Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things are good

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You know how sometimes, you feel like life is overwhelming?  Like it's just sucking your will to live and even though you're giving it all you've got you just cannot keep your head above water and you might drown in air because your just a ball of panic?

Today is not one of those days.

In fact, the last week or so has been pretty good.

Maybe it's because our dad is home with us all day long and even when he goes to work at 3:00 pm he's still home, just locked away in the office.   We've spent more time with our dad in the last two weeks than we did in the previous two months.  It's pretty cool.

Maybe it's because every day feels like a Saturday because we don't get up until 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning and like yesterday, all four of us don't even get dressed until, like 11:00.  Lunchtime, can you believe it?

Maybe it's because my long list of projects and errands has been divided and conquered because there are two grown-ups in the house to do the yard work and the laundry and take care of the monkeys.

Maybe it's because we can wake up in the morning and decide to go to a 10:25 movie, just the four of us, and be the only people in the movie theater.

Maybe I'm being sentimental because summer is almost over.

Maybe I just really like to barbecue dinner because there is virtually no clean-up.

Maybe it's because my two year old thinks he's a soccer player and got totally dressed up and ready for the mornings game and when he woke up from his nap this afternoon he let me hold him like a sweet little baby and we had a staring contest until he told me that I'm silly.

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Maybe it's because my four year old has been nice and sweet and not so growly. He all of a sudden wants to kiss me on the cheek, rubs the back of my neck (like he sees his dad do) right before he asks me to help him with a craft project, and tells me that he loves me. That's kind of nice.

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Maybe it's because that husband of mine, the one I never see, spent most of the day with me yesterday and took me to dinner last night to one of our favorite restaurants.

I'm not sure what it is...but things today are good and that makes me really happy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New House: Part 2

As of August 3, we'll have been in the new house for two months.  Can I tell you Internet friends and family that I'm really liking the new house.  We so totally fit in this house and can so totally live here forever ("Unless we move to Switzerland" says the bubble bursting husband.)

My favorite part of the new house is the kitchen and family room space.  I love that this house has a formal family room that, when we have guests, is situated as such that the guests cannot see the mess that the kitchen and family room may be in.  That, my friends, is a lovely thing to have - hiding spaces.

I love the open feel, the flow, and all the space.  Oh, this cooking and baking girl loves the space.  Our second weekend in the house I made over 100 cupcakes for my brother's Eagle Scout Court of Honor and wasn't crowded for one single second.  I love the island, and the dark cabinets.  The house is way to brown for my tastes, but I'll remedy that soon enough.

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As I said, the kitchen leads right int the family room. I can be cooking or at the kitchen table and still keep a view on the boys and all their furniture climbing and wrestling. Which of course, they now have the space to do. Something in the old house they could not.

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All the rooms in the house are still a work in progress of course, but this one is starting to take shape.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mandatory: Water fight

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There is just something about a party on a hot summer day that requires a good old fashioned water fight.  To celebrate Pioneer Day, Ross and I volunteered to host my dad's family's annual BBQ.  This was the first party at our new house and not only was I happy to have everyone come and spend the afternoon, it was the perfect motivation to truly clean the new house.  We've been here almost two months, so it's not like the house is dirty, but this was a great jump start to straighten things up and clear out the last of the unwanted clutter.

Now, I didn't warn anyone that there would be water balloons and squirt guns and hoses and the option for a splash pool.  I just let it all gradually take shape and the kids, and a few adults, got soaked.

What better way to spend the afternoon with your family, right?

We had great food (Korean BBQ beef sandwiches, and salads, and chips, and salsa, and veggies, and fruit and shaved ice for dessert), and I think that everyone had a good time.  For those that were willing to stick it out to the end, the little farts of the family even put on the worlds longest, confusing puppet show complete with electric keyboard sound effects.

Yes, a great day was had by all.  Hey, everyone....want to do it again next year?

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Friday, July 22, 2011

I love a parade...when it's housed in a large open air conditioned building

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So, here it is. July is noted as one of my least favorite months of the year.  It's really hot, there are monsoonal rains, and it's the 4th of July.  Enough said.  This particular day in my life, every year without fail, blows up in my face.

Enough said.

As a kid, our routine on the 4th was overwhelming.  Get up, sweat it out at the local parade, go to one aunts' house, go to one grandma's house, go to the other grandma's house, go home and shower/put pajamas on, start to feel sick from heat stroke, drive somewhere to watch fireworks, go home to light fireworks, light someones pajamas on fire with a sparkler.

See?  Full day of torture.

Well, as those of us in the UT know, the 4th of July doesn't hold a candle to the 24th of July - Pioneer Day - The "Day's of '47", celebrating when the Mormon Pioneers entered the Utah Valley to set up Zion.

This day in my childhood was considerably more relaxed.  We'd go for a drive through East Canyon with my parents pioneer book reading about certain spots where a pioneer had an epiphany.  We'd go swimming, maybe to a movie...much more chill.

Except, my parents would make us get up in the morning of the 24th, head down town, and stand on the hot, hot road and watch the 25th of July parade with its churchy floats, high school and post office bands, and Santa Claus at the end.

Not sure what it was like when I was very little, but from as early of an age as I can remember, I loathed the parade - all parades for that matter - and as soon as I was allowed to ditch (not sure what age that was), I ditched.  I was willing to miss out on all the activities and cousins of the day to avoid that parade.

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Flash forward 20 or so years to last night.  My sister invited the boys and I to go with her family, my mom and my brother to view the floats for the 24th of July parade at the expo center.

Air conditioning.

Music.

Refreshments.

Clowns and balloons and face painting.

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It was great.  It was fun.  The boys were in awe of some of the neat floats and it was very cool to be able to see them close up.  To see all the hard work that went into putting such a creation together.

It was impressive.

While exciting the event back into the July hot hot heat my sister turned to my mom and said something to the effect of,

"Please tell me that this didn't exist when we were kids and that's why you made us go to the dumb parade every year?"

Her reply, "This was the best way to see the parade!"

I wholeheartedly agree.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Apparently I need to schedule an appointment

July 4

It's 9:56 pm.

Both boys are asleep.

I just finished eating a mini "Jerry Garcia" ice cream with a little plastic spoon while watching some movie trailers online.  I am so out of touch by the way - can't tell you the last time I saw a movie, in a theater.

Just heard the garage door open and close which means that the Shavy Jones shift for the evening is over.  I need to get the stuff, count the money and load the dishwasher.  Then, my boogery and stuffy nose and I are going to bed.

My husband has been home all day today.  He ran errands with the boys, did some work in the yard and spent most of the late afternoon locked in the office working "Australia hours" (4pm to midnight) taking breaks to go and water the deadish spots in the lawn.

Right now he's out on the back deck on a work call.  I appreciate that it's summer and that he can talk loud on his phone outside and not wake up the boys.

In the whole day today, minus a few text messages (even when we were in the house together...how else was I supposed to let him know that dinner was ready?) and a few passing glances (He did tell me that he loves me in the hall as he was walking downstairs) we have not had a "real" face-to-face conversation today.  Or yesterday.  Or the day before that.  Or in the last two weeks.

Phew!  Pretty pathetic, isn't it?

I have some things I need to talk to him about.  He's apparently very busy.

I need to be a little more proactive, and figure out how to demand a little smidge of his time.

Or maybe I'll just send him an e-mail.


Monday, July 18, 2011

In a nutshell...

Saturday morning at 3:00 am I woke up with a head cold to beat all head colds.  Gasping for air, pounding headache, sick stomach.

That was about the time my husband got on an airplane to fly home from Australia.

Go figure.

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It's so good to have him home. We missed him a lot.

But....

He's very sleepy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A dingo ate their daddy!

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One more day.

24 hours.

Then, our dad comes home from Australia.

He's been gone for two weeks.

During the last two weeks we've had lots of activities, and grandparent time, and projects around the house. We've kept ourselves as busy as we can stand in order to make us as tired as possible at night and to keep us from thinking too much about the big hole in our little family.

I've given up cooking completely and last night we settled on Chinese food. Pulling into the garage with our orange chicken treasure (China Chefs if your interested and local...it's so yummy!). As soon as we got back home, Elliott started to cry. At first he said it was because he wanted to finish his book so he stayed in the car and Wyatt and I came in the house. Then he came in the house crying, saying that he was "so tired" so he just plopped on the couch. I finally coaxed him to sit at the table and eat a little chicken and that's when he really lost it. Gobs and gobs of tears and boogers and gags and snot and in between gasping for breaths and me rushing him to the bathroom because I thought he was going to puke he finally spit it out, "I really miss my dad!"

Elliott then went to his room and I left him alone for a bit - it was just barely 7 pm. When Wyatt and I got upstairs he was starting to fall asleep but was still crying. We woke him up, catered to his every whim and finally got him to get out of his bed and onto mine. The three of us read books for about half and hour - that's how long it took him to calm down and then we decided to go to Shavy Jones.

Because, what else helps two sad boys, especially one very sad four year old, feel better than a wild cherry/blue raspberry shaved ice, buried treasure style.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Squirt: 26 months

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Chicky Boom, it's that time. Time for the monthly updates to slow down and stop because guess what my boy! You are a big two year old and to be fair, this is the time I stopped writing about your brother every month, too.

Since you turned two, you've been full of it to say the least. Everyone who meets you thinks your cute and funny and a special little guy, which you are. Your destructive nature has given way to a desire to wrestle everyone and everything in your path. And, you get so excited about playing and life that ultimately, you puke. I cannot believe that puke hardly grosses me out anymore. I guess that's what happens when in the last 5 weeks or so I've caught more of it in my hands, as a present from you, than I ever thought was possible for a human.

To commemorate your advancement to semi regular blogging I thought that it was apropos to share some of your favorite phrases. Your Great Grandma Bea and Great Grandpa Ted were here last week to visit and I think they each said a thousand times, "Oh, he talks so good!" or "We can understand everything he says!"

Yes, Chicky, you are good.

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"Mama" (With a hint of a little french accent thrown in. I'll try to get it on video, it's hilarious.)
"No!"
"No, mama!"
"No mama, my can do it!"
"Mama, let me show you something."
"That's delicious!" or "That's disgusting!"
"Mama, I just saw a brachiosaurus)" (He and his brother "see" dinosaurs every day and this one, and a spineosaurus are Wyatt's favorites.)
"My belly hurts!"
"Mama, my tired."
"My a sleepy hippo."
"Mama, can I peas have a coke?"
"No!  You're coo-coo water!"
"No!  You're stinky poo-poo water!"
"Elliott, give it back!!!"



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Observations from Oz

So after a week of being cooped up in an office, I finally had some free time to see a bit more of Adelaide and the surrounding hills.



It is a very pretty city and has quite the combinations of cultures. I am staying in a hotel downtown near the 'china town' district and there is every variant of Asian restaurant within walking distance. This includes Malay, Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, etc. I have had some great meals here (Greek, German, Italian, Chinese, Portoguese, & Argentine).



I decided to make a listing of some things that I have noticed:



Lots of drive through liquor stores (think jiffy lube - the bays are open)

They call 'red pepper' (bell pepper) 'capsicum'

The indian guy at the shell gas station here was named 'Lovedeep'

A runaway truck ramp is called an 'arrester bed'

It is not carry out, it is 'take away'

Like the English, the Australians like their tea (even in the middle of a footy match)

It is not 'yield', it is 'give way'

I think that I am going to have a burrito tonight from a place called 'Burp' (burpburritos.com)

Kentucky Fried Chicken's popularity at home may be waning at home, but it is HUGE here - very strange

Burger King is called 'Hungry Jacks'

They have a $2 coin, but it is tiny.

TV is awful here....choices are news, bad sitcoms, bad sports (watching netball now), or bad racing

I have seen (in the 30 mins total that I have watched tv) snippets of the following three shows:

- Golden Girls

- The Dukes of Hazzard

- The Three Stooges

1986 is calling and wants is shows back.



Enjoy some shots from my trip to see Port Adelaide get smoked by St. Kilda.








































Saturday, July 09, 2011

October Fest!

What better what to cap off a trip to a wildlife preserve than to go to the oldest German settlement in Germany?

Hello Hahndorf. Love the Kranski with sauerkraut and german potato salad.


Weiner! Winner!






Australian Petting Zoo

When you go to a petting zoo in the states, you are likely to see sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, etc.

When you go to on in Australia, you get to feed Kangaroos (roos = big ones), Wallabies (medium ones), and Potoroos (mini ones) as well as exotic birds and Koalas (don't call me bear).

Totally extraordinary experience. 8 of us drove out and brave the soaking rain to walk with these guys. We also saw Dingoes (look like wolves) as well as Tasmanian Devils, Emus, Wombats, snakes, skinks, monitors, etc.

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(Ross uploaded the pictures but I'll add some context)

On his Saturday, our Friday, Ross got to be a tourist in Australia and headed out with some folks he works with to a "petting zoo". This however, was unlike any petting zoo I've ever seen - unless you count wallabies as deer?

He got to feed a kangaroo/wallaby, pet a koala (not a bear!) and took some video for the boys of a Tasmanian Devil running around.

He's uploaded a bunch of stuff on flickr if you're intersted....click HERE.
(I've made him his own little set of photos...Rozz in OZ)









Friday, July 08, 2011

As good as they can be

It's been mentioned, but Ross is in Adelaide, Australia.  He's been gone 6 days and has another week to go.  There are a lot of emotions and feelings (and some passive aggressive anger) associated with such a long time away.  It's deserving of it's own blog post, but it's one that I'll never write - too personal and not necessary for the internets.  I realize that there are men and women who spend much more time away from their families for work, military, and a lot of other stuff, but for us, this has been hard.

To be honest though, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be.  The boys and I spend so much time, just the three off us, anyway that even though our dad is gone and we miss him, it's really not that big of a difference from the norm.  It just means that when the Chick wakes up in the night, I'm the one that has to get up with him.  And, lucky for us, we've got grandma's and grandpa's picking up the slack, taking good care of us, and feeding us dinner.

That being said though, these boys of mine have been so good.  They miss ther dad terribly and Wyatt keeps asking why he's still at work, but were getting up and doing our thing each day.  Elliott and I have a deal that if he's good for the two weeks his dad is gone he gets a bike - a real bike that has training wheels and requires a helmet.  Yes, it's bribery but it's done wonders for his general outlook on life (and the Chicks because by default, he's going to get a bike, too).  There have been a few rough patches and meltdowns but I am truly amazed at how good these little guys can be.  They try so hard to be nice to each other, nice to me, nice to the random guy digging in the dirt while walking to swimming lessons.  They behave when I work in the yard and mow the lawn.  They sit down and eat dinner like civilized little boys.  They are taking good care of their mama and good care of each other.

It looks like most definitely, there are awesome bikes, cool helmets, and a lot more good stuff in their future.

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Australia = England + Brazil






So Australia is a funny place. It sort of feels like England with their architecture, style, and love of 'chips' (see french fries). It also has this exotic tropical feel (I am in Adelaide, SA).

5 minutes from the office here in the middle of the city there is a trail along a canal where we saw all kinds of exotic birds.

See below. Lots of Euclyptus trees too.

Tomorrow = Kangaroo / Koala day.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Crab Video

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Ross, my husband who works WAY too much, is in Adelaide Australia.....working. He's up before the sun rises and returns to his hotel room after the sun sets. He is 15.5 hours ahead of us. The boys and I patiently wait for him to call us at 2:00 pm our time when it's 5:30 am his time.

Absolutely crazy.

He's being a good dad and video chatting with us everyday through Skype and sending pictures to the boys and giving Elliott adventures that we have yet to go on (keeping way to busy helps the time go by faster!)

Last night he ate Chinese food with the folks he's working with. It was apparently a "pick your own crab" sort of place.

As the Chick would say, "dats disgusting mama!"

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Only the mama had a meltdown

Yesterday, the 4th of Joo-lie was a day.

It started in the morning with a blind hanging fiasco.

It ended in the evening with fireworks, projectile vomit and a major mama meltdown (can I blame the low blood sugar at 10:30 pm?).

In the middle was talking to dad in Australia, cleaning the house, swimming with cousins, eating good bbq burgers, and spending time with family.

July 4

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At least there wasn't any flooding...

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