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Spider like cookies.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

See that? That delicious looking brownie right there? That stunning piece of artwork that you would most likely put into your mouth without thinking twice about? That, right there, represents everything that I absolutely, without a doubt, CANNOT have.

Yesterday when I got finished with my morning at work, I joined my husband and almost-two-year-old daughter, at a place called the "Soul Fire Cafe", a free coffee shack (yes, you heard me, free. Iced mocha's, frappachino's, whatever you want...) on base with a super hip interior, and Bible trivia board games donated by only the most amazing of donors, for all to play. Christopher was doing a 2 hour volunteer shift, and I figured it would be nice to get out of the house and check the place out, even though I knew I'd probably just be entertaining Eleanore the entire time. The first thing I noticed, when I walked into the room, was the plate of colorful cookies positioned in the center of the counter. And not because my free-cookie-dar was sounding an alarm in sync with a pretty red blinking light, but because to me, that plate of cookies could quite possibly be the death of me. I leaned on the counter right next to the plate, keeping one eye on the cookies at all time, as if they were going to sprout legs and jump on me, and the other eye on my husband, who looked completely lost behind the counter while being taught how to make something or other with steamed milk. Eventually, my fear of the cookies settled down, kind of like when you first notice a spider in the bathroom, but then realize he hasn't moved from his corner in the last day, and hes probably not going to. For all you know, hes dead! ...Maybe the cookies were dead too, right? After about half an hour of being there, I start feeling exhausted. So exhausted, that I could no longer participate in conversation with anyone or anything, and decide to go sit in a big red fluffy chair in the corner by myself. My daughter of course follows me, and for the next hour, we make up silly words for tiny glass bead-like things, that at some point probably went to an unknown board game. She hands them to me, I hand them to her, we arrange them on a table, its all great fun. I blame my extreme exhaustion on my pregnancy, and do anything I can to stay awake until the clock strikes 5:00. Finally I can't take it anymore, and I tell my husband we have to leave 20 minutes early. We get home, and instead of making it up the stairs to my bed, I sit at the computer like a zombie, having ridiculous conversations on yahoo messenger with my cousin Tiffany, and saying "I want that" to 1 out of 30 things on Motherhood.com. Finally even that gets to be too much work, so I relocate upstairs to the bedroom. Every step feels like I'm stepping in quick sand, but eventually my feet crest on the top floor, and I crash down onto the bed like Free Willy did into the water in that one scene where he jumps over the kid who's holding his fist up in the air, do you know what I'm talking about? Sorry, my husband just turned the stereo on and totally distracted me, that sentence could have been much better, I know. Anyways, so as I'm lying in bed, my stomach starts hurting. I figure "well, I took my prenatal not too long ago, maybe there just wasn't enough food in my tummy". As the minutes go by, I notice myself feeling sicker and sicker. Soon I'm so sick that I swear I'm about to die, and verbally communicate my last will and testament to my husband, who's doing everything in his power to make me more comfortable. I start telling him how I think I got wheat poisoning, and he says something like "I don't see how, you're probably just really tired". I'm too tired to argue. He turns the TV on to distract me, which works. A few minutes into SNL, I toss over onto my side, and pass out before I can even get into my comfy sleepy position. I sleep all through the night, having awful nightmares, not even waking up to pee (which for a pregnant lady, is completely unheard of). By the time I wake up, my stomach feels deflated and starving, while my head feels less cloudy and I can take a breath without thinking its my last. ...I've survived the night! As I slowly wake up I realize I'm not completely in the clear yet, but in a few short hours, the wheat that must have entered my chap lips though microscopic crumb form, will be gone for good. I guess the cookie wasn't dead, was it?

I haven't been into a cafe environment since last August when we took a visit to Portland. I realized how much damage I had done to my body on the very unpleasant flight(s) back home, and vowed never to step foot into another restaurant if I didn't have to. It took me weeks to recover from that trip, which sadly isn't an exageration. I know what you're thinking. "Is it really that bad?". If it wasn't, I sure would have made at least one trip to a restaurant in the past 11 months. I told Christopher that all I wanted for my birthday was to go out. He called a place in town, and asked them if they could assure that they wouldn't cross contaminate a dish for me, and of course, they said no. If it wasn't just gluten, it probably wouldn't be nearly as difficult. But because the birth of my beautiful daughter brought along intolerance's to soy/ dairy/ eggs/ oats/ amaranth/ fructose/ corn/ potato/ caffeine/ fats/ sorbitol/ carageenan/ ect... I've decided it would just be best for me to wear a surgical mask any time I leave the house. And probably be much more careful next time I step inside the Soul Fire.

From top to bottom:
-"GLUTEN INTOLERANT retro tattoo style brooch", by lizardgirl, $20.00. (somebody please buy this for me!)

Because I know a few of you had been wondering.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My dad is back home with my mom in Washington state, and must not be in that bad of condition, since last time I talked to him he had a mouthful of apple pie. If you can eat apple pie, you're going to make it. I really appreciate everyone that showed concern, really. I've never been so worried about him. All of your prayers and good vibes must have made a difference. The above picture was taken last August, when we flew home to Portland for Eleanore Sue's first birthday. I can't believe she's going to be two in just a matter of days. How do you celebrate a two year olds birthday? Well, since we've been attacked by the "sucks to be broke like you" monster, I think the only thing I can promise her, its lots and lots of delicious cake, and a trip to the zoo as early in the morning as possible, so we beat the Texas heat. I think I heard that her Nana and Papa were going to send along the Dora bike that shes been crying over for the past few weeks. Oh boy does this girl want a bike. She was playing in her kiddie pool, when Christopher comes riding out of the garage on his big boy bike. All we heard for the next 2 hours, was "biiiiiiiiike", in between horrific screams. You would have thought that we had taken away her favorite blanket and murdered it right before her eyes. Something else I'd like to get her, is a pretend kitchen. She loves to "helping me" in the kitchen. When I was out hunting for a tacky 4th of July outfit, I came across a vintage Rainbow Brite play dishwasher (for only $5.00!!). Right now its full of her plastic fruits and vegetables, because they need washing too! Ever since we started letting her help us in the kitchen, we can't step foot in there without having to find a task for little Elie Sue to do. Sometimes I hand her a clean sponge and convince her to "clean" the walls. This usually keeps her occupied long enough for me to finish what I'm doing. And if it doesn't, I have to find something equally ridiculous for her to pretend to do. I remember when I was 3 or 4, going to visit some friends of my parents, and their little girl had a pretend kitchen, and I was sooo jealous. Maybe we could get her some pretend pots and pans, plates, bowls, things like that?

What did you do for your child's 2nd birthday?

From top to bottom:
-My dad and Eleanore Sue, Woodland Washington.

terrible cravings.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Even though its all gone by now, all I can think about... is chocolate cake.

And just where on earth have you been??

Monday, July 14, 2008

Okay Okay, I know I've been gone just a smidgen longer than planned. Things have been crazy on the (new!!) home front, what with getting settled in, and making an empty space comfy cozy. But this post isn't going to be about that. This post is going to be about something much more near and dear to my heart.

And I have to apologize. Usually my blog posts are full of pictures and clever going on's, but this one is a little less Mary Sunshine. The rainbows and kittens will be returning by my next post, I promise :)

...When we joined the military back in 2006, I honestly thought that we'd be stationed in Washington, and I wouldn't really be leaving my family. So when I said goodbye to everyone, there were no tears (for me at least), and no second thoughts. I hopped into my car with a smile on my oh-so-pregnant face, and drove across country to Texas, thinking it would be like a short vacation and I'd be back home in no time. Little did I know, I would go into labor just days before my husbands tech school graduation, making it impossible to travel. So how far can they send you with a month old baby? About 3 hours away, to a little craphole I like to call Dyess. And here we've been for the past 2 years.

I've gone home to visit my family and friends twice, the last of those times being in August of 2007. Its been nearly a year since I've seen the people I love the most? *insert pouty sigh here*. This is the longest I've been away from anyone, in my 24 years of existence. Only 1 person came to visit us in 2007, my bestest (of the best) friend Kalii. I thought for sure my parents would have, but... there were no knocks on our door. And I understand how its not cheap to fly, but when I hear of people taking vacations elsewhere, it just makes me feel even more homesick, and a little less important, ya know?

So then 2008 gets here. And I think, "well my dad got a fantastic Christmas bonus", and hope that maybe we'll have some surprise visitors! ... but blah. Nothing. Or, nobody, I should say. The year goes on, and in May I think that maybe for my birthday, I'll get the best present anyone could give me, and have to go pick someone up at the airport. By this time I'm going insane with loneliness, and am completely heartbroken when my birthday comes and goes without seeing the face of a well missed friend.

Fast forward to now. I hear my dad is taking a trip. "Oh really, hmmm, I wonder where he's going!", I say with sarcasm, because I just know hes finally coming out to see his daughter and granddaughter! As you can imagine, when I find out hes taking a motorcycle trip by himself to California, I'm absolutely devastated. But my personal feelings aside, I'm worried for him. I talked to him and told him I thought it was a bad idea. He didn't have the right bike, it was too far for him to ride alone, blah blah blah. He assured me he was still superman, and not to worry. A few nights before he left, both my husband and I had nightmares about my Dad getting hurt/dying. Weird right? And on the same night? I had to call him and tell him, knowing I wouldn't change his mind, I just couldn't leave it alone. He promised me that he would be fine.

When someone promises something like that, and then they turn out not to be fine, you can't help but be angry. I didn't get a phone call from my dad the first night. I immediately freaked out, and called my mom to check on his well being. She said that he had gotten to where he was going just fine. How dare he not call me! Well I got a call from him later that night, and every day after that. If I missed the call, he'd leave a voicemail. I could tell in the first voicemail I got, how much of a good time he was having, and that made me happy. Even though he wasn't having a good time on vacation visiting me, my jealousy was buried in the back of my head and I was glad to know that he was alright. The next voicemail I got from him was different. It was short and to the point. An"I got here, and I'm OK, love you, bye" type message. The tone of his voice was low, and he sounded angry? I thought maybe he had just run into some rain. I chose not to call him back that night, like I had with the previous voicemail. I figured if he was having a bad day, he didn't need me nagging at him.

The next day my phone rang, and the caller ID said it was my mom. I answered with a hello, but only heard crying on the other end. My heart sank, and I instantly assumed the worst. All I could say was "what happened? Why are you crying?". My mom went on to tell me about how the previous day, my Dad had layed down his bike, and was currently being taken into an emergency surgery. They didn't tell me sooner, because they didn't want to worry me? Something about being pregnant, and the stress was too much for me, and all that other bullshit that parents tell you try and protect you when really they're just pissing you off.

The above picture is of my Dad's helmet, that no doubt saved his life.

My first reaction was to be angry. He had promised me that he would be fine, and now he was laying on a table somewhere, cut open with stranger's hands inside of his stomach. After his surgery, he was moved to the ICU, where he layed for 2 1/2 days. I finally got the nerve to call him, and started crying as soon as I heard his voice. Thank god he was alive, but just the thought of losing him was enough to cause a tornado of hormones in my shaken heart. I didn't tell him how mad I was. I only told him how much I loved him, and asked how much he was hurting. I could hear in his voice how miserable he was. At one point he said "It wasn't my fault!", as if he was defending himself against the argument that he knew I was having with him in my head. I simply told him "I didn't call to yell at you, I just called because I miss you". When I hung up the phone I was a mess. Thinking about what if I never saw him again, what if he never got to meet the new baby, what if he never got to talk to Eleanore? I've got water in my eyes just thinking about it now. So the next time I talked to him, I put Eleanore on the phone, who just started having phone conversations about a week ago. She told him about how she had mashed potatoes for lunch, even though she didn't, and about how she watched Ariel, even though she hadn't. Those are usually the only things she says. But at the end she said "love you Papa" to him. I could hear in his voice, how happy that made him. Hes still in a California hospital, with occasional visitors from the family members that he rode down there to see. When the doctor says that hes well enough to come home (where he'll have a lot more recovering to do), he'll hop on a plane and leave his bike behind until a cousin can put it in the back of his truck and drive it up for him.

The past few days have just made me realize how important my friends and family are to me.