Thursday, July 31, 2008
In other news,
Andrew wants to shave Henry's head. I'm against the idea.
Andrew isn't a fan of Henry's male pattern balding.Next we have our very own member of the Sisterhood of the traveling pants
The proud parents.
Have a lovely day.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My cell phone rings. Happy to see that it's my Mom calling, I answer.
"You'll never believe what I'm looking at."
Intrigued by the surprise I hear in her voice, I ask,
"I'm holding a copy of Breaking Dawn." She says, disbelief coloring her voice. Openly laughing at her I say,
"No, you're not."
"Yes. I really am." She pauses. "Do you want me to describe the cover for you?" At this point she proceeds to describe this
Confusion, excitement, envy and an immediate need for an explanation bubbles over as I realize she's telling me the truth. I gasp,
"MOM!" I suddenly feel like I'm secretly conversing with a criminal (no offense Mom!).
"Mom!" I repeat in a whisper. Heaven knows why I'm whispering. I'm not the one standing with an advanced copy of Breaking Dawn in MY hand.
"How did this happen! Where are you?!"
"I'm at Dan's." Dan's! A chord's been struck. As the memory of my favorite grocery store, the one I faithfully visited twice a week, flashes into my head my heart is attacked by a fresh dose of homesickness. Disgusted with my weak sauce self, I push those feelings aside. We have MORE IMPORTANT questions to solve... as in HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
"As I was walking back from the pharmacy" she explains, "I looked over at their meager book selection and noticed a few copies of Breaking Dawn up on the top shelf. Disbelieving that I was actually seeing the book, I decided to call you." I can hear the smile in her voice.
"I just feels so... so wrong to get to read it before you do." She giggles.
After stalking the Twilight fandom online, I've read of one store in Texas that put the books out early. It was bound to happen somewhere... but in SALT LAKE CITY!? You've got to be kidding me. And it's sitting at the grocery store where I swore my grocery shopping allegiance early on in my marriage.
My Mom proceeded to buy the book. We joked about the profits she could make selling copies to the young women in her ward... or off of Ebay! Can you imagine? Rather, she quietly went on her way; not wanting to make a scene in case an informed Twi-hard caught wind of the major "No-No" that it is to prematurely sell copies ahead of it's much anticipated release date and see that the remaining copies are shelved.
My sister in law caught wind of my Mom's treasure and went and picked up two copies later that afternoon. I've phoned a few friends in the area to tell them as well. And now, here I sit, visualizing the exact spot in my grocery store where those books quietly wait for unsuspecting fans to strike literary gold.
I can't guarantee there are copies remaining, but it might be worth checking out if you promise not to spoil it for the rest of the world.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In a hushed voice, a co-worker informs another, "The Mormon boys are running around my neighborhood again." He pauses for a moment before he confidentially declares,
"I can't wait to get them drunk!"
"Good luck with that." Andrew sarcastically thinks to himself. Silently he debates whether or not he should intrude with the following remark,
"If you really want to throw them off, tell them they're interrupting Family Home Evening."
Before his decision is made, the instructor proceeds with the lecture. Next time, babe. Next time.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
That's the site of our future home!
Interested in a few details?
You're not? Then stop reading because here I go:
2,344 square feet
price: you wouldn't believe me if I told you
partial brick/partial vinyl exterior
laundry room on the second floor, near all the bedrooms
kitchen, mud room, sun room, family room, dining, fireplace
Building time: 90 days. That works out well considering we're signed into a three month lease at our apartment.
After walking through re-sale homes in the area with two separate Realtors, meeting with different builders, checking off our family's needs, researching our chosen builder's history, comparing neighborhoods, etc...
This turned out to be the wisest choice and remained the most affordable of all our options. Our Bishop is working as our Realtor. He was astounded when he learned of the discount we've received and is helping us choose the upgrades that will help us sell the home in the future. We're in a beautiful new neighborhood, have access to the communities "resort style pool & cabana" (whatever that means), will live in the best school district and are less than five minutes away from our Ward house. Andrew's commute will be 25 minutes or so.
How's that for a brag fest? Are you barfing at me? I'm sorry.
It feels right. You might think I'm mistaking excitement for what I think is "right." But, trust me, I'm not. Sure, we're really excited, but as this fell into place, we've experienced a constant level of calm and gratitude. It made sense in our minds and felt so right in our hearts. Sorry for the gory, spiritual details... but before this plan of action fell into place, my brain was a jumbled mess of confusion and Andrew was on the verge of a nervous break down.
Anyway, I'll compensate for the sentimentality with some random photos.
This one's for my Mom:
I made this Mom; at a Relief Society activity! Can you even believe it? It took me... well, I'm too embarrassed to say how long it took me... that wire action it trickier than you think. What can I say? I'm craftily impaired.
Next up, we have Eliza, sporting her muscles. We spent an afternoon at our pool with some friends.
And finally an ordinary video of our happy Henry. I neglected to update his four month check up stats:
Weight: 12.5 lbs - 10%
Height: 23.5 - 5%
*No, that is not a typo. He's a peanut. The doctor assured me that he is healthy and well. He pointed out his fat rolls while labeling him as being "petite." As for his insane amount of gas, he laughed and said,
"Blame that one on Dad. He'll know what I'm talking about!"
I will never find a better pediatrician... Never (sniff, sniff). Wo is me.
Well, okay... one more for the road. Henry was introduced to his baby swing for the first time in his life this week. We finally have room for it. Unfortunately, the blasted batteries are somewhere in our tower of boxes. But then again, who needs batteries when your big sister gets a huge kick out of pushing it herself.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
(...believe it or not, I am sparing details that would stir deeper feelings of empathy)
A highly frustrated, lonely version of myself, phones our provider. In the most stern voice I can muster, I demand a new modem (...and fast!). Yesterday, the UPS man makes his delivery with our new modem, Andrew begins the task of installation and discovers...
We've concluded that it's gunk. Gunk that was shoved into our outlets rendering the modem we brought from Salt Lake useless. Upon discovery and removal of mystery gunk (with the help of a pair of tweezers), our installation was a success and we now find ourselves with a spare modem.
Our pool serves as a "hot spot," meaning I had access to the internet when sitting near the pool with our laptop. I'd blog at home and then, after the wee ones were asleep, head over to the pool, offer my legs as a late night 'All You Can Suck' buffet for the local mosquitoes and post. I've been unable to catch up on what I've been missing in the lives of my blogging friends, respond to e-mails or read my favorite Twilight websites until today.
I'm pretty sure that I was the last human being to find out that Angelina gave birth to her twins.
Our car arrived yesterday. It made Andrew happy to see it. It made me cry. Especially when I realized it smelled the same. Please don't misunderstand, the car smells fine. It just smells like "home." It connected me to Salt Lake.
The Elder's Quorum President is graciously lending us a T.V. The first program I viewed was detailing avalanche survival stories in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City. I cried again.
The Sacrament meeting theme this past Sunday focused on the Pioneers, their trek and the establishment of Zion in the Great Salt Lake region. Again, you can probably guess how I responded.
Anyway, the nursery is packed full of ankle biters the same age as our own. There was a baby boy boom in our ward this past Spring. I couldn't be more pleased. We had dinner with a great couple who shares Utah roots last Sunday (Attention Flegal cousins of Hurricane - you KNOW one of them!!).
The Young Women of our ward are focusing on compassionate service. Out of the blue I received a call asking if they could watch both of our kids last night. A group took Eliza to the park with two boys her age while another group watched Henry at a member's home with another infant his age. I was thrilled and grateful to be the recipient of their service. These young women were the most enthusiastic baby sitters I've met. It was the first time I left my children with someone other than family (Keersten, you're family.).
During that time, Andrew and I were up the street (a mere three minutes away) meeting with a sales rep to discuss the possibility of building. The home I displayed in my last post is one we've opted not to build. We're looking into other possibilities. We're still meeting with realtors to check out re-sale homes as well. The whole "buying/building a home" process makes my head spin. There's so much to consider, priorities to be evaluated, budgets to calculate, etc. It feels very "adult" to me. I want to make a wise decision.
Monday night we were confronted by a thunderstorm so forceful that the locals are still talking about how out of the ordinary it was. The lesson I learned that night is that when you don't think you could possibly be MORE BORED, your home loses power/electricity. You find yourself wishing you could re-read your Entertainment Weekly for the 18th time now that your sitting in the dark and wondering what to do with that frozen lasagna that's only half way done cooking.
This photo does not do the storm justice
We spent several minutes watching the storm. The wind and the amount of rain is something I've never experienced. Our parking lot looked like a river. Anyway, we ventured out to Wal-mart to stock up on candles in case the power didn't return and witnessed someone shop lift. By the time we got home, the power was back on. Of course.
Speaking of homesick, Eliza asks several times a day to sit on our counter and look at our family photos. She happily says everyone's name. It breaks my heart. It was the first thing she asked to do this morning.
I look forward to catching up on your lives and viewing the second Twilight movie trailer for the the 50th time.
PS. A "Bojangle" is a chicken/biscuit fast food joint!
PSS. Mom. I miss you. A lot. a lot. a lot. a lot.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
23 mosquitoes, welcoming you to your new town = Priceless
Please enjoy the following video footage of Henry. Pay close attention to his mouth.
We introduced Eliza to a near by park. I was impressed. The following photos aren’t anything to “shout” about, but for the interested Grandmother’s they provide a visual.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I’m peeking out from my blanket of shock and denial in order to begin the overwhelming process of acclimating to a new environment. This process is slow going considering I’m without a vehicle, which is fine for now because the idea of venturing out with the children unaided leaves me with an empty bladder and wet pants.
Based on my limited experience in the seemingly large confines of our apartment and at our local Chick-fillet, I’ve noted a few differences that illustrate some changes.
1. I’m adjusting to a towel that feels as though it’s already been used. Stepping out of a shower, you expect to dry off with a “dry” towel. Thanks to the level of humidity, my personal definition of “dry” has broadened since arriving. Basically, my towel feels wet despite the fact it hasn’t been used.
2.Walking into a local restaurant, I observe that there broadcasting “His Music.” The word “His” refers to the Lord. In Utah, I look forward to hearing Christian music, Sunday morning on “The Sounds of the Sabbath” on FM 100. Christian music is an everyday event here. I like that.
3. Along those same lines, after listening to a realtor’s voice mail message, they conclude with wishes of having a “blessed day.”
On the other hand, Andrew is exposed to the changes in the culture much more so than I am. As a favor, he’s been taking note of the slang, or the everyday expressions, that are new to him. Here’s a sampling of our favorites.
1. Imagine that you're on the golf course, struggling to focus your thoughts before you take that all important stroke. Simply put, you’ve “got to get them farts out of your mind.”
2. “I was so scared, it made my butt pucker,” Is another term that we think is hilarious.
3. And finally, if a sore becomes infected, it’s starting to “get angry.” An on the spot example would be something like, “Well that there rash on your leg is starting to look angry. Clearly, it ain’t improving.”
And finally, what is a Bojangle?
1. A fried chicken/biscuit fast food restaurant
2. Andrew’s supervisor’s last name
3. The title in a Southern version of a Christmas Classic, "Bojangle Bells.
4. A bug that resembles a chigger.
Here are a few photos:At our playground, a hop, skip and a small summer-salt from our door.
The room I spend my day in... waiting for Andrew to come home. We've always needed camping chairs. This proved to be the right time to buy them. Eliza enjoys going on walks in our living room in the stroller.
Eliza's play corner. I know it looks meager, but that box contains a lot of activities. Her books and other play things are living in her bedroom.
Introducing Mama's new play things. Need laundry done? Send it my way.
Our kitchen... it may seem small, but it's easily double if not triple the size of our previous kitchen. Please note my collage of sentimental pictures adorning my fridge. I look at my loved ones faces all day long.
And finally, Nana... this one's for you. Eliza's upgraded to a big girl swing. She's extremely impressed with her two year old self.
P.S. Thanks for the comments on my last post. They totally boosted me. I'll be honest. I'm lonely. So it helps that my blogging world has remained the same. Thanks again.
P.S. Mom!!! I Still Miss You SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Much. It's not getting easier being away from you. Not a bit.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
“Wail, lookee here, Ma! I dog-gone made my way to the South…”
How’s that for my first attempt at blogging the Southern accent? Considering I’ve only interacted with the UPS man since arriving, I can’t say I have much to go off of except my remembrance of Sally Field’s accent in the film, Steel Magnolias.
The experience of moving began a week ago. Andrew flew out to South Carolina and began work on the seventh, while the children and I stayed behind with our belongings. We spent our final week in Salt Lake eating popcorn with Grandma Flegal, running through the sprinklers with cousins, BBQ’in at Nana’s, saying “goodbye” to friends, visiting Gardner Village’s petting zoo and missing Andrew. He was welcomed back to Salt Lake on Saturday and then *whisked the children and I away to South Carolina, early Sunday morning. My Dad has been dealing with the moving company on our behalf these past two days. The packers arrived Monday, boxed up our entire apartment and are now, at this moment, loading our belongings onto the moving truck. THANK YOU, DAD!! What an incredible help you’ve been.
(*Usage of the word “whisked” was intended to add thrill to a bland paragraph such as this)
During our week apart Andrew mentioned often that he missed us. Looking back, the progress he made in preparing the way for our arrival made the experience of being apart worth it. As I wait for our moving truck to arrive, I have a week of entertaining Eliza in our barren apartment. We were limited in the amount of toys we were able to bring, but I’m happy that we made the right choices. At the moment she is tattooing her legs with the help of a blue penDo I care? Other than worrying she’ll attack a white wall when my back is turned, not at all. Eliza and I are striving to combine our creative forces to keep her occupied. Allowances have to be made.
(What can I say? She must be homesick.)
Amidst our above-mentioned absence, Andrew was able to focus on his first week of work without distraction. In the evening, he explored neighborhoods in preparation of our search for a home and secretly enjoyed a few, uninterrupted minutes in his reading of the Twilight Series…
(My Side of the Mountain – no surprise there)
I’ve watched as he has slowly transformed into an authenticated fan. It’s true. My manly, man is halfway through Eclipse! Never did I think that I’d be able to honestly type that last sentence.
TIME OUT. I was supposed to be writing about the drama filled experience of moving my young family away from all that’s familiar, safe and wonderful to the OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY. I’ll now return you to our regular scheduled, mundane programming.
Based on my most recent flying experiences, I associate airplanes with feelings of
- frustration (delays on the tarmac),
- fear (that a child will become uncontrollable),
- nausea (I was suffering from morning sickness on our flight back from Germany last summer, the landing makes me sick)
- exhaustion (I slept two hours Saturday night due to a case of extreme anxiety) and finally,
- gratitude. My children behaved beautifully on each flight. Dozens of flights were canceled when we arrived in Atlanta for our layover. Thankfully, we weren’t among the hundreds of angry people looking to make other arrangements.
Eliza kindly saved her meltdown/tantrum for the bathroom at our destination – the Charlotte airport. She was exhausted and felt that my decision to change her soggy diaper was unacceptable. As she hollered and whined, I sang “Count Your Blessings” to myself knowing that this wasn’t happening on the airplane; although I’m sure the entire airport heard her. Oh well.
Even though we survived Sunday’s travels, the reality of flying with my children back to Salt Lake in three weeks without Andrew’s assistance seems entirely impossible. The idea of getting the three of us through security single handedly makes my armpits sweat, let alone the flight itself.
We loaded up our suitcases with Eliza’s toys, her bedding (the familiarity made her first night here go smooth), Henry’s bounce chair, linens, photographs that now adorn our fridge and other small essentials. Andrew, Eliza and I are sleeping on air mattresses.
As for Henry, he’s sleeping comfortably in his portable crib that Andrew flew out with him last week. I’m eager for the remainder of our things to arrive and am absolutely thrilled with the location and condition of our apartment, the size of our TWO bathtubs and above all the beloved WASHER AND DRYER (*please cue the Hallelujah Chorus).
Here we have Eliza flying around our apartment ("I Flying! I Flying!!")
I’m trying my best to stay busy in order to keep my feelings in check. When I’m interacting with Eliza and Henry I have to be my emotionally stable, happy self. Sometimes the feelings of sadness and shock catch up with me before I have a moment to isolate myself. But usually, I do okay. This is the part where I extend an invitation to anyone who has my number to give me a call; it’s the same number that I had in Salt Lake. You’re not interrupting anything, (other than my 18th phone call to my Mom for the day) I promise.
I hope all is well out west. I’m going to be missing y’all fiercely.*ps, it will be four days until I have the internet at home. Currently, I'm sitting at our pool making use of the free internet 'hot spot'... I'll be back to commenting on your lives soon.
*Pss. MOM! I really miss you.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
1. Discuss upcoming move to South Carolina.
2. (More common, by a mile) Discuss your beautiful son's bowel/gas patterns.
I agree with you. My social skills have been lacking lately.
I'm surprised that I've made it this long without divulging one of my son's most defining traits. Perhaps, I'd be a better Mom if I refrained from telling the blogging community that the potent stench of my son's gas is commonly compared to sulfur and occasionally makes grown women (who are experienced Mother's) gag.
It's incredibly common for someone to pass me Henry and say in their best high pitched, baby happy, sing-song of a voice (you know which "voice" I'm referring to),
"I think somebody," as they point to Henry, "...just made a stinky mess in his diaper." The verbiage varies, but the accusation is always the same. Confidently, I tell them they're wrong as I apologize for the sudden decrease in their air quality. How do I know they're wrong?
Because my baby poops (on average) once a week.
And when he does, there's a celebration to be had. Once a week, I send Andrew a text that says:
"Henry just pooped!!!!!!!!!!"
Considering the fact that his dear sister pooped multiple times a day, I was indeed alarmed. However, our trusted Pediatrician assured me that it's "normal" for breast fed babies to go long periods of time without pooping. He's simply absorbing all of the nutrients. As long as his stool (there's another gross, cringe worthy of a word) appears normal and he doesn't seem in pain, all is well. Alright... sigh of relief.
But what about the GAS? I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you that there is nothing normal about that smell. Not to mention, it's a frequent, morning, noon and night occurrence. His gas is so constant, that I have to apologize/warn those sitting near us at Church before the meeting starts. Understanding Mom's nod their heads, smile and say,
"Every baby has gas."
Not like mine, lady. Not like mine.
Someday, Henry will be in the eighth grade and will have a serious crush on the girl who sits two seats up from him in his history class. This girl will catch wind (no pun intended) of Henry's interest and will "google" his name with the desire to learn more about him. If I'm lucky, this very post will appear and she'll decide it's not the worth pursuing potential relationship because after all, he's had a reputation of being smelly since he was four months old. Poor, poor Henry.
Here's the part where I redeem myself and share with the world that Henry is an angelic baby. I know, I know. It's annoying when gloating Mom's gloat. But cut me some slack based on the above information I just shared. It's sad that I feel like I have to justify bragging about my baby on my own blog. I'm writing for the sake of preserving a piece of our history, after all.
My dear sweet Henry,
You are an incredible "bright" spot in my life. Simply put, I feel pure joy when I'm near you. When I see you smile at me, the stress of our upcoming move, the sadness of leaving family, the frustration I feel with a momentarily rebellious toddler - completely vanishes.
You freely give away your smiles. The sound of your cooing voice is easily one of my favorite sounds in the world. Your big eyes are alert. I sense that you are absorbing the details of your surroundings. You love to kick your legs in the bathtub and are a huge fan of sucking on your fingers. Putting you to sleep is a breeze. When you're tired, I find a safe place to lay you down with your blanket and marvel as I watch you self soothe yourself to sleep. You sleep through the night regularly. You've never spent time in a swing because I haven't felt a need for it yet. Pretty soon, when we have a bigger place, I'd be happy to pull it out for you, if you'd like. You and your sister take turns making each other smile and in turn, that melts my heart. You are so handsome in my eyes. I'm incredibly grateful for your mellow, happy nature. I fall more and more in love with you each day.
Oh sweet, Eliza. My number one pal. I love you too. I just have to make note of a tender observation I made moments ago. I paused from writing this entry to check on my sleeping children. I found Eliza, asleep on her bed, wearing her shoes (when I tucked her in, her feet were bare). In addition to her shoes, I discovered that she was laying next to her framed picture of Jesus.
I wish I had my camera.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
When this happens, she'll musters up a bucket full of patience and wait in the dark until I come and find her. As I approach the closed door, calling her name, she bursts into laughter. Slowly, I crack the door open. I discover her... wearing a full size towel over her head (she's proficient in her hiding skills), giggling uncontrollably.Until this recent phase, I've never understood why the bunny in the well-known children's classic, "The Runaway Bunny" is intent on ditching Mother Rabbit. Don't we have an innate desire to be connected physically and emotionally to our Mom? Perhaps, "desire" is too light of a word. In my case, it's a need.After a brief, mental analysis, I've concluded that Eliza is secure enough in her belief that I will always find her. She anticipates the joy of being "found" so much that she'll quietly (and happily) endure the confines of our musty bathroom. She has faith that our connection will overcome any obstacle. The idea of being seriously "lost" is something she doesn't comprehend. It's one of my greatest fears as a Mother. I'm seriously contemplating becoming one of those Mom's who keeps their child on a leash. Why, you ask? Simply put, we're going to be spending a lot of time at the airport this summer.
The other night, I was cuddling my own Runaway Bunny in her rocking chair. I was reading the familiar words of this book when suddenly my perspective shifted.
I became the bunny who was running away. I could hear my own Mother's voice say,
said his mother, "I will be a tree that you come home to."
Oh, Henry. Are you ever adored. For so long, we've been spoiled to be so close to Eliza and Henry's grandparents. I know what Henry will be missing on a weekly basis. Sure, they will love them from afar and will come visit. But a visit is a visit. They pass too quickly.On an entirely selfish level, my second source of grief is leaving my Mom. Mom, I love you. I bet you hate me for making you cry with today's post, but I just have to tell you, that I'll miss you every day (and will call 15 times a day). You're my best friend.My roots are here. You are my tree. I will fly back to you.