Friday, August 28, 2009

The week

So the week started off with a broken refrigerator. Wow - how did people do it in the old days??! That was terrible. It gets a little weirder though - we had some friends live a few floors up from us and they were also doing residency here. Well, their different landlords went into foreclosure twice while they lived in this building, so they had to move. Well, the second time, they only had two months left here until they finished out their residencies and were moving to Ohio, and they weren't about to go through finding another place and moving all over again. So they squatted. For two months. They would always say it was a little nerve-racking walking up to your apartment and hoping your stuff would still be there. Anyhow, they just left the place unlocked when they left, which has actually proved to be pretty useful. We got some old hangers, an air mattress, and just looked for whatever else was left that might be useful. Well, when our fridge went out, I told Ryan that if it wasn't going to get fixed immediately, I was going to go see if their place was still open and put our stuff in their fridge - or we could even just switch them if it was taking too long. Ryan thought for sure their place would have been taken over or the electricity turned off by now, but lucky for us, it wasn't. We had some other friends down the hall who's fridge broke one time, and they just hurried and called us to come take all their food that was going to go bad - it was just their loss. Really lucky for us. But knowing that I still had a family to feed and I needed food around (plus all the money we'd lose having to toss or give away all our food), I couldn't do that - and luckily we had an alternative.

But then it was a little weird. Babies waking up at 6am that need milk. So trekking up to the 7th floor half awake at 6am and passing people as I'm coming back with a measuring cup full of milk. Or still being in my pajamas at 8am and coming back down with a really weird assortment like a tray full of ice, a few eggs, a bowl of beets, half a package of cream cheese and an open tupperware with jam in it (that I'd had a fight with while trying to balance all that stuff on my way out their door and my white pajama pants lost). I'm pretty sure my expression was an obvious - oh great, it's you people, as the elevator door opened and I looked up to see all the hotties in the building all gussied up on their way to work staring back at me. And I had bed head and jam pants. So whatever, I was grateful for the spare fridge for the few days we had to use it, but I'm sure the opinions people harbor of our weirdness definitely skyrocketed.

Other than that, the week was filled with sick, sick kids and then a sick, sick mom, and a husband who had something every night after work. Ugh. By the end of my sickest day, my kids even just automatically came into the bathroom to find me. I even tried calling a babysitter. I wasn't sure my kids were even going to eat that day. But we made it. It was nasty, diapers were overflowing, and the tv was on non-stop from morning until night, but we made it. And the only small pleasure I had was watching the scale go down and down all throughout the day to numbers I haven't seen in years (but knowing that would all come back as soon as I could hold anything in sort of detracted from the bliss). I recommend it next time you're sick though - you're in the bathroom anyway and at least it will make you feel better about something. :)

Even with everyone sick, there was still plenty of room for the usual shenanigans.

(I figured I'd just let him go for it - it was probably better if he mastered climbing up into the stroller than me constantly pulling him down. The lamp is another matter, of course.)

Can I just say how obsessed Cash is with these goggles? He usually is seen walking around the halls here with them on, paired with his mismatched crocs on the wrong feet and the ridiculous outfits he puts together. He even insists on wearing them as sunglasses in the car. I'm really tempted to roll down the window when we pull up next to another car and just let him give his usual stare-down.

Anyhow, sorry for the lame post, but I hope the rest of you had a better week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unsolicited Advice

I recently was reading an article in Parents Magazine entitled, "39 Things Every Mom Should Know" by Kacy Faulconer. (Ok, I'll admit, Ryan and I sort of hate the titles of magazine articles, usually because they involve numbers and then something you just have to know - but to make it more intriguing, it's usually phrased something silly like, "15 Things Your Doctor Won't Tell You." And Ryan enjoys reading them in his most dramatic announcer voice, usually followed by a dum dum dum....) Well her opening advice spoke to me: "Here's something very specific to enjoy about your little kids: They don't know what you're actually up to - so savor it while it lasts. When they get older they notice when you burn food or fall asleep at the school play. But with a toddler you can eat frosting out of a can while watching Blue's Clues and the kid will never bat an eye - or judge you for it." (I'm a first hand witness of this - they never comment on how many chocolate covered raisins I eat or how fast that bag of M&Ms went, ahem, husband?) Anyhow, I thought I'd pass a few of them on.

1. Do your chores while kids are awake. Using up naptime to wash dishes or clean the bathroom is truly soul-crushing. (This was the first one to really perk my interest and make me realize this woman thinks a lot like I do.)

2. Don't make birthday parties a huge deal.

3. If the kids are awake, bite the bullet and be awake yourself. You'll waste so many hours trying futilely to extend early-morning snoozes that it's not worth it. If you are sick, pregnant, or it's the middle of the night, ignore this advice. (Ooooh, I have a hard time with this one!)

4. Just throw away the poopy underwear.

5. Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.

6. Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think. (Thank you for making me feel justified.)

7. Embrace their quirks. (I don't know, Phoenix really has an obsession with sticking his finger up my nostrils. This usually occurs after he bites my toes and then works his way biting up my leg until he's in my lap and can reach my nose. That may be one I have a hard time embracing.)

8. Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's ok. The sooner you accept this, the better.

9. Answer this question: What is the worst thing that can happen if your kids sleep in their clothes?

10. I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping their toenails or some other activity they dread. I've had great success with this one, but you must find your own.

11. I can't stress this enough: Use duvet covers on your comforters and forget about a top sheet. Not only will you thank me for this advice, but your kids will thank me as well when they are learning to make their bed.

12. Do not allow the word wienies in your home.

13. It's fine to brag about yourself to your kids. (I think I will take her up on this one. Mom's never get praised for all their thankless duties, so somebody should do it, right? Besides, maybe it will instill in their minds the fact that I am soooo amazing.)

14. Just say "No" to any toy or doll that comes with packets that have to be mixed with water.

15. Teach them to like cool music. Why suffer through The Wiggles when you could be enjoying Wilco or counting along with Feist? (I'll admit, we fell prey to this one. We used to make so much fun of my sister when we had to listen to that cheesy stuff in her car, but guess what? It keeps the kids entertained much better than my music, plus it's pretty cute to hear them singing every word to all the nursery rhymes. I try to be balanced though -I get a good laugh hearing Cash singing about the "Boom boom power.")

Those were some of my favorites. Anything that simplifies my life and helps me when in survival mode I'm all for. Like bagging individual sippy cups. That decision alone has saved me endless amounts of effort. Do you know how many millions of times a day I'd be nagging, "No that's not yours!" Besides the pain of taking three sippy cups everywhere. We lose so many of those darn things, half the time I don't even have three left. If one gets sick, they're just all going to get it. I remember reading twin books where the moms said they color-coded everything. One twin got cups, sliverware, etc, all in one color and the other got a different color. Really? Did your kids agree to that? Another is definitely living by the 10 second rule. (Or as is more common in our house: if-you-find-it-before-I-can-clean-it-up-go-for-it-rule). Lots of times I think they're really excited by finding leftover food treasures on the ground hours later! :) Anyway, I'll have to try some of her advice that I hadn't thought of yet!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trail mix

Guess you have to be a little bit aggressive if you want anything in this family.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to life...back to reality...

Well, things are back to normal here.

I don't know what I was thinking complaining about Utah being hard. My regular life is way worse.

Really though, my house is spotless when each day begins. I don't know how this happens so quickly day after day. It's so overwhelming. And I even forgot how much chocolate it takes to get through an average day in my life. In fact, I actually consumed a whole Costco-sized box of chocolate covered raisins in about 5 days (cringe)!

But the boys are so excited to have their dad back - they can't get close enough as you can see. I love that they all have to do what dad is doing.

I asked Ryan if the boys are better or worse when we left. He was affirmative: worse. Definitely worse. It's funny to see his frustrations with them sometimes. I came in to find Phoenix with his bib duct taped around his neck today. Apparently you don't get away with ripping it off 100 times when dad's in charge of lunch. I think Ryan is still surprised at how much they cry and scream and really just how crazy these kids are. I tried telling him we needed to go check on the kids one day and sure enough we walked out and Phoenix had a big knife in his hand! And of course they're all over things they weren't before. I keep having to rescue Phoenix after he keeps climbing up on our stroller and getting stuck in flying position with his arms and legs straight out as he's sprawled out perched across the top of the extra jump seat in the front. And yes, they've grown just enough to be able to reach the elevator button that's just outside our apartment. This could prove to be very problematic. I might actually be glad for how often it breaks down now.

And I have to say I actually enjoyed my day with the twins separated. It was the easiest airplane ride I've had in a while (well, minus the hour and a half we had to wait in the airport for Ryan to pick us up. Just imagine bleeding children, children throwing tantrums on the baggage claim floor, children running away down the halls and out the automatic doors, pushing carts all over the baggage areas, people yelling, "Where are the adults with these children?!?" and me getting in a tiff with a snotty woman who wanted to take our cart. It was ugly.) But then the next day we went swimming. And grocery shopping. And ran errands. Wow, just imagine all the things I could do if I only had one baby! With all of them I can hardly go anywhere and we're stuck in the house so much. But two was such a cinch! I kept wondering if it was having the third kid around that was hard or if it was just Phoenix who makes life hard. When he came back I realized it's both. :)

Anyhow, as a random question - I know many of you have done Disneyland or Disneyworld with kids. We're attempting it when my sister comes in town with her family in a few weeks. I'd love to take our awesome stroller - but do you just leave them sitting outside the rides? I'm just afraid - what if someone just walks off with it? I mean, it's pretty unique and you can probably tell it was expensive, so do I take it, or take crappy strollers we don't care as much about?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coming home

So Ryan, hope you enjoyed your month of bachelorhood. (I finally realized - hey, wait a minute - why don't you take the kids and go away for a month!?) I'm sure Ryan missed us though. We sure missed him and we're anxious to come home. This is the first time I've been really ready to leave Utah. And the first time I've seen my mom really ready for us to leave. Did anyone catch her comment a while back where she said "how fun and darling they usually are, except when teething or sick." Well, guess what? They have been teething and/or sick the whole time we've been here - so I wonder what that means? :) (Why, oh why do my kids scream and get crazy for weeks surrounding the breaking of each new tooth rather than just days?)

Anyway, my mom has been amazing as always, but yeah, we're a handful. And these babies are at such a hard age that it just wears you out. Nothing can just be fun with them because within minutes of any activity or moving to a new room, they've found exactly what they shouldn't find or are obsessed with going exactly where they shouldn't go and it's all a constant and unpleasant battle after that. And it must be time to leave because these kids look a little banged up - we've got black eyes, bruised foreheads, cut noses, scratches, scrapes, and who knows what all over these boys. We're not used to this many hazards and this many ways to get into mischief I guess.

Like every time I go to the bathroom or answer the phone or basically just turn around, this is what I come back to:

(I think my mom is a little obsessed with her automatic pencil sharpener - I have never in my life seen so many murderously sharp pencils in one location.)

So Ryan, here's pretty much what you missed:

Wide open sidewalks and bare feet - what more do you need?

Always accompanied by a few "guess where I'm going - catch me if you can!" glances, inevitably leading to being fetched out of the gutter for the billionth time (apparently it holds the same fascination as the toilet).

Thank goodness for the times we had extra hands around, but yeah - we tired of that activity quickly. I always feel a little bad that my kids are getting robbed of their childhood - just being able to run around outside for hours on end, but they're just too crazy to keep control of. Maybe that's why they're so fat. :)

I love how this next picture somehow doesn't look too out of place with their build:

And don't they look like they're strategizing for their next play?

I guess I'm just happy anytime they look like they're playing together rather than just stealing toys from each other and shrieking.

Some of your kids even picked up weird habits.

Ashton is seirously obsessed with this now - putting his blankie over his head and just bonking around the house running into things and falling down. A little hazardous. I didn't catch much of the bonking - I'm usually busy trying to keep him from hurting himself. Every time I go into his room he's in his crib doing it, crashing into the sides and falling all over the place.

But I'm sure you'll be excited to come home to these faces again!

I should have gotten a better picture, but this was Cash's uniform the entire time we've been here - new swim trunks that my sister Julie bought him paired with an 18-24 month size swim shirt of the babies (yes it looks as small on him as it sounds). And a pair of black crocs on the wrong feet. Yeah, can't get him to wear anything else. (Thanks for that ugly spiderman swimsuit, Julie!! She even knew I wouldn't buy something like that for him so she just had to go ahead and do it! I'm pretty sure I won't ever be buying action figure wear for my kids until they're old enough to get a job and drive themselves to the store to buy it :) For church there is a lot of crying and the second we walk in the door from church he runs in the house and comes back to me with his uniform. Sometimes when a swim shirt was wet and he had to wear a different one, he carried the swim shirt in the car with us wherever we went. We even had a few nights of putting the uniform on over his pjs, since I said it was too cold in the basement to wear just shorts. Oh well, guess he was always ready for a little water action (which is somewhat ironic seeing how bad he hated swim lessons! Although he did stop crying by the last week, for the most part, thankfully).

I will say I'm already slightly sad thinking about our travels home - my sister is nice enough to take one of the babies with her just long enough to drop him off in Miami and fly all the way back home. But since she's flying standby and the flights look better on Tuesday, she'll be coming late Tuesday and we leave early Monday. The boys have never really been separated! I'm already sad missing my baby!

A million thanks to those who helped out with the kids while I was here though. It's sure nice to be around family or to go run errands while your kids are asleep and have some built in babysitters.

Anyway, we'll be home soon Ryan, so, um, brace yourself?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Makeover of the week

So remember a few months ago when I turned my one naturally dark brown haired sister into a platinum blond? (And half of her hair fell out? :) Well, believe it or not she's actually still platinum, still looks fabulous, and still has hair!! And it's actually much healthier now since it was just getting years worth of color out of her ends that was so harsh, but the new hair growing in is taking it much better.

Well, this trip it was taking my other sister with highlights (usually she has more than this first picture, this was just the only one I had of her) back to dark and giving her a bit of a change since she felt like she wanted to try more of an actual style. Check it out!

I have to tell a little funny story about this sister though. She's notoriously kind of a "Molly Mormon" as we call it, or the kind that lives everything to a T, dresses super modestly, took me well into the 21st century to get her out of tapered jeans, spells out in a hushed voice words like S-E-X when she's talking - you know. Anyway, a few years ago I tried to do her hair and give her some side swept bangs. It looked hot. But I got done and she looked in the mirror and said in a somewhat high-pitched anxious voice, "But I'm in PRIMARY! This looks too sexy!!" So for those of you scandalous people with side-swept bangs, just watch your morals, huh? And the things you're teaching those children! :) Hopefully I'll succeed in talking her into keeping it this time.

Speaking of hair, I'm going to really miss having nice hair when we go back to Miami next week. I even wake up with lovely hair - not all sweated in and smoshed around. Welcome back fun buns and pony tails.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Did that last post mean NOTHING?!?

Brooke and I had our girl's day out. We went up to Park City. The plan was to go up, do a little shopping at the outlets, go check out the arts festival that was going on, eat some good food, hang out.

Husband: Stop reading here.

We went to the outlets. I wasn't even that jazzed about going to the outlets because I never find anything good at outlets. Generally I think sale prices in the regular store are better and I hate that often stores just have a crappier quality line they put out for their outlets. But I figured we could check it out for a little while.

Um. We stayed for nine hours.

I am not sure I have ever shopped that long in my entire life. Not even when I was like single and working and had money. We were a little shocked when the store locked up and we were like, "What?" Yes, we closed down the store at 9pm. We got there just after noon. I'm still wondering how that was physically possible.

But I have to admit I am super excited about some of my purchases - I even got a fantastic designer dress from BCBG for one of next year's fancy events! And that has to guarantee I get neither fat nor pregnant in the next year. (Phew.)

But. I am not super excited about facing the hubby. You can imagine the damage you can do in nine hours. Um, happy birthday to me in 3 months? And Merry Christmas? Maybe having crazy kids that you can never take shopping is a really good thing.

I even tried to call Ryan a few times during the day to warn him I might buy a dress. "Well, you need to find a balance between needs and wants," he preaches. "Oh great," I reply, "You've been reading the blog." He laughs. "So can I get the dress?" He says ok. I hesitate a little and say, "Yeah, cause I've kind of already been spending money." "How much money?" he asks. "Um, well, I just spent this much," I say. "That's all?" "Um, in one store.... Oh, wait... What? ... Uh must be a bad connection...I think I might l o s e y o u... t a l k l a t e r..."

Yeah, holy guilt!! Seriously, after my last post?
The irony.