Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Footprint Leaver

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay in our lives for awhile,
leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never, ever the same.”
-Anonymous

My move to Utah was made a hundred times easier by a footprint leaver. As a pastor's wife, I needed someone older and wiser who could be a friend, a confidant, a mentor. My footprint leaver is all those things and so much more. Today, my footprint leaver and her family said goodbye to the church they'd called home for 13 years. And though I hate to cry in public, and try really hard not to, I couldn't keep the tears at bay. I made it through their last day on the worship team because I was also standing up there singing and refused to blubber into the microphone. I made it through the service with her family behind me because I was determined not to cry. But when our church body joined hands to sing "Bind Us Together" I lost it. And I didn't even care. Okay, that's a lie. I cared a little. I really hate to cry in public.

Allison made a point of visiting me during those first few months of our ministry. She came to the hospital when Garrett had his Snouter surgery. She opened her home to me for countless lunches and her children became the surrogate big brothers and sister of my son. She planned our women's retreat with me last year. It was during those planning meetings that I really realized what I had in Allison. The wisdom that flows from that woman is incredible. I can only hope to one day achieve the knowledge and godliness that she possesses. There is so much that I can learn from Allison and, while I am so happy for her family (this move is a really good thing for them), I am devastated by my own loss. She's only moving two hours north. (Praise God!) The world isn't ending. Life will go on.

My footprint leaver wrote a letter of recommendation for us when we were listing with our adoption organization. When I got the word that we'd been picked I ran down the hallway at my parent's house screaming something unintelligible to my mom about how there was a birth mother who wanted to meet us. Then, of course, I called my husband. The first person, after him, that I called to tell was Allison. In such a short time she had become so much to me. I knew she'd share the news with the rest of the church and I knew that I wanted her to know. Right away. Yes, I have other very important family members but my mom was busy calling them. As Matthew's drama has unfolded, Allison's been right there praying for him, every step of the way.

I never had a sister and I never had an older sibling so I don't really know what it would have been like to have a big sister. But if I'd had one, I would have wanted her to be just like Allison. She took me under her wing. She loved on my sons. She helped me grow spiritually. She listened and shared and laughed and cried and prayed. She has been there for me in every, single sense of the phrase.

And in the end she left footprints on my heart and I will never, ever be the same.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Perspective

If you've ever seen the Taylor Swift "Love Story" video, you know that she wears a formal period piece for the majority of the video. The love interest is Romeo. She is Juliet. Her hair is gorgeous. She's just...nearly perfect. Seriously. Go watch it on You Tube. Well, Garrett loves it! He always wants to watch "Julius!" In his little mind it's the tale of Romeo and Julius. It's kind of like how he thinks Adam and Steve were in the garden together. Or something like that.

Anyway.

Today I picked up my bridesmaid dress for my brother and Heather's wedding. When I got home I tried it on and Troy zipped me up. Garrett's eyes sparkled and he looked at me in a state of near awe. "Mommy's Julius!"

Oh man. If you ever need a pick me up, just have your two-year-old son refer to you as Juliet. No. Have him refer to you as Juliet when his only reference for Juliet is Taylor Swift. Granted, I look like a total scuz next to her but, apparently, not in my son's eyes. He followed, "Mommy's Julius!" with "Spin with me, Julius!" And together the two of us spun around my bedroom. He in his shorts and t-shirt and me in my ballgown. When you're in high school, what truly matters is finding the perfect dress to wear only once...to prom. When you're a mom, it doesn't matter if you'll wear the bridesmaid dress more than once or not. Not if when you put it on your kid thinks you're Juliet.

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I've been tagged by Joelle!

Rules:
1) List Six Unimportant Things That Make You Happy.
2) Mention and link to the person who tagged you
3) Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along, and comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged.

1. Whipped Cream. In a can. In a tub. In a vat large enough for me to swim in. You name it. I think it one of the world's most scrumptious dairy items.

2. Onesies. I just think they are super adorably cute. Garrett had to wear onesies almost exclusively because of his giant Snouter and I fell in love with so many of them. And sometimes they just say the darndest things.

3. Candles. I don't burn candles nearly as much as I should. It makes me so happy to come down stairs and smell a candle aroma filling my kitchen.

4. Scrapbooking. I'm certainly not a pro and I am WAY behind but I just love to see a completed scrapbook.

5. Hamburgers. The hamburger is, by far, not my favorite food. But I do enjoy them and sometimes, nothing quite compares to a good hamburger.

6. Grocery carts with the car attached to the front of the seat affixed to the back. Seriously. They're like driving station wagons but where do the cart manufacturers think I'm supposed to put my two year old while my infant rides in the front? I can put my infant in the back and my two year old in the front or vice versa but then I can't buy any food.

I tag: Anyone who wants to play! I know, I'm breaking the rules but I actually get to go on a date tonight and I totally have to start getting ready.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ode To the Departed*

When I woke up this morning
There was a sad sight
It seems our dear Hiss
Had died in the night

For almost a year
He'd done very well
So why he died
We just can't tell

We used the moment
To teach our young son
A bit about life
And what happens when we're done

I got a small box
And there lies our snake
For the Lord saw fit
That he should never again wake

At first I think Garrett
Thought the box was fun to fill
For in his sweet little head
He thought the snake was just very still

I taped the box tightly closed
A coffin I did make
Reading, "Here lies Hiss
A really a good snake."


He was very good for a quick garter snake
Sitting calmly in my hand while I held him
Allowing Garrett to kiss his small little head
And not getting freaked by every toddler whim

I dug a small snake sized hole
With the help of a wee little guy
Who was learning that it's really no fun
When our beloved pets die
We put Hiss in the ground
In the hole that I dug
Then Garrett started in with
"Please, mommy, one last hug!"

Of course we couldn't allow
Our son to hug a dead reptile
And that's when the morning became
All tears and not even one smile

Troy buried the casket under the dirt
And Garrett's emotions hit the wall
He frantically tried to undig his pet
Troy held him close while he did bawl

So here lies our sweet little snake
Who joined our family last summer
He was so little, just a few days old
Three seasons later, his death is a bummer

We'll miss you, dear Hiss
We'll miss you a ton
Though no one quite as much
As my precious little son...


video
"Goodbye, snake. I love you so much."

*Not technically an ode, I know.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three Months


Dear Matthew,

Three months. I didn't know that in such a short amount of time I could feel so fused, so entwined with a human being who wasn't born from my own body. I also didn't know it was possible to feel this stressed for so long. When we were in the hospital, after the metaphorical caca hit the metaphorical fan and after I spent the entire first night of your birthed life shaking and vomiting from the sheer weight of it all, I reevaluated. From some strange inner reserve I believed that I could do this. I could care for you one day at a time until a court ordered me to hand you over. Now I know the impossibility of that task. Matthew, with three months reduced to mere memories, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if you don't remain in our home I will crumble. Life will go on and the world will keep turning and the sun will continue to rise but I will be irrevocably changed. If I allow myself to think about losing you I feel a twisty, aching lump somewhere near my diaphragm. Something in the recesses of my mind tells me it would be the worst grief I've ever experienced. The tiny lump would be a grapefruit sized tumor constricting my breath, pushing into my heart, shoving all of my insides into each other so that, while they continue to function, everything hurts.

I don't think about this on an hourly basis anymore. In fact, I find that days go by without court proceedings crossing my mind. This has something to do with denial, yes, but is mostly because of you. Matthew, you make it impossible to walk around in a stressed stupor. You are so sunny, so beautiful, so innocent and wonderful that you make everything better.

This month you rolled from your tummy to your back although it should be noted that you hardly ever do it. You detest "tummy time" and if I put you on your stomach it's quite likely that you'll be shrieking in a matter of moments. On those rare occasions when you're actually happy on your belly, you have no problem rolling right over.

You've been smiling at anything and everything since you were really tiny but this month, you looked right at me and laughed. On Mother's Day. It was a small little chuckle but you couldn't have done it on a better day. My heart was filled to the brim with happiness and love for you. Of course, I love you even when you're throwing a fit. You have a serious little temper and, when you get really mad, your face contorts into this really painful and awful looking scrunch. We're working on it.

This month you began sleeping through the night very consistently. You first got through the night without eating on April 28. You would still wake up once wanting the pacifier back in your mouth. About two weeks later you slept through without one of us putting your paci back in. We moved your bed into Garrett's bedroom and for the last three nights the two of you have shared a room. You go right to sleep and don't seem to be bothered by your brother singing, carrying on about roosters, getting up to go potty, putting his stuffed animals on top of your legs, and generally being a pest. But oh how he is a pest who adores you. Yesterday we were at the grocery store and you would not stay awake. I desperately wanted you to be awake so that you would take a good nap later. Garrett constantly tickled you and rubbed your face to keep you awake. For the most part, it worked. At one point I turned back to the cart just in time to hear him whisper to you, "I love you so much, brother." As if we couldn't tell by the amount of kisses he smothers you in.

I unofficially weighed and measured you today. You weigh nearly as much as your brother did at six months. You're about 13 lbs 13 oz and 23 inches long. This puts you around the 64% for weight and the 20% for length. You're a chub but you are so interactive and adorable...it's difficult for me to get anything done around here what with all the kisses and hugs I'm busy bestowing upon your short little body.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Musical Bedrooms

When The Rock Star was three months old, he moved out. Up until that point, he was sleeping in his Pack n Play in our bedroom. However, he was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that we were right there. It was distracting him from the task at hand--sleeping. Additionally, we knew that we were going to transition him to his own room at some point and we figured it would be better when he was little and not, say, three. He'd been sleeping through the night for weeks and he took the change like a champ. He's been a great sleeper since. Or, he was. Until this whole rooster fiasco. It's not a strange thing to find him on our floor in the morning. How he sneaks in so quietly is beyond my comprehension.

Yesterday, three days shy of three months and an old pro at sleeping through the night, we decided to transition Matthew into his own room. Except that he doesn't have his own room. He shares with Garrett. We were going to delay this change because of all the growing pains it's bound to cause as both boys learn to sleep through the other's shenanigans. Then we decided that if there are going to be major adjustments, we might as well get 'em over with. We could have given each boy his own room but decided that they can share. That way, they also have a playroom.

I love to organize. Troy, not so much. But yesterday, as we shifted furniture, he pretended beautifully. When we were cleaning up the dishes after dinner the following transpired...

Me: (dancing around the kitchen like a lunatic) Do you think I'm attractive?
T: Of course I do.
Me: What, specifically, do you find attractive?
T: Everything but your OCD.
Me: Oh come on, are you saying that you don't think a well organized room is sexy?
T: (rolls his eyes)

And in case you're curious, when the boys went to bed, roosters attacked The Rock Star almost instantly so, of course, he didn't fall asleep for almost an hour on account of all the trauma they'd caused him. Once he did, however, the boys slept peacefully.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh Those Boys

Don't forget to check out the fundraiser information!
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This is what The Rock Star wore in the garden the other day. He was barefoot and had a complete meltdown when he stood on an ant hill and had a couple critters climbing his legs. "Never fear," The Rock Star thought once he'd composed himself, "I have just the solution.
Snow boots!"


As I kissed him good night and whispered that I'd be back to check on him after I put on my pajamas and brushed my teeth and took out my contacts, the following conversation occurred-

G: Mommy, are you tinky?
Me: I don't know. Am I?
G: Let me smell you. (I lean in close and he buries his nose in my hair.) You tink.
Me: (laughing) What do I smell like?
G: Like berry sausage.
Me: (incredulous) Like berry sausage?
G: Yep. And yogurt. And oatmeal.

I have no idea what berry sausage is. Apparently, however, I smelled like a breakfast buffet. I find it incredibly interesting that I smelled like sausage and oatmeal, especially since I don't like either. Don't bother telling me that I don't know what I'm missing on the oatmeal front. I do know. I know it's warm and filling and perfect for cold mornings. I wish I liked it. I yearn to like it. Problem is, I don't like it.

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The day before Matthew was born, his birth mama gave us two soft, fuzzy blankets. We send her pictures and letters frequently and the last time I spoke with her on the phone she asked if I would take some pictures of him with the blankets. I think, given the fact that she gave us her son after lugging him around for nine months and then having a Cesarean, that it's probably the least I can do.

Here's Matthew, just three days shy of three months old.

Please excuse his immodesty. They were fresh out of infant bras at WalMart.

And this last one is my favorite.


Here is more of Matthew "talking". First of all, beware of the phantom hand. It looks creepy and darts in and out of the shot with near lightning speed. Second, forgive the annoying sounding mommy about halfway through. He talks much better when he's being spoken to (especially when the voice sounds like a total ninny). Third, I am not gagging my son. I promise. He always talks (laughs, smiles, etc.) when his lips and/or tongue is tickled.
video

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Aching Back (ish area)

About a week ago, I started to feel my sciatic nerve. By feel I mean that I became acutely aware of the pain it was sending into my right buttock. I slept with the heating pad. I attempted different stances when I lifted the baby or held The Rock Star up while he used the potty. I continued swimming thinking I'd eventually work it out. By yesterday it was barely hurting at all. I knew I was on the mend.

Then I woke up this morning. Something happened. Something bad. Something that makes me feel like I'm 82 years old. I don't know what I did to reaggravate it but I know that I could barely sit down in church today. It hurts to lift my youngest child. Picking up the eldest is out of the question. So I was just searching the Internet for any helpful information I might find on "How to Speedily Heal an Aching Sciatic Nerve."

Here's what I found:

Step 1
Visit your family doctor or orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedic surgeon? It seems a little premature for that. As for my doctor, well, I'm not entirely sure what he'd do about it. It's a stinking nerve, right? I assume he'd probably prescribe a lot of the following:


Step 2
Take aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort. Taking two aspirin every day, even when you aren't suffering with sciatic pain, can help prevent pain from recurring. Okay, so first of all, duh. But second of all, I don't know that I've ever taken aspirin. Seriously. I couldn't take it as a kid, obviously, and when I was old enough to actually consume aspirin I was so afraid of why I wasn't allowed to take it as a kid that I just never did. Really. And I'm 27 now and I can't think of a time that I took aspirin. This is a tangent. Forgive me. As for ibuprofen, I took some this morning, in church, while someone else was holding my baby because I was starting to slowly die of butt pain. But if you know me at all you know that I shy away from personally using pain killers because I'm afraid I'll get immune to them. No worries, I'll use them on my kids in an instant if they show signs of discomfort but myself--I'm just paranoid of developing Advil immunity.

Step 3
Place at least one pillow under your knees when you lie down. This helps relieve pressure that the disk is putting on your sciatic nerve. This seems like helpful information. I'll be trying this tonight.


Step 4
Rest on a firm mattress or on the floor when sciatic pain is severe. Stay in bed, getting up only when absolutely necessary, for 3 days. Can you hear me laughing hysterically? Nevermind the fact that I have a son who is nearing three and comes up with the most wild ideas not limited to filling his penguin backpack with soap and water so that he could make a portable bathtub. Nevermind that he did that in the amount of time it took me to pull some weeds in the garden. What about the almost three month old? What should I do with him while I'm lying in bed for three days? He's fat enough, should I let him live off of his leg roll reserves? Sure, my house will be a war zone and my second born will be malnourished, but my tooshie won't hurt anymore.

Step 5
Ask for help to get out of bed or into the bath or shower so you don't strain your back while getting up and down. "Come here, Garrett." Yes, mommy? "I'm going to need you to pick me up. That's right. Just, um, just, well. Let's see. What do you mean you're too little? You're my best option, kid. Daddy's at work and Mommy has to go potty."


Step 6
Apply hot or cold packs to your back and upper legs. Sometimes ice will work better than heat; at other times, a heating pad will do a better job of relieving pain. Try both to see which one is more effective for you. I'll try the ice. I haven't tried that yet. But seriously, is this all you've got? I need a quicker fix.

Step 7
Don't lift anything. Hilarious. Matthew, I am so sorry. I know you're crying. I know you've been lying in the same spot since last night but the silly website told me, specifically, not to lift you.


Step 8
Don't bend or sit in soft chairs. Don't bend. What?

Step 9
Ask your doctor for prescription pain relievers if severe sciatic pain continues. I don't want a pain reliever, I want it fixed. A pain reliever is the reason I have a bum shoulder that still hurts when I swim despite the fact that I injured it like a billion years ago. I want something that will heal my back/butt not just make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


Step 10
Eat a diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation. Straining to defecate irritates the sciatic nerve. Um, good to know. Thanks. Thanks for that interesting tidbit of information. Also, it should be pointed out that there are some things I think I might have been able to figure out for myself. This is probably one of them.

So, in conclusion, this site was not helpful at all. I mean, maybe if I was a housewife who had a butler and a maid and no children but given my current state in life, laying in bed for three days while not lifting anything, popping pills and eating a diet rich in fiber (which, incidentally, might make it difficult to stay permanently in bed) it's darn near impossible. I think I'm going back to the Internet to look for something a little more useful.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mercy

Make sure you check out the fundraiser information here!
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My house is a total disaster but I so don't feel guilty about blogging. See, I'm sitting in the hallway between Garrett's room and my room. Both boys should be sleeping but neither is. Matthew is just squealing and cooing, happy as a little clam. The Rock Star keeps getting up with special requests including but not limited to I need my light on. I need my book. I need to go pot-pot (his word, not ours). There's a rooster.

So I've positioned myself between the rooms to preempt further nap distractions. There's not a whole lot I can clean from here so I'm perfectly happy to blog. If you're thinking I should do away with Garrett's naps on account of the fact that he's almost three, I assure you, it's crossed my mind. However, once he falls asleep he's out for at least an hour and a half and without the nap he's an enormous grumpy pants.

Today we were out shopping for Troy's birthday. I have no idea why I took the boys with me. Well, I mean, I took them because otherwise they would have been here alone with only the dog and a surly cat for babysitters. What I mean to say is that I have no idea why I went during a time when I'd have them with me. Matthew is fine to take but last week we bought Troy a present and, despite my telling him that it was a secret, Garrett promptly informed Troy of exactly what it was.

Anyway, we met Troy for a coupon/dollar menu Wendy's lunch. While we were ordering, Garrett wouldn't come when Troy called him. The two went outside and had a little chat. Troy informed Garrett that he'd have to be really good and eat all of his lunch if he was going to get any of the Frosty that we were sharing. All through lunch he was an angel and, in a little voice, continued asking if he could have ice cream when he was all done. Our response was continuously, "I don't know yet."

When we were done eating, Troy explained the concept of mercy to Garrett. Then, with a spoonful of ice cream headed toward Garrett's mouth, Troy said, "I am going to show you mercy."

After swallowing the delicious bite of Frosty, The Rock Star peered at Troy with giant green eyes and quietly asked, "I have more mercy, Daddy?"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fashion Blunder

So this post certainly created a lot of buzz in the comment section. I had no idea when I contemplated whether or not it would be acceptable to wear a scrunchie to The Rock Star's swimming lesson that my decision would end up being such a catastrophic blunder. I did think about it. Then I decided that it holds my "barely long enough for a ponytail" bangs and oh what the heck, it's just a swimming lesson. Oh if I'd only known then what I know now.
I'd like to thank Jen for being my personal Internet stylist. Hopefully, the following pictures meet your approval.

And yes, it is true, the now infamous white scrunchie did travel in a moving van when I moved my life from southern California to northern Utah. Utah holds no responsibility for Monday's fantastic fashion faux pas. That's on me. Though I have noticed that, in some areas, Utah is approximately 13.2 years behind the times. Or at least, the coastal times. Although again, in fairness, if it wasn't 70 degrees in California on Christmas, maybe people would still be rocking sweatshirts with puffy paint and jingly bells.


However, there is a great debate surrounding this accessory. It seems Shakespeare had it all wrong. To scrunchie or not to scrunchie, that is the real question. We all know the commenter's stance. But I did receive a call in which the person stated, "I wear them at home all the time. And I take them camping." Apparently, anonymous lady person who I will not identify lest the Internet eat you alive, you should not wear them to swimming lessons.


It should be stated that I haven't worn a scrunchie to, say, church or the mall in approximately nine years. I'm a little afraid, however, to step out of the house now for fear that I'm wearing something that went out of style when I was ten. I mean, should I get rid of my spandex pants and slouch socks? What about all my skorts and bodysuits?

I'm kidding. Please tell me you knew I was kidding.

Can you tell by his face that last night's swimming lesson was 200% better than Monday's. Garrett had no tantrums. He did everything he was asked to do. He even dared to jump off the wall into my awaiting arms which, let me tell you, is major progress. When we practiced back floating, Garrett let go of me with each and every limb! And then a chorus of Alleluias could be heard from the heavens.

Of course, the angels were singing less for the fact that The Rock Star was much less petrified and more because I had not worn a hideous scrunchie to the pool.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

***Adoption Fundraiser***UPDATED

Adoption Fundraiser Party for The Doozleberry’s
Hosted by Christy & Missy
Featuring
Discovery Toys and Usborne Books & More
Friday May 29 from 6:00-8:30 pm
Location*
You will have an opportunity to purchase Discovery Toys and Usborne products for your family. All the proceeds from the party are going to the Doozleberry’s adoption fund.

Ways that you can be involved:

If you live in the Salt Lake area, come to the party. We will be praying for Matthew and the family, visiting, snacking, and playing with all the fun products. Even if you aren’t in a position to purchase any of the products, please come join us in prayer.

If you live outside the area, please join us in praying for the family at 6:00 pm on May 29. Additionally, you can visit the following websites to place orders:

www.discoverytoyslink.com/missydunn
www.ubah.com/B3015

The proceeds from your online purchases will also benefit the Doozleberry family’s adoption fund.
UPDATE: IF YOU ORDER ONLINE, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO missymaydunn@gmail.com WITH YOUR ORDER NUMBER AND "Doozleberry's Adoption Fund"
If you do not know my actual last name, please send me an email (via the address provided in my complete profile) and I will provide it for you.
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There have been people who've exceeded our wildest expectations when it comes to helping us with our adoption expenses. People we've never met who have randomly left us $50 through my donation button. People like my good friend from college who sent me a check for $300 and nearly gave me cardiac arrest when I opened the envelope. Our parents who have generously contributed to helping us continue to fight for their grandson. And this is just to name a few. If you've donated money or uttered prayers on our behalf or asked us how we're doing, you have not gone unnoticed and we couldn't be doing this without you.

Then there is Missy. I know that she doesn't want the credit. I'm pretty sure she'll probably give me a talking to or, at the very least, a raised eyebrow when she reads this but you have to know all that her family has been doing for us. I won't go into detail but they have already donated generously to our fund. On top of that, Missy came to me with the idea for a fundraiser. She is a Discovery Toys and Usborne Books rep and she wanted to have a party where all proceeds would go directly toward our adoption costs. That kind of generosity astounds me.

I'd love for you to come if you're in the area. I'd love for you to order something off the websites if you're not. Of course I'd love it--it benefits Matthew. But here's the real deal...I'd love it the most if you would keep Missy's websites and use them if you ever want to make a purchase in the future. She has been so willing to help us. The least I can do is beg my 6 readers to use her as their personal Discovery Toys and Usborne Books representative.


*If you are interested in attending, please email me and I will send you the address. If you don't live in the area and would like a catalog, let me know. Also, my mom and mother-in-law should be receiving a catalog so if you know them and would like to see the catalog, just ask.

Nuclear Meltdown

The Rock Star started swimming lessons last night. When he was teeny he adored the pool. It made my heart swell up big and warm in my chest and pitter patter with pride. Sometime over the course of the past year, he's become fearful, like his scaredy cat father used to be when he was young so many kids his age. I signed him up for a parent and child class with high hopes that he would get over his trepidation in time to take a 3 year old class in August. It's not that he won't get in, it's just that he clings to me like a baby monkey.

The class began as a total disaster. First he wanted a noodle and, well, the noodles weren't for his class they were for a different one. Then he wanted the bucket of toys for his class. He would not pay attention for love or money or the fear of punishment. He wanted the bucket of toys filled with tons of tiny duckies. I asked his teacher if he could hold one so that we might accomplish something other than, "Mommy, I want a ducky." She said we were just about to get ducks anyway and that would be perfectly fine. She fished out a particularly cute little duck with a baseball hat. Slowly but surely, Garrett started becoming a little more brave and a little less terrified.

Step One: Smiling and happy, he loves the water as long as someone is holding him in a vice grip. Can you see his legs wrapped around my torso? It was like this one wedding dress I tried on. It was nice and all but I really didn't want to pass out during my own nuptials. Swimming with Garrett is kind of like that. Every minute or so I have to pry him off of me just to suck in two lungs full of air.
Step Two: Garrett gets a little brave and tries to blow the duck away with his bubbles. Here he's only clawing me with one hand instead of two and only one leg is wrapped around my own leg 782 times so that he is absolutely sure I won't be able to let go of him.
Step Three: Brave boy lets go of his mama with both legs and one arm! I'm holding him up with my left arm and he's gripping it tightly with his hand but the fact that three limbs are removed from my body is nothing short of miraculous.
Step Four: Well. We have no pictures of step four. When his lesson was over and it was time to put away the ducky, Garrett freaked out. And by freaked out I mean, of course, that he threw a colossal tantrum right there in the indoor pool enclosure. By freaked out I mean that he was clawing me and kicking me and shrieking about "I want my little ducky!". By freaked out I mean that he didn't turn into a tornado or a hurricane or tsunami. Oh no. This kid was only moments short of being an all out nuclear holocaust all by himself.

Now, in fairness to Garrett, I do believe that he formed some sort of odd attachment to the duck. I used it to get him to float on his back. I used it to get him to fall off the wall into my arms. I used it to get him to blow bubbles and paddle. I did not use it to get him to kick. If there's one thing The Rock Star really, truly likes to do in the pool it's kick. But that duck had gotten him over some hurdles yesterday. And then, just like that, Ducky was gone. I tried explaining that he lived at the pool with his brothers and sisters and mommy and daddy. I tried telling him he could see it again on Wednesday. Nothing worked. He screamed total and complete bloody murder for that darn duck. Odd attachment or not, no son of mine is going to behave like that in public and get away with it. Especially when his behavior made it look like we'd never told the child no in all his 33 months of life.

I have never been more humiliated by my child ever in his entire life. Ever.

The entire crowd of parents, children, lifeguards, and swimming instructors were staring at us as the scene unfolded. Garrett has never behaved that badly in public. Never. Thank goodness his father was there. Troy took him straight out and I followed with the baby. By the time I got out to the car, Garrett was still screaming. It was completely horrendous.

When we got home he was punished. He was also informed that he will be apologizing to his swimming teacher on Wednesday. I only wish I could get him a megaphone so that he could apologize to each and every parent, child, teacher and lifeguard. I wish he could take it all back so that my cheeks had never experienced such a scarlet shade of red. But, well, he can't. So I've moved on.

I know that tomorrow we're taking our own duck to swimming lessons. I do not intend to put poor little Baseball Ducky through that again. Or anyone else for that matter.

I'll leave you with a short little clip of Garrett and the Duck...before the atom bomb was dropped.

video

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week In Review

Last week we went and looked in a really big hole. When, several days later, Garrett asked if we could go back to the dirt hole, I admitted defeat and realized that my life will always be trucks and dust and big holes in the ground and enormous tires. Seriously, when I was nine we rode out onto the Athabasca Glacier in these giant glacier trekking bus thingies (their official name, yes). My brother and I took a picture standing next to one of the gigantic tires. I assure you, however, that it was nothing compared to this...
Big hole in the ground + giant tire = really happy two year old. Speaking of having a two year old, the other day he obtained a Sharpie and did this to himself. Kind of reminds me of the time we were in WalMart and he was exasperating me to no end. When I questioned his actions through clenched teeth with a Garrett, what are you doing? He replied, "I'm just being two."

We took the boys swimming on Saturday. It was Matthew's first time. Let me just tell you that the whole ordeal was so ho hum to the eleven week old it was ridiculous. We entered the water and he looked at me like So that's it? That's what you've been making such a big deal about? Whatever.

I contemplated dunking. Then I decided to just go for it. I blew hard in his face several times to make sure he would respond and hold his breath. He was a champ so I counted to three, blew, and dunked quickly. He came back up completely indifferent. Well, except for the fact that it took him about ten seconds to actually breath again and I was starting to get slightly worried. But other than that, he didn't cry, he didn't look overly concerned, he was a total little fish. Or, some other kind of sea creature that's virtually immobile. He's more like a little sea star or a sponge.

In case you're wondering, I'm wearing a competitive practice suit because I went and swam laps right after our excursion. I don't generally wear that kind of a suit just for the fun of it. It should also be noted that indoor pools (there is only one outdoor pool open right now and it's the lap swimming pool) make me want to gag. I can't stand the chlorine fumes circling around. They really need somewhere to go...like the atmosphere. Can you tell by my face that I'm thinking Can't breathe. Dying of fume inhalation. Also, I just realized that there is a girl in the background of that picture totally smiling and flashing the peace sign. Oh to be twelve again.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take A Flight

Yesterday The Rock Star made me cry.

See, he and his "Papa" are like this. Well, alright, so you can't see hand signals but I'm crossing one of my fingers over another one to symbolize closeness. Or, rather, I was until I needed to resume typing. They're BFF. Peas in a pod. Potatoes and gravy. Peanut butter and jelly--except that both my dad and myself do not actually like peanut butter accompanied by jelly but that's really beside the point. Although it should be pointed out that for years I have preferred my peanut butter to be all alone on the bread and never knew, until about a month ago, that I inherited this bizarre trait from my father. Anyway...

My boy and his grandpa are close. For some reason, Garrett got it in his head yesterday that we were going to California to see beloved Papa. He kept telling me that we should go to the airport and "take a flight". While it always pulls my heartstrings when Garrett wants to go see my parents (and he thinks it is something we can just "do" and that it doesn't require a good deal of planning) it really got to me last night.

G: We going to the airport now?
Me: No, Honey. I told you that we can't visit Papa and Grandma today. (I'd like it to be noted that Troy and I do not use pet names for each other. We think we sound ridiculous if we even try. But I am constantly calling my sons things like "honey" and "sweetheart".)
G: But we could just go take a flight.
Me: No, Bud, we can't. It costs a lot of money to fly to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
G: We have money?
Me: (Kind of laughing at his innocence) No. We really don't.
G: We do right there. (He points at the coin jar on Troy's dresser.)
Me: Oh, Honey (pet name again) that's not even close to enough money to fly to Papa's.
G: It not?
Me: No. I'm sorry.
G: (Thinking for a second about how best to reduce his mother to tears. Then, with extreme excitement) I have money in my bank bank! I go get it!
Me: (Through tears) That is so sweet, but it's not enough either.
G: (Pointing to Troy's coin jar) With that monies too! (I was trying not to cry but I was still very proud of him for thinking about combining separate amounts of money to reach the desired goal.)
Me: It still wouldn't be enough.
G: Oh, no? We shake all the monies out of my bank bank. It come out the bottom. I show you. (He starts toward the door.)
Me: Garrett. I know you would spend all your money (this is a big deal, the boy is a miser) to go see Grandpa, but there isn't enough in your bank. I promise.
G: (completely degraded) Oh. Okay. Maybe soon.
Me: Maybe soon.
G: After my night night?

Sigh.

Sometimes I hate living away from family. What I hate even more is that my two year old really doesn't understand why he can't see his Papa whenever he pleases. Although, honestly, if he got to see him whenever he wanted to we'd be living with my parents and my dad would have a buddy everyday at work.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Three Conversations

The Rock Star has been learning his colors. So, the following conversation was bound to happen someday.

G: (drinking his morning milk) My milk makes me white.
T: No, your milk is white and you are white but your milk doesn't make you white.
G: I am white.
Me: Yes, you are.
G: Mommy is white.
Me: Yes, I am. Pasty white, in fact.
G: Matthew is brown.
Me: Uh huh. He is.
G: (thinking for a moment) Daddy is hairy.

Just let me state, for the record, that Troy is certainly not the hairiest man walking the planet. He just happens to be the hairiest human in our house.

Another funny conversation took place last night. As you know, he calls Matthew "Little Buddy" and he does it so often that I also call Matthew "Little Buddy" and, because it's habit to say now, I also find myself calling Garrett "Little Buddy".

Me: (to Garrett) Come on Little Buddy.
G: I not Little Buddy. I Big Buddy Darrett.
Me: Oh. Sorry.
G: Come on Little Mommy.
Me: (laughing) Little Mommy? I'm bigger than you are!
G: Oh! Come on Big Mama.

Big Mama? I definitely prefer Little Mommy.

Funny conversation number three occurred this morning. Our church's previous pastor's wife was at our house for about an hour and I quizzed The Rock Star on his Bible knowledge. I asked him all the questions he knows like, Who was Jesus's mom? Who built an ark? Who got swallowed by a big fish? Then I moved on to some of the ones we've been teaching him lately.

Me: Who was in the garden?
G: Adam.
Me: Yep. Who was there with him?
G: blank stare
Me: Who was his wife?
G: Steve!
Me: Eve, Garrett, her name was Eve.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Deadliest Action Figure

Yesterday the Graco DuoGlider Winnie the Pooh Days of Hunny 2008 Stroller arrived on my porch. We got lots of gift cards when Matthew was born and I kept putting off buying the dual stroller. I was a little afraid that the second I bought it we'd lose custody of the boy and I'd have a virtually unused double stroller for one kid. Well, when we got the new hearing date of June 8, I threw my arms up in the air and bought the darn station wagon stroller. I figured that this whole process is taking so long that Matthew will be fourteen and perfectly capable of choosing his own living situation--and walking--before anything is resolved.

Last night we were preparing to load up the boys to christen the station wagon stroller with its first evening walk. Just as we were about to put The Rock Star in, the little boy from next door knocked on the door. "Can Garrett play?" Instantly The Rock Star could not have cared less about going on a walk and wanted nothing more than to play with his buddy. We informed him that he was going on a walk with us and he could play later. I expect to be chopped liver when my boys are thirteen or fourteen but two? I don't think so.

When Matthew was born, Garrett brought in a whole lot of Big Brother Loot. One of the things he was given was a Bible Man DVD and accompanying action figures. While he is a little young still for the DVD to fully hold his interest, he adores the action figures. He insisted on taking Bible Man with him on the walk. We only strolled about a mile. When we got home several neighborhood boys were playing with action figures in the neighbor's driveway. We walked past them.


G: (so excitedly shrill I could barely understand him) Mommy...I want to play with them with my guy!
Me: If daddy wants to sit outside and watch you. (We only let him play in the front if we can keep a close eye on him. He's the youngest and it's a through street.)
G: (still shrill) Daddy! You stay outside!
T: Okay.
G: (Running across our yard into the neighbor's) I have Bible Man! I play with you guys with my Bible Man! (Nudging his way into their circle) I'm here now.

First of all, I'm sure they were extremely relieved that the two year old finally showed up. Especially since some of them looked about four or five. Secondly, while I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, I'm not sure that in a crowd of Batman, Spiderman and Superman, Bibleman is necessarily the most ferocious of action figures.


"Beware of Bibleman. He'll quote scripture at you!"*

At least he didn't try to kiss any of his friends when they all got called home for dinner and baths.


*I give my husband credit for the super hero tag line.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Once Upon A Time

I look a little like someone who used to be a good swimmer once.

There were Junior Olympics and Far Westerns. There were CIFs (California Interscholastic Federation) and Most Commited awards. That's not a typo, by the way. Or, well, I mean it is...but that's what the trophy says.

Once upon a time, I was a contender.

Not. Any. More.

There is a pool near my house. Yesterday, the weather was finally nice enough that I decided to try out the lap swimming pool. I felt like I looked darn good for having had a nine year absence from any kind of formal swimming. (And, really, it's more like ten.) I felt like I looked darn good...for the first 50 yards. While I managed to push through to just over a half mile, I was not looking so good for the last 950. I felt okay other than my spaghetti legs and my aching triceps. But when I went to get out I realized just how out of shape I truly am. I could barely haul myself out of the pool. I felt like I was going to pass out. I hurt in places I forgot existed.

When I got home and got in the shower, I almost toppled into the curtain. I did not feel good. I did not have that swimmer's high. But then I ate dinner. Once I had some energy back in the old tank I was feeling pretty good. I thought I would ache in every single place today and I don't.

What's incredible to me is just how much swimming is exactly like riding a bike. You step away from it for nine years and you still remember how to do a flip turn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Rock Star Is Afraid

Garrett just told me he's a rock star. I have no idea where he came up with that.

When I was pregnant, Troy and I saw a hilarious website that listed funny things kids were afraid of. I clearly remember that one little girl was deathly afraid of butterflies. We wondered what our child would grow to be afraid of.

The time has come. The rock star has developed a very real, completely crazed, paralyzing fear of...you know what, I can't even tell you. The creature is so ferocious, so terribly frightening that I can't even bring myself to mumble its cursed name. I'll just have to post a picture. Avert your eyes now if you think you might have nightmares for a lifetime if you see the beast.
Here he is...

Yup. My son is absolutely terrified of roosters. And here's the thing, if he saw a real rooster I don't even think he'd be afraid. Wait, let me show him this picture and I'll live blog the response.

Me: (first I pause Dragon Tales) Garrett--
G: Don't pause it.
Me: Hold on. Hey, what is this?
G: (smiling) It's a rooster.
Me: Is it scary?
G: No! Turn Dragon Tales back on!

But at night, oh heavens to Betsy! (Whatever that actually means, the Internet says it is a mild exclamation of surprise. Can we please bring it back?) At night he gets out of bed two seconds after we put him in there and he declares, "I had a scary dream! There was a big rooster." Nevermind that he sleeps with a plastic sword for the very purpose of slaying big, terrifying roosters. Nevermind that his giant stuffed lion is there to protect him because, obviously, a lion can take a rooster in a fight. Nevermind that I told him if any rooster managed to penetrate the walls of his room I would punch it in the face. Nevermind that he sleeps on the second floor so the evil poultry would have to waltz through the door, not be seen by the canine or the feline, cockadoodle doo his way up the stairs and peck through the door just to get to him. He is completely convinced that a rooster "got off the farm" and has come for him.

Three years ago my husband and I laughed at a little girl who was afraid of butterflies. Unbeknownst to us, our son, the rock star, would have an irrational fear of the rooster.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

As a mom, I don't understand Mother's Day.

Don't get me wrong, I totally want to celebrate my own mother so I don't think the holiday is a total bust. But this whole idea of celebrating me is preposterous. My own mom is certainly worthy of having a day to herself. Take, for instance, this year. This year she called me up and explained, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be getting her a gift. When I balked she insisted that anything I would have spent be put into the Matthew Fund. I still sent her a very little something and a card, under five dollars total, just to make sure she knows I love her. So yeah, she's worthy of a day to herself.

But me, are you kidding? There are days when motherhood grinds on my every last nerve, sure. But darn it if I'm not head over heels totally crazy in love with my boys. The cute shirt and flowers that my husband sons got me are great, of course. The lunch they took me out to was fantastic even though I insisted that I didn't need anything and could just make myself a sandwich. I very much appreciate their appreciation. But I'm already the luckiest girl alive. I've been given the amazing opportunity to mother my boys. Mine is the name Garrett calls when he's standing in a circle of vomit. And I am the one he shows his prize snail shell to. Mine is the voice Matthew hears when he breaks into a huge grin. I have been blessed. To receive gifts for my role in their life seems, well, almost silly. Truthfully, I want to buy them a pony and thank them for being my greatest joy. If I'd been given a photograph of this family four years ago, my heart would have swelled to epic proportions when I saw that the dream would come true.

So Happy Mother's Day to my own mother who is worthy of honor. Happy Mother's Day to my mother-in-law who somehow managed to turn her impish little boy into my husband. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who are standing alongside me in the trenches of mommyhood. But, even in those trenches, I don't feel the need for my own self to be honored. I am digging through poop and wading through barf but there is truly no where else I'd rather be.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nothing Special

For the life of me I can't remember if I've mentioned that I'm speaking at a women's retreat in September. So, if I haven't mentioned it, I'm speaking at a retreat in September. If I have mentioned it, you should probably know that I'm starting to get a little preoccupied by the looming date. You know, four and a half months away. I mean goodness, it's practically tomorrow.

This always happens to me when I have something really important in several months. There's the I Have A Play In Three Months Nightmare. It occurs somewhere during the first week of rehearsal. In the dream it is opening night. I don't know my lines and am frantically trying to scribble them on my arms and legs. Generally my costume is either way too big or built for a kindergartner. And, inevitably, some major character is missing and I'm expected to just sort of wing it, without him. There was also the I'm Giving Birth In Sixth Months So I Should Probably Consume Myself With Figuring Out How It's Done pep talk I gave myself for my last two trimesters.

Obsessive.
Compulsive.
Much?

My husband, who prepares a 45 minute sermon every week, thinks I'm a loon. He generally thinks that if I start really working on the retreat in August I'll be good. This is because he's crazy. If I waited until August I'd be fine except that I'd wish I'd started in April. So, not to procrastinate, I have one talk about 90% completed. I have another one about 20% done. I want to be ready. You know, in case the rapture happens and I have to switch my venue to heaven. I'm assuming we won't use computers or index cards in heaven and I'll need to have it all committed to memory. Although I hardly doubt that, what with being in the presence of God, we'll need retreat talks.

I also keep waiting for the church to rescind their offer on account of the fact that they'll come to realize I don't actually know anything. I'm just a 27 year old drama queen who has perfected the art of changing a diaper without getting sprayed in the face. Sure I can recite the 66 books of the Bible in one breath and turn my feet around backward but I mean, can't everyone? I am very certainly nothing special as is evidenced by my son's knowledge. Today, when I asked him what mommy's job is he replied, "To clean the house." Touche.

So, in September I plan to stand in front of a bunch of women and say, simply, "I have no idea why I'm here. I just clean the house. Wanna hear me say all the books of the Bible in one breath?"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Georgy Porgy...With A Twist

I'm going to need to invest in some good steaks. Why? Well, whenever a kid gets in a fight in a movie, his mom gently holds a steak to his black eye while she praises him for standing up for his nerdy friend or chastises him for throwing the first punch at the neighborhood bully. And my kid is going to get into fights. Not because he's a fighter, mind you, but because he's a lover.

Our neighborhood is full of little boys and now that the weather is warmer they've all come out of hibernation to play. It's perfect for Garrett. Except that Garrett is about a year younger than the rest of the crew. It's as though all the mothers in the neighborhood got together one day in late 2004 and said, "Hey, let's all get pregnant right now. That way we can have our babies together next summer. And, oh hey, let's agree to have boys this time around." Poor Garrett, arriving in 2006 and not 2005.

The boys are very willing to let him play with them, which is sweet. The problem is, there is still a difference between almost three and almost four. Almost four year olds ride their bikes like kamikaze crazy people. Almost three year olds can't reach their pedals. Almost four year olds are entirely rough and tumble and tough and gnarly and testosterony. Almost three year olds are entirely rough and tumble and tough and gnarly and...tenderhearted. So, when it's time to say goodbye, Garrett wants to give hugs and almost four year olds, well, not so much.

We've been teaching him that lots of little boys like to give high fives instead of hugs. We are sure to emphasize the fact that mommies and daddies really like hugs but we point out that it might be better to high five the hand of your good buddy or do your super secret handshake instead of embracing almost four year olds. We thought he was starting to get it.

Last night I took something to the mailbox and Garrett came with me. The next door neighbor boy was sitting on his steps, eating dinner.

G: I go play with him?
Me: No, not now. He's eating dinner.
G: Otay. I go give him a kiss.

So in our effort to get him to give high fives instead of hugs he's taken it a step back entirely. My son is going to be the boy kissing his friends after a sweaty game of football or a rousing session of Cops and Robbers.

Yeah. I'm going to need some steaks.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sugar Tookies

Yesterday, while waiting for the lawyer to call, I made sugar cookies. If I'd had more time I might have baked the whole house because I was trying to get my mind off of the court proceedings.

This morning, Troy was getting ready to leave for his prayer meeting and I was getting ready to go to Bible study. We were both in our wee master bathroom (trust me, the hardest thing about moving from our previous rental to our current rental was the loss of my majestically enormous master bath) and we heard Garrett coming up the stairs. He entered our room.

G: I'm not doing nothing. This always means something. Especially when he volunteers the information himself, unprompted. He entered our bathroom and I immediately saw what "nothing" was.
Me: (to Troy) Do you see what "nothing" is?
T: What?
Me: Look at his face. His cheeks were covered in crumbs and red sprinkles.
T: Garrett, come here. Now listen, I'm going to ask you what you've been doing and you're probably going to get into trouble. But trust me, it will be worse if you lie to me. Okay?
G: Otay.
T: What have you been doing?
G: (without missing a beat) I was eating tookie.

I came downstairs, sure I'd see a chair pushed up against the counter but the little thief had put it back in it's place to cover his tracks. Fortunately for us, he doesn't yet understand how to eat without getting it all over his face. As for the fact that I would have surely noticed a cookie missing...


If you look closely, you'll see that the center cookie, replaced perfectly in the middle of the pile, has several bites missing. Having trouble seeing it?

Is that better?

*****************************************

Thank you so much to the generous people who have used my Paypal button to donate to Matthew's adoption. Some of you are dear friends and others of you I have never even met. Your donations help us to realize that we are supposed to be fighting this fight. We truly could not be doing this without you. If you've been considering donating but only have five or ten dollars and don't feel like that would help us, let me assure you that it certainly would. Any donation, large or small, will help us meet our exorbitant legal fees. Again, we are blessed, humbled, and awed by those who have given any amount of money to help us fight.

Of course, above all, we are thankful to all who have prayed for our case. Please continue to lift us up in prayer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

News?

Earlier this afternoon, Troy received a phone call from our lawyer. It seems that nothing really happened. Sorry to disappoint. Matthew was court appointed a lawyer who will represent his best interest. Beyond that we were given a new court date.

June 8.

Yes, you read that right. 34 days from now. It's awesome on so many levels because, well, I'm the world's most patient person learning more about leaning on my Father and not on my own understanding.

Really though, it's okay. I'm going to spend the next month pretending that we'll always be one happy family, loving on this baby, and hoping for the best.

We don't know yet if we'll be going to CA for the next hearing or not. At this point we don't think we need to be there but we'll see as the date gets closer.

Thank you all so much for your support!

Monday, May 4, 2009

No Daughter, No Problem

I always wanted a daughter. When I was little I dreamed of having a tiny girl that I could dress in frills and lace. We'd have tea parties together and spend endless hours playing Barbies. When she was old enough, she'd take to the stage and I'd have so much fun helping her with her makeup. As she got older, we'd lay in bed together and whisper about boys and dances and what she wanted to be when she grew up. I'd worry about her meeting the wrong boy and then I'd worry about her meeting the right boy and, eventually, she would. We'd spend long, wonderful, hours planning her wedding. I'd wear a mother of the bride dress that made me look rail thin because, let's face it, in our dreams we never gain any weight. Then, after several years, she'd give birth to my first grandchild, a girl, and we'd start the dreaming all over again, together.

By the time I got pregnant with Garrett, I couldn't have cared less if he was a boy or a girl. I was so happy that he simply was. Well, Garrett is not that little girl I wanted when I was growing up. Neither is Matthew. And I couldn't be more content. Well, I mean, I could be, I guess. Like, maybe, if all these legal shenanigans were over. But I couldn't be more content with the fact that they're boys. I have no idea how I'll feel if we lose Matthew. The world, I imagine, will be a much different place. If we keep him, though, I think I'm done. I know he's very little and our life is very stressful and I have a husband who gets to weigh in and I certainly reserve the right to change my mind. But for now. For now this is perfect. For now I believe that God wants me to have two boys and I am so content and so, well, happy, that anything else would seem superfluous.

Plus, as I've said before, our children seem to get more dramatic each time. If we chose to have a third I think one of us might spontaneously combust or something. And I just reread that sentence and cracked up at the words chose to have. Yeah...hilarious...that'll be the day. Truthfully though, I don't know that I can handle the drama of trying to have or get another child.

If we're finished, I will miss the idea of tea parties and ruffles and endless pink. But I will know, always, that God gave me just exactly what he wanted me to have. In fact, if we lose Matthew, I think I'd want another boy...to try to recapture this ever unfolding perfection.

I'm sitting on the couch. I can see little beige Vans, a stinky pair of socks, a Little People School Bus covered in grass, a bouncer seat and a tennis ball the dog brought in after Garrett finished throwing it for him. (Yes, I know, I need to get off my blogging behind and clean my house). I love it. I love dirty boys and watching sports and camp outs. I know my boys won't want me in their beds when they are fifteen. They won't want my opinion on girls and we won't dream about their weddings--or, at least, we won't dream about them together. But we will be mother and son and that, in and of itself, is a dynamic I am so thankful to get to experience.

Tomorrow is the Status Review Hearing. If the BF still wants to contest (barring a miracle, he will) trial dates will be set. Both the BF and Jennifer have to be there and I know that she is quite nervous about the situation. Please pray for her. We ask that she might feel a peace that passes all understanding. Of course, we ask that BF will change his mind and see that this is the best place for his son. Please pray that there are no "blind sides" of information that will hurt our case. And, above all, pray that whatever is in Matthew's best interest will prevail. I love my little family. I am feeling like it is very complete and very perfect. I truly believe that this is the best place for my son...but I am not God. Years ago, I would have given myself a daughter and now I am more than content without one. So, obviously, he knows better than I do. Please pray that, whatever happens tomorrow, and in these weeks to come, I remember that we are in His hands.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wretched Retching

This morning was the worst morning I can remember. I am certain there have been worse. Like the wee hours I spent in the emergency room four years ago fighting my kidney stone in a nasty battle. But this morning was wretched. We were supposed to go on a date last night. A family in our church was going to watch Garrett and Matthew and we were going to use a gift card we have to Red Lobster. Well, we cancelled on account of Garrett's barf.

And it's a good thing.

We decided to have a home date and use the rest of some other gift cards we had and split an Applebee's take out salad. We also bought a pie from Village Inn for dessert and rented a movie from RedBox. In all, our "date" was just under three dollars. This is a good thing because, by the time Troy and Garrett got home with the ingredients for our "date" I had started feeling the flu descend upon me. I ate a bowl of cereal instead. I didn't want to see the salad coming back up. Once we got the kiddos in bed we curled up on the couch to watch our movie. About an hour later, Troy asked me a question and I lurched out of my slumber. I'd been asleep for a good half hour. My husband sent me off to bed.

He slept on Garrett's floor so that he could take care of him if any vomiting occurred. My own barfing commenced at about 10:00 pm. I stopped throwing up around 2:30 but, when I awoke this morning, I felt like death. Then, to be as subtle as possible, the other flu symptom set in. My husband, obviously, had to go to church. I stayed home with the boys and it was the most miserable four hours. Matthew would not stop crying. He wanted attention but the only thing getting my attention this morning was the toilet. When I thought I was going to start throwing up again, I had a two-year-old hanging on to my back and laughing every time my throat made that retching sound.

At 10:15 I called my husband's cell phone. My house was a mess, my hair was in a knot on the top of my head, my face was pale, my pajamas were stinky, but I didn't care. I wanted him to send someone from the church over to watch my boys while I wallowed in the stomach flu. It was awful. He didn't answer his phone. I thought about getting on the next flight to San Diego and never, ever, living away from family again so long as we all shall live. Except flying didn't seem like a particularly good idea.

To respond to a couple comments left on yesterday's blog, "Yes, Dena, we do throw up a lot around here. Or, rather, Garrett and I throw up a lot. Poor kid seems to have gotten his mother's susceptibility to the flu." And to Missy, "I did consider calling you but figured you were also at church."

At one point, when I finally got the screamer to stop screaming, I just started to cry. I seriously felt that bad. My son climbed up onto the bed, tucked his legs under the covers and whispered, "Mommy doesn't feel very well." I replied that, no, indeed I did not. It was at this point, while he watched Handy Manny, that he gently began stroking my hair. Much like I did for him
yesterday morning in between his rounds of throwing up. At one point, he pulled a little hard on a strand and whispered, "Sorry. I pull too hard. I trying to be gentle." Truthfully, his little whisper woke me up, he'd put me right to sleep.

Later, while Matthew cried again, Garrett tried to help.

G: Did you try his paci?
Me: Yeah. He doesn't want it.
G: (running out of my room and reappearing seconds later) Try this.
Me: Honey, I don't think the nasal aspirator will work.
G: Yeah. Get his boogers out.
Me: I don't think he has any boogers right now.
G: (Again running to his bedroom and then back to mine) Read him this story.

Finally, I put the baby in the swing. He cried intermittently. About twenty minutes before Troy got home, Garrett ran into my room.

G: Matt-ew is crying in my playroom.
Me: I know.
G: I can't get him to stop.
Me: I'm sorry.
G: I try this. (Takes his paci to him. Then, several seconds later) Little Buddy, I no know what do. Mommy so sick. Stop crying, Little Buddy. (Pause) Really, Matt-ew. Stop.

But he said it all so patiently and so lovingly and, as I contemplated death, I wondered how my two-year-old son is such a good caregiver. And then I thought, if life doesn't ruin him, he's going to be a really good dad. Unless, of course, he tries to climb on his kids while they are throwing up.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Letter

Dear Missy,

Why, oh why, did we spend part of our car ride home last night discussing the finer points of our children vomiting? It was like I somehow voodoo-ed it upon my son. Are your kids barfing? This morning, at 5:40, I heard him screaming for me. He's been throwing up since. I'd also like to know how children can be throwing up one minute and jumping around the next. When I finish ralphing I'm shaky and, while my stomach feels temporarily better, I certainly do not dance around my home. Maybe life has jaded me. Maybe I know, in my head, that there's more coming. Perhaps the tragedy of barf (life) hasn't quite gotten to my son yet.

There is a silver lining. At close to three, he gives us about a two second warning, which seems like eternity compared to the way he threw up when he was a baby.

Here's hoping that the vomiting subsides soon~

-Lori