Friday, October 22, 2010


I went with Ryan to Chicago last weekend for his ophthalmology conference. It was fantastic. Perfect fall weather - sunny with crisp, cool air, thankfully bringing on the change of clothing that I really miss this time of year. And a few days of blessed non-fuzzy hair. Not to mention an amazingly cool city. (We really love big cities.)

Turns out it was a great year to go too since this year Ryan got it paid for so we lived it up and stayed in the new Trump hotel - one of the tallest buildings in the U.S. and super swanky.  I think it was the reward for the one of the first winners of The Apprentice to oversee it's development. We even had super posh bathrobes and slippers - although with the monogrammed TRUMP right on my feet I sort of felt like I was sneaking into the slippers of Donald himself every night.  It even had a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and everything. Tons of mood lighting (I was very fond of that since I always think I look nasty in fluorescent hotel lighting), buttons for everything, and $25 blinged out bottled waters available.


And I was just about to say, hmm, the only hotel I may have stayed in that was nicer than this was one in Malaysia that had tv screens inlaid in the bathroom mirror.  Until I realized, oh, this one does too.

Great views of the city out the window (of the John Hancock building I think? Or is that the Sears Tower?)

I did some good shopping the first day I was there until Ryan was off work and then we went out for some Chicago-style deep dish pizza and swung by some lounge with people from work for a while.  The next day while Ryan was at a conference I figured it would actually be more economically efficient for me to pay 29 bucks to go sit on a sightseeing bus all day than for me to be roaming free....which would of course mean more shopping.  I made the mistake of getting off at one little stop on the tour...on the Magnificent Mile of course with an H&M right there, and well, I'm only by an H&M once every few years.  And then I was reminded that they have a maternity section while I was hunting around for a bathroom, and while a tiny maternity section, it packed a good punch, and well... my economic efficiency theory went out the window.

That night we went to a work party at the Ritz Carlton, then off to another dinner at some French Vietnamese place.  And on to another after party at some other hotel after that.... Really, it turned out to not be as restful a trip as I thought it might be what with all the late night partying, early morning trips to the airport, and my aching body from all the walking.

The next day Ryan ditched the conference and we took an architectural boat tour (I loved both the tours I took and learned a ton of interesting facts).

A few of my favorite buildings were both right by our hotel - the Wrigley Building (left).

And the Chicago Tribune building (right).
 This one was especially cool because inlaid around the building are various mismatched pieces - a piece from the Taj Mahal, a piece from the Forbidden City in Peking, a piece from Pompei, a piece from the pyramids, and on and on from various historical places around the world - even a piece from the moon.

We then ate our way through everything authentically Chicago that we hadn't tried yet - ate a Chicago dog, an Italian beef sandwich, and another version of Chicago-style pizza.

All the rich Chicago history made me love seeing pictures like this around too. 

 Then we stopped at at the Merchandise Mart - the largest public building in the world (just smaller than the Pentagon, but the Pentagon isn't a public building) and looked over the free Luxe home show that was going on. I've decided I love this type of kitchen:

While I really like the clean look of more modern-looking kitchens and I love dark woods the most, I've realized I love the ambiance created by a really warm-looking kitchen. To me it seems really homey and inviting and says come chat with me in the kitchen while we make dinner; bring your friends home and don't worry about getting your finger prints all over the stainless steel appliances.

That night we went over to the John Hancock building (another one of the tallest in the city) and went to a lounge up top with amazing views of the city.  Even the bathrooms had the same views.

Then we had a 10:30pm reservation for dinner (I know, that's so weird to me) at a place called the Girl and the Goat - apparently owned by a girl who was a winner of Top Chef (Stephanie - maybe from season one? That's supposed to be her in the picture although I hear it doesn't look like her).  Cool and chic place, with a totally funky menu:

That's right, roasted pig face.  And lots of goat parts and tongues and livers and other strange animals and body parts that you don't normally eat.  (And no, I wasn't a big fan of the pig face - strange now that I think about it, I really do love pig in most any form....)

Anyhow, it made for yet another very late night and a wake up call at 5am to get to the airport and back to my sick, disobedient and screaming children.  Aaahhhh.  Really, I have a hard adjustment getting back to real life.  Either my kids get out of whack when I'm gone or I just forget for a few days how demanding they are and how much they can scream and cry and not listen to anything I say!!  At least while we're away all we seem to remember is how cute they are and the funny things they say that we miss.  I guess I should go away more often.  :)   (And yes, I realize I have a pretty good track record of this lately, with another childless trip to L.A. coming up next month.)  Thanks to my mom who was brave enough to watch all three crazy kids. I'm sure she was reminded of how her life once was and wondered what she must have done wrong to have to be going through it again.  :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


A few nights ago as I was lying in bed mulling over Little Man #4, I said to Ryan, "Hmm, I guess someone else wants to come to our family. I didn't see it coming, but well, I can't blame him."  :)  Truthfully though, every time I go to the grocery store with all three in a cart I can guarantee there will be another little kid sitting alone in his shopping cart who stares and looks longingly at our cart full of kids. And as we pass by and his little neck is craning to look after us, I say, "Party in our cart!"  The few little kids that have lived in our building always seem to like coming to our house too - there is just something about walking into a house full of kids that really feels like instant fun - even if my kids aren't necessarily playing right with them.

 But the truth is, Ryan and I just love having siblings.  I can't imagine either of us having having less. I love it when we're all together and I it feels incomplete when anyone is missing. I guess I'm happy our kids will have that, although having a big family is terrifying. Especially since I sort of feel now like we're probably not done. I really have felt a little girl since before I was married. So I thought Cash would be a girl. When I was pregnant with the twins I had mentioned one time before we knew what (or how many) we were having that if this wasn't a girl she was really going to be waiting a long time. When we found out there were multiples in there I couldn't believe one of them wasn't a girl! And this time I said kind of jokingly before we got pregnant that God would probably give me a boy just to make me keep going. (It didn't mean I wasn't still shocked when I found out it wasn't actually a girl though!)  Maybe it's just been the carrot before the horse to get me to keep going and I'll never actually have a girl. Who knows. But I had a blessing one time that said children would be given to me. I thought great, I'm going to have kids, but when I was pregnant with the twins it totally took on new meaning to me. I really was being given children. I had asked for one but got gifted a second. This time around it's another one I didn't see coming. Exciting. A huge blessing. And still a little scary.

I'm sure Ryan will read this with a quizzical look on his face at the part about having more.  :)  It might take some convincing. I actually admitted to him after we found out this one was a boy that when I was a teenager and we used to do that string test to see how many kids you were having it always said I was having four boys. But seriously, who ever put any stock in that?  Weird. And then I told him- um, yeah, it said four boys...and two girls. Yikes. I really don't know that I have six in mind...and he definitely doesn't!

But yes, you better believe I was pretty relieved there was only one in there.

Now our real fear is that with three older brothers only 20 months apart this poor little guy is going to be seriously ganged up on. Always running after them, trying to keep up and getting doors slammed in his face. :)  I guess he'll learn to be tough.  And hopefully he'll have some stellar qualities to help himself stand out in a family of 4 brothers. 

Sometimes I really wish I was pregnant in Utah though where people are used to seeing pregnant women toting around 3, 4, 5 other kids. Nobody even bats an eye. Trust me, people here bat an eye. Many eyes. I almost wet my pants laughing so hard at Costco the other night when the twins were throwing such an enormous and voluminous tantrum getting in the cart after we ate that literally everyone in the food court, everyone in the huge lines at the checkout registers and everyone walking out were all staring at our circus and my pregnant belly. Maybe there would be fewer batting eyes if I could get this brood to be a little more discreet.  :)

Now if anyone hears of a boys name that sounds like he could possibly be a rock star, I'm clean out of ideas.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Triple doubles

While we're on the topic of my magnetism for statistical improbability, how about this picture of my two roommates and me?

This picture makes me so happy!  I love it. I've mentioned before the fact that two of my best friends and roommies from BYU ended up having identical twin boys also.  Those of you who may get the BYU Magazine can look for a little article about us and these pictures in the fall issue coming out soon. Pretty fun that we got in, although don't get too excited - for all the humorous stories and details we told him it's a pretty bland article.  :)  But hey, I realize there are more pressing issues in the world and at least the pictures are cute!  Besides the fact that having identical twins is special; having them with two of your best friends has been amazing.