Tag Archives: Los Angeles Photographer

33/34 Weeks

We’re getting so close!  Literally down to being able to count days now………….

Unfortunately, we’ve still been plagued by the incessant and horrible cough this week but the good news is that the PUPPPS is gone; and if I had to choose one to leave, that would have definitely been it.  Thank you to Grandpa’s Tar Pine Soap, Tea Tree Oil and anti-itch creams.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

We went in for another ultrasound this week to make sure you guys are still growing like little champions.  It was awesome.  By far one of the best ultrasounds we’ve had so far.  We had a new tech and she showed us all sorts of cool stuff going on in your little secret abode.  You’re in there hanging out like ying and yang and we got to see one of you rubbing the other ones head with your cute little baby toes and also got to see that you both have hair!  You are still chubby bunnies too, measuring in at 5lbs 4oz and 4 lbs 10 oz respectively.  This is good.  We’re hoping you both will be well over 6 lbs by D-day.

The time has been passing pretty slowly lately………twidling the thumbs seems to be making things worse.  To try to pass the time, your dad and I have staged the “Ultimate Humiliation” contest in your room.  This competition is a bare knuckled death match gaming contest consisting of Connect Four, Checkers, Yahtzee, staring and arm wrestling.  Whoever has the most wins by the time you’re born is the Ultimate Victor.

And lastly, drum roll please…………..WE HAVE FINISHED YOUR NURSERY!  Finally!  I was beginning to think I would never actually get it done by the time you got here.  I hope you like it and have a lot of fun in there.  Our favorite part is the chalkboard wall and I can’t wait to see you guys coloring on it someday.

Now we just need you two to show up for the party.  T minus 10 days and counting……..

As this pregnancy really starts to enter its’ last days I find myself really excited (almost unbearably so) but at the same time kind of sad.  We’ve had so much fun with you guys through this and have really loved every second of being pregnant and I know that someday, probably many many years from now, I’ll wish more than anything that I could be back here at this moment with you again.  So I’m really trying to soak it in while I still can.  Yes, I’m exhausted, yes, my back hurts, yes, you re-nigged on our stretch mark truce, yes, my toes look like chubby little sausages for no explicable reason – but I wouldn’t trade any of it because I know exactly how lucky we are that we were even able to be here and how close we came to you never happening for us.

We love you both so much already and can’t wait to meet you and show you how wonderful and strange and beautiful and complicated and good this world can be.

See you soon!

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32 weeks

Here ye!  Here ye!  Let it be know that the occupants of my womb have received their official notice of eviction.  You heard it!  You fellas got 30 days to pack your bags, make like a fetus and head out………..or, in your case, butt out.

Listen up, babies, it’s been a real slice of Heaven havin’ you bouncin’ around, drop kicking my pancreas and uppercutting my lungs but, truth be told, you two are getting chubby, rotund and HEAVY and honestly, you’re starting to make everyday tasks a little less than comfortable now.  Everytime my shoe comes untied I have to tromp through the house searching for your dad, hoping he’ll lend a hand instead of trying to strike a bargain.  “I’ll tie your shoes but I will require you to spoon feed me my dinner”.  ALSO,  I’ve recently developed some sort of horrendous, blotchy, itchiness on my belly called PUPPP, which is not nearly as cute as it sounds…now, I don’t know if this has anything to do with you two and I don’t want to point fingers but this rash didn’t show up until you did so let’s just stick all niceties aside and call a spade a spade, shall we folks?  YOU’VE WREAKED THIS HAVOC UPON ME!!

In other news, I have discovered what I believe to be a stretch mark……right by my belly button…….or rather, the stumpy mound of flesh that is passing for my belly button these days.  A week ago I had a dream.  I HAD A DREAM!!  And that dream was that my body and your bodies could live in piece, as one, with no stretch marks but sadly, you seem to have overstepped our silent treaty and ripped a wrinkly crevice across my abdomen and, like cockroaches and homeless people, where there’s one, there’s more.  Did I cry?  Did I weep?  Did I stand nude in front of my full length mirror and sob in vain, my fist shaking at the heavens, my belly jiggling like a Jell-O mold?  Perhaps.  But the moment to mourn has passed and I’ve been able to accept my grief and move on, finding joy in other things, like oragami and decapage.

Earlier in the week your dad and I packed you and I’s hospital bags and wrote out our Birth Plan.  I feel like it’s kind of a waste of time but just in case……I suppose it can’t hurt.  That said, I question how much the nurses level of animosity goes up when you whip out a page of instructions regarding how to take care of a baby.  If cancer taught us one thing it’s that people in the medical profession do not like to be questioned or second guessed by mere mortals.  They’ve gone to school!  They’ve read books!  They’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy!!  What have we done?  We’ve played Operation once or twice and the game always buzzes us…

We also took our maternity tour at the hospital you’ll be delivered in.  The facility is new and very nice but they don’t have internet.  (The internet is a place you spend all of your free time and most of your day at work).  Some boardroom committee seriously dropped the ball on that one.  Noobs.  As a consolation prize, however, we get an aromatherapy moist towelette every morning to wipe ours hands with and mandatory “tea time” everyday between 2-3.  YAY!  Tea time and moist towlettes!!  It’s just like brunch on the ol’ ranch!  Thanks, Kaiser!  You’re the best.  Who needs Facebook and email and the ability to send pictures to friends and family that live across the country?  Who needs to stay busy over the course of 4 days while I lay there, feeding my sucklings like hungry piglets.  Not I!  Not I!!

The tour guide also told us that the rooms were installed with OnDemand TV.  SCORE!!  If we can’t stream our Netflix at least we can watch anything we want…ON DEMAND!!  What’s that Tour Guide?  Oh, it’s not the real OnDemand?  It’s just a bunch of videos that run on loop for 24 hours a day about circumcision and breast feeding?  No thanks.  If I wanted to watch Faces of Death I would’ve just rented it.

Plus side of all this?  Since we’re having twins we get to have the BIG post partum room.  ALRIGHT!!  Now we can sit around in silence and the clock ticking noise will have a tinny echo! HOORAY!!

Finally, we installed your car seats!  I think this might be the single most frightening dose of reality that we have experienced thus far on this journey with you.  We took a trip to the fire station to have them check out our handy work on the install but sadly they no longer offer that courtesy.  Looks like you’re at the mercy of dear ol’ Mom and Dad’s handy work……….may God be with you.

See you in 30 days!

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30/31 weeks

We’re getting so excited to meet you little monsters I can barely stand it!!!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, waiting has never been a particularly strong suit of mine.  For instance, EVERY year around Christmas my brothers and I would scour the house while the parental units were away in search of our hidden presents; bedroom hampers and bathroom cabinets were of particular interest to us.  Once said presents were discovered, we would carefully unwrap them, joyfully play with them and then delicately wrap them again before mom and dad returned…but don’t worry, I won’t try and take you out and play with you until Christmas…..but I don’t know if I can wait much longer than that……

Anyways, a LOT has been going on out here while you’ve been sleeping or plotting your escape or playing solitaire or whatever it is you do in a womb built for two.  First:  your dad sold his first film!  I know, HOW did I forget to mention that little detail.  It was pretty amazing.  In celebration we did an awkward happy dance in our living room and then (in a time honored tradition that you WILL grow to love….or else…) we went to Red Lobster!!  This is the one place we go to celebrate ALL momentous occasions.  I’m sure at many points in your life you will get to experience its incredible joys with us too; your 1st birthday, your 2nd birthday, our anniversary, Victory over Japan Day, etc.

Second:  at your baby shower we held a photography raffle to raise money for Smile Train – an organization that specializes in cleft palate surgeries – and thanks to all of our amazing friends and family that participated we were able to pay for an entire operation for one person!  How awesome is that!?  And it’s all thanks to your existence that someone’s life has been changed FOREVER!  Not even born yet and you’re already making the world a better place.

Our latest ultrasound was the litmus test to see if I needed to start scarfing down the butter sticks and Oreo cookies as the Good Doctor chastised me about last appointment (having not gained “enough weight”).  Good news is that you guys are still fat little calves; recommended weight for a single baby at this stage is 3lbs.  Baby A is at a plump 3lbz 10 oz and Baby B is holding steady at a nice 3lbs 1 oz  so it looks like everyone can rest easy.  We got to see you fighting for world domination in there again too – like two cats in a paper bag punching and kicking for every available inch you can get.  I feel kind of bad because it really does look crammed in there – actually we couldn’t even get any decent photos because everywhere we looked were squirrely appendages.

That said, we did get to see each of your little feet!  Dear Baby A, you have the longest foot EVER.  You could literally perch with those toes or pick up pencils or bananas.  Maybe this means you’ll be tall…………I hope for your sake it does.  Take it from me when I tell you that being short is overrated.  I speak from stunted experience….oh, John just let me know that being short isn’t overrated.  He says that everyone knows it probably sucks.

Our Good Doctor has abandoned us into the care of an associate so she can go romp around in India for the next month.  Boo.  She’s SUPPOSED to be back for your major debut but in the meantime we’ve been left in the care of a new face.  So far, not a big fan and, for lack of a better name, we shall call her Dr. Evil.  In a five minute period I was chastised AGAIN for lack of weight gain, for refusing the flu vaccination, blatantly yelled at for refusing the whooping cough vaccine and then subjected to some sort of “labor checking test” to see if I was in danger of slipping into preterm labor in the next two weeks.

Dr. Evil also told  told me about how I am RH negative and that I need a shot because in the event that either of YOU are RH POSITIVE, there could be some sort of race war happening in my body where death is the only objective.  They stuck another needle in my hip and said that it should take care of it.  All I can say is that if I find out they slipped me the flu vaccine unbeknownst I am going to drop kick somebody.  PS.  I’d love to know where The Good Doctor was during all of this – sort of dropped the ball on the apocalyptic antibody fight happening right under our noses.

Now, you two are due here in about five weeks so just sleep tight and just relax but due mark it on your calendars (get it “due” instead of “do”, because you’re DUE – I write all these myself).  My belly is huge and your dad keeps calling it a Flesh Mound, a Pitcher’s Mound, Mount Vesuvius and other very…….colorful…….nicknames.  At this point I seriously would not be surprised if my skin just ripped open at the seams and the two of you just bungied out of my abdomen, “COWABUNGA!!”

In other very exciting news, we got our amazing maternity photos back.  Love them!  Our good friend Mary gave this session to us/you for a baby gift.  Isn’t she great!

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29 weeks

Sleep?  Why yes, I remember a time when I achieved 8 hours a night.  But it was……so long ago.  It seems like a myth, a legend.  I can faintly recall a time when I would fall asleep at 10:30pm and sleep soundlessly and peacefully until 7:30am.  No longer.  Lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to one of you gently stomping on my bladder while the other one climbs carelessly into my ribcage.  “What are you doing in there?” I ask and only receive two swift kicks to the midsection for my unwelcome curiosity.

During the day I shuffle around, a zombie, massaging my belly and droning on slowly about “Sleeeeeeep.  I want sleeeeeep”.  I’ve rummaged through all of our closets and pulled out any additional pillows we have, throwing them on the bed, tossing them under my abdomen, between my knees, beneath my hips, trying to trick my body into believing it’s comfortable.

Perhaps this is God’s gentle way of preparing us for what’s coming…….or perhaps this is God’s cruel way of punishing me for being a woman.  John has been rubbing my back and lubing my torpedo-esque belly up with both baby oil and olive oil.  I don’t know if the latter actually helps but I read somewhere that it does wonders and, low and behold, no stretch marks on the belly…….yet.

Your dad has been reading you parts of Moby Dick, Ender’s Game and Corduroy.  The first is about a monstrous whale that eats people, the second is about a boy who destroys an entire species of aliens and the third is about a fuzzy little stuffed animal that gets lost in a mall.  Look at you, not even zero and you’re already SO well read.

Two days ago John blew a raspberry on my belly and freaked one of you out….BIG time.  You leapt and lashed out with your foot, kicking him in the face.  It was a serious power house move – something Jean Claude van Dang would have done.  It was so funny I asked him to do it again.  The second time was so funny I asked him to do it again but he became afraid that he was going to give you a complex or blow out your eardrum.  Allow me to explain…..your father is a wonderful person but is a serious neurotic mess.  For example, it makes him exceptionally nervous when remote controls are pointed at him, he won’t stand in the same room with a microwave and he blatantly REFUSES to drive over 30mph when not on the freeway.

Earlier in the week we went to a birth class at Kaiser that explained what to expect when you’re expecting a pregnancy.  During the graphical recreation of a birth a middle aged gentleman passed out in front of like 60 people.  Some doctors and security guards came in and escorted him out, his wife in tow.  I bet they were both really embarrassed.  Weakling.

We started writing out your birth plan and thinking about what to bring in our overnight bag during our hospital visit. Grandma Kathy brought us a suitcase filled with your dad’s old baby clothes last month and you’ll be wearing some of them home for your very first trip.  This whole situation is really blowing our minds.  We are SO excited to see what you look like and sound like and we are so incredibly excited to meet you and introduce you to the world at large.  Do you know what Taco Bell is?  Can you say “Chalupa?”

Seven weeks is right around the corner and it’s probably going to sneak up on us faster than we imagine.  In fact, I’m already having anxiety dreams where I lose you in stores, forget your names and can’t tell you apart and ones where you don’t like me.  Even your dad had a dream a few months ago where one of you was the wrong ethnicity and he forgot to name you and our dogs didn’t like you.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a solid night long dream…..

Have you ever heard of a baby shower?  It’s mostly a bunch of chicks getting together and heeing and hawing over doilies and flowery diapers.  Boo.

For YOUR baby shower a bunch of our friends got together to throw us / you a twin themed costume party.  The twin girls from The Shining showed up, The Hammer Bros. made an appearance, Copy / Paste, Batman and Robin and…..The Minnesota TWINS were all there!!  We were even lucky enough to have both grandmas out here for your big event; one dressed as a proctologist (butt specialist) and the other as a 2 pair (I’ll let you guess where John gets his neurotic tendencies.  HINT, it’s not the 2 pair).  It was amazing!  Your dad wanted to either go as Twin Mattresses or the Twin Towers and since I considered the second to be in poor taste we opted to make our costumes from our (my) bare hands.  Below you can behold the photos.

Finally, a call from our tax adviser this evening advised us that you being born before the end of the year would be quite a  BIG benefit to your ol’ folks’ government contribution – so pack your bags.  You’re gonna be Christmas babies.

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28 weeks

We did it!!!!!!!!!!!  We’ve made it to the 3rd trimester!  When we first found out about you guys (or gals), I remember thinking that your arrival was a lifetime away………….and now it seems like I’ve blinked and we’re almost done.  You could be here in as early as eight weeks (and you’re not welcome here sooner, so don’t get any funny ideas about evacuating the premises).

The Doctress said you’re still okey dokey artichokie and have both most likely settled into a permanent breech position.  I’m certain this is some kind of military strategy one of you thought up as the prime exit strategy from your fleshy prison but have no fear my little captives, I’ve been mentally preparing for the eventuality of the dreaded C-section.  Heck, why not?  Nothing has been very traditional about this pregnancy so far, why shouldn’t we end with a bang (or at the very least a swish-plop-plop).  Rebels from birth I guess.  Thinking outside the box (or womb, as it were).

Upon my last visit The Evil Doctress chastised me for my (get ready for THIS one) “LACK of weight gain”.  Did you know it’s recommended that a traditional (there’s that hideous word again) expecting female gain 50lbs during a twin pregnancy?  Can you believe it?  I can’t imagine she was particularly impressed when I started laughing.  Once I was able to gather my senses, I muttered something about stretchmarks and began to dutifully nod my head, all the while thinking “noted……..and deleted”.

You two may be chubby little cherubs but I’m fighting it tooth and nail.

More new news, we’ve recently entered into the “growing” months of this pregnancy (supposedly it’s you that’s doing most of the growing, but I have a feeling I’m going to get the short end of the stick from our symbiosis).  Have the last few months been practice??  Have you just been warming up?  Biding your time until you could flex yourself up like a little puff fish?  Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder just how my Buddha belly could possibly get any bigger without stretch marks and then I remember…..it probably can’t.

Note to self:  remember to ask Father Dearest to double his strict regime of lotions and oils.  The battle will be fought until the bitter, disgusting, C-sectioning end.

John and I have long ago agreed that we’re not going to do the “twin” thing with you guys – we’re not going to give you rhyming names, dress you the same and refer to you as one singular unit……..but we MAY dress you up in these little Dr. Seuss Thing 1 and Thing 2 outfits because there are some impulses in life that you just cannot ignore no matter how hard you try.  I have heard The Call of the Wild and I have answered.

Thanks so much to the Dickberry family for indulging us in this sinful little literary treat.  Seriously though, how cute are these going to be on you!  You’ll have to remember to thank them yourself when you meet them and learn to talk.  They are incredible people, cancer survivors like your Dad and will no doubt spoil you rotten with things like Fudgie the Whale (when Fudgie calls, you WILL answer).

At sushi the other night (I only eat baked fish with low levels of mercury) we decided to try your names out on a few friends to make sure we weren’t missing something obvious: ie Seymour Buttes or Harry Peritesticles.  It would be terrible if your name were Samuel Oren Brookbank and your initials were S.O.B. or Norman Otis Brookbank because NOB is just a terrible nickname.  All that said, green light is a go.  Everyone really liked our names for you……….or lied convincingly – so I think you have been duelly christened.

8 more weeks left and then you guy’s are getting the BIG eviction notice, so until then, curl up with a good book and try to stop crawling up into my ribcage.

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27 Weeks

You have officially moved in this week!

Coffee mugs and extra sets of dishes were pushed aside to make way for a barrage of bottles.  I love to open up your closet and look at all your little clothes hanging there on those ridiculous little baby hangers.  And don’t get me started on the socks!!!!!!!!!!!!

A lot of baby shower gifts have been arriving in the mail this last week and almost ALL require some sort of assembly.  I’m sorry to inform you of this already (you would have eventually found out on your own anyways)………but your parents are idiots.  Seriously though, you almost have to be a rocket scientist to properly assemble all these gadgets.  But thankfully after a lot of duct tape and a few curse words, we managed to monkey it together for you crazy kids.

I’ve definitely entered the “nesting” phase of this pregnancy…….either that or I’ve had a psychotic break and decided to hand scrub the couch just for kicks.  🙂

Lab results came back and we passed the gestational diabetes test!  Yay!  We have another appointment with the good Doctor later on this week to make sure we’re still on the right track with everything else.  I’m predicting some serious growth because you two are starting to feel HEEEAAAAAVY.

I’ve been thinking about you guys more and more in the last couple of days – I can’t believe how in love with someone you can be without ever meeting.  It’s a wonderful and completely terrifying feeling and has an intensity that I never expected or anticipated.  We’re so excited to meet you!  Everyday feels like the day before Christmas Eve and you know you’re going to get to open some sweet sweet presents.

9 more weeks!  Feels like a lifetime but it’s probably better if you stay in until then.  Besides……we’re still trying to figure out how this stupid stroller works.

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26 Weeks

You guys were quite the social butterflies this week.  Not only did we have your maternity shoot with our good friend Mary but we also had your BABY SHOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Both were amazing – but we will tell you ALL about them once we get the pictures.  Check out the car seats that came for you from Grandma June, Jarod, Jordan and Katie.  Talk about a healthy dose of impending reality for your dear ol’ Mom and Dad!

Had another great checkup with Dr. Unfriendly.  Doctor says everything is better than better can be and that you guys are growing like little weeds.  She also said the likelihood of a c-section is pretty high since you both have decided to be breech.  I don’t blame you though – it looks like it’s getting pretty cramped in there and I wouldn’t like being stuck upside down for two months either.  She also said that I have the same sized uterus as a 35 weeks pregnant woman with a single baby.  Does that mean that I, in theory, will get to experience what being 45 weeks pregnant will feel like????????  Gotta be honest when I say that I’m not really looking forward to that prospect!  Photo shoots and SLEEP are becoming increasingly difficult.  One of you is laying on my sciatic nerve at night so when I wake up in the morning my feet are asleep.  🙂

This was the first week that we could actually SEE you moving around in there.  It’s pretty scary but unbelievably awesome too.  It will always remind me of that scene from Aliens.  I think your dad and I have FINALLY locked in on some names for you now.  We’ve been going back and forth for quite a while but have finally had a couple that just “clicked”.  We still don’t know what you are yet but I think you, Baby A, are a boy and you, Baby B, are a girl.  Time will tell.

Found out that your daddy is still cancer free this week as well and that is ALWAYS a good thing.  He’s a funny guy………you’ll definitely like having him around.  He doesn’t give very good back rubs but he makes the best banana milkshakes you will ever taste – so we split the difference.

10 weeks to go and then you can feel free to make your debut!  There’s a lot of people out here that are very excited to meet you.

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Baby Got Belly! 25 Weeks

You guys are now 25 weeks in belly and growing like fat little piglets.  Baby A is weighing in at a chubby 2 lbs 2oz and Baby B is at 1lb 12 oz, respectively.  Which is pretty awesome/scary beings that Baby Center said that a SINGLETON should be weighing in at 1lb 8oz at this point!!!!!!!!  Enjoy it now……this is probably the only time in your life where being chubby will be considered a good thing.

We had another ultrasound today to measure you and make sure all your body parts are exactly where they’re supposed to be.  You are both looking great!  Grandma June was there too and got to see you for the first time.  She seemed to be playing it pretty cool but I think she was a little excited to be seeing you.  We also got to see you battling it out like Ali and Hollifield in there and your dad is finally getting to feel all the left jabs, elbow drops and leg sweeps you’ve been practicing the last couple of weeks.  The look on his face when you kick is so priceless.  It’s part wonder and awe and part horror.

The last week my belly has finally exploded in size!  There is no hiding this megaplex anymore.  It’s pretty cool but truly baffles my mind that my stomach can possibly stretch this far.  I keep insisting that your dad rub various lotions and oils on it in an attempt to stave off stretch marks.  He dutifully does it and, although still successful at this point, I don’t think either of us REALLY expect to make it out of this without a few stretch marks…….but I’ll keep hoping!

We’re rooting for you guys to make it to the 36 week period so keep doing what you’re doing and I will too.  See you in ELEVEN WEEKS!

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Into the Desert – SoCal Roadtrip Part 2

Jade and I went on a trip a few months ago and have only gotten around to posting photos from the first half of it. I want to apologize. I’m sure you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails, hitting the refresh button for the past thirteen hundred hours, afraid to go to the bathroom because you might miss the big moment, the grand unveiling, the season finale.

Well fear not. It is here, finally; part deuce of our trip down south. Let us begin with a short haiku about the Salton Sea:

It smells like fish butthole

Is that bad?

Unless you’re highly disturbed, yes.

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We pull up to the Salton Sea and see salty swans fly over our sea shored sands….actually, they were pelicans and actually, there was no sand. IN FACT, as I opened my door and lowered my foot to the ground, towards the “sand” I heard a small crunch and, as I looked down, I realized that the shore of the beach was made up of nothing more than thousands and thousands of crushed fish bones that have been washed up over a possible millenia.

It was disturbing, yes; disgusting, you betchya; slightly morbid? Yes, I can get behind that as well. Clementine leapt from the car and started rolling on it, getting the fragile bones tangled up in her short fur, covering herself in sandy fish skin particles. I gag and look to my left.

Kaidance is chewing on a fish head.

I puke.

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Jade tells me to sit down with the dogs for a photo. I tell her that I would rather die. I tell her that I would LITERALLY rather die. I would rather have one of those stupid pelicans swoop down from the sky and pluck my eyes right out of my head then sit down on dried fish guts. I say, “Are you serious? Are you crazy? I mean, fer real? Are you cuhRAZY?”

Jade rolls her eyes and says, quote, “Stop being a sissy”. I change the subject and say, “Hey, look, a golf ball.” I throw it and when it hits the ground / mass grave, “dust” explodes and the wind picks it up and it blows on me and I hold my breath and start looking around for incoming pelicans.

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Can you imagine what a million dead fish smells like? Have you ever tried not flushing your toilet all day to conserve water? Have you ever pulled the lid off of something that ‘s been in your fridge, forgotten, for months? Have you ever had an elephant accidentally sit on you and inadvertently suck you up into his massive bung? Have you ever done all three of these things in one single second and then been forced to breathe that magical essence in for an hour?

I looked across Bone Beach and across the sea / mossy, foamy, green, brown body of liquid waste and saw houses….er……”houses”……Mainly I saw mobile homes.

Of course.

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Finally we’d all had our fill (Kaidance after six fish heads and some crusty fins) and decided to make like an apple tree and get outta there. We coasted gently through the trailer park, examining the fine lawn art (sadly, not pictured), the 4-wheelers for sale, and the exemplary craftsmanship someone had performed while attaching a deck to the top of their double wide. We smiled and waved at the inhabitants, unsure if they spoke our language, unsure if they’d ever seen a human with over six teeth and then, rounding the corner, we found a Dead End sign and I was sure we’d had it. The degenerates, the monsters that called this place home had trapped us. I was positive I’d be turning around only to find a crowd of limping, hunchbacked, underdeveloped Cro-Magnums lumbering toward me with rocks and sticks held high.

No. Nothing. We left, outwardly unscathed, inwardly scarred for life.

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After leaving a place like that, you can’t help but want to find the nearest watering hole to rinse your dry and dusty mouth out. You need to find a gas station to rinse your filthy, flaky skin off. You need some iron wool, a hot steam gun and some sort of scrapey tool to get truly clean.

Alas, we were in the desert and had none of this. We slept in our filth. We ate with it’s stench clinging to us.

We were becoming hobos, traveling vagrants. The transformation had begun.

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We traveled on to the nearest town (pictured below), which was pretty much a bust.

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We drove on some more to the NEXT town, which definitely had more buildings, although they all seemed to have been emptied and abandoned long ago, say…….1962…..

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We drove on and found ANOTHER mobile home park. We coasted around in it for a bit, hoping to see something remarkable. We found that most of the inhabitants decide to leave their Christmas lights / ornaments up year round, probably for simplicity’s sake. What with all the drugs they’re undoubtedly cooking in their bathtubs, they probably don’t have any time left to deal with menial things like front yards.

Jade takes a picture of their post office and then we dart out of town before nightfall, before we would surely be raped and eaten by The Imbreds.

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In the morning, civilization……

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…..sort of……

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We park in the McDonald’s lot, brush our teeth, order breakfast and go to………..I turn to Jade and ask, “Where, exactly, are we going now?” I tell her, “I’ve sort of had my fill of trailer parks”. She nods and agrees, pulls out her eye-phone and does a search for “Things to do at Salton Sea”. A moment passes before she says, “We could go see Jesus Mountain”.

She doesn’t have to explain what it is. I am sold.

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A man who’s name I can’t remember started building Salvation Mountain in a year I can’t recall and he’s been at it ever since. People donate paint to him and he just covers this mountain in it. He paints it different colors and he paints different phrases about love and salvation and peace and people can come see it and it’s free and crazy.

The mountain is hollowed out and painted inside as well. It is one enormous piece of art.

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We researched it and found that a number of organizations have offered to pay this man money. They’ve offered him large sums of cash to fund his project. They would pay for the paint and let him go nuts, just as he already has.

…the only catch is that these groups would like him to rope in the message a little bit. They’d like him to explain that God’s love isn’t EXACTLY for everyone. They’d like him to say that it’s not for gay people and most sinners.

He kindly declined their offer and went on painting his message of free love and I applaud him for that.

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Lots of people are probably concerned about the environment when they hear that a guy has poured over 2,000 gallons of paint on this little mountain but…….I don’t know……..I’m not a scientist but it seems that…….the area is pretty much just dirt………and………uh…….more dirt….

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“Into the Wild” is a book about Christopher McCandless, a young boy who later adopted the moniker Alexander Supertramp. It’s a true story and is based on the tales of an over-enthusiastic young man with ideals of freedom. He comes from a rich family and decides that money can’t buy happiness. He burns his ID and his money and heads out into the wilderness. He abandons his car and carries only what he can on his back. He is a wanderer, an explorer and a true vagabond.

At some point on his journey to Alaska (his goal) he stops in a little place called Slab City in southern California and by Jove, we stumbled right across it by accident on our way to Salvation Mountain!!

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Slab City is “The Last Free Place on Earth”. There are no laws but there is no crime. It is the officially unofficial gathering place of all things free; people or families escaping the bend of life. They come here and they exist. They live in trailer homes and RVs and tents. They sell things to one another, books, food and art work. There is a church and a talent show and some of the homes are even strictly solar powered.

The area is about 3-5 blocks long and looks like it houses several hundred locals.

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We, however, would not be staying……not yet……but someday……someday we’ll be back and we’ll spend the night in Slab City. But tonight……tonight we had to get home because the world was calling and beckoning to us. It was Sunday and we had to work the following morning.

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We found this weird sign next to the salty river that leads into the Salton Sea. I don’t totally get it but I don’t totally NOT get it, either, which is sort of strange.

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There was no vehicle, so I guess it was okay to be there, taking pictures of their…..yard?….

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SO THERE YA HAVE IT LADIES AND GERMS!! From sand dunes to the salty dudes; Salton Sea to Salvation Mountain and from trailer park to trailer park, this was an official adventure but now it’s over.

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

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It’s Officially Official

WE’RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Beta level on Monday was 99 and as of this morning we’re sitting pretty at 270.

We’ve heard whispers of twins………………..

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