Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sleepy husband corner




Right before Christmas, Ryan and I were out shopping. I spotted a store (Coldwater Creek) and said, "That looks like a mom store, let's go in and look for something for my mom." Ryan said, "How do you know that store?" I said, "I don't," but then he said, "Oh, right, festive Christmas sweater in the window."


(Think "mischievous kitty cardigan," among others, compliments of their website.)






So we went in. The greeter at the door was one of those crazy-dressed older women with short spiky hair, just like you would expect. She creeped Ryan out. I guess I've been into Chico's enough looking for my mom to be prepared for their kind. By the time we made it through about 4 racks of clothes, Ryan said, "Um, I think I'm going to go sit over in sleepy husband corner." As I glanced over, I had to immediately duck my head away to hide my giggles. I was really sad I didn't have my camera with me. In the corner, there were three very large men, slumped down in some fashion or other (who knows how long they'd been there), all with their eyes closed. It was so obvious. "I don't know what to get you for Christmas this year, (or they've learned from past mistakes/size misconceptions/failures or just total fear of clothing shopping for women). Why don't you pick something out yourself?" And then somehow, to make it seem somewhat more of a personal gift, I suppose, they allowed themselves to be dragged along.

One of the wives came out, wearing a green mu mu. At her "how do I look?" we heard the husband saying, "No. It's way too big." "Well, should I get a smaller size?" "No. No. It's... no." Ryan was cracking up at this exchange. It was just all too painful. Dragged into the most horrible old lady store, full of wacky salespeople, tacky clothes, other super-uncomfortable husbands, and now having to watch your wife try on mu mu after mu mu while she keeps asking your opinion.

I will give him some credit though. I thought by that stage husbands would just have their standard responses, "Sure, if you like it." "Mmm, hmm." "Looks nice..." At least he was honest.

Ah, the Christmas spirit.


Makes me realize how good it is to put your wishlist on your blog ahead of time. Last year I put up this sweater I loved from Anthropologie, just as a someday sort of wish list, but I was in NO way expecting to get it. Well, my mom jumped at the chance to actually get something she knew I would like. One nice item that she knew I would love. Good choice. I guess all those years of returning everything she's gotten me from Land's End finally sunk in.




Then this year, she opted for the same and scored again - one nice, good, unique piece of clothing. This time from the British company, Boden. Can I tell you their catalog is fantastic? I actually thought it was better than their website, but they really have great stuff. I especially love their skirts. And they all have great names like "Fun, smart skirt", or, "Sassy swishy skirt."

I remember seeing a
children's catalog from there once and loving everything in it so much I threw it away because it was more than I spend for kids clothing. But I felt pretty excited seeing that my Christmas present came through customs. Cute stuff though, huh?




I was discussing my shopping philosophy with a friend a while ago. When I shop, I think I'm naturally drawn to "Oh, what a nice v-neck t-shirt." Staples. Boring. So when I was about to move from New York, I decided I really wanted to do some NY style shopping, and that was my rule - if it was basic, and probably what I would usually go for, I wouldn't buy it. So now, when I really want to do some fashion shopping (not the I-don't-fit-in-anything-so-I-need-to-replenish-all-the-basics-in-a-different-size shopping), that's what I try to do. Look for something fun, unique, and not so basic. (And yes, this will work much better when we actually make real money.)

Anyway, back to my point - I also, yes, got my money toward getting someone to come clean the house every once in a while. See? It pays off not to be too cagey sometimes. Sure beats forcing your hubby into sleepy husband corner.

And we got my mom a cell phone.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas festivities

Family Christmas party talent show:



Really, how could you resist with that chub?? The little sumos were even wearing their festive Christmas thongs.
And I'm not kidding about the talent part. Look at those synchronized moves:



(And a pretty good shot of the thigh girth, I must add).


I love the first year Santa wonderment.




Smart kid - sneaking in trying to run off with the bag of presents:




Christmas eve baths:





And as crazy as my life is this year,


At least I didn't feel like I did last year:







Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy holidays

Today I am enjoying some alone time with
2 chubby babies
pajamas
nutella
Christmas music
and a snowstorm out the window.

Lovely.


My Christmas goals this year:

More of the same - I always feel like I'm physically in the same place as my kids, but not always with them, you know? Driving, cleaning, making dinner, mmm hmming over the computer.... but now I just want to enjoy them.

Playing the "Sleigh Ride" duet with my mom without totally botching it (this may be next year's goal too. I have no piano so I only play about 2 times a year when I happen to be at home.) But that's probably ok since my brother, who is far superior to me on the piano botched it last year (ok, granted, he never practiced it), so I figured I could try this year and not do much worse. :)

Figure out how to not look totally lame with my serious lack of Christmas presents. Pawn it off as trying to not be so commercial? :)

Eat lots of Christmas goodness and not gain any weight.

Merry Christmas everyone!



And P.S. Yes, the flight sucked. I was a little hopeful as the first couple hours were actually not too bad, and even a little cute watching Phoenix snuggle up to Cash to watch the DVD player. But Cash got tired of the snuggling, the babies got tired of not sleeping, and it was all downhill after that. They slept 20 minutes of the whole flight. Luckily we sat by a few teenagers who just cranked up their Ipods.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas countdown

10 degrees - the low temperature in Utah by the time we get there this weekend. As much as I am still sweating and am craving feeling cold, I still have a feeling we'll be in shock.

9 month old twins on an a cross-country flight. With a husband who will just be getting off from the night shift. I am just remembering that Cash traveled a lot when he was an infant - hard, but he slept a good amount. But then when I took a flight with him when he was 9 months old I remember thinking - oh wow, this is a LOT worse than it used to be. Nine month-olds do not hold still.

8 - number of boxes I will probably have to unearth and ransack to see if we even own any winter clothes these babies can wear.

7 - different kinds of drugs and elixirs I will be taking on the plane ride. I've got a different tactic in mind this time - if I'm the one sedated, I think the whole ordeal will go much better. :)

6 - hours on a plane with three kids. (Well, 5 and a half, rounding up and planning for inevitable delays.)

5 year anniversary on Saturday. Oh, right. Um, how about we give each other a hearty verbal congratulations this year?

4 - number of appointments I have for the babies between now and our 6am flight on Friday. None of which are less than a half hour away.

3 - number of weeks I'll be staying in Utah. Didn't actually want to stay quite that long since this is the ONLY nice time of year down here (and it's only really been nice for about 3 weeks now) and I better enjoy it while I can, but tickets were cheaper and I'm sure we'll love the family time.

2 - hours of sleep I will probably get the next couple nights. I feel like when I was in college - finals week the week before Christmas, exhausted, pulling all-nighters, constantly snacking on junk just to stay awake, feeling totally out of whack and just counting down the days until I could go home and just sleep. And let my mommy take care of me. (Hope you're reading this and getting a big hint! :)

1
- number of times I have thought about Christmas. Yesterday, in fact when someone mentioned that Christmas was next week. Huh? I blame the weather. Who thinks Christmas is next week when it's 81 degrees outside?

0 number of Christmas presents I have bought, or even thought about. Number of suitcases packed. Number of loads of laundry done.
AND
possibly more importantly - the amount of chocolate currently in the house available for coping purposes.


If you don't see me in a little while, you know why.


***Addendum. 3 hours later.*** The kids and I actually made a trip to the local ghetto-mart for the sole purpose of getting some chocolate. Let me just say that first, you should really go to ghetto-mart for just about nothing, and second, I have never actually dragged the whole gang out to a corner store just so I could get a "fix". So we were walking back, Cash and I sharing our Milky Way. As he tried to get the last bite, it fell out of the wrapper. Seeing as we went all the way over there to get my much-needed chocolate, you can bet I wasn't letting it go to waste. I pick it up, brush it off, and immediately hear a car honking. I look up to see a woman vehemently shaking her finger and her head at me to tell me I better not be putting that back in my child's mouth. I stare at her for a second in disbelief, and while maintaining eye contact, deliberately nod my head in an "oh yes I am" motion, split the remaining piece in two, put half in Cash's mouth, and pop the rest in mine - at the same time that she honestly starts rolling down her window yelling, "Noooooo!!!"

I have to give her props for the passion behind her cause. And for seriously making my day. I am still busting up about it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Contraption

We finally got a new stroller. Thanks to my friend LuAnn, we were brought to the knowledge of the Valco tri-mode twin stroller. It's a double jogger - BUT - it's the only thing we've found that is double wide with the option to seat three kids! The toddler seat is boosted out in front of the jogger, kind of like a pyramid. The first thing I said was that it looked ridiculous. I said I needed to see it with kids in it to see if it looked as bad as I imagined when it was full of children because I would think it would look like this tower of screaming babies barreling down the street at you. LuAnn's response: anything with three kids in it looks ridiculous. Point taken.

So, a few hundred dollars later, here's the trial run:


video




He threw a fit all through our building, through the park, and all the way to the playground. (Our neighbor later said, "That was you guys out there?? Dan kept asking who was murdering their child in the hallway.") He wanted to sit back where the babies were. I was afraid this would happen. We probably could switch and have one of the babies up there, but I really want him to know the stroller is for the babies - especially for times when I don't have the toddler seat with it. This was the other reason I didn't try the sit 'n stand varieties - he just loves to sit in the stroller and after reading reviews of people whose kids refused to stand on the platform, I knew that is exactly how Cash would be. I figured this one at least had a seat. And it sure drives like a dream.

Luckily by the end he was a little more sedated.



Better stay that way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Sorry. Sick kids + sick mom + husband always on call = lame blogging. Seriously, I was excited when I was thinking that last Saturday was finally a day off for Ryan (he was on call - for him meaning in the hospital - most of Thanksgiving weekend, that Sunday, this past Sunday...), until I realized he was on call Friday night and only got home around 9:30 Saturday morning. Which really means that his "day off" was dedicated to sleeping.

Which leads me to my next point. I pride myself in the fact that we still manage to be pretty frugal. We only have one car, we rarely buy our kids toys, I know nothing but buying things on sale, we all know I'm a WalMart regular, and yes, I'm even starting to appreciate the fact that we have no matching bedroom furniture and the only thing at the head of our bed is a massive folded up box that Ryan is hesitant to get rid of before the next move because it holds the elliptical machine. Having said that, is it so wrong that all I want for Christmas this year is this:



Because let's face it, I really am slowly losing my mind.

I figure the whole getting a little babysitter to help out didn't work, so why can't I at least get someone to come clean? And really, I'd be happy with just like once a month. All day I seem to look forward to 8pm when the kids are in bed. But then 8pm comes, and all I do is pick up the house and clean and get anything done that has to be done that I can't get done during the day because I swear I am always feeding someone - and then it's basically time to go to bed. And I'm exhausted. And I haven't even really cleaned. I've just tried to un-do everything that happens after a day full of little kids.


I've been trying to evaluate how I'm doing lately and I remembered talking to another resident's wife before I moved here and one phrase she said seemed to hurl itself back into my mind: Looking back, I probably should have been on medication or something that first year.

Hmm. Later I think she did say she should have gotten some help with the kids or around the house. And to further rationalize my point, next year (meaning starting in July) is supposed to be a little better. So why can't we try this for 6 months and see how it goes? See if I'm suddenly lounging around in bubblebaths after the kids are in bed most nights...

So Santa, I hope you're listening.

(And seriously, please tell me someone else has done this at some point. I can't be the only mom who just has to give in. Or maybe I can!)


By the way, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a normal picture of a maid on the internet? Sheesh. Just like when I was thinking about Halloween. I knew the babies were going to be lions, so I thought for Cash, hmm, maybe lion tamer? So I tried to search for some costumes or something to at least give me some ideas. Yeah, apparently lion tamer is not the kind of costume you find for a two year-old, and it is most frequently accompanied by phrases such as "burlesque"....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hey, didn't we have another kid around here somewhere?



Oh, right. It's all fun and games until the one on top starts bouncing around like crazy again, right?

The babies seem to look more alike the older they've gotten. Pretty soon it will be easier to tell them apart I guess because Ashton is getting a helmet to help round out his head shape. It's not terrible, but since he's a twin and there's a comparison, I don't want him to grow up being the fat-head. But nice that we're getting it just in time to go home for Christmas to see everyone that hasn't seen them forever! Now he's really going to look like the "special" twin, since he's the immobile one and you just can't help but look like you've got problems when you're wearing a helmet. But yeah, I guess that's why we have two babies - so people can see how cute he would be without that big contraption on his head. :)

And sweet little Cash is not as agreeable as he once was and has definitely hit the defiant stage. But he's still fun. And moments like this make me so happy. It makes me realize it's been so long since I was so genuinely thrilled and surprised like this. I guess that's why it's fun to re-live stuff through your kids. And this video was like the 15th time Ryan had done this.

video


One last thing I'll mention. This is something I'm going to miss:



Glancing back in the car to see 4 constantly bouncing feet. Even cuter because the babies almost never wear shoes. I asked Ryan why that was and he said it was because we have three kids. True. Too much effort. In fact I even put shoes on myself today (rather than flip flops) and realized even that was too much effort. I've decided that we never achieve perfection here. Everyday something's gotta give. It's either babies still in pajamas, mom un-showered, and the most common - bare-footed babies. Good thing we live in Miami. But really, we have lace up shoes that fit them at this age, and I really need to find some that are faster to put on. And I will, now that it is actually getting cooler! But anyway, people often comment that all they can see from across the park or wherever is a stroller full of kicking feet. I love it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Twilight




Ok, so all I'm going to say is that I'm totally calling for a Twilight re-make in about 15 years or so.



That should be about the right time since I have a budding young Edward in mind:







See? He's totally been practicing his teen angst expressions. (And yeah, too bad Edward really looked like this most of the movie.)

But he's also working on the charming guy with good hair look:



And his conflicted young man expressions:






And his I'm-actually-a-real-charmer-but-I-just-might-eat-you expressions:






And his nothing-gets-past-me-beacause-I have super-human senses face....



And his I can't live without you, Bella!! face....


....and so on....





And we don't even have to use all that airbrushed makeup to get the pasty white look.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why I think Men would be well-suited to having babies

I've been thinking about this topic lately. There are really quite a few valid reasons men would be the better suited sex for having babies:

* Their bodies. Men can get busy and not see the light of a gym in years, yet when they finally go back, it's like they can pretty much pick up where they left off. And they lose weight SO much more easily than women. This has made me bitter lately - why aren't they the ones to watch their bodies grow, expand, morph, sag, droop, and then repeat the cycle? They can fix the situation at least much more easily than women. I've been thinking that part of Eve's punishment - affliction in bearing children or whatever it was, was really a lot more detailed than the Bible let on.

* Their lack of ability to multi-task. You may think this would be a hindrance, but see, since they can't multi-task, it wouldn't even cross their mind to try to take on too much at one time. They wouldn't even think about taking care of the babies and children while making dinner, calling to make doctors appointments and figure out the insurance, planning creative activities for their children, getting to playdates, watching the neighbors kids, doing the laundry, cleaning the house and getting ready to throw a Modest Swimsuit party all at the same time. It wouldn't cross their minds. Therefore, I'm sure they would get by much more simply, and live with FAR LESS GUILT about not getting everything done than women do. Because it would never occur to them to do otherwise.

* Their general apathy toward clothing. Their disdain for shopping combined with their lack of fashion sense (without wife intervention) and their hatred for spending money on shopping would lead them to an easy conclusion: buy a good pair of sweatpants and wear them for 9 months.

* Their emotions. Or lack thereof. I realize there are some men out there who are emotional. I just don't happen to know them. I think I've seen Ryan get emotional maybe 2 or 3 times since I've known him (and no, those didn't happen to be our wedding and the births of our children). I don't even think pregnancy hormones could induce episodes of sitting on the couch with a box of kleenexes crying over sappy tv commercials in him. (But I'd sure like to get him back for all the times he walked in on this scenario and said, "Again?")

* Sleep. They would probably sleep through the babies crying in the night and thus they would be better rested and the babies would probably just learn to sleep through the night much faster.

* Nursing: 1. Football hold. Need I say more? 2. Nursing would be way easier in guys clothes than finding your way through dresses, fitted blouses, shirts, slips, zippers, hooks, tank tops, undershirts, waistnippers, and whatever the heck else women have going on under there.

I know, there are MANY reasons why men really would not be well-suited for having babies. Number one on my list - well, you remember my post about Ryan when he's sick - how whiny men are when they don't feel good even when it's the same thing you just had? Or this post about the man-cold?? CAN YOU IMAGINE NINE MONTHS OF THAT??? I guess it's better how it is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye 20s

As I am the last of my friends to turn 30, I've really enjoyed reading their posts all year long about things they accomplished in their 20s. So to celebrate the big 3-0 today, I'll continue the tradition.

* Great American road trips. Road trips in college saw some fabulous hiking in places like Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Moab, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef and Escalante areas, Havasupai in Arizona; a couple of road trips to various parts of California (like waking up in college and just deciding to drive until we hit the ocean), and who knows where else. Too bad people didn't really have digital cameras much back then or I'd post some awesome pictures. Just imagine me skinny and buff doing lots of crazy stuff. :) Oh yeah, also a few friends' weddings in Seattle and St. George, and a super-lame trip with a then ex-boyfriend (the trip was already planned!) and some other friends to Nauvoo and the mid-west.

Then when we were married, Ryan and I took lots of good road trips from New York. We went up to parts of Massachussets (anyone else ever get into those get free stuff for going to time share presentations? Ryan loves those. I hate having to sit there knowing I'm just going to keep saying no to everything, so I refuse to do anymore, but we did get some free trips from them). We also went to Boston, Plymouth, and Cape Cod.
That was a crazy trip. Anyone know that Provincetown is a gay community? That made for some great people watching, and one of my favorite pictures of all times. I came out of one shop one time to find Ryan waiting for me Forrest Gump style like this:

I love the slight shifty eye, I'm-a-little-uncomfortable look Ryan has in this picture. I still really have no idea if that was a man or a woman sitting next to him.

But really interesting people watching and crazy stuff to see everywhere you looked. (And um, yes, these are men.)
video


We were also too cheap to get a hotel up there, so these were our accomodations:


We also visited the Jersey shore, and went to Atlantic City (super lame and ghetto compared to Vegas), but we did manage to sleep in the car at the Trump Hotel parking lot (once again, too cheap), went to Niagara falls and Palmyra, Ocean City Maryland, Philadelphia, Chicago a few times (when we lived in Milwaukee) and of course, just lived up our time in the Big Apple:

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Went to the Republican National Convention while we lived there:

Biked along the Hudson:



Danced with the crazy pink sports bra lady in Central Park (oh how she loved to just shake it for our babies):Walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (from the pier on the other side):


* Traveled for work all over the U.S. training doctors on medical software. Went to lots of small towns mostly, but also got to work in Beverly Hills at a very posh clinic (one doctor's roommate had just broken up with Matthew McConaughey), a cool and slightly creepy little town in Maine (but was there during an amazing time of year):


And Wasilla, Alaska (proud home of Sarah Palin).
View from the airplane flying in:

Got to take a flightseeing tour of Denali. Seriously crazy, you don't just fly and look at it - you weave in and out of these small canyons, and land on glaciers and stuff in a sketchy little prop plane.


And I also got to go to the Talkeetna Wilderness Woman Competition, where rather burly women race to chop wood, load it up on snowmobiles (snowmachines), shoot guns, and make some food and get a beer for their man - all to claim the title to be the next Wilderness Woman and get her pick from the "male order" catalog for a date to the evenings events. Crazy, but when else do you get to stand outside in below zero weather to witness something so wacky? The local moose was really trying to get me to participate. Luckily I kept pulling the pregnancy card.
* International trips: Japan, South Africa, Botswana, Italy, London, Paris, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

Cambodia:



* Graduated from college. Majored in Human Biology. Kissed lots of boys.

* Also became a hairdresser. Learned the art of reading trash magazines while at the salon.

* Was at my skinniest (yes, I was actually as skinny when I left on a mission, and at my wedding as I was in high school, probably only maintained that weight for like a week though).

* AND was at my fattest. Multiple times. And currently. I'm hoping that means it can only get better from here when I enter my 30s?

* Was even a red-head for about 2 seconds.


* Got a husband through medical school.
(He was the graduation speaker at his medical school graduation in Carnegie Hall). Then graduation dinner at the Waldorf:



* Had three babies (and that took less than 1/5 of my 20s).

*Lived in Provo, Utah

*Lived in South Africa and Botswana

* Lived in New York

* Lived in D.C. for a summer

* Lived in Wisconsin

* Lived in Miami



**** Made some amazing friends along the way****


Yeah, I guess it was a pretty good decade.