Saturday, July 31, 2004

Binge Drinking

I went on a five-day drinking frenzy. I drank gallons upon gallons of water. Why? To pass a 2.1mm Kidney Stone.

It all started early Monday morning when a sharp pain woke me up around 5:45am. Yes, my kidney woke me up at 5:45 am on a day that I didn't have to be to work until 1pm. So already my kidney had declared war.

I writhed in pain on my living room floor armed with a water bottle, my cell phone, a big bowl and some tears. I thought it'd go away. It didn't. I feared appendicitis and so I did the mature thing to do. I called my dad. I woke him up at 5am Seattle time. I cried and in choppy language told him the problem. He told me to wake up Kat. I hung up and called for Kat.

We called Anna, our nurse next door. She poked me and told me that she thought it was kidney stones. Kat and Anna told me I had to go to the ER.

I have a phobia of hospitals, doctors and needles. I had been in this particular ER several times before but this would be the first time I'd be going in for me.

It took two nurses and four stab wounds before they were finally able to get an IV into the crook in my left elbow. I didn't think anything was worth an IV. Morphine made it worth it. And that stuff they gave me to take away my nausea made it worth it. And the extra morphine they gave me made it worth it too. I spent most of the 5 hours I was in the hospital asleep. But when I was awake I used sarcasm for my self-defense.

A few fun moments in the ER:
Number One
doctor: It's probably kidney stones.
nurse: All the women I've talked to who have been through child birth and have had kidney stones all say that kidney stones are more painful.
me: Thanks. That helps.
nurse: (blank stare)
me: It doesn't seem fair. I mean, at least the pains of child birth are rewarded with a cute baby. Kat, after I pass this kidney stone, can we get a puppy? It only seems right.

Number Two
nurse: Oh, my. Have you been given anything for your nausea yet?
me: I have this bucket. (I point to the bowl I brought from home.)
nurse: (laughs) No, I mean medicine. Have they put anything in your IV to make your nausea go away?
me: You can do that?? Bring it.

They said it would take a few hours to a few days to pass the stone, told me a drink a lot of water and said that pain killers would be my best friend. Comforting words.

I went home, drank and drank until our tap begged for mercy, and writhed in pain for three days until Thursday when I went in for a CT scan. It gave us three pieces of vital information. 1) The stone is 2.1mm in size. Just small enough for me to pass on my own. 2) It was stuck on my hip bone and would need a lot more water and time to help it on it's journey. 3) It had friends.

Good news: Today I felt a lot better after around 11am. I was able to eat a salad and two pieces of garlic bread in one sitting. I only had to take pain medicine three times. I was able to sit up more than lie down. I was able to sleep comfortably for the first time since Saturday night.

Benefits of week-long war with kidneys: I now know the ins and outs of daytime television. Bishop said I passed the Mom Test. I now know that I'm not allergic to Lortab or Morphine. I know all about the urinary tract. I know that I can depend on my friends, my ward and my bishop. I also now know that I can survive the at least three others that are on their way...

But where's my puppy??

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Home Sick
I can only remember being "homesick" three times in my life. 
1)  The first time was when I moved a thousand miles away from the only home I'd ever known to go to college.  But it wasn't the typical freshman homesickness.  I didn't miss my family, really.  I didn't yearn to be within those walls.  I didn't miss my bed.  I didn't miss those chats with mom.  I had never really had that anyway.  I missed my friends.  My home ward.  The kids I babysat.  My youth leaders.  That was the "home" I missed so much that I didn't eat for the first three months of college life. 
2)  The second time I was "homesick" was the fall of my Junior year of college.  I had spent the summer living in the Faerbers' basement and had spent almost every night rocking their precious baby to sleep.  There was almost always at least one extra little body in my bed.  There was always a cute face, a cute remark and childish games to play.  There was a safe place to come home to every night.  And I ate up the luxury of always having Julie to talk to.  Even though I knew they weren't my family and that it wasn't my real home, it was nice to pretend for a while.  And leaving was hard.  I still remember looking in on each of the four children as they slept, kissing them goodbye and then being grateful that Julie hadn't woken up to say goodbye to me so that she didn't have to witness my shameless tears as I wheeled my luggage out of their front door.  I cried myself to sleep for three weeks missing my dear friend and her beautiful babies.
3)  The third, and most recent time I felt that same heavy feeling of homesickness was Tuesday night as I drove off after dropping Shelby off at the resort in Park City.  We had spent over 24 hours together but it still didn't seem like enough time.  She had slept over at my place.  She went to work with me and I introduced her to my co-workers and students as my niece.  And I didn't feel like I was lying.  And we went to McDonalds and went swimming and got ice cream and went to the park and watched a movie and ate Taco Bell and played dress-up and sang Disney songs together until she fell asleep in the front seat of my car as I wound in and out through the curvy canyon roads on the way to Park City.  And I found myself again looking down on the now five Faerber children as they slept and kissing them goodbye and not being able to hold back the tears as I drove away and slid through the canyon roads and being so grateful for the time I was able to spend with them and hoping so much that they knew how much I loved them.  But missing them so much already that even though it was 2am when I got home and I was tired from playing hard, I still tossed and turned for hours before finally falling asleep.  And only found comfort in knowing that I could still call Julie.  And that I would be in WA again next month for another Faerber fix.  And understanding that sicknesses come and go with the seasons but relationships with people you love can survive any type of weather. 

I just feel a little home sick... and hungry.  Mostly hungry.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Chocolate and Shrek
So I started my first day at the little chocolate shop.  I loved it!  I'm pretty sure I was trained by an eighteen year old.  She would intermittingly stop to comment on a cute guy that she sees walk by every day, on the creepy guy that works at some chicken restaurant in the mall, about the things in the store she has broken, eaten or given away and about how she only got this job because her sister is the supervisor.  My co-worker was funny.  But the customers were hillarious. 
Customer:  How much is this?
Me:  $9.00.  There's a tag right there in front of it.
Customer:  Oh, how much is this?
Me:  $12.95/lb.  It's right there on the tag
Customer:  Alright.  How much is this?
Customer:  (In rude tone) How much is this?
Me:  $12.95/lb.  $13.50 if you want it in a box.
Customer:  Well, how many chocolates is that?
Me:  24
Customer:  And why is the box more?  Is there something special about the box?  Can I eat the box?
Me:  No (but I do have a few ideas about what you can do with that box...)
And then I came home.  And I went to the "pool" party at the Villa.  Except the pool was full of acid and could not be swum in.  But I went inside and they were watching Shrek on the big screen.  I saw my Chris on the couch facing the screen so I walked over to him, put my hands on his shoulders, massaged a bit, then leaned down and asked, "So... how you doin'?"  And then he leaned up to where our faces were almost touching to say he was good.  Except at that moment we both realized that we didn't know eachother.  So I said, "Oh, good."  And then walked away to find Kat who informed me that Chris was at the movies with Leah.  Information that would have been helpful to me five minutes ago!  How many times do I have to make mistakes like this before I start making people show me ID before I say hello to them?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Brave Little Me

I've had to make a lot of decisions lately. Big decisions. But this last weekend I finally made them. I really did. And so last night, as I was lying in bed getting comfortable for a night's sleep, I didn't thrash or stay up half the night worrying about what I was going to do. Because I already knew. I wasn't worrying about the consequences of my decisions because I knew I had made the right ones. I thought for a moment about how brave I was for making the decisions I did, about how many fears I had faced and about how good it felt to be in control of my own life. Brave little me. An independent adult. I thought about these things. But just for a moment, because I was already drifting off into a blissful slumber.

But suddenly a loud noise made all my relaxed muscles recoil into a tight ball of panic. It sounded like a gunshot. And my first instinct was to run out of my room and crawl into bed with Kat. And I would have, too. If I hadn't had been too scared to move. But I was. And lucky for me, my senses started working before my limbs. It wasn't a gunshot. It was probably just a random firecracker. Another one went off a few minutes later and I heard the distinct difference. I relaxed again and laughed at myself. I'm the Diet Coke of Brave. Just one calorie. Not brave enough.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Travel bLog
July 9-10, 2004
Renton, WA - Provo, UT

Faerbers' full Suburban loaded with two weeks' worth of family supplies, my luggage, three adults and five children (10, 8, 6, 4 and 2) and two glorious screens hooked up to a life-saving DVD player

Pacific Time
5:00pm - Faerbers pick me up from my parents' home.
6:00pm - Left tire place with freshly rotated tires and headed towards freeway.
7:15pm - Five children realize we're going to be in the Suburban all night and find it necessary to set up "beds" right away. Arguing begins.
7:20pm - Two babies sit calmly. Older three go into meltdown. Oldest boy throws tantrum for being stuck between the two "savages."
7:45pm - It becomes calm again after promises of beatings if Dad has to pull the car over.
9:00pm - Start of 45 minute stop at Walmart in Pendleton for diapers, potty, seating switch and directions. (Note = We had been taking the wrong freeway.)
11:00pm - McDonald/Subway stop for late dinner.
12:45am - "She's touching me" meltdowns start up again. Parents turn the TV off as children complain and demands that they all go to sleep.
1:30 - 3:30am - My turn to drive. Not much to see. Radio on quietly so as not to disturb the sleeping chilren.
3:30 - 5:30am - My turn to sleep. Beautiful.
4:30am - Baby Dalton wakes up.
7:00am - Other children start to wake up.
8:25am - Fallon throws up. I begin the wipee clean-up as neighboring children recoil in horror.
8:30 10:00am - McDonalds stop for clean-up, breakfast and a chance to let the children run.
11:15am - Stop in Lehi to switch drivers.
11:30am - I drive us into Provo! I get my stuff out of the car. Children discover that I have a pool.
12:00pm - We all go swimming.
1:30pm - Faerbers leave for Park City.

Trips' Featured Films:
Spy Kids
Some twisted form of Thumbelina
Barbie Nutcracker
Bugs Life
Cody Banks

Mountain Time
5:30 - 7:30pm - Take a nap. Wake up not knowing what day it is or whether it's morning or night.
8:30pm - Kat, Lisa, Ann-Marie and I go to Panda Express for some dinner.
9:00pm - Watch "Miss Congeniality"
10:45pm - Go to bed. Sleep for 8.5 hours.

I loved the trip with my good friends and favorite kids! And yet, it's so good to be home!

Thursday, July 08, 2004


It turns out that I have no sense of direction. My friends Sandy and Julie say that I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. I told Caroline's dad that barnyard animals have a better sense of direction than me. He promptly told me that since barnyard animals actually do have a very finely tuned sense of direction, that they most definitely had a better sense of direction than me. But more than anybody, my dad knows that I'm stupid when it comes to me trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. And so I sat down with him last night to plot my trip from my parents' Renton home to Pier 59 in Seattle where the Seattle Aquarium is located. We realized that there were two routes I could take. One appeared to be a bit quicker so I chose that one. I'd get on I-405, merge onto N I-5 and get off on Madison. Cake. It wasn't my usual Seattle route (I-405 onto I-90) but it seemed simple enough and I was familiar with I-5. But apparantly not familiar enough. We got to the merger for I-5 and I directed my mother to head north but the sign for I-5 south said that it was headed for Seattle. I called my dad.
"Where are you?"
"We just got off I-405 and got onto I-5 N. Is that right?"
"We took I-405 to I-5 N."
"No, tell me in places. What did you just pass?"
"Paine Field."
"You mean Boeing Field."
"No, Paine Field."
"Dad, I know where I am and I'm telling you we just passed Paine Field!"
"Are you telling me that you're in Everett??"
"How did you get there??"
"We took I-405 to I-5 N!!"
"You did what??"
"Aaggh!! We got onto I-405 and merged onto I-5 NORTH!"
"Woah! You're way off!"
"This is what you told me to do!"
"YES! You said that I could either take I-90 or I-5 N."
"Yes... but certainly you know that you have to go south past Southcenter and get on I-5 N there in order for that to work. I mean, you lived here for 18 years!"
"What in our history together would make you believe that I would know something like that??"
"Hehehe. You do tend to get lost a lot."
"Grrrr. Just help me get out of here!"

We turned around and got to the aquarium without the excess "help" from my father. And it was a lovely day, too. With petting ponds, sea otters, seals and five Faerber children. "I love Seattle in the springtime..." or summer.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Baking and Bonding

I saw my mother for the first time since Christmas on Sunday afternoon when I walked into Sacrament and sat down in her pew. I smiled the most genuine smile I could muster and she smiled back. It caught me off guard so I did a double take. When I did, my eye caught hers and I saw sincerity. And every moment since has been a pleasant one with my mother. I spent most of the evening with her yesterday. We went grocery shopping together so I could gather the ingredients I would need to make supper and she was delightful.

For dinner I made baked chicken, twice-baked potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. For dessert I made my dad's cheesecake. She was kind to me and talked to me and even helped out a little. She thanked me, complimented me and asked if I would play some games with her. I did. I had no reason to run away. When I decided it was time to go back to the Faerbers, she put on her shoes and drove me over there without complaint or guilt trip.

I don't know what's happening or how to respond. But I like it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Ferries and Fires

The Lunsfords were all together for the holidays at their cabin on ">Lopez Island. I arrived in Seattle at noon. Left the airport around 12:45, got to church a little after 1pm, stayed for Sacrament meeting, hopped in the van and drove up to Anacortes to catch the ferry. An hour or so later I was in the cabin with my pseudo family. And I was happy. I went kayaking around the island. And I was happier. They fed me salmon and twice-baked potatoes. And I was even happier. We all loaded into our trucks, cars and vans and headed over to the part of the island where they'd be setting off fireworks. We put out our blankets and chairs and settled in for the show. The show began with a few fancy fireworks but within the first couple minutes of the show, the fireworks became just fire! It was the second year in a row that this had happened and so we joined the others, packed up our things and headed back to our cabin. We set off a few of our own fireworks on the beach. And I was happy. The next morning we got up early to catch the 8:50am ferry back to Anacortes. They were letting 90 cars on. I was car number 185. The next ferry came around noon. They let 94 cars on. The next ferry was supposed to come at 2pm. But it didn't. Because some guy flipped his car in reverse instead of drive back in Anacortes and backed up the ferries for a while. I was dealing with ferries for 7.5 hours. But I had a van full of my pseudo relatives. So I was happy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Why, Why, Why?

Yesterday I ate a Taco Bell Bean Burrito, Soft Taco, Mountain Dew LiveWire Slurpee, a bite of Kat's Kara's Mint Chocolate Truffle Bar and a chocolate/vanilla swirl dipped ice cream cone.

Can somebody explain to me why I was up until almost 3am with a stomache ache?

And why, why, why the next door Provo High School band would decide that 7:30am would be the perfect time for practice? Why?