and inhaled. The crisp smell of pine filled my nostrils. I closed my eyes and sighed. There is no doubt in my mind that I was made to live here, in these woods, even if only for a week at a time.

My son, it seems, was also born to love these parts. Yesterday we took him to the lake and this morning, when he woke up at seven, he pulled his pacifier out of his mouth and, with inquisitive eyes, questioned, "Pool?" He thinks the lake is a gigantic pool and he was ready to dive into its icy waters at the crack of dawn.

Today our friends came up from Auburn to spend the day with us. Aaron was on staff with Troy at Mountain View and we had a great time visiting with them. I took their almost eight-year-old (the ring bearer from our wedding) out in an inner tube. He wanted me to keep going so that we could ride the waves from the passing speed boats. We weren't successful in our quest but his mother gave me permission to blog the following conversation...

Me: Hey, how far out should we go?
S: I think maybe over to Nevada. (We were around the Homewood area, a few miles south of Tahoe City. In California. In a tube. With one oar. And no food or drink.)
Me: Hmmm. Do you think your mom and dad might worry?
S: They'd probably just go home.
Me: You think?
S: Well, we might not be able to get coverage and so we probably couldn't text. They'd just think we got shipwrecked and sunk to the bottom.
Me: (Trying so hard not to laugh hysterically) And so then, they'd just go home, you think?
S: Most likely.

Oh man. Also, we decidedly would not have been able to get coverage because, um, I hadn't thought to take my cell phone out onto the lake in a tiny little tube. Silly, silly me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

True Companion

Five years ago we stood in front of God, our wedding party, and 400 friends and family members and promised to love, honor and cherish each other forever and ever until death do we part. Yes. 400. Ish. But I can explain. We had an open invitation to our church plus my mom has a large extended family and weddings are the best opportunity to have family reunions, of sorts.

In many ways it seems like it was yesterday that we got married--last night, even. I remember the vows and the candles and the kiss. I recall the dancing and the food even though I only ate a few bites. The leftovers were delicious. The toasts and the cake cutting are all imprinted in my memory. I can see the faces of so many family members and dear friends and a crowd of others I didn't recognize but my husband did. And then, in other ways, it seems like all of that must have happened many decades ago, in someone else's lifetime, perhaps. So many things have changed.

We live 750 miles away from that church where we exchanged vows. Our son, the one who finally came after so many tears, clamors for our attention. Our dog, the puppy we got a few months after the wedding, is content to lay around being a middle aged canine. The children from our wedding party are now hardly children at all, it seems. Our jobs have changed. Our lives are so many miles from where they first inner twined. And I realize that I can't even speculate on where we might be five years from now, so different is our life from what I would have imagined.

So different and yet, so rich. For all the prayers we have prayed, laughter we have shared and tears he has caught, my heart is in that man's hand. I cannot imagine a day, or perhaps even a moment, without him. When we are away from one another a part of me is missing. Truly we are one.

Troy, for all that you have been and all that you will ever be, I count myself among the most blessed. Thank you for being my heart, my dreams, my true companion.




Saturday, August 9, 2008

Outta Here

Well, we're headed to Tahoe tomorrow after church. There is decidedly not Internet access in the tiny pea green cabin we stay in. That means that I will not be posting for a little over a week. I'm sorry to disappoint. I'm even more sorry about all the swimming that I'll be missing. But, you know, not sorry enough to stay home. No way. So if someone wants to video tape the swimming portions of the Olympics and send me the footage, I'll feature a blog dedicated entirely to how much I love and adore that person. Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Road Trip

The longest road trip we've taken Garrett on was down to Brian Head this past winter. The drive was approximately three and a half hours. On Sunday we will embark on an eight hour trip that I am sure will turn into ten or twelve given all the toddler stops we'll have to make. I'm just going to go right out there and say, "Thank goodness he's in diapers." Still, he'll need to stretch those chubby little legs and release energy at some point. Or several. And, well, diapers only hold so much. I've got toddler CDs packed. I've got a bucket filled with toys. I even went to the dollar store and bought him several new toys to award him with for every couple of hours that he doesn't make me tell Troy to let me out of the vehicle immediately. I'm sure there will be moments in which I would rather traipse through the Nevada desert than listen to the incessant whining that is sure to accompany our drive.

I've even got our portable DVD player. Gasp! Let me first explain to you that my husband and I (and my brother who has, by now, collapsed into spasms on the floor of his room at the sheer horror of my questionable parenting) are not keen on televisions in cars. Kids get plenty of TV time these days and they can learn, just like we did, to buck up, quit their sniveling, and look out the window. HOWEVER. We have decided that DVD players, in the car, on a long trip--and only on a long trip--might be acceptable if the time is limited to, say, one movie. The rest of the time the kid can find other ways to occupy himself. The problem with a barely two-year-old entertaining himself is that he can't read. He can't play travel board games. He can't even play slug bug and, given the fact that he has no siblings, he'd be slugging us. So I'm pretty okay with his inability to distinguish a Volkswagon from an SUV. So, given the relative lack of things Garrett can actually do to keep himself entertained, we've decided to bring the player and take up an hour and a half with Finding Nemo--his new obsession. On another note, it dawned on me that Jon and I used to have Gameboys that we stuck our faces into for hours on end. This isn't really any different than watching a DVD. But don't worry. It would still take getting struck by lightning to make me use road trip television as a pacifier.

Anyway, this got me thinking about my brother before I digressed into a dissertation on the finer points of looking out the window. We were accustomed to road trips, he and I. Unfortunately, as little people, my brother slept in the car and I did not. Could not. There was always something to see or do or read. That, coupled with the shaking backseat, did not bode well for sleep. Why was the back seat shaking you ask? Because my brother banged his head against it in his sleep. Repeatedly. Bang. Bang. Bang. Constantly. And I wasn't allowed to whack him to make it stop or, heaven forbid, to gently shake him. It was how he pacified himself and I needed to deal with it. I might still have some underlying agression.

One trip to Tahoe, however, my brother wasn't sleeping. He was being annoying. I'm sure he was annoying on all of our road trips but this time he was being a real brat. Older siblings are controlling and bossy, bullies even. Younger siblings are annoying. Our hatchback was full to the brim with vacation equipment--enough to keep us clothed and entertained in Tahoe for a week or two. It was so full that one of the oars to our raft was sticking down the middle of the car, between my head and my brother's annoying one. I suppose I was about six at the time. My mom always had us pack a big plastic crate full of toys, books, games, etc--we didn't have Gameboys yet--and it rode in the center, between us.

The more miles that passed us by the more my brother irritated me. In true, big sister fashion, I picked back. Probably. I'd like to think I was minding my own business and being a general delight but I'll give my brother the benefit of the doubt. He doesn't deserve it, really. We are talking about the same kid who used to hit himself until he had a red mark and then blame me. Of course, in fairness to my parents, if you hit your brother enough, your mom is just going to assume you did it one more time. Anyway, he was being OBNOXIOUS. I turned around, rummaged in the back, found a towel and draped it over the handle of the oar. Then I rearranged our toy basket so that his were all on one side and mine were all on the other. Then I informed him, in no uncertain terms that if I so much as saw his hand creep onto my side, he was risking dismemberment.

My parents thought it was pretty smart thinking for a wee one and I'll tell you, the sheer fact that I couldn't see him over there, breathing the same air as me, made for a much better ride. You see, if we'd been riveted to a television for 12 hours, we wouldn't have had any reason to problem solve our own detestation and general loathing of each other. We like each other now. In fact, I would have been devastated if he'd been unable to meet us at the lake this year because I've never been there without him and never really want to find out what that's like. So even if, at the time, you're sitting in the front seat thinking about how you might kill those kids behind you--the ones egging each other on--remember that the family who road trips together stays together. Or something. I plan on reminding myself of this very thing when my toddler's whining is forcing me to claw the window.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Night I Almost Got Arrested

In high school, I almost got arrested.

It was Ramona High tradition for the Seniors to toilet paper the school on the night before Homecoming. I realize that it's pretty silly to trash your own school but who am I to argue with tradition? Our principal visited my AP Government class (and, presumably, other senior classes) and informed us that it was fine, we had his permission even, so long as we didn't damage any school property. He went so far as to say, "I'll even open the gate for you." That night I got a call from my friend, Cassie, asking me to ride with her.

I knew that sneaking out wasn't an option. I was always kind of an obedient little adult trapped in a teenager's body. System bucker and Lori were not synonymous. I also knew that if I asked for permission there was a good chance it would be denied. I decided that was a risk I should probably take.

I distinctly remember my dad (the cop) telling me that if I got arrested he was not going down to the local station--which by the way has a tiny little holding cell and looks like something straight out of Mayberry--to bail me out. How humiliating that would have been for him. I could just spend the night there, for all he cared. I thought he was being a giant dork. Why, in the world, would I get arrested for toilet papering a school? Especially when the principal gave us permission. I think I probably laughed at the antics of my overly cautious father.

In the middle of the night my friend picked me up and we headed to the school. It's important to explain that our school was undergoing a huge construction project. There was at least one security guard on duty that night. By the time I got there I had time to survey my surroundings. There were probably fifty students there. Most of them were football players, cheerleaders and members of ASB. I felt pretty out of my tier of popularity. I had friends who were popular (i.e. my ride) but I certainly didn't consider myself a member of the "in" crowd. Oh well, at least no one was confronting me with questioning looks about my presence. Students were throwing toilet paper over buildings, saran wrapping tree trunks, and stacking picnic tables into pyramids. I picked up a roll of toilet paper and thought about throwing it up over a tree branch. As I thought about the best approach I heard the scream, "COPS!" and simultaneously felt a crowd of students descend upon me, running like a herd of crazed antelope with lions in hot pursuit.

I turned and fled, following the crowd and now acutely aware of what mob mentality actually meant. The crowd veered right and I suddenly realized why. As they turned, I was nearly blinded by the lights of an awaiting cop car. I nearly ran straight into it before quickly cutting right and following the crowd which was now trying desperately to funnel through a small break in the gate connected only by a chain and master lock. Some of the bigger guys were having to make a break for the new football field. Others were turning back and taking their chances with the law. I threw myself under the master lock and sprinted through the faculty parking lot. The mob had dispersed. People were diving into cars and hightailing it off campus. Others were crouching in shadows. I dashed across the street and dove into the bushes at the front of someone's property. I think I started to cry.

I wasn't scared of the cops. Even while I was running I wasn't afraid of them. I'd grown up around cops, with a cop, for heaven's sake. Plus, what could I possibly be arrested for? I saw myself sitting in a court room, imploring the judge with my big, dark, brown eyes and my honor's studentness, "You see, sir, I stood by the tree next to my locker and held a roll of toilet paper. I understand that it was after hours but I also know that there are many ways on to campus that don't involve climbing fences or breaking and entering of any kind. Take, for instance, by the pool. I'm a Varsity swimmer, sir. I have been since my freshman year. I know that you can just kind of walk on campus from this field and suddenly, you're at the pool. I mean, there's no sign saying I can't be there until 7:10 am. Right?" And the judge would look at the law enforcement agent, raise his eyebrows and say, "You arrested a girl for holding a roll of toilet paper?" But I still think I started to cry. See, I had no clue what had happened to Cassie. And I had a curfew. I was a little afraid of what my father might do if I didn't make it home.

I peered out from the bushes and, seeing no cops, began to walk up and down the street, wondering what on earth I was going to do. This was almost ten years ago (I can hardly type those words simply because of all the gosh darn where has all the time goneness?) before I carried a cell phone in my pocket. I had a cell phone, all right, but it was the size of my entire hand and lived, exclusively, in the glove box of my car. My house was 7.5 miles from school. I didn't think walking was an option. In fact, I'm fairly certain my parents would have preferred coming to look for me, in a state of panic, at three in the morning and finding me in the bushes at school as opposed to finding me in the middle of nowhere between town and the San Diego Country Estates. (No, my parents do not live on an estate.) As I alternated between reminding myself that I was a seventeen-year-old big girl and crying, I saw a figure walking toward me. A figure I recognized. A figure of Cassie. "Where did you go?" I asked her.

She hadn't followed the mob--smart girl. She had run back between the new theatre and the pool, an area we both knew well. She'd figured she could sneak out that way while the rest of us were being chased by cops. Hmmm. I wish I'd thought of that. Instead, my heart was permanently lodged in my throat and beating 1,200 times a minute. We'd had a third person in our car but, for the life of me, I cannot remember who it was. The three of us piled into Cass's Explorer and attempted to go home. There were cops at every major intersection, waiting to bust us for being out past curfew. (Ah, curfew, the judge could have gotten me there.) I don't remember how we ended up getting home but it was a very long and roundabout way. I entered the house, crept into my parents room and said, "Hey dad, I almost got arrested."

The next morning I learned that several of my fellow pranksters had been maced and cuffed and taken down to the station where they had waited for their parents to bail them out. Oh thank goodness I didn't get caught. I would have still been sitting in the holding cell, I thought. Come to think of it, I might still be sitting there, 9.5 years later, refusing to give them my last name and sparing my dad the humiliation. Apparently the security guard had seen the tubes of saran wrap and mistook them for baseball bats. He thought a whole hoard of seniors had sneaked on to campus to destroy the school. Or something like that. He informed the cops that we were armed. They sent back up. Unarmed students were maced, cuffed, and arrested. It probably wasn't the best day to be on patrol in Ramona.

Unfortunately, the school and the local law enforcement were not too happy about the predicament they'd found themselves in. Instead of admitting that somewhere, somehow, there had been miscommunication and the situation had been handled poorly all around, they dug in their heels and blamed the students instead of taking responsibility for the lunacy that ensued as a result of a few rolls of bathroom aid. Maybe they were embarrassed and angry. Maybe they were afraid of their supervisors or a lawsuit. Or maybe they were just freaking idiots. After all, students were chased, maced, and arrested for a principal approved activity. Among the arrested were football players. Football players who, when told to rat out their fellow classmates, refused. Football players who, when told to rat out their fellow classmates or forfeit playing in their final homecoming game that night, eagerly ratted out their fellow classmates. Cheap shot, RHS Administration. Extremely cheap shot.* I sat in my Government class and squirmed as notes were brought in excusing student after student to the office. On the one hand, I knew that whatever punishment they were receiving should be given to me as well. On the other hand, I knew that one of my friends, in particular, was going to be very upset with me for not including her. She, at this point, still didn't know I'd been a part of it. In all fairness, it wasn't really my place to invite people. I wasn't the one driving, after all. Right? Right? I'll keep telling myself that. I'll keep pretending that it had nothing to do with, "OH MY GOSH I JUST GOT INVITED TO PRANK THE SCHOOL WITH POPULAR PEOPLE AND THINKING ABOUT WHO ELSE TO INCLUDE IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM MY MIND."

There was a lull in the action and I started focusing on Congress or something. And then the door swung open. The note was taken to my teacher. She looked at my desk, briefly closed her eyes, shook her head ever so slightly as if to say, "You? I didn't expect this from you." and said, "Lori, they want you in the office." I wanted to bust up hysterically and cry at the same time. I had never, in all my life, been called to the Principal's office for doing something wrong. Except maybe this one time in second grade where there was a situation with a girl hiding in a bathroom stall and the door getting kicked in or something like that and, come to think of it, I think Cassie might have been involved in that situation, too. Hmmm. We were a pair. The eyes of the one friend bore into me like daggers. I slid out of my desk and barely made it out the door before I realized that the hysterics were going to win over on this one. I don't even think I'd regained composure when I entered the office. I think I was still shaking with laughter. When they opened the door and led me into the conference room that was filled well over capacity with other cohorts I tried to stifle my giggling. I don't think it worked very well.

We all had to give our deposition concerning the affair and, being an English buff and a smart aleck I recollected everything. I wrote about asking my parents if I could go. I wrote about holding a roll of toilet paper. I wrote about hiding in the bushes. I wrote about THE FACT THAT THE PRINCIPAL GAVE US PERMISSION. Which, consequently, was something he lied about later. That was his last year at the school and I wonder if this situation had anything to do with it. It was easy enough to prove that he'd been in our classrooms. Eventually we were given community service and our off campus lunch privileges were revoked.

I showed up for one session of community service along with five or six other people. Some parents were in an uproar over the whole thing--not mine, my father was probably attempting to deny paternity--so they didn't make their kids clean the stadium on Saturday after a football game. When the administration realized that only five or six of us were showing up, they cancelled our community service duty. When they realized that fifty of us being stuck on campus for lunch was worse than just sweeping the whole thing under the rug, they did just that and gave us our off campus privileges back.

I wouldn't change a thing about that night if I could. Well, maybe one thing. I think I would have invited some people that weren't there. But other than that, I am so happy to have that experience. Even if I was almost arrested.

In comparison, my brother (and some friends) once mooned a bus driver during their cross country practice. He got caught. I wonder, if my parents had a choice, if they'd rather erase from their memory my brother's naked butt getting caught or me getting hauled into the Principal's office after holding a roll of toilet paper and then fleeing the law?

*It should be noted that I adored my high school experience and wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China--or something like that. Typically I did not have reason to dislike the administration but they handled this situation extremely poorly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good Morning America

This morning I meant to get up to watch Good Morning America but what with the barfing that I decided to do last night, I didn't feel like getting out of bed.

Here is the story I wanted to watch. I almost made it through with dry eyes. Garrett had crawled up on my lap and he sat still and watched with me. Obviously I held him a whole lot tighter than normal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh That Oliver

Our cat is not a hunter. Our cat is not a hunter. Our cat is not a hunter. I am hopeful that if I keep telling myself this, he'll quit depositing birds in my house.

Truly, he never did hunt before. In the last two weeks, however, he has left us two "presents" of the feathery form. I've heard that you aren't supposed to scold cats when they bring you something because that only makes them think that they ought to have brought you something bigger and better. When I discovered Tweety this morning I searched for Oliver. I fully intended to thank him profusely and show him so much attention and affection that he began to wonder why he'd felt I'd needed a present in the first place. Perhaps his next kill would have been a mouse or bug instead of a sparrow. I couldn't find him, however, so I carefully disposed of my thoughtful gift. I hope he thinks that I accepted my present with utmost appreciation and, in fact, displayed it proudly on the mantel. I hope he does not wonder where it went and leave a poodle or a small fawn in its place.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Little Man

So I am now obsessed with checking my poor kid's scalp ALLTHETIME! He sees me coming and he shakes his head and says, "No. No." And I'm even more obsessed with checking my own head. If I so much as feel a tingle or a minuscule itch I shove my head into Troy's lap and make him search for bugs. Thus far the incessant searching has turned up nothing on either cabeza. On Saturday there was a complete overhaul given to the church nursery. Toys were washed and carpets were steam cleaned. Still, I refrained from putting Lice Boy in there yesterday. For one, he had only had the treatment once and, though the nurse assured me he could resume interaction with others, I wanted him near me. By having him with me I could be certain that he wasn't rubbing his head on anyone and vice versa. We don't want him to give it to anyone and we certainly don't want anyone giving it back to him.

Yesterday we were pulling weeds and trimming rose bushes and Garrett stepped on a thorn. He was barefoot because he'd had a tantrum involving his sandals. He'd sobbed on the grass about needing them to come off. It seemed like it was nearly a matter of life and death so I removed them. We warned him repeatedly about staying away from the rose bushes. Our advice was not taken--one of the first of what is sure to be a string of many bad decisions--and a thorn embedded in his heel. Troy pulled it out swiftly and blood gushed out. He's not at the stage yet where blood is cool. No. Right now blood is terrifying. What is cool is watching your toddler hop on one foot, afraid to put the bloody one on the ground. I had no idea he'd mastered hopping on one foot.


Rarely does he speak in sentences. The other day, however, he commanded, "Ide me me me shoes." Which of course means I'd like to go outside. I need to go get my shoes. Even though I have been trying extremely hard, he refuses to say his own name. He now refers to himself as Baby. This is adorable and somewhat odd, given the fact that we rarely call him the baby anymore. Ever since we went to Disneyland, he has had a working knowledge of pirates. Or at least, pirates of the chipper Disneyland variety. He sings, "Bo Bo Bo Me Me Me Me Me." This translates roughly to, "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirate's life for me." Bestill my heart.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Garrett and the Great Pediculus Humanus Capitis Caper

Well I hope that by now you know that if it starts with Garrett and the Great and it ends with Caper it's probably going to be a sit back and shake your head in disbelief, thankful that you're not the parent in charge of this kid's antics, type of read. What you may not know is that pediculus humanus capitis is, perhaps, better known as head lice.

I suppose it really all began on Thursday. When I went to get Garrett up from his nap, I noticed something in his hair. When I tried to see what it was, the small fleck moved. Of its own free will. Truthfully, I didn't think anything of it and I plucked the bug away. I've never had lice so it's not like I knew what to look for.

Yesterday I discovered another something in his hair. This something looked curiously like Thursday's something. Hmmm, what a peculiar coincidence thought I. I removed the bug, pinched it between two fingers and went to show my husband. "This isn't lice, is it?" He, also never having had lice, couldn't provide me with an immediate answer but he took it to the Internet. Pulling up a photo of lice he said, "Come over here. Does it look like this?" It was a dead ringer. We were practically looking at the mug shot of the louse on my finger.

I have never wanted to clock out on motherhood more than I did last night. If I could have hired a temp for twelve hours I would have. I began rummaging through my son's hair and, though I didn't discover anymore bugs, I found bunches of nits. I'd feel like a bad mother for somehow overlooking these but the painstaking process of ridding my kiddo of his head bugs, watching as his precious toddler hair was shaved off, and doing seven loads of laundry has left me feeling redeemed. And believe me when I say that they are teeny! You almost need a microscope to see those things.

I haven't a clue where he caught this pesky insect. I mean, where does a just two-year-old with no older siblings get lice? It could have been somewhere while we were in California--maybe lice also think that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth--or it could have been here in our church nursery. Or maybe they were living in the teddy bear he held during his 2-year-old photo shoot although, the thought of that makes me gag.

I called the doctor because I just wasn't sure how to handle the fact that insects were laying eggs on my sweet toddler's hair. I knew everything in my whole darn house needed to be washed but beyond that I was at a loss. While I was on the phone with the after hours nurse Troy was researching head bugs on the Internet. When I got off the phone Troy went to Walgreens and picked up shampoo, disinfectant spray and nit combs to the tune of 35 dollars. He also stopped at McDonald's because the very thought of bugs falling into my food turned my stomach and I was just sure that, what with all the snuggling, loving, and hugging I do on that boy, I also had a raging case of pediculus humanus capitis. I started a load of laundry.

After we ate dinner we took the boy upstairs. Certain that he has no working knowledge of feeling embarrassed by his predicament, we joked about what was happening.

Me: Garrett, you need to lay very still so that we can get the bugs out of your hair!
G: Bee Bee!
Me: Yep, there are buggies crawling around in your hair. That's yucky. Let's give them a bath. Okay?
G: Yeah.

I scrubbed Rid into his hair and then Troy sat with him for ten minutes while it did whatever its supposed to do. Murder nits, or something. I started the task of vacuuming the whole house. Garrett has decided, on occasion, that he is a bull. He crawls around on all fours with his head down on the ground. This is often accompanied by grunting. Because of this bullish game, I had no idea where his lice clad head had been. When the ten minutes were up we washed the shampoo out and began the painstaking task of nit picking. When we thought we had them all, we'd find just one more. Eventually we decided to give him a buzz cut. It's not too terribly short but I still had to pull him close and kiss his strawberry blonde fluff goodbye. After we were finished with Garrett's head we began nit picking on Troy and then myself. The grand total of nits we found on each other was...drum roll please...zero. Praise God that we managed to remain uncontaminated.

I discovered the louse around five and finally went to bed around 12:30. In all I washed seven loads of laundry, vacuumed the entire house and cleaned the bathroom. Troy took the car and washed it, vacuumed it out, and sprayed the upholstery with disinfectant. He also cleaned the kitchen. Together we folded seven loads of laundry and sprayed down all of our furniture. It was not a fun and relaxing evening but we certainly worked like a well oiled machine. I guess that's what 4 years, 11 months and 3 weeks of marriage will do to you.

T: I, Troy, take you, Lori, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, to pick nits off of our child; until death do us part.
Me: Say what?
This is what our son looks like with his new "summer" haircut. Join with me in praying that his lice does not return. Please. I'm begging you. If you are not a person of faith, please find it now and pray with me. I can't handle another deep cleansing of the homestead.