March 29, 2007

Earthquakes, Please.
(At least you don't know they're coming.)

It was an average day- rainy off and on all morning and afternoon- giving the whole day a comfy cozy feel that led me to lighting candles and reading books while Ezra's nap lasted way longer than usual. At 4:00PM, Ezra woke up and I went in and got him. I called Chris right after that to see if he still wanted Ezra and I to come to his jobsite where he was working in West Edmond. I was getting directions from him on the phone and getting ready to head out when I heard an eerily familiar sound suddenly pierce the air.

Tornado sirens.

Completely unexpected. Part of me wondered if it was for real. They weren't expecting any severe weather today...

The lights flickered.

Me: "Umm... Chris? The tornado sirens are going off and the power is flickering."

Chris: "What? Oh, yeah. The sirens are going off here too."

Me: "What do I do? What do I do? What do I dooo?"

(This is where I begin sorely missing my basement at the old house.)

Me: "I miss the basement at our old house."

Chris: "TURN ON THE TV."

I flip on the television and unfortunately land on Channel 4 News. Drama-Rama. They are saying something about Wilshire Blvd and Mercy Hospital, which is only a few miles from where I live. They have "Live Footage" playing that appears to be transmitting from a cheap web camera duct taped to the dash of a car belonging to an overly dramatic newscaster. I see blurry chunks of video... a tree here and a phone pole there. Was that a funnel cloud? No, no- I think it was a STOP SIGN. They are reporting that the tornado is enshrouded in rain and not visible.

Oh, GREAT. An invisible tornado is a handful of miles from my home and (poop-on-a-stick!!) I accidentally left my basement on THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN.

Chris and I are still on the phone and we're both really unsure of where the tornado is or where it's headed because everyone at news 4 is sqwaking at the same time and they are shouting street names and I am still not too familiar with this town and WHERE DID MY BASEMENT GO?

I finally make out that the rotation is just west of our house and heading North.

North. As in, where Chris was currently working.

I'm trying to rattle off street names and intersections as I hear them on TV so that Chris can make out where it's heading and if he needs to leave. I'm trying to get Ezra's shoes on and listen to the news and translate to Chris on the phone while my son is yelling at the top of his lungs because he'd rather watch his Richard Scarry Counting Video Thankyouverymuch. I'm trying to decide if I should head out to the YMCA to ride it out or if the thing is far enough west that I can just stay at the house.

Chris decides to head home.

The tornado went North West of us before it did any real damage. They are expecting more severe weather tonight and tomorrow.

If you need me, I'll be downstairs.

What's that? You didn't think we had a downstairs?

We didn't... Until I started digging.

(This is a file photo. Not the actual tornado from today.)

You can read about our last tornado experience here.

Sound Advice.

Ezra has figured out how to climb out of his bed.

I'm convinced that a more unholy sentence has never been typed.

This kid has always been an amazing sleeper. Every night (at 8:00 sharp) since he was tiny, we sing him a song and say our prayers with him and put him in bed and he always drifts right off to sleep- never making a peep until 12 hours later. And at naptime- I could always just plop him into bed and know he'd be out for 2 or 3 hours without any snafus or complications.

That all changed the other day when he discovered that (surprise!) his bed was only 12 inches off of the ground.

I knew this day would come... I kindof hoped for it in a way. I had visions of Ezra creeping out of his little bed at 8:00 in the morning and playing with his toys in his room until 8:30 or so when he would quietly sneak into my room and wake me up with a gentle, loving kiss kiss (and perhaps he would be carrying a hot cup of half coffee, half milk with 2 scoops of sugar in his hand for me.)

Was this so unrealistic?

Bedtime hasn't been affected at all, of course. He still goes right to sleep and then cries in his bed until I drag myself up off my pillow and go in and get him. It's naptime that has become the power struggle. He wiggles his way out of bed the second I close his door and he tiptoes around and reads books and spins in circles. I know all of this because I can see his little feet when I peek under his door. Oh, and he sings to himself all quiet like. Pretty darn cute. So, one or two days this week, I've just left him alone. I figured if he was playing quietly in his room for an hour, he would still be rested and then I could still have my hour to tiptoe around and read books and spin in circles, too. It's only fair, right?

Both times I tried this approach, however, Ezra morphed into the grumpiest little troll you could ever imagine by the time the clock struck 6:00PM. The other couple days this week, I may have strategically planned to be driving around in circles at about the same time he would be getting sleepy. This worked out wonderfully because I could just transfer him from his carseat to his bed without ever waking him up, and he was asleep so he didn't even know he was only 12 inches off the floor! HA HA! This may have been the easy route, but I knew this approach wouldn't help him in the long run. I knew I just needed to bite the bullet and teach him that when it's naptime, he's not allowed to get out of bed.

So, today I spent a good hour trying to get him to chill out and stay in his bed, and he finally fell asleep. What I did was I told him it was naptime, and I put him in his bed. Then I just sat by it and closed my eyes and didn't interact with him or respond to him. When he tried to get out of bed, I calmly said "No, Ezra. It's night-night time.", and then I put him back in bed. He, um, hated this, but I did it three or four times and then I said, "Okay. Night night!", and I left the room. And it actually worked! He's asleep! In his bed! And I'm twirling and blogging and tiptoeing! Glorious.

I got this idea from the one time I watched that TV show "The Supernanny". She had a mom on there do this technique with her son who kept crawling out of his crib to come sleep in their bed with them everynight. She just kept gently putting him back in bed- not once giving in and letting the kid control the situation- and after a week or so, the kid was drifting off to sleep on his own and he knew that he needed to sleep in his own bed.

So, okay... not all the stuff you see on TV or read in books is bad. (obviously.) There is some really good advice out there that might actually work for you and your kid. I think parenting is mostly just the struggle to find that balance between your heart and your head. Just like all things in life seem to be. I'm learning to listen to my heart while also filling my head up with sound advice and counsel from sources that I trust. Children were never meant to be raised completely isolated and shutoff from other's input. Communities used to raise children.

Thanks for all your helpful advice and comfort on my last post. I feel much better about the whole situation, and I am planning on checking out his ears just to make sure everything is OK in there. If it all checks out OK, then I can just relax and let the boy find his own voice in his own time. (Thanks especially to Megan's mom... if that was Megan's mom [?] .... for the sound advice.)

(no pun intended.)

March 27, 2007

Finding His Voice.

I just can't hold it in any longer. I am exhasperated. And confused. Ezra is now about 26 months old, and he still isn't talking. The oh-so-trustworthy Internet (blah) is telling me that at two years of age, a child should have 50 words in his vocabulary and be starting to master two, three, four, maybe FIVE word sentences. My two year old isn't talking AT ALL. To date, this is his vocabulary:


I've only heard the kid say "Mama" ONCE, months and months ago, and he hasn't come close to saying it again. He won't say "Bye-bye" or "juice" or "please" or anything else he hears me saying a hundred times a day. He CAN, however, tell me every animal, truck, airplane, boat, train, and helicopter noise in the universe, and he's got all the exclamations down: "Uh-oh!" "Nooo!" "boom!" "Ow!" "Oh no!" "wow!", so- I know his hearing is A-OK, but he has no words.

My doctor says that Ezra is just fine with all of his other developments, so there is no need to worry just yet. He also said that I shouldn't respond to his gestures and I shouldn't give him things until he identifies the object or says "please". If I followed that advice, however, Ezra wouldn't have eaten anything or had anything to drink for a month. The kid just won't do it. He would much rather throw a temper-tantrum and then find something else to play with that's within arms reach. The people who spend more time with Ezra than my doctor does seem to think it is odd and unusual that he isn't speaking much more than he is. I hate having to explain to people why Ezra won't answer them or say things on cue. I hate the nagging thought in my brain that he's "behind" or "slow".

I feel completely torn on this issue, because half of the crowd is screaming "SPEECH THERAPY! STAT! NO TIME TO LOSE!!", while the other half of the crowd is soothingly whispering, "It's OK... my son didn't speak until he was three, and he's just fine."

When I feel torn like this on parenting issues, I know that I just need to block out all the voices and pray and really listen to what my gut is telling me. On all other occasions this method has worked out pretty well. (Except for recently when I followed my "gut" and was mere hours away from boarding a plane when Ezra had a double ear infection.) But still... overall my gut has been pretty trustworthy.

I refuse to run out and plop him in some therapist's office while royally freaking out because "OMG, my kid has to be mega-accelerated in ALL THINGS and little Joey in the nursery at church already knows his whole alphabet! Backwards!!"

Unless I have clear-cut reasons to take him to a specialist, he won't be going. Am I old fashioned here? I refuse to parent my son out of a place of fear and I refuse to let the Internet persuade me to FREAK the FREAK out if my son isn't comfortably fluent in HTML code by the time he's 18-months-old. When you have faith that God is in control, google searches for parenting advice become... white noise. Loud, screamy, alarmist-prone WHITE NOISE.

Of course I want what's best for him. But what's best for him might just be letting him figure things out at his own pace... All day long I am trying to help him find his voice- repeating words and phrases until I want to duct tape my own mouth shut and take an eternal vow of silence. And without fail, he turns and he just looks at me with those stubborn little eyes and let's me know (non-verbally, of course) that he. ain't. gonna. budge. I feel like it's more of a power-struggle issue than a physical/developmental issue. Little booger.

I don't want to get into the habit or cycle of finding a 'quick fix' or an easy answer or a pill for this-or-that every time he's not right on Dr. Thinksheknowsall's schedule. All these developmental charts and articles and books really have no authority at all to me, because I can ask a mother to my left a question about their child, and pretty much be guaranteed that it will be an extremely different answer than the one I received from the mother on my right. So...

Am I just being your classic First Time Mom, here? Where the map is looking a little different and I'm beginning to sweat it a bit too early? When (if ever) do I draw the line and say enough is enough and seek outside help? How do I remain calm in the meantime?

What if he wakes up and starts speaking in complete sentences tomorrow and I feel like a complete mom-dork for posting this blog? (inevitable.)

Oh, the questions! The burning questions!

March 26, 2007

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name..."

his daddy's lips.

Today was a day filled with root canals and rain and castles and spiderman and matchbox cars.

It was a jammie day. One of those days where I didn't change him out of his old pajamas until this evening- only to put fresh, new pajamas on him and plop him into bed for the night.

Ezra and I lounged around all day and the only reason I got dressed at all is because I didn't want to get my slippers soaked in the rain as I walked from my car into the dentist's overly modern office this afternoon. This is my 5th root canal, and I've got three more pending. I'm so used to the process by now- the drill sounds, the burning smells, the little drifts of tooth dust that swirl in the light of the lamp hanging over my face...

I've spent so much time in their office that I am beginning to think I am more familiar with their computer system than they are. I helped them figure out a USB connection problem with their X-ray machine after sitting in the chair watching them scratch their heads over it for 15 minutes. They made sure to use the opportunity to remind me how funny it was that I could help them and that maybe it was because I'D SPENT HALF OF MY ADULT LIFE IN THEIR WAITING ROOM. The jovial guy that checked me out today finished the job with a quip about how it appeared they were "running out of teeth to work on" as he swiped my credit card and then reported that the total cost of the visit would be approximately one pound of flesh.

For a girl that has a hard time spending money on herself, this whole tooth fixin' process has been tough in more ways than one. Every time I go to that office, I know that I can't leave without shelling out some serious dough... dough that could otherwise be spent on laptops or mortgages or college funds. And this is the guilt that stops me from dialing the number to set up my next appointment, or open my mouth when my teeth are acting a little saucy. Chris is on to me, though, and is constantly reminding me to set up appointments and repeatedly admonishing me about the fact that infections in the head are, um, how does he say it?


Every headache or neck pain that I get causes my poor hubby to worry that the teeth have finally gone and done it- they've gone and eaten the bits of my brain that control headache stoppage and provide neck pain relief. It won't be long now! The end is neeeeear!

I know, I know. Teeth aren't meant to be messed with and infections really can get out of control... that's why we are putting our noses to the grindstone and getting it done, as fast as humanly possible! I've got an appointment to get all of my crowns done on Thursday, and the other three root canals are only teeth that they've 'got their eye on', and don't need to be fixed unless they start to bother me.

Have you ever been asked the question. "If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would it be?" My answer to this question is always MY TEETH. If I had to pick another thing, though, it would most definitely be my lips. Chris has these soft, gooey, marshmallowy pillow lips that are so comfy to kiss- and all I have to offer in return are my thin lips that boast the suppleness of an old GARDEN HOSE, and that completely disappear when I smile. Yes. My name is Emery Jo, and I have Garden Hose lips.

So, now I'm curious... What one thing (if anything) would you change about your beautiful selves?

March 24, 2007


The first tolerated hat day... joy! joy!

Say no to Weed.

Peer Pressure.

He melts my heart and fears earthworms.

Pull down walls.

Family Portrait.

Our trip to the Zoo. (a photo essay)

It all started off so nicely...

Let's see... after that, there was this:

and then this:

oh, and I can't forget to mention this:

So, we stuck him in the Rhino cage and he gallantly rode off into the sunset on his trusty rhino steed. From what we hear, he is doing well and spends lots of time with the monkeys.

March 23, 2007

WalMartian Whiplash.

At Ezra's last appointment, his growth was charted as such:

Height: 50th percentile

Weight: 20th percentile

Head Circumference?: 99TH PERCENTILE.

This explains much; including (but in no way limited to):

-the stretched out necks on every t-shirt he owns.

-the fact that when he turns his head, his whole body rotates.

-his extra smart and large brainy brains.

-and the need for extra face surface to house those gargantuan eyes.

Also, this explains the whiplash he received the other day when he and I were shopping at the Walmart in Reno. (Shannon, you will sympathize with me here.) I had parked at Babies R Us to look for a sticker book to take with us on the flight home, but they didn't have any, so Ezra and I walked right next door to Walmart. I stuck him in a cart and he was a perfect angel in the store. We bought a couple of books for the plane and some snacks and other random items and checked out. I was pushing him in the cart and came to a spot where I had to cross a line of traffic in order to get back over to the Babies R Us where my car was. I was pushing him pretty fast because that's how we roll, when all of the sudden my shopping cart came to a dead halt.

It was like I'd hit an invisible wall... My body slammed into the handle bar of the cart and Ezra's huge noggin flew back and snapped forward again and he started screaming like it had hurt him. I was right-smack in the middle of the street where cars were trying to pull into the parking lot. I tried to pull the cart, push the cart, twist the cart out of the way... but nothing worked. We were mysteriously STUCK and I had a cart full of bags and a screaming toddler and a line of angry, honking cars waiting for me to get out of the middle of the road. My car was only about 15 yards away.

Some younger guys in a car rolled down their window and started making fun of me as I pulled Ezra out of the cart and tried to pile all of my grocery bags onto my other arm. I left the cart where it was and a big angry sweaty man jumped out of his car and glared at me and tried to move my cart out of his way. He couldn't move it either. The cars had to eventually back up and find another way into the lot.

Apparently, Walmart has installed a MAGNETIC FIELD around their parking lot so that no shopping carts can be removed. When I crossed this invisible, UNMARKED line, the wheels of my cart became completely locked down and there was nothing I could do about it. I sure hope Walmart saves enough shopping carts to offset the cost of all the impending lawsuits they are sure to receive.

I've never been more angry in my life. WHO DOES THIS? Especially when they are neighbors to a BABIES R US?! How many moms are trying to push their kids back and forth from one of those stores to the other everyday? RAWR GRR! **insert morally acceptable obscenities here**

...deep breath...

In summary:

Ezra has a giant head, and Walmart has a giant assface.

March 22, 2007

Before and After: Hallway and New Glazing


...and After!

(As you can see it is a yummy milk chocolate color and it takes all of my self-restraint to keep from licking the walls as I walk by.)

Before Glazing...

...and After Glazing!

Ahhh... pictures of my hallway... so thrilling! I know this is why you all keep coming back for more.
Next week, stay tuned for pictures of my most current dryer lint!
And, (if you're lucky)... In Sepia!

March 21, 2007

Home is Where the Airport Isn't.

I'm finally home.

I got on a plane Monday afternoon but didn't step foot on Oklahoma soil until Tuesday afternoon. My flight was delayed from Reno and after a very condescending US Airways employee assured my mom and I that my connection in Pheonix would be fine, I limped onto the plane juggling a two year old, a carseat, a monster backpack, and an umbrella stroller. The flight went smooth, but I was worried about missing my connection in Phoenix. Chris was on the phone with US Airways the entire time I was in the air- trying to do all he could to make sure Ezra and I were on the connection flight. He arranged to have a car waiting at my gate when I got off the plane in Phoenix to whisk me away to my connection gate- which was very far away. We finally got to the gate and the plane I was meant to be on was sitting outside the huge window, but the door was closed and there were NO US Airways employees anywhere to be found. I watched helplessly as my plane eventually taxied onto the runway without me- fighting back tears and feeling completely alone.

8 more people rushed up to the gate after me and watched their plane leave without them, too. We made our way over to the customer service area and they tried to call back the plane. The lady then changed her mind and said she couldn't call back the plane because it was operated by another airline. (?!?!?!) Supposedly, the pilot knew that all of our connections were only minutes late, but decided to take off anyways. It was his call. Not only did he take off without 10 of his passengers, he took off early. I was at the gate 15 minutes before he was meant to take off, and they had already shut the door.

The 'customer service' people told us all that there were no more flights for the night and that we wouldn't be able to get on another plane until the following day. They shoved a meal voucher and a hotel voucher in my face and told me to arrange for my own shuttle. I felt crushed. Shakingly, I tried to manuever my way through the huge airport- Ezra still strapped into his carseat, me trying to carry him this way, an umbrella stroller hanging off of my wrist, tears running down my face. I just wanted to go home. See a friendly face. No one offered to help me. The man at the counter asked if I wanted my bags, and then chuckled while saying, "Oh, you probably couldn't carry them, could you? I'll send them to your final destination for you." I felt like punching him in the face but didn't have a hand free to do so.

I caught a shuttle to a Days Inn, where US Airways assured me there would be room service so that I could feed myself and my son before he went to bed. When I arrived, there was no room service. I called the resturaunt downstairs and tried to explain my situation, but the lady was so rude to me that I hung up and punched a pillow. Then I called the front desk- practically BEGGING for food because Ezra and I were hungry and there was a very long wait at the resturaunt downstairs and I couldn't go wait for an hour with a toddler who's bedtime was already an hour past. She was just as rude to me, so I slammed the phone down on her as well before I said something awful.

I called Chris and he tried to calm me down, and then he called the front desk himself. He talked to a man named George and before I knew it, George was knocking on my door- holding a menu in one hand and telling me that he was going to take care of us and make sure we got everything we needed. I burst into tears again and gratefully ordered some food while thanking him over and over again. He brought the food up really quickly, and Ezra and I ate and fell asleep around 10:30. We heart George.

We woke up at 5:00AM the next morning and had to catch a shuttle to the airport. I was told to get there EARLY because the lines at the Security Checkpoint get ridiculously long in the mornings at the Phoenix Airport. We caught the 5:30 shuttle and I clumsily made it through security- coming close to but ultimately avoiding a complete mental breakdown. Yay me! We had over 2 hours to kill once we got through the stressful part, so we wandered around the airport and ate Cinnabon and I got a yummy Starbucks. I had figured out a way to strap the carseat onto my already HEAVY backpack, leaving my hands free to push Ezra in his stroller. Besides a couple of sore and raw shoulders, this worked out wonderfully.

We caught our plane at 9:00 without any difficulty. We left a little bit late again because there was someone stuck on our plane waiting for a wheelchair so that they could get off. The man at the counter said the waiting time for available wheelchairs was ONE HOUR. I hate airports.

The flight back to OKC was uneventful, except that Ezra now has the most insane and angry diaper rash I've ever seen due to so much sitting around in soiled diapers. The antibiotics he's on make him a virtual watery-poo factory. I only had a few diapers in my backpack and wasn't prepared for an overnight stay. So, now he's miserable and uncomfortable and I blame US Air. When we finally landed, Chris was there at the gate waiting for me with a sign that said "My Hero". I love this man.

Ezra fell asleep on the way home and after we got him into his bed he slept all afternoon without making a peep. The house was immaculate and Chris had painted the hallway and glazed the living room while I was gone. It looks AMAZING. He had a tray of food waiting for me and some chilled pink lemonade as well. He had set up the entire bathroom for a 'Luxury Bath Experience' (complete with a Bathtime mix on the iPod and a foot rub), and let's just say the bedroom was quite saucy with candles and flower petals and presents and chocolate and champagne everywhere I looked. Rowr! We lounged around all afternoon and got reaquainted (mmmm...) and talked for hours and I felt the stress of the whole traveling/being away from home/sick baby experience melting away by the second. A day that started out horribly turned into one of the most enjoyable days of my life. He made me my favorite food for dinner (yummy Chicken Wonton Salad) and we talked for hours and sipped champagne in bed after he put Ezra down for the night.

All I know is that this amazing and refreshing time with my hubby has singlehandedly made these difficult past three weeks completely worth it. I love you, Hunky Monkey.

The Luxury Bath Experience.


The little things...

Pieces of California.

It's good to be home.

March 17, 2007

What's Outside the Window.

I went shopping with my mom today and finally found a pair of big, funky glasses that didn't make me look like I was trying too hard to be a big, funky glasses wearin' type of girl. I know you all know what I'm talking about. I love them and they only cost me four quarters.


Ezra is slowly getting back to good- he's still all green goopyfied but he seems to be feeling a lot better on the whole. We fly out from Reno on Monday.

The wedding that I am missing is today. That's all I have to say about that. (*sniff*cry*whine*blabberbloobleeblah*)

I was feeling restless last night and wanted to go meet my brother Jaxon for a drink but ended up wandering around in Walmart until I just drove home again. Then I felt like doing something crazy like pulling over to the side of the road and just laying on top of the car and watching the stars for awhile and breathing in the night air, but I settled for cracking opening the car's sun roof while I drove along instead. I feel like so often I have these bursts and pangs and calls to life but I'm too scared or lazy to act on them and if I do that for too long then my whole life will slip away without me ever taking the time to run and dance and twirl in the fresh air outside of my box of routine and comfort.

As I got closer to my parent's house I turned on my brights and kept my eye out for deer by the side of the road because there are always deer by the side of the road out here. And as I drove I realized that if I had seen deer I would have thought of them as hazardous driving obstacles before I'd have thought of them as amazing animals that had more right to be in the woods than the asphalt road I was driving on did.

I don't really know what I'm talking about here. Just thoughts. All I know is there's a surfacey kind of life that I don't want to fall into. It's a struggle everyday to live beyond it, beneath it, through it... but living on a deeper level is the only life I want. It's the only life that will really satisfy.

March 14, 2007


Remember how I thought I was getting on a plane today? MWA HAHAHAHAHHAHA. (that just may be the laughter that closely precedes a nervous breakdown.)

I attempted to take Ezra to Urgent Care yesterday just to get him all checked out before we got on an airplane. You know, just to be sure. He was still on his antibiotics from his recent double eye infection, so part of me was wary to take him in because I thought they would just throw more antibiotics at him and send us on our way with a hefty bill. When we arrived at the clinic, I did not have my Insurance Card for some reason and there was an hour and a half wait. It was Ezra's nap time, so we decided to just go back home and put him down for his nap. He seemed to be feeling fine except for a runny nose. By the time we'd reached home, I'd pretty much made up my mind to just get on the plane tomorrow and plan on getting Ezra in to his doctor in Oklahoma when we got home.

Later that day, I was out attempting to have some much needed 'alone time' when I got a call from my sister-in-law. Her mother-in-law is a pediatrician (Dr. Robin), and she heard that we'd tried to take Ezra to Urgent Care earlier in the day. Dr. Robin was amazingly kind and offered to DRIVE UP TO MY PARENT'S HOUSE that very evening to check Ezra out for us. Since I was already in town and far away from my parent's house and Ezra, I hesitated. I didn't know what I should do. So, I called my mom and told her about Dr. Robin's offer, and my (VERY WISE) mother told me that we needed to take advantage of the offer if it was being made so generously.

Soooo, my mom and dad drove little Ezra down to Dr. Robin's house and got there around 8:00PM or so. Dr. Robin took one look into my poor son's ears and gasped. BOTH of his ears are incredibly infected, and his throat/tonsils are really swollen and have some gunk on them as well.

Recap: I, in my infinite supply of 'gut motherly instincts', was only hours away from putting my baby boy on an airplane while he had a nasty nasty DOUBLE EAR INFECTION.

The dilemma: Do my sick son and I hitch a ride back to Oklahoma in order to make it to the Saturday wedding that I am meant to be singing at on time? That would mean someone in my family would have to spend 4 days driving just so that I could be there.

We tried to book flights for Saturday morning, hoping that Ezra would be well enough to fly by then and I could still make it in time for the wedding, but all the flights sold out due to some annoying college phenomenon known as "Spring Break". Tickets are extremely expensive and hard to come by. The soonest I can fly out is Monday, and at a much higher price than my original ticket had been sold for.

I am stressed out and under a lot of pressure to make a decision. I feel like I'm dangling at the end of a rope and the slightest breeze could take me out. At this point in time, I am more concerned about Ezra getting better than anything else. So, the plan is that I fly out on Monday with Ezra and I just have to miss the wedding. The thought of missing this wedding is too much for me to think about right now, as it turns me into a blubbering, crying mess.

For those of you that believe in prayer, shoot some our way if you think of it.

March 13, 2007

And the BLECH Continues.

Ezra has been throwing up every evening for three days now and (oh yeah!) I now have an abscessed molar.

We are meant to get on a plane and fly back home in the next two days, but he is really congested and my ears are plugged up and the dentist wouldn't open up my tooth to drain away the throbbing pressure because he said that hollowing a tooth right before you get on an airplane is like asking someone to pull off all of your fingernails for you. In slow motion. Ok, maybe he didn't say that, but it was something along those lines. So- more antibiotics for me! And some Hydrocodone for the pain! And someone please kill me now!

Is there a big, cosmic sign on my back that says 'Kick me'? I feel like there is. It was probably stuck on there after I had those mean thoughts towards that lady in the grocery store that was on one of those motorized cart thingys. She almost ran into me when I was getting my milk because she couldn't quite steer it well, and I thought in my head how annoying it was that I almost got ran over in the milk isle and then immediately felt terrible for being so harsh towards a woman who wasn't even well enough to walk through a store like I could.

Perhaps I deserve to clean up yarf from the crevices of my parent's new car after Ezra had decided to hold it in all day until the very moment I'd buckled him into his car seat... Perhaps I deserve to feel pain in my face that caused me to have sweet dreams of pulling a tooth out of my head with rusty pliers while dancing around in a green, grassy meadow...

I dunno. All I know is that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I am glad to be in Reno, though. Something about having mommy near by is a comfort to me and my lack of knowing-what-to-do-when-kid-is-sick skills. My momma's got answers. And experience. And a carpet shampoo-er for the messy times. These are all very good things.

Reno, on the other hand, has changed a bit since I've lived here. The traffic is much more congested. Oh, and I don't remember being creepily stared at so often by creepy creep dudes in their creepy creep cars through their creepy creep rear-view mirrors. I find myself wanting to yell, "Hey, Reno! Your pervy side is showing!" while I sink slowly behind the dash of the car.

The weather has been beautiful here, though. It was a record shattering 78 degrees today. People keep saying that it's too early to plant anything yet because they are sure there will be another cold snap before Spring officially arrives. I'm not too sure, however, because Chris' grandpa Bill bought a new snow blower on sale the other day, and he's now thoroughly convinced that because he finally broke down and made such a purchase, it will NEVER SNOW HERE AGAIN.

A strong argument, if I do say so myself.

March 8, 2007

The Girl Scout Cookie from Heaven.

I woke up feeling better today and was able to TASTE my first morsel of food in weeks. Luckily for me, it was a Carmel delight GirlScout Cookie that awakened my tastebuds from their long slumber. Praise Jesus for cookies at 8:00 in the morning.

The time in Reno so far has been great and so relaxing and maybe just what the doctor ordered. I went out for coffee last night with my sister in-law while my parents watched Ezra for me and I was able to relax and converse without having to ask my toddler to stop hugging the trashcan or trying to get him to drink the juice he begged me for just moments earlier. This afternoon, Chris' parents are going to take him and I am going to wander. Get lost in the city I know better than any other. Stumble upon a shop or a park and spend some time getting reaquainted with myself. I imagine it will go something like:

"hello, self. how have you been? You are weary, yes? Weary of illness and weary of living life without a step-by-step guide? Please do not worry yourself, self. Step-by-step guides lead to boxes and you're much more of a freedom-to-roam kindof gal. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Trust, faith, leap. Trust, faith, leap. Always a net to catch you or a fall to teach you."

I find my thoughts are jumbled as of late. Polar opposites locked up in the same brain space. The desire to have another child soon is growing less and less, while the ads for the minivans on TV are strangely more and more appealing.

March 7, 2007

Hell in a Handbasket.

Hello, dear Interent. The following is an incoherent rambling of woe-is-me's.

The day of Cameron's wedding, I woke up feeling really nauseous. I had already not been feeling well for a few days before that, but this puking sensation was new. And exciting! (NOT.) After yarfing a couple of times, I struggled to get dressed up all fancy and get Ezra and I to the wedding on time. Ezra's eye was goopy and swollen shut for the most part, and my dress wouldn't stay zipped as I scoured the farmland where the wedding was held for convineint places to puke where I could still keep an eye on my monster-eyed son. Chris had been very busy doing wedding things (as a groomsman, you know...) and I was pretty much on my own trying to care for my sick and fussy son while feeling like death warmed-up myself.

Thank God for Flo and her hubby Josh who saw that I was not doing well (i.e. crying my face off in the back row), and they graciously took Ezra and entertained him for me during the ceremony while I tried not to pass out and vomit. Flo, you are a lifesaver. Thank you thank you thank you.

Needless to say, Ezra and I left early and when we got back to the house we were staying at, I tried to preoccupy him with movies so that I could SLEEP. But for the first time in the history of his existence, movies just weren't going to cut it. Many hours of trying to care for a toddler while being sick ensued...

The next day, Chris was busy again leading worship at a church North of town. He came home around noon to check on us, and found us not doing very well. He called and said he would not be able to make it back up North for the night service, and whisked Ezra and I off to Urgent Care. We made it to the clinic with no time to spare (they closed at 4:00). The doctor was very kind and good at keeping Ezra entertained while he checked out his eyes.

Turns out, I have bronchitis and Ezra has a double eye infection.

We were both put on antibiotics. The nausea I was (am) having is caused by my lungs being swollen and causing waves of burning chest pains just under my breastbone. The burning pains are what cause me to feel sick.

So, we made a quick, last minute decision to drive Ezra and I up to Reno so that I could spend a few days recovering at my parent's house while Chris drove back to Oklahoma. I had to be back in OKC by Saturday because I am singing in another friend's wedding that day. We bought two one-way tickets for Ezra and I to fly back to Oklahoma a week after I got up to Reno, and we hopped in the car at 9:30 PM and left San Luis Obispo for the trek up to Nevada. The trip is 6 hours, and Ezra was having lots of difficulty sleeping in the car. He was thrashing around a lot, and that is when I lifted up his sleeve and saw that he was covered in HIVES. We didn't know if it was from the detergent we'd used at our friend's house in SLO, or that maybe he'd gotten bit by sand fleas while he rolled around in the sand at the beach, or if it was his medication that was causing the outbreak. We're still not really sure.

My antibiotics don't seem to be doing much, which leads me to believe that I may have the viral form of bronchitis- the one you just have to 'ride out'. How long is this 'ride'? I want off.

We arrived in reno at 4:30AM on Monday, and Chris just left this morning to drive back to Oklahoma by himself. He woke up this morning and said he didn't feel well, and as I watched the car pull out of the driveway I felt really sad. I don't like being away from my husband. I don't like being sick. I don't like Ezra having hives. And I don't like flying with a toddler by myself. I just want to be well again. I want to be able to taste food and smell when Ezra has a poopy diaper. (Yes, I would even welcome the smell of poo!) I want to get all the snot out of my head and be back to normal. I want to snuggle with Chris under the blankets.

So, dear internet, I am sorry I am not rainbows and sunshine today. I hope you all are doing better than we are this week.

The Pukey Snotty Goopy Hivey Clarks.

March 2, 2007

The Land of Green Hills.

All of us are safe and sound here in San Luis Obispo- the roadtrip being rather uneventful besides that random upchuck Ezra so graciously saved for that McDonald's seat in Arizona. Ezra (once again) proved to be a more patient and less-obnoxious traveler than his mom: he vegged and watched movies and I counted minutes and mile markers in my head the whole way here until I felt myself slipping into madness not much unlike that of 'A Beautiful Mind'. The trip was completed in two days- each day we drove about 12 hours. That means we started driving at around 11:00 AM and didn't stop until 11:00 PM. Wow. Chris drove every inch of the way. And, yes, I did offer to drive, but it was usually a half-hearted offer that came just moments after we'd pulled out of the gas station and were back at cruising speed.

Sneaky, no?

Everyone knows that once a man reaches cruising speed on a roadtrip, it requires much more than a half-hearted offer of 'taking over the wheel' to convince him to slow again. It requires something more along the lines of the Armageddon, really. Luckily for me, Chris enjoys driving, while I (on the other hand) enjoy eating Pringles and Sour Gummi Worms while watching 'Monsters, Inc.' in the back seat of the car. What can I say? We were made for one another.

Oh, sidenote: I'm SICK AGAIN. Fever. Aches. Nausea. Stuffy Face. I'm so over this. Also: Ezra's right eye has been running green goo all day and was swollen halfway shut this evening before I put him down for bed after the rehearsal dinner. I just know it's going to be gooped shut in the morning (hey! just in time for all those amazing wedding pictures tomorrow!) and with eyelashes like his, it may be WEEKS, MONTHS! before we can untangle the mess again.

Other than that, all is well. I would post pictures, but I forgot my cable to download them to the laptop. That, and I also have not taken any pictures yet. hehe.

My friends here are amazing and there is no one like them in the whole universe. It's good and healing to be around their love.

Tomorrow's agenda:
-wake up
-shower (perhaps?)
-go to wedding
-boogie like there ain't no tomorrow.
-boogie some more
-then, much more boogieness.
-finally, sleep like rock. snore like bear.