Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"If you spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social networking sites, chances are you're alienated, lonely, and quite possibly demented."

To further emphasize why I love reading GQ, here's a little snippet from a recent article. The author starts off discussing a new report from a study done by a British journal:

Researchers there gamely tracked the social habits of virtual lifers and concluded that - get this- for our physical health and psychological well-being, humans need actual face-to-face contact (I know, it sounds gross). Ironically, the study finds that the more time we spend amassing virtual friends, the fewer "real" friends we have. (What's a "real" friend you might ask? I like to think of it as someone who will sit right next to you in the blue light of your BlackBerry, and never, ever ask you whose e-mail you're reading.)

Over the past two decades, the amount of time the British spend with one another - just chatting, interacting, eating crackers, and whatever else British people do when they're staring at each other's dark brown teeth - has fallen from six hours a day to two hours a day.

Now let's just set aside the larger question: Would YOU want to spend more than two hours a day with British people? .... Still there's something to the report that I can't shake, some truth it sheds on modern life, virtual and otherwise. Because if you're honest and look around you, there are signs everywhere that reality is losing its grip on reality - in the way, say, that electronic friend "acquiring" has begun to stand in for intimacy, or in the larger ways we've become unthinking about our online existence.... Even an 80-year-old woman I know has lately taken to telling everyone "Google it" whenever she means "I'm telling you the truth." She's also a Limbaugh-loving Republican, so now she ends every argument by saying things like "Nancy Pelosi is a terrorist - Google it!"
A great read. But hmm, makes you kind of feel like a dork, huh Facebook fanatics? :)



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Boys will be boys. And so will men.

The other night when Ryan and I were cleaning up after we put the kids in bed, I happened to walk in on Ryan - lifting up the ottoman just enough to shove a bunch of toys under it to "clean up" the living room. As he put it down, he looked up, saw me standing over him with raised eyebrows, and attempted an innocent, "What??" Which was met by an incredulous, "Are you KIDDING me??"

I have now decided I am looking forward to the time when these boys are old enough to understand scrubbing down the bathroom faucets with a toothbrush, the concept of everything having it's place, closing a drawer with everything pushed in, and what it really means when I say clean up. And I'll pull the old BYU resident assistant cleaning checks on them. Until this place shines like the top of the Chrysler building... (ok, ok.) But I'm going to make sure they understand the meaning of doing something and doing it well. (Which, I am quite certain Ryan believes in every area that involves, um, work.)

But this brings me to my next point: my nemesis. Why is bedtime and the cleanup routine so doggone awful? Why do I dread that time every day? What can I do to make it more bearable? I've tried a few things lately - like starting dinner in the afternoon, or while the kids nap. I've tried (sob) weaning myself from my naps so I can get stuff done during the afternoon so things will go more smoothly at bedtime. I should even probably admit to the fact that my kids don't even wake up that early and I usually get to sleep in. I'm trying to start using that time to get my rear end out of bed and exercise. Baby steps.

But the evening usually goes like this: I'm making dinner, the kids are destroying the house, Ryan gets home, we eat, we give the kids baths and get them ready for bed (which is such a process), wrestle the babies (and I mean wrestle, chase, curse and whatever else you do to get a one year old to hold still for what should take 60 seconds while you diaper and dress them), fight the tooth-brushing, put the babies in bed only to listen to them scream and bang on the walls for the next half hour until they finally give up, while we crash on the couch and survey the damage. Dirty dishes, food on the floor, food still out from cooking, three high chairs smeared in food, clothes out everywhere that we took off before baths, dirty diapers waiting to go out to the garbage, mail to go through, laundry to do, an elliptical machine reminding me that I still haven't exercised because of course I didn't get up early, and every toy in the house scattered over every inch of floor. Sigh. We're so tired and have so little energy to tackle any of this, and we cringe knowing that once again we're kissing goodbye to any amount of down-time we thought we might have before we crash for the night.

So really? What works? I realize I need to start making Cash more responsible for cleaning up. We're usually so anxious to be done with the kids that we just want them in bed. And having him clean up usually leads him to just playing with more things as he's attempting to help pick them up...which leads to nagging...which I just don't have the energy for so I say let's just throw them in bed and do it ourselves. So yes, I think I just need to stick to it and make him help. Like I said, trying to get dinner started in the afternoon seemed like a good idea, just not always possible. Is it just like this for everyone? Or do I just wait it out, and know that when my kids are older and more capable I will feel less loathing for bedtime?

(And I should mention that yes, I feel guilty that this is what my hard-working husband comes home to every night, and I realize I am lucky that he helps out so much!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goodbye stinky helmet

We've worn you faithfully for three and a half months. You smell like death. You made Ashton's head smell like death, no matter how much we washed it. You ensured ridiculous comments would come from small children and retired people everywhere. "What's wrong with him?" "What happened to his head?" (kids). And the old-timers: "Wow, you must be a real trouble-maker for them to put you in that contraption!" "What - you been riding motorcycles?" "That must have been some accident!" And then when I would say that it was to help round out his head, that it was a little flat on one side, the old folks would usually shake their heads in disgust, like I was suddenly and unmistakably the most vain mother in the world. "What?! The things they do these days to make you boys look pretty..."

And we certainly didn't go through what some people do for these - some people in the office we went to come from South America or the Bahamas to get helmets and then have to fly back here every two weeks to get their helmets adjusted. Really, I wasn't that die-hard about it.

At least Ashton didn't seem to mind. In fact, I'm not even sure he ever knew he even wore a helmet. But it seems like it worked pretty well (and he was never that bad to begin with). After our last appointment, they let us keep the helmet. For...??? Posterity's sake? A funny dress-up for the other kids? Re-sell them on ebay? (Too bad they don't work that way, or I might be tempted by the $3600 price tag. Good thing our insurance covered it.) I'm not sure what sort of sentimental value people have for these things, or what they do with them when they're through with them, but I'm pretty sure this bad boy is headed straight for the garbage. When we first got it, they told us that really, there was no way to avoid it getting stinky. Can you imagine if it was the dead of summer when we had it??

Pretty soon I won't know what to do with all my spare time - physical therapy is coming to an end too. I'm not quite sure how to break the news to Cash, but wow - between that and the helmet checks, think of how much less guilt I will feel about never being on time to so many different appointments.

At least I can snuggle and kiss your cute little head again, Ashton! That will be a nice treat after repeatedly going in for a love and being deceived by that potent little piece of plastic.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Everything's amazing, nobody's happy

My friend had this on her blog and I loved it! If you haven't seen it, it's totally funny, and so true. Conan O'brien had the comedian Louis CK on and he talks about the spoiled generation we have now.

Everything's amazing, nobody's happy.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Odds, ends and Craig's List

First of all, thanks for all the compliments - you guys were way too generous. There's a reason I didn't have pictures with any of the other female residents (like I'm twice their size and they'd make me look bad). I really would have been happy if that last 12lbs of baby had come off, but oh well, at least it's not twenty-five anymore. And we had a great time.

Sorry to make you look at those pictures all week long, but I spent most of this week laying around in a over-dosed haze (serious back issues), so I avoided trying to write any coherent sentences. But I do have a few things to be grateful for, I'm realizing. Like the fact that my babies are ridiculously good eaters. I haven't found anything yet that they won't eat. I sometimes wonder if it's that they eat tastier food than I ever used to let Cash eat (like the occasional mac 'n cheese, chicken nuggets, etc). But then I realize they don't just eat that, they eat everything. Spicy, bland, salty, vegetabley, whatever. And Cash was never a bad eater, so it's only when I have friends tell me how nice it is that they eat that I realize, yeah, I sure don't have to worry about them not getting enough nutrients. And they don't really say stop. I mean, sometimes you can tell when they're done, but not that often. So maybe I'm over-feeding them, but sometimes when I think I'm done feeding them and I go to eat something, they get all kicky in their chairs and excited thinking it's coming for them and then mad when it's not. We could probably safely assume they got their eating genes from my side of the family. :)

And it must be paying off. When I took them for their one year check ups this week, when we came in, the nurse said, "Wow! They're big for twins!" I said I was pretty sure they were big for any baby. And yes, they were in the 90 - 95th percentile for pretty much everything and weighed in at 25 and 26lbs. Yeah, no wonder my back hurts.

In other gratefulness - all of you who said just get the exterminator were right. Such peace of mind! I can't tell you how nice it is to leave food out for more than 30 seconds without fear of invasion! Luckily our landlady was cool about it and got right on it. Ahhhh. Relief.

Then there was my Craig's List find of the week. I've been looking for a water table for the kids for quite some time. I thought it would be fun to put on our balcony, especially when it's hot and humid, since it may be as much outdoor activity as they get - me sitting on one side of the glass door in the air conditioning watching them while they splash water on themselves out in the 100% humidity. Our neighbor in Milwaukee had one and Cash loved it. So I've been watching Craig's List for a while to see if one came up. Well, this week I finally saw one for $20. Not an amazing deal since they are only $34 new, but at least it was a little cheaper and it was the only one I'd seen in months.

So I get in touch with the lady. She lives on South Beach. In a house. That tipped me off - woah, this lady has money. And makes me think of course - why does she even need $20 for this stupid toy? So I go over there to pick it up. Yep, three cars home in the middle of the day, all various forms of mercedes. Money.

I see the water table just outside the front door. She comes to the door and I say, you want $20 for it, right? She says yes, so I hand over the money. I go to pick up the table and notice it's filthy - in, on around and under. "Um..." I sort of look back up at her. "This is all muddy and I have to take this thing into my condo..." She still just looks at me for a minute. Then she says, "Well, it's an outdoor toy." I'm like, "Um, even so, I'd still have to pick it up and put it in my car..." I see a hose on the ground. "Can we use your hose to clean it off?" She says yes, and goes and turns on the water. I'm standing there sort of looking around and after a minute she says in sort of this hello?? voice, "There it is." "Oh," I say really surprised. She's expecting me to clean off her dirt at her house. I'm still a little stunned by her nerve, but I pick up the hose and start trying to hose it off - while not getting it on my pink shirt and white shoes. I see her shying away, also trying to not get dirty and I have a hard time not just "accidentally" soaking her with the hose.

I hose forever and it's still totally muddy and nasty, but my kids are in the car and I don't feel like doing this anymore. So I sort of give her a little bit of a dirty look, a sarcastic "Thanks," and I get out of there.

I'm going to blame it partly on the fact that I was just ornery because I was in pain, and it was yucky and raining out which worsened my mood, but when I got home I shot her back an email (I know, why do I care, and why didn't I just let it go?) that told her I was disappointed that her table was filthy and I felt she should have cleaned it or sold it for me cheaper if she expected me to clean it myself. Especially to make me be the one to clean it at her house. I said that instead I dragged mud into my car, on myself and into my shower where I had to spend 15 more minutes cleaning it. I told her if she sells things on Craig's List again, she should just keep that in mind.

She emailed back and said that if she had known I was in an apt vs a house, she would have cleaned it more thoroughly. But how was she to know?? And, she didn't help me clean it because she was dressed and ready to go meet a client (that is total crap - she was in a freaking sweatsuit). She said that even if I had to rinse it off a little $20 was still a totally great deal.

Resist! Give it up! Apparently I can't. So, I email her one last time and said I was over it now. I'd said my peace and I had no hard feelings. I told her I was planning to use it out on the balcony, but even then, no one wants any one else's old dirt. I also said that I guess we saw it differently - I didn't think $20 was an amazing deal for something that's only $34 new, espeically since most things I see on Craigslist are less than half price. And I obviously wasn't expecting to be hosing off mud either, otherwise I wouldn't have worn white shoes and a pink shirt. Then I wished her the best and said it was fine. (Ok, the no hard feeling obviously wasn't really true, but I was trying to make amends a little since I knew I was kind of being a jerk and what if I run into her again someday?)

Ok - really. It must have been the medication talking. Who really feels like they have to go demanding justice when it's just a stupid old toy anyway! And what do you expect from Craig's List!? But seriously, was I a little overboard or was that really lame of her?!

But while I'm on the subject, while I was in the middle of writing this post, I ran across an amusing post a friend wrote about free finds on Craig's List - which is something I have been laughing at so much lately. Always such random things on the free list. Free adult diapers. Free magic show tickets. Free lamb-face pillow with a link taking you to an in-depth video of the totally featureless, possibly 12" lamb-face pillow. Free Britney Spears tickets (???!!! I didn't get them). Free bald tires. Free massages. In your house. (Wait...um...creepy?) Dwarf hamsters, catholic workbooks, bellydance classes, neutering, Dog Fancy magazines, free broken junk, free broken junk, free broken junk....

Yeah, really. What was I expecting from Craig's List?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Swanky

Swanky: [swang-kee]
1. elegant or ostentatious; swank
2. Palm Beach, Florida

Our big black tie gala was last night in Palm Beach. Wow. I have never been there before and, yes, it was swanky. The place is immaculately groomed down to every last bit of shrubbery in the entire city, there are millions of palm trees, unbelievable homes, a Rolls Royce at every 5 feet, and I'm pretty sure the median age is 85. And I can see exactly why you would have a fundraiser there. Cha-ching $$$$.

So here we are all ready for our prom gala:


(You can see my hair better in this one. And yes, I managed to do it myself although I wasn't sure it would turn out):



The dress worked great. Found it online from Nordstrom, ordered a light gold one first, then found this color half off with only one dress left, which happened to be my size. Meant to be, I guess. When I tried them both on and asked Ryan which he liked better, he said gold. Then a few minutes later he said, "Wait, not twice as much money better."

(As for the orange vest/tie - one of the resident's dad owns a tux place and the resident decided the guys would all wear the same thing. Didn't tell any of them what the choice was until he gave it to them right before. Actually made for a good conversation piece though - What's with the matching outfits? You guys just come from a wedding or you trying to make a few bucks at the valet afterwards?)

And then. After the hour and a half drive on a bus (and residents sneaking on booze - seriously? And you're doctors?), we arrive at The Breakers Hotel:














Yep. Swanky.

It opens right out onto the beach from the back of the hotel.



The party was nice, cool decorations and themed food (the Old Hollywood theme), silent auctions with items donated by Oprah, Chanel, Tiffany's, Jimmy Choo, lunch with Lauren Bacall- some starting at $10,500; socializing with Ryan's co-workers, watching old people dance, attempting to dance (I'm insisting on knowing at least one dance before next year's event), sitting down after foolish-looking dancing, and mostly just enjoying looking at the rich old ladies all dolled up. Think everything jeweled and gigantic diamond-studded pink glasses that take up 2/3 of your face (sorry the picture is blurry, had to try to be subtle, you know).























It was fun, and fun to pretend we can hang out with a crowd like that. And my friend Sarah was so sweet to come have a little sleepover here to watch our kids. She has two little boys too, so when we left and there were 5 little boys running around, someone crying every 5 seconds we were like, um, have fun with that. We hope she's still our friend. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One-up


Apple, Apple, Apple. How am I ever going to keep up with you? Less than 4 weeks ago I got my new shiny, red Valentine's Day present:

And I love it.


Then just yesterday you come out with this:


The third generation ipod shuffle: twice the memory, controls on the headphones, multiple playlists, voice over, and even smaller than before - smaller than a AA battery.

(At least I found a new favorite song to rock out to from watching your demo.)

Good thing I really like mine (and don't need voice over to tell me the song and artist that I already know because I put them on there), or I might be jealous. Besides, mine says "Happy Valentine's Day" on the back - and you don't even come in red.

Case in point



Ok - Justin Timberlake in this month's GQ? Awesome. See how he totally rocks these pants? Don't worry - I'm pretty sure that Ryan can't rock white pants the way JT does (and frankly if he did it in Miami, well I'm not sure what kind of audience would be enjoying it), but the style is what I'm looking at here.

Truthfully, if you strip away all the layers of hype, I think Justin Timberlake is a really average looking guy, but he has an awesome knack for fashion and a sweet voice that makes him such a hot commodity.


And while I'm at it, let me just give a shout out to GQ, possibly the only magazine I enjoy reading more than US Weekly (ok, and that I don't come away feeling dumber than I was before I read it). Their articles are so witty and captivating, that I can spend three elliptical sessions reading one issue cover to cover. But they're not for the faint-hearted and you have to be willing to skim past the occasional swear word.

This month, they had the 10 best-dressed men. I will say that this guy on the left (Alexi Lubomirski, a photographer) caught my eye. This is a look I love and actually think could work on Ryan. (Ok, not sure we'd go for the vest. Or the chest hair. If he had it.) But, it's simple, yet more fitted and a little more sophisticated and looks like it could work on a tall, lean build.

But whatever. It's not like we can really even try to be fashionable really for another 6 years or so until we actually make a salary that isn't just slightly above the poverty line.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trying to Update


Has anyone bought men's jeans lately? I tried buying Ryan some for his birthday. I had bought him something at the Apple store and decided to just try to be as quick as possible (because of the accompanying trio), and so I went in to the next store - Abercrombie and Fitch. First of all, can you still shop at A&F when you're in your 30s? I'm not sure. I would have hesitated for that reason, but I was in a hurry. So I explained to the salesman what I was looking for, he made some suggestions. Of course the first pair I looked at looked like they'd been worn by a fat sweaty man for 15 years and I knew Ryan would wonder why I had stolen someone else's nasty old pants. The next pair was ok, but it was $79. I knew exactly what Ryan would say: "79 dollars?" So I left and thought I'd try the next place.

Which happened to be Diesel. Ok, bad idea already since I know Diesel is expensive, but I love their stuff. So this time the super chic salesman helps me and I explain that my husband hasn't bought jeans in years, so his are all from the super baggy era and I'd like to modernize him a little. I'm not going for the kind that are so tight that they won't go over your butt so you wear them below, possibly with a chain attached hoping to grip at something in the chance that they start to fall down. Which they probably won't because you probably had to grease up to get them on in the first place. Not that trend (pictured, in case you don't know what I'm talking about). But I'm thinking I should go for a more fitted jean. Because let me tell you - men down here can dress. Granted, half of them are gay, but whatever, they always look good.

So he goes through his explanations and I find a pair I really like. He has to go over to someone else he was helping for a minute and I look at the price tag. Gulp. $209? Oh man, I can't spend that much on jeans. So I sort of motion to him that I'll be back. (Stupid, I know, since I know I am definitely not coming back.) He sort of gives me a what? And I sort of mouth that I have to go change a diaper or something. Seriously, stupid. Why am I finding excuses? Acting like I'm the one who should be embarrassed that his jeans are $209? When I know he's probably going to see me walk across the hall to the next store anyway?

Which happens to be Seven for All Mankind. Yeah, if you know your designer jeans, you're wondering why I'm even bothering to go in there. But I'd never been to one before. What's the big deal with their jeans? I had to check it out. This time at least I'm smart enough to ask what their price range is. $150 to $350, but I've already spotted a pair that look really cool. They're $200, but I'm almost debating it since I know Ryan will return whatever I get anyway, that way at least he can try on designer jeans. But I know he'll flip out, so I pass.

I finally decide I'm just getting something in the next store no matter what. I see a J Crew. I buy a pair that are called Vintage Slim. They were $100, but I don't care any more since my kids are starting to get cranky. Fast forward to his birthday when Ryan tries them on. They're ok. We decide he needs to try them with some shoes. HOLY COW. Guys with big feet apparently do not wear slimmer jeans. It just leaves so much foot. Waaay too much exposed shoe. I am not exaggerating when I say it looked like he had flippers on. He seriously looked like he was just trying to be a trendy snorkeler or something. We laughed so dang hard.

So is that it? Tall guys with really just proportional feel (he wears like an 11 or 12 and is 6'3", which I'm sure is pretty normal) just can't wear more fitted pants? Really, help. If we have to get jeans anyway, I'd like to try to go with fashion, but oh man, not duck feet fashion.

In other fashion news, can I just say I'm really hoping this little runway trend doesn't catch on?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Busy

It feels like I've been busy. Probably because we're at this stage:





























video

In the time it took me to get one baby secured somewhere away from the fridge, this is what I come back to. (Seriously, like the ONE time I've left something in the fridge uncovered! Besides the fact that I never make jello salads! But see Jenilee? Our love for your jello salad must be genetic.)

Plus I guess there have been birthdays, I've been baking cakes, making strawberry pies, doing hair, having book group, trying to get in some exercise and of course been on the dress hunt. The first store I walked in when I went to South Beach to go shopping made me realize immediately: this is going to be really hard not to spend a lot of money on all the other things I find while trying to find a dress.

But I have found so many cute more casual dresses while looking for a fancy dress that I am realizing I need to buy some dresses. I have issues with this though - I'm tall, so usually if there is a waist it sits too high on me and doesn't fit right. Also, every model wearing a dress is bone thin, so I think that scares me away because they seem less forgiving than a skirt and top. But here are some of my recent dress finds that I want (not for the formal affair, obviously).


This one from JCrew. Never knew they have a whole wedding section. This is listed as a bridesmaid dress, but whatever. It's stinking cute.






This one from Boden. Looks like a great dress for Miami and hot summers.




I also like this one (Boden).








But I especially love this
dress from Boden:


Shabby Apple has some cute ones like these two:










And I saw many, many more that were oh so cute. Hmm, I need another excuse to buy some dresses. Mother's Day is way too far away.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Hubby!



Happy 31st birthday Ryan! I love this picture of him. He is the 8th of 9 children and they grew up on a cattle farm in Idaho. If I'm remembering correctly, everyone else was outside and someone finally realized they didn't know where Ryan was and they eventually found him by himself in the kitchen making a mess.



This year, I think I'll share one of my favorite memories of Ryan. We went to London and Paris for our belated "honeymoon." (I use that term loosely because we were shacking up with my friend who lived in London, so really, is that considered a honeymoon?) Anyhow, our last day there, we were trying to catch the Tube to go back to the airport. As we were walking through the station, Ryan noticed that the train we wanted was about to leave. Personally, I'm sort of a there's-always-another-train-behind-it kind of person. But Ryan's reaction was to instantaneously turn around, rip my luggage out of my arms and yell "Come on!" as he turns back and starts into a run, bounds down a flight of stairs and leaps through the shutting subway doors just in time to wedge them open using his He-Man strength and my luggage to keep them from closing all the way. (Mind you, the doors there do not bounce back open if something is in the way). He turns and yells, "GET IN! GET IN!!" at me. I'm a little torn at this point trying to decide which appendage I value the least and sizing up what he has in mind - am I supposed to dive between his legs? Do I just shove and say goodbye to whatever doesn't make it inside? Do they allow you on the plane with a bloddy nub? So I finally attempt to stick my hands in the door and pry with all my might to get the one side to open a little wider and then throw myself in, knocking Ryan and I both into the train, but at least remaining in one (albeit disheveled) piece.

Now just imagine us finally landing in this train, gathering our stuff, pulling ourselves back together, and then looking up to see a whole quiet car, full of people all calmly sitting in their seats... staring at us. Um, needless to say, it was a little bit of an overdramatic entrance for the two dumb Americans. Especially when you realize that there is always another train just minutes behind. And even more ridiculous when we realize - we've gotten on the wrong train.
:)

But I tell you this story because it illustrates a point: I love the times we have together and the memories we make. I love that Ryan can make our life so colorful. I love that we find amusement in all of the crazy things that go on in our life and that we can share our sense of humor. I think we'd lose our minds if we didn't. And maybe that was just a foreshadowing of all the staring that was to come in our life (you should have seen us last week on trendy Lincoln Road in South Beach with our crazy double/triple stroller)! There's no one else I would rather make a scene with. And perhaps I just love that he can be a superhero if he wants to. Why shouldn't a grown man get to every once in a while?

I'm one lucky damsel.