Thursday, December 23, 2010

Loving it

Can I say how much I'm loving being in Utah???  Ok, flying all across the country 7 months pregnant by myself with all three kids (and they were still alive when we got here) was nothing short of a Christmas miracle, but we did it.  And 4 hours later I spent the night throwing up, but hey - can you imagine if that had been a few hours earlier?  While I was on the plane alone with all my kids??  For that reason I couldn't even be mad about being sick. 

Back to being in Utah.  I used to think maybe the gooey goodness of the Utah folk would drive me crazy after living out of state, but OH NOT SO.  Can I tell you I almost started crying last night in Costco when the lines were crazy long and I saw two women going for the same line and when the one noticed the other there, she said, "Oh, sorry, were you coming for this line?"  To which the woman cheerily responded, "Oh, no problem, I'll just go to another one!"  I about died.  Can I tell you THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN MIAMI!  And anytime someone was near me in the aisles they would so sweetly say, "Oh sorry, I'm just going to sneak around you here if that's ok!"  People have stopped to let your car in in crowded parking lots, chatted with you in store lines and talked to me as if I was the coolest person in the world with my out-of-state license.  The Wal-Mart workers are actually helpful (in Miami when I've asked for an item I couldn't find they say, "Did you see it?  If you didn't see it, we don't have it.") All the stores here are well-stocked, employees actually know what they're talking about, and Costco even carries different stuff that's cool and that local people would want. And people here actually think like I do.  It's been so pleasant.

The last little while in Miami my children and I have been screamed profanities at by some grown man who apparently wanted to cut into my line of traffic but I couldn't understand his ambiguous gestures out the opposite window of the way he wanted to go.... I've seen other grown men jump out of their cars and get in fights with pedestrians on their way to work; I've been trying to get on a train pregnant with a triple stroller and had not one person scoot over to let me on (when they easily could have and instead just sat there and stared at me without moving while the train stalled for 3 minutes. I had to wait for the next train.)  I have watched a man irritated with the ridiculous wait at the post office walk out the door and then turn and kick the post office door, bashing it in and shattering the glass all over the other customers.... And I've called my doctor's office when I finally got my test results after asking for them for months to say, "Um, the wrong tests were done on me" to be met by a prolonged silence and then a, "So?  What do you want me to do about it?"  Oh, I don't know, fix it??  Oh, Miami.

So a little Christmas cheer, some snow, family, courteous people, and lots of holiday festivities have been so welcome.  We have done so many fun things here - and it seems to all be so much easier and accessible than Miami. The kids have been in heaven.  We've gone to an indoor kids place full of bounce houses, the Children's museum, a hockey game, birthday parties, a nickel arcade, Temple Square to see the lights, cookie exchange parties, plus spent so much time with family and cousins.  And the kids have even slept in until 9am every day. (They won't go to bed until late, but it's so weird because it's not due to the time change because that's 11am our time!)

And oh Curves. Let me take a minute to talk about the entertaining nature of Curves.  I was worried that I would totally lose any level of fitness I had at this stage in the pregnancy while here in Utah since I was used to going to the gym a lot in Miami, so my mom came home one day and said that I could do 30 days free at Curves where she goes.  So I really know nothing about the place and have never been, but I figured it would be better than nothing.  Let me tell you, the first time I went in, it was me, 4 geriatric women with perms in those cozy brown old lady shoes and a 300lb woman with oxygen tubes in her nose.  Oh my goodness. It was really hard not to laugh.  Let's just say it's probably good for my pregnant self esteem - in Miami everyone is like exotic and Brazilian, full of implants in all sorts of places, perfectly spray-tanned, and they all have amazing bodies.  So I get comment after comment from the chatty old ladies about what good shape I'm in.  :)   And it's even cuter because in between each machine they have these little mats that you are supposed to just move in place or do something aerobic on and I love seeing the old ladies "jog" in place, dance around and twist their hips, or some just wave their hands in circles.  Oh man, it's fun.

Not to say we don't have any fun in Miami. I did realize the bonus of Christmas activities in Miami is that you can stand outside for hours and enjoy them cause it's like 75 degrees.  So here are a few pictures of some Christmas festivities we did before we left Miami.




(About as good as a "cute" posed Christmas picture of the boys gets)

 Cash and one of his best little buddies, Samuel:


Hope you all have a merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I haven't mentioned much about Cash and his school since the start when he wasn't so fond of it.  It took a good couple months for the first words out of his mouth every morning not to be, "I don't want to go to school!" Man, I thought I hated mornings before - but having to get three dependent and unwilling children out the door by 8am every morning is miserable. It usually involves lots of yelling as we get closer and closer to 8am and the kids have been sitting in front of their breakfast for 35 minutes, multiple children have been put in timeout for yelling and screaming all morning and inevitably everyone has to poop at 8:01.

But, at least Cash finally enjoys it.  His teacher says he does very well and I have to laugh when I hear him talking about continents and all the things I wouldn't think he would know yet at this age.  We got to go for a little Thanksgiving party with him back in November. It was so funny to see that as soon as he came out Phoenix was beside himself with excitement running right up to him laughing and yelling "Cashy!!" and would hardly leave him alone the whole time we were there.




I could tell people were a little overwhelmed by the energy of my twins there (you can see the devious look on Phoenix's face as he's making a break for the tricycles in the play area when we should be sitting and listening to the Pilgrim lady give her lecture. Somehow other people's children sit still....)  Anyhow, it ended up with me dragging them out of the place in a tantrum-y screaming disaster as usual - but hey, what's new.

 We've also been doing a little pre-school with some friends for a few of our toddlers. This of course also involves a lot of timeouts trying to get them to just understand appropriate behavior for seriously a few minutes out of the week. But for the most part it's really fun and we've done lots of fun activities with the kids. I think some of these pictures are from a Halloween party (complete with treasure hunt for treat bags), B week with a "birthday" party and modified form of "bingo" and decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas.


Of course while the other kids are busy making gingerbread houses I look over to see this (not even just picking the candy off??)  -



(And of course days when I host I usually make extra materials and repeat it with Cash when he gets home so he doesn't feel left out.)

Now if only the twins were as well-behaved at school as Cash.  Oh, actually, he wasn't at first, believe it or not!  I forgot about that. When he first started I asked him what they did out at playtime and he said, "We play fight." Confused, I said, "You mean chase?" He said, "No, fight." Sure enough one day when I was waiting to pick him up I saw him turn and hit some kid next to him, who then shoved him back and all the boys then started wrestling and fighting and throwing each other on the ground. I was in shock!  Cash has never played that way with anyone!  That's why I had no idea what he would even mean by playing fight!  So yeah, my child was corrupted only weeks into school.  :)  Luckily I think it's settled down a bit now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trouble makers

The twins are at a fun age. It's so fun to watch them become little people and learn to communicate and especially interact with each other.

And they are going to be the death of me.

(At least I tried to start out positive.  :)   They are really going through such a hard stage right now!  They are so deliberately disobedient, scream, cry and throw tantrums half of the day, and I have absolutely zero control over them. I'm not sure what to do - I'm just trying the survive-until-they-grow-out-of-it tactic right now.  We follow through with consequences - they could spend half their day in time out and it wouldn't phase them. They are totally unaffected by their behavior making me sad or upsetting me (that totally worked on Cash - he will still start crying if he ever sees me crying).  They are just such a different breed than he was. I know that having two of them to think up mischief and make the other think their behavior is ok definitely plays a part, but man I'm hoping they chill out before this baby comes!

They're the type that when I say "don't throw that in the toilet!" will defiantly stand there and do it right in front of me.  I walked in on them the other day reading books so nicely that even though it was time for naps I thought, I'll let them have 5 more minutes because I love it when they get into reading. So five minutes later I go in to a room literally full with piles and piles of pages ripped out of books.  Sigh. And their tantrums and fits are just the kind that are totally unpredictable and completely irrational. Like one time Phoenix dropped a grape in the car and I couldn't reach it and he screamed for the next thirty-seven minutes straight while I was driving. And they seriously think up so much mischief that I wouldn't even imagine! Like standing up on the kitchen tables today while eating breakfast and literally throwing their untouched bowls of cereal off the table. And they are so destructive. Heaven help me.

As another case in point, tonight was our first trip to the ER with any of our boys.  I guess I should count myself lucky that we've made it this long. They had pushed a chair over to the kitchen,  and were having a grand time sharpening all the pencils in the electric pencil sharpener. I came in to check on them and they kept telling me to "go away!"  Knowing that this age is all about the quest for independence I thought I could let them feel like big boys and keep going by themselves. I kept going in to check on them or periodically fill requests for pickles, etc. The activity seemed to wear off, and soon Ashton was over sitting on the floor watching a show with Cash. I heard a sound that I know from frequency is a head hitting our floor so I went out to see if Ashton was ok, and I saw him try to sit up and hit his head again. I was telling him to stop hitting his head on the floor as I went out to him and I picked him up and noticed he seemed a little lethargic. So I sat with him for a minute and then Phoenix came over to me sticking out his tongue with something on it - and carrying a pill bottle of Ibuprofen, but that one was still closed. At that point I yelled for Ryan to come out since right as I was scraping the remnants of a pill out of Phoenix's mouth, Ashton started throwing up and was throwing up a lot and hardly catching his breath so his face was kind of swelling. So everything pretty much broke loose all at once...and then Ryan noticed a bottle of Ambien that was open on the floor.  SERIOUSLY. Of all the medications in our cupboard that was the one they managed to get open??  They had pushed the chair over, climbed up on the counter and gotten in the far cupboards of the kitchen? So pretty soon Phoenix couldn't stand up straight and was falling all over the place and we realized they'd both taken some, although from our estimation it was probably only one pill each, but could have been two or three, although we'd seen Phoenix's reaction of wanting to spit out just one - so hopefully he just had had a half of one before I got it out of his mouth. Ashton had obviously had more.

So I called poison control and they said we should take them to the emergency room. So it took us a while after a few more puking episodes and kids that couldn't move independently, so by the time we actually got to the doctor they were over the worst of it and were just still unsteady and a bit loopy. They didn't have to pump their stomachs or anything and just wanted to keep us for observation for 4 hours.  They got a little more active, but were then just hazardous trying to climb all over things in their drunken state. Their little bit of delirium was actually kind of cute too.  By the time we were done, we had been moved back out to the waiting room just so they could watch the tv and stop going crazy in the one small room - and they were screaming and throwing tantrums and climbing on the furniture and getting into everything we told them not to.  As the nurse came out and was discharging us she said the idea was the effects of the medication should have worn off in 4 hours. Looking at my kids laying on the floor screaming and yelling, I said, "Don't worry - they're exactly back to their normal selves." 

Sadly, I realized my kids are far more tolerable when heavily sedated.  :)

But I realized that thank heavens we didn't have to sit in the ER for four hours with them under normal consciousness or it would have been really unbearable. And boy was I glad Ryan was home uncharacteristically early today. And that it wasn't any worse than it was.

But I do love the interaction between my boys. I'm sure if one of them was a girl it wouldn't be nearly the same. And it warms my heart when I hear Cash say that Phoenix and Ashton are his best friends. I love the things I find them all doing spontaneously together. So to remember that, and just to be thankful that all my boys are home safe and sound tonight and everyone is ok, I'll end with some pictures and forgive all the trouble-making for a few minutes.

And a few good ones to remind me of their cuteness.  :)



Saturday, December 4, 2010


A few weeks back Ryan and I took a star-studded trip to California.  Let's start with this, the real reason for the (free) trip to Cali:
(Eh?  How about some of this action?)

(If you happened to miss the old post, you can catch up on the reasons why here.)  Just to clarify, no he was not on Jeopardy as a contestant, he just won an online version and they flew us out there to watch a taping as part of his prize package.

They even let the pregnant wife jump in for a photo. (And I'll say that Alex Trebek still looks pretty darn good after all these years - although not too fake, like he can still move his face :)

So we got to go watch them tape three shows (they tape 5 in a day - ours doesn't even air until next March), and we were total VIPs getting bags full of Jeopardy swag, getting prime seats, etc. Then after the show Ryan got pictures with Alex and then they had him tape a bunch of promos for their contests - just so people could see a real, live winner and be inspired that someday it could be them.  They had him say all sorts of cheesy lines like, "It's so easy!" and then throw a bunch of fake money in the air.  But it was fun. And he looks lovely in makeup.  :)

We spent the first few days in L.A. hanging out with old friends and checking out the California scene.  Here we are a Diddy Reese - an insanely long line to wait for an ice cream sandwich.  The novelty is you choose what two kinds of cookies you want and then what kind of ice cream, but apparently it always has a steady line and is only $1.50.  We felt totally in the hip scene knowing about this place. It was right by UCLA and right by where they've had the Twilight premieres too.  It was so fun seeing my friend Kimber and her husband Chad and their little boy. Wish we didn't live on opposite sides of the country in places we both can't wait to get out of.  :)  

Then we drove out in the middle of the mojave desert to where our other friends live - pretty much a hop, skip and a jump from Death Valley.  Wow, was that place out there or what.  But he is our friend who is a rocket scientist, and well, that's where they do their kind of thing. He and Ryan grew up together and it was fun to see their totally different lifestyle out there.

And I was so happy to see mountains and red rocks.

And pimped out, um, industrial vans?

Then it was off to  
Beverly Hills.

We stopped in at trendy Sprinkles cupcakes but unfortunately didn't run into Katie Holmes or Paris Hilton or any of those other Sprinkles-loving celebrities.  But they were tasty. And unfortunately the "secret phrase" for the day had already been used up.  What is it with Californians and their secret phrases for restaurants? Like In-N-Out.

Then Ryan had it in his mind that he really wanted to drive up to the Hollywood sign. Like really drive up to it (you can't, we found out).  But we did get close.  Don't bother though- the houses up there aren't even nice ones and the roads are narrow and windy and crazy - worse than Ireland. And we got a lovely view of L.A. smog.

Then we headed over to the Chinese theater and checked out the Hollywood squares.  It was pretty cool to see some of them that were so old - like Shirley Temple from 1935.   

Luck would also have it that they happened to have the red carpet rolled out while we were there for the Burlesque premiere so we decided to stick around to see what it was like.  Cool, it turns out.  And definitely full of celebrities.  Cher and Christina Aguilera came right over to us, and I even got a high five from Will Farrell.  There were actually a lot of other big names in the film too, like Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, and Eric Dane (McDreamy from Grays Anatomy).  

I wasn't quick enough to get good pictures when Cher was right by us, but dang that woman looks good for 64. 

James Marsden was there:
The guy from Sex and the City: 
 Khloe Kardashian:

 Mario Lopez
Cam Gigandet is also in the movie (think James from the first
There was also Kathy Griffin, a judge from So You Think You Can Dance and a bunch of other people I didn't know the names of or feel like putting pictures up of.  Seriously crazy - I saw more celebrities in one trip to L.A. then I have in all my years living in NY and Miami combined!

We did get into a Tonight Show taping and saw Julianne Moore, Nelly as the musical guest, and the kid that plays Drako from Harry Potter. I was a little scared to see him in person, but he was a really nice kid. Actually the fourth boy in a family too, and look what a star he turned out to be.  It was funny because Leno asked if people were afraid of him in real life because of the character he plays. He said yeah, you get a lot of screaming children, but then he said oddly, you also get like moms that come up and say, "You're my son's favorite!" to which he said, (in his cute British accent), "That's, um, concerning...."  He was pretty funny.

We ate lots of food - besides the best cupcakes, we also ate what were supposed to be the best fries -at this random hot dog shack with seriously the most amazing fry sauce, the best cream puffs....and who knows what else. If I keep traveling and eating my way through this pregnancy the way I am I may surpass my twin weight gain.

And seriously this sign cracked me up.  Who's ever heard of a dress code for a bowling alley?  I guess ritzy L.A. has.  But good grief - fitted attire required?

We also got in one quick trip to the L.A. temple before we left on a red-eye to get home.  Fun trip. And a little exhausting.

A huge thank you to my sister who dropped her plans, had to re-arrange her work schedule and about 4 other people's so that she could come last minute to watch our kids when our other plans didn't work out.  They loved having her here!