Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO!!

I'm sweating again. If there was one thing that trip to San Francisco did for me it may have been to renew my desire to get out of Miami sooner than later. :) We could not have had better weather there. Perfectly sunny every day, 60s, maybe 70s, a slightly cool breeze - just enough to keep you comfortable really. Perfect weather for wearing jeans, a few layers, scarves, boots - all my favorite things. I think my eventual residence may have more to do with the fashion it allows than anything else. I will say this - I detest hot weather clothes. Being modest and all, there's only so much you can take off, you will still be sweating, and you won't look nearly as chic in your capris and t-shirt as those wearing less than you.

ANYHOW. Was the trip fabulous? Absolutely. Did I miss my kids? Well, I did have a real maternal instinct kick in on the plane ride there when I heard a child start crying halfway through - just a sad, I'm confused cry, but really, it sort of made me almost cry myself. I got over it though. :) Did the kids make out fine with the babysitters? Apparently. Phoenix even wanted to go back to James when I tried to hold him when I got home! And the pregnant lady didn't go into labor, so I guess that's a success. Did I absolutely love San Francisco? Yes! Did I pretend like I was a doctor to get in for free food? Yes. Did I even carry presentation posters across the country to be part of the group? Yes. Did I forget them and leave them stranded in the airport multiple times? Oops, yes. Was it so awesome to not dress like a mom for a week? YES. Did people not recognize me because of it? Also yes. Did I remember that Ryan and I have a really good time together when we're not stressed out and bossing each other around about taking care of the kids? Yes! Did we party like rock stars until wee hours of the morning? You bet. (Ok, like rock stars for us, but we still crashed before the other 99% of the people we were with. But cut us some slack, we're not used to this lifestyle.) Did I shop for 8 hours straight? Yes. I mean, yes.

Did I get a little sick of standing around in heels for hours on end socializing over cocktails? Yes. (Drunk people must have some real stamina.)

So yeah, it was a great time. In my pretend doctoring I even sat in on a few presentations at the conference. Day one: cosmetics stuff, lasers, before and after pictures, that kind of stuff. Cool. Day two: bloody eye sockets and disengaged eyeballs - um, yeah, I didn't really sign up for this. I better go shopping.

Ryan presenting his poster at the conference:














China town



















Golden Gate Bridge. Really cool to see the fog rolling in over it.






























Justin (a.k.a., Roomie) after running across the bridge:


















Pier 39:
































The boys eating crab. (Too much work for me, just get me to Ghiradelli already so I can get some chocolate.)



















In the hotel getting ready to go out:

















Chillin' in the hotel room after yet another high-heeled episode:






















Got to go to the Oakland temple with some cousins:





























Saw South Pacific with my aunt and uncle:




(Also went to dinner with some other cousins but forgot to take pictures.)










The program also sent us to this crazy, over-the-top, cabaret-style show called Beach Blanket Babylon with these wild hats and costumes and performers poking fun at everyone in politics and show biz. It was a bit crazy, but had some really funny moments. My personal favorite was Madonna - over 50 years old with her perfectly sculpted face and body set to the song "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked. It was hilarious.






(Picture from their website.)


Check out the art on the walls in this lounge we went to:

video

So cool. You'd be looking at this picture on the wall and then you'd see the person blink or shift subtly. I loved it.

Took a cable car:





















Stopped at Lombard Street:






















And I finally g
ot to indulge in an enormous sundae from Ghiradelli. (Not photographed - like I would take the time to take a picture while Ryan is busy eating it all!)

And my renewed energy-for-my-kids! even lasted a whole day after I got home.

Actually, that reminds me of the only negative thing - when other people take care of my kids and get along so well! This happened when my cousins watched them a couple months ago too for an over-nighter. I come back to a clean house, happy kids, and an "everything was great!" Really? It wasn't even a little hard? Come on, you at least lost your patience a couple times, right? The house didn't look like this 10 minutes ago and you were in a total state of frenzy? And at some point one was bleeding, one was screaming and the other one was breaking something, right? Wow. I either have really good babysitters or I'm kind of bad at this! :)

Anyway, it was awesome. I'm definitely in for Chicago next year!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friends with skills




My friend Megan came over yesterday and showed a group of us how to make fondant and work with it. It was so fun. It was marshmallow fondant so it actually even tasted pretty good, unlike regular fondant. It felt really nice to focus on some creativity - like I could actually feel the rusty wheels in my brain turning. Although I was thinking that it wasn't too hard and seemed pretty manageable, I realized it took me a few hours to make like 10 cookies! It was the creative process that was the holdup I think. And screaming kids. But anyhow, wouldn't a plate of these make you happy?!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Step Behind

Today is just one of those days where I seem to be about one step behind those stinking twins. I go to the bathroom to come out to a floor covered in oatmeal topped with crushed graham crackers. (I hate cleaning oatmeal off the floor, by the way, it just smears everywhere). I don't know what it is, but from the time Ashton decides he's "all done" I have about .5 seconds to grab his bowl or it is all over the floor. I usually watch in agony from about 3 feet away as a bowl of cereal goes down and splatters over a 6 foot radius. And once he does it Phoenix always follows. Anyhow, while I was cleaning up that mess, they managed to dump milk all over the elliptical. While I was cleaning that up, they both got up on the kitchen table and started throwing everything they could find off. While I was cleaning that up, they got in our closet, left a mess shoes all over the house, unplugged everything in the house and managed to get wedged stuck in the closet. While I was taking care of that mess, they found the diaper bag on the counter and somehow pulled it down, throwing out a trail of contents as they dragged it to a hidden spot where they were found pulling apart every single item in my wallet. All this time I was trying to get us ready to go to playgroup. I finally just start yelling at everyone to get out of the house and into the hallway while I try to pull whatever remaining things I need together so we can leave when two kids come up poopy. Ugh. And interspersed between all these events is incessant crying as at least everyone manages to fall or get hurt more than once and needs consoling. (As if I had any sympathy for any of them.) So we finally made it to playgroup. Just as everyone else was leaving.

Monday, October 12, 2009

California, here I come

In just over a week I will find myself in San Francisco. I haven't thought about this trip much. I haven't planned any itineraries. All I know is Ryan has a conference, I am tagging along, sleeping in a hotel with him and another single dude (yeah, nice), and I will have no children for a whole five days. And I won't really worry about them. I don't seem to have a hard time enjoying myself when I'm away from them and I seldom even think about them. I probably should however, seeing that I'm leaving a pregnant woman with 4 little boys to take care of for most of the time (her little boy plus mine), and the rest of the time I am leaving them with a single 31 year-old bachelor. Hmm.

A few months ago because of facebook, I realized a guy that went to jr. high and high school lived only minutes from me here in Miami. We hung out with him and his girlfriend. He comes and gets haircuts. He comes over to hang out when the missionaries invite themselves over. He and his girlfriend also made the mistake of saying, "We would totally watch your kids for you if you ever need it!" I don't know how serious they were, but well, those are the kind of golden phrases I hang on to. So I took them up on that and asked if they could watch the babies for the weekend while we're in SF. They agreed. Then they broke up. James is coming alone. Bless his heart is about all I can think of to say. :) But he says he's the oldest of 7 and he can handle taking care of kids. We sure hope so. And he's said that he has also had numerous offers for help as of late. I tell him to take them up on it. I tell our single neighbor all the time that he should just go take the twins for a walk down on South Beach- he'd have no lack of attention. And when the girls come doting he just mentions how he's babysitting, and bam - suddenly he's single and super sweet.

Anyhow, over the last week there are two reasons that I realize I am most excited about this trip:
1. THE WEATHER!!! I am sure there are some of you out there wearing jeans. I am not. I actually even tried one evening last week and was brutally mocked by the weather for my attempt. It is this time of year that I start to die. It should be getting cool. I should have stopped sweating. I should be enjoying a change of wardrobe. But I'm not. Instead we have been in the 90s all of October, and yesterday my cousins even saw something that said it was 91 or 93 degrees or something but felt like 108. UGH. So on this trip I will wear jeans. I will wear a jacket. I will probably be a huge Miami wuss and complain about how cold it is. I will love every minute of it.

2. I will not have to lift any babies for a whole 5 days! This may not be something any of you think about, but my back is awful lately and I cringe even thinking about going anywhere with my kids. 100 lbs into the stroller. 100 lbs out of the stroller. 100 lbs into the car. 100 lbs out of the car. 100 lbs getting picked up for diaper changes, into the high chairs, into cribs... you get the idea. It's killing me. I don't think people understand the pang of jealousy I feel when I lift up their lightweight children and am in shock at how light they are. Mine are dense little bundles of dead weight. I've told Ryan that if we have kids again, I will be praying for skinny children.

So now I need to start thinking of things I want to do there to entertain myself while Ryan is in conferences. I have family there I'd like to see, and I'm just so excited because I haven't been to San Francisco since I was young. If anyone I know happens to be in that area in just over a week - let me know!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We're getting a temple!!

This weekend is general conference in our church where the Prophet and the Apostles speak. Well, score for Ryan - he hooked up our computer so we could watch it on our tv. It makes me feel so at home since it's broadcast on all the television stations in Utah. But since we've moved, for the last 5 years we've had to watch it over the internet, and let me tell you that all 5 of us in our bedroom in front of the computer for 4 two-hour sessions of conference over one weekend is miserable. So even though he was threatened within inches of his life if he didn't make it happen, he did. (Although there were some precarious moments like him canceling our high-speed cable internet RIGHT before conference and getting us just a step up from dial up. You bet I called and changed that pretty quickly.)

BUT - today in conference they announced we're getting a temple in Ft. Lauderdale! Currently the closest temple is in Orlando, which is a 4 hour drive, and makes for a really long day if you're there and back in a day, and a whole day of someone babysitting your kids, unless you drag them on the drive with you. So a mere 30 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale is a true answer to prayer. We have been praying so hard for a temple to serve south Florida and it's so exciting for us to have that answered. Temples are sort of at the height of Mormon worship where we learn about God and His plan, and are bound together as families for eternity. Ryan and I were married in the Salt Lake temple (pictured). The videos below explain more. We feel so blessed!

Mormon Messages: The Blessings of the Temple

Mormon Messages: Why Mormons Build Temples

Thursday, October 1, 2009

HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO IT?!?

Yesterday was the first day Cash went to his new little preschool (little as in there's only three of them in it). By the time I was in the car at 8:30am with everyone fed and dressed trying to get through morning traffic on time it suddenly dawned on me: I need to breathe. Wow. How do you people do this - EVERY DAY??? I could feel the muscles in my neck tensing up, my back starting to hurt and my anxiety levels skyrocketing. Isn't that ridiculous? Just to get my 3 year-old to preschool at a friend's house? But I realized that I haven't had to be somewhere on time, early in the morning in years really. Probably not since my working days. Ok, there are probably a lot of places I should have been on time (yeah, and if you know us at church, you will sadly know this is one of those), but I also take it as a credit to my own sanity-maintenance that I just haven't really sweated stuff since I've had kids. And so in a way I feel a little good about it. And in another way I realize that's why I'm so dang out of practice at it. But really, when your kids don't really wake up until 8 or 8:30, it's almost a darn miracle to get three totally dependent children dressed, fed, diapered and out to the car by 8:30. So way to go me. I did it once. We'll see if I can do it again. :)

Speaking of schools, I did my research and my worst fears were confirmed - we're in the boundaries to be slotted for the same schools that lead up to the infamous high school that our babysitter goes to - remember, the one where she got made fun of for being the only virgin on the cheerleading squad? The one where they don't have funds to have lockers or books for their students? The one where they offer HIV testing? The one where they have a day care?? Yeah, and the one that is 0.5% Caucasian. That's right, that's a point five percent. And we're not even just caucasian. That poor little Cash is practically translucent. So, you can imagine that the elementary schools leading up to that high school are also the same. Which is leading me to my worries about next year's Pre-K. I'll keep looking, but all the good ones are far away - and with my recent realization of my elevated stress levels having to actually be somewhere on time, I'm already feeling a full-blown panic attack coming on just thinking about having to do it every morning. And I have to do this every morning - for like, the next 25 years? How do you people do it? Can't I just hire it out or something? A surrogate parent for the morning drop off? I could even try to find a tall blond.... :)