Tuesday, June 29, 2010



These are trying days. You're cutting two bicuspids and you're not having any fun. At least, I hope that I can attribute this mood to getting teeth because if there is no logical explanation I'm going to go insane.

After an entire day yesterday where you did nothing but fuss, whine, or scream, you woke up this morning and, two minutes after I got you out of your crib, launched into another round of incessant attitude. I was borderline losing it when I pulled up Brunhilda's blog. It reminded me that there was a full 14 months there where I didn't know if you'd even be able to pitch fits here for much longer. I scolded myself for my impatience, rubbed some Orajel on your gums and then we went about our day...which included a trip to the pediatric opthamologist.

About a month ago your pediatrician noticed something strange with your eyes. Where she should have been seeing a red semicircle, she saw a green one. She said she'd never, ever, in all of her years practicing medicine, seen this. She had us come back a week later so that she could check it again. Still green. She said she wasn't terribly concerned but wanted me to take you to a specialist. It took me three weeks to get in. I wasn't overly worried. She said she'd never seen it before and so I knew it was either nothing or you'd be diagnosed with something that would come to be known as The Matthew--as, apparently, you'd be the first. I figured the odds were in our favor.

Turns out you have a very dark choroid pigment and astigmatism. This bent the light to make it appear green. At least, I thinks that's the way it was. It was something like that, anyway. Neither of the contributing factors concerned him at all and he said that he didn't need to see us again.

In other news, you're not gaining any ground on the vocabulary front. I'm not worried. If your babbling is any indicator that you will, one day, speak more than six words, you'll be fine. Of course, you continue to walk, run, walk backward, climb, dance, and fine tune all your motor skills.

Your playroom and the backyard are major sources of enjoyment for you. Don't mind the purple walls, painting is on my list of things to do.

If you ask me, you look like a combination of your birth parents. You have your mother's eyes and nose. You make faces that look exactly like your father. So, on any given day, we can see one or both of them peering at us through your little face. But this...
That right there is your mother. It's your mother in the face of a small boy.
It is so incredible to watch you learning to love things because your brother does or following your daddy around or clinging to me like a baby animal and then to simultaneously see both of them in you. It's such a beautiful reminder of the blending of all these families.

You're growing up, getting so big, learning and changing every day. Sixteen months. It's flown by. And in the moments, in the hours, in the months, I am loving you--attitude and all.

Monday, June 28, 2010


My dear friend, Veronica, happens to share the same dream that I do. We both want to visit every state. Her goal, to see all 50 before she turns 30. My goal, to see them all before I die. I can't set myself for extreme failure and attempting to see 31 states in the next 14 months would be ridiculous. Veronica, on the other hand, has just under 12 months to see 3.

This weekend she flew into Salt Lake and took a road trip up to Montana to get a couple more states accomplished. She spent last night here with us and flew home to San Francisco this morning. We stayed up talking, laughing and catching up until 1:00 am. For some reason, although caffeine was not involved, I had a hard time falling asleep. I finally fell asleep around 2. When Garrett woke me up at 6:45 I was exhausted.

Shortly after 7:00 I came downstairs, rubbed my eyes, and said to my friend, "I seriously feel like I just woke up after a slumber party." I can remember feeling that way many times with Veronica. Many sleep overs, parties and mission trips involved us getting way too little sleep. Sometimes it was our fault. Sometimes it was other people snoring like they'd been possessed by a foghorn. Always, it was fun.

I miss her already but I sure am glad she's visited me twice since I moved out here to Utah.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Naughty Guy

G: Jesus died by the sword.
Me: No. Jesus said, "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword." He died on the cross.
G: Oh. Yeah. But he fought with his big giant sword.
Me: No he didn't. But he'll get the naughty guys when he comes back.
G: What bad guys?
Me: Well...the devil.
G: The devil?
Me: Yeah. Satan.
G: Oh. Satan. Why is he a naughty guy?
Me: Because he's mean and very, very bad.
G: He is?
Me: Yeah.
G: Mommy. I really need to teach him to be nice. I'll talk to him and tell him that he needs to stop being naughty.
Me: Good luck.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flash(way)back Friday

In just over two weeks (can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned) I'm going to Lake Tahoe. A lot like I did back then...
Back when my dad had a giant hairy caterpillar between his upper lip and his nose. Which, even though we're pretty far away in this picture, I think you can see. I don't know which trip this picture was taken on but my brother was approximately the same age that The Rock Star is now.

And boy is he excited to go back. The Rock Star, that is. Although, well, my brother's excited too. He has it a little confused with his other favorite place in the world, Hawaii. He keeps telling me that he can't wait to tell people, "Aloooooha!" once we get to Tahoe. I think these people are going to be confused. The Rock Star won't care either way. As long as there's water and he can play outside, he'll be happy. He's gotten quite a bit bigger since the last time he was there.
Matthew was a teeny little embryo and not yet a member of our family when we last went. I can't wait to introduce him to my favorite spot in the whole world. Poor kid is going to have to live in a life jacket because he has absolutely no fear of water. He's like a moth to a flame and he's going to take one look at that huge swimming pool and make a beeline straight for it.
17 days and counting...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Structure

Since we live far away from all of our family, we often get money and gift cards for birthdays. This works perfectly because we already have a plethora of toys overflowing out of the boys' playroom. We usually put all the money that the boys get into bags and when they need something we use what we have saved. The Rock Star has been begging us to hang up his baby swing for about a year now. The trouble is that this house doesn't have a tree or, well, anything, to hang it in. And now that he's nearly four, a baby swing hardly seemed like the answer. But one of those giant play structures sure did. We counted up the money we had saved for them and asked the family members that usually give Garrett a gift if they wouldn't mind contributing to the play set. We told everyone that we were going to get it at the beginning of summer so that they can use it all season long. Between what we already had saved and what we received for Garrett's birthday, it was practically paid for and we had to spend very little of our own birthday budget.

But it certainly became a labor of love. First, we ordered it in April. It took forever to get here. Then we decided that we should seal all the wood because, well, we live in Crazyville where it's been known to snow through May, thunderstorm through the summer, and start snowing again in November. The weekend that my mother-in-law was here we set to sealing and she was a huge help. Over 150 pieces of wood later, we were ready to build.
Except that when Troy started the very first step he discovered that something was wrong with some of the hardware. It was threaded incorrectly for the size of bolt that was supposed to go in it. High times. So, with our garage full of wood we contacted the company and asked them to send us new hardware.
Eventually, we got to building. And by we I mean Troy.
A little bit got built but then we went out of town. The hard working daddy couldn't build. And he has a job. So little by little he worked on it for an hour here or a half hour there.

And on Saturday he built this.

And there was much excitement written all over the faces of two little boys.

Then, a few nights ago, a friend came over and helped him get this part on...

And yesterday I managed, after a tutorial from my husband, to accomplish this...

So, about two months after we ordered it, we finally have a play yard in the back. I thought that the fact that it only has a ladder and a rock wall to assist children in reaching the "club house" would mean that I'd have to help Matthew whenever he wanted to play. It took him about two seconds to figure out how to climb the ladder. He toddled straight over to the slide, sat down, and took off. Luckily, I caught him at the bottom because it's a slick slide and he's a tiny bugger.
So we told Garrett that this is what he's getting for his birthday and, well, as you can see, he seems to be okay with that.

Oh that little girl in the background, that's our oldest child, Matilda. We don't talk about her much. In fact, I don't know if I've ever mentioned her on this blog. So, SURPRISE!

Kidding. She's actually the neighbor girl who comes over to play with Garrett a lot. She loves our new play set.

Then there's this kid. He seems pretty okay with the fact that, back in February, we saved all of his birthday money and put it toward this.

Endless fun. Endless smiles. Endless playing outside in the fresh air all summer--I hope. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our boys' birthday gift. THEY LOVE IT!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Decision

Control. It's an issue for me. As I said when I spoke at the retreat last September, all my adult life has been one big lesson in letting go and letting God be in control of my life. I'm getting better. If, by getting better, I mean that I can at least recognize when situations pop up where I shift into a psychotic control freak. I used to be considered legally blind to those fun little experiences. Now I'm wearing corrective lenses and can usually, at the very least, recognize them coming if I squint. What I do with the knowledge of their approaching is really any one's guess.

I've spent the last several weeks trying to make a decision about something which could end up being important or could end up not making the slightest bit of difference. While I think it won't matter, I recognize that I need to be prepared in the event that it does. I've agonized over the issue, over thinking, over analyzing, control freaking (a new verb I've coined just for me), flipping from one side of the issue to the other and back again like a teenage girl trying to decide which shoes to wear with her prom dress.

Honestly, the Lord doesn't speak audibly to me. Never has and, likely, never will. Although, that certainly would be pretty darn awesome. And terrifying, I'm sure. But I feel Him revealing himself to me fairly regularly--especially if I'm in constant prayer. However, this time...nothing. So I did what I always do when I don't recognize any direct revelation. I turned on the television and waited to see if I'd hear the word "yes" or "no" first. Totally kidding but I'm going to go do that right now just for the fun of it. Stand by. I turned on the tv and there was an ad that said, "Don't Take the Trip!" Good thing this has nothing to do with going on a vacation. Or, well, drugs. Then someone said, "Of course!" and a few moments later someone else said, "no." So this validates my decision not to watch television for all the answers.

Okay, so what I really did was went to Scripture and sought counsel from a few. I honestly thought about opening it up for discussion on this very blog and while I'm sure the other six of you would have offered splendid advice, I didn't exactly want my one axe murderer reader weighing in.

My counsel offered good and sound advice but, would you believe it, not one of them would make the decision for me. (In all honestly I only asked my mother to make the decision for me but she refused. Somehow I don't remember that happening when I was little and asked if I could have cookies for dinner.)

I listened to a message. I read my Bible. I made a decision.

And now I find myself--as one of my friend's truthfully told me--completely over thinking the issue. The issue that likely won't make a difference one way or the other, mind you. Completely, well, control freaking, if you will. So today I've spent Matthew's entire nap (don't look at the house, it's a total mess) searching Scripture to remind me that God is in control and any attempt I make to take control is futile and ridiculous.

"Yours O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all." I Chronicles 29:11

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 40:10

"We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads." Acts 24:16

"Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. " Isaiah 46:9-11

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

“You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”? Isaiah 29:16

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

P Is For Potty? *UPDATED*

I don't care what anyone else says. I just don't. I know that my youngest son has the cutest back of the neck and head. His hairline stops abruptly, revealing the sweetest, chubbiest, most adorable neck. The back of his ears help complete the picture. It's simply, ridiculously, adorable. And I know that my oldest son has the cutest bum in the whole entire wide world. Truly, there is no use arguing with me. The only thing cuter than Matthew's neck and Garrett's butt (I won't be able to read this particular post aloud because Garrett will "scold" me for saying butt as it is a naughty word in our house.) is a golden retriever puppy. Maybe.

Speaking of "naughty" words--which is really not at all what I was speaking of but whatever--our children are not allowed to say butt, fart, or pee. This is fine with Matthew. He doesn't say much of anything. I just asked Garrett if he even knows what the word fart means and he looked at me, with a sheepish face, and said, "It's a toot. Someone at preschool told me." I just happen to think that these three words sound crass coming out of the mouths of tiny kids. Don't get me wrong, I understand that I'm in the major minority when it comes to the word pee. Even the doctor calls it that. Also, this particular banned word caused problems when Garrett was learning his letters and I could not understand why, in the world, he was giggling hysterically every time he named the letter that comes after O. I had to explain that the letter P is acceptable but that, in our house, we don't like the word pee when referring to going to the bathroom or, as we say here, going potty.

I know. I'm crazy. Am I the only mom who thinks that when a three-year-old says pee, butt or fart they suddenly sound like a ten or eleven-year-old? Am I the only one who absolutely hates the word pee in general? I mean, honestly. Etymologically speaking, pee is the euphemistic abreviation of piss and I am certainly not going to let my child run around saying that. Although, to be fair, etymologically speaking, potty is slang for chamber pot.

So, although this post was supposed to be about my oldest son's bottom and my youngest son's neck, it's turned into a post about Doozleberry family "naughty" words. Weigh in.

Update: Well, forget the poll. It's scolding everyone and not recording people's votes...at least not that I can tell. If you have a strong opinion, share it in the comments section.

Where do you fall on this issue?
Who cares what pee is slang for? All kids should say pee. PEE! It is so onomatopoeic.
Better to have a kid walking around saying chamber pot than the alternative.
My kid calls (or called) it something else entirely.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Higher Education

Out of the blue, The Rock Star looked at me today and said, sternly, "Mommy, you have a lot to learn." Then he finished the hilarious lecture with, "I don't. I finished preschool." Yes, son. You've finished one year of preschool. You're golden. Congratulations. No more schooling for you. I'm sure you've learned all there is to know.

You learned the letters and their sounds.

You learned how to count to twenty only using sixteen numbers. "One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Sixteen. Nineteen. Twenty."

You learned the song Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music. It goes a little something like this, "Doe a deer, a female deer. Ray a drop of tea. Me a long way to run. Sew a fa a female deer..."

You learned that sometimes fish eat the other fish in what can only be described as a class pet massacre.

You learned that sometimes friends move away. Mommy had no idea that you were so attached to that particular little girl until her moving was all you could talk about for days.

You learned about summer break which prompted the following conversation:
Me: Garrett, tomorrow is your last day of preschool.
G: (as his face falls there is a long pause. Finally he speaks.) Can you sign me up for more?
Me: Yes. I already did. But you have to take the summer off.
G: (horrified) Why?
Me: Because your teachers go on vacation.
G: Where do they go?
Me: I don't know. Places. And they get to spend time at their houses taking a break.
G: My teachers have houses?

So you learned that your teachers have homes. They don't always live at preschool.

You learned about shapes and tracing and dinosaurs and firemen and farm animals and outer space and the ocean and so many other things that I can't keep them all straight.

You learned.

So very much.

And you're so very big.

I guess you're right. The next 18+ years of your education are totally overrated. Who needs calculus when you can count to twenty without needing fourteen, fifteen, seventeen or eighteen?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two Fathers

Happy Father's Day to my own dad and to my wonderful husband.

My dad did a pretty good job raising his kids. I mean, my brother turned out okay so he was at least batting .500, right? And now he's a darn good grandpa. Garrett looks so little in that picture and I can remember that moment like it was yesterday. He was laughing so hysterically, as is evidenced in the shot, that I could barely hold the camera still I was laughing so hard. Still, as little as he looks, it certainly isn't as little as this guy...

Thanks, Dad, for being such a great father and grandfather.

Then there's this guy. The one I love. The one I want for life. Thanks, Troy, for being such a good dad to both of our boys.

Last Father's Day was a little rough, not knowing if we'd be a family of four the next time we celebrated or if we'd be back to a family of two. I have this picture framed in our house and when I'd look at it back before we'd finalized, my heart ached. I'm so very glad that Troy gets to be the daddy to both of these kids for the foreseeable future.

So to the dads in my life: Thank you for being godly examples. I love you both so much!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fire Cake: Part Two

Continued from yesterday:

...Later I called my mom and asked her if she had a clue what a fire cake was. She didn't. After we brainstormed and decided that we could make a cake and stick a fire truck on top I said something to the effect of, "Does he want me to light his cake on fire?"

And that's when it dawned on me. That's the precise moment that I realized what my little boy meant.

My son, in all of his sweet 47 months of life, was requesting a cake with candles. He couldn't have cared less what his cake looked like, or had on it, as long as there were candles with fire on the ends. And I'd ask him if "any old cake would do". I felt like a total heel. I flew up the stairs and into his room where he'd just settled into bed.

"Garrett," I started, "When you said you wanted a fire cake, did you mean that you wanted a cake with candles?"

His eyes danced with delight and he answered, "Yes." Then he paused and whispered, "With fire on them."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fire Cake

I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday that my son climbed out of my womb. And I use the word "climbed" rather loosely in this instance as my baby was in no hurry to go anywhere fast. Apparently, I have a very hospitable uterus. Anyway. My little boy's last day of his first year of preschool was yesterday which, I do realize, is impossible. I went to sleep in that hospital bed and woke up nearly four years later and my son was all, "Hey, mom! I'm done with my first year of school!" He hugged one of his teachers and she started crying which, in turn, made me choke up. Thankfully, I have a strict policy against personal public crying and I managed to hold my own tears back. But it was incredibly difficult because suddenly he looked so...big. He pulled me toward the door and I was struck with this feeling that I blinked and four years flew by. This is totally unfair because I distinctly remember telling myself not to blink.

On Tuesday, Garrett's second to last day of preschool, our friend took him because we were out of town. Along the way he informed her that he wanted a fire cake for his birthday at Lake Tahoe. (It just so happens that we'll be in Tahoe on July 20 which, I happen to think, is the best place ever to celebrate turning four three again. Apparently, for Garrett, it is only the second best place because for awhile there he kept informing people that his parents were taking him to Hawaii for his birthday. Aside from being completely untrue, this gave the impression that we not only had large volumes of money, we also spoiled our son beyond comprehension. "And for your fourth second annual third birthday you shall receive a trip to Maui! Yeah!") So our friend asked him what a fire cake was and he couldn't exactly explain it to her. She relayed the information to me.

I was stumped.

"Garrett, honey, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?" I asked him later.

"A fire cake!"

"What's a fire cake?"

"You know, with flames going, 'squiasquiaferrrr,' all over it." He replied and made quick flick-type motions with his fingers.

I was so confused. I imagined that he wanted me to set fire to his cake and the only dessert I could think of was creme brulee--which I'm pretty sure he's never had. (I had the most delicious creme brulee from Todai while Troy and I were on our two day getaway but that's really neither here nor there.) "I don't actually know what you mean. Do you think that any old cake would do?" I asked.

If looks could break hearts in two the one I received would surely have killed me. It was desperately dejected. "Okay," he sighed.

I tried cheering him up by telling him how awesome it would be. He seemed unconvinced. Later I called my mom and asked her if she had a clue what a fire cake was. She didn't. After we brainstormed and decided that we could make a cake and stick a fire truck on top I said something to the effect of, "Does he want me to light his cake on fire?"

And that's when it dawned on me. That's the precise moment that I realized what my little boy meant. Do you have any idea? Am I the only one who didn't have a single solitary clue what my kid was talking about?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Real Life Musical or A Little Off Key

It's probably a good thing I have boys. If I had a daughter she'd likely stomp her little feet, insist that she was done listening to show tunes and could I please remove the tiara I was forcing her to wear. Not that she'd be a princess. We Doozleberrys are about as far from royal blood as one can get. Not that she'd be a diva. She'd be sure to have a Chargers jersey hanging in her closet as well. But, well, there might be a little bit of a crazy theatre mom in me that my boys are just flat out not going to tolerate. This is for the best--I'm sure.

But those boys sure do love music. At the tender ages of one and "Hi, I'm Garrett. I'm going to turn three again this year because my mom says it's my second annual third birthday," they like themselves some show tunes. And some show choir. And some Journey. And, really, anything with a beat at all.

It probably doesn't help matters that our family is as close to a living musical as I think one can get. Except for the fact that we have five less kids and they don't wear curtains, I'm not always on key, I've never been to a nunnery, and we aren't running from Nazis, we're practically the VonTrapp's. We're known to break into random song quite often--complete with horrible dance moves, music often accompanies us as we clean up after dinner, and just the sound of a CD starting to whirl in the player will bring both my boys running. I often lament the fact that we're not more instrumental around here because I think that every night would be one big jam session.

As little guys, they sure do like to perform. And it sure does warm this theatre major's heart. The following is a little long but you get to witness, first hand, Matthew's mad dancing skills and Garrett's amazing guitar moves. Enjoy

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I just had the most amazing two days.

There was sleeping in. There was eating good food and not being interrupted to hand Matthew another strawberry. (That boy can annihilate a plate of fruit and I've seen the diapers to prove it.) There was lounging by the pool and not having to eagle eye watch our children because they are like moths to flames where water is concerned. There were long walks without stroller pushing, and staying out past 8:00 pm. It. Was. Wonderful.

And I discovered that two days is the perfect amount of time to be away from my kids. I started really missing them at about the 48 hour mark. Of course, it helped that when I called to check in on them on Monday my oldest son took the phone and said, "Hi. I love you. Good bye." He couldn't be bothered. He was busy playing, after all. Apparently Matthew wandered around with his lower lip out mumbling, "Dada," for a day but then he got over it. He played hard to get when he saw us last night. Turned a cold shoulder in our direction for a minute or two before reaching for me and barreling into my arms.

Two days away from my kids made me almost want another one. I said almost. Then I came home and I went grocery shopping and Matthew was in the front and Garrett was in the back and there was no where to put the groceries so where would I put a third kid? Right? I mean, I'd have to, like, tie the double stroller to the cart with a rope and drag the whole train behind me. Which, come to think of it, isn't exactly a bad idea.


Time away with The Husband=a very good idea. I owe a huge blogosphere thank you to our good friends who were willing to watch our boys. You guys are the best.

Garrett climbed into bed with us this morning, looked at me and said, "You're home from your vacation with daddy. Time for Tahoe!"

My thoughts exactly, son. My thoughts exactly. Unfortunately, Tahoe is still four weeks away.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We're Going Away

My husband and I are leaving for two whole days together...alone! When I say that it's been forever since we've had that amount of time just the two of us I am not exaggerating in the slightest.

We went to Moab in July of 2008 and my mother-in-law came here and took care of Garrett. That was the last time we went anywhere without children. We went down and had a great time with friends. As for the last time Troy and I went somewhere without children, friends or family...I'm not kidding that I honestly don't know the answer to that question.

It's time.

And some friends of ours agreed to take our children. The boys love them. So much, in fact, that Garrett has been asking for the last three days if it is Mr. Jeremy and Miss Christy day yet. So they'll be fine. I doubt either of them will realize we're missing. Well, alright, that isn't true. Matthew realizes I'm missing if I walk two feet in another direction but he can live through anything as long as his big brother/best friend is with him.

So I'll be back on Tuesday night. Have a merry Monday. I know I will.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup

I've said before that my husband totally lucked out when it came to marrying a woman who is into sports. For real. I am at least as big of an NFL fan as he is--maybe even bigger. I love myself some National Football League. I like baseball, basketball, and a large number of Olympic sports. I even found myself at a hockey game last year and, while I really had no clue what was going on, it sure was fun watching all the fights break out.

But, unfortunately for my poor husband, during the World Cup I turn into a total cliche wife. I don't ask him to turn it off because he doesn't make me turn off football when the third three hour game of a Sunday begins. But I just don't understand why anyone would waste an afternoon watching a ball sail back and forth 8,000,000 times. But right now I'm watching the United States play England. (I'm fairly certain those are the teams and it pains me that I am so clueless because I don't like being a regular wife. I thrive on my sports knowledge which, where soccer is concerned, is tremendously lacking.) Troy had to run to the hardware store so I'm keeping tabs on the game. A commercial just came on and the narrator said, "All over the world, soccer is almost a religion." And I made a face that somewhat resembled the faces I make when I'm throwing up.

Soccer is boring. It's back and forth, back and forth, back and forth and once, maybe twice, in a game someone scores. My dad used to say the same thing about swimming. "How can you go back and forth so many times and not go crazy?" He'd ask me. I guess the love of the sport is in the eye of the beholder. Don't get me wrong, I admire what those athletes can do. I think they are amazing. I'd die if I had to run two lengths of that field and they do it, well, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. OH MAN! THE TV JUST SAID FIFA WORLD CUP! And they said it, "Fee-fa" and here I've been pronouncing it in my head like, "F-eye-fa." This is so embarrassing.

Anyway. I'm trying to understand the rules. I'm trying not to loathe and despise it. My husband loves soccer. His whole family practically lives and breathes it. My kids will probably love it, play it, excel at it. And I will sit on the sideline screaming for someone to bloody score because the boredom will be killing me slowly.

So, go United States! If that is in fact you wearing the blue...

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Friend, Brunhilda

I just picked a banana peel up off the arm rest of a chair. But that's not what I want to blog about today.

I have a friend. Her name, because it's fun to give people an alias on this blog, is Brunhilda. And really, so, okay, her name is like the furthest thing from Brunhilda. It's like the antithesis of Brunhilda. Brunhilda. Brunhilda. Brunhilda. I really like saying it. I desperately wish I had a friend who's real life name was Brunhilda. I'd have all kinds of fun with that. Speaking of names, I've taken to calling The Rock Star Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face and The Buddy Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate and if, without using a search engine, you know where I'd come up with such ridiculous names then 30 extra points for you. But anyway, Brunhilda.

I've never met Brunhilda because she lives with her husband who is stationed in Korea. Although, they're moving back to the states soon. In college, I worked with my friend, Joelle, in the cafeteria. We had a boss who married a guy who is now stationed in Korea. The Boss and Joelle were friends on facebook and The Boss began reading Joelle's blog. At some point she linked to my blog through Joelle's and began reading our story. It was a very similar story to what her friend, Brunhilda, was going through. So, through The Boss, Brunhilda and I became acquainted. We wrote a few times on email and read each other's blogs.

I won't give any details of Brunhilda's story here and, though I'd love to, I won't link to her blog. So many of you are incredible prayer warriors and I'd love to have you read her story but I won't subject her to what we've been through as a direct result of having this blog. I won't subject her to people writing blatant lies, untruths, and false information about her case and publishing those false accusations in various corners of the Internet. Brunhilda doesn't deserve that.

Excuse me, for a moment, as I take a few deep breaths, unclench my fists, and move on.

When I read Brunhilda's blog it's like reading my own thoughts. And she's said the same about reading mine. One night, my husband was working on the laptop and I was down in the basement on the desktop. As I read her blog I felt a sudden onslaught of emotion and instantly tears were slipping off my chin. Tears of joy that I was no longer experiencing that depth of pain but, mostly, tears of empathy. Now, we pray for her and her husband every night. We pray, as we prayed for our own situation, for the children. We pray for peace. We pray for God's mighty will to be done. We pray for the natural parents. And we pray for the tightness they feel in their chests, for the uncertainty she hides just behind her eyes--an uncertainty that can be seen when she finds herself staring off into space for a moment or two or twenty. We pray for him as he tries to be husband and daddy and serve our country with this level of stress pressing down upon him. And I'm asking you to lift them up in prayer as well.

We've been sending messages back and forth more regularly now. Her trial is approaching. But nothing happens by coincidence. Our "meeting" was not by whim. We live in Utah. They live in Korea. I found out a few days ago that their case is being heard in the same state that ours was. In the same city. In the same court house. On the same floor. In the same department. With the same judge. Coincidence? Maybe. If you believe in coincidences. Brunhilda and I, well, we believe in God.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sleep Patterns

There is an old episode of Friends where Joey has a little problem with sharing. He's on a date and the girl reaches across the table and eats french fries off of his plate. Later, as Joey is explaining to Phoebe why he won't date the girl anymore, he yells, "Joey doesn't share food!" It became one of the most famous Friends quotes. Maybe. I really have no idea. I know I quote it a lot. Kind of. See, I change two of the words. And then it sounds more like, TROY DOESN'T SHARE SLEEP!

When my husband (my wonderful, adorable, dear, sweet husband) and I were dating, he informed me that he could sleep anywhere. He prided himself on being able to sleep on closet floors, underneath beds, chairs, ledges, jagged shards of glass and shrapnel. He could fall asleep anywhere in record speed, he boasted. After we were married I found out that this talent involved a shirt wrapped around his head to keep the light out and a fan whirling all seasons of the year, rain or shine. It wouldn't matter if we moved to an igloo just outside of Barrow, Alaska, we'd have a fan pointed directly on our bed.

The man may be able to fall asleep anywhere, and he can nod off in a matter of seconds which is simply an incredible sight to behold, but he does not like to be disrupted once he actually achieves his pursuit of the dream world. In our bed, the comforter has to be folded over so that it does not come into contact with him. This creates a retaining wall of blanket and effectively keeps me out of his slumber bubble. Should the comforter creep over and touch him, the sleep would be positively disrupted. He has to untuck the sheet from the end of the bed because otherwise his feet become claustrophobic--or something. This is a serious problem for someone like me. Someone who is neurotic. Someone who'd sleep in a fully made bed if it were at all possible.

The other night we had a situation. It was warm and we decided to take the blanket off the bed for the summer. Troy threw the comforter in a heap on the floor, removed the blanket and threw it into a pile. And let's just face it, there was no way I'd ever be able to fall asleep knowing that so many innocent covers were spending a miserable night in a wad. I had to fold the blanket and put the comforter back in its proper place. Yes, I have problems. But this is not a post about my neurotic cleaning genes. In my defense I come from a long line of clean freaks. The good news is it seems to be getting better with generations. There's hope for my children. But this isn't a post about that. It's a post about how TROY DOESN'T SHARE SLEEP.

He doesn't share it with the comforter, the sheet, the light, or any possible outside noise. He only shares (and I use that word loosely) it with me because it is one of the perks of marriage. Along with filing jointly. He'll cuddle with me for awhile and then practice the hug and roll method. Hug for her, roll for him. Safely. To the other side of the bed. On the other side of the retaining comforter wall. Where he can don his head shirt, kick his feet out of the sheet, and climb into his dreams. He does not like to share sleep with noisy almost four-year-olds. Except when said noisy almost four-year-old spots the race car that his daddy made him out of cardboard and darts in to the sleep chamber to thank him.

He'll share his sleep then. He'll share it in the form of a proud smile--the only part of his face we can see poking out of the shirt--because he's a good daddy. Even if he has totally bizarre sleep patterns.

Dear Troy, you hijack my blog, I pay you back. I'm just saying is all...Signed, the one on the other side of the bed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yesterday, as I drove around, my boys cracked each other up. They were laughing so hard that both of them were struggling to breath as they exhaled their mirth and inhaled the other's.

G: Matthew, what if you had a crystal on your head?
M: (As soon as G stopped talking) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
G: (Unable to speak because M's laugh was cracking him up) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
G: What if you had a watch on your head?
G: HAHAHAHAHA! What if you had an alligator on your head?

Their belly laughs were so deep, so blessedly beautiful. And, as they rung through my ears and filled my car I could not help but laugh, hysterically with them. Tears sprung to my eyes as I listened to their voices rising and falling with glee. It's truly a wonder I was able to stay in my own lane.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Blog Has Been Hijacked . . .

. . . by my husband because he thought you needed to see this picture:

Here is the head wound being treated. This is the best picture I had, taken by a friend's cell phone. Unfortunately, I did not have my own camera as I did not know that my wife would be walking into the car door.

I will add that the wound looked very painful and worse in person. Hope you enjoy the visual element. I'm taking my pillow and blanket out to the doghouse.

I now return this blog to its rightful owner (who may or may not delete this post).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Like I've Said, I'm All Kinds of Awesome

There is seriously something wrong with my depth perception. Or my brain. Or my existence in general. I have issues with running into things, colliding into inanimate objects, failing to account for things like, say, my forehead. First there was this little situation in which my washing machine won. That particular battle was further chronicled here. And, yeah, sure, that all happened almost a year and a half ago--before we even knew our second child was going to be born--but I assure you that there have been bumps, bruises, lumps, and cuts since then. I'm not the most graceful ballerina in the bunch. (Ballerina=ahem. I chose swimming because it didn't require a whole lot of grace.)

Yesterday was a busy day. We had a memorial service in the morning and into the afternoon. Then we had a graduation party which we could only stop by for a few minutes before rushing over to a surprise 60th birthday party. While at the graduation party I mentioned that we needed to leave in a half hour to get to the next party on time. My friend informed me that the next party started at 6:00 pm. I was sure it started at 6:30. I said as much. Said, in fact, that I was 95% sure but I'd better go out to the car and grab the flier. So, in my one inch heels--and I rarely wear heels on account of the fact that they make me taller than my spouse--I kind of trotted out to the car. It was kind of like any female love interest running down the street, in the rain, attempting to hail any taxi cab, in any romantic comedy, set in New York City. She frolics, somewhat resembling a cross between a peacock and a gazelle. Her eyeliner is running because this is the part in the movie where she thinks the male lead doesn't actually love her anymore and she's trying to get away--to go anywhere--quickly. It's just that those heels, the ones that wardrobe told her to wear, are getting in the way of a speedy escape. But dang it if her calves look so good. Except I wasn't in New York hailing a taxi. My mascara wasn't running--yet. And because of the aforementioned lack of grace I did not look like the female love interest. No. I looked like the quirky neighbor who is only there for comedic effect.

I ran up alongside the car, inserted Troy's key into the hole, twisted it, yanked the door open and bent to grab the birthday flier. There was just one problem. I'm not entirely sure what the problem was as there didn't appear to be any witnesses. I can only guess that I got a little overzealous and bent down before I had properly cleared the door. The edge, where the top of the door meets the side, collided with my (you guessed it) forehead. And boy howdy did it ever hit my head hard. I slammed my hand onto my head, said a word I never say, dropped to the ground--out of pain or humiliation I'll never know--and started to cry. After a few moments kneeling there by my car I managed to climb into the passenger seat. That's when I pulled my hand away from my head and found the blood.

Because I am filled with all kinds of awesome. I used to want to be an actress (read: still want to be an actress) and I think we can agree that that is one goal better left unachieved. Can you even imagine? I would so be the girl who fell flat on her face on the red carpet.

It took a minute for the tears to stop and another few seconds to find the roll of toilet paper I keep in the car for emergencies exactly like this one. Oh alright so I keep it there for roadtripping three-year-olds who feel the need to inform me exactly 2.3 seconds before pooping is imminent that he has to go. Anyway, I flipped the visor down and saw that the door had managed to create a centimeter and a half slice in my head. Said head was spinning so I shoved toilet paper onto it, grabbed the flier (I was right, by the way) and walked back into the party. Classy.

"Troy," I mumbled from a few feet away, "take care of me."

He did. And then it was determined by several other adults--least of which was me, I assure you--that I needed to butterfly bandage it to keep it from scarring. So my friend bandaged me up while Troy got food for our squirming children. Then I got to go to the surprise party with two bright white strips on my head which in turn led to the retelling of the story approximately 32 times.

By the time we got home there was a considerable lump gracing me with its presence. Being that we had church this morning, and being that I was on the worship team, I was pretty excited about the bump, bandage, and cut. I covered the butterfly strips with a regular band aid when I woke up and then promptly removed everything just before the worship service started. Troy said that Carly Simon sang a song about me once. But I've heard that song I only remember something about clouds in my coffee. And, anyway, how vain can one really be standing up on stage with a goose egg and a small laceration on her face?

You see, I'm remarkably glamorous.

And I clearly have something wrong in my brain that allows me to continue doing such charming things.

This morning, slightly tired of the same old "I got in a fight with my car door and it won" storyline, I informed my adult Sunday school class that Troy got mad at me and hit me with a meat tenderizer.

He responded with, "If I'd have done that, you would have killed me in my sleep with a fire poker."

"We have a gas fireplace," I replied, "we don't have a poker."

"Because that's my point," said the birthday boy.

Oh, right, it's my husband's birthday. Which is pretty cool. Not as cool as it will be next year when, for three whole months I can tell people that my husband is in his forties and he's married to someone in her twenties.

Happy Birthday, Troy. I love you. Thanks for taking care of me. I'm really glad you were born. In the early seventies. Ten years, three months, and two days before I was. And I'm really glad you waited for me...

Friday, June 4, 2010


Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep

We had that hanging in our house while I was growing up. When The Rock Star was born--a day I seriously can't get enough of in my memories--no, wait. Seriously. Look. Just look at all that blood and gunk and fresh from heaven amazingness.

Okay. Back to our scheduled programming.

So, when he was born my mom passed the picture on to me. I think she said it was a loan, of sorts. When my brother has kids I'll pass it on to him, although, I'll probably have to take a picture of it and put it in a frame first. It hung over the crib when it was Garrett's and now it watches Matthew sleep. See, babies do grow up. Goodness, do they ever. I mean, just look at this one. He's practically off to college.

And this one, the one who's cord I cut...

Well, he's 15 months old now which is nothing short of sheer madness, I tell you.

But the point, the point, is this. Cleaning and scrubbing can only be put off for so long. Take this afternoon for example. I got The Buddy into his bed for a nap and surveyed my surroundings. How, I ask, in all of kingdom come, can two tiny people cause so much destruction? My house looked like a nuc was detonated inside. Everywhere I looked was utter chaos. Yes, we're training them to clean up after themselves but apparently they take after their father who felt the need to play with all of his toys simultaneously. If I'd waited to clean it all up, waited until I wanted to, waited until I felt like I could take my eyes off of my children for 30 seconds and they wouldn't grow up while my head was turned, we would have had a serious situation on our hands. Mold, rodents, bugs, who knows.

Sigh. Babies grow up. They stop being tiny and fragile and sleeping all the time. They turn into sweaty boys who play outside all day long making bug habitats and trying to dig to China. They turn into toddlers who run circles around recliner chairs and leave toys in the strangest of places. If the definition of a baby is one that you can still rock, well, I'm past that stage with my sons. They didn't keep. They turned into men. Little men but men nonetheless.

And with those little men came mass destruction.

And with those little men went my whole heart.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Tree

Do you feel neglected? I've been soaking in the summer rays (finally!) and I just haven't had much to say lately. Two nights ago I could not sleep and I just laid wandering around the recesses of my mind while I was supposed to be praying--although I did manage some of that, too. Several blog posts popped into my mind and I should have just gotten up right then and there and written because, wouldn't you know, they've flittered right out, soaked into the threads of my pillowcase. But I couldn't get up because, even if I'd decided that staying awake all night long when a boisterous nearly four-year-old and an energetic toddler would need me in the morning, I couldn't because my arms and legs were the thick limbs of a tree and my body, the trunk.

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I concentrate on a particular body part, often one of my hands, and try not to think of anything else. This often works and I'm asleep in minutes. I think it might be a result of disallowing my mind to wander. So, two nights ago, I started thinking about my left arm, concentrating on it. And it suddenly felt heavy and wooden and enormous. Oddly, so did the rest of my limbs. I decided to just leave them there and let my mind wander which led to the above mentioned ideas for posts and the disappointing fact that I couldn't get out of bed because I'd turned into a tree.

This right here is bold blogging. Forget about confessing my inner thoughts about infertility and faith and being a transracial family. Late at night I turned into a tree. That's some heavy (read: crazy) stuff.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Dear Matthew,

You are so very teeny tiny and yet, so much bigger than you were when I first laid eyes on you. At 15 months, 22 lbs and 8 oz, and 29.75 inches long you're like a cross between between a lilliputian and a bowling ball. I think it's your tenacity that throws people off because very few people look at you and recognize that you're small. They see your mobility, your strength, and your enormously bright smile and comment on what a big boy you are. But we know your stats. We're raising the next Darren Sproles.

You're larger than life.

This morning, in the grocery store, you were squealing and laughing and getting all kinds of attention. As I pushed the cart I whispered, "I'm gonna get you!" And, without warning, you started tickling yourself and laughing hysterically. I whispered it again, never once touching you, and you set to tickling yourself again. Your little chubby hands wandered down to your belly and up to your neck. Then you shrugged up your shoulders as though someone was tickling the bananas out of you, cocked your head to the side, and let out a hilarious cackle. We continued this routine for several aisles, with you tickling yourself all the while.

About a week ago you decided to fall down. One of your top teeth went nearly all the way through your tongue. You sobbed for, oh, about six seconds. As blood poured forth from your mouth I sprinted to the kitchen--with you in my arms--and unwrapped a popsicle in record speed. I'm surprised you haven't pulled that little stunt again just so you can have more delicious flavored ice. It stopped the bleeding almost entirely and, as I examined the partially severed chunk of tongue, I decided that since it was no longer bleeding I'd just keep a close eye on it and feed you soft foods for awhile. It is almost entirely healed but I figured I'd mention it to the pediatrician today. She informed me that--as I'd deduced (with the help of grandpa and daddy)they don't do anything for tongue wounds. Even if it had gone all the way through they wouldn't have sutured it. Apparently, the tongue is a miraculously fast healing group of muscles.

You walk. You run. You walk backwards. You climb. You follow your brother anywhere and everywhere. You slither down the stairs on your belly so fast it's as though our steps turn into a slip and slide laced with dish soap. You throw balls (better than you almost four-year-old brother, really). You're like a little motor machine. Today the doctor observed you for two seconds and said, "Wow. He's really active."

You. Don't. Say.

I hadn't noticed. I hadn't noticed that every waking moment is spent chasing one of my energy filled sons somewhere or another. I hadn't noticed that I love every second of it and that, in turn, I love collapsing on the couch when you both fall blissfully to sleep at night. We started (and finished in about two weeks which is just a ridiculous character flaw on my part) watching the first season of 24 and I have become obsessive about making sure you're in your crib when I go to bed. I don't know where I think you'd be, kidnapped by presidential assassins, I suppose. I mean, I put you in your crib and you have yet to learn how to climb out but 24 will do a number on a mom's psyche. So I habitually check on you before climbing in to bed and then I watch you on the monitor. I'm like your creepy stalker. Seriously. It's borderline diagnosable. I may need a prescription of Xanax. But all this to say, when I gently turn the door knob and slink quietly into your room, you are a sight to behold. Precious. Cuddly. Sweetly breathing. And maybe 24 has nothing to do with. Maybe I was holding my breath for so long before that I didn't have enough oxygen to be obsessive compulsive about whether or not you were still in your crib. Maybe now that I've exhaled stale air and inhaled fresh I've begun to worry about the things other moms think about. Things like whether or not axe murderers have snuck past, climbed the stairs, snuck back past with a spooked 15-month-old, and gotten out the door without being noticed. Wait. No? Normal moms do not, in fact, worry about such things?

I blame you, Jack Bauer. I blame you.

You are the worst teether. Hands down in the history of the world. I promise. It probably doesn't help that you decided to get, like, all your teeth in a six month stretch. You have ten now which is only slightly less than Garrett had when he turned two. You are absolutely miserable every time you're about to cut a tooth and it seems as though you hold us personally responsible. We're sorry, Buddy. We don't mean for your teeth to hurt you and they are necessary for all that food you like to eat. Which is, you know, everything in sight.

Except broccoli.