Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joke

I seriously think someone is just having a funny joke with my life. Nothing can just be easy right now. Nothing! Ryan was on call today and overnight tonight. It was a big thing for me - go to church by myself? For some people, better than me, it might not even be a question. But, our kids are never just good for a few hours at a time, and both of us are usually holding one trying to get them to sleep at some point. So, knowing I wouldn't probably get anything out of going to church with three little kids by myself and it might be total crying and misery, I decided to go for Cash's sake. He needs the interaction, and hopefully learn a little about Jesus while he's there too.

Well, of course we got there late. But, no joke, as soon as I step out of the car - tropical downpour. Thank you hurricane season. I am soaked. My diaper bag sitting in the stroller is soaked. I'm trying to figure out how to get everyone in, but taking one baby out, he gets soaked. The rain is blowing sideways, so the other one in the car is still getting pelted in the face and is soaked by the time I get him out. Everyone, is screaming, Cash included because he's even getting wet and windblown and freaked out. I don't even know what to do because it takes so long to load everyone up, and how do I even go sit in a seat totally drenched?

So I give up and put everyone back in the car. I start the car. I'm trying really hard not to cry. I don't know why I even bothered coming. Then I realize that the babies are starving and really need to eat, so I can't even take the 30 minutes to get back home.

So this time I leave the babies in the car, and run Cash into the church. He starts screaming when he gets to nursery (typical), and they're not really getting my situation, but I'm like, "Look, I really have two babies out in the car and can you just take him??" Then I ventured out and got the babies. Then I attempted to make some sense out of our soaking wetness (did I mention I was wearing a white skirt? Nice). It's really unpleasant to sit through church in wet underwear. The whole thing was so not fun.


I guess I should be reminded of a few months ago, when I was 37 weeks pregnant with the twins, Ryan was at work, it was snowy and probably another 0 degree Wisconsin Sunday. I can't even describe how uncomfortable I was. Carrying Cash out back through the snow and getting him in and out of the car was agonizing. But I went to church. Sitting was so uncomfortable and my back was killing. But I remember sitting in Sacrament meeting and the speakers were done, but the Bishop got up at the end, and just said he felt impressed to say that people could have had every excuse not to come today. The roads were bad, the weather was awful, but as he looked out at the congregation, he saw mom's with young kids, mother's who's husbands weren't members, mother's with multiple children to take care of while husbands were busy with other callings. And he knew that that those women in that congregation were all mother's who knew. That congregation was full of mother's who understood the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mother's who knew.

I probably didn't have such a great attitude today. Maybe next time I'll remember that moment that had been exactly what I needed at that time and remind myself of it again when I'm wondering why I even bother going to church.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh hooray.

There have been two times that we have been so excited because Ryan has gotten home early from work. (Like still a bad time in normal people life, but better than horrible like usual). I managed to document both of them:


The second one was actually today. Thank goodness he's coming to rescue me since I have mastitis!! I think I finally opened the door to clue him in that I need some freaking help out here. He finally heard Cash screaming and sat up in bed, started to mumble, "Cash, come h ...." and then I found him like this a few minutes later.

I must say, everything about his job has actually been worse than we expected. Well, the hours, that is. He does enjoy it and he works with great people. But the hours have gone longer than we thought every night, the night float has been worse than we thought, and then we'll be anticipating him coming home after being on call and he'll get home and say he has to be back in two hours for another meeting. It's so deflating. It's like I tell myself I can make it so many more hours until he gets home, and then find out he's leaving again. There's always just more, more, more. But hey, at least when he's here we get a nice view of his eyelids.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mastitis: Round II

WAS I BAD IN ANOTHER LIFE OR SOMETHING?????


This has been another rough week. I wish I could tell you differently. Most of you should stop reading here because the rest is about nursing. And it's gory.

Last week I got some crater of a sore on my nipple. I didn't realize how bad it was (other than the swear words emitted every time someone latched on), until the babies started spitting up blood. Lots of it. Mine. So I had no choice but to pump. Sure enough, big drops of blood coming out. So I tried to adjust the pressure and do it lightly. I pumped for 24 hours. Fed again. More spitting up blood. Pumped for 48 more hours. Fed again. Still spitting it up. Pumped for 72 more hours. Fed again. Spitting up a lot of it.

No surprise with the open wound, that now I have full-blown, knock me out mastitis. AGAIN. So even if I decided now were the time to give up breastfeeding, I can't, because now I have to get the milk out to get the infection out.

I would say, they're 6 months old now. That's fine to stop. But truthfully, it's the only thing I can actually do well. The doctor who thought I was mentally unstable asked if nursing them was causing me stress. When I thought about it, I realized, "Actually no. It's the only thing I can do well. It's the only thing I can do at the same time, no one's crying, everyone's happy, and I can even have my hands free, which I can't always do with bottle feeding."

And off goes Ryan to be on call tonight. I can't actually even move. I appreciate the sympathy. I really just needed to vent.

At least I spared you the picture of the last bottle of red milk I just pumped.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Surprise

Last Friday, Cash woke up to the best surprise: his three best friends - my sister Julie and her two boys Dawson and Carter. Within a few minutes they were all like this:


Ready for the pool. It's nice living somewhere that seems cool to people now since we have a pool.

I get lots of smiles at the pool when I'm like this.

(Uh sorry, this year's cleavage doesn't fit in last year's swimsuit).





We also hit the Children's Museum here. Even had a fire truck there. And cute firefighters.

It was Julie's birthday while she was here, and all we could give her was a tropical storm. But take that, Fay, we even went swimming during you:



It was nice to have people here though so I could get out and realize that, hey, there really are some good things about this place.


Now we're lonely again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Darn you, Costco

I remember a rather colorful freshman boy who lived in a neighboring building my first year at BYU. One day his roommates related the story about how he had just stormed into Blockbuster, slammed the overdue movie on the counter and blared: "D@*# you Blockbuster and your five day rentals!!!" He claimed he was onto the conspiracy: Let them rent the movies for 5 days and of course by that time they'll forget they ever even rented a movie and the late fees will come rolling in!!!

Well, I had one of those moments the other day. We finally decided to break away from the parents and get our own Costco membership. It was always in Ryan's name, so he had to go in with me, and we all know that is definitely not happening anymore. And yes, we know you can have a spouse card. We tried going in to get me one when we were first married. The girl looks up our membership records, then looks up at us confused and says, "Um, you already have a wife and her name is Danielle" (his sister's name). Uh. How do you respond to that? Turn to Ryan and yell, "WHAT?!?! You lying cheat!!!" trying to make the woman suddenly feel uncomfortable? Explain that yeah, we're from Utah - that's just the way things are out there....?

So anyway, we finally decided to get our own. So on Saturday I had one of those rare moments when I was by myself. I did my shopping. Honestly, it didn't feel much different from any of our other Costco trips. I remember deliberately passing up items to save money. I remember feeling like we always buy a ton of stuff there. When I got to the register the woman rang me up. And then, my jaw hit the floor. I mean, we all know you can't get out of Costco without spending at least a hundred dollars. But five of them????? I knew it had been a beastly trip, but Costco always is. I knew I really wished I had two carts with me. I knew I hadn't been since we moved and needed to stock up. I knew we had company in town so we'd eat a little more than usual. I knew I wouldn't be back for quite a while, but GASP?!?!?

My first thought was: put on your hoodie and RUN!!! Leave it all behind and just RUN!!! My second thoughts were: Ryan is going to kill me. Will someone else take me in for the weekend? But then I reached my final thought: D@*# you, Costco and your ridiculous-sized products!!!!!

Looking at my receipt I still can't figure out how it got so high. It seems like pretty much everything you buy there is around $10 (although everything is getting more expensive now). I mean, we do have to buy multiple boxes of diapers. But then there were other culprits, like razor heads. Good night. Have you ever bought those there? $40 for freaking razor heads!! We buy the Mach 3 kind or whatever it is, but good grief. My leg hairs better not grow back for a month at that price. At least I'll still be using the same package when I'm 45.

I actually felt I had to buy the toaster pastries there. Seems like something I could have cut out, right? No, I had to buy them just for the principle of the fact that they were the cheapest thing I saw in the whole store. The only thing in the store that goes for $2-something. Maybe we will just be eating toaster pastries from now on.

Ugh. I know it's a ridiculous place. Like who needs 75 rolls of paper towels at one time? Who wants to be discovering them shoved underneath cracks in the floorboards years later? Who can eat 8 pounds of spinach before it goes bad? (Personal note: Why did I EVER buy a Costco-sized box of condoms?? Especially for someone who's usually on birth control? (I know, you can't tell.) Do you know how many cross-country moves that box has made???)

Anyway, I know you don't care what I think, Costco. You will go on packaging up 18,000 rolls of scotch tape in one box because somebody else will always fall for it. I know you will continue to let people think, "Hey, I'm only buying 5 items," and then slap them with a $200 bill. And I'm sure I will begrudgingly be back soon. Because now I have to get my money's worth out of my membership fee.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pics of the everyday

The two peas in their pods:



Boys watching the huge thunderstorm out the window (apparently it caused a tornado about a mile away!) :



Did I mention the awesome views we have of the parking garage?




Me trying to free up some time:





Their demure looks:



Fighting over their favorite toy and other fairly mundane baby footage:


video

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My next purchase

While I was in Utah, I went into a beauty supply store there and saw these new clip-in hair extensions for the first time, called Hairdo. They were created by Ken Paves, who is Jessica Simpson's hairdresser, and she's the marketing tool behind them. They had a sample there that I could try, and I think it was this one she has on - a 23" wavy look. As soon as I put it on I thought, "wow, I really do look like I have Jessica Simpson hair" (just the hair, unfortunately). It helped that my hair also happened to have leftover curl in it, so it blended really well and looked awesome.

The extensions are kind of a circle - the girl at the store told me you're supposed to put the bottom half of your hair in a bun or something and then put the extensions over them, like around the bun. I didn't really like the idea that you just covered up the bottom of your hair, I would rather just add them to it. But I just found this video that shows him demonstrating them, and I was glad to see on the second example that he just added them in and must have not clipped in the bottom part or something, he just lets it blend into her natural hair. They really did look good on. I think the wavy ones looked a little more natural than just the straight ones, but the girl said you would cut or texturize the straight ones a little to make them look more natural. I really should have bought them then, they were cheaper there than I'm seeing online anywhere. And I'm not even sure these are the exact same thing I saw because the ones I saw had colors like wheat and Swedish blond. These are more just like blond, medium blond, etc. Anyway, click here for the video if you want to see it, it's on the right side. And woah - I've never actually heard him talk out loud before. Yikes.

Strike two

So we had our next experience with the health care here. It took us three hours to get a total of 10 minutes of ultrasound done (their hips are definitely fine, no harness needed). Basically it was like being dropped off in a third world country to get your medical care. Not just the fact that we were the only white people around and the place really is run by foreigners, but it was excruciatingly slow and inefficient. We waited an hour and a half just to get our information verified. I didn't even know why I was waiting in this other office forever, but then to find out that's all they were doing - verifying information I had already given them on the phone, I was so ticked off. And I think the root cause behind it all taking so long was that the one lady they had doing it talked so stinking slow and by the time we were done I knew all about her summer vacation, her children, the charity group she's a part of, what she says to people who don't believe in God, her philosophy about traveling, and I even managed to get invited to go to the zoo with her. I WAS SERIOUSLY READY TO GNAW OFF MY OWN ARM I was getting so aggravated.

Ryan works at the eye hospital that's next to the hospital we went to and he has to go over there all the time for consultations (apparently the eye center is nice; much better than the hospital). Since this was my first time being there, I realized two things:
1. I am going to require that Ryan be hosed off before he ever enters our house after work.
2. If there was ever a question before, I will definitely not give birth while I am here for fear of being admitted to that hospital.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Look at us, we're beautiful

If there is one thing Miami is not lacking, it's beautiful people. EVERYWHERE. There is honestly an unbelieveable amount of hotness here. I thought Utah had attractive people. I thought California had attractive people. (Uh, sorry, I did not think New York had attractive people. Unless they were imports from another state.) But Miami has the corner on the beautiful people market. And they're not just cute, pretty, like Utah. They're gorgeous and exotic looking. With AMAZING figures. When you used to look at movie stars and stuff, didn't you think they all had perfect bodies because they were the exception to the rule? That they were rich, so they had time and money to be skinny? Well, that must have been what I told myself, that they were totally unique, and average people never looked like that. Well, here, that is the average.

And frankly, it's impossible to compete. You know, I get ready to go out, think I'm looking pretty decent, and then I get on the elevator here and there's some Brazilian model in a strapless cocktail dress, and suddenly I feel a little deflated. Modestly Mormon dressed me just can't stand a chance next to these people. But I know, it's ok that I'm not a scandalous dresser. It's just much hotter to wear so much more clothing than everyone else does!

Even the people with kids here manage to look totally amazing and chic. They're all back in their bikinis two months after having babies. What? Where are all the normal people? Where are the Utah families, walking around with their 6 kids, all dressed in their Old Navy clothes, the moms carrying around 20 extra pounds from having all her kids 15 months apart, and being obviously frugal because they have so many kids and the moms stay home? These families here are walking around in their skimpy clothes, tatoos, stylish cars, and their beautiful bodies. Sigh.

Oh well. I guess it's just another one of those things that I'll get used to, like the humidity. Maybe I won't even notice them after a few years.

Ryan finally came and walked around the park with us the other night. I told him it was a probably a good show for him - everyone finally got to see the big stud who sired all these babies. I'm pretty sure people always look at us and think, "Haven't they heard of birth control???"

Just add mouthwash

video

I have no idea how he does this. Try it. I can't do it. This one was kind of a mad gargle, usually they're happy ones, but this is the only one I've been able to get on camera.

Fins Fans

Ryan and I went to a Miami Dolphins game on Saturday night. Someone from work got them all tickets. It was really cool to actually go to a professional football game and be in the huge stadium. We realized when we were there that that was actually our first date since we had the twins!!! Man. That took a long time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sleeping pleas

So I've been attempting some sleep training again the past couple of weeks. I think I'm finally realizing after the last two years, full of a colicky baby and twins, that the "Please make my child stop crying," and the "Please just let me get some sleep" prayers are actually funneled somewhere else. Were my testimony based on the answers to these prayers, I would be in big trouble.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On the bright side

Ok. Sorry to leave on such a negative vibe all week. I seriously was going to write something positive and then my mouse died and it all got too complicated. So now I'll write something positive, like it's after 10pm and my husband still isn't home and it's not even a call night. Oh wait, let me try again.

How about these guys in their new house:



You can totally tell it's a new house huh? Nope. Same couch and same signature quilt that my mom made. But that makes it officially home! It's funny when you move to a nice new place and then bring in your furniture that you got off the street and realize, oh yeah, same old junk, different surroundings. Just kidding, it really does look much nicer in here.

Here's something else positive:


My cousin Mike and his wife Heather, who are so nice to act like an hour drive isn't a big deal! THEY'RE THE ONLY FAMILY I HAVE FOR ABOUT 15 STATES!! So thank heavens that there's at least some family. They even came down and helped out last weekend when Ryan was on call. And Cash has a new buddy in Mike. Not a day goes by that Cash doesn't go through the roll call of my whole family: Julie? Carter? Dawson? Zac? Lacey? ......... basically, ANYBODY!!?!?! Please?!? The other day he finally brought me his shoes, as if to say, "Seriously, I've got to get out of this place."


And he needs some male influence. I keep saying I need a manny (male nanny), because here's his latest thing:

(and it really doesn't help that he's making this slightly gay face), but if you look closely, you can see he's really taken to wearing my earrings. Like every morning when I get ready, he goes and puts them on. And you should have seen him doing pedicures with me last week....

So I really do love our apartment and the area we're in (for about one block on either side before you fear for your life). It really is perfect. With the little time that the twins are content inbetween naps and stuff, we can go take a walk around the pool (yeah, can't get in it because how the heck do I do that with three kids? But at least we can see other people having fun in it and imagine how nice it would be in the 95 degree weather with 90% humidity). There's also a little gated garden down there with a couple of fountains in it too. Going downstairs to get the mail or get packages is also enough of an outing to get out of the house. And then there's the park right outside our building, right along the water. Granted, it's still too dang hot to go out there in the middle of the day, but we've gone out a couple times in the evening. With the poky little two year-old walking though, it takes forever to get over to the playground and back, so often all three of them have lost it by the time we get home. I really am thinking of getting a triple stroller - the double with a sit 'n stand in back. But we get to walk around and hear all the little ladies in their squawking at the babies in their espanol accent "Ahhh! Tweens! Cheep cheep cheep!" (Ok, I have no idea what they're saying, but they just sound like little birds to me.) I always feel so bad when I get home though and take the babies out of the stroller and they're just little balls of sweat.

Also, the ward has SO many young families. I really can't believe it. In fact it's a little overwhelming almost. The first time we went to playgroup there was seriously like 30 little kids running around. With shy little Cash and already crazy mom me trying to take care of just my kids I was almost a little scared off. But it's great to have so many people. I wish the ward wasn't so spread out as a lot of them are about a good 30 minutes away, but it's definitely exciting that there's so many. And they don't mess around about getting together. They meet twice a week for playgroup and it's seriously an all-day affair. They meet at 9am and go jogging until 10:30 or 11am. (I opt out of that part. Um, you want me to deliberately try to sweat in this weather????) Then they go to someone's house for playing and everyone makes lunch together and then someone will even do activities for the kids and stuff. All I know is I've left at 2pm before and the activities were just getting going. Wow. And this week it was playgroup Tuesday, a going away party for one of the girls that night, a baby shower Wednesday and there will be playgroup again on Friday. PHEW!! Uh, yeah sorry people who used to be in playgroup when I was in charge. I didn't have nearly the stamina these women do. So anyway, at least there's no lack of opportunities for me to socialize. Just lack of attention to socialize while trying to keep all my kids happy.

I also lucked into finding a little 14 year-old girl from the ward who lives in the neighborhood and so to prevent mental breakdown, I'm having her come about twice a week for a few hours (while I'm still home, just to help out). Before we moved down here, I had talked to the wife of another ophthalmology resident a few years ahead of us, who also has a few kids. She said, "Yeah, looking back at that first year, I probably should have been on medication." Great.

So I guess I'll try babysitters first. Before I had found the 14 year-old though, I was looking on Craigslist for childcare and found a woman who sounded nice (ok, and she was the only one who could spell and didn't advertise herself as the "modern day Mary Poppings!"). So she came once and was really nice, but she was 46 and had never had her own kids. So I was kind of wondering why you would want to do something like this when you were that age and stuff, but she's in massage therapy school and just needed some extra cash for insurance and stuff I guess.

Anyway, it should have been a clue that she never had kids, but she seriously kept asking me how to hold the babies, how to burp them, how you knew when they were done burping, how to hold bottles.... And then she had this running commentary the whole day, "Oh, you're the fussy one. Oh you're the happy one. Oh, I see that you like to do this. Oh, I see that you want to hold the spoon. Oh you are just the thinker. You are just the social one." When she couldn't successfully feed them rice cereal and I ended up putting it in a bottle: "Oh, see, I knew you didn't want that cereal, you just wanted milk." Uh, actually that was the cereal, just in a bottle... Holy cow. It started driving me nuts. And she would keep labeling them as the fussy one and the happy one, but she never realized she would be saying it about different babies because she didn't know who was who. And she was so super anxious about everything. Every time they would cry, "Ok, ok, ok, what do you need? What's wrong? What do you want?" And then she'd pick them up and they wouldn't settle down and she'd say, "Oh, I know. I'm not your mommy. You just want your mommy." And then she'd bring them over to me. Uh. Not helpful. (Besides the fact that they aren't at the stage where they care if it's me or not.) WOAH. She was stressing me out. Needless to say, we'll be using the 14 year-old and she's more fun playing with Cash anyway.

Anyway, it's not ALL bad. But it is sweaty.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

First week

I don't even know where to start. My life seems suddenly so vastly different from what it's ever been before that it's all just weird. I realize why it's so nice living around family. Things just get so monotonous being home all day by yourself, not much variety, no cousins in and out all the time. Just feeding, naps, and diapers. Over and over. And I just don't know what I look forward too. Ryan leaves at 6:30am and has been getting home around 8:30pm. So I had been thinking I would look forward to 8:30 at night when he's home and the kids get to bed, but we're both just wasted at that point. So then I thought weekends, but last week he was on call Friday which means he gets home Saturday and needs to sleep. This weekend he was on call Saturday and came home and needed to sleep Sunday. So I haven't even gotten any weekends or a real day off since I've been here.

And it's a good thing I really like our apartment, because every time I leave it I'm reminded that it's probably just as well that I stay in here all the time. I had heard that people here are really put out when you ask things of them, and that no one goes out of their way to try and help you. I realized that the first day this week when I tried to talk to the management about our parking space. It's across the back side of the parking lot. So I called down to ask if there was anything we could do about it. The conversation was something like this:

Me: I'm wondering if there's any way we could try to get a closer parking spot. I have twins in a stroller and a wandering toddler and it really concerns me to have to walk that far. People whip around the corners here and I know they're not used to having many kids around. I'm just a bit concerned that it's a bit of a safety issue.
Person who couldn't care less about my life: No. There's nothing we can do.
Me: Don't you feel that's a bit of a safety problem?
Person: There's nothing we can do about it.
Me: What do you mean there's nothing you can do about it? You guys run this place, right?
Person: The developers assigned each condo a spot. There's nothing we can do.
Me: And you're saying the developers are still in charge of things here? And anyway, you have a waiting list for extra spots, so there are obviously more spots available.
Person: You can get on the waiting list then.
Me: Yeah, but I don't want to pay an extra $120 a month for a spot. I just want to change mine.
Person: Well, the developers are the ones who made it that way.
Me: (getting exasperated. and slightly sassy.) Uh, ok. Can I talk to the developers then?
Person: (also getting sassy) If you can find them.
Me: Seriously. Do you even have anything to do with them anymore?
Person: No.
Me: So who's in charge now?
Person: The condo association.
Me: Fine. Can I talk to them?
Person: No. But you can write them a letter and give it to us. (Bet that heads straight to the trash.) But it won't matter.
Me: Ok fine. Can I hold you liable then if my child gets hit in your parking lot?
Person: Sure. You can try. You won't win though.

End of conversation

Ugh.

Then right after that I had to go to the doctors office with all three kids by myself. Grubby, inner-city building. Had to trek from the adjacent parking structure through two sets of elevators with all three to reach the seriously contagious office full of foreigners with tropical diseases coughing all over everything. I was convinced we were going to leave that office having contracted jungle fever or something (the real thing). They make me see a resident first, then the doctor, so it takes a million years. At one point I'm nursing one baby, the resident is holding and bouncing the other baby trying to calm him down, and Cash is standing there eating a bowl of mac and cheese off of a chair. We're really something. The doctor answers absolutely zero of my questions and doesn't address one of my concerns. Then when I told her I like to split up my shots she said no. And I mean refused. And I mean was rude and condescending about it. And I mean we had a heated discussion about it. And I mean said I have to find another doctor then. I glared at her with my three children screaming in the background and told her my life was hard enough.

Finally at the end I say to her, "So let me summarize: You won't refill the Zantac prescription they've been on."
"No."
"I can't get the ultrasound referral I need today."
"No."
"You refuse to let me split up my shots."
"Correct."
"I have to find another doctor."
"Yes."
"And you have no suggestions for why my babies are so fussy and won't take naps."
To which she sort of tells me she had twins too and I should just tough it out. Oh, correction, she had a nanny and went back to work.

Later she had to come back in to check the reaction of one of the twins to his shots and I think she thought I was mentally unstable. She asked if I was getting any help, if I was sleeping, and then asked if I was on anti-depressants. No, I said, my mood is usually fine, just not during this doctors visit.

So welcome to Miami. See why I realized I just shouldn't leave my house?