Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Whirlwind of What Nots





Wow. A Lot has happened lately.

Christmas came. It was great. Aaron and I were in the kitchen Christmas morning. It was almost 9 a.m. Anson was still asleep. The other boys were watching TV or playing quietly in the living room. Aaron said, “I’m so proud of our kids. It’s 9 o’clock (I love writing the word o’clock) in the morning. Anson is still asleep. The other kids have not even mentioned opening presents.” I was proud of them too.



We got away for a few days and visited with family.
It was wonderful.


Ashton turned three and had a little birthday party.

My baby is three.

I have baby fever right now so bad I can hardly take it. All my friends are pregnant or have newborns. I want to steal one. We have a baby bed up in our house that no one sleeps in, but I can't stand the thought of not having it up. We've had a baby bed for 8 years. I want another baby to put in it!!

We are praying about what to do about my dilemma. The thing we are the most unsure about is whether my fever will ever go away. Are we really supposed to have some more babies, or will I just always want another one when my next BABY TURNS THREE? Will I end up like that crazy lady with all the cats...except the cats will be kids? I don't know. But I keep telling Aaron that all our friends are doing it. Literally.



I updated our blog to the new version, because "they" threatened to send the blog mob after me if I didn’t. I was truly terrified. The only awful thing that happened was all my Her Hands chapters got stuck under the dashboard and profile of this page because I used the same email address. Pants. It’s all sort of a mess, but I would have to hire someone to fix it. It makes me want to cry or get rid of computers altogether just thinking about it. Aaron has informed me that "Beta Blogger" is not thug talk for "Better Blogger." Beta actually means something in the computer world. I thought Blogger was just being cool and hip. Nope. I'm still saying it in my gangsta voice. It's just fun.

Now I’m thinking about my New Years Resolutions.

I like there to be spiritual ones cause that’s super important, but I also like to make up stupid ones. I set the standards really low so I can make sure I accomplish them. How about, “I resolve to hip hop dance every time I hear a Toby Mac song no matter where I am.”

Or

“I resolve to learn the names of the Star Wars people so I have some sort of idea what my kids are talking about.”

Or

“I resolve to shave my legs every single day. Even if it's not Wednesday." Some of you are laughing and get that, huh.

Or

“I resolve to thaw out meat in the morning for supper.”

Or

“I resolve to change out the toilet paper roll every time I use the last of the toilet paper.”

Wait. I use an unconventional amount of toilet paper. That one will be too hard. Scratch that. I will have to be older and more mature to do that one.

Or I know...

“I resolve to learn how to have a Spanish accent.”

Not learn Spanish. That's not a low bar type of resolution. I just want the accent. My favorite commercial this holiday season was the one that said, “All I do is give to you Isabella.” “I deserve it Rodrigo.” I’ve said it a million times.

And, come on, there is no better Christmas song than Feliz Navidad. WHENEVER it came on, I blared the radio and sang it loud. One year, Hayden said, “Listen mom. That man is talking in Dora!” I’m singing it right now. It’s so good. I only know the Feliz Navidad part. The other part I make up every time. It’s part of the magic.

I’m still thinking.

I’m sure there are other mediocre things I can come up with that I can certainly do in a year to make me feel terrific about myself. The key is setting the bar low. 

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Miracles, Miracles Everywhere!


SO much has happened in the Hendrick house in 2006. This is another long post. I’m sorry! You don’t have to read it, but we have many things to be thankful for this year. I can't leave anything out!

With four little boys, one crazy husband and one nasty dog, there are not many days that go by that something exciting, disgusting, illegal, or potentially lethal does not take place.

I wish I were kidding.

Do you see what I'm doing? Are you already on to me?

Yep.

I'm trying to figure out how to put lots of these AMAZING pictures that Lynsey took of my kids in this Christmas newsletter. So, now that I've ratted myself out...I'll just go ahead and show you how stinkin cute my kids are!






Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, here are some of the highlights from this year.


In January we became licensed foster parents. In February, our first little boy came to live with us. God has taught us so much through loving him. This child is simply NOT the same person he was before he came to live here…and you know what? Neither are we! 


In March, another amazing thing happened.

We celebrated Spaghetti Day. Mark it on your 2007 calendar. I'm declaring it a national (and international, since I know Brooke will celebrate) holiday.

This marked the first time in the history of Hayden’s life that he got to eat the same dinner as the rest of our family.

I want to tell this story using a passage of scripture that is so similar to our experience. It’s amazing! It’s from Mark Chapter 9. A father brings his son to Jesus for healing…

And [Jesus] asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy.

From birth, Hayden has been sick. By the time he was 3 ½ his immune system had practically shut down. By the time he was three, he could eat only 6 foods. We were basically confined to our home. Going ANYWHERE besides the church nursery at Living Hope was a foolproof way to cause Hayden to break out in severe hives. Hayden had to be fully clothed at all times.

He lived his life in long sleeved, long pants pajamas with socks on his feet AND on his hands. If he had access to any of his skin, he would scrape it off and cause it to bleed. MANY times I would come in to get Hayden out of his bed in the morning to find his sheets COVERED in blood because he had managed to get a piece of clothing off his body.

I cleaned our house non-stop every single day. If Hayden even touched something he was allergic to (and remember…the only things he wasn’t allergic to were 6 things!) he would immediately break out in hives, have to be given Benadryl, covered in topical steroid and it would take about a week to recover. Our life was insane! Hayden could not play outside. He could not be around other kids. He could not go simple places like the grocery store or a city park. He constantly looked like a burn victim. Many, many times a year he had staff infections just from having open wounds all over his body.

Our life was so hard! Seeing my child suffer 24/7 was the most difficult thing I have ever gone through in my life.

And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us. And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes!

Looking back, that’s really where I was. I definitely prayed God would heal Hayden, but I spent more time trying to figure it out on my own than praying. I was saying I believed God could heal my son, then spending tons of money and unfathomable amounts of time (into the wee hours of the night) doing my own research on the internet. We took him to all sorts of specialists. He went to Texas Children’s. Nothing. They could not figure out what was wrong with him.

On TV, they always figure it out. I can’t tell you what it felt like to look into a doctor’s face and hear him say, “I don’t know what is wrong with your son.” I would just stare at him waiting for him to say, “Just kidding…here’s what you do….”

We were basically told to keep his skin completely covered at all times, keep him indoors, don’t go anywhere…take everything out of his room…keep everything dusted and free of any food whatsoever. So…we did…for three ½ long years.

Then, in October of last year, they did another round of allergy testing, because although I thought it would be impossible, Hayden was getting WORSE. Sure enough…tests came back and Hayden was now allergic to three of the six things he could eat.

I collapsed in the floor and cried on the phone when the allergist called our house. He informed me that he was very worried about Hayden because reacting non-stop was certainly causing long-term damage to his internal organs. To hear my usually low-keyed allergist say, “This is a big deal, Heather” scared me to death. I knew Hayden was going to die because I knew that I was already doing everything humanly possible for my child…and it wasn’t working.

At once the father of the boy gave an eager, piercing, inarticulate cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! Help my weakness of faith!

I began fasting for my son. I had fasted for him before…but for God to heal him. Now I was fasting for God to keep him alive.

That same month we had testimony time at LH. I remember getting on the stage, not even really aware I was standing there and begging our church to pray for our son. I explained what had happened…I pleaded with them to join me in praying that our family would honor God through Hayden’s sickness…that God would heal him…and that we would trust the Lord. I asked them to pray for me too. I was so tired. I was getting sick a lot from lack of sleep, I’m sure. I wanted to have JOY while going through this trial. I wanted to serve my child joyfully and patiently.

A few days later, I found out that the Amazing Dr. Bacak's family was visiting LH. They had been there that night I stood up and talked about Hayden…and he knew he was supposed to at least try to help our son. He got all of Hayden’s medical charts sent to his office. Hayden had quite a chart.

I went over to their house that week and literally walked in on Dr. Bacak toiling over Hayden’s medical history. There were papers laid out all over the place!! It looked like a copy machine exploded. All of Living Hope began praying by name for Dr. Bacak. We began asking God to speak to Rusty about Hayden. Dr. Bacak found that in a prior test done on Hayden, there was an amoeba present in his system.

I don’t know all the medical stuff behind his diagnosis…but basically, by seeing that everyone else in our family was completely healthy…and Hayden was NOT…he was the first doctor who looked at the big picture and saw that things were not exactly lining up here. He knew the rest of the family was healthy…had NO food allergies, AND that we had been going to Mexico to visit Aaron’s parents for two weeks, every summer since I was 7 months pregnant with Hayden. If Hayden had an amoeba present from birth, then every symptom Hayden had was symptomatic of having a long-term amoeba.

He treated Hayden with amoeba medicine (sorry Rusty…I bet you are cringing as I butcher the medical parts of this story). He treated the rest of us with it. Then, he tested Hayden’s poo until it came back amoeba free. This was certainly one of Hayden’s favorite experiences in his short life. To this day, he will still shout out at random times… “One time I pooped on a paper plate and my mom put my poop in a cup and then put it in her purse and took it to the hospital.” Oh my goodness…I want to die when he does that…ESPECIALLY the time he shared that bit of information with the check out girl at HEB.

But when Jesus noticed that a crowd [of people] came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and never go into him again. And after giving a [hoarse, clamoring, fear-stricken] shriek of anguish and convulsing him terribly, it came out; and the boy lay [pale and motionless] like a corpse, so that many of them said, He is dead.

Before the amoeba treatment, Dr. Bacak told us that he really had a feeling that if this is what it is…if there are this many symptoms from the amoeba then as the medication is breaking it down and getting rid of it, that Hayden would probably break out horribly during the whole process. He was right. Every step of God healing Hayden was a test of our trust in the Lord. We asked people to pray for us to trust Him..then immediately God went to work giving us reasons to do just that.

Hayden broke out so bad on the medication that he had to go on oral steroids. He couldn’t sleep. He had constant stomach issues. He threw up. He had uncontrollable diarrhea. He was MISERABLE for about two weeks. During that time, Aaron and I had SEVERAL conversations that went sort of like this…

“Should we quit the medicine? This is so awful. Hayden is worse than he was before he started seeing Dr. Bacak. We don’t even know this man. What if he’s nuts? Have you seen their house? It's not THAT big. Does that mean he's not rolling in the dough? If there's no dough rolling does that mean he's a crappy doctor? What if he’s killing our son? Should we do this?”

Sorry again, Rusty…just being honest! But every time, God made one of us strong. Sometimes it was me. Usually it was Aaron. One of us would say, “We are finishing this medicine. Hayden’s almost dead anyway. This can’t hurt anything. We’ve got to trust the Lord! This doctor was sitting in the service that night. We’re going to trust God to move through him!”

But Jesus took [[n]a strong grip of] his hand and began lifting him up, and he stood.

By March, Hayden’s skin was CLEAR!! He wore shorts. We went places. Finally, on March 27, Rusty saw Hayden in his office and said, “Let’s do something crazy, Heather…let’s feed this boy.” I felt dizzy. He didn’t want Hayden to eat milk or egg because he was still coming back with high, high allergies to those things…but other things he wanted to try.

I asked Hayden this question… “What food have you always wanted to eat?” IMMEDIATELY he said “Seggi.” Translated, that was spaghetti. I made spaghetti that night.

I sent an email out to family and friends at 4 p.m. that day that basically said, “Dr. Bacak said to feed Hayden real dinner tonight. Please pray Hayden doesn’t die. I’ve got an epi pen sitting on the dining room table.” We sang, Happy Spaghetti Day to you, Happy Spaghetti Day to you, Happy Spaghetti Day dear Hayden, Happy Spaghetti Day to you!

Hayden blew out candles. He ate some food. Actually, he ate all his food. I ate with tears running down my face. Then, we all shouted and praised the Lord right in our kitchen for what He had done in Hayden’s body. And we praised God for using Dr. Bacak.



At 7 p.m. I sent out another email to those same people that said, “He’s still alive!” It was one of the best days of my life! We will eat spaghetti on March 27 every single day, as long as we live!

God is good and healed our son.


I had tried everything I knew to do. I spent so much money on internet products, books, and specialists. I checked out of society and did nothing but care for my child in our home. We went nowhere. We did nothing. I prayed. I fasted.


But I remember the day I sat in our bedroom floor and cried my eyes out. I had come to the point where I knew I could do NOTHING for my son. NOTHING. I was at the end of my resources. I was passed the point of exhaustion. We were out of money. We had gone through every specialist on the list.

That day I realized that this was how I did everything in my life. I try it first in my own strength. And, because I’m pretty good at a lot of things…that means it takes a long time to get to the end of me and begin trusting the Lord. That sounds awful…but I’m just being honest.

I’m educated. I care about my children. I was willing to do whatever it took to help Hayden. I looked at his sickness like I do everything…something to overcome and figure out…a challenge…a puzzle.

I learned to cook food Hayden could eat. I cooked non-stop. NOTHING he ate could be bought off the shelf at the store. I got over having to be a hermit to keep my son safe. You would not believe how much socialization and celebrations of any kind revolves around food. When food is the enemy, you can't do a lot of the things other people do, and you realize how messy people are with food (before Hayden, I never noticed that other little kids are constantly caked with food particles of some sort.) Really. Go look at one!

I let go of needing sleep. I let go of feeling like I deserved to sit down and stop cooking or cleaning, or bandaging wounds. I got over thinking I should have time to myself…alone…time where I wasn’t constantly serving my son. I got over the fact that I did not have the luxury of ever doing something as normal as running to Hobby Lobby for something. I tried that twice and both times, my son practically quit breathing in the store.

Now I know that I foolishly thought God was going to heal Hayden by using me to do it. Wrong. God was going to heal Hayden when I gave up and realized God was the only hope for my sweet son. Not me. That day that I sat with my face smashed into our floor, lying in my own tears, it finally dawned on me that I could not save the day. This was not a puzzle. This was not a challenge. This, like every other thing in my life, was an opportunity to trust God to do something spectacular.
It was the most FREEING moment of my life. I realized, I was already doing everything I knew to do and it wasn’t working. I know so much right now about allergies that I’m not even kidding, our previous pediatrician STILL has people call me to ask me questions about caring for their kids with severe allergies. I went from being completely unaware of food allergies, to knowing so much I thought my head would explode. I could tell a whelp from a rash from a mile away on someone. And yet…my son was getting worse.

This whole thing was not about me figuring out some way to help my son. It was about God doing something amazing, and allowing me the great privilege to be a part of what He was about to do. I was about to see a modern day miracle. So I began praying God would heal him and begin teaching me to trust that He actually could do it. If Hayden were going to live, it was going to be all God. I was FINISHED looking for answers on the internet or by sitting in some doctor’s office far away from our home. No more.

Every bit of my energy was going to go into asking God to help…not trying to figure it out all by myself. And sure enough…God brought the Bacaks right to us. God brought healing right to our front door.

This year I hardly clean our house. It's been great!



In August, Anson got baptized. Is there anything better as a parent than seeing your children fall in love with the Lord? We have seen God work so clearly in Anson’s life. What a gift it was to watch the Holy Spirit begin pursuing his little heart last year. He was constantly asking questions about salvation…about what it means to live for Christ.

Then, he was so excited to be baptized. It is so evident that the Lord is living inside our son. It also makes it very easy to parent a child who so wants to live a life that honors God. If he reads it in the Bible…that settles it for him! Talk about a blessing!


So, those are the highlights of 2006. We got over our selfishness and fear and fostered. We got over ourselves and surrendered Hayden’s next breath to the Lord. God has come through beautifully in both situations.

In 2007 we’re looking forward to seeing what God has planned for the size of our family. We’re looking forward to the birth of a new little niece. We’re praying about having another baby in our house. Right now we’re not sure if we’ll birth one or if God is calling us to the ministry of adopting a newborn. I'm sure this is what Ashton would think if he's not the baby anymore.
..(really just another reason to use a cute Aunt Lynsey picture!).
We’re looking forward to trusting God to do whatever looney thing He calls us to do. Little by little we Hendricks are learning that when God says He is faithful and can be trusted with our lives…He means it.

We have NEVER experienced the love of our Savior like we have this year. He really did come to be God WITH us. His precious Spirit has taught us and grown us and BLESSED us incredibly this year. We pray those same things on your home and in your life this next year!

Whatever God is calling you to in 2007…whatever He’s been nudging at your heart to do…we encourage you to go for it. Nothing but amazing will result from stepping out in faith. Doing what God says is not always easy, but Christmas means that we never go through anything alone. Immanuel. God with us!

Merry Christmas!


Love,
The Hendricks

Monday, December 11, 2006

When I have PMS

I dislike dogs even more than normal.

I throw away toys instead of put them in their proper place.

I actually consider writing to someone who knows something and get an answer to this question: Why are some fire trucks white? It’s dumb and I don’t think it should be allowed. Fire trucks are supposed to be red. If we’re going to start changing the color, then where are we going to draw the line? Slippery slope. Slippery, slippery slope. If my house is ever on fire and a yellow fire truck drives up to wet it, I will stand in my yard, wearing my pajamas, holding my children and my scrapbooks and my coffee bean grinder and demand that the yellow fire truck leave my burning house at once.

A vacuum cord can make me cry and question my salvation.

Voices behind drive through intercoms make me want to bang my head on my steering wheel. Yes, I know that the voice is coming out of a mouth that belongs to a body that has a soul that Jesus loves. I know that. I'm not saying you don't need to pray for me. But last night, I said, “I need one kid’s hamburger.” The voice said, “Do you want cheese on your hamburger?” I didn’t scream. I just banged my head to the beat of, “I know what a hamburger with cheese is called and if I wanted that, I would have said cheeseburger. I’m an unhealthy eater, not a moron.” Sometimes, the people taking your order can see you bang your head. That’s why, we really shouldn’t do this.

After watching Super Size Me, I'm on to these people. I know that they are bent on making me fat. That's what they want. They want me fat. They can't just let me order what I want. They have to ask me if I want to supersize it, or if I want some extra greasy, fried, lard to dip my fries in. So, with PMS, of course I took her practically forcing cheese on me more personal than I do normally. I wanted to say, "Stop trying to make me have a pudge! I know what you are trying to do! Stop it! I rebuke you in the name of Gold's Gym."

After last night, I made myself promise myself that I would not do drive throughs ever again when I have PMS. It's just not wise. It's too much for me. I'm not mature enough to get through it with out having to ask for forgiveness. Normally, when I go through Sonic and order a drink, and then have "the voice" say, "Do you want fries or tater tots with that" I swallow hard and then blow it off. But with PMS added into the fast food equation, I actually think to myself, "I know you've been trained to say that, but do you realize, now that you have asked me that question, I can’t possibly say I want some tater tots, or I would be admitting that I am such a doofsicle that I forgot that solids are what you get when you’re hungry…and liquids are what you get when you’re just thirsty.”

A stroller can make me so insane that it actually crosses my mind to just leave my kids inside it in the driveway until Aaron gets back home.

I don’t do that.

I have PMS, not a mental condition.

One time, when I had PMS I couldn’t get my double stroller to close, so I jammed the whole thing into our vehicle in its upright position. A double stroller, not folded…in our vehicle. Do you know how much PMS it takes to accomplish a feat of that magnitude?

As I looked in the rear view mirror at my children, looking at the weird stroller smashed into our car…some part of it touching some part of their car seat, I had to laugh.

PMS.

Those three little letters can silence four little boys in a car pretty fast. Not one of them said, “Mom, why is our stroller in our car like that? Why are you sweating? Why am I having to drive all the way home looking left because if I look to my right, I will shove my face into the cup holder of our stroller.”

Instead, Anson says, “I love you, mommy.”
That’s when I laughed out loud and told them I was insane and sorry for tae kwandoing our stroller in the mall parking lot.

If I didn’t want another baby so bad, I would go beg for a hysterectomy.

I have cleaned my entire house today.


When I have PMS, I take it out on my baseboards…and on our Halloween candy.


And…I have a cold.

PMS and a cold.

This combination makes me want to find out who the actual people were who decided to change Nyquil’s formula…as in find these people’s names and addresses.

Nyquil.

It used to be my favorite over the counter medication.

I couldn’t take it for about a decade because I was either pregnant or breastfeeding. So, as soon as the first signs of snot are spotted…these days, I reach for that wonderful red elixir that makes me go into a night-time, sniffling, sneezing coma.

Until now.

Nyquil decided that if it had to be behind the counter so high school drug makers can’t get to it, then it was going to change it’s formula so it could be in front of the counter. They changed their formula from one that worked, to one that makes me sit up every 20 minutes and say, “I can’t breathe.”

But good thing I can buy this wonderful stuff in front of the counter. That makes all the difference.
And, since I have PMS right now, instead of just saying, “I can’t breathe” I also sit up, grab a pillow and hit our bed with it in perfect beat to, “I’m suffocating and I’m going to die drinking my snot. I can’t die a snot drinker.” What would people say at my funeral? What will you tell our children?

With PMS I can’t decide what I’m more upset with…

My uterus?

Strollers because it’s obvious men have designed something women actually use the majority of the time…along with dishwashers, since we are still BENDING OVER to load our dishwasher all day. The only thing that would make doing dishes all day better would be if we got to do squats while loading the dishwasher…or lunges. Why can’t dishwashers be higher? Just a little higher? A little bit?
Someone needs to get on this. Get rich and make your momma happy.

Nyquil for not alerting me that they were going to start stinking? If I would have known that Nyquil was turning into the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, who are we kidding, we don’t help any of that, medicine…I would have stock piled enough of the good stuff to get me through the rest of my life.


Parents of teens? Women who work their rears off can’t get higher dishwashers and yet the entire world puts perfectly wonderful drugs behind a counter so teenagers can’t mix Benadryl with battery acid so they can feel like they are on a sit-n-spin with their friends? This means if parents would just watch their kids, I could be in a responsible, proper dosage coma right now.
I could be horizontal AND still breathing.

What has this world come to?

I’ll write something nice in 5-7 days.

By that time, I'm sure I can find something to be thankful for to replace all those monthly thoughts.

Just wanted you to know that you aren't alone. All women are insane from time-to-time. Not ALL of these things happen every time I have PMS...these are just some of them that happen some times.

I have been known to call friends after one of these things have happened and say, "Pray for me today. I want to lock myself in a closet so no one has to be near me."

Praise God for friends. And praise God for breathing.

Tonight, if you can breathe lying down...you need to thank God for it. Don't take breathing for granted.

Breathing is a gift from God...and so was Nyquil, but now it's gone.

He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Turn



Well, apparently I've fallen victim to the latest form of blog shenanigans. I've been tagged. By my own son no less!

Like some sort of blog-chain-letter, there's a lot of tagging going around. Someone tagged Heather. Heather tagged someone, who tagged someone, who tagged Anson, who tagged me.

Having been tagged I must now post 5 things about myself that you don't know.

Many of you may be thinking, "That should be easy. Since Aaron never talks, I don't know anything about him."

But that's where you're wrong.

The fact is it doesn't take long to know pretty much everything about me. I'm pretty boring.

But here are 5 little-known-facts about myself in no particular order:

#1. I'm a little metrosexual when it comes to my Christmas tree. Maybe even a lot metrosexual.
I want my tree to be perfect.
I want the decorations to match.
I only want white lights ... that stay on. (No flashing lights and definitely no colored lights.)
I love the trees at the bank or the mall because they are perfect. The decorations are precisely spaced and they all match.
The problem is that as my kids get older their Sunday school teachers think that making Christmas tree ornaments is a great craft idea. However, I do not want their little clothespin reindeer or cotton ball snowmen on my tree. Those don't match.
And I don't care if they string popcorn till their fingers bleed. I don't want it on my tree.

This is how bad it is ...
Growing up our Christmas tree didn't match. And by that I mean that my mom had all of our homemade ornaments on it. Plus whatever ornaments we had picked up over the years from various Christmas parties and garage sales. We had snowmen, stocking, Santas, reindeer, and even a pac-man ornament.
I know that those things were special to her, but ...

However, one year she let me have my own little fake tree in my room. I got to decorate it and make it perfect like the trees in the bank or the mall.
That made me happy.

Unfortunately I did not get to help decorate our tree at home this year. Heather and the boys decorated it while I was at church on Saturday.
But PRAISE GOD, my wife knows and loves me well enough that she did a fantastic job making our tree look like a bank tree.
Thanks honey.

#2. I can't resist cheap books.
I just can't.
Ever since Hastings started having that huge used bookrack where all the books are $1.99, I've bought SO MANY books.
I just can't stop.
And I can't read them as fast as I buy them.
But that doesn't stop me.
Any books that look interesting ... I buy.
Some are good.
Some are not.
After the Wall - a book about East Germany after the wall came down - was so boring I didn't finish it.
But Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was very educational and quite entertaining.
I've got books about advertising.
Books about marriage.
Books about Shakespeare.
And a book of epitaphs from the fictional graveyard of a fictional town.
If you're ever looking for something to read, just ask me.
I've got piles of books you can go through.

#3. I wish I could cook ... but I can't.
I've tried. And when I see guys on movies and TV who prepare some amazing dinner and impress their lady-friend ... I think ... "I should learn to cook. Then I'd be cool."
But alas, I cannot.
You can ask Heather about my cooking.
She can tell you stories that are too long for me to type, but entertaining none the less.

#4. I love Willie Nelson.
Some of you may know this already. In fact, a few of you may have heard me sing like Willie before (I mean on purpose ... not the way I normally sing.)
My wife hates Willie. But every time the subject comes up, I just say to myself, "like Christ loved the church ... like Christ loved the church" and I overlook this obvious flaw in an otherwise wonderful woman.

#5. I take baths.
There I said it. I'm not ashamed.
Again, a few of you knew this already. And most of the people who know this often use this bit of information to poke fun at me.
But I don't care.
I like baths. I like to sit down in hot water and relax and read one of my $1.99 books.
You can't read in the shower.
And you have to stand up the whole time.
And only certain parts of you can be in the water at any one time.
These are all reasons that I dislike the shower.
The only advantage the shower has is time.
You can take a shower much more quickly than you can take a bath.
But I'm usually not in a hurry.
I just want to sit and soak. And read.

So there you have it. Five things about me you probably didn't know ... and a few images in your head that you wish you could get rid of.

And since I'm not going to be the one to break the chain-letter and bring all that bad luck on myself, I will tag 5 people.

Now who to tag?
I'll tag Charlie, Poppi (my dad), Allen, Will (my brother), and Rusty (Jenn, make him do it!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm It




I’ve been tagged.

This brings back memories of recess.

Since I’m no good at sports, it does not surprise me in any way that “I’m it.”

Story of my life.

I’ve always been an easy target, since when running, I have to stop and cough up my lungs every couple minutes AND give myself mouth-to-mouth.

I’m supposed to tell you five things you don’t know about me.

This ought to be interesting. Most of you can’t believe the things you already know about me, so for ME to pull something out of hiding, I might come up with some shockers…

I thought I would theme my list…5 things you don’t know I hate.

1. I hate hot dogs. They taste like you are eating bad breath. At parties I just eat chili bread. The bun, chili and cheese. Yum.

2. I hate Aaron Neville. If you are a man, you just should not sing like a woman. Isn’t that a well-known fact? You would think that not dressing your vocal chords in drag would be an unspoken rule in society. Also, if you are wealthy and famous, you should have surgery on poofy things that are on your face. Really. You just should.

3. I hate ceiling fans. I hate that they blow air on my lips. I hate that I have a recurrent nightmare where a ceiling fan falls from the sky and chops my legs off in my bed.

4. I hate frogs. Hate them. There are several reasons for this. When I was in elementary school I had a dream that I was running...that's a nightmare enough right there...but, it gets better. While I was running down the road, a mean kid from our neighborhood was sitting on the curb. As I passed by him, he threw a frog on my leg. See? Mean. The frog landed in the arc on the back of my leg behind my knee. The next time I lifted my leg to keep running, I squished the frog's guts out all over the back of my leg. Sick.

In 8th grade, I completely peed my pants...like all the way...as in no more pee left in my bladder all because of a frog. We were trick or treating. Yep. You read correctly. I was in 8th grade. What was wrong with me? A bunch of friends dressed up like Cher...the old Cher...the "I Got You Babe" Cher. We wore hippy clothes and tall shoes. We also walked so far to fill our bags with enough candy to last all year, that our feet hurt in those shoes. We took them off. As we were walking up to the next door on the street, part of the group ran ahead and rang the doorbell. The lollygaggers took our time walking up the long sidewalk to the house. Between the time when the doorbell button was pushed and the owner of the doorbell opened the door, my friend stops and says, "I think I just stepped on a frog." We all just looked at her thinking that we were sure only uncles used this odd phrase to describe tooting. She wasn't our uncle. She was our friend. Why didn't she know that? Then, our friend lifts her foot into the air...and yep...a frog is smashed and hanging from her bare foot. She looked at her foot, then put her foot back down and then started throwing up in the grass. I started laughing. When the man opened the door, looked out and saw my friend throwing up in his nice yard...when I saw his confusion...how he was obviously thinking that this whole trick or treat phenomenon had greatly changed since he was a kid...that's when my laughing got even more out of control. An uncontrollable urine flood fell into my hippy pants. I had to walk all the way home soaked in tee-tee.

If that isn't traumatic enough, a year ago, Mike Garratt brought a frog into his HOPE Group that I was VISITING and put that frog on my shirt. I went nuts and climbed Bill Magee. I have never been more embarrased by myself. Later, I found out ANSON told Mike to do it! Frogs. I hate them.

5. I hate roaches. About two years ago, I was asleep in my bed. I felt something on my arm. I shook my arm. I heard a solid “thud” when that "thing" landed near me. I came out of my drowsy state and immediately began punching Aaron, shrieking… “Turn on the light. I think something was on me. I think something was on me.” He turned on the light. We saw nothing.

I convulsed, shaking my head just thinking about a roach being on me. My convulsing knocked a HUGE black roach out of my HAIR. It landed on our bed and ran across our white sheets. It was 3 a.m. I SCREAMED uncontrollably, knowing full well I was going to wake the kids, but I was completely powerless to stop the screaming.

I RAN down the hall to the bathroom. I stood there crying…heaving.

I could hear Aaron making all sorts of noise in our bedroom hunting down and killing the insect from hell. I heard him go to the other bathroom and flush. He opened up the door to the bathroom where I was to find his wife BAWLING, NAKED, standing in the bathtub. He immediately shut the door and stood in the hall, trying to compose himself. He opened up the door, with sort of a straight face and said, “Are you ok?” I don’t know why I had to take my clothes off. I could NOT stop crying. I really was terrified. And I felt like I had been violated. I threw my pajamas in the trash. I would never wear them again.

We went into the living room. I tried to sit on the couch. I could not. I had to stand. I was afraid a roach would get on me. I STOOD in the middle of the living room floor and watched two episodes of Fresh Prince of Bellaire. The whole time Aaron kept begging me to come back to bed, or to at least sit down. He kept telling me that we don’t normally have roaches in our house, and so my fear of another roach getting on me was nuts. But what if they were having a family reunion? What if it was woodstock for roaches week?

Eventually, I went back to our bedroom. We turned off the light. Not even a minute later, I told Aaron I couldn’t sleep in the dark...ever again. We turned back on the light. About 30 minutes later, I woke Aaron back up and asked him to move our bed into the center of the room. He did. Then, I got up, got a blanket and wrapped myself up like a human burrito. Only my nose and mouth were showing. I felt Muslim. I also felt very sweaty. Even though I was drenched in sweat underneath the blanket, I could not sleep with out it. We woke up in the morning, with our light on, our bed in the middle of the room, with Muslim me lying in the MIDDLE of our bed horizontally. It was the worst night of my life.

The next morning was a Saturday. I started calling my pest control man, who I already had a great relationship with due to my insanity about anything creepy crawly. I left a message. I called every hour on the hour. Every time I would say, “Darwin…it’s Heather. I REALLY need you to call me…today…please.” By 2 p.m. this is the message I left…

“Darwin…ok…here’s the deal. A ROACH got on me. On my skin. It touched my skin. While I was sleeping. (I think I started crying again at this point in the message). Please. You have to come over here. Please. If you don’t come today, I am going to have to go sleep at the Marriot. Please. (my voice got squeaky here). Call me Darwin.” He called an hour later.

He said my messages had been played over and over again by several different employees…that this was the best Saturday of their lives. He was out of town, so they couldn’t reach him. He came over that day, with several other people. They sprayed the whole house again…and even crawled under our house and dusted with something so strong that I could not even let the kids play outside for 48 hours. I’ve never been more thankful for toxins in my whole life.

The next few nights I still could not sleep. What if the dust didn’t work? Over a week later, I was so exhausted from barely sleeping. I asked Aaron this very difficult question:

“Do you think our kids will look back at their life at home and think it is more weird that their mom slept with her light on wearing one of those cool movie star eye covers, or would they think it was more weird that I slept in a tent on our bed...but in the dark?"

He just stared at me.

I went with the tent.

They could play with it during the day…I could sleep in it at night. They wouldn’t think that was weird. They would think I was cool.

The tent was the only solution.

I researched the roach online.

They come out during the day too, so sleeping with the light on wearing a cool movie star eye cover would not work.

During all those nights I wasn’t sleeping, I brainstormed every possible way to keep a roach from ever getting on me again. Caulking our whole bedroom? Moving my whole family to a daytime sleeping schedule? Laser sensors? Levitating in my sleep? None of those would work. I either did not know how to do those things, or a roach could come from the ceiling and fall on me. It brought me to tears just thinking of how defeated I was by a devil insect that isn't always nocturnal.

The tent was a brilliant idea.

I could inspect it for roaches before bedtime every night. Then, I could climb in, zip it up…and there you go…no way no how could a roach get on me.

Pure genius.

And, since we were pitching the tent on our bed, it would be comfy.

And, since I would never in a million years ever camp in a tent in real life…like outside somewhere, this could be a great compromise.

There is no better description of a win, win situation in my opinion.

That night, I got in the tent, zipped myself up, so relieved to at least get one good night’s sleep. Aaron refused to participate. He slept on the couch.

Well, for half the night he slept on the couch. I went and got him at 3 a.m. because I was AGAIN drenched in sweat from sleeping in the tent. It seems it gets hot in tents if there isn’t any wind. And, since tents really aren’t meant for indoor sleeping, my fail proof plan was FAILING.

Then we moved a month later to a new house...for a bunch of reasons, none of them being the roach.

But...no joke…

When we called Darwin to say we up and moved, he said, “Was this because of the roach on Heather?”

That poor man!

Now who to tag?

Just 5? I want to hear 5 things we don't know about you from ALL of you!

But to keep the game officially going, I tag:

Brookie, Jenn, Kathryn, Kirby and sweet little Sydni.