Saturday, January 31, 2009

Drum Roll, Please

Have you all been sitting on pins and needles waiting for my post? Have you? Huh? Have you? Am I annoying you? Oh come on, let me have my fun.

So first of all, concerning yesterday's post, I need to clear something up. Troy did not, in fact, fail to call me before calling The Organization We're Adopting From. Apparently, he had no sooner walked in the door that the phone rang. It was Anne and, well, as you all know, she had big news.

I kind of have half a mind to launch into something completely unrelated to our adoption and leave you all wondering just what, exactly, went on today. But, my mom has threatened to post her own blog and ruin the suspense ride that I feel like putting all of you on simply because it's been a long time since I've had a chance to keep you all waiting for my baby news. So...Garrett did the darnedest thing today...

Just kidding.

Alright. I picked Troy up at the airport this morning and headed to another place in Southern California. We arrived about a half hour before my parents and Garrett got there. She wanted to meet them all and we figured it would be a good idea if we had two cars so that, if Garrett threw some colossal tantrum, my parents could quickly escort him off the premises before I drop kicked* him across the room and ruined all our chances of obtaining this woman's offspring.

I'd like to say now that, out of respect for Jennifer's privacy, I've decided that I will not now, nor do I ever plan to, share any details of her life or the circumstances surrounding her decision to place this child for adoption. With that being said...

Our meeting went swimmingly. She was absolutely wonderful and I loved her immediately and she seemed to return the sentiment. Without sharing any real details of our four hours together, I'd just like to announce that all parties are moving ahead. She intends to give us the ultimate gift, her precious baby boy, in just a few short weeks. While our oldest son is pasty white, this precious boy will have a permanent tan. Before we ever conceived Garrett, I had a dream that we adopted an African-American son. Dreams do come true.

Well, there is cleaning and scrubbing and washing and pulling of things out of storage and folding and attorney calling and fake contractions to endure and man, why does my back hurt and are my ankles swollen? and general nesting and packing and trying to prepare my son for his brother. Speaking of my son, I'll leave you with the cutest words ever out of his mouth. When we were preparing to leave I pulled him onto my lap, pointed to Jennifer's expanding tummy and said, "Guess what? Your brother's in there." Garrett found this to be ridiculously hysterical and I didn't think he believed me. Why would he? He hasn't experienced babies coming out of bellies since he actually did and, for him, that was a really long time ago.

When I got home from depositing Troy at the airport I asked Garrett who we met today. He replied, "My baby in that lady's tummy." If that doesn't just pull on every heart string in your chest then I don't know what will. Please continue praying for the health of Jennifer and our son! And please continue praising God with us.

*I have not nor do I ever plan to actually drop kick my child.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Feel Like The Stick Has A Plus Sign

I had my hair cut on Saturday morning because I'm nothing if not loyal to the woman who has been doing my hair since I was seven years old. After she finished it and it was dried and styled, she noticed a few pieces that she wanted to touch up so she scheduled me for 1:00 on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday night I went to bed at 10:30. At 11:29 I woke up with that feeling. It's the one where, if you're me and you've been highly susceptible to the flu for your whole life, you know that puking is imminent. I tossed and turned until 1:30. Then I got up, gagged a few times, failed to produce vomit, and climbed back in bed. Finally, at 2:30, I fell asleep straight on 'til morning. Despite never having upchucked, I still felt sick when I woke up. By late morning I was still extremely sick to my stomach and I didn't feel like driving fifteen minutes to the shop. I called and changed my hair appointment to this morning. I was due to fly home at 4:00 this afternoon so I figured I could squeeze it in. After successfully changing the appointment, I settled into a patio chair and dived into my book while the 70+ degree sun poured over my body.

Garrett played in the yard and, at just after 1:00, I decided it was time to put him down for a nap. I went to put my book on the bed in my old bedroom and I noticed that my cell phone was askew, hanging halfway off the nightstand. I leave it on vibrate almost exclusively so I figured I'd missed a call. Turning it over I discovered that I had two new voice mails. Typically I get voice mails from my mom and Troy. Since I'm with my mother I wondered why Troy had left me two voicemails instead of just calling my parents line.

"Hi Lori this is Anne* at The Organization We're Adopting From** and I'm trying to reach you guys. I put you in touch with one of our birth moms so I left the same message at home so I'm leaving a message on the cell. I will now try the church number and see if I can reach Troy at the church or if they know how to reach you guys. So anyway I know she's anxious and she's due soon. So um if I don't reach you give me a call and uh at 555-555-BABY***." (And yes, I just listened to it four times to make sure I got every single word right. And no, I didn't mind listening to it four times because hearing that news just doesn't get old.)

So. Anyway. Immediately my arm pits starting sweating profusely. And I started shaking. And I couldn't form a coherent thought let alone a coherent sentence. The second message was from her as well and there were more details but it was more urgent. Said birth mother wanted to get in touch with us right then. I ran out, nearly collided with my mom and shouted something to the effect of, "There's a birth mother and she's due really soon!"

Then I called Troy. "Hey, have you gotten any messages today?" Turns out he'd just walked in the door and gotten the message. Then he'd called Anne and spoken with her and gotten a few details and a phone number to reach the birth mother at. It took me until this morning to analyze the fact that, though we got the messages very close to the same time, I called him first and he called the organization. I think it has something to do with the amount of tears I've shed over my future children during the last five years. I choose to believe that he was being cautious where my emotions are concerned and I don't dwell on the fact that, perhaps, he was shaking and sweating and freaking out just as much as I was and dialed The Organization We're Adopting From before stopping to think that, maybe, he should inform the love of his life first. I need him to be level headed and calm and not sweaty right now.

But I'm not entirely sure this is a non-sweaty kind of ordeal because, I think I might not have mentioned that this baby is due on February 27th! That gives us four weeks. Four weeks to do what most people take several months to do. Four weeks to nest. Four weeks to try to explain this to our two and a half year old whose world is about to get flung right off its axis.

I spent the next hour on the phone with Troy, Birth Mom (who I am affectionately not going to refer to as BM--she's carrying my child for heaven's sake), The Organization We're Adopting From, and airlines. Birth mother Jennifer**** wants to meet us as soon as possible. This meant changing mine and Garrett's flight to Sunday and booking Troy a flight in to San Diego tomorrow morning and out of a different airport tomorrow night so that he can still preach on Sunday morning--pray for him! So we're meeting her tomorrow and if all goes well, we will bring her child home to love and cherish sometime in the next month.

It's just incredible to me that I was here in San Diego when we got this call (she's in the general Southern California area) and I canceled my hair appointment so I was available to make a hundred calls. It's almost as though my non throw up flu was God ordained. Or, perhaps, it's exactly like that.

Please join me in praying that all goes well tomorrow. Pray that we will all feel that this is the Lord's will for our lives. Pray that this would be the baby we've been asking for since April of 2007. Pray that there would be minimal sweat for all involved parties. And please, join me in praising God.

Oh, and one final thing...early ultrasound says:

*Not her actual name.
** Not the actual name of the organization.
***Not the actual number.
****Also not her real name.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Dat Noise?

Garrett has entered a new chapter of his life. It's the question phase. His favorite question is "What Dat Noise?" and he asks it all the time. Since getting to California, it seems to have become the second most asked question in the history of the world, second only to "What's the meaning of life?"

A distant rumble is heard.
Garrett: What dat noise?
Me: A car.
Another distant rumble is heard.
Garrett: What dat noise?
Me: Another car.
A squeak is heard.
Garrett: What dat noise?
My Dad: What does it sound like?
Garrett: A bird.
My Dad: Then it's probably a bird.
Another distant rumble is heard.
Garrett: What dat noise?
My Mom: Does it sound like a car?
Garrett: Yeah.
My Mom: Then it's a car.
Nothing is heard.
Garrett: What dat noise?
Me: It's you!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


So, when my brother first walked in to his graduation party, everyone yelled, "Surprise!" Garrett and I were tucked away at the end of a table so I couldn't really get his reaction on the camera because homeboy is sitting on the table. But you can kind of hear my brother saying, "For what?" It was pretty hilarious. He graduated in December and Heather and my parents wanted him to be surprised. Needless to say, he was. He started walking through the room and saying hi to everyone. Garrett was sitting on my lap and I continuously instructed him to be very quiet until Uncle Jon saw us. Once my brother spied us, Garrett was glued to his hip. Man, does that kid ever love himself some Uncle Jon.

I love how my brother says, "What the heck?" And then Garrett repeats him. You also can't hear the faint whisper Garrett uttered when my brother first emerged from the crowd. Before my brother spotted us, Garrett saw him and faintly murmured, "A-prise." It melted my heart.

*I don't believe my brother actually has homeboys.

Surprise Trip

Garrett and I surprised my brother at his graduation party last night. We flew in on Friday afternoon and are enjoying a week in Southern California.

Now I'm going to go grab some lunch (in the kitchen) with my brother and his fiancee. I'll try to post as the week goes on but, as always, I'm writing from the office turned toddler bedroom so I can't write during naps or bedtime.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Guessing Game

I find the movie watching patterns of toddlers to be curiously strange. After Garrett's birthday we went through a several month Finding Nemo obsession. Just as suddenly as it began, it was over. He still likes Nemo and he still wants to watch it on occasion, but he doesn't ask for it multiple times a day.

Now he asks for Cars. Several. Times. A. Day. What do you think he's doing right now?

I'll give you one guess.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gone Fishin'

Hiss, the garter snake, is hungry. It's not all that difficult to tell. When he comes out from underneath the rock he's fond of and starts spastically writhing around in the water hole or, as we like to call it in captivity, the Tupperware, it's fairly apparent that he's looking for food. Thankfully, Hiss consumes fish instead of mice. This is easier for me to justify in my own head. I eat fish. And pretty much as a rule, I do not eat mice. Oh sure, there have been times when I've found a particular course of Hiss's meal to be kind of spunky, attractive, or generally worth more than its lot in life but a snake's gotta eat, right? So I try not to look directly at them. I focus on their lack of contribution to society in general. And, above all, I do not name them. If you don't make friends with the fish, it's easier to watch your snake wolf them down like a hungry, uh, well, snake.

I went to Wal-Mart today to satisfy Hiss's rumbling belly. Garrett looked into all the tanks while Unfriendly Pet Section Girl retrieved eight tiny Rosy Red Feeders for me. I've bought feeder fish at many Wal-Marts in the area and this girl, while perhaps the most efficient at her job, is as rude as they get. Not a lot of social skills, that one. Garrett, who was most unhappy to be getting back into the cart instead of staring all the live long day at the glorious selection of aquatic friends, was permitted to hold the bag.

We strolled along, he intently watching the fish and me pushing the cart forward but looking sideways down the aisles. POP!

My head swiveled forward. Garrett was looking, stunned, at the ground. Water surrounded our cart. The bag, split from top to bottom, lay at my feet. Eight tiny fish wiggled on their sides gasping for breath. On occasion they would squirm, searching and hoping for the discovery of water deeper than a few lousy millimeters. "Oh no, mom!" said the little boy in the cart.

This is much more embarrassing than "oh no" son, I thought to myself. I could feel the warmth creeping into my cheeks. And the worst of it was that I had no idea what to do. I didn't want to leave the poor fish there while I went for help. I'm not sure why death by snake seems better than death by reverse drowning but it does. And it certainly seems better than death by getting run over by a cart. I took off my coat because I didn't want it to soak up fish water and I crouched down. I did the only thing I could think to do. I started shoving the feeders into the deepest part of the puddle--a good quarter of an inch. I watched as the dirt from my shoes, muddy from MOPS (another story altogether), mixed with the fish water and made a filthy paste. Eventually--and I do mean a good two minutes later--an employee walked up with a roll of paper towels and informed me that a mop was on its way. I nodded. With all due respect, sir, I'm more concerned about these fish coding right here on your floor than I am about the puddle. It's a good thing I don't always say what I'm thinking.

I wish I knew what happened. I wish I'd seen whether my son pitched the bag up and over the cart handle or if it slithered out of the leg hole. One option is reprimandable. One is not. "Garrett, you cannot throw fish over the side of the cart." I said anyway. It made me feel better about the careless slaughtering of fish.

At this point another employee approached. "Where are they from?" He asked. Confused and flustered I pointed to the pet section.

"They're from the pet department, back there." I supplied. Puzzled he raised his eyebrows and rephrased the question.

"Right but, which tank? What kind are they?" Well, that does make more sense. I thought to myself. Giving him the answer he headed toward the corner of the store. I began assisting the other employee with mopping up the mess.

"Uh oh, mommy. Ishies, uh oh!"

"You just sit still and watch," I informed him.

Pretty soon the Employee Who Thinks I'm An Idiot returned with Unfriendly Pet Section Girl. She was carrying another bag of water. And she was smiling, amused. It's really the first time I've seen any personality emerge from within her and I was somewhat glad to be of service and mostly just horrifically appalled at the situation. I apologized approximately 192 times to anyone within earshot of the pond. Now Friendlier Pet Section Girl and I picked up the itty bitty fish and deposited them into the new bag. They were all still alive and swimming. I asked for more paper towels. They assured me I could leave. I told them I could help. They told me it was alright--we'd done enough. Okay so they didn't say that. They said something about being paid to clean it up. As I walked away I felt my face return to a much more normal temperature.

My son looked confused. I leaned down, kissed his head and giggled. "I think that was an accident, bud. So I'm not mad. But if you threw them out of the cart, never, ever do it again."

I finished my shopping and we headed home. Upon arrival the score was 7-1. Seven little Rosy Red feeders happily swimming around, oblivious to the fact that though they survived one near death experience, they wouldn't be likely to survive what was coming. And one poor little guy who'd gone belly up. Apparently falling three feet and then gasping for breath for several minutes was more than he could handle.

I dumped them into the snake's tank and walked away. As it turns out, you become attached to fish while you're attempting to save their lives. They become more than just fish as you contemplate mouth to gill resuscitation. I just couldn't bear to watch Hiss happily consuming Frank, Rosy, Thaddeus, Bartholomew, Marlin, Victoria, and Bob.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Head Update. Seriously, The Washing Machine Won!

If you think that, two and a half days later, my head is finished hurting, well, you'd be wrong. The splitting headache vacated sometime during my fitful sleep on Monday night. Why was my sleep fitful? So kind of you to ask. Every single time that I moved and every single time that I did any sort of facial contortion whatsoever in my sleep, I felt the blinding pain between my eyes that sprung me straight awake. Yesterday the pain and swelling was limited to a circle about the size of a fifty cent piece. If I raised my eyebrows, rubbed an eye, or touched the area as gently as I possibly could, pain shot down my nose and up into my head. I was beginning to think there was some kind of upper nose hairline fracture or something. But, today I can successfully raise my eyebrows with little to no pain. The swelling has reduced to a dime size. And, though it still hurts to touch, I can apply more pressure to the area than I could yesterday. For that I am grateful.

Seriously though. I hit that darn washing machine really hard.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fighting the Washing Machine

I've had a killer headache since this morning. I think this has something to do with the blunt force at which it hit the washing machine. You see, it takes a special kind of person to whack her own head with exceptional speed as she bends down to pick up a stray sock. Honestly, I don't even know how it happened, other than, perhaps, I'm depth perception deficient. I don't think that's a real thing but that certainly seems to be what happened this morning.

I bent down to retrieve a sock that had failed to make it from the basket into the machine and, suddenly, I heard a ridiculous racket and, simultaneously, felt pain searing through my face. It took a good second for me to realize that the noise was caused by said face hitting the washing machine--just above my nose. And by just above my nose I mean, of course, in between my eyes. Seriously. I misjudged so badly that I didn't even clear the area of my face that I am supposed to see out of. I've had a lump between my eyes ever since. I let out a scream and Troy came running. By the time he reached me I was doing the silent cry. Not so much out of extreme pain--although there was that--but more because, suddenly, there was an influx of water pouring from my eyes and mouth at an alarming rate. I can't explain it (never was much of a scientist) but I must have alerted my ducts and glands or something because my eyes were furiously spilling tears and I was somewhat uncontrollably salivating.

Troy kind of cradled me and tried to figure out what had happened because, aside from the loud noise my face made when it hit the washing machine, he hadn't really been left any clues. I was holding my hand between my eyes so he thought I was bleeding. I didn't think I was but, what with the splitting pain, I couldn't properly assess the situation. My sweet son does not like it when I cry. But, at least this time, he knew he didn't cause my tears. Last night some people in our church brought Troy a gift. They'd found a Seahawks Santa hat at the sports store. Garrett knew that it was in the family room so, in an effort to make me stop crying, he sprinted to the couch and retrieved it. Okay, so I imagine he sprinted. I don't really know because my eyes were flooding with tears and, through them, I had begun to see stars. As the sudden siege of tears and saliva subsided and I tried to rub my head to relieve the pain, I saw him standing in the doorway. He was wearing the Seahawks Santa hat and, as we made eye contact, he started dancing and yelling, "Mommy! Ho Ho Ho! Ho Ho Ho Mom!"

Once I made my way to the family room he plopped himself in my lap, hugged me and tried all sorts of silly things to make me laugh. I tried to ice the lump between my eyes but the cold factor made my headache worse. I took Advil. It still hurts. And I look lovely.

The swelling went down enough that we went to lunch at our favorite pizza place and took Garrett to the movies for the first time. There is a dollar theatre nearby so we went to see Madagascar 2. He loved it while the Whoppers lasted and then he wanted his blanket. In fairness to him, it was smack in the middle of his nap time. He made it through the movie and is now taking a late snooze. And I'm finishing laundry--though I have no intention of rescuing fallen socks. They're on their own.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is He The One Who Wears A Bra?

Garrett just walked up to me with a small plastic carrying case that we use to store his Little People. He had it opened and was holding it on his chest. He proudly declared, "A bra on, mommy." I tried to recreate it for a video because I thought it was pretty funny but he knew I was video taping so he decided to ham it up for the camera. His idea of hamming it up involved doing a strange dance accompanied by weird hands motions. It looked highly suspect. Since I am the only girl in this house and I certainly do not wander around holding my own breasts and dancing--at least not with any regularity--I am extremely curious as to where he came up with such shenanigans. I promptly deleted the video lest it find its way to the media elite when he's running for President in 2044.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pictures from Fizzle

Today an envelope arrived from my FSiL (pronounced Fizzle and standing for Future Sister-in-Law) with a CD of pictures she took from the holidays. There were some really great ones. I couldn't include all of them in one post because, well, they would take forever to upload and you'd probably get bored. Here are a select few...

Bath times with Papa (Grandpa) and Non (Uncle Jon) are especially special.
These two are best buddies when they get to be together. Of course, now that we live way out here in Utah, those times are few and far between. But they sure are magical--as you can see from the look on my son's face.
I think that, five or six or seven years from now, when this dog closes his eyes for the last time, this picture will be one that I have a really hard time looking at. I kind of have a hard time looking at it now, knowing that one day he'll be gone and it will be hard for me to look at. But I love it. I think it could be on a calendar. I love his jowls and his knowing stare and the way his oversized ear hangs at a slightly strange angle, implying that he's something.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mill Creek Canyon

Garrett thinks he's a big boy. He's always thought he was older than he is but the fact that big kids pay attention to him makes him know, deep down inside, that he's all grown up. Today Garrett and I went up to Mill Creek Canyon with some of our best friends. They took their two dogs and we took ours. We sledded and clomped around in the snow for a couple of hours.

Meet Men. Men is the older brother of Mimmo and Mimmy who Garrett now refers to as Tim and Immy. Despite Garrett's ability to say his B's...Ben remains Men. Men is eleven years older than Garrett but the age difference doesn't bother my son a bit.
It was chilly so my kid is pretty bundled up. He's there, though, tucked neatly into Ben's lap. That picture makes me contemplate age differences. Allison, their mom, is twelve years older than me so, if taken 25 years ago, this could have been us. Except that we lived several states apart and there isn't snow in San Diego. Or, you know, given the age difference between my husband and I, I suppose it could have been Troy and my first picture together. But let's not go there on account of the fact that it's creepy.

The creek that runs through the canyon is gorgeous this time of year. I'm sure it's not altogether pleasant to fall into but it's quite beautiful to look at. After their dog, Wally, decided to stand in it for a few moments, my dog contemplated joining him. Much to my surprise, my water-loving golden retriever stayed on the shore.

Down here in the valley it's been really warm. And by warm, of course, I mean not warm at all. Because I generally define warm as seventy. Three. At least. But, when it was hovering in the low teens for awhile, thirties and forties seem really nice. So anyway, in the valley it's been nice-ish. All that to say, our snow is melting! But up in the canyon there was plenty! It was fun and beautiful and both my dog and my boy are now completely conked out...which is always a good thing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yo Quiero Quesadilla

So concerning yesterday's post about Quesadilla, it really is true. That really is how he says the name of one of my oldest friends. Had I known when I met Marissa back in the sixth grade, when I grew up with her, when we went to college together and when she was my maid of honor, that my child would one day call her Quesadilla...well, I would have laughed. And then I would have said something like, "I love that kid! And I can't wait to meet him."

So, in case you maybe have a hard time believing that he really called her that or in the event that you think I embellish for comedic effect, I present to you Yo Quiero Quesadilla. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh Garrett!

Joelle tagged me!

Here are the rules:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same

This picture was taken at the pumpkin patch near my parents house. That's my little guy, on a mission of some kind. This is evidenced by the determined look on his face. Or, maybe, the Focus Face is genetic.

I tag Amy from The Adams Family cuz I'm thinking there might be a cutie picture of wee Scarlett. My mom at Empty Nest-Full Life. Veronica at Amazingly Life-Like. And Crayl at Beyond Black & White.

Today on Oh Garrett!

My friend, Marissa, was visiting Salt Lake City for a few days and she stayed with us last night. I also had the opportunity to catch up with her on Saturday and we all went out to dinner together. Well, after spending such time with her, my son began referring to her by her name instead of just dragging her around by her fingers. What should he call her but Quesadilla. Of course! Actually, it's more like Case-Dia but I still have no idea how he gets that from Marissa. Oh Garrett!

Today, the wife of the previous pastor from our church came by and we had tea and chatted for awhile. My son, at one point, decided to show her my "tummy". Well, he lifted my sweater all the way up to my neck and she got to experience my bra-clad breasts as well as my tummy. Special. Oh Garrett!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Dance

Okay, so let me start off by saying that when Troy married Justin and Abi (as in, performed their ceremony. Not as in, is now legally bound to both of them.) back in September, Garrett was already supposed to only have his pacifier in bed. However, the reception went until well after his bedtime and he was an exhausted little bugger. So that's why he has it hanging out of his mouth. And, now that it's gone forever, I cherish pictures like this just a little more.

I stole this picture from Abi's facebook page and oh sure we could have found someone to watch our child so that we could dance. There were hoards of people from our church who would have been glad to do it. And I do think that Troy and I were able to steal a few dances, just the two of us, while Garrett played happily nearby. But, when said toddler is crashing and said parents want one more dance, you improvise.

That improvisation turned in to one of the sweetest moments. I've got my arms wrapped around my boys and nothing in the whole world could possibly fill them any better.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Still Bleeding Charger Blue

Goodbye Chargers. I'll see you in August.

If only there hadn't been a stupid kick return for a touchdown. If only there hadn't been a tipped ball for an interception. If only Weddle's head hadn't been in the wrong place at the wrong time. If only our offense had taken the field for more than five seconds in the third quarter. If only the officials didn't make an exponentially horrible pass interference call.

I still love you.

I love you for coming back and beating the Chiefs in the last minute of the game. I love you for beating Tampa Bay and kicking the snot out of the Broncos. And I love you for figuring out how to win in overtime against the Colts. I'm sorry that you had to go to stupid Pittsburgh with their stupid terrible towels and their stupid over sized quarterback without our beloved Tomlinson.

You should feel sorry for me as well. You should apologize for the fact that, while I devoutly watched you play football, I had to endure 80,000 Subway commercials. It really was a sacrifice on my part. Because if I have to hear "Five. Five dollar. Five dollar footlong." one more time, I just might punch my television in its face.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Hives

So I've got some dairy related hive thing going on. I think this started sometime early last year. It seemed that when I ate vanilla based ice cream I got these hives on the corners of my mouth. Generally they last about an hour and, other than the annoying feeling of something being swollen, don't bother me much. Except that, well, I look like I got punched on both sides of my face. In any case, the hives are limited to my consumption of ice cream and I love it so much that I'm not going to let a little case of the hives separate me from my beloved.

Well. On Christmas night I ate a delicious trifle and I got hives. At this point, since the trifle did not contain ice cream, I decided that it must be cream, and not vanilla, that gives me swollen lips. It's not every time I eat ice cream and it's not every time I eat something creamy in general so I was really no further along in my self-diagnosis.

Last night I got one hive on the left side of my upper lip. What had I eaten? Pizza.

This led Troy to the conclusion that, "It must be any kind of dairy."

Me: Yes, but what did I eat?
Us: (simultaneously) Cheese.
Me: Well, I could grow hives the size of tennis balls and I wouldn't give up cheese.

Because that's how much I love it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'll Play My Drums For You Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

I assume that most toddlers, if they are female, like to hold a baby doll and imagine that they are the mommy. Most boys probably like to pretend to be puppies and eat off the floor or maybe they sit on toy cars and take on the role of race car driver. Some may even beg their parents to play house or Sheriff & Outlaws. Not my son. We all get to be in a rock band. Every. Single. Day.

As you all know, Garrett got drums for Christmas. What you might not know is that, in addition to the drum set, my aunt sent up a child sized keyboard her family was no longer using, my parents gave him the ukulele they bought for him in Hawaii sixteen months ago, and Santa deposited one of those cheapy echo microphones in his stocking. Plus, he recently discovered an old harmonica that Troy had lying around. We alternate who plays which instrument. Sometimes we have to try to figure out how to play the harmonica and the ukulele at the same time because those are the instruments that the band leader bestowed upon us. We sound amazing. It is, seriously, a real treat. I'm sure.

It doesn't end there, however. Oh no, our ragamuffin band practices constantly but, in addition to making sure we hone our craft where the instruments are concerned, he is insistent that we also practice our vocals.

My brother and Heather got me Sing Star for the Playstation 2 for Christmas and it is extremely fun. Every night Garrett asks for Sing Song and, specifically, "Baby baby how I 'posed to do..." which is toddler speak for Britney Spears Hit Me Baby, One More Time. It happens to be on the particular version I got and, yes, I know she says, " was I supposed to know?" I realize that she doesn't say the word do but he sure thinks she does. Anyway, we must sit, and sing, every night, for quite awhile. He must know that it is the only way for him to realize his goal of us becoming the trio version of the Van Trapp's or the Partridge Family.

I'm not dumb enough to try to record all of us in our Toddler Band glory but here is Garrett, once again on drums. I've taken to, occasionally, referring to him as D.B. for Drummer Boy.

I love how, at the beginning, he bangs the sticks together and says, "One, two, three!" and then he does it again 15 seconds in to the video. I also love how, starting at 35 seconds, he apparently needs his cheeks full of air in order to successfully drum. Furthermore, I find it hilarious that he appears to be drunk when he stands up at the end.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Pacifier Wars

Yesterday Garrett had his second dentist appointment. Other than being terrified when we initially went back, he was wonderful. He let the dentist brush his teeth with a regular toothbrush and the spinney brush. He let him poke and prod with metal instruments. And the dentist commented that there was no plaque and we were all doing a great job.

Except his jaw. Apparently, his jaw is slightly askew as a result of his addiction to the pacifier. He suggested that we cut it out as soon as possible. I'm sure the look on my face said something along the lines of, You have got to be kidding me. You are talking about my one and only baby. My INFANT running around in the body of a toddler. I'm not ready to see his cherub face in the morning without a pacifier hanging out of his mouth. I'm not ready to make him part with his beloved paci. Go away, evil dentist, and ruin someone else's life.

But I know that there is no time like the present. It won't get any easier for me and it certainly won't be any easier for him. All the way home we talked about how the dentist told us that the paci is hurting Garrett's teeth and he can't have it anymore. Then we put him down for a nap and it was only torture for a few minutes before he crashed.

Last night was a different story. I put him down at 8:45. I sang. I laid on the floor. I held his hand. I sang, laid on the floor and held his hand all at the same time. I rubbed his back. I sang outside of his door. As long as I was singing he only whimpered for his pacifier every few minutes. But when I stopped singing he shrieked.

"Want paci now! Want mommy! Want daddy, too! Want paci. Neeeeeeeeeeddd paci!" He continuously threw his blanket on the floor and then begged me to come and get it for him. He's perfectly capable of getting out of his own bed and retrieving his blankie. Finally, at 9:15 he opened his door and sobbed for me. I held him in the hallway until his hysterical sobbing turned to a whimper. That was all happening just as Troy got home from leading Youth Group. We gave Garrett a bear and put him back in bed and Troy sang him a couple of songs. By 9:30 he was out cold.

I'm hoping for a successful nap in the next twenty minutes. And I'm hoping that each day produces less tears. Wish me luck in the pacifier wars...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It Doesn't Always Come Up Roses

Oh man. Yesterday was a bad day. It started off with a grumpy toddler and it just went downhill from there.

I talk about infertility a lot on my blog because it has molded me and changed who I am, how I view the world, and certainly how I relate to my own son and my Heavenly Father. But, generally, I talk about it in the past tense. It is something that happened to me...once upon a time. I have a kid now and, despite the fact that we've failed to have another, I try not to be a raging hormonal lunatic in reality and, especially, on my blog.

Until now.

When I had the ultrasound done back in mid December, you know, the one that revealed my small continent sized ovaries, we were surprised to see, on the screen, a huge follicle on the verge of exploding and sending a viable egg into orbit--or whatever. The last time we'd witnessed such a sight it wasn't nearly as big and I was lying, once again on the table at the reproductive endocrinologist's. It was September of 2005, right before we quit infertility and about seven weeks before I conceived Garrett. So over three years later, it was weird to be there, with memories and all the time that has passed staring at me and taunting my emotions. We knew exactly what we were looking at. We knew how to read its size and location. In some ways, I suppose, it was kind of like knowing how to ride a bike. If the bike was more like a jagged roller coaster we weren't expecting to get thrown onto in that particular moment.

We are committed to adoption and believe that it is God's plan for our lives. But. We've often wondered if adoption would be in addition to another biological child or in place of one. It seemed that, maybe, God put us in that ultrasound room for a specific reason. Maybe this would be the month...20 months after we started trying...that God would give us a second child. Maybe I'd give birth and adopt a child in the same year. Maybe not. Only time would tell.

About a week ago I started feeling more emotional than normal. Parts of my body started aching. And I felt nauseated just as I did when I was pregnant with Garrett. I told myself the symptoms were psychosomatic. But I couldn't help but wonder how I was making myself have food aversions. And I couldn't help but realize that if I really was pregnant, my due date would be a week and a half before my brother's wedding and, well, he'd probably skin me alive if I delivered late and missed his blessed event. And I couldn't help but be giddy with the possibility. Not of missing my brother's wedding, mind you. That, I had determined, wouldn't be happening. Even if I had to give birth on the side of the road on our way to San Diego. I decided that I'd wait to test until several weeks from now because that way I wouldn't know for sure and I wouldn't stress about miscarriage for the next seven weeks. Yes, I know how premature that sounds. I know how incredibly stupid it makes me seem. But I couldn't help but dream. If there is one thing I hate most about infertility, it's the reckless way in which it makes me hope.

None of this really matters and I certainly wouldn't have shared it with the whole world (a.k.a. my six loyal readers) if it weren't for everything that happened yesterday. What I really want to tell you about is my son's gentle spirit and I just couldn't tell you without baring my soul.

So, like I said, yesterday was a bad day. It started with a grumpy toddler and it just went downhill from there. When I blogged about Garrett going upstairs in search of a pacifier, I failed to understand the depths of his disaster. He left nothing unturned in his efforts to pacify his addiction. He finally came downstairs, in a better mood. Later, I climbed the steps and discovered a destroyed bedroom and playroom. I started cleaning them when I remembered that I really needed to relieve my bladder. That's when I realized that even my room was disheveled. As I headed toward the bathroom I saw the puddle of travel shampoo that Garrett had spilled onto my carpet.

I yelled at him.

But before I could clean it up I really had to go. So I darted in to the bathroom. Suffice it to say, I'm not pregnant. I've been unpregnant for the last twenty months and I think I've shed exactly seven tears. Truly, I think there have been two months where I've felt the sting and allowed myself to cry--for about ten seconds before shaking it off and remembering that God knows the plans he has for me. Maybe I should have cried more. Maybe the hysterics that ensued yesterday were the result of what is now 21 months of bottled up emotions. I honestly do not know what came over me but I started sobbing and I couldn't stop. I know part of it has something to do with the fact that we are now in the "wait for someone to choose us" stage of our adoption. There is nothing I can do. Nothing I can control. I know part of it is how badly my son wants his own baby so that he can stop holding all the babies at church and hold his own sister or brother. I know part of it is simply that I never stop thinking that maybe this will be the month. But to say that I lost it would be an understatement.

I tore past my toddler, who was staring at the shampoo mess, and into the other upstairs bathroom where I keep all related definitely not pregnant paraphernalia. At that point I was merely feeling like I was going to lose it. I sat on the bathroom floor and officially lost my grip. All the while I was thinking that my toddler could not see me like this. And all the while there was nothing I could do to stop it. When hope authentically shreds, I've learned there is little I can do to sew it back together. It feels like a disjointed lie and I am altogether ill for having believed it. It's not that I lose faith in hope for hope's sake, mind you, I just exhaust myself by hoping for infertility's sake.

I silently but rather convulsively sobbed on the floor of the bathroom and my son bounced in. As he saw me he came to a screeching halt. I tried to stop crying. Really, I did. "Mommy," his little voice whispered. I couldn't answer. What would I say? Oh, hey there, kiddo. Mommy is totally fine. This is just something she does on occasion? Or, a more truthful answer, Mommy has completely cracked up. This happened a lot before you were born and I thought that, at two and half, you were ready to witness it in full force. There was truly nothing I could say in that moment. He slowly approached me. "Mommy," his eyes implored my own. I was on my knees with my legs tucked under my body. He stood just in front of me and, ever so tenderly, reached out his left arm. He placed it on my right one and gently rubbed up and then down. In that moment I was fiercely proud of his compassion and exhaustively moved by his sweet spirit. He searched my eyes once more, moved his hand to my cheek and stroked a tear away, and, as I wondered how my toddler could be fulfilling the role of a parent so brilliantly, he whispered. "Sorry, mommy." I told him he didn't do anything wrong and he didn't need to apologize.

"Sorry, mommy. Soap on floor. Me clean."

My child, my heart, my only sweet baby thought that I was uncontrollably sobbing on the bathroom floor because he'd spilled shampoo on my carpet. That made me cry even more. I pulled him onto my lap, smothered him in snotty kisses, squeezed him tight and told him that I was not crying because of shampoo, that it was much bigger than that and had nothing to do with him. I alternated between praying and talking directly to him and said how thankful I was for him and how much richer my life was because God had brought me through the storm once before. When I'd calmed down slightly, he turned and faced me.

"Mommy. Me clean soap. Sorry." He ran and opened the linen closet, got out his Lightning McQueen towel and darted in to my room. I followed him explaining again that I knew he didn't do it on purpose and I'd clean it up and that wasn't why I was crying. I tried to clean it up but honestly it just kept frothing and bubbling and I finally gave up. Trying to pray, I explained to an omniscient God that I know he knows the plans he has for me but my emotions don't always understand reason. I pulled it together and made my son lunch. As he happily ate I silently broke down again. While I whispered more prayers, Garrett turned to face me. "Sorry, mommy," he said, seemingly exasperated at having to apologize so many times. I reminded him that I wasn't crying about the shampoo.

There is a part of me that hates myself for allowing the anguish generally contained to my womb to permeate my thoughts and my heart. But sometimes we have to climb a steep trail to see the view. As a Caedmon's Call song says...

Looking back You know You had to bring me through
All that I was so afraid of
Though I questioned the sky, now I see why
Had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view
Looking back I see the lead of love

I'll hope again. I will hope for hope's sake. I will probably hope for infertility's sake and I know I will hope for adoption's sake. I'll hope that today will be the day someone will choose me to love her child. I'll hope because, if that dream becomes despair, I have a little boy who I once only hoped for, waiting to put his tiny hand on my cheek.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Topic of Conversation

In two weeks this kid will be two and a half. That's halfway to five. A quarter of the way to ten. And so very far from July of 2006. My heart had not felt the particular kind of love it seized with when he was placed in my arms but it paled in comparison to the way I feel about him now. I didn't know that my capacity of love for him could grow with each passing day, but somehow it does.

And each passing day I am faced with new challenges. New frustrations. New situations that make me wonder what they were thinking when they let me leave the hospital with him. Take, for example, this very moment. He is commando crawling across the carpet screaming, "Want paci. Want taptick (chapstick) now!" You see, I just took it away from him because he'd eaten half of it in under five minutes. Now he is moaning and climbing the stairs, presumably in search of a pacifier. He won't find one. They've been put up in his closet on account of the fact that he's only allowed to have them in bed. Why? Because he's a total addict. He's probably using my cell phone to call his dealer right this minute.

Him: (through wails) Want paci!

Dealer: I got the stuff man. Meet me on your porch.

Him: Want paci NOW!

Dealer: I know, dude. I said I'd be right over...

His new favorite thing is saying Poo poo. All. The. Time. It's his answer for everything. I think that fecal matter and bodily functions must be built in to the conversational skills of males everywhere. I challenge you to have a normal conversation with him and see if you don't hear the word poo poo eighty thousand times.

Me: What do you want for breakfast?

Him: Poo poo.

Me: I love you.

Him: I love you, too, mommy.

Me: Who else do you love?

Him: Poo poo.

Me: Which jammies do you want to wear?

Him: Poo poo ones.

Him: Hi mommy. Poo poo.

Me: You need to go poop?

Him: No.

It's incredibly charming. Especially in public. Every single time we enter a restroom.

Him: Mommy go poo poo!

Me: No bud. I don't need to.

Him: Mommy poo poo. Yucky!

Me: Garrett! I am not going poop!

Really. It's magical. If you'd like to borrow him the next time you're going in to a public restroom, feel free. The conversational possibilities are endless but they will, most likely, involve the topic of bowel movements.

Last night Troy was at church so we had dinner just the two of us. He was being so cute eating a hot dog like a big boy for the very first time that I just had to record some of our conversation. Oddly enough, I don't think he says the word poop. Or maybe I just blocked it out.

Monday, January 5, 2009


It's freezing here y'all.

And I'm not using the word y'all lightly. I'm trying to conjure up some New Orleans where it's 76 degrees right now. Do they say y'all in New Orleans? I looked up the weather in Texas and while 46 is a huge improvement from what I am experiencing, I'd prefer Louisiana weather. So, can we just agree that they say y'all there and call it a day?

Apparently it's 18 degrees here in northern Utah but it feels like six. And really, when it starts feeling like six degrees I don't know that it would matter if it was two or three or negative five. It's stinkin' cold. That's all I know.

My husband was home this morning so he kept the boy while I went to the grocery store. By the time I got the bags loaded into the back of the car my ungloved hands were frozen. They didn't thaw out on the mile drive home. I don't know how to describe it other than to say that it is bitter and achy and completely out of control cold.

If you live somewhere where the weather is currently over 40 degrees I am completely jealous.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Think They Have Connections

I think my next door neighbors might kill people for a living.

On New Year's Eve I went upstairs to see if we'd be able to watch the fireworks across the valley from the playroom. It was quite a few minutes before midnight and I saw the neighbor lady creep, eerily, from her house. She was carrying a large tub. She walked, secretively, down the sidewalk and disappeared on the other side of my house, blocked by the roof of my garage. Several minutes later she reappeared, entered her house and exited again to repeat the same process. Both times she was creeping slowly and looking around with suspicion. It gave me pause.

This afternoon I walked outside to throw something into my trash can. Another person, presumably her husband, was hunched over something in the corner of his yard, near his own garbage can. He kind of looked like he was relieving his bladder in his front yard but, obviously, it's more feasible for me to jump to the conclusion that he was chopping up body parts than to accept that he might have been taking a whiz near his gate. It doesn't help that in all my happy smiling whenever I see members of their family I have gotten nothing in return but blank stares. Blank stares that suggest, "You're my next victim. Stop smiling at me."

I came back in feeling slightly creepy that my neighbor was, most likely, either disposing of a dead body or peeing very close to my own yard. I went about my chores, cleaning up some things in the kitchen. Then I decided to take the newspaper to the recycle bin. I walked outside and the same neighbor was staring into my yard, leaning against his garage. That's all he was doing. He was leaning against his garage, in short sleeves, in sixteen degree weather that feels like six. When I approached my recycler his eyes shot downward so as to avoid my probable smile in his general direction.

Perhaps he was waiting for more tiny body parts to chop into little bits and pieces and throw into the trash. Or maybe he was just waiting to see if he was really finished peeing in the front yard. In any case it was odd and I felt, somehow and inexplicably, violated. If I wind up missing interrogate the neighbors, they might be in the mafia. Or something.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On Dogs

**Warning! Marley & Me spoilers ahead. But come on, like you don't already know what's going to happen.

Last week I dumped Garrett on my friend, Allison, and the six of us went to the movies. I briefly considered taking my son but he would have yapped constantly,"What Marley doing?" or "No no, Marley!" or, at the end of the movie, "Where Marley go?" And that one would have made my silent tears turn into audible choke-on-the-giant-lump-in-my-throat bawling.

I hate you, John Grogan. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you for making me and every other woman I know cry in the movie theatre. I hate you for making me think about my dead childhood golden retriever and I hate you because now I'm spoiling my dog much more than usual. I hate you for ripping out my heart strings and feeding them to your unruly labrador.

And I love you. I love you for making me think about my dead dog and I love you for making me spoil my hairy beast of a golden retriever and I love you for making me adore your otherwise heinous and untrainable Clearance Puppy.

I could never write about my dead dog, Candy, and make anyone else fall in love with her. And she was a good dog. They wouldn't make a movie about her thyroid disorder or her ability to think herself hidden when her head was stuck under my bed but her big ole butt was still in the middle of the room. But as I watched Marley, blinking in his old age as he watched his owner for the very last time, I couldn't help but feel myself transported back to that cold, white room where we left our dog. I couldn't help but remember my brother crying into his shirt or my dad trying to be stoic but failing, miserably. I was shoved ten years into the past and the dog I grew up with was dead, with her head on my lap. And eleven years of memories looked like they were merely sleeping on my leg--but she was gone, forever. I used to tell her I'll love you forever. I still do. I always will. You don't forget the dog you grew up with. You don't stop loving her just because she's been gone for almost as long as she was here.

I could never write about my parents dog, Sierra, and make anyone else fall in love with her. And she is an excellent dog. They wouldn't make a movie about what a mischievous little puppy she was. No one would care that she missed me so much when I went away to college that she was heartsick. But as Marley aged as gracefully as possible, I couldn't help but think of Sierra. As John and Marley sat and stared at the water on his 40th birthday, the gray around the muzzle of the dog reminded me of Sierra's gray...and of her age.

I could never write about my own dog, Beck, and make anyone else fall in love with him. And he is my baby. My first born. The first thing my husband and I tried to raise, together. They wouldn't make a movie about huge puppy ears or his violent puppy hiccups or his many suicide attempts. But as Marley ate the couch I thought of my own dog shredding the ruffle on my own furniture. As Marley destroyed the house because of his fear of thunder I thought of Beck's panic stricken face whenever he, himself, hears thunder. Or fireworks. Or loud trucks. His eyes are a window into an old soul and a puppy, all at once. His ears are still slightly too big for his body and he still wishes he was a lap dog. But, just as Marley loved the Grogan children, Beck adores my boy. And, as I watched the Grogan kids put their beloved dog to rest, I thought of my own boy. Beck is five. I hope he lives a long golden retriever life but, whenever he goes, it will break my son's heart.

And I will be a weepy, hysterical mess. He was my very first baby. Just as Marley went from being Jenny's baby to the family dog, so did Beck transition when Garrett joined our family. But a better, more loyal, more lovable, sweeter dispositioned family dog I challenge you to find. I came to love Marley for what he meant to the Grogan family. I love Beck for being that sweet little puppy who picked us. I love him for being persistent when I was looking more closely at his brother. I've loved him every day for five years with the possible exception of the couch eating fiasco. Well, no. I think I loved him even then.

Indeed, I did.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Family Time

I just bid farewell to my family. Garrett's Aunt Hay-er flew home on Wednesday so that she could go to the Rose Bowl with her family but my parents and brother left at 5:55 this morning for the long drive back to San Diego. It's true that I get to see my family a lot for someone who lives twelve hours away but it's never good to see them go.

We had tons of fun sledding and shopping and playing games and watching movies. Heather asked me to be a bridesmaid. Jon asked Troy to be his best man. They both asked Garrett to be their Ring Guy. So, let's just say that the Doozleberry's will be highly represented at the September wedding of my brother to his fiancee.

Hmmm, Jon...dork much? Although, in fairness to my little brother, I was acting like a huge dweeb one day and he looked at me like I needed to book my stay at the loony bin and I replied with, "Do you know that there is no other person in the world who shares more DNA with you than me?"
I love and adore my little family. And I am hoping and praying that when we take our Annual Christmas Tree Picture next year there is a little something extra. Preferably something smallish and wiggly and old enough to be sleeping through the night and nestled in the crook of my arm where Garrett is nestled in the crook of his dad's.
Speaking of dads, mine builds snow caves. Really good snow caves. This year he built a very large snow cave that can fit several human beings and a dog inside. Here is a picture of him and my mom and my offspring inside of it. Unfortunately, something with my camera or blogger or both is malfunctioning and I cannot, for the life of me, get it to flip around. Crane your head to the right or flop your monitor onto its side or something...

Just to give you a perspective on how big this thing is, well, there it is with people next to it.
And, okay, so yes, I realize that this picture looks like Attack of Lori's Head because, well, it's giant. But really it was because I was way more forward than my husband or my tyke. Because truthfully, my kid has a big ole head. Really. For real. When he was born a week early the rest of him was measuring smaller than his gestational age but his head was measuring overdue. So, yeah, big melon. I'm just saying is all. But you should not be focusing on our huge noggins. Snow cave. That's what this is about.

Down the back of the snow mansion is a short sled run. What I love most about this video is how, in the still, it looks like Garrett is completely and wildly traumatized. Um. He's not. What I love second most about this video is the way Garrett says, "More," at the end. He's a tiny little daredevil. When we went sledding on the hill near my house he just laughed and laughed his way down the runs. Even when Troy and him completely biffed and cartwheeled in the air and landed upside down, he...well he cried. But it was short lived and he jumped right back on the horse, er, sled.