Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunny Days

Here in Eugene, the skies are clear blue. I kid you not. Given the fact that I have been to Oregon on several occasions during the last six years and seen only a few sunny days, I am astounded by the fact that the sun has been out for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. It leads me to the conclusion that I could live here. For a month out of each year. In late June. In a summer house I own because I won the lottery. It's a beach house. It overlooks a sandy coastline bathed in driftwood. There is a large window seat that I blog from just before I lay out for an hour every day. I also eat chocolate all day long and don't get fat. I have clam chowder from Mo's every evening for dinner and I have a personal masseuse named Sven who comes twice a week. When I crawl into my 1500 thread count sheets at 11:00 pm each night, I can hear the waves lapping at the shoreline. Here in my dream world, it never rains in Oregon.

The Rock Star has been having a great time playing with his cousins who he usually refers to as those kids. On occasion he uses their names or the phrase mine tousins. At night he sleeps on the floor of our room (my in-laws guest room) in a pop-up tee pee which he is enjoying immensely. Spud is loving his life as he rarely, if ever, gets put down. Troy's youngest sister, Jana, has taken a special liking of him and has threatened to kidnap him. (Wouldn't that just add a special kind of drama. As if Matthew's four months* haven't been crazy enough). I guess it's only fair that she utters such idle threats. On more than one occasion I'm sure I threatened to kidnap her first born when she was a baby five years ago.

We've been able to spend time with Troy's two youngest sisters, their kids, my mother and father in law, and Uncle Ed. Everyone loves Matthew. He's hard not to love, what with his incessant smiling and giggling. Uncle Ed is a family friend and, well, where Garrett looks like me, Matthew looks like Ed. If only for the pigment in their skin.

We've taken lots of pictures of the kids playing in the yard, playing in pop-up tunnels, playing in the dirt, playing. Playing. Playing. I'll post some of them when I get home. I've meant to work on my retreat stuff. I've meant to. But all I've succeeded in doing is finishing a novel, chatting with family, and watching my boy with his cousins. It has certainly been relaxing...and, well, sunny.

*Four month letter coming soon...

Saturday, June 27, 2009


We made it. Finally. It took us just over 16 hours. It was ridiculous. I think feeding a baby added to the length of time we were stopped for. The boys did GREAT! Spud cried pretty much non stop for the last hour and 45 minutes but, all things considered, that was a relatively small amount of crying. The Rock Star was, as usual, a fantastic traveler. We had the portable DVD player in case we needed reinforcements. Our rule is that he can watch ONE movie. He didn't watch any! Way to go, Garrett! You are becoming the terrific car-rider I always knew you'd be.

We stayed with wonderful friends in Boise and had a great time catching up with them. Thanks, Dubs, for letting us stay in your guest room.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today the boys and I drove up to Logan, Utah to visit my footprint leaver and her kids. As soon as I veered off the 15 I started feeling homesick. The rest of the drive, although much greener, reminded me of driving into Ramona, California. We passed rolling hills and cows and horses. When we finally got into the town, it was like a slightly larger version of Ramona had plopped itself down in northern Utah. I could almost smell La Cocina's delicious Mexican food beckoning me. Of course, there was no La Cocina. I wasn't in Ramona. It just looked like it. We had a great time visiting and our five hours there flew by much too quickly. Then we turned around and drove the hour and 45 minutes home.

Tomorrow, we'll drive an almost identical route on our way to Boise and then on to Eugene, Oregon on Friday. I'm not looking forward to 192 hours in the car with an almost three-year-old and an almost four-month-old. And okay, so it's not 192 hours but I get a different answer from everyone I talk to. I've heard anywhere from 13 to 16 hours. Since Spud will likely tire of staring at the back of the seat rather quickly and The Rock Star will have to go potty every 45 minutes, I'm anticipating a record for longest trip made from Salt Lake City to Eugene. Yippee. Ti. Yi. Ay. But I am looking forward to what I'll get to see on this trip. I haven't been through Idaho since I was nine. I've never been through eastern Oregon.

I may be out of commission for awhile. I'll try to post once or twice from Oregon but we are looking forward to getting away for a few days. I plan on pretending that lawyers and legal fees and adoption proceedings and birth fathers just don't even exist. I'm planning on simply vacationing with my family of four for the first time. Have a great upcoming week. See you soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Worth Fighting For

Tonight at the dinner table, The Rock Star was "singing" part of a Taylor Swift song. Since he's always been a Hannah Montana fan, I mistakenly asked the question, "Who are you going to marry, Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?" He thought about it for a split second before replying.

"Mommy. I'm gonna marry Ana."

Right. My bad. And he said it like I was betraying his one true love by even asking. Oh sure, Taylor Swift is gorgeous. Miley Cyrus is rolling around in more money than I'd even know what to do with. Neither of them holds a candle to his Ana.

Troy interjected, "Wow. That's certainly choosing love over money."

Speaking of choosing love over money...Oh, Jon & Kate Plus 8. I always only watched the show in reruns. And yeah, I thought she was overbearing and yeah, I thought he was kind of a measly little pushover but I attributed it to holycowwehaveeightkids! Count them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.

I don't know why I've been so sad over their pending (but obvious) announcement. As I watched the episode last night I wanted to bury my face in my husband's neck. But he wasn't there with me because he said it was like watching a train wreck. A train wreck that could have maybe been avoided if they'd stopped doing the show for five seconds and worked on their marriage. Maybe they tried. Maybe they didn't. But it certainly wouldn't have hurt to get their faces off of the television while they dealt with a very private matter.

My least favorite part of the entire episode was when Kate said she sobbed for half a day. Wow. Half a day over a ten year marriage. I'm at almost six years and I can tell you that if Troy and I decided to divorce, I'd be sobbing for at least a whole day. At least. I'll go out on a limb and say that I'd be crying pretty inconsolably for a very long time.

When it was over I did bury my face in his neck. I breathed in and recognized the familiar scent of my husband. He was given to me to have and to hold and to love and to cherish. I'm going to try my absolute hardest to stand by all those things I said. And, if I ever find myself letting go and losing my marriage, I'm going to claw and scrape and fight for it. I'm going to cling to that man with every reserve I can tap into. So, in a weird and unfortunate sort of way, I'm thankful to Jon & Kate because they reminded me of just how much I love my husband. They reminded me that he is mine and he doesn't belong to any other human the way he belongs to me. They reminded me that if, God forbid, I ever find myself in their situation, I will battle with everything inside of me to save this union. These years cannot just be dissolved as though they never existed to begin with. I will not easily give up on my holy matrimony. I love you, Troy. In the good times and in the tough times. In the days of paradise and in the days of stress and muck. Thank you for choosing me to share this life with. I consider it a great privilege.


Please keep my friend, Michelle, and her husband, Kevin, and their unborn daughter, Karsie, in your prayers. Michelle is in the hospital having contractions. Karsie is due in two months. They've stopped the contractions for now but please pray fervently for these people. Karsie will have some medical obstacles to overcome when she is born and it is definitely best for her to stay put for a little while longer.

Following their story last night, as Kevin updated from his phone, made me hug my boys a little tighter and appreciate them a little more.

Monday, June 22, 2009


For any of you stopping by to see how today's deposition went. It didn't. Today’s informal deposition of BF was postponed due to conflicts in his attorney’s schedule. Our lawyer left him all dates available for him between today and the next hearing. At least it didn't cost us any money.

Oh yeah...I guess I didn't really understand that these are "informal" depositions.

In other news, I went to WalMart today to get a few things for our trip. (We're driving to Oregon at the end of the week.) While standing in the travel section looking for plastic bottles to Matthew's shampoo and lotion in, The Rock Star saw the feminine hygiene section. Now, he's asked me what they are and I just reply, "Girlie things."

Today he said, loudly, "Mommy, those are girlie badeens."

It should be noted that badeen is his word for Band-Aid.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Take Someone Special To Be A Dad

"Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad."

When I was growing up, we had that on a plaque in our house. I always really liked it. It was certainly true of my own dad. He was my playmate, my provider, my hero. He worked hard both at his job and at raising us. I'm sure there was never a dull moment. I mean, the man taught me how to drive stick for goodness sake. Well, to be fair, he pretty much gave up trying to teach me, handed me the keys and said, "Go drive until you figure it out." But that was only after hours and hours in the passenger seat while I went down with the gas pedal, up with the clutch, stall. Down with the gas pedal, up with the clutch, stall. Repeat.



My poor dad. He hung in there like a trooper. He changed cloth diapers. He taught me how to ride a two-wheeler. He attended several father/daughter dances even though it meant he often had to be in costume. He took us on vacations galore. He pretended not to see the price tags on my prom dresses. He gave me away.

He's my son's best friend.

Thank you, Dad. I know that anyone can be a father...but it takes someone special to be a dad.

I found that quote online on a onesie. I ordered it even though it was more than I would normally spend on something my son will outgrow in a matter of seconds weeks. But it was one of those things you just have to have. It arrived in the mail over a month ago and I've been dying to put Matthew in it ever since. This morning I got him dressed and then said, "Matthew is wearing one of your Father's Day presents." I promptly turned him around.

Any man (okay, most men) can father a child. But not every man can be a daddy. On the day Matthew was born, I spent the majority of the nighttime hours retching violently. (Is anyone really surprised?) It was Troy who fed him and changed him while I was afraid to allow myself near him with what I thought might be the plague. Before Matthew started sleeping through the night, it was Troy who took one of the two feedings. It is Troy who reminds me that if we lose everything fighting for our son, it'll be alright. He's his daddy.

This isn't Troy's first time around the fatherhood block. He adores his precocious almost three year old. The one who, today, in an occupied public restroom, said to me in a loud voice, "Mommy, do you have a penis?" When I quietly told him no he continued with his line of questioning, "Mommy, what do you have?" Thankfully my silence wasn't followed by more questions. This time.

The one who, after a string of poor choices that earned him a, You're going to get punished when we get home, from his dad replied with a chipper and expectant, "Happy Father's Day!" He knows how to cut his dad off at the knees.

I've always wanted to be a mommy and it was of great importance to me that I find someone who always wanted to be daddy. Suffice it to say, I found him.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Broken Vases

I'll always be that infertile woman. I'm sure that won't be last time you hear that from me. I'll say it again sometime. It doesn't matter that my biological son will be three next month. I'm still the girl with the lump in her throat instead of her womb. I'm still the one who cringes when someone announces that she, "doesn't even know how this happened." I'm still the girl who almost chucked cheese through her kitchen window. I'm still cracked, ever so slightly.

I offered to go to the infertility clinic with a woman in our church. Her husband couldn't go, the procedure is a bit painful and definitely less than fun, and I thought she might need my support. She was extremely thankful that I would offer to go. I was worried that she would get upsetting results and that I would be called upon to hand out some wise words about how life would go all likelihood...even though she felt like total crap inside. In the end her results were great, she was thrilled, and I got a Chai Tea out of it as a show of her appreciation, although it was completely unnecessary. It was tasty and delicious but, really, if my journey through infertility got me nothing but the ability to share the experience and bear the burden with others (and, of course, Reason #1 and Reason #2) then I am thankful to have walked the road.

She opted to have me stay in the waiting room so I prayed for her and had the opportunity to read. (And contemplated whether they might let me sit in there for an hour a day just to get a little peace and quiet. Good night! You could hear a pin drop in that place.) She later said that she thought about coming to get me so that I could be there with her. You know, so she wouldn't bolt right off of the physician's table and swear off reproduction forever. I would have been thrilled to have been able to support her during the procedure but, more than that, it would have allowed me to escape from the ache I felt inside my chest. Empathy seems like too weak of a word to use to explain how I feel in a fertility office. People come and go. Occasionally a woman will enter by herself but, more often than not, men and women walk in together. I've spent enough time in fertility offices to categorize these people simply by the looks they wear on their faces. If the government ever needed Intel to analyze the infertile, I'd be their girl.

The men generally fall into two categories. There are the morbidly horrified husbands and the apathetically resigned. Either these men are humiliated to be discussing their reproductive organs or they've been taking time off work for so long that they're totally over it, resigned to the fact that they will be chatting about the finer points of their sperm with the reproductive endocrinologist. Either way, it has to feel degrading. They must be wondering how they pulled the short stick.

There are several categories of women but all of them (except for a very rare few who wear their hearts adhered to their foreheads) have this look that says, "I'm holding my life together by a thread but I'm pretending that I am a pillar of stability. Please don't look directly at me for any length of time because this cool exterior is only moments away from cracking." Infertile women almost always look like they have it altogether. I think it's an attempt to make everything on the outside look vibrant and productive when everything on the inside feels barren and shattered.

It breaks my heart to watch these people. The men are usually almost ridiculously supportive. He has learned to handle his fragile wife with the utmost care. Gently, he touches her on the small of her back, as though she is a porcelain doll, dangerously close to toppling off the edge of the shelf. He has learned to discuss reproduction in ways that men without medical degrees are just not meant to do. He has learned to live with the horror of it all--and take it like a man. A man, anyway, who is being forced to discuss baby-making with a third party. The women, often, are vases that have been broken and glued back together. Upon first inspection it looks just like a regular vase but if you fill it up with water, well, it starts to leak. She is somehow emotional and subdued--all at once. Her chest constricts with each breath as she waits on the precipice of hope and despair.

I know that only 12% of you have a clue what I'm talking about and the other 88% are all, "Shut up about infertility already. You have two kids. Stop whining about it. I'm not even kidding. If I have to read one more post about dramatic ovaries and sperm counts I'm never visiting this blog again!" But the gut wrenching thing is, in a fertility office, that 12% becomes 100%. Everyone is infertile. Everyone has a story. Everyone just wants a baby. Everyone has a lump in the throat.

I swallowed my own lump down. I wasn't there looking to get pregnant. I have long resigned myself to the fact that that isn't happening again. And most days I'm sure I don't want it to. Most days I'm sure my family is complete. I was there to support a friend. I was there to remember just how blessed I am to have my boys. I was there to feel overwhelmed by the tragedy that wraps its cold, hard, plastic fingers around so many people in the form of ultrasounds and catheters and needles and medications. I was there to remember, as I identify myself as That Adoptive Mother With The Hideous Court Battle, that I was first That Infertile Woman Who Would Do Anything To Have Children...Yes, Even Endure A Hideous Court Battle.

Infertility is nothing new. My heart will always break for it. I rejoice in plus signs on sticks when one of these couples has victory over the demon. Though I will never be the vase that I was before infertility, I don't want to be. The lessons learned as the Lord painstakingly pieced me back together are vital to who I am as a person. And, when I watch my sons sleep, it appears that a broken vase can hold water again after all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

God Is In Control

We still haven't heard from our lawyer. His secretary called this morning to say that he'd be in touch today. It's alright though because I can't ignore my activator tendencies. I called Jennifer* and Jennifer's lawyer who we used to pay for but is now court appointed and, therefore, charges the county if we talk on the phone instead of us. I got the run down from Jennifer on how she thought things went and then I got the legal run down from her lawyer. Apparently the BF's lawyer kept having to leave--again. It's getting really special. Apparently, as a direct result of him leaving they only got through most of Jennifer's deposition and none of the BF's. Apparently they will attempt to finish up on Monday. Apparently I would be going out of my mind if I didn't know that my God is in control. I alternate between wanting to throw things and break windows and wanting to sit in the middle of my floor and laugh maniacally. Then I see the fingerprints of God written all over this entire situation, I take a deep breath and I press on.

We were going to adopt internationally. When we called to verify an insurance issue, Troy spoke, at length to a woman who had adopted from The Organization We're Adopting From. The fact that he got her, specifically, and she decided to bring up The Organization We're Adopting From instead of just answering the question, and we then decided to go through them for a domestic adoption instead of pursuing an international one, was God Is In Control Thing Number One.

I was in Southern California when we got the initial call that Jennifer (living in So. Cal) wanted to meet us. God Is In Control Thing Number Two.

Because of donations small and large, we have been able to continue our fight. God Is In Control Things Number Three. To let you all know, we are almost out of money. I'm only saying that so that you can watch with me as the Lord does something awesome. I promise I'll write about it when it happens.

That was only a list of the major things. There was, of course, the fact that when Jennifer had to have a C-section and she kind of totally freaked out, I remained ridiculously calm and I almost heard the Lord whispering, "Everything is going to be fine." With complete assurance of this fact I told her as much. I prayed with her and I said firmly that Everything. Would. Be. Fine. I've wondered nearly every day since that moment if God was speaking, instead, to my own fears. "Child, it's about to get crazy. But don't worry. Everything will be fine." And maybe it won't be fine the way I want it to be fine. Maybe we'll lose everything because we believe He wants us to fight for this child. Maybe we'll lose our son. Maybe I'll be a total basket case. The thing is that all of these are maybes. What is certain is the joy I have in knowing that God loves that baby infinitely more than I do--and I happen to love him more than I could use words to express.

*Still not her real name.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Everyone traipsed into court today. I'm assuming they all traipsed back out but we've yet to hear from the lawyers. It's not fun waiting to hear how things went. The end.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Will You Marry Me?

Over the course of the past three years, Garrett has been "betrothed" to several girls. This is a direct result of the fact that he was the only boy born during 2006. I knew like 6,000,281 women who were pregnant at the same time I was and every single one of them had girls. When we swung into '07 people started having boys again but Garrett holds the distinction of being the only male child born in 2006. Nearly all of his little friends here in SLC are girls as well so it wasn't just something in the water in San Diego. We're talking about a widespread phenomena. As a result, he has his fair share of ladies to choose from and many of my friends with little girls refer to him as their future son-in-law. We were waiting to see what each girl would offer as a dowry before making our final decision.

But he's going to have a tough time letting his many girls down gently because, at the tender age of almost three, he's made his choice. "I love you all--as friends. I just can't marry all of you. I'm sorry. It's not you. It's me..." These are some of the things I've instructed him to say. I can think of several little two and three year old girls who are now back on the market.

But not Ana.

Ana is his future wife. She knows it. He knows it. She's the future Mrs. The Rock Star.

Once upon a time, Garrett and I were having a conversation. I asked him if he was planning on getting married someday and he said yes. I asked him who he wanted to marry and the list included his father, me, and his beloved golden retriever. I suggested that he choose someone who was not his parent or his canine, explaining that it might be nice if he married a nice girl--who wasn't his mother. All at once a light bulb flickered on in the recesses of his mind and he shouted, "Ana!"

Her mother was at my house a couple weeks ago and, while The Rock Star and His Future Wife played together in the playroom, she told me about the following conversation.

M: Where are you going to get married?
A: In a church.
M: What are you going to wear?
A: A big really huge huge really big white dress.
M: Who are you going to marry?
A: Mia! (That's her sister)
M: Maybe you should pick a boy.
A: Garrett!

Now, if you ask either of them who they are going to marry they respond with each other's name. Last night Ana's cousin asked Garrett who he was going to marry...

G: Ana!
J: And who is Ana going to marry?
G: Me. (And he said this part kind of like, "duh!")

She's a lovely three year old. Yes, she's an older woman. She's graced this planet with her presence for about two months longer than The Rock Star has. She is an adorable little red head and, given the gene pool in this family, I'm certain that means I would have precious little red-headed grandchildren. She's well behaved and intelligent. Overall, I think it's a good match.
Which is why, I'm in full support of this...

Check out that beautiful plastic, striped ring. Any girl would be lucky to have such a gorgeous piece of jewelry. And, well, the adorable face attached to it. We won't tell Ana that such a smile was accomplished when her groom's mother instructed him to say, "Poopie!" We'll let her think he's brimming over with adoration for her. He does love her, he just loves bodily functions slightly more at this point.

Part of me can't handle this photo. Part of me sees him twentysome years from now all grown up and shaving and getting married. Oh Little Boy Blue, please try not to grow up too fast.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Some days it's a miracle if I even remember to use the restroom. For real. It seems like there is always something that needs to get done before I can relieve my bladder and while that might be too much information, it's totally true. Take this afternoon for example. All of the following needed to be done before I recognized the need to urinate.

1. Feed Garrett.
2. Feed Matthew.
3. Bounce Matthew so he'd stop incessantly crying which was distracting me from getting anything else done.

Additionally, about 10,002 things needed doing in general. Although they could wait five seconds while I visited the potty. They include but are certainly not limited to...

1. Blogging.
2. Scrapbooking before my sons are out of the house and I've still got baby pictures lying around.
3. Paying the bills.
4. Sending an important email.
5. Organizing several spaces most important of which is the playroom. It looks like World War 3 started as a result of a disagreement between the closet and the toy box.
6. Put the boys down for naps.
7. Clean the whole house before it is deemed unlivable.
8. Schedule a dentist appointment for The Rock Star.
9. Finish reading Lord, Change Me by Evelyn Christenson.
10. Finish writing my retreat talks. I'm about 35% of the way there. If I pause and think too long about this my heart skips several beats and my blood pressure shoots through the roof.
11. Brush the motley and otherwise neglected dog.
12. Love and hug on my boys.

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

You're wondering why I don't just stop maintaining a blog aren't you? Well, as of late I've been averaging about fifty cents a blog in ad revenue. I know that won't even buy me a pack of gum but it's more coin than I make doing anything else these days. Notice I said coin. Because what I lack in paycheck I more than make up for in other rewards.

But I do need to go because I totally meant to send that important email and, well, didn't. The boys will be up soon and I'm fairly certain that I'll need to schedule another trip to the bathroom before my day is done.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Living with an almost three-year-old who, in the course of a year, went from hardly saying a thing to spewing word vomit all the live long day is hilarious. Today, he saw a large orange cone outside of Costco and asked me what it was. When I replied that it was a cone he said, "A really huge ice cream cone?"

I said, "No. Just a cone."

"Kinda looks like a really huge ice cream cone."

Um. Okay then.

During his toast at my wedding, my dad joked that I'd been born missing an important off switch. Apparently this is a hereditary defect. Garrett has certainly inherited the deficiency.

He also inherited quite an imagination.

G: There is a big spider on mine elwint (elephant).
Me: (used to this nonsense) What color is it?
Me: Alright, I'm not too concerned.
T: Give it to me. I'll eat it.
G: (pretends to hand Troy something. Troy then pretends to eat the pink spider.) You ate the big pink spider?
T: Yep. He's in my tummy.
G: Oh no! Now there's a big green one. Get off mine elwint. Get in my tummy.

Never a dull moment.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Big Brother/Little Brother

There's just something about brothers.

Matthew can be having a total meltdown and if he hears Garrett's voice he just might stop. Not every time mind you. Not when he's just finished projectile vomiting and his face looks like I shoved it in a cream pie because it's covered in regurgitated formula. Sorry. But just, you know, not then. Otherwise, yeah, he pretty much adores his big brother.

Then there is Garrett.

G: Hi Little Buddy.
Me: Do you love him?
G: Yes, I love him.
Me: How much?
G: Too much.
Me: Too much, huh?
G: Way, way, too much.
Me: How long do you think he should live with us?
G: About seven minutes.

Lucky for us he usually says, "Forever and ever." When I say, "Tell it to the judge," he responds with, "Okay! I go tell him! He in Californa?" (Not a misspelling. That's how he says it)

I can hear it now. "Excuse me, Your Honor, my toddler has something to say to you."

I'm sure this would be the point where he'd reiterate that he only wants Matthew for seven minutes. In fairness, seven minutes and forever and ever are all the same to Garrett. He also says things like, "Remember last night when I was born?" And I'm all, "Dude, kid, if you were born weighing 30 pounds with a head the size of a small watermelon we would so not be friends. And, more importantly, I hope with all of my heart that you don't recall your own birth."

But seriously, they're like the best of friends. When Matthew was projectile vomiting, Garrett ran and got a Band-Aid. "Here, Little Buddy. This make it all better." And somehow I missed the memo on that one but that's a home remedy I could definitely get on board with.

Here are my boys. Big Brother & Little Brother. Best buddies. My pride and joy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Barf

We're back to barfing. The Rock Star and I are fine, we haven't spewed yet. The Spud was fine all day yesterday but decided to throw up again today. Afterward he was incredibly fussy and lethargic so I called the doctor again. They wanted to see him.

At this point we have a plan of attack that involves Pedialyte, Maalox and soy formula. Maalox, for real. She is hopeful that his tummy is just so young that it can't handle having a gastrointestinal problem and isn't healing as quickly as an adult's would. But she was a little concerned that it might be something worse. Might be something that requires us taking him to Primary Children's for testing. Might be a bigger medical problem than "baby tummy". So if you could join us in praying that it's just a lingering influenza of some sort, that would be most appreciated.

I love our doctor's office. We drive about 25 minutes (there is probably one about 5 minutes away) because we love them so much. We usually see our pediatrician (we love her!) or the nurse practitioner (we love her, too!) Today, since I was already there--again--I asked the nurse practitioner if she would consider writing a letter to Matthew's counsel. I asked if she could just state that he's happy and (usually) healthy and up to date on his vaccinations. She was more than willing. She hugged me and I promise I wasn't crying or emotional or anything...she just hugged me. I'm a huggie person so it was totally okay. She tickled Matthew's tummy and said, "You have a really good mama." And she looked me in the eyes and said, "I will do whatever it takes to see this through. He belongs with you."

It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside but it's true. I mean, seriously, he fits right in with all our vomit. It was meant to be.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Darn Rain

This weather is out of control. We've been having pouring rain and thunderstorms for a week. The forecast shows more pouring rain and thunderstorms for another week. There is a reason I'm not the biggest fan of the northwest. This would be it. Sure, the Pacific northwest is gorgeous when the sun comes out. It's just that I can't handle the clouds and the wet and the soggy for very long. I'd prefer a little less beautiful with a lot less rain. Actually, I'd prefer Hawaii where it rains everyday for 15 minutes and then the sun comes back out and everything is beautiful all the time. Two solid weeks of rain is just unacceptable.

Me: How'd you do it?
T: What?
Me: Become a magician.
T: A what?
Me: A magician.
T: You mean move you to Oregon without you knowing it?
Me: Precisely.

Funny thing is (and by funny I mean not funny in the slightest) that about the time this ridiculous weather clears up, we'll be on our way to Oregon to visit Troy's family. Maybe it'll be one of the two weeks all year that it won't be raining in Oregon.

By the way, The Spud (still trying it) is on the mend. He'll be back to straight formula in no time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

House of Spew

It's no secret that we barf in this house. A lot. Seriously. I have always been extremely susceptible to the stomach flu. When I was a little kid I got it at least twice a year. Most years it was probably more like a seasonal thing...meaning I got it once in each of the four seasons. I went through a stint in high school and college where I really thought the tides were turning and I was going to be through with my constant gastrointestinal nonsense. I threw up the summer after my freshman year--violently--at the river, in a hotel room, with my aunt and uncle. On that particular occasion I puked 21 times in four hours which is just ridiculous. But then a miracle happened and I didn't throw up again until the summer after my senior year. Then I didn't vomit again until my senior year in college. Going four years without upchucking was thrilling. Truly. Unless you're a barfer you have no idea how wonderful it is to experience an almost four year hiatus from violent heaving. After that I got married and I've averaged a stomach flu every six months or so since. Interestingly, I didn't throw up a single time while I was pregnant with The Rock Star.

Speaking of The Rock Star, I feel so sorry for the little guy. Apparently he got his mama's genes when it comes to catching tummy bugs. He's thrown up quite a few times in his short 34.5 months. The exceptionally special part is that he tends to give it to me. Of course.

Troy, on the other hand, rarely throws up. It's not fair. Except he catches a cold if someone in Georgia blows his nose. I don't know if I'd rather have a cold for a week or the flu for 24 hours. At least with the flu I lose a few pounds. All that a cold gets me is 17 empty boxes of Kleenex and a bright red nose.

The real reason I'm blogging is because The Spud (we're trying it out), my three month old son, seems to have gotten my barf genes as well. This is particularly noteworthy since he looks nothing like me and, in fact, did not emerge from my own body. Matthew has the stomach flu. This afternoon he started projectile vomiting. When I say projectile I don't think you can possibly comprehend the severity of the situation. There were spew remnants nearly four feet away from where he was laying. Garrett, who was standing just out of the line of fire, screamed, "My floor! Top doing dat on my floor!" Then he ran and got the Windex and a dish cloth. Windex? On carpet? Have I taught him nothing in his almost three years of life? Anyway, after talking to a nurse at the doctor's office, we decided we needed to take him in because he's so little and could dehydrate so quickly. When we got there the doctor asked me if anyone else had been sick with stomach problems lately.

Me: No. And he and I get the stomach flu if someone within a ten mile radius of us so much as considers getting it.
Doctor: Well, that's what he's got (pointing at Matthew) and since he lives with you, you can probably look forward to catching it.

As if we didn't already have it four and a half weeks ago.

The doctor did a thorough examination and declared that it was, in fact, the stomach flu. He's on a no formula diet. This means we are giving him small amounts of Pedialyte and he is screaming because he wants more. Because, you know, his stomach is empty. Poor baby. Currently he's asleep. We'll see how long that lasts. If he holds everything down tonight, he can have formula and Pedialyte mixed (ew!) and then we can slowly work him back onto straight formula.

We feel so sorry for him. It is super sad.

And I've vowed to eat only bland things because, clearly, I'm going to be throwing it all up in a matter of hours.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garrett Calls Him Little Buddy

On my blog, of late, I've been referring to my eldest as The Rock Star. This is because he often does a funny little jig and yelps, "I'm a rock star!" I've since learned that this comes from PBS's Sid the Science Kid.

Matthew has either been called, well, Matthew, mostly. Occasionally I go with The Baby. This is because in real life I call him one of three things.

1. Matthew
2. The Baby
3. Spud

The third originated for several reasons. For starters, the kid is a little miniature heifer and feels like a sack of potatoes when he's being carried around for longer than, oh, eleven seconds. I can handle it because I do it all the time. But I kid you not, when people hold him at church they slowly begin hunching over until they're bent completely in half and they are, in fact, dragging Matthew between their legs. Okay, so maybe the part about I kid you not isn't entirely true. But he is dead weight. I promise. Second, on any given day he accomplishes about as much as a potato. And third, he is shaped quite like a potato. It's okay though. I love potatoes.

But see, I know that "Spud" is not the least bit complimentary. I realize it's down right rude to call one of my sons The Rock Star and the other son The Spud. I mean, that's second in horribleness only to The Heir and The Spare and I don't really want Matthew ending up in the tabloids or on a couch some day because I called him Spud on a blog that has 6 readers, even if 5 of them are family members.

So I don't know what to call him here. The Baby will only work for the next few months. Heck, it'll practically be outdated by the time he either is or isn't legally mine forever. Spud...well...I don't know. It makes him smile but there are laws about child abuse. What do you think?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's Hearing

I apologize to those of you who have been checking my blog this evening in hopes of finding out how the hearing went. We both had meetings at the church tonight and, unfortunately, didn't hear from our lawyer until the car ride to the church. We just got the boys in bed and the dishes done. Finally, I had a minute to sit down and write.

But I don't know what to say. I'm not entirely sure where to start, which details to share, what angle to take as I explain the events that transpired.

The BF's lawyer was otherwise occupied with another court case. For the life of me I don't understand how an attorney would need to be two places at once and, if he did, why it should cost me a day in court but, perhaps, this is one of life's little mysteries. Apparently he was finally able to show up but they were unable to depose the birth parents. Our lawyer and Matthew's lawyer were able to spend some valuable time with Jennifer. Supposedly it went very well. They are all meeting again on the 18th. (I'm dizzy with the dollar signs that are flashing by my face.) On July 16 they will meet to set a trial date. I would really prefer a phone call to set up a trial date. Or maybe an email. Heck, I'd be cool with a telegram or a smoke signal. But no...they'll all traipse back into court. ($$$)

Apparently, when asked how long he thinks the trial will take, BF's lawyer said a week. ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!) Our lawyer disagreed. Strongly. The first time the judge has a week available is April.

April of 2010. April. As in the month after March. April. As in ten months from now. April. When my son is 14 months old. Needless to say, this mama freaked out just a wee little bit like a cornered mountain lion with rabies. I wasn't the only one. BF went bananas (finally, we agree on something!) and Matthew's attorney was definitely not on board. I guess we'll have to wait until July to find out for sure.

Since February 28th, I've been able to feel the stress behind my eyelids. The anxiety is a palpable ball in the pit of my stomach. I've been holding on because I know that one day it will all be over. Needless to say, I was hoping it would be before April. The thought of losing my little boy ten months from now is horrifying. Wondering where thousands and thousands of dollars is going to come from is almost mind blowing. Of course, God has helped us with our expenses through the generosity of so many people. And while it is humbling to be blessed by such kindness, adding so many more bills seems overwhelming. But I do know that God will provide. My mom reminded me. Sometimes we need our mommies to be there for us.

I'm trying to be that mom to Matthew. I will be his advocate and his stability and I will wait for a trial date. And I will wait on the Lord. I asked Him to give me a verse to get me through until tomorrow and the next tomorrow and the one after that. This is what popped into my head, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you." I was a little confused. Yes, I want to remain in him and I certainly want him to remain in me but it didn't seem particularly applicable. So I looked up the passage it came from.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:1-11

Everything I've been reading lately has been about discovering joy. I know that I'm supposed to keep my eyes fixed on Christ and not worry and find my abundant joy only in him. I know that he is pruning me and growing me and changing me. He never promised that it wouldn't hurt. Pruning often does. But he did promise that if I stay focused on him and remain in his love, my joy may be complete.

So I will take this waiting one day at a time.

While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
-John Waller

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hearing Tomorrow

It seems crazy to me that 33 days have passed since the last hearing. We've been such a normal family for the last 4 weeks and it's been just wonderful. But tomorrow everybody goes back into the court room. Well, we don't. We're just sitting here in Utah waiting to hear from our lawyer. But Jennifer and the BF and Jennifer's lawyer and the BF's lawyer and our lawyer and Matthew's lawyer all go into court. We've been told that the majority of the hearing will be dedicated to listening to Jennifer's story and the BF's story.

But please, join us in prayer. We'll likely be anxious and grumpy and all twisted up inside until we hear from our lawyer late in the day. We could definitely use prayer for us personally. Additionally, please pray for a miracle. We aren't expecting the BF to change his mind and realize that Matthew is happy and well adjusted but we know that God could work a miracle. Please pray for clarity for the lawyers and the judge, that they may begin to work toward a decision that would be best for Matthew. Finally, please continue to pray for our adoption fund. A day in court can cost us between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars. We have no idea how many more days in court we have left before a decision is made and our fund is quickly draining.

But we do know that God is in control. Thank you for joining with us in prayer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

To My Heart

Throughout this custody battle, my husband has been my rock. When I am quick to sob, freak out, carry on, enter into total despair become emotional, he is slow. When I am beside myself with fear, he is rational and level headed. When I blink, see the waves around us, and begin to sink into the Sea of Galilee, Troy reminds me that the Lord is right there with us. Reminds me, in fact, that He's the reason we got out of the boat to begin with.

I love that man. I love him for all that he is to me on a daily basis--moment by moment. I love that he is my best friend, my comedian, my counselor, my biggest fan, my heart, my pastor, my everything. When I'm sick of myself I love that he said, "In sickness and in health." When I'm emotional I love that he said, "For better or worse." When we get a $2,500 dollar legal bill in the mail on his birthday I love that he said, "For richer or poorer." And I love that he meant those things.

Oh, and I love that he is the father of my children.

Happy Birthday. I love you with my whole heart.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Oh for heaven's sake.

There have many days recently where The Rock Star is not thrilled about napping. Today is one of them. He started out in the guest room but got up too many times so he received his punishment. He had to go to sleep in his bedroom with *gasp* The Baby. Usually he gets so upset about losing his guest room privilege that he goes right to sleep once he's in his bed. Not today. Just as I told him to be quiet and not wake the baby he let out a disobedient shriek. Not only did this pierce my eardrums, it also shot Matthew straight out of dream world and into the land of the living. Luckily I calmed him down and he's back asleep. Garrett, who was perfectly well behaved yesterday, got marched back down to the guest room and told that he'd better keep his bum in the bed. Things were momentarily quiet.

Then I heard a clap of thunder. Things remained quiet for a few minutes and then I heard drawers being opened and closed. I flew down the stairs, swept the boy into my arms and secured him back in bed. He began to weep. "I'm just playing with my dog!" It didn't register for a minute and I told him, again, to stay in the bed.

Me:Wait, what? The dog is in here?
G: Yes!
Me: Where?
G: He's over here hiding.

Sure enough, wedged in the small space between the bed and the wall was my 65 pound neurotic golden retriever. He's terrified of thunder and had, apparently, taken solace in the room of his protector--a 30 pound nearly three year old.

I scolded the dog and threw him out of the room. That's when Garrett started sobbing, "I want my Beck! Please let him stay with me? Puhhhhhleeeeease!" I contemplated.

The boy is curled up in the bed. Beck is curled up on the floor right next to him. I hope that both are asleep. It might not get any cuter than a boy and his dog.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Powder Fresh Scent

I wanted to post yesterday. I needed to post yesterday--the Lord's been teaching me some neat things in my Bible readings, supplemental readings and general attempt at putting together talks for a retreat. (I'm growing more and more convinced that someone spiked my water on the day I agreed to this crazy shenanigan.) I tried to post yesterday. I didn't get very far at all. Generally speaking I blog during nap time. Oh there are days when I don't get to it until the boys have gone to bed at night and there are days I manage to do it early while they're happy in my bed watching "Super Why!" and batting at rattles. And if you think it's always the older one watching "Super Why!" and always the younger one batting at rattles, well, you'd be wrong. Usually, yes. Just not always. Then there are the days when I don't get to blogging at all.

Yesterday we went with our church's Just Older Youth group to see an IMAX film. The Baby, miraculously, slept through it and The Rock Star was hilarious as he tried to grab at the fish swimming by his face. When I got home it was past nap time and I got the boys into their beds quickly. It didn't matter. Garrett got up approximately 9,300 times. Finally, after over an hour, he quieted down and I sat in front of the computer to compose a blog. One sentence into it I heard footsteps on the stairs. You have got to be kidding me! I flew around the corner and came face to face with my son. He was wearing a sheepish look on his otherwise cherubic face.

He whispered, presumably so as not to wake his brother, "Mommy, come see."

"Come see what?" I replied with a biting edge to my tone.

"Come see what I did."

Exhibit A: The victim.

Exhibit B: The scene of the crime. The victim is lying, empty, in Garrett's bed, its guts piled on his sheet, blood spatter covering the baby wipe container, and sprinkled all over his stuffed animals.
Exhibit C: Additional piles of the victim's entrails.
Exhibit D: The largest pile of guts. I believe this is all vital organs here. The fan is powdered, the shirt is powdered, the wall behind the dresser is powdered. It's incredibly gruesome.

Exhibit E: Blood spatter. A diaper pail has been knocked over in the "suspect's" haste to make sure that he sprinkled his victim over ever part of the crime scene his bedroom.

The suspect--and come on, he confessed, led me straight to the victim and the only other possibility is a three month old--was punished severely. He was then placed in the brig otherwise known as time out while he awaited trial before the judge, his father.
Sentencing occurred. Privileges were lost--believe me he knows better than to play in powder. Community service was issued in the form of helping mommy clean up the crime scene. By the way, cleaning up the crime scene was a nightmare and it smelled like a fresh, clean baby exploded sending bits of nursery dust in every direction.
Garrett never did take a nap yesterday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh What A Night

Last night was a ridiculous terrible, awful, no good, very bad, night comedy of errors. First of all, Troy had a board meeting so I had to take both boys to swimming lessons. This would be fine if it wasn't a parent/child class where I am submerged in the water. I'd promised The Rock Star that if he was really good during his swimming lesson and didn't pitch any fits and did every, single thing his teacher told him and sang choruses of "Hallelujah" and basically walked on the water that we'd go play in the outdoor pool when his lesson was over. The plan was that I would leave at 6:00 and put Matthew in child care for 45 minutes. Then Garrett and I would get our wristbands for the outdoor pool. After the lesson we'd pick up Matthew, put him in his suit, and play outside altogether.

At six I went outside. I loaded Matthew into the car. I loaded Garrett stood dumbfounded for a few seconds as I stared at the spot where Garrett's car seat should be before remembering that we'd switched it into Troy's car earlier in the day. Troy was, of course, at the church which is at least ten minutes away. I considered running up and down my street banging on doors and asking to borrow a car seat but I'd really rather not be known as the frantic, lunatic woman who steals child restraints. Plus, the few neighbors that I know appeared to be gone. Since his meeting hadn't started, Troy drove home, quickly throwing the car seat into the Santa Fe before speeding back to church. (It should be noted that I chose the word "speeding" simply as an alternative to "driving". I doubt he sped. That would be awfully unpastoral of him.)

By the time I pulled into the parking lot of the facility, it was 6:24. The Rock Star's lesson begins at 6:25. The closest parking space was at the very back of the lot, which is practically in Nevada. I threw the diaper bag over my shoulder, threw the car seat over my arm, scooped Garrett into my other arm and started running. It must have been quite a sight. I'm certain my children were bobbing in all sorts of bizarre directions and Garrett's limbs were flopping haphazardly as we bounded toward the door. I hastily threw my second born at the child care worker who asked for his name. As precious seconds ticked by she finally said, "Is this his first time?" Affirmative. "I need you to fill out this paperwork..." Oh for the love of Mary and Joseph! "Just go ahead and do it while your other son is in his lesson." Uh, it's a parent and child class. "Oh, you can just do it when you get back then." Praise God! I threw The Rock Star over my shoulder and practically flew out the door toward the indoor swimming lesson pool. That's when all the underworld broke loose and Satan's minions taunted my son with what might be happening to his brother...

"WHERE IS MY BROTHER? I WANT MY MATTHEW! DON'T LEAVE HIM WITH THOSE PEOPLE!" And he spat the words as though they were not only known pedophiles, they were also axe murderers and people who talk loudly at the theatre. "I WANT HIM BACK! GO GET HIM! DON'T LEAVE HIM!" If we hadn't been in a colossal hurry, I would I have burst into tears on the spot just thinking about the scene he's going to make if we have to give his brother back. I frantically used a calm voice (which is nearly impossible and completely ineffective) to explain that he was at the babysitter and we'd get him just as soon as Garrett's lesson was over.

You'd think that the lesson would have gone badly but, miraculously, it didn't. He was a total champ. He did everything his teacher asked and he's starting to regain some of the water confidence he had for the first 25 months of his life. When the lesson was over, we walked quickly through the facility and retrieved Matthew from the axe murderers. I had just started filling out the paperwork when nature called The Rock Star.

G: I have to go pot-pot.
Me: You need to hold it for just a minute.
G: (a few seconds later) I need to go pot-pot.
Me: You need to try to hold it. If you can't, just go in your swim diaper this time.
G: (begins to dance with a look of pain on his face) I need to go really bad!

I finished the paperwork, paid the lady, and quickly walked--with what felt like a brood of children though it's only two--to the front desk where we have to scan in to use the rest of the center, including bathrooms. There was a giant family (it's Utah) in front of me. "Garrett, please hold it. We have to wait." Thankfully one family member saw the look on his face and ushered me in front of them. I considered draping myself over her and singing something about her being a Jolly Good Fellowette but settled for an appreciative smile and simple thank you. We scanned in and hightailed it to the bathroom. And we made it!

Then we put Matthew in his bathing suit and headed for the outdoor pool area. By this time we'd been inside for about 45 minutes and if you know anything about this valley you're aware of the fact that storms can blow in in approximately nine seconds flat. When I threw open the door, people were pouring toward me. The skies were black. The wind, although fairly warm, was thrashing about with no regard to the promise I'd made my son. "Hey, buddy, should we come back when it's a little warmer?" If looks could kill my sons would be motherless. So we pressed on. Yes, I am the parent but there wasn't lightening yet. I was once a hardcore swimmer and I know that a little black rain cloud never hurt anyone and I try to be a mother of my word.

Depositing my stuff on a nearby chair, we clomped into the water. Though it would have been warm if I'd kept moving, it was not particularly comfortable as I stood immobile with an infant in my left arm and a Rock Star hanging off my right. When the wind hit my wet body I wanted to cry a little. Just a few tears. Just enough to let my toddler know the weight of the sacrifice I was making to keep my promise. Matthew was perfectly content, mind you, watching other kids and bobbing in the lukewarm water. After ten minutes I asked Garrett if we could go home. He splashed a few feet from me and said no. Of course not. We'd just gotten there. After fifteen minutes I asked again. Noooo. But I could hear the hesitancy in his voice as he spoke through chattering teeth. After twenty minutes I suggested that we come back on a day when the sun was out. Now he was thrilled to oblige.

Our towels were wet. The wind was blowing. We hightailed it inside and I jumped into a warm shower. "I don't want to take a shower here! I want one at home!" Fine, Rock Star, don't take one here. Within moments he was happily sharing a shower with me. When I got out and dried Matthew and myself off, Garrett kept asking for me to turn on the shower just one more time. Yeah. He'd seen the light. When we were all dried off and Matthew was strapped into his car seat, I decided to get my keys out so that I didn't have to fidget around for them at the car, in the wind, with a wet towel wrapped around me. Trouble was, they weren't in the diaper bag. My card to get in to the pool is attached to them so I knew they were...somewhere. I just didn't have a clue where.

As I thought about lugging the car seat and my cold toddler all around the building in search of keys, I nearly lost it. I could call Troy but he wouldn't answer in the middle of his meeting. I considered texting him, "911! Freezing. Lost keys. Come immediately." But, eventually I'd need to find them. So I prayed, "God. Please help me find my keys." Almost instantly an idea popped into my head. Maybe Matthew is sitting on them. I reached under his bum and there were the glorious keys. God. Is. Good.

I threw the car seat into the crook of my elbow. I clutched the slippery 30 pounder in a vice grip on my opposite hip and I walked as quickly as humanly possible, in flip flops with a towel around the waist, straight to the car. As I loaded the boys into the backseat the sky filled with lightening and thunder exploded just over our heads. It was a ridiculous comedy of missing car seats, axe murderers, wind storms, potty breaks and wet towels but it was over. Within an hour both boys were in their beds, dead to the world, and I was listening to the lonesome sound of rain slapping the windows and thunder shaking through the valley. It would have been nice to have shared the storm with my husband but, alas, he was at a board meeting.