Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Because Lori and the boys are enjoying their time in San Diego The Husband was enlisted to pinch hit on the blog just so that you can continue to read about the happenings of all things Doozleberry.* Firstly, here is the brief report from my wife in sunny SoCal:

. . . I'm busy having fun and when I'm not busy having fun Matthew is sleeping in the room with the computer. We've been swimming twice and Garrett is turning into a regular fish. We spent the day at the beach with my parents and bro and Heather yesterday and the marine layer was gone for a total of about two hours. Because of that trip, I'm still finding sand on the boys. Today was great seeing all our friends from our previous church and tonight I'm seeing my Grandpa. And then the Emmy's so yeah!

Now that you are caught up on the recent family happenings, let me rewind to a week ago, back in the Beehive state. Lori and I and the boys had decided to spend last Monday (one of the last days of summer as determined by the school calendar) going to the local pool with the boys. Much to our chagrin when we arrived we found that local place of watery fun was already on the school calendar and did not open until the evening. This left us with a disappointed Rock Star--thankfully Little Buddy wasn't so aware of the fun that had just been deleted from his itinerary. So, we improvised. I think I promised a popsicle or something similar to keep the tears from flowing and then we returned home and pulled out our very own slip-n-slide.

It wasn't quite the pool and it was much colder than I would have liked, but much fun was had by all. Well, except maybe the wife. She didn't not partake in the day's slippery fun. Instead, she took pictures while her boys played in the water. In truth, I think she was much happier that way. Anyway, here are a few pictures of one of those perfectly ordinary family afternoons that you hope you never forget :

Is it just me or does look like Little Buddy is pretending to luge, expression and all.

Later, I became a surfboard, or sled, or . . . whatever . . .

So it ended up being a good day after all. Maybe if I get a chance I'll tell you about how the next night the Rock Star and I got the chance to see our AAA baseball team the Salt Lake Bees.

*Of course most of you know that Doozelberry is not our real name, thank goodness. I'm just wondering why our alternate last name couldn't have been something a little more classic like a really good stage name.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day One

San Diego: Day One & Two

I managed to get all my junk and all my kids onto the flight. The Husband got a pass to go through with me and we decided to take the "Expert Traveler" route. I'm sure there were more than a few raised eyebrows but, between the two of us, we were able to fly through the security check faster, even, than some of the single travelers around us. So, uh, take that, eyebrow raisers. I was also able to move to the back of the plane and take the car seat on. This made life exponentially easier than it would have been if I'd been wrangling a kid who is threatening to hit the eighteen month mark.

My mom drove up to Long Beach and picked us up at the airport. Have you ever been to the Long Beach airport? It was like flying in to somewhere small. Somewhere tropical. Somewhere small and tropical. Like Kauai. Or The Bahamas. Or a lesser known airstrip in El Salvador. We got off the plane outside, walked through a teensy little room, and walked back outside. That's where the luggage was. Underneath a metal roof. In 108 degree heat. That somehow felt very humid. So again with thinking I'd ended up in El Salvador.


We stopped at a McDonald's on the way home and I got to meet a fellow blogger who lives in Colorado but is visiting her family in San Diego. Or, well, she was visiting but now she's just waiting for her broken car to get fixed. It's a long story. She was so sweet and if we'd known each other while we were attending the same college, at the same time, we'd probably have been good friends. Except I was a lot more dramatic then so it's really anybody's guess. Matthew hadn't had a nap so he was a real peach but other than that the visit was great. I've got pictures to prove it happened but for the time being they are stuck on my camera.

Today we spent the day at my sister-in-law's house. I came home to put the boy down for a nap and The Rock Star is still enjoying time with his California Cousins. He has four of them. He knows Kian's name because he's the only boy. When I asked him who had gotten him a water bottle he paused and then finally whispered, "One of the girls." Apparently we need to quiz him on their names a little more frequently. He's having a blast and I know there will be tears when I go retrieve him in a few minutes. After all, he's been carting around dead lizards all day. They're dead because my sister-in-law's golden retrievers like to tote them in their mouths. They're being carried around by Garrett because he thinks they are, "just sleeping." Terrific.

It's hot here. But it's home. And I love it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flight Status

When people hear that I drive by myself to and from San Diego or Tahoe with a four-year-old and a toddler they go into cardiac arrest. It's not a big deal for me. I did it when they were younger than this so it hardly seems like something I should stress out about.

Still, when I realized that JetBlue still flies into Long Beach and I can use all my stored up points to fly instead, well, I'm no idiot. Unfortunately that means that this time Troy has to drive all alone when he comes so that we can drive home together.

But what does it say about me that I'm more stressed about getting myself, a four-year-old, an almost eighteen-month-old, three carry-ons, two suitcases and a car seat on the plane than I ever am about driving? And, okay, so maybe I'm just more worried that Matthew is going to throw one of his world famous fits while we're higher than the clouds with no where to go.

In any case, we'll at least be there faster. And that is definitely something.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Bath

See, there are lots of things I would write about, lots of things I often think I should write about. But then I remember that boys read my blog. My brother, for one. A few of the guys from my church, for two. And. Well. That's about it. But still.

And I know. That certainly didn't stop me from being all, "Childbirth! Yeah! Two thumbs up."

Side note: Apparently The Rock Star's birth story scares people. Like, they're all, "No kids for me, thanks." Which it is totally not supposed to do. No. It's supposed to have the reverse effect. It's supposed to be like, "Epidural: yes! Tiny baby fingers and toes: a thousand times yes! Ice panties: infinity yes!" Except, actually, the ice panties didn't make an appearance until later that night when the birth story was over but you can obviously see the effect they had on me. Like a good drug those things. Like morphine...

Anyway, so yeah.

There's a whole label here that's specifically around just for things that I shouldn't blog about. Not with church going readers. Not with male readers. Not with church going male readers. There sure are some gems hiding under that qualifier. Passages about bosoms, feces, and the mating habits of crocodiles. And you won't even find anything about puke there because vomit gets its own category.

So I've been thinking about how to tell you about The Best Bath Ever. But how? Because what mommy, in her right mind, would be taking almost an hour long bath, in the middle of the afternoon, on a Monday, without good reason?

So I'm just going to come right out and say it and, you know what, I just don't even care. Alright. That's not true. I do care. I do. Sorry Jon. Sorry Guys From My Church. Sorry Any Other Male Who Might Be Reading. It's just that I had about the worst cramps ever this afternoon. And not, like, a charlie horse. No. Like full on menstrual, terrible, awful, worst ever cramps. Okay, not ever because again with the child birth but boy howdy! They were...unpleasant. In fact, their ferocity was so intense that they were wrapping around and gripping my lower back with horrifically unfortunate sharp, talon-like, evil, fingers. And for a few moments I kind of wanted to die. (See, this is my problem. I can't just say, "Hey, y'all, I had some cramps." Nope. Not me. I'm verbose. Blame my English teachers. Where was I? Oh, right. The dying part.

So thankfully Mondays are The Husband's day off. The Little Buddy went down for a nap and Troy is taking The Rock Star to a minor league baseball game tonight with vouchers that he got for playing t-ball. (The Rock Star, that is. But I'm sure you were able to come up with that on your own.) They'll be out late so Garrett took a nap as well.

And I managed to stop dying long enough to draw a bath--blessedly, the tub had just been cleaned. I lit two candles even though it was broad daylight. When you only take two baths a year ambiance is necessary regardless of the hour. I poured juice into a wine glass. Don't feel sorry for me. Don't think about how pathetic that is. The truth of the matter is that even if I'd had wine in my house I wouldn't touch it because, in a nutshell, "BLECK!" Then I busted open the knock-off brand Oreo cookies that Walmart makes--which, surprisingly, taste a whole lot like the real thing. I dumped a package of Dead Sea Perfumed Bath Salts, straight from Israel, into my very warm water. They frothed and fizzed and turned the water a disturbing shade of blue and I was a little afraid to get in, actually. (It looked like I'd dissolved blue frosting into my bath.) I grabbed my Bible and a copy of Better Homes and Gardens and I climbed in.

Then I died. But in a good way. Not the poisoned tentacles suffocating the center of my body kind of death I was experiencing before. This was more like, "I just became blue Jello and am warm and clean and the sea salts are exfoliating my entire existence right now" kind of dying.

And then, after quite awhile, I got out, declaring that I truly feel the need to schedule another bath in the very near future. Like, it's so important that it just overtook pay the bills and change the baby on my list of things to do.

The cramps are gone, for anyone who is still wondering.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

High School Freshman

Last night I was talking to my cousin on Facebook. This is impossible because Holly is eight months old. She is certainly not 14 and she is certainly not a Freshman in high school. She is not a Freshman in high school because I was Freshman in high school on the day she was born. And she's my babiest cousin of them all. That's not to say she acts like a baby, just that she's the youngest. The day after she was born I said something completely lame and ridiculous to my Spanish teacher about how she had the same name as my baby cousin. It was so lame and ridiculous that I still remember saying it. And my teacher looked at me like she didn't quite know how to respond. What she ended up saying was, "Good name." What she was likely thinking was, "Well, it's not terribly uncommon you dweeb." But she was young and fun and I found any excuse I could to say anything to her that was not related to Spanish.

It does not make me feel old at all that that teacher was younger than I am now. It does not make me feel old at all that Holly is a Freshman. The fact that I've been out of high school for eleven years and out of college for seven makes me feel young and spry and whippersnapperish.

Nostalgia. It'll get you every time. Sneaks right up to you and yells something about being old. How does the time go so fast? How does Matthew already take up most of his crib? How does Garrett fall asleep with his gangly legs hanging off the side of the bed? How is Holly a Freshman? And, most importantly, how am I going to celebrate my last twentysomething birthday in a matter of days?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gender As Determined By Garrett

Awhile back we were picking up some pictures at Costco. Both of my boys were riveted to a music video with Justin Bieber featuring Jaden Smith. As they both bopped to the beat, clips from The Karate Kid flashed and The Rock Star became somewhat fascinated with "A-rot-i". So I waited and eventually the film showed up at our dollar movie theatre.

I took him this afternoon. First, is it wrong to put my young children through a rigid exercise routine now so that when they're 12 they have the body of one Jaden Smith? Seriously.

Second, when we got home and The Rock Star was telling his dad about the movie he kept saying things like, "The naughty boy in red beat up the girl." and, "The girl learned aroti."
So then I was all, "Dude, say what?" Because there was a girl. But she played the violin. She didn't learn Kung Fu. I explained to him that the main character--our protagonist, if you will--was, indeed, a boy.
He laughed hysterically. "No. She had all those curlies."
By curlies he means this...

Apparently my son follows a strict hair code. Short hair=boy. Long hair=girl. End of story.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Didn't I Get The Warning?

At least once a day The Rock Star picks me a flower or a weed or a blade of grass, presents it to me, smiles, and says, "You look pretty."

It's incredibly charming and it almost makes up for the fact that he pitched a hurricane of a fit in the middle of Kohl's today.

Why didn't anyone warn me about four?

I had a head's up about the terrible twos. I'd even heard that some kids bypass the terrible twos and beat their parents up during the thunderous threes. But these, these ferocious fours. Oh. My. Stars.

The defiance.

The disobedience.

The negotiating.

The talking to me like he's a fourteen-year-old girl with a raging case of PMS.

The acting like he's high and mighty and I'm dumber than dirt one second and then throwing himself on the couch in an angry rage the next.

Is there something I can give him for this? Something like Midol, maybe. Because it really seems like he's processing life the way teenage girls handle things once a month.

Sometimes he's so adorably sweet, so funny, so very well behaved.

Sometimes he's pulling the diaper bag off my shoulder with incredible strength in the middle of Kohl's as he screams bloody murder and people glance in our direction just to be sure that a kidnapping isn't taking place. And I wonder if I gave birth to two babies and my sweet little boy sometimes takes turns with his evil twin. Except I was there. Only one baby came out. Which means that this is all The Rock Star right here.

All the sweet, sugary, flower delivering little man.

All the coping skills of a pubescent girl.

All 100% The Rock Star.

Psalm 127:3 "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adventures At The Pool

When we left for the pool today it was boiling hot and there was only one puffy white cloud in the sky. After 35 minutes of fun we were "hailed" out. As we hightailed it to the car The Rock Star screamed, "My eye, my eye! Naughty rain!" I explained to him that it was, in fact, frozen rain. (His eye is fine, by the way.)

While we were there, The Rock Star slid down one of the slides. It dumps him into water that is just shallow enough for him to touch. As soon as he spurted out into the water, while he was searching for his footing, a much bigger girl sailed down and missed him by about an inch. He swam over to me and declared, "Mommy, I almost got hit by that MORON!"

It was one of those parenting moments where I was desperately trying to chastise the child but what he said and the way he said it kept replaying in my mind and it was just so funny. I alternated between trying with all my might not to laugh and telling him that we don't call people morons. Later I asked him where he'd heard that word. I mean, certainly I mutter it under my breath from time to time while I'm driving (because, apparently, I don't take my own parenting advice) but I don't usually scream it for the children to hear. I'm fairly certain that someone on Cars says it at some point but I couldn't remember, exactly. He told me that he learned it at school.

Me: What? At school?
Him: Yeah. There are lots of morons in outer space.
Me: What? There are morons in space?
Him: Yeah. They are super fast rocks.
Me: (thinking aloud) Fast rocks. Morons. Fast rocks. Comet? Meteor? (louder) Garrett, do you mean a meteor?
Him: Oh. Yeah. Meteor.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Picnics in Five Days

We drove up to Heber City last week to check out a lodge that The Husband is using for their upcoming Men's Retreat. (He'll call it Men's Camp but when you're staying in a brand new, 6500 square foot, gorgeous mansion well, you're retreating. Not camping.) We decided to pack a lunch, lug the dog, and have a picnic by the side of the river. Then we planned on having the dog fetch things out of the river but it was running pretty swiftly and he'd only play in the water right by the shoreline. I was fairly thankful for this wise choice on his part as I didn't particularly want to be chasing my helpless dog down river.
It was moving faster than it looks in this picture. I promise. I mean, it wasn't raging and there weren't class V rapids but still...

My boys loved exploring the riverbank and this bridge. Their mom They also really liked throwing rocks off of it. In fact, The Rock Star had to practically be pried away. He would have gladly stayed all day.

Then, yesterday, (The Husband's day off) we had a morning meeting. I packed another lunch and when the meeting was over we headed to Wheeler Farm. After we looked around at the animals for awhile we ate our lunch by the river creek that runs through the farm's border. And then we let the boys play in the tiny streams that trickle through the grounds.

The streams are murky. But it was 95 degrees and the stream was chilly. I bathed them thoroughly when we got home because, well, there is a multitude of geese and ducks and they leave their dropping everywhere!

No one really wanted to leave. But there was the little fact that The Little Buddy insisted on eating sand again and I've already changed the diaper that proves it. It's like his treat of choice these days. He loves it. It's a problem.

And The Rock Star kept making super good decisions. Like jumping from three feet up into four inches of water covered sharp rocks. And then not sticking the landing.

But the splashing. The wading. The crawling. The cooling off and relaxing. It all does a boy good on a hot summer afternoon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

He's Learning New Words

The Little Budster's been learning more words. He doesn't say too many of them without prompting but he's added "doll" and "me" and a handful of other unintelligible words. He does some sort of grunt for "airplane" and a very animated dance number and babble that, apparently, means "toothbrush". He also learned the signs for "please" and "thank you" in about a day and a half. Although, thank you is accompanied with a smacking noise and looks a lot like he's blowing a kiss. Anyway, this morning my shirt was hopelessly wrinkled so I was walking around without it while I waited for the iron to warm up. I went to get Matthew up. It's been hot so he's been sleeping in just pajama bottoms. He flashed me his famous smile, stood, walked to the end of the crib and got a funny look on his face. Then he pointed at me, grabbed his own chest and exclaimed, "BAA!"

Uh. Is it safe to say that one of Matthew's first ten words spoken was bra?

Yeah. I thought so.

Oh boy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Pizza

Disclaimer: This isn't going to turn in to a recipe blog. I promise. The reasons for this are twofold.

Reason One being that there are 80,000,000,001 cookbooks and recipe blogs out there so the world definitely doesn't need one more. Although I suppose that the same can be said for mommy blogs and mommy memoirs and that hasn't stopped me.

Reason Two being that while I can follow a recipe--as long as it involves fairly basic ingredients--I would never, in a hundred thousand years, define myself as a cook, chef, or culinary expert of any kind. In fact, just the other night I saw a commercial for a Salt Lake cooking competition. That very night I had a terrifying dream in which I had somehow managed to get myself involved with this competition. We were given only four ingredients in which to make an award winning dish. What a nightmare. Just thinking about it gives me hives.

So Ree Drummond I am not. I'm convinced that rancher's wife could make a masterpiece using only basil, flour, barbecue sauce and goat cheese. I have her cookbook. My mom gave it to me for Christmas and we proceeded to trash my kitchen with a fryer chicken, enchilada sauce, beef, noodles, and an assortment of herbs and spices. I'm convinced that you can't cook a Pioneer Woman meal without a great deal of mess. Troy is convinced that her recipes take forever to prepare and clean up so that she has an excuse not to wrangle cattle all the live long day.

So not terribly long ago I went through the cookbook page by page and wrote down all the recipes I wanted to try--someday. There are things in there that I'm never touching with someone else's tongue. Things like Guacamole. Because I remain convinced that avocados are the food of the devil. Another thing I'm never making are the Cheese Grits. Because while Hell may serve guacamole for an afternoon snack, grits are likely on the breakfast menu. Anyway. From time to time I pull out the cookbook and put one of her recipes on my list of things to do that week.

There are a couple recipes that I've flagged that have huge question marks next to them. One of them is Hot Artichoke Dip. I hated artichokes as a kid. So much, in fact, that I haven't touched one since. My friend and her family would annihilate an artichoke in a matter of minutes, sucking the flesh right off and giddily working their way to the heart. It was almost barbaric. But I feel like I haven't given the artichoke a fair shake. Maybe hot artichoke dip is the way to go to reintroduce myself to the perennial thistle. The other question marked recipe is for Potato-Leek Pizza.

I was in Winco a couple week ago and I spied leeks. Or, rather, I spied the little tag identifying something as leeks. There were so many vegetables I'd never seen before, lying all on top of one another like I was interrupting something special, that I couldn't figure out what was whom and which was that. Too self conscious to ask which one was a leek--for fear that this was something I should have learned about in a picture book when I was two--I walked away. I was never actually going to make Potato-Leek Pizza? Was I?

Yesterday I went to WalMart. As I put bananas and apples and grapes and tomatoes into my cart I saw them. Leeks. Leeks upon leeks upon leeks. And I figured, why not?

This prompted the checker to say, "What are these?" And when I informed her she questioned, "What are they used for?" To which I replied that I'd never used them before but I had a recipe that called for them so we'd see what they were all about.

The woman in line behind me supplied, "They're delicious. They are like a really enormous onion." And my stomach sunk. Because I don't like tiny, almost nonexistent onions. You can all point and laugh now. I had no idea that a leek was anything like an onion. Or, if I knew, I blocked that traumatic piece of information right out.

I decided to just go along with this silly endeavor and send Troy out to Little Caesar's if I couldn't choke the end result down. I mean, my firstborn thinks potatoes are the worst invention ever and that wasn't stopping me. Fair is fair. I suppose.

So Garrett helped me make Ree's pizza dough. (Yeah. We're totally not on a first name basis and if I ever met her I would probably look down a lot and stumble over my words and eventually say something about Rocky Mountain Oysters.) Something bad happened with the dough. It didn't really rise. The yeast was not expired so I don't have a clue what happened but I'd be lying if I said that whole "yeast spore in pancake mix killing people all over the place" thing didn't cross my mind. But this wasn't pancake mix. It was starchy, oniony pizza and we were committed. And by we I mean just me. Because I'd apparently gone insane.

My pizza looked nothing (Read: NOT A SINGLE THING) like Ree's. It had way less leek-age. I figured that, what with me being a hater and Garrett, likely, going ballistic that I put potatoes on an otherwise perfect pizza let alone smothered the thing in onions, we'd better just limit those leeks before they went all crazy-like on me. I did recently find out, as in right now, that the leek joins the onion in the Alliaceae family and is, therefore, not exactly an onion but this hardly has any effect on my story. My pizza also didn't have fresh mozzarella. No. It had shredded mozzarella. From a bag. Because that's how I roll. I also abstained from the goat cheese because, well, I didn't have any.

I called my mom and asked which part of the leek to use. She didn't really know but we worked it out together. I decided to cut mine into tiny pieces. She asked me what on earth I was making and, when I explained, asked what my husband and son thought of this little kitchen experiment. I told her they were not privy to this information. They don't have high enough kitchen security clearance to have such knowledge. A takeout pizza was in my future, I explained.

First, I fried bacon. Next, I sauteed the leeks in some of the bacon grease. Then I sliced the potatoes paper thin. I placed the potatoes directly on top of the rolled out dough. No sauce involved. After that, I covered the taters in mozzarella. Then I put the sauteed leeks and the bacon on top. Finally, I topped it all with Parmesan cheese. It looked like this.

Which I actually didn't think looked half bad. Then I baked it for ten minutes.

And it smelled delicious. And we ate it. Potatoes (on pizza no less!), leeks, and all. Troy bit into it and tried to determine what it was. So I spelled it, unwilling to tell the four-year-old that potatoes were involved. "I like it!" declared The Husband.

The Rock Star wolfed his down with somewhat wild abandon. Although, in fairness, he did get a curious look on his face with each bite as he moved it around in his mouth and said, "Something is on this. Something like...eggs." The Little Buddy eventually ate all of his. It's hard to say whether he wasn't a fan of the pizza or was having a coronary over the pair of flies that had snuck into our kitchen. He has a serious fear of flies.

Garrett called his Grandma on the phone and exclaimed, "We just had yummy pizza!" Of course, he never knew it was covered with potatoes.

I thought there was something wrong with the dough. It was heavy and thick when it should have been thin and crispy. The bacon was slightly overcooked. But, overall, I declared it perfectly edible. Maybe, even, a little short on the leeks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pesky Brothers

Have I told you about my brother? He was born pesky and I'm sure that, one day, he'll die pesky. That's just the way it is with brothers. The boys are being taught a lot of lessons on sharing right now. This is because The Little Buddy takes his brother's toys. All. The. Time. We explain that, unless Garrett was actively playing with something, he needs to share it with his brother and stop that incessant wailing and yanking of said toy out of his brother's hands. Obviously, if Garrett was playing with whatever it is then Matthew has to give it back. The other night my boys were about to get in the tub. The Little Buddy climbed in first and took possession of a toy. The Star climbed in a minute later and took the toy. I watched it happen and demanded that he hand the object back to his little brother. "But mom," he bemoaned, "we share in this family!"

When it is convenient for him, apparently we share in this family.

I yelled down to The Husband, who was washing dishes, "I feel the need to call my brother and apologize."

A few minutes later Garrett was lying flat in the tub, belly down. Matthew climbed on top of his legs, also lying belly down, cackled, and bit Garrett in the butt. It wasn't vindictive. He wasn't mad. It was nothing more than a nibble, really.*

Which is pretty much how I remember it. I applied the rules to my little brother and, minutes if not hours later, he smiled and placed some form of retaliation upon me. Likely he did it with a smile because, as I said, he was pesky.

Garrett is the controlling brat factor (a.k.a. Me) and Matthew is the pesky little ankle--read:butt--biter (a.k.a. Jon).

Anyway, Pesky Jon left a comment a few days back asking to see pictures of The Rock Star with all of his "Hi. I'm a Boy and Therefore I Must Be Wounded At All Times" glory.
The first busted lip. He achieved this by losing his footing on our concrete steps.
I don't have a picture of the second busted lip which was accompanied by a bloody nose when he somehow redirected as he jumped--from a sitting position--off the counter and his face ricocheted off the floor.
The black eye and bruised cheek he got from somehow running into a chair at church. I wasn't there to witness this one so...the logistics are beyond me.

*Garrett actually laughed. Which was good if not slightly disturbing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pampering Peach Moisturizing Foam Bath: A Garden Escape

I've had a bottle of bubble bath hanging in my tub for awhile now. I love a good bath but the tub has to be clean--really clean--if I'm going to lounge around in it. (And, well, there needs to be time in the day for such things.) Nothing has been known to make me nauseated faster than a stray hair wrapping itself around me while I'm supposed to be relaxing. And it's not that I don't clean my tub, it just seems that ours is the last bathroom to get cleaned, the one that always gets put on the back burner, because we're the only people who ever see it. So. Few baths. I'm generally okay with it.

Last night I was taking a shower and I glanced at the bottle of peach bubble bath, about 3/4 full. I always read the back of this particular bottle while I'm washing my hair because it has an ingredient that is 27 letters long. Methylchloroisothiazolinone. That's, like, all kinds of ridiculous right there. But last night I didn't focus on vocabulary. No. Last night I read the rest of the bottle.

Peach Foam Bath starts your day with a tantalizing stroll through a garden of beauty. A luxurious fragrance adds to the experience as extracts of Peach, Pineapple, and Honeysuckle, combined with Apricot Kernel emollients and cleansing properties of Primrose, leave your skin clean and healthy. Turn your morning into an escape.

I'm pretty sure my mouth actually fell open. Um. I'm most concerned that not once but twice we are directed to take this luxurious bath in the morning. My husband was in our bedroom and I read it to him finishing with, "Who are these women that have time to bathe in the morning?" He replied that they must be stay-at-home moms without children. "So, stay-at-home wives?" I questioned. And he snickered.

I've only got two kids and, trust me, there is no time for a tantalizing stroll through a garden of beauty. There are smashed bananas and spilled cereal and poop that smears onto my leg because the baby's diaper leaked. There are three toy bins dumped into one giant pile and milk spit down the front of a previously clean onesie. There's the realization that every room--not just the bathroom--looks like a bomb was detonated. There's the little one hitting the bigger one and the bigger one screaming at the top of his lungs at the littler one and then laughter ringing out as they both decide to let bygones be bygones. There's hair gel and toothpaste and, "Don't touch the straightener! You're burn yourself!" There's dog food--in Matthew's mouth--and Garrett on a counter top trying to get his own cup down because he's a big boy. A tantalizing stroll through a garden--hardly.

So who writes this stuff? Moms who can only wish that there aren't any stray hairs taking up residence in their bathtubs? Business women who wake up at four in order to squeeze in their morning escape? I don't know anyone--unless, maybe, she is retired--who has time to turn her morning into an escape.

And, quite frankly, when all I want is a luxurious bath and I actually have the time--and, well, a clean tub--I'm not sure I want it compared to a tantalizing stroll through a garden of beauty. A sumptuous soak in the warm waters of Peach, Pineapple and Honeysuckle instead of being hit by the errant spray of a four-year-old's urine is really all I need.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Seven Whys For Seven Years

Seven years. Isn't something supposed to be itchy?

I don't feel scratchy. Well, except my eyes which I'd like to pluck out and throw at whatever I'm allergic to. But really. Nothing itchy. Nothing scratchy. Just another year, really.

If by just another year I mean Dude, I'm more in love with him now than ever and I don't really want to be anywhere more than I want to be in his arms. Unless I can be in his arms in Hawaii sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. Or, well, Italy would be nice.

He knows I love him. I tell him multiple times a day. I end with it every time we hang up the phone. I've written all about it here. But, in case anyone is looking for a "why" here goes.


1. I love him because he is the spiritual head of our house. When I have a biblical question he almost always has an answer. If he doesn't have the answer, he makes a point of finding it...quickly. He is kingdom minded. And, as he looks ahead to what comes after this life, he spends this one loving me.

2. He loves the people that are most important to me. He loves our children. He plays with them and he snuggles with them and he disciplines them and he adores them. And he changes diapers. Obviously, I wouldn't have married him if he'd refused to change diapers (No. I'm not even kidding.) but the fact that he changes them willingly--sometimes some of the most horrible ones--is a definite bonus. He loves my family--sometimes I think he loves them just as much as I do. He loves to spend time with them, play games with them, laugh with them, vacation with them. It warms my heart. Quite a lot.

3. He does the dishes at least six nights out of seven. Hand washes them, even. And he cleans the floors. Because he knows how much I hate floors. He also mows the lawn. I grew up in a house where the dad did the yard work so I basically expect this from him. However, it is good because I have a slightly irrational fear of lawn mowers. I feel like I had a friend whose father or uncle or something lost a finger as a result of a lawn mower gone bad. I've been kind of afraid of them ever since I learned this information--or made it up.

4. He works so that I don't have to work outside of the home. Sometimes his hours are great and allow us to spend a lot of time together. Sometimes he's on the phone for two hours dealing with a care situation. Sometimes he has a lot of meetings. Sometimes he has to make midnight trips to the hospital. Sometimes it's December and he disappears on the 1st and reappears just after Christmas.* He's always been committed to me being at home. Even when I start hyperventilating and threatening to get a job at In & Out. I'm pretty thankful that he insists on making a great deal of sacrifices so that I can be home with the boys.

5. He's level headed. I'm not. It's a necessary balance.

6. He sees the best in people. He gives them the benefit of the doubt. Very rarely does he ever talk negatively about anyone. I hope that this quality is slowly rubbing off on me because just yesterday I had a really nasty conversation in my head regarding a Walmart worker. (In fairness to me, I used the express checkout. She scanned things more than once and, when my total was quite a bit more than I was expecting and I showed her the errors she got annoyed with me and told me to go to Customer Service because there, "isn't a thing I can do about it." People make mistakes. I'm the worst offender. But at least apologize instead of acting like it's my fault that you double scanned things. Whew. See what I mean. Troy would never write something like that.)

7. He supports me. If I want to do something, he tells me to go for it. If I don't want to do something, he backs me up--unless, say, I don't want to pay the bills. Then he threatens to do it himself and, well, I'm a total control freak and I get hives just thinking about not knowing whether or not we'll have electricity tomorrow. He stands behind me when I succeed and when I fail. He listens when I cry, talk incessantly, whine, etc.

Nothing about this marriage is itchy. Seven years feels like fifty and like one day all rolled into the safety of my head on his shoulder and my heart in his hand. And I wouldn't change one minute of the past 84 months. Well, alright, in the interest of full disclosure, I'd probably have sold the house a year before the market crashed. But other than that...

I love you, Troy. You're pretty much my lobster. And you don't have to say it just 'cause I did.

*I might be exaggerating. But only a little.

Monday, August 9, 2010


In flashback form, seven years ago I was getting ready to go to our wedding rehearsal. Wow. Seven years. That's over 220,000,000 moments. It only took a few of those to say, "I do." Quite a bit more to give birth to our first child. Many, many of them to fight to welcome our second child into our family. We've spent a lot of them sleeping and a lot of them in sleepless nights. Several upon several in agony but so many more in bliss. And, looking back, it is ever so true that...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's All Self Inflicted, I Promise!

The Rock Star looks like we beat him up.

Not even two weeks ago he fell on our concrete steps and busted his lip.

Last week he was sitting on the counter top. He went to jump down and somehow got caught. Then he face planted and wailed. My father-in-law, who was visiting, thought he broke his arm. I thought he broke his face. His nose bled and a different portion of his lip turned black and blue.

Today, at church, he managed to smash into a chair. The entire right side of his face is either scraped, bruised, or both.

Boys. They're like magnets for pain and destruction.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


The Rock Star and I were playing with his toys a couple of days ago. He refers to Buzz Lightyear as Buzz Lightear which is not quite as funny as his friend, O, who calls him Buzz Light which, of course, translates in my head to Bud Light. This, obviously, gives a whole new meaning to the name Buzz. Not that I drink Bud Light. Because I don't. Because the one time I tasted beer I promptly spat it into the sink, stuck my head under the faucet and rinsed my mouth out for about 32 minutes. Anyway. As Garrett spun Buzz around and around, up and down, over and under things he proudly declared, "I am Buzz Lightear! I come in beast!"

Friday, August 6, 2010


I kind of thought that age didn't really wither us. And by us I mean my husband who seems to have located a fountain of youth.

Then I found this picture which was taken just over five years ago. We'd recently accumulated the kitten. Beck was an exuberant not-quite-two-year-old cross between a puppy and a dog. I was, apparently, still a teenager and my husband, 34 at the time, looked practically pubescent himself.

Yikes what five more years and a couple of kids will do to a couple.

See for yourselves...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Modesty, Mostly

I'm not modest.

By nature, that is.

I went through puberty in a skin tight competitive swim suit. I stripped down to my birthday suit every night after practice before I jumped into a hooded sweatshirt and flannel pajama pants. There were quick changes in theatre where four or five people were taking off my clothes and replacing them with others. Then I was shoved back on stage hoping I'd put my trust in the right friends, hoping someone had remembered to have me step through a new costume. My formative years left no room for modesty.

In fact, in elementary school I was known to run around my room completely bare. At night. With the light on. And the curtains open. My parents became privy to this--how I'm not entirely sure--and put a stop to it. Thankfully.

Any modesty that I have now is because I know its importance. I've taught myself. I've grown up and I reason that not everyone wants to see the pastor's wife naked. I've read 1 Timothy.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Thankfully my hair is too short to braid, I own no pearls, and we live paycheck to paycheck which hardly allows for expensive clothing. In all honesty however, I know that the meat of this verse lies in the beginning and the end. I don't wear a burqa to cover myself but I try to dress appropriately, with a fair amount of modesty. I don't generally parade around in the buff. I've learned to be decent.

Last week, at our church's Vacation Bible School, I played a role in the ongoing skits. The only army pants--which I needed--that I owned were little boy's size 16. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. I promise. Needless to say, once my part was over I didn't really want to be seen in army pants. Especially little boy's army pants. I went into one of the rooms off of our stage to change.

I stripped down to my skivvies and, just as I began to step into my shorts the door knob turned. Panicked that there was a fifty percent chance the intruder was male I nearly threw my back out contorting into a pretzel shape. I quickly shrunk into the back corner and twisted my body so that I was somewhat covering my underwear while draping my arm over my torso. All the while shouting, "I'm changing! I'm changing!" in the most feminine voice I could muster. Probably I sounded like a man pretending to be a woman. I realized later that I'd succeeded in covering approximately one third of my underwear and virtually none of my chest. They're smaller than they were before nourishing an infant for ten months with them but you try covering a whole bra with one forearm.

The intruder was oblivious to my cries so I nearly fell over a chair in my attempt to get behind it. So committed I was to not having a conversation with a male member of my church that went a little something like this, "We'll never speak of this. And also, forget anything you just saw."

So there I was, crumpled into a mostly naked ball with limbs, pain rippling through my lower back for the sheer speed with which I'd accomplished covering myself up nothing, wondering which of my friends was about to see more of their pastor's wife than they ever imagined, when my husband walked in.

"It's just me," he said.

"A little warning would have been nice," replied the naked pretzel.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am energized by summer. Invigorated. Inspired. I love the smell of fresh cut grass, sun kissed skin, flowers, fruit on the day before it becomes overripe. And, most of all, sunscreen soaking into warm skin. Especially the warm, soft skin of the two kids I love most in the entire world. I love their grins as we woosh down the water slide at the pool, adore their faces as they clumsily dance down the slip and slide, and celebrate that I can send them outside into the sunshine.

I've always been a summer kind of girl. Move me to the tundra and that love is amplified. Fierce. Frenzied. Fall is coming. I can see it hovering over the horizon, desperate to make its appearance in about a month. And autumn is alright. It brings with it hot chocolate and warm fires and, well, football. But it chases away the smell of sunscreen and chlorine and lazy breezes. It serves as the buffer between glorious sun and frozen rain. It ushers in the cold and the cold lasts for what seems like forever.

I plan to shove as many pool days, picnics, and sunshine into this last month. Because I'm a summer girl and the fall is trying to creep up on me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Four-Year-Old Interview

I interviewed The Rock Star a few months back and got some pretty funny answers. I decided to do it again just after his birthday and I think it should become an annual thing.

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE T. V. SHOW? Dragon Tales (This is the same answer he gave last time. He loves himself some dragon adventures.)

2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? Peanut Butter Sandwich. (Um. No he didn't. I generally don't make sandwiches for breakfast. Unless they are egg sandwiches. Yum.)

3. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? John. (Actually first he told me it was Garrett. I asked him if he was sure and he answered, "No. John.")

4. FAVORITE FOOD? Toast Sticks. (I don't think this is really his favorite food. He likes them but he likes other things better, I think. Like pasta. Just kidding.)

5. WHAT FOOD DO YOU DISLIKE? Mashed potatoes (Same answer as last time. And so very true.)

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Brown and black (same answer)

7. FAVORITE LUNCH? Macaroni! (He does like macaroni and cheese. In a box. Made by Kraft. It's the only pasta he'll eat happily.)

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO? Play on my playset (He does like himself some playset.)

9. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? Finding treasure in Nevada (Last time his daddy had just gotten back from Israel and his answer was Israel and New York. I think I'm more on board with those answers than I am with this one. Unless we're talking about looking for treasure on the East side of Tahoe. If we mean the middle of the desert, no thanks.)

10. FAVORITE SPORT? Basketball (same answer as last time, which is weird since he's never really played and he doesn't really watch it either.)

11. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? In July. (now if we could just master the day.)

12. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT PERSON? A morning person. (This switched since last time and this time he hit the nail on the head.)

13. PETS: Beck and Matthew. I mean Beck and Ollie (This one cracked me up.)

14. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? Uh. What do we need to say? Like what? (Apparently he doesn't have any exciting news.)

15. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP ? A paleontologist, a fireman and everything. (Everything? Wow.)


17. WHERE IS THE FURTHEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN FROM HOME? In California. (Or, well, Hawaii but whatever...)

18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? A pirate book.

19. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Um. Not pooping in my lucky underwear! (I don't have a clue what this is about. I didn't even know he had lucky underwear and he hasn't pooped his pants in about 12 months.)

20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? A dragon movie. (He means How to Train Your Dragon and, yes, he likes it.)

21. WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? The chicken. (Good answer kid. Because, well, otherwise how would the egg get sat upon?)

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? dragon (alrighty.)
2. What is your least favorite word? poo (yet, for some reason, he says it all the time.)
3. What turns you on? (I rephrased with, "What do you like?") string cheese
4. What turns you off? (I rephrased with, What don't you like?") mashed potatoes
5. What sound or noise do you love? I like gorilla noises (Um. Okay then.)
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Loud. It bugs my ears. (He does complain about loud noises. Except when he's the one making them. Which is always.)
7. What is your favorite curse word? (I asked him what his favorite bad word was. He responded with) pee (He whispered this. It made me laugh.)
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? fight fires
9. What profession would you not like to do? find spiders
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 love you, Garrett! (Ahhh. So sweet.)

We'll revisit this in a year and see what happens.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mating Habits of Crocodiles

What does it say about me that I just asked my husband how crocodiles mate? Does it say that I'm perpetually stuck in adolescence?

In fairness, he was talking about how the salt water crocodile has the greatest sexual dimorphism of any modern crocodilian. How we got on to this I have no idea. I was looking up the football schedule.