Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I'm learning

1. I cannot sleep hot.

2. I cannot sleep damp.
* The one time I gave up and took an Ambien, I did not seem to care if I was hot or damp.

3. When the cleavage sweat starts to roll, I say screw the electric bill and get up and turn down the temperature.

4. When people say you live in an "up and coming" area, that's code for, "still kind of ghetto."

5. The weather in Miami is always "partly cloudy with a chance of rain." That means that it's sunny, but there could be a downpour at any second.

6. When you go to Target and the carts lock when you get ten feet out of the front door (so you don't steal them) - and are still a few hundred feet from your car, you realize it really does get worse that just having to pay to park at Target (which you also have to do).

7. Instead of saying "have a nice summer" or some other pleasant message on the high school marquees here, our local high school says, "have a safe summer." When you see the area it's in, my mind automatically extrapolates that to, "have a safe summer - don't get shot."

8. If you never leave your air conditioned apartment, the hair frizz actually isn't too bad.

9. Exception to #8 - see #2. When sleeping damp, whatever half of the head is in the pool of sweat will be frizzy when you wake up. Or get up, as the case may be, since you are probably not sleeping.

10. (And this one totally grosses me out), if you leave your flour, sugar, oats, etc., in your cupboards, bugs will sprout from spores that are in them and you will open up a bag full of bugs. Apparently you have to put them in the freezer for a few weeks to kill off the spores. My next door neighbor warned me of this as it happened to her recently when she didn't believe the people that told her.

11. When you remove yourself from the blogging world for a week, it's a little overwhelming when I sign in to my google reader and see that I have 123 new blog posts to read! You mean the world went on without me while I was unpacking boxes?

12. I was not kidding about Miami fashion. My sister can vouch for me. I think she may have hurt her eyes from all the hot pink she saw. And all the exposed flesh.

13. My feet get really tired walking around on hard wood floors all day. Does this happen to anyone else? I know it looks better, and it's weird to say, but I still prefer carpet.

14. In our conversations with people so far here, it seems that a common pastime of non-Floridians is complaining about Florida and Floridians.

15. People call Miami "the closest city to the U.S." Because this is definitely not the U.S. you've ever known down here.

All this said, we had probably the warmest welcome at church yesterday that I've ever had in any ward, and I actually really like our apartment. Imagine - somewhere that actually has potential to look nice! Even when you clean it! And we have cable! For those of you who were ever gored by our 7-foot rabbit ears, you know that's a definite improvement. But now I really am by myself. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's here

Tomorrow is the day I've dreaded for the last 6 weeks - the 6am flight to Miami with the three kids (and my sister). Which means getting up three kids at 4am. Which leads to whatever sleep-deprived repercussions will follow for them throughout the torturously long day.

Which means I feel like the summer is over. I know it's not, but I don't have kids in school, so really every day feels the same anyway. It's just the feeling of being here in Utah surrounded by family, playing with cousins, etc. is over. I've loved it. I'm not the kind that ever thinks a stay here in Utah was too long. I'm not the kind that is so ready to go home when I'm done.

Especially this time. Because it leads to the other two things I'm frankly terrified of: living in Miami, and being alone with my three children. I know other people have three kids. I know people manage just fine. Personally though, it terrifies me. My family has done such an amazing job of keeping me stocked with volunteers (from 6 years-old and up) at all times, that I've rarely had to be alone with all three kids. It's been fabulous. I don't know what I'll do with Cash either, he wakes up asking for his cousins, sings songs about them, and truthfully doesn't mention much about either Ryan or me.

So now I move to a place where no one knows me, I'm not living close to anyone, we're far away from the church, which means church people live far away from us, and no one will know what I really feel like having these twins and the toddler, and no one will help take ownership of my problems like my family does. Isn't that amazing though? I wish I could have been half as attentive and clued-in when my siblings were going through their child-bearing years. Thanks guys. You're the best.



Friday, July 18, 2008

Miami style

Ok, so the next drawback besides having bad hair, is that I am totally not Maimi style. I mentioned before that I looked so Utah when we went to look for housing. Now, let me make one disclaimer: it is hard to be really fashionable when you're nursing and you have to be dually accessible at a moments notice. Basically, nothing that will wrinkle, nothing too tight, nothing that can't be easily washed, and pretty much, nothing too cute.


So as I was walking around Miami in my t-shirts and capri pants, my Old Navy flip-flops, and my frizzy hair, I was painfully aware that every elevator we were in was all mirrored. And I would see 5'10" me (with the extra baby goosh I would like to shed), next to every petite little 5'2" Latina in her Miami threads. AKA: club wear. As I was trying to find a picture for a little visual aid to accompany this post, I realized there was nothing very modest I could put on here. When they're not decked out to go partying, there's a lot of loose, flowy clothes (you know, stuff to avoid getting yeast infections in in that dang humidity), bright colors, and lots of jeweled sandals. And nice pedicures. (And I am talking about the regular-age half of Miami, not the ones playing Shuffleboard and drinking Ensure. Although that too lends to it's own interesting subject of fashion...)

But even the dudes are fashionable. Like they all look like Enrique Iglesias (and I'm not complaining). At least I could find a somewhat modest male picture to illustrate my point.


And ink. Everybody's got ink. In fact, there were some tatoos so interesting that I wanted to take pictures but was too slow to discretely get out my camera.


So maybe my husband will feel bad for homely looking me and let me step it up a little to Miamify. I mean I could at least feel fashionably large next to all those little Latinas...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Long-distance relationships

The other day I was talking to Ryan on the phone. We had been discussing the times when he'll be on call, now that he's started work in Miami. Then he said something like, "Well, at least I'll usually be able to be home to help put the kids to bed."
"You will?!?" I said, feeling really ecstatic.
"Yeah, most of the time, I think."
"You'll be able to come home when you're on call to help me put the kids to bed?"
"No, not on call, on regular days."
"What? We were just talking about call days."
"No. Not call days. I can't come home then. Just regular days."
"That's supposed to make me feel better that you'll probably be home by bedtime on regular days? No, that doesn't make me feel better at all."

Then we were talking about the pictures I posted of the kids. Ryan said, "He looks so big!"
"Which one?" I said.
"Cash."
"Oh. Cash? I thought you'd mean one of the babies. You know, the ones who are actually in really high periods of growth?"
"Oh, them? Yeah, I don't really know those guys."

Hmm. Time to go home I guess.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Boys


It's so stinking hard to get pictures of three kids! Luckily we managed a few.


Can't get enough of those eyelashes:



Yeah, couldn't ever get one of these to work. Oh well, it's a pretty acurate depiction:

Phoenix








But of course, it happens at the expense of about a hundred pictures like these:



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let's face it

Ok so here it is: the number one reason I don't want to move to Miami is my hair. I know it sounds so vain, but that's the truth. Many of you know that I have naturally curly hair, but probably only a handful of you have ever seen it that way. Why? Because I hate it. I don't hate curly hair in general - there are many people I love it on. If mine looked the way theirs did, I would love it too. But it doesn't. It looks like a bad perm. It doesn't have a good curl formation, there's no organization, and it's totally unpredictable. Sometimes it actually looks ok, but you can try it again and it will be a complete disaster.


Did anyone ever see the "Friends" episode where they go to Barbados? Monica can't leave her room because every time she goes outside, her hair turns into an enormous frizzy helmet? Everyone who sees her gives a total double-take and a big, "WOAH." To which she has to keep responding, "IT'S THE HUMIDITY!" This is going to be my life.


I feel like under normal circumstances, my hair is one of my better features. Not everyday, necessarily, but it has a lot of potential. I especially try to hold on to that idea and take advantage of it when the rest of the body goes to pot and I'm really trying to distract from the mid-section. (After I had Cash I dyed it dark for that same reason.) I say I feel like I have pretty good hair - but only because it's mine, and I'm pretty good with hair. If anyone else had it, I'm pretty sure they couldn't tame the beast the way I can. (If you don't believe me, see the elementary school pictures before I was a hair guru.)


So I am really dreading what is going to happen over the next three years. Bad hair for three years?!?! I can hardly imagine. That's like my worst nightmare. I seriously think I even prayed that I wouldn't be sent to a mission that was really humid because I just didn't want to be cranky and preoccupied with my bad hair for 18 months. Chopping it off may be in the forecast. And just wearing it curly. A big blond football helmet. At least then it's a smaller mess to deal with? That way I won't be a chicken. I'll go swimming whenever I want, I won't avoid going outside or doing things because it will ruin my hair - all things I honestly am guilty of.

When people in the salon I was at actually did my hair - they all totally understood. They used to make faces and say, "HOW LONG did you say it's been since you've washed your hair???" Then if they'd ever wash it for me or the dreaded drying my hair for me, they would say, ok, I totally understand why. I just have a ton of thick curly hair. And no one has ever been able to do it as well as me. Anytime I've gotten my hair done at a salon, Ryan will pick me up and say, "Wow. That doesn't look very good." And then I'll have to say, "I know. Don't worry, I just have to go home and do it myself and then it will look fine." Which it does.

In that "Friends" episode I was talking about, there's one part where Chandler says something about Monica like, "I think this is the only time since we've been married that I feel like the only attractive one." So here's to you Ryan: the next three years are all yours.

And then I found the only consolation I've been able to come up with in the following clip (the first 20 seconds):


At least hopefully this baby-making will chill out for a while!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy

I love when babies are learning how to laugh.


video

Hmmm....

Probably time to re-think your eating habits when your child's colors are, "Red, yellow, green, blue, black, brownie..."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SO Utah



You would think that after years of living out of state and then returning to Utah, I would cease to be surprised by all the Utah nuances, and even after having been here just a month ago, I was surprised how much I still am surprised by the way things are here. Now let me clarify, this is in no way bashing Utah. I know plenty of people do that. "That's so Utah, blah, blah, blah." And strangely, they are usually people who have chosen to move here. To whom I say: Then leave! We don't need you here.

Let me start by saying how much I love this place. I was so happy when a few months ago in Wisconsin I went to the orthopedic doctor who did my injections. The first time I met with him he asked where I was from. When I said Utah, his response was, "Wow. That place is amazing. It's really God's country out there, isn't it." That's exactly how I feel. The first day I was back here we were driving up I-80 towards the mountains and it was just so beautiful that I kept thinking of that phrase, and of course the U2 song with the same lyrics. If you've never been here, you must come. I love that you can be snowboarding one weekend and then down in warm red-rock Moab the next weekend. That was how I spent my free time in college (and probably why Ryan and I came to be. Well, that and just "happening" to have dinner ready inside when we walked home after class.)

For some reason though I am always struck by how bold everything seems here - the colors, the contrast, the blues and greens, snow-capped mountains against a clear blue sky. I think part of it is that other places I've lived are more humid in the summer, so it's a little hazier or something (I know Utah get's the nasty inversions in the winter, but I'm talking summer here). It's probably also that you don't have such beautiful backdrops other places, and if they do have nice scenery it's less visible because they're more flat. Well, beautiful minus billboard mania.


But it is striking how everything is just so nice here. The yards are all large, perfectly manicured, and for being in the desert, they're sure greener than anywhere else I've lived. Maybe it's the grid setup - everything seems somehow neater, crisper, nicer. Houses are newer. Even the Wal-Mart here looks like Saks Fifth Avenue compared to where I just came from. And holy cow, I just found out you can get PEDICURES in the Centerville Wal-Mart. I'm gonna bet there's probably a lot fewer drug deals going down in the parking lot here than the ghetto one next to our house in Milwaukee.

I was just out on 123rd South the other day and I just can't believe how every store you could ever imagine is out there. Strip-mall heaven. Spas galore. Every chain restaraunt ever invented. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just that every convenience you could ever want is always much more accessible in Utah. With large and free parking lots. You don't appreciate that until you live somewhere where you have to pay to park at Target.


Now of course, no discourse on Utah would be complete without a mention of style and fashion. (Oh I looked sooooo Utah when I went to Miami, but that's another post). There sure are a lot of those stacked A-line bobs and those teased ponytails that boof up in the back. I don't even know how to make my hair do that if I wanted to. I got my hair done here and I didn't realize until I was finished that I felt very Utah-ified - blond and flat-ironed.


Which brings me to another point - the number of blondes here. Holy toledo. I just sit in church and count the number of highlighted heads. (Me included, of course.) Did anyone see that snippit from the season finale of American Idol where they showed David Archuletta's home crowd? Pretty much a large sea of blondes....

And of course no place is better ta hear some Utah slang than a' the beau-y salon.


Although really, people here seem to be better at doing their own hair than other places. Granted, sometimes that means a little too much, hair and makeup both, especially compared to other places I've lived, but I guess that's why there's so many attractive people here. I remember being on my mission in South Africa and having African men propose to me all the time and tell me how beautiful I was or that I looked like Britney Spears (er, it was a compliment back then). Anyway, awesome confidence builder until I get back to BYU and realize, dang, everyone looks like me.


It seems like most people either love or hate their hair here. I love it because mine stays flatter, but Cash has no curl here, which I miss.

I've also always loved the dryness and lack of humidity here, and I can't believe it's come to this, but it's even a little too dry for me now. Like I feel like this climate is going to age me 5 years in the month I'm here.

I'm also amazed at the number of people who are always out running or walking. I seriously drive around going, wow, another one? Maybe I just got used to the notoriously getting fatter state of Wisconsin. Guess there's a reason.


It's also funny how anywhere else you live people are always commenting on your kids, even when I had just one. But in Utah kids are a dime a dozen so no one could care less.


And of course, I have to re-mention the aforementioned mass booger production. Seriously. And now I have three more little sets of nostrils from which to dislodge such mass booger production.


Oh yeah, and getting hit on. Have to say that makes me feel good because it's been a while since that's happened (well, I guess there were a few Mexicans at our local Wal-Mart in Milwaukee, but seriously, language barrier - doesn't count). It only seems to happen here when I'm driving in the car, but anyone who's lived here knows that everyone even somewhat single here is always on the prowl.

Well, anyway, I could go on and on about all the Utah-isms. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot, but it sure strikes me every time I come home that literally, there's no place like home.