Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Dear Two-Year-Old,

It was just yesterday that you first locked your deep brown eyes with mine. It was just yesterday that I cut your cord, fed you your very first bottle, changed your first diaper, kissed you for the first time. These past two years have both flown by and felt like an eternity. When I first saw your face, I knew that I would spend my lifetime loving you madly.

I can't believe that you are old enough to be walking, running, hopping, jumping, climbing, prancing, and dancing. I can't believe that you are old enough to sing several of the words to Jesus Loves Me and hum the ones you don't know. I don't know how enough time has passed for you to be able to say okay and I love you and music.

Simply put, I cannot believe you're two.

I also cannot believe that, at your birthday party, you took a bite out of your candle and consumed it. I don't know why this shocks me, you've always liked your food. I think your motto is Keep it coming and keep it coming fast. Maybe next year you will understand that I'm giving you the candle so that you can lick the frosting off--not because the candle is the actual dessert.
We took you and several friends to McDonald's this year. We bought Happy Meals for everyone, played on the toys, and ate cupcakes. Then you opened your presents.

Your cheeseburger and fries were a big hit. Not as big as the ketchup, mind you, but you did enjoy them. You've turned into a quadruple, triple, double dipper. Your favorite foods are condiments and you'll use anything as a dunking utensil. In this case the fries--and then your fingers--worked perfectly.

As I looked through my cupcake cookbook, these "doggies" caught your eye. So Grandma and I slaved over them. Grandma cut the pretzels to resemble ears and mouths. I sliced up fruit belts for tongues and used chocolate chips and M&M's for eyes and noses. They were a big hit. You chose well. Of course, in the end, all you wanted to do was eat the eyes, noses, and mouths off of everybody's cupcake. When I tried to get you to eat the cake you shrieked at me like I was attempting to pour arsenic down your throat.

I did manage to get one picture of you with a frosting face and a smile.
That was on Saturday. This morning, I heard you stirring so I went into your room to snap the first picture of you as a two-year-old. Thank you for being so stinkin' adorable. (Emphasis on adorable. Most of the time. Emphasis on stinkin' several times a day.)
Grandma and Grandpa bought you a really big ball for your birthday. It didn't look quite so big in Costco. It didn't look like it would fill our family room. Grandma wants it stated, for the record, that both mommy and daddy signed off on the beast before they purchased it. You (and your brother) absolutely love it.
This morning you opened your presents from the family. Among the gifts were shoes from Grandpa Gary and Grandma DeDe. You opened them and immediately made daddy put them on. You got lots of books, money, a stuffed elephant from your brother, and Buddy from Dinosaur Train--and many, many others.

Daddy took your annual picture in his dress shirt. You absolutely hate this shirt and spend the majority of the photo shoot attempting to get your arms out of the very long sleeves. I'm hoping that you like it more when you get a little bigger. Daddy still managed to get a few cute ones!

Matthew, I can't even begin to tell you how blessed we are to have you in our family. Daily, I am amazed by the miracle of adoption and the gift of God that you are to me. I promise to spend this upcoming year loving you, caring for you, hugging you, protecting you, praying for you, reading to you, playing with you, teaching you, being there for you...and kissing you.
Happy Birthday big boy!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Means...

Matthew's second birthday is on Monday. This is impossible as he is still teeny tiny and chugging his first bottle like he was born to eat. This means I'm about to be the mother of a two-year-old again. This is also crazy as, like I stated before, he is still actually a newborn.

My parents are visiting. This means that a whole lot of playing with Grandpa and cooking Pioneer Woman recipes and hanging out is happening. This also means that I am complete chopped liver when it comes to my children. Their grandparents are much, much better than dear old mom.

I'm speaking in two weeks at a conference in the San Diego area. This means I am putting the finishing touches on what I hope will be a life changing event for the women in attendance. It also means that I am praying for a heaping helping of God speaking through me since, if left to my own devices, I'd say nothing but drivel.

I'm speaking at a conference here in the valley in a little over a month. This means I am trying to work on this at the same time that I am working on the first conference and I am actively trying not to go too crazy.

I am continuing to pray for Trevor. Today they took out his tube. His airway collapsed. The part of his brain that controls his airway is not working like it should be. He was bagged and then sedated again. This means that he had a set back. It also means that my God is still at work in his life. Please continue to pray for total and complete healing.

Please forgive me for my sporadic blogging.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trevor 3

I realize this blog has become Trevor Central. I may as well just go ahead and change the name to Waitin' for Updates From the PICU. It's just that, our family has become Trevor Central as well and, while funny things are happening daily, frustrating things are happening daily, life in general is happening daily, all of it pales in comparison to the time we spend thinking about and praying for Trevor.

You all know that I believe in a mighty God. I suspect that most of you do as well because I can't imagine anyone sticking around here for very long if they didn't. (Although please keep stopping by if you don't! I'd love to try to convince you otherwise.) My amazing Lord delivered us in the 11th hour from our trial. He's continued to deliver us from our adoption related debt. My Savior saved my friend's baby when she was born with her organs on the outside. That little girl is now talking immensely more than my own almost two-year-old and walking and generally just being one of the cutest kids I've ever seen. So let me continue to express that I know my God can do whatever I ask for in prayer. The fact that Trevor is alive is testament to that. But it gets so much better than that, even.

Here is Julie's update from last night...

As I anticipated this morning, today was an exciting day. At about 10:45 they started to take him off of the paralyzing medicine and lowered the dose of sedation so Trevor could start to wake up. About an hour and a half later, he started to move his left hand and both legs. He also opened his eyes when I said his name. When the surgeon came in to do a bedside test, he asked Trevor to:

Open his eyes: yes
Wrinkle his forehead: no
Stick out his tongue: no (this was not really fair since he has a breathing tube in)
Squeeze his hand: Left - Yes, Right - tried hard
Wiggle his toes - yes
Move his legs - yes

The surgeon said he was Very, Very excited about how well he did. He also said he was pleasantly surprised. He continued to be fairly active throughout the day and then would wear himself out and sleep. He has a rattle in his chest and they think he may have pneumonia. They said this is common when someone is on a breathing tube. They immediately started antibiotics to stop this. They are hoping that tonight or tomorrow he will be awake enough to take out the breathing tube.

I was so excited today and know is it all because of the prayers that he has received. Please keep praying for him. Maci has been handling this well and it is nice to have her with us.

Thank you all so much.

Do you see? Do you see what a great God we serve?
My son has learned, in his short life, that God is Almighty, Amazing, Powerful and fully capable of anything. We've also taught him that God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want him to. Still, this would be a difficult concept for any small child. Oh, who am I kidding, it's a difficult concept for me sometimes. Late yesterday afternoon, on the way to the grocery store, he asked, "Mommy, can we pray for Trevor again?"
"Of course," I answered him.
"You go first," he replied. I prayed.
When I finished he shouted, "My turn now. Dear Jesus, please make my friend, Trevor, feel all better so that he can go back to his house and get out of the hospital and get the tubes off. And, God, if you want to bring him to heaven with you, that's okay, too."
Well, to be clear, we are praying emphatically that the Lord will choose to leave Trevor here on Earth for awhile longer, like 70 years or so. But my heart was so warmed that our son has picked up on the fact that we serve a God so big and wonderful that, without hesitation, he can pray a four-year-old version of Your Will Be Done.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trevor 2

For those you who are wondering what has been going on with Trevor, here is an update directly from his mom...

To excited and nervous to sleep - today is the day we have been waiting for! They are going to start lowering his sedation today so that they can wake him up and do some tests. The tests consist of asking him to respond to basic commands. They have been coaching us on our expectations, but mine are very high because of all of the other miracles that have happened lately. They are also going to do another CAT scan today, along with an angiogram. This will allow them to see him brain with dye in it so they can see things more clearly (that is my understanding anyway).

Yesterday was as planned a very peaceful day. He is still on a respirator, but is trying to breath over the machine. If all goes well and he can breath on his own when they wake him up, then they may take him off of it!!! When the nurse was cleaning his IV, he moved his thumb and then a few seconds later his fingers. Pretty exciting!

We were expecting him to have surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but it sounds like that has been postponed for possibly up to a week. They said it is better to wait for more healing before going back in for the repair. Not sure of the date, but will let you know.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support! If you send a note, will you please put where you live by your name? I am making him a map of all of the locations that people were praying for him to show how much people cared.

I appreciate the prayers and for all of the support. I means more than you know.

Julie, Kenny, Maci and Trevor

Please join me in praying for Trevor throughout the day. I cannot imagine all the emotions that his family is dealing with as they wait to see how their precious son will respond. Also, please post a comment if you've been praying for Trevor and leave your name, city and state or country. I'd love nothing more than for this tiny blog to bless Trevor and his family today!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mommy, Tissy Hit & Similar Such Sentences

When my brother was a toddler, he came around the corner one day and declared, "Mommy, tissy (sissy) hit." It was his first complete sentence and an incredible foreshadowing of how our relationship would go until he surpassed me in height, muscle mass and speed. Apparently, I was stunned.

This morning my youngest, rather nonverbal, son slid down the stairs, his tiny bum bouncing on each step. When he reached the bottom he sat there, looked at me, and tattled. "Mama. Hit." Then he smacked himself. I narrowed my eyes, trying to figure out what, exactly, he was reporting. When I didn't immediately respond he increased his volume. "Mama! Hit!" He smacked himself again.

"Who hit?" I asked.

"Dare-dit!" Which, in the event that you can't decipher toddler, is his word for Garrett. But I feel like most of you probably figured that one out for yourselves. Now, in the event that any of you think that my oldest is following in his mother's sibling abuse, allow me to assure you that the reason Matthew knew that you are supposed to tell on a hitter is because he hits his big brother at least three times a day. The Rock Star has only recently begun to retaliate.

Matthew was not wounded--physically or emotionally--in any way. He simply discovered a new word and decided he'd use it to tell on his brother. He was really rather proud of himself.

"Garrett?" I called.

"Yes, mommy?"

"Did you hit your brother?"

"Um. No." He replied.

"I'm going to ask again. Did you hit your brother?"


"Then why did he come down here and say that you did?"

Boy did that kid look like the cat who ate the canary. Garrett has always been incredibly honest. Matthew has never been able to talk. So apparently we're entering new realms of parenthood wherever we look.

"Um. Yeah. I hit him." The Rock Star stammered. Because there was really nothing left to do but tell the truth.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


When we came out here to Utah, in the fall of 2007, to candidate, we met a family. The closeness of the four of them reminded me so much of my own experience growing up. They took us to Sonic, watched our son while we visited with others, and even found us our first rental when our house in San Diego wouldn't sell. Garrett took an immediate liking to their oldest child, Trevor, who was then about nine. Trevor's kindness to Garrett was incredible. My son was a toddler with a vocabulary limited to about ten words and Trevor would play--endlessly--with him anyway. When Garrett took a liking to one of Trevor's old toy trucks, he let him have it. That red pick up is still in the playroom.

More than three years have passed and Trevor is now in 7th grade. And in the PICU at the Children's Hospital here in Salt Lake. On the night of the 15th, he experienced a brain hemorrhage. In surgery, they removed the back of his skull and it is believed that the hemorrhage was caused by a vein defect that he was born with. Currently, he is in an induced coma. He's in critical condition and yesterday and today are considered "survival" days.

He did very well yesterday. They were going to try to take him out of the coma today but his blood pressure was too high so they are waiting. Troy and I went up to the hospital this morning but we were unable to see him. Yesterday they had too many visitors and today is limited just to family. We were able to see his dad and sister. They are doing amazingly well, all things considered. We saw a picture of him, looking so much younger than his years. Looking just like a little boy. Looking just like someone's baby. We're praying fervently for his family as they watch their son--their baby--fighting for life.

Obviously, we don't know what will ultimately happen with Trevor. But I believe in the power of prayer and I believe that my God is fully capable of healing him. Whether He chooses to is not up to me but I can petition the Almighty for just that. Total and complete healing. I've seen what the power of prayer can do. I've seen it in my own life. I've seen it in my friends' lives. And, in his short time here, my son has seen what prayer can do.

We debated whether to tell Garrett and then we debated what to tell him. In the end we carefully explained it all. He, in turn, went to his room and got Trevor Truck (as we affectionately named it more than three years ago). Holding the truck in his hands he prayed, "God, make Trevor feel better." A few minutes later he heard the garage door as his daddy left for work. He ran to me holding a wooden truck my parents bought him when he was a baby. "Garrett" is painted on the side in colorful letters. "Mommy! No!" He screamed. I looked at him, confused. "Daddy already left!" He moaned and started to cry. "I wanted him to take my truck to Trevor! He needs to have my truck!"

In that moment I gathered my boy in my arms and started to sob. I'd been crying off and on since I'd first heard the news so it was a quick trip to emotional wreck. I told him how very sweet that was and how proud of him I am. I calmed him down and then he went off to preschool and told all of his friends about Trevor. When preschool was over he asked me if God had made Trevor well yet. You see, when a four-year-old prays, he expects results.

Please pray with me. Know that, whatever happens, your prayers will be heard. Expect results.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Incredible Blessing

Look over at my side bar. Look over at how much debt we have remaining. Look over and see what the Lord has done!

Two months ago we had $12,000 remaining. That wasn't too terrible considering our adoption cost us approximately 38,500 dollars and it's only been finalized for ten months. But now, in a matter of just a couple of months, even that number has been almost cut in half.

What I need you to know is that we prayed, every step of the way. We prayed that if it was in Matthew's best interest not to be with our family, that the court would rule accordingly. It was a very challenging prayer because with every corner of our heart, we desired him here with us. We questioned our motives, our hearts, our assessments of certain details. But during the journey God used legal, spiritual and medical counsel, as well as our own knowledge and intuition, to keep us on the course that eventually led to Matthew's permanent place in our home.

So then it was just a matter of money. A lot of money. None of which we actually had. But what we did have was an amazing, God sent, lawyer who put us on an almost laughably small payment plan and didn't charge us interest. I have grandparents who, when all was settled, paid off our lawyer and allowed us to continue with the laughably small payment plan. And, of course, we've had the blessing of so many of you who not only prayed with us but joined us by offering up your own finances.

Once again I am humbled, stunned, and awed by your generosity and by the way my Savior continues to affirm our decisions. On Saturday I received a large donation from someone I've never even met and yesterday the mail lady came to the door, needing me to sign for a package. She asked if I was going to do anything special for Valentine's Day.

"Not really," I replied. In truth, we'd had long overdue family pictures taken and Troy and I had gotten each other a small gift. We also attended our church Valentine's dinner. It all seemed like a lot to ramble on about to the mail carrier.

"Well, maybe this is something special. It's addressed to your whole family."

I smiled at her. I knew that it was, indeed, something special. My friend, Joelle, had told me it was coming. A donation to our adoption fund. But when I opened it to find an enormously substantial cashier's check, I knew that our Valentine's Day had truly come.

A day to celebrate God's faithfulness. A day to celebrate love between couples, between friends, between parents and children, between a Savior and His beloved.

Thank you, Shon & Joelle and Stacie & Edward. Thank you to all of you who have donated and blessed our family in such a tangible way. We truly could never have done this without the Lord working through you!

Psalm 89:1
I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies

Five years ago today I went in for my first official ultrasound. Oh sure, I'd seen the baby at 7 weeks and 9 weeks--reproductive endocrinologists are all about seeing those teeny tiny little bean shaped babies--but my first "real" ultrasound was done at about 16 weeks. That's because they told me that the baby's risk of having Down's Syndrome was higher than average. They got me in quickly and much earlier than I would have without this particular red flag.

While the ultrasound very nearly ruled out Down's, we were never 100% sure, until our son was born. It didn't matter. That isn't to say that it wouldn't have changed our lives in countless ways, it's simply to say that the first time I saw my baby's face, the sun rose in those eyes. The first time my baby raised his hand and waved at me, the first time I laid my own eyes on his beautiful face, the moon and stars may just as well have all belonged to me.

Five years ago, I saw my firstborn's face for the very first time. And love took on a whole new meaning.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

(Let's all just go on pretending that my fetus isn't on his way to being a five-year-old!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Smell of a Newborn

Somebody stop the madness.


Come over here and remove my ovaries. My fallopian tubes. My uterus. Take it all.

Because, as if attending my friend's "Baby Sprinkle" today (it was baby number four and when asked if she could be thrown a shower, requested a sprinkle instead) and seeing all kinds of teensy weensy clothing wasn't bad enough, I just spent over an hour in the NICU, surrounded by a plethora of very tiny children, and now my hands smell like newborn.

And if all that wasn't enough to make my ovaries do a full on varsity cheer then I don't know what would. Read=that was plenty more than enough.

My friend's baby, Isaac, needs a little oxygen and a little antibiotic, is all. I got to hold him and pat him and rock him and, since he belongs to my friend, I decided not to kidnap him right out of the NICU. He probably comes equipped with baby low jack anyway. But oh my goodness the little tiny babies everywhere, the nurses in scrubs, the small bottles of formula, the how in the world is my baby going to be two in a couple of weeks?

My ovaries don't really work anyway but let's get them out of here, stat. They're causing all kinds of crazy heart palpitations right now. I'm even forgetting about the sleepless nights. They're just a fading memory, overpowered by the smell of fresh baby.

I have to go take a shower. Otherwise I'll be sitting here tomorrow, smelling my hands. It's ridiculously intoxicating...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Potty Time

It was, in all likelihood, a total fluke.

Last night my not-quite-two-year-old son, who barely speaks, went potty! On the toilet!

The Rock Star always goes potty before getting into the bathtub or the shower. It's just what he does. Well, about a week ago, after months and months of observing his brother doing this, The Little Buddy looked at me, patted the front of his diaper, and said, "Paw-E!"

Humoring him, I put him up on the toilet, facing backward. We have a little potty and Garrett learned how to go on it but Matthew has never seen anyone use that and he's been astutely watching everyone else using the big, white, one. There won't be any sadness on my part if Matthew never uses the tiny one because, in my experience with Garrett, I spent a lot more time cleaning up after a "hose" gone awry than actually potty training. Anyway. Facing backward on the toilet, Matthew strained his little muscles and I was starting to think he was actually going to go when all of the sudden he screamed, "NO!" and promptly climbed off.

The next time he was about to get in the tub I sat him on it. He strained his stomach muscles and, eventually, I said, "Okay, you don't need to go. Get in the tub." He climbed off the toilet and, with one leg in the tub and one leg out, promptly urinated all over the side.

We tried again. It ended in him yelling, "NO!" at me again.

We tried again last night. His diaper was dry. I plopped him on top of the seat and within five seconds he was making a watery deposit.

There was clapping and praising and smiling and whooping and, though he smiled, Matthew had the most confused look on his face. It was like, Um. We don't hoot and holler like this for anyone else and you all use this thing multiples times a day. Every day. But he did eventually start clapping for himself.

I'm not expecting it to happen again any time soon. This morning when I went to get him up I said, "Do you need to go potty?"

"Go paw-E!" He replied happily. So I stripped him down and tried to lift him onto the toilet. He screamed, "NO!" And then promptly fought me so hard that one of his feet ended up in the toilet instead.

So, either he really didn't need to go potty and knew it or we traumatized him with our excessive celebration.

I'm certainly hoping for the former.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Disciplined in Winco

I called my husband after I left Winco today and announced, "Our children did a role reversal today."

For some reason I never got any grocery store ads in the mail this week. Usually I make WalMart price match everyone else and save money that way. Since I didn't get the ads I decided to go to Winco. I rarely go to Winco because, for some reason, it takes me twice as long to get through. Maybe I get distracted at the bins. Maybe I spend too much time in the bakery. I don't know. Today proved, once again, that Winco is some kind of grocery vortex that I cannot escape.

And one of my sons was just awful.

One of them sat happily in the cart while the other one tried my every, single, nerve.

One of them smiled at everyone.

One of them stood at the bulk peanuts and threw a tantrum when I wouldn't buy them. I had good reason--the last time he begged me to buy bulk peanuts I obliged and then they sat and sat in the pantry and he refused to eat them. As he yelled and screamed at me I shot him the best stink eye I could muster and, through clenched teeth, told him to knock off these crazy shenanigans right this minute.

An older lady, on a ride on cart, zoomed up to my four-year-old. She glared at him. "You should not be talking to your mom like that. You'd better listen to her!"

I wanted to die.

I think she was trying to help.

Instead, it made me feel like a terrible mother who was so bad at controlling her child that she needed help from random women in the grocery store. I instantly felt my cheeks turning beet red. I said nothing to her for fear that I'd actually start defending the kid who is usually fairly pleasant and not disrespectful--even though on this particular day he was being awfully unpleasant and very rude.

She drove away.

I glanced over at my son. He was silently sobbing. Eventually, he climbed into the cart where he remained silent for quite awhile. "Are you embarrassed?" He nodded. I ran my fingers through his hair. "Me too. Maybe you shouldn't act in such a way that ladies at the grocery store discipline you."

"Okay." He whispered. It's good to know that he cares so much about what random people in Winco think about his behavior. But I still can't figure out if I'm grateful to that woman or incredibly offended.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Praying for Noah

Noah's story has broken my heart for a very long while. I think I happened upon Kate's blog when my own precious son, a mere three weeks older than Noah, was just a tiny toddler. I've followed along and wondered how any parent deals with the experience of watching their own child barely surviving.

I've blogged about Noah before. He was born on August 10, 2006. That happens to be my anniversary--except 2003 instead of 2006. Garrett was born on July 20, 2006. That happens to be Noah's parents' anniversary--again not the same year. I just think that's an interesting oddity. Anyway. I've been praying for Noah for years. On his mom's blog he used to be called Baby Noah and despite the fact that he has a three-year-old sister now and my own oldest child is a little man already, I often find myself thinking about or praying for "Baby Noah".

Noah and his family are on my heart tonight and instead of blogging about something funny that The Rock Star said or something equally hysterical that The Little Buddy did, I thought I'd share Noah's fundraiser with you. Please visit the site to find out more about Noah and how you can be involved in their fundraiser.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boys Having Babies?

Our son is a huge fan of the Narnia movies and, hopefully soon, the books. I plan to start reading them to him in the near future. We only own The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so I borrowed Prince Caspian from the library. Whenever he watches either of the films, he puts on his plastic armor set, stands in the front of the television, and swings his sword around as though he is part of the epic battles between good and evil.

Prince Caspian needs to go back to the library by Thursday so I'm letting him watch it one more time. It opens with a brief labor and delivery scene. I just had the following conversation.

G: Why is he yelling?
Me: Who?
G: That man?

The only person making any noise at all was the woman in labor.

Me: That's a girl.
G: (laughing) No it isn't. It's a man!
Me: Right there? (pointing) That is a woman.
G: No. (By this time the baby had been born.)
Me: Garrett, boys don't have babies.
G: (pause) Oh. Yeah. Why is she yelling?
Me: Well, because it hurts to have a baby.

But, of course, he can't be bothered with the details of babies. He's way too busy waiting for battle.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Answer

It was a bit of an unfair question, really. I think Christy's lotion guess was probably the closest although Lindsay's marshmallow fluff made me laugh the hardest. Thank goodness it wasn't that. I think I'd still be cleaning it off of him.

Not long after Matthew was born, a friend of mine who has a biracial son gave me a gift. She said it would be my best friend where Matthew's hair was concerned. Just for Me is a line of hair and skin care products for black girls but, obviously, works for boys as well. The item in question happened to be Creme Conditioner and Hairdress, used to improve hair manageability.I didn't use it very often. I've found that Shea lotion has a similar effect and I like the smell a lot better. Plus, we tend to keep Matthew's hair pretty short. But, I'd used this particular product from time to time--just a little dab here or there. I'd say this tub was about 80% full when Matthew pulled it out of the drawer, unscrewed the top, and rubbed it all over the back of his head, face, clothes, carpet, and toys. Here's what was left when we discovered the...situation.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mystery Substance

"Oh no!" The Rock Star cried. "Matthew is covered in _________! You'd better come see this!"

It was in his hair, on his face, all over his clothes and...well...caked into the carpet and various crevasses on multiple toys.He'd been upstairs, playing. I heard him squealing and bumping around and assumed--wrongly--that he was simply entertaining himself in the playroom. Well, no, wait. He was entertaining himself in the playroom.
Troy busied himself cleaning the floor and the toys. I busied myself cleaning the child. We thanked Garrett for bringing it to our attention before it got any worse. Although, honestly, I don't know that it could have gotten any worse.

So. Any guesses? What mystery substance do you think my son is coated in?

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Plague of Death

On Wednesday I got sick.

This morning I woke up feeling better.

There was no coughing. There was no sneezing. There was no vomiting (!!!).

There was just about 36 hours of what can only be described as some form of 21st century dysentery. Or bacterial gastroenteritis. Or the plague of death.

I have never experienced *ahem* Montezuma's Revenge quite like this. I could barely function, let alone parent, unless I was somehow able to do so from my perch on the porcelain throne.

I desperately wanted to go to The Rock Star's dentist appointment yesterday. It was the first and only time during the debacle that I ventured more than twenty feet away from a toilet. Well, except for when the whole shenanigan actually started. At Costco. Isn't that charming? Anyway, concerning the dentist, I carefully mapped out places we could stop along the way if needed. Blessedly, God used the Imodium--which I'd been popping like it was candy--to work wonders and I was granted a short reprieve. That didn't stop my precious firstborn from declaring, at the top of his little lungs, from the dental chair, "Hey Mom, are you havin' to go poop yet?"

Oh. My.

Because it wasn't humbling enough already.

By last night I actually thought I was going to have to go to the E.R. to get some fluids pumped straight into my arm. I wasn't actually sure how this would even be accomplished. Would they just wheel the IV stand straight into the bathroom with me? I wouldn't have needed an actual room, just a stall. I was horrified, imagining that on the prayer chain. Please pray for Pastor Troy's wife. She's in the emergency room with excessive (what word would they choose? I wonder?). I mean, I don't know, that would be almost as bad as, say, blogging about it. It's just that I've already blogged about The Rock Star's airplane poop. And I've blogged about The Little Buddy's road trip poop. In two parts, even. I thought it only fair to blog about my own. That way, when my kids are on the couch begging someone to blame their mother's blog for everything, I can bust in and be all, "I wrote about my own poop, too!"

Anyway, I can finally eat again so yeah for that. I barely ate anything after breakfast on Wednesday and consumed even less yesterday. It only succeeded in making me nauseated and then reappearing again after about two hours. I did spend the majority of the late morning and early afternoon at the pediatrician where it was discovered that Matthew has double ear infections and is also being treated with albuterol for a cough. So now he's medicated and resting comfortably. I wouldn't have been unable to take him if I'd been in a bathroom stall at the hospital getting IV fluids so for that I am singing a chorus of Hallelujahs!

In all seriousness, it was quite something. I was exhausted, depleted, and, eventually, truly concerned. On the bright side, I weighed 113 pounds this morning. For the record, it was so not worth the trouble.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Two days ago Troy took The Rock Star to his dentist appointment. Honestly, I didn't give it a second thought. My oldest child has always received marks of excellence from the dentist. He loves to have his teeth brushed, flossed, poked, prodded. And he always has.

It was to be his last appointment with the pediatric dentist. We'd found out that our insurance didn't cover any work done at a specialty dentist and we'd decided that after his scheduled cleaning he would start seeing our dentist. We love him and we've already taken Matthew to see him and it went well. So we'd decided to bid farewell to the pediatric dentist before any work needed to be done.

Turns out, The Rock Star had four cavities and a top tooth that may need to be pulled on account of the fact that it might be dying.

I started crying when Troy told me on the phone.

How could I let this happen? We've always brushed twice a day, every day, without fail. How could I let four of my precious little boy's teeth become cavity infested? I'm a horrid, horrible, very bad mother. These were the thoughts that ran through my head.

I'm a little obsessed with oral hygiene. And just a little obsessed with people around me not getting cavities. I've never had one. So the fact that I allowed my four-year-old child to have four was simply unacceptable.

My husband and my mother said the same things. This isn't your fault. You didn't allow it. The cavities are at floss points. Maybe his enamel isn't as good as yours. My mom said that maybe we should get a second opinion.

We took him to our dentist today. He would be the one doing the work anyway on account of the insurance. He wanted to see him and take his own x-rays. The top teeth (both of them) are a major concern. It seems that he hit them--probably several weeks ago when he fell, whacked his face, and got a bloody nose--and there is a good chance that they will need to come out. My baby might be able to sing "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" for several Christmases in a row. He's thrilled about this possibility and can't wait until the tooth fairy comes.

But as for the one, two, three, four cavities--this dentist spent about ten minutes thoroughly examining the inside of Garrett's mouth and said he doesn't see anything. Well, that's not entirely true, he did see some decalcification in a couple of spots which can, eventually, lead to cavities. But he repeated that he was certain that he didn't see any actual cavities.

It's really too bad that Garrett went around telling everyone and their grandmother that he has bunches of cavities. And it's teeth week at school so there is no telling what he's been saying there.

Our dentist calls himself conservative and the pediatric dentist calls himself preventative. When it comes to the mouth of a four-year-old with a mother who has major dental neuroses, we'll go with conservative every time.

I did learn, however, that when if my pearly white toothed babies get mouthfuls of cavities, life will go on. It isn't the end of the world. We'll have the dentist patch them up and send them on their way.

But I sure am glad we got that second opinion.


Don't forget to visit my giveaway blog for your chance to win the above gift pack! The giveaway will end tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You Can't Sled With No Snow

It's 12 degrees y'all. And, yeah, I know I shouldn't be complaining because in Cheyenne it's -5. But. Like. Still. In San Diego it's 56 and right about now I think that would feel downright tropical.

And I'm tired of putting up with freezing temperatures and no snow. Not that I'm asking for a blizzard, mind you, but at least with a little snow we could make snowmen. Or build Garrett his snow cave that he's been begging for (and I keep explaining would, at this point, have to be a dirt cave). Or do some more of this.

As is evidenced by the little one's smile, my boys really like their sledding.
As is evidenced by Garrett's "focus tongue" sledding is both fun and hard work.

Matthew cackles, hysterically, the entire way. We only let him go alone for about five feet. Otherwise he is firmly planted between the legs of a parent.
Yeah. We miss our sledding. If we're going to continue to freeze to death with nothing to show for it then I'm going to head to Bermuda. At least that way my boys could learn the fine art of boating.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The Rock Star's parent/teacher conference yielded some other noteworthy gems. For example, he was asked to draw a picture of himself. The portrait needed to have different body parts. His did.

Parts included, but were not limited to, a head, eyes, a torso, arms, legs and (as a result of the fact that his torso extended past where his legs began) a male appendage. Although, the teacher did not count, nor make mention, of that last one. Garrett also drew ears.

Gigantic. Enormous. Huge. Ears.

When I got the picture home I said, "Garrett, I love your picture. You drew very big ears."

"Yeah! Cuz I have really big ones, see?" And he proceeded to yank his ears out like an overgrown elf with disproportionate ears--even for one of Santa's helpers. The thing is, kiddo does have fairly big ears. I'd apologize to him every day for my part in that--if I didn't think it would give him a complex.

His teacher also used the phrase social butterfly. To that, my mom said something about apples not falling far from trees. Apparently they move him sometimes. He doesn't discriminate though, he'll talk to whoever they put him next to. Boy. Girl. The teachers. The turtles, Shelly and Lola. He doesn't care. I apologized. "He comes by it naturally." She explained that she loves it, that they really like to see them socializing and out of their shells at this stage of life, that he's clearly a leader and not a follower, that there is no end to his story telling, etc, etc.

My larger than average eared, social butterfly of a boy really didn't fall very far from the tree.