Monday, May 31, 2010

Grandma DeDe

The boys just spent the long weekend with their Grandma DeDe and had a great time. She took us to Rock Creek Pizza, The Rock Star's most favorite restaurant, and treated all of us to a day at Discovery Gateway. The boys (and, truth be told, the adults) had a great time at the museum.

On Sunday Garrett and I both got icky colds with low fevers and we were kind of down for the count. Garrett fell asleep at 7:00 pm but Matthew stayed up and played with his Grandma. He had a blast.

Matthew's birthday was in February and we saved all the money he got and put it toward a big wooden swing set. Garrett's birthday is in July and we suggested, to those who usually give him a gift, that a donation toward the swing set would be a great idea. We decided to go ahead and get it now so that they could enjoy it for the summer. It arrived on Thursday night (thanks Jeremy for your help with picking it up!) and while DeDe was here we did an inventory of all the parts. (We're missing one swing chain and hopefully Walmart is taking care of it.) We also bought a sealant and sealed all 190+ pieces of wood. DeDe was a wonderful help with this both in actual application of the sealant and in corralling the kids.

I had a picture here of all the wood but I realized at the last minute that one of our license plates was clearly visible. Since I know of at least one axe murderer who reads this blog, I figured I should take it down until I have the time to crop the vehicle out of the shot.


My kiddos and my husband had a great time seeing their grandma/mom. And now she has to fly home to the rainy state.

"Have a safe flight, Grandma. We'll miss you."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vocabulary Lesson

Neither of my boys were early talkers. Oh, don't worry, The Rock Star's more than made up for it in the last two years. He went from only a few words before his second birthday to speaking in sentences, paragraphs and monologues by the time he was two and a half. So I'm hardly worried about my youngest. I know that his constant babbling will turn into words soon enough. But, for his sake, I hope he starts talking sooner rather than later because he is getting so frustrated with his limited ability to communicate.

A list of the boy's vocabulary at 15 months.

Garrett (da-dit)
dog! (always with an exclamation)
bye bye (die die--always accompanied by a flapping of his hand)

And that's about it. He said nana (banana) once or twice but then promptly decided that pointing at them and shouting unintelligibly was easier for him.

Oh well. I guess my children have more important things to do than talk early. They'd rather learn how to do stairs and scale toy boxes and climb anything in sight. Sigh...

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Forgot To Mention the Broccoli

Last night we had broccoli on the side of our macaroni and cheese. I didn't mention that part of the cuisine. And Matthew decided that he doesn't like broccoli. It's, like, the one food we've found that he doesn't inhale in a fraction of a second. Every time I turned around he would pull a piece out of his mouth and put it back on his plate. Eventually I grew weary of this routine, took his plate, chopped the broccoli up, and mixed it into his macaroni. I'm sure he couldn't even taste it. There was much more macaroni than broccoli and he ended up wolfing it down with wild abandon. BUT. When I gave him his plate back he looked down at it, looked up at me, looked down at his plate again, looked back up at me, and proceeded to shoot me the most resigned look. It was as if to say, "Well played you broccoli loving lady. Well played."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

True Confession Thursday

Confession: I'm making macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs for dinner. And I don't even feel bad about it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Culprit

So Troy and I were clearing the table and doing the dishes. The Rock Star was in the backyard playing and, suddenly, he began screaming bloody murder. I mean, really, the only explanation was that he was being bludgeoned to death. The only explanation other than a bee, that is.

I dashed outside to see my child flailing every single limb as if independent from his body. (Bonus points to the first person who posts what that's a reference to.) I scooped him up as he shrieked that a bee had stung him.


Protruding from his pinky finger was a stinger, the butt of the bee, and a poison sack. Garrett was ballistic. This is the second time he's been stung and he was not enjoying it anymore than the first time. Eventually we got him to stop freaking out long enough to remove the weapon of mass destruction from his digit.

Once he'd calmed down I asked him how he'd gotten stung. He informed me that there had been a bee in his plastic pool, empty except for a small amount of melted snow. He'd thought it was dead so he scooped it out. With his hands. His small, delicate, not even four year old hands. Fact was, the bee wasn't dead and, despite being rescued, stung him right in the finger. That's when Garrett decided to shake the bee off of his hand. By the looks of what was still stuck in his finger, he's violent when he sets his mind to getting a bee off of him.

"That naughty bee!" He shouted once he was no longer suffering an agonizing death. That's when we explained to him that, when scooped up by what appears to be a gigantic vessel of torture and death, the bee's only option is stinging. We told him that the bee was now going to suffer and die. I asked him where it happened. He walked me straight to the bee. It was still alive and writhing.

So I did what any rational blogger would have done. I maneuvered it onto a stick and my husband took its picture.

I give you: The Culprit.

The culprit and his victim. See the band aid wrapped around the victim's finger?
Again with those eyes. Steely gray. That's what I want him to put on his driver's license. But I digress.

After this the bee was still writhing. And it just so happens that in this case revenge and compassion were the same so the victim squashed the culprit with a bucket.
The End.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What We Found

"I have to go poop!" I heard the words drifting through my dreams. Trouble was, that particular line in that particular dream didn't make any sense. I was dreaming that my real life friends and I were the characters on Lost and we were all hugging in the church and I was thinking about how severely disappointed I was that that was our ending. (Dear Lost, I'm pretty much one of the ones that wants the last six years of her life back. I feel like we just had a really bad break up.) So through this dream and hugging floated the words, "I have to go poop!" I ignored them and kept sleeping. "I have to poop!" The words became more urgent and I heard myself command, Then go!

I turned toward my clock. It was approaching 4:30. My oldest plopped himself onto the potty and had his first round of diarrhea. (Note: This is not my finest blog post.) We stuck him in a Pull-Up--he's only three after all, Troy moved to the couch, the boy moved into bed with me because it's much closer to a bathroom than his own bed. I tried to fall back asleep but couldn't. Sometime later he woke up, toppled onto my nightstand in an attempt to get quickly to the bathroom, yanked off his Pull-Up and totally didn't make it. As I cleaned up that awesome mess he moaned and whimpered about having an upset stomach. I decided to give him some liquid Maalox. We descended the stairs in search of a spoon. He looked out the window...

And this is really what I was getting to. I just needed to set the scene. I'm terribly sorry it involved feces.

G: (gasp) Mommy! It's snowing!
Me: (tired) Oh brother, it is not.
G: Mommy, look! (He pointed out the window)
Me: (rolling my eyes so violently they nearly popped right out of my head) You're right. It is snowing. That, right there, is ridiculous.

May 24th, y'all. And it snowed well into the morning. Sure, it's melted now and the sun is out but that is hardly the point. Snow. On MAY TWENTY FOURTH! I'm making a civilian's arrest on Mother Nature. She doesn't get to make the decisions anymore. She's clearly senile.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Burnese Mountain Dog

Today was busy. It started with a tee ball game. I had to fly solo because Troy was preparing for the wedding. Next I threw the boys into the car and went to the church. Once at the church I changed Garrett out of his tee ball clothing and into attire appropriate for a wedding. Then I kept the boys as quiet as I could during the wedding and then we attended the reception. I'd planned on putting Matthew down for a nap in the church nursery but the guys had used that particular space as their dressing room. So Matthew enjoyed his first ever complete day without a nap. (He did sleep for about ten minutes in the car at one point.) When the reception was over we headed to a retirement party for a member of our church.

Garrett was tired. Matthew was exhausted--although, in very good spirits all things considered. I was pretty wiped out myself. As I stood talking to someone and keeping an eye on my oldest child, Troy exited the house and joined me in the backyard. He was holding Matthew. When they entered the yard another party goer declared, "Oh my goodness! He is SO cute. Oh what a sweet face. He's adorable." I started to turn to thank the woman for the compliments she was paying my son. Before I could open my mouth, she continued. "He looks just like a Bernese Mountain Dog."

In a fraction of a second I had so many thoughts. I could honestly not believe that this woman I'd never met was comparing my son to a dog. How does one even respond to that?

Thankfully, I didn't have to. Just then I happened to glance down. There, running past my feet, was an adorable puppy resembling, you guessed it, a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Rock Star just wrapped up a session of swimming lessons. It went well. He didn't ever strike his instructor in the face which is more than I can say for the last time we attempted this, in August, when he was buried under the terror of losing his brother. Not that I'm making excuses for him, why do you think we waited nine months to enroll him again?

The lessons are held indoors (bleck!) and so he smells doubly like chlorine when we leave. This led to the following hilarious conversation in the car the other day...

G: What's that smell? (I don't know why I assumed this was rhetorical) What's that smell? (pause) Mommy?
Me: (realizing he expects me to answer) What?
G: What's that smell?
Me: I don't smell anything. What does it smell like?
G: I don't know. (He sniffs his arm) Is it me?
Me: (laughing) Does it smell like chlorine?
G: I don't know.
Me: It's probably chlorine, honey. I smelled like that for 10 years straight.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

Maya Angelou titled her bestseller Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now. I read it in high school. My notes are in the margins. They're pretty funny. Not quite as funny as the infamous essay. Anyway. Never have I felt that title deeper in my marrow than I do at this moment in time. When Matthew smiles at me, or nestles his head onto my shoulder, or so much as moves one little muscle on his adorably tiny body, I am consumed with joy. I wouldn't take anything for where we are and where we've been. All those months of wondering and worrying and waiting on the Lord were preparation for this day.

Like I've said before, it's the little things.

The Rock Star has begged for bunk beds for his brother and him since Matthew was still a newborn. Our answer was always, "Maybe someday." Someday is still a long way off. Matthew isn't close to outgrowing his crib and, even if he was, he likes to have midnight parties in there where he wakes up and has a ball with all of his stuffed animals. Garrett has to sleep in the other room just to get a good night's rest. Still, the other day, when we saw a set of bunk beds at a store, Garrett asked if he and his brother could have a set one day. "Sure," I replied and I almost wept in joy right then and there in the middle of Shopko.

Today we met friends at a park that I haven't been to since last summer, since my baby was half the age he is now. I wondered then if he'd ever chase his brother around a park. The answer was yes...

Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now. Not for the lawyers and the psychological evaluations and the judge and the social worker and the hoping, praying, dreaming, doubting, wishing, trying, believing, enduring, crying, and surviving. I wouldn't take anything for that journey. Because every excruciating moment of those 14 months made a day at the park possible, made this possible...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interview With A Kid

I decided to interview my oldest child this afternoon.


2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? Cheerios with strawberries.


4. FAVORITE FOOD? Mickey Mouse Pancake.

5. WHAT FOOD DO YOU DISLIKE? Mashed potatoes (It's true. He's a strange kid.)



8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO? Play dinosaur Play-doh (I don't think we own dinosaur Play-doh so this is perplexing to me.)

9. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? New York and Israel (When his daddy went to Israel he had a layover at JFK. Garrett has been asking to go to New York and Israel ever since.)

10. FAVORITE SPORT? Basketball

11. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? In June. (Well, close. He was only one month off.)

12. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT PERSON? A night person. (Then stop waking up at 6:30!)

13. PETS: Beck and Ollie


15. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP ? All of the stuff. Me: Like what? Him: paleontologist and a fireman and a hospital guy and...a policeman and everything.

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? Something in the apple.



19. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Um. Water fountains.

20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? The one I'm watching right now.


And, for fun, I asked him the same questions that James Lipton asks at the end of Inside the Actor's Studio.

1. What is your favorite word? Cassie. From Dragon Tales.
2. What is your least favorite word? Little Thief
3. What turns you on? (I rephrased with, "What do you like?") Jesus
4. What turns you off? (I rephrased with, What don't you like?") Lobsters when they pinch me
5. What sound or noise do you love? The song God Jehovah.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Stupid. (I questioned, "The word stupid?") Yes.
7. What is your favorite curse word? (I asked him what his favorite bad word was. He responded with) bat bat poo.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I want to be a soldier.
9. What profession would you not like to do? Knock down a fence.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? (I omited the "If Heaven exists" part) I will say, "Can I see Hiss?" And God will say, "Yes. You can!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The 16-Year-Old In Me

When I lived in southern California, I didn't understand spring cleaning. Why, on earth, would anyone save up all their cleaning for spring. Preposterous. I get it now. It's so cold, so bitterly and frigidly cold, here in the winter that I habitually chuck stuff into the garage where it goes to die. Then I simply shuffle back and forth between the house and the car and I ignore all the junk that's lying, haphazardly in my garage. Then the spring comes. I survey the situation, have a mild heart attack, and set to going through my crud.

This time I've actually been going through some of our boxes--the ones that moved with us from San Diego and haven't seen the light of day since. A few nights ago I stumbled upon a box of school work, crafts, and projects that my mom saved. There were handmade cards, paintings, a drawing of my hands at three. I discovered that when I was four my new year's resolution was, "To have a baby sister." Yeah. That never happened. I found a poem that I'd written to my mom in the summer of 1990. I was eight. It began, "God made hills/God made milk mills."


I don't even know what a milk mill is, exactly. Troy pointed out that in the United States we call them dairies. But, man, that was some fine poetry. It went on to list all the wonderful attributes of mothers including, but not limited to, the fact that they help their hubbys remember their briefcases.

I found drawings and portfolios and family trees. And then I stumbled upon it. An essay I'd written at the end of my junior year of high school. You know how I'm always saying that I don't have it all figured out? Guess what? In eleventh grade, I did! I read the essay with an incredibly dramatic voice to my husband and declared that if he'd seen this essay prior to tying the knot it would have been a deal breaker for sure. Every word foams with teen angst covered in the use of the thesaurus covered in an excruciating attempt to get an A (or, as it was, a 6) and dipped in pitiful overly confident goo. It's painful. It makes me embarrassed for the me of back then. I'm offering an official apology to my eleventh grade English teacher and, for that matter, anyone who knew me twelve years ago. I'm wondering if the me from twenty years from now will look back on the things I write and shake her head in shame. It's one thing to write beautifully tragic lines of poetry when you're eight and another entirely to turn in an essay in the eleventh grade that drips with lines like, "I'm ready 12th grade, here I come."

It begins like this: "Each day holds a new plan, making the start of each day the start of a new life." -Gina Blair. Where I even found such a banal quote is beyond me. The sun had not yet begun to lift its face over the mountain tops. I was warm in my bed, and still very asleep when my alarm began to beep obnoxiously into my dreams. So far, so good, really--for a sixteen-year-old. My eyes flew open and my arm routinely flung itself onto the insufferable little box. It was another day, but it was a new day. What? Who was I trying to kid? A new day just meant another day full of honors classes, swim practice and homework. Don't get me wrong, I liked my life, but it's not like I was off delivering babies or discovering cures for disease. A new day was pretty much just like the last one. The tiny tremors of the past days were nearly forgotten, the larger quakes were pushed into the back of my mind. Eh? I have no idea what in all the world I was trying to say by that wonderful mention of natural disaster. For every day throws us new problems and new delights, and each dawn, essentially beings a new life. New delights? Who talks like that? I certainly don't. We cannot return to the past, so we must try to change the future. Wait, what? Change the future? It hasn't happened yet. No changing need be involved. Was I a time traveler? This year helped me realize the truth that each day is a new life. In my life, I have been somewhere, I am presently somewhere, and I am going somewhere. Oh the brilliance. Really? You've been somewhere, you are somewhere and you're going somewhere? Stop the presses. This is major news!

Understand my level of humiliation when I tell you that it just keeps getting worse.

Young, a little nervous, maybe even a little insecure, that was me at the beginning of this year. Yes, my teacher made that comma a period and turned that lower case t into a capital. But do you like where this is headed? I can't possibly finish it up with, "And I'm still young, nervous and insecure." Oh no. The natural progression of things is that I'm going to explain to everyone how now, at the ripe old age of sixteen, I'm old, not nervous and completely secure. I need a lesson in life from this girl, clearly. I'll spare you the entire essay at this point and give you some of the highlights. I had direction, I had my schedule in my hand and I had a smile on my face, covering up my anxiety. Lies! Direction, maybe. My schedule in my hand, never. I always had it memorized frontward and backwards and tucked in the back of my binder. Never, ever, in hand. Anxiety? About starting a new day of school? On the day I went to seventh grade, yes. On the day I started ninth grade, probably. Eleventh grade, that's just hilarious. I must have been trying to convince my teacher that I'd been terrified to start school so that my later claims to know everything would seem more believable. I don't think I knew very much about who I was and why. That's a good claim there. I can relate to that girl. But the one writing the essay, the one who suddenly has it all figured out, I have no idea who she is.

Apart from growing as a writer and student, I have expanded my mind intellectually. Oh honey child, you should have stopped writing. Caedmon's Call sings a song called "I Boast No More". In my defense, it was released in 2001, three years after this dreaded essay was released. I don't believe that you ever truly understand your thoughts. There are too many factors, a changing world, faith, and the sheer complexity of the brain, to pin point what you are feeling and why. Good point, Lori. However, I do feel like I have achieved a strong grasp on my emotions, and on reality this year. Oh. My. Goodness. Um. Firstly, no. No you didn't. Secondly, if you did, you apparently regressed and need to give your 28-year-old self some lessons.

I have done some real soul searching this year and think that it's safe to say, "I'm ready 12th grade, here I come." There it is.

I do not really know if what I wrote about is what you wanted to hear. My money is on NO. I certainly could have written an entire essay on how I grew as an analytical essay writer and as a thinker and how I learned to interpret a book quicker. Somehow, I felt like you would appreciate an essay that told you about how I changed and where I stay in the future. I'm quite certain she got a kick out of me assuming what she wanted to hear was how I had figured everything out in nine months. I also don't know what I meant by "stay in the future."

And then I bring everything to a close nice and tidy like.

Mrs. Chapman, I truly hope you'll accept my apology. I'm so very sorry that you had to waste valuable time reading that drivel. Thank you for not taking a red pen and calling me a delusional, hormonal, crazy pants. It might have confused me. Although, maybe not. After all, I'd figured life out by then.

The moral of this story is not that we shouldn't write essays when we're 16. The moral of the story is that we shouldn't save the things we write when we're 16. *She says with a smirk as she sticks this awful essay back into her box for safe keeping.*

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've Seen Sunny Days That I Thought Would Never End

Today is a deliciously wonderful spring day. Finally. We're still in pants but the sun feels fantastic. It's only 63 degrees but it feels so much warmer than 63 in southern California feels. Not to be outdone by his cookie dough eating big brother, Matthew toddled up to me and begged me to take some picture of him enjoying the sunshine.
He brought me this.
Okay so technically I pulled it up out of the ground and put it in his hand and started taking pictures but that was only after he'd bent over and put an entire dandelion in his mouth. This kid has an oral fixation like none other. I'm not a first time parent. I remember The Rock Star shoving things into his mouth but good grief it was not as bad as Little Buddy. If you turn your back for five seconds on this child he will put something in his mouth. Rocks. Dog food. Wood. Grass. Spare change. So I just don't let him out of my sight. Can't go having a human piggy bank for a son now can we?

Here he is contemplating shoving this entire dandelion into his mouth. You can't tell. It looks like he's offering me a flower. And I would say, "Oh, son, you are so sweet to give mommy flowers." But I know better. I know that look of concentration.

And just like that he jerks his hand toward his mouth and attempts to shovel the dandelion straight in.
Then he turns and runs so that I can't foil his brilliant plan to munch on weeds for lunch.

I swab his mouth and remove the bits of foliage. He cries because he hates it when I take out his little prizes. "Mommy, there's more. Right here. I think I'll eat this part, too."
Then I took the flower away from him and he darted into the garage to "help" his daddy with something. He came back out, squinted in the sun, and gave me a giant grin. I realized then that there was still a dandelion bit stuck to his tooth. Which brings me to a new segment I like to call Those Teeth!

Matthew plays hard to get a lot. Sometimes he just sits there and frowns and then, all of a sudden, he'll give it up and break into a huge toothy grin and he laughs with this deep belly chuckle and you just can't help but laugh with him.

He likes the sun. And being outside. And life. When he's not tired. When he's tired he doesn't like anything at all.

But right there it's sunny and he's outside and happy. And, well, there's still some dandelion on his tongue so all is right in his world.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cookie Dough

My boy likes to bake, likes to do anything, really, if it involves the kitchen. He always wants to be up on the counter and asks, every night and several times a day, if he can climb up for a mission. I don't know why, exactly, making dinner is classified as a mission.

On this particular day he asked if we could bake cookies for the neighbors who were so hospitable to us on the day that we experienced the gas EMERGENCY!

I'm a sucker for thanking people with the gift of cookies. I should do it more often.

The Rock Star is just a sucker for cookies which, it should be tragically noted, he now pronounces correctly. Gone are the days where he requests tookies.

He really does like to help with every, single, aspect of the cookie making. But his favorite part...

Well, his favorite part is my favorite part. Still. To this day. Forget the fact that I'm an adult now and eating the dough should have ceased to be my favorite part at least a decade and a half ago.

Sometimes he has to close his eyes. It's that good.

I know, son. I know. Heaven is a place with vast quantities of cookie dough.

It's alright, kid. I promise I'm not going to take your beater. But, in the interest of full disclosure, it's only because you've gotten it all wet and slobbery. Even so I'm having a hard time restraining myself.
Few things are cuter than kids covered in cookie dough. Look. It's even on his nose.

Do you see this cookie dough licking tongue action? He learned everything he knows from me.

And now we interrupt this segment to bring you another topic altogether. Those eyes...

When I was pregnant, one of our biggest wonders, aside from his gender, was what color his eyes would be. Troy has blue eyes and I have brown. The jury is still out, I'm telling ya. My in laws had eight grandchildren with blue eyes and then this kid was born. When he emerged his eyes were black. I'm not even kidding. Now, if he wears green, they are green. Sometimes they are a kind of steely shade. So, what would you put on your driver's license?
They look a little brown in these pictures but they aren't. I promise.
Now we return to our regularly scheduled program. Something about cookie dough...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leaf Leaf

The Jiffy Lube card giveaway ends Friday. Make sure you head over and enter


This morning I choked on my water, nearly sending a mouthful of liquid flying across the room when my oldest son said, "Mommy, are we going to adopt another baby soon?"

I replied, "Probably not."

"But Mommy," he began, with urgency in his voice, "I really want to have another baby in this house. Buddy is getting big."

"Well, yeah," I answered, "but I like our family just the way it is."

He kept pleading with me.

And then I broke into hives, hyperventilated and developed several nervous ticks.

Later I asked him, "Garrett, if we ever had another baby, would you want it to be a boy or girl?"

"A boy," he replied. Of course. Because, clearly, adding so much as a female anything around here would cause the house to explode on account of all the estrogen.

"What would we name it?"

"Well, we just need to wait and see. You would give it a name when it came out of your tummy."

"Oh. So this baby would come out of mommy's tummy?" I questioned.

"Yeah," he smiled, "And we would sing I'm waiting. I'm waiting on you, Lord."

I smiled at his sweet little voice, "Alright, well, if you could name a baby boy what would you name him?"

"You have to name it. But, if I did it, I'd name him Baby Leaf Leaf."

Oh dear.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In Need of Summer

Head over to Givin' in a Fishbowl for your chance to win a 35 dollar Jiffy Lube gift card! Giveaway ends on Friday.


It is not supposed to be raining and cold on May 11. It's just not. I'm from southern California, yo! (It felt like a "yo" moment.) In southern California it's summer by now. Here in Utah, it's practically still winter.

The upside: Chai while I blog. Yum.

Monday, May 10, 2010


My boy can recognize all of his uppercase letters now. When my mom was here, and he officially completed the task, she bought him a reward toy. He chose a Playskool Dinoroar Hatchling. After much debate he landed on the pterodactyl. When you press his tongue he makes tiny little baby dinosaur sounds.

I told him it was called a pterodactyl. Somehow, in his three-year-old mind, that translated to Terribledactyl. He took it to show and tell. His teacher thought it was the cutest pronunciation ever. I said, "I know. There are some words you tell them how to say correctly and others that you want them to keep saying wrong forever."

This afternoon Troy and The Rock Star were playing Lincoln Logs and, in true boy fashion, a giant pterodactyl came to, I don't know, attack the homestead or something. As I washed dishes I heard Garrett screaming something about, "Run away, look out for the terribledactyl!"

And then I forbid him to turn four.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Raffle

I'm giving away a 35 dollar Jiffy Lube gift card at my giveaway site: Make sure to check it out.


When The Rock Star was nine months old we started trying to have another baby. We were counting on the fact that it took us so long to get pregnant with him. Neither of us honestly thought we'd have kids 18 months apart. I have no idea what would have happened if I'd actually gotten pregnant that first month. I truly have no idea how people have their children so close together unless they have a lot of additional help--like a village, for real. I think I might have gone a little crazy but, you know, people do it all the time so I guess it can be accomplished.


When we moved here Garrett was 16 months old and his brother or sister was decidedly not on the way. We had some tests run at a Reproductive Care Center so that we could compare our 2007 "numbers" and "levels" to our original ones which had been done back in 2004.

Fast forward through some more trying to conceive and researching adoption and reading about adoption and a home study and applications and a mother choosing us and our son being born and his adoption being contested and his father signing and his adoption being finalized and...

Does anyone think I'm about to say I'm pregnant?

I'm not. No. Not. Even. A. Little. Bit. And that's a good thing. I am so very content and in love with my family the way it is and, seriously, what would happen next time? We seem to top the stress level with each kid and I really don't want to invite stress into my life. No thanks. Not now. God, obviously, could write it in the clouds but, at this point, that's what it would take--and, well, another major miracle.

So fast forward to today. We got mail from the Reproductive Care Center--the one from two and a half years ago--inviting us to a patient party. I started to laugh. We were hardly patients and we haven't heard anything from them since we first moved here. This party will have food, bouncers, and fun. I started thinking about how nice that was--and awkward.

"Hey, Bill, remember me? Our wives were in at the same time for an Intrauterine Insemination."

I kept reading.

Drawing for 1/2 Off Regular IVF Cycle
Drawing for $1,000 Off IVF, Donor, Frozen, or Donor Embryo Cycle

My first thought was how incredibly generous that is--to give away that kind of money--and I still think it is. My second thought was how much my heart instantly started hurting for these people. The paper says that you have to be present to win.

I assume there will be a bunch of people standing around, waiting anxiously to hear if their number is called. People who can't afford to do IVF without getting a half off deal. People who desperately need $1,000 dollars off their donor embryo cycle. People who, more than anything, want to build a family. A ticket will be pulled. A number will be read. A woman, reduced to entering her name in drawings for half price treatment, will run screaming to receive her dream and countless others will turn and walk away, shaking their heads, defeated.

Infertility affects 10% of the population. Only 15 states require insurance coverage for infertility treatment--and the laws vary widely. In fact, in my current state, Utah, when we were shopping for private insurance, I was told that I'd be turned down because I'd had infertility treatment. And Utah isn't even one of the 15! I informed the person that I did not plan to seek treatment in the future, that we'd been there and done that and didn't see that we'd choose to do it again. He told me that it didn't matter. The insurance companies would see it as a red flag. I have a preexisting condition, didn't matter that I didn't plan on seeking future treatment. I'd be denied.

So I could be turned away for a preexisting condition that my state doesn't even offer coverage for? Insurance companies say that infertility isn't a disease and yet they can turn you away for having it? My husband found a group insurance policy that we were eligible to join. Being that it was a group policy, I couldn't be turned away for my preexisting polycystic ovaries.

I don't know what I want in exchange for my anger. I know I want insurance companies to wake up and smell the clomid. I want the world to wake up and realize how big of a number 10% is. I want coverage for all the people who will be standing around waiting to hear their raffle number called.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A New Giveaway

There is something going on over at Givin' In A Fishbowl. I'd check it out if I were you...


The sun is out. Matthew is napping and Garrett and I were sitting outside. I picked a dandelion for him and, as he puffed out his cheeks and harshly blew his breath onto the magical weed, I reminded him to make a wish. When the dandelion was successfully blown to bits he smiled at me.

G: I made a wish.
Me: Oh yeah? What did you wish for?
G: More worms to play with.

Yep. There's a whole lot of testosterone around here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


It's been a little hard to blog lately. Really, it's been a little difficult to breathe. I suppose that's what happens when you stand on the precipice of life as you know it and then, all at once with a jarring motion so sudden you didn't even know kinetics worked that way, you're reeled back from the edge. It's like a beacon through the salty night air, a perfect dream that doesn't have to wake, falling into the arms of true love. My breath is caught somewhere between my lungs and my lips and I find myself waiting to exhale.

I keep expecting to get hit with the full force of this miracle. Instead, I find myself catching glimpses--little rays of sunshine--throughout the day. It suddenly dawns on me that I've been staring out a window for five minutes with a smile plastered to my face. I am only now realizing that I'd frozen pieces of my heart out of preservation. Memories were placed on ice in the hopes that they'd last longer. I am slowly defrosting remembrance and awakening my whole heart. The sky is a deeper blue. The melody is purer and sugar is sweeter. Their laughs--always one of my very favorite things--are somehow more delicious.

When all was said and done, hands were shaken, and prayers were answered, I walked up to Matthew's father and I threw my arms around him. It wasn't the first time I'd hugged him but it was the first time I really felt like he was hugging me back. Then I sobbed like a complete and total lunatic in front of anyone and everyone who wanted to watch. With the exception of a hormonal stint in high school I've never been much of a public crier. It's not that I think other people shouldn't cry, I just hate being that vulnerable in front of people I don't trust with my heart. My face gets red and my eyes get puffy and I look frightening. But I just stood there, holding him, crying. And I thanked him. A lot. And I promised he'd be honored. And I promised I'd do everything to be the best mother I could possibly be to his son. And through it all he hugged me back.

So I haven't felt the miracle--the one that maybe should have hit me like a two by four right between the eyes--in a crashing crescendo all at once. But I have caught sight of it in moments. I've seen it in hugs, sunsets, diapers, smiles, tears, bath time, kisses, and daydreams. It's been difficult to figure out what to say--what you all might be waiting to hear--about how this thunderous blessing has changed me. Unexpectedly, the realization has been subtle.

There are only two things I know for sure. We are immeasurably, undeniably, blessed by a mighty and great God with whom everything is possible and without whom nothing is. And I can't think of a single, solitary thing I want for Mother's Day. The privilege of loving both of my children is the greatest gift I ever could have been given.

So thank you, God, for this joy and your ever presence in my life. Thank you, Troy and Matthew's parents, for my children. And thank you, Garrett and Matthew, for allowing me to be your mommy. My heart is so very happy and I feel like I am learning how to breathe again. And, I think I am finally, finally, ready to exhale.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Missing Kitty

Our cat was lost.

But now he's found.

Last night he bolted out the door and over the fence before I could even scream, "Ollie, get back in here!" I waited and called for him and called for him and waited but he didn't come. I dreamed that he crawled home with a giant bloody laceration on his face. I knew he'd be waiting by the door this morning, ticked that someone hadn't been standing there to let him in when he got the random whim to come home. He wasn't.

And he wasn't there when I got home from Bible study and my trip to the store. And he didn't come when I called. And all of this was extremely weird for this particular cat who rarely ventures very far from his gas fireplace or his own personal chair.

I felt bad. I'd scolded him yesterday when I found millions of his little gray hairs on a couch he is not allowed anywhere near. So I kept calling for him and I kept peering over the neighbors' fences and I imagined the very worst.

I imagined catnappers.

I imagined cat pancake in the middle of the road.

I imagined that he'd never come home.

I watched my son pile up all Oliver's cat toys. "Mommy," he said with a pained tone, "now if he comes home and looks through the window he'll see his toys and he'll know he lives here."

I watched him take his flashlight outside--in broad daylight--to search for his kitty.

I listened as he whimpered, "Mom, why would he run away? He lives here. We're his family."

I took that opportunity to discourage my son from ever getting the notion that he should grow up and run away.

A few moments ago Garrett came running in the house screaming that he'd heard a meow. He hears alligators, elephants, and parakeets where there are none so I wasn't holding out much hope. He said that he shook the wood "door" on the shed and heard a meow. I peered into the shed. Sure enough, sitting on top of the balls in our shed was the runaway cat. I have no idea why he was there, why he hadn't come in to eat, or what on earth his story is. I do know that I picked him up, brought him in, and put him in his cat box.

He's acting funny. He's acting, kind of, like he has no idea who any of us are. So then, what exactly did he do with his exciting night on the town and did it cause a kitty hangover? Kitty amnesia? I guess we'll never really know.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

He's Home

My husband is back from 12 days in Israel and I am happy! I made a brownie cheesecake for his return so it might be sugar coma that's making me so deliriously content. No. Wait. It's him. Definitely him. And, for the record, I have forbid him to leave me for that long ever again.

When we spotted him walking toward us in the airport a certain 3-year-old barrelled toward him screaming, "Daddy!" A certain 1-year-old toddled after his brother with both arms in the air and a giant smile plastered on his face. A certain mom brought up the rear, at peace.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday was...eventful. My mom left on Friday afternoon and my friend, Amanda, spent the night on Friday night. I don't often have slumber parties on account of the whole marriage thing but my husband has been out of the country for eleven days. I haven't mentioned it because I didn't want to invite all the axe murders who read this blog over to slaughter us. You know, without my sword wielding husband around to protect us, anything could happen. What? You don't think axe murderers read my blog? Come on. I can think of at least one.

So...around noon we walked outside to say goodbye to Amanda and when I walked back in I smelled a strange odor. It smelled kind of like we owned a dirty hamster. To be honest, I didn't think too much about it. A few minutes later I walked downstairs and, as soon as I entered the basement I smelled an overwhelming natural gas stink. So I did what any sensible 28-year-old would do if her husband was halfway around the world. I called my daddy.

He suggested that I turn off anything and everything that might decide to ignite. The knob for the hot water heater broke off in my hand. I turned off the heater, the gas fireplace, the water heater--at a different place--and went to call my landlord. Of course (OF COURSE!) I couldn't find her number anywhere. I always email when we have a problem because usually it isn't a matter of life and death and things combusting all over the place. I called information and they couldn't find a listing. So...I did what any sensible 28-year-old would do if she couldn't find the landlord's number. I jogged up and down my street looking for someone who might have their number. I had not a lick of make up on. Matthew was missing a sock. Garrett didn't have on any shoes and he was wildly screaming, "Emergency!" Which is weird because when I'd explained the situation to him I had calmly asked him to stop talking so that I could think because we had a little emergency on our hands. Apparently he's one of those people who exaggerates the situation. Soon, all the neighbor kids were following him around shouting, "Emergency!" and then asking him what, exactly, the emergency was.

Thankfully the neighbors across the street were able to find the number for me. Then, they were nice enough to take the kids for me while I dashed back across the street to make the call. To make a long story slightly shorter, hours later the gas guy (whom Garrett affectionately referred to as "The Gas Piper") diagnosed the situation as a broken ignitor in the furnace. Apparently, raw gas was dumping into the furnace but nothing was lighting, hence the smell. Thankfully, however, there wasn't an actual leak. He also found a missing flue cap and said we couldn't turn the water heater back on until it was replaced. Something about hazardous toxins and exhaust pouring into our house which is terribly awesome given the fact that we didn't remove it so it's been like that for a year and a half. We were without hot water for about 18 hours when the repairman showed up this morning before we went to church to put the cap on. So that was really no big deal. We are still without the furnace, until tomorrow night. We're doing alright though because we have a gas fireplace and a space heater.

So why do things like this always seem to happen when husbands are out of town? Or, in this case, out of the country?

He'll be back tomorrow and I can't wait.