Monday, 30 April 2012

Yesterday's Post Today

I was going to blog yesterday, but I burnt two of my fingers pretty bad at dinner time, and was still in too much agony to type last night.   I was just going to write a few things anyway. So here's my tidbits from yesterday.

  • Isabel stuck her hand in a red ant hill walking into church yesterday.  Her screams were deafening, and she has a good ten bites all over her hands and arms.  Then today, she stuck her foot in a red ant hill by our garage.  I had significantly less sympathy for her as 1. She wasn't supposed to be outside. 2. She wasn't supposed to be out of the backyard even if she was outside.  3.  She should have learned yesterday to stay out of red ant hills.
  • We had strawberries and whipped cream and crepes for dinner on Saturday night.  They were delicious.
  • I made six batches of strawberry jam last week.  Well, actually 5, I had Ana make one batch.  I love homemade strawberry jam.
  • Leo and I went to the latest Mission Impossible a couple weeks ago.  It was pretty lame, not as good as the 1st or 3rd.  More like the lame 2nd one.
  • Did I mention we live super close to all the best stores?  Sam's Club, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Joanne's, Hancock Fabric and Target (plus Fiesta and H-E-B) are all super close.  Love that.  I know to Utah people that won't seem like a big deal.  But I was worried it would be like Chicago where every store was miles apart.  It made shopping such a pain.
  •  We tried Blue Bell ice cream which is supposedly the *BEST* ice cream ever according to all Texans (we've heard it from lots of people--the very fact that it is mentioned that much, shows the excessiveness of the brand loyalty).  I have to say, I disagree.  I still prefer Tillamook.   I'm sure I'll be branded as a heretic here, but oh well.  I miss my Tillamook.  
  • I bought this magazine recently, and I'm so glad I did!  It really lives up to it's name (of being easy and delicious.)  I've already made three recipes from it and they've all been a hit.  And it already pairs the main dish with a side dish for you, so no effort is involved at all in planning a balanced meal--I usually just add rice or fruit as another side.  Wonderful. Also, it's the spring/summer edition, so all the meals are really light, including a lot of grilled recipes--again perfect for the Texas heat.  Practically all my May menu is coming from here.  Except Kayli's garlic chicken pizza. That's the exception.  So yeah, pick one up if you see it.  
And that's all I had to say.  Not very exciting.  But I have other things to do, so adios mis amigos.

Monday, 23 April 2012

A Perfect Ending

With all the craziness and hard work of the last couple of weeks, it all finally came to an end. We finished all our chores Saturday morning. We went to the park in the afternoon, where Sebastian chased around a duck with a piece of bread saying, "Eat the sandwich!!" very authoritatively, and I played catch with Ana. And then after baths that evening the kids had popcorn and we watched part of The Jungle Book (the human version). Sunday was so relaxing and the kids (even Ana!) played together great. It was so nice. I wish every weekend was like that.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

To get over the bad...

So breaking copyright. But I can't help it. He's so adorable.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So this is our living room. Have I mentioned I LOVE the bookshelves?? Well, I do. However, having a living room would be a lot sweeter if I could actually put in really neat furniture and nice decor. (Okay, so I've been in a grumpy mood today, please read all this with that in mind.)
This is the good part though. These are the curtains from Ikea that we hung up in our room. Love it. And they hide all this:
My sewing niche. This is the very, very BEST part of this post. It's so incredibly awesome and happy and wonderful that I can leave my sewing machine out and sew whenever I want. And just as a side note, that desk is what I got for Christmas when I was twelve. It was all I asked for that year--a desk to do all my crafts and art projects on. Oh, how little life has changed. I am so happy about my sewing niche. :)
This is the other part of my sewing niche. Food storage, yeah baby. Almost a year's supply.
And the other side of the room, Leo's work out equipment, and more food storage. We could live on beans for months. Anyway, that's all my house pictures for now. But here's some of the other good, bad, and ugly bits.
  • Isabel: "I went to lay down, but then the wall hit me on my head."
  • Elena's covered in nasty spider bites.
  • Today I went to Ikea to return a bunch of stuff and finish buying a few pieces of hardware for the curtains, and I had talked up the play place to Elena and Isabel, and they were all excited to go. Then when we got there, they couldn't let Elena and Isabel in the play place because they had reached their maximum capacity of kids. Yeah, 6 kids were in there. I wanted to scream. Ikea is not a fun place with three toddlers in tow. I actually was so disgusted that I even wrote a comment on their computer feedback thing. 6 kids, really???? That's so pathetic. Why even bother offering the service.
  • Before Ikea, I went to register our cars. I think Texas is backwards. Seriously. Come on people, get with the digital age. Anyway, Leo went twice to register the cars, and once he didn't have all the right paperwork, and the second time he read the little sign on the glass window stating payment would only be accepted in cash or check and since he had neither, he left halfway through an hour long wait. Anyway, the offices are grungy and dirty and so not helpful. So I went today, Leo had all the right paperwork, but because the shop who inspected our little yellow car didn't write down the vin number on the form like he was supposed to, I still couldn't register that car. Errrr.....and of course the lady wouldn't let me just write down the vin number from the other three forms it was already on in the same stack of papers. So frustrating.
  • I am so tired of making kids redo their chores because they don't do it right. Seriously, wouldn't it be so much nicer not to have to spend double the amount of time doing the work, by just doing it right the first time???? Wouldn't it be nicer to just have me say "Good job, thanks, go play on the computer," instead of being chewed out for 10 minutes and then having to redo it all????!?? It certainly would be nicer for me.
  • I miss Natalie and her kids. Natalie, please, please, please move to Houston. Our one neighbor from across the street warned us about our next door neighbor. He told us that they have loud fights all the time (already witnessed one) and that once when our landlords, who lived here before us, called the cops because they were sick of it, their car was keyed that night. And that once, our landlady came home and found the woman in her kitchen. I've met her, she's very....vacant. Of course, our landlords never mentioned any of this to us. And they have kids that our kids love to play with and have already picked up lovely phrases from.
  • Our landlords are very French and have very thick accents. He's so French, that his name is Jacques and he's a chef. No joke.
  • Leo just found a flea in our living room. Really, a flea? Leo says the bites on Elena aren't spider bites, they're flea bites. What the heck??!?!?!?
  • The ants in the pantry have yet to die off from the Terro we're putting out.
  • Our water heater has been broken for almost a week now. I am so tired of warming up water on the stove for baths and washing dishes. Errr.........
  • Our tiny double ovens do fit my cookie sheets. However they only fit three of my bread pans. And one of them broke on Friday. The landlord doesn't really seem to care. But I care. A LOT.
  • Natalie, our kitchen sink is only 6 inches deep.
  • And best of all, yesterday, Isabel asked to go get the mail, so I let her, and then she came back in, and I started looking through it. Meanwhile, Isabel and Sebastian wanted to go out and play in the rain puddles, so I told them to put on their rain boots. They did and went out into the front yard. I was almost done looking through the mail and was gathering it up to put some in the trash, when ding-dong. Guess who was at my door? In the five minutes since the kids had put on their on their boots, there was three, yes, THREE police cars parked outside. And I was royally chewed out for not properly supervising my children. According to them, they were both all the way down the street and Sebastian was IN the street. Terrible mother that I am, I was just disgusted at the over reaction. Isabel was NEXT DOOR, getting the neighbor's mail to take to her. She had done that the day before and the neighbor's response was, "Oh, she's just so sweet!" I think she was used to running to the Taylor's mailbox with Josh. Anyway, that's expressly forbidden now. And Sebastian was playing in the puddles in the gutter. He rarely if ever goes out into the street. And I doubted the police officer entirely about him being in the street until I remembered about the water in the gutters. And he was in front of our driveway, or so Isabel told me. Umm, yeah, so the police officer said the kids weren't allowed to come out even onto the front porch without a parent with them. So I want to know, is that a law or something??? What age exactly can they play out front without parents? 5, 8 or is it 16? Just wondering, so I don't get in trouble again. I so, so, so miss Provo. And yeah, I don't let those two play outside in the front without supervision, and I was heading that way, but it literally was five minutes. I'm sure I have a lovely CPS file on me now. Ruff. Leo thinks a neighbor called, because he doesn't think 3 police cars would have arrived that fast otherwise. Joy.
  • I need to move to the country, where my kids can get trampled by long-horn steers with no nosey neighbors watching.
  • Good news, Leo will probably get to go to Colombia in May for his job. That's really cool, maybe in ten more years we can afford to have me go with him on those business trips, and I can spend the whole time at the Archivo General de la Nación looking at census and military records. Sah-weet!
  • Leo loves his job. That is wonderful.
  • Elena gets tested this Friday to see if she is English proficient enough to go into the Two-way immersion program at her school.
  • My glasses arrived in the mail today, only an hour after one of my trial contacts ripped in half. Perfect timing.
  • I get to go to Relief Society because I'm not in primary or YW's for the first time in 10 yrs. I love Relief Society. Hopefully they take a long time to decide what calling to give me.
  • I finished my class at BYU on Sunday. The entire English-version Wiki FamilySearch site on Colombia was created by yours truly. The professor let me count that as research time, since I ran out of relevant microfilm.
  • I'm not going to BYU anymore. Sad. But there's just no good way for me to finish my degree there. So that ends my 6th college career (USU, WSU, ASU, Mesa and Glendale CC being the others.)
  • The Ecco's I bought off Ebay for $40 because I can't afford a new $130 pair hurts my right foot. I am so sad. My mom gave me here old pair last summer (she had had them for several years), and I loved them. I wore them everyday. And I wore them out. And I wanted a new pair to wear everyday this summer. The best laid plans of mice and men, eh?
  • I called the garbage company to schedule a special pickup because of all our moving boxes and whatnot. But when I spoke to the person, after dialing the number LISTED beside the special pickup scheduling, they said they couldn't schedule me and they would have someone call me back. That's never happened.
  • Sebastian took the cutest pictures ever last week. I think I might have to break copyrights and post a few on here. So adorable.
  • Ana had an orthodontist appt. yesterday. The doctor wants to take her braces off and have her wear a Herbst appliance for a year to bring her lower jaw forward before putting back on her braces. Sigh. Sounds expensive. But then I think of me and my sisters with TMJ, and I can't see us not doing it.
  • Leo called his parents and told them not to come visit this weekend, like they wanted to. I am so glad. I still feel like I barely have my head above water with everything that's going on.
  • Elena, Isabel, and Sebastian have dentist appts on Thursday. Leo has one on Friday. Ana has an eye appt. tomorrow. And I have an OBGYN appt tomorrow in downtown Houston at a high-risk ob place. It's an hour's drive. Joy.
  • My bathroom is so disgustingly dirty that I avoid it. I keep flushing the toilet thinking someone forgot to, only to realize it's just the toilet is turning yellow. I really, really get tense when the house is dirty I've found.
  • Elena and Isabel are banned from the computer for the rest of the week because they came in every fifteen minutes this afternoon while I was trying to take a desperately needed nap because they were fighting over it. Nap time rules need to be re-ingrained in my children's heads if they and I are going to survive the rest of this pregnancy. (The ONE and ONLY Rule:Do not disturb Mom on pain of death.)
  • The end. I need to go heat water to take a bath. Chao.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Kids and House

First, more house pictures.
This is the dining room. Can you tell I tied a big knot in the macrame plant thingy? It was too long. I do love my new Boston Fern though.
And I love, LOVE LOVE having a toy/tv room. Although, it would be nice to have furniture in our living room. Oh well, someday.
And now, for the amazing, disappearing kid trick!

Wow! So exciting. And just FYI, Elena is under the other basket.Elena being cute. She was not so cute in primary when she was bawling hysterically about having to go to class and having a new teacher. Five minutes in the adult Sunday School while not being allowed to talk cured her of that.
Her new dress. I went a little crazy on Ebay. (This is one of 3, or was it 4, dresses I bought her.) So adorable though.
And to think that minutes before she was refusing to let me take her photo.
Ana, all happy. She wore her cowboy boots to church today. Pretty sweet.
Oh, Sebastian. My spoiled rotten child. If only he didn't give such great big hugs, I might be able to resist a little more.
I had his pictures taken on Friday. Oh my goodness. He is so handsome--even the primary secretary at our new ward said he was the cutest boy ever.
Umm, this is the response I get when I try to take Leo's photo.
So we had a little problem of missing frames to Isabel's bed. She and Elena are in a bunk bed now. So I bought a metal frame online, but that didn't work so we sent it back.
Then I was talking to my mom about it, and she said, "Oh for heaven's sake, just have Leo make it. He's an engineer, he can figure it out." So he did.
So now, Isabel has a new 2x4 bed frame.
Fabulous, eh? Leo loved his new saw, by the way. That trading session was pretty sweet.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The first house pictures

This was our bathroom for almost two weeks. Our kitchen was put away, our books were put away, the kids' rooms were all organized, but our bathroom looked like this. I tried not to go in there. I HATE HATE HATE when you actually have to start doing normal life stuff, like cleaning the house, or the laundry and you're still unpacking. Unpacking should be complete in one week. Two weeks is just too long.
But this is how it looked when I finally got to it yesterday.

Check out my hats. Sah-weet!
And this is my new bedding (from last year) but the euro pillows are new. This is my happy spot of my room. I love my bedding. Is that silly? It's just that every day when I make my bed, I smile and think how pretty it looks. I think I'm going to add two red throw pillows from India that have mirrors embroidered onto them. Anyway, I'm thinking of spray painting the headboard and footboard black. Amy suggested that to me years ago, (it was her bed back when she was in college) and I never bothered too, but now with the gray walls and my bedding, the green just looks awful. Or I could spraypaint them bright red, to match the red throw pillows I'm adding. What do you all think??? (Okay, the red idea isn't really an option, because Leo would never go for that.)

Okay, and that's all I have for now. The rest of my house is still not in a state to be shown. Have a nice day.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

So much to tell....

He looks so calm in his sleep. Trust me, he is not that way always. He was our worst traveler by far. So where to start on what I know is going to be an overly long and boring post? How about I just bullet the random details I feel like sharing, (and currently remember.)

  • My glasses broke, one week before our move date, but it was actually relatively good timing, because I had time to go in for an eye appointment and the doctor gave me a free trial pair of contacts, which I am still using.
  • Remember that yellow car we bought? Yeah, the "Screaming Yellow" car--the body repair guy told me that was the color name. And yes, within a week of having our yellow beauty, it went to the auto body repair shop. Almost the exact amount of money we saved buying the car we spent fixing it again after Leo ran into it with our van on our driveway. In Leo's defense, Leo couldn't see the car, it was in his blindspot, and I had parked it too far from the grass. And both of us had felt that we should move it at various times during the day, and we never did. Shame on us for not listening to promptings when they come.
  • Elena left our neighbors pretty calmly, but the first night gone at the hotel, she cried for over an hour about missing Candace and Joshua and Levi and Lukenator. And she's mentioned Candace every day since. She's takes changes really hard. Isabel is oblivious.
  • Our neighbors were so, so nice in Provo. My visiting teachers brought us dinner twice. Natalie babysat my kids all day Thursday and Friday. And Sis. Johnson, an older lady who lived next to us on the other side brought baskets full of treats for the kids for the trip and coloring books and things like that.
  • Not only will I miss Natalie (I will call you soon!) and my family, I had to add these pictures on of Mt. Timpanogos, because I am going to miss the mountains so much. I loved my view from the dining room table.
  • Because we added on one car to our moving quote, we were delayed and then we couldn't leave when we planned on Wednesday, but left on Friday instead. Which meant a really long day on Friday because we had to wait till the movers finished loading the truck before we could leave.
  • But because of the delay in moving, we did make it to the Church Museum one last time. Elena had been begging us to go since she saw a picture of it in the March Friend, and she remembered going before and was desperate to go again.

  • I had planned the drive to Texas to be three days--6 hrs, 8hrs, 6hrs driving--and had picked hotels with nice pools so we could swim all evening long. And I planned to stay the first night back in Farmington, NM so I could eat here. At Tequila's. It's the best Mexican food place ever. Yeah, I know it doesn't look like much. But seriously, it's really good. (I took these pictures when we left the next morning.)
  • It's off of the Region Inn. We actually stayed at the Holiday Inn, but we didn't get there till nearly midnight. So no swimming and no Tequila's. Sniff. Sniff.

  • Instead we ate here at the Tamarisk in Green River, UT. Ummm, yeah. I don't recommend it. Had Sebastian not been screaming bloody murder for the last hour since he woke up from his nap, we would have kept driving on to Moab for a MUCH better food selection. I had a French dip sandwich and the au jous had literally no flavor. Usually they're overly saltly, but this could have been water. Leo said his enchilada was equally as bad. What a waste of a free meal. Oh, and for those of you who are thinking we should have gone to Ray's Tavern, well, that had been our original plan, but it was Friday night and that bar was FULL. Not really the best place to take kids.

  • The one good thing about Tamarisk was that the entire side of the restaurant was windows and it was right alongside the Green River. That went a long way in keeping my kids busy looking out the window instead of getting into mischief. It was really beautiful.
  • We had lunch in Alburquerque the second day at Red Lobster. It wasn't that great. I do love crab though, even more than lobster. Elena ordered lobster too, which she wolfed down and loved. Ana almost had a breakdown till I pointed out the few chicken choices. She doesn't like fish or seafood.
  • I think northern New Mexico is really beautiful too. Sorry no pictures. And I love Albuquerque. However, the eastern side of New Mexico is really ugly. And really junky. There was a noticeable change when we hit Texas. I mean, just in the way things are kept up or not. It was the same driving from Iowa into Illinois, except there it was the reverse. Pretty farms and towns in Iowa changed to ugly, ill-kept farms once you crossed the Mississippi. At least, that was the impression I had. Here it was nice looking places once you hit Muleshoe, TX. Trust me, Muleshoe was a big improvement over the little NM towns we had just come through.

  • No mountains. But this was west Texas, right near Muleshoe. (I just love that name.) Here in Houston, it's green, green, green with tons of trees.
  • We stayed Saturday night in Lubbock at the Hampton Inn, only they didn't have it down that I had called and changed our reservation. So they didn't have our room--a double queen. But after spending a half an hour or more talking with the guy at the front desk, it all worked out. They gave us their largest room (a handicapped room) with a roll away bed and a pull out sofa bed. And even though by then it was closing time for the pool, they let us stay in it till 11 PM. The kids had a blast. And they charged only for the original room.

  • So this brings me to one of the best parts of the trip. If you ever travel through Texas and happen to go through Brownwood, STOP. Seriously. After two bummer meals, we finally hit jackpot.

  • We drove through town looking for a Mexican restaurant, but nothing looked that great, and we were just about to turn around to go back to a Mexican restaurant we had passed earlier when we saw Humphrey Pete's Steakhouse. And the parking lot was full, which is a good sign in a town that small, I think anyway.

  • Now I haven't had steak at the Timbermine for 10 years, so I can't compare to that. BUT it was the best ribeye steak I've had in a LONG, LONG time. It was so good. Elena kept trying to eat mine instead of her own fish sticks she had ordered. That girl has expensive tastes.

  • What's with the chicken? Those chickens are everywhere in Texas.

  • You know, it's a total waste ordering a kid's meal for Sebastian--for all my toddlers actually. They never ate anything more than applesauce at any of the restaurants. (Except Elena and the lobster.)

  • It was pig-licking good. Really. And not too expensive. Less expensive than Red Lobster actually. Okay, to be totally fair, the Cesar Salad was killed by too much dressing, which both Ana and I didn't finish because it wasn't that great. But that steak-really if you make steak that good, it doesn't matter what else is on your plate.
  • We've discovered on this trip that Ana doesn't read menus, she expects us to be able to tell her what she wants. This occurred not once but four times--I felt sorry for her at Red Lobster, because she doesn't like fish, but by the time we had lunch at Schlotzsky's and she ordered the same thing as me because she didn't look at anything else, not even the ingredients of what she did order--her words, not mine--(which I knew she wouldn't like) I was out of patience. I really don't understand that. Errr....the ingredients are listed by the name of the dish, and you have to look through the entire menu to see all your options (for anyone who suffers with the same issue).
  • Ana was really very helpful though on the second day of the trip. Really, really helpful. More so than she's ever been before on a trip. She kept Sebastian happy for quite some time. Also, she worked really hard on Saturday too, helping unpack and clean up. And she's hardly complained at all. I was really impressed yesterday.

  • Texas pride, anyway? I think I should get a big Texas sign to hang in my living room. Just kidding. But I did see flower pots with Texas emblazoned on them for sale at Walmart. A bit ridiculous I think.
  • We stayed on Sunday night in Georgetown with Leo's parents and we went and visited his Aunt Yanni and grandparents that night too. The next morning we took Ana but left Elena, Isabel, and Sebastian with Leo's mom, and drove to Houston.
  • First impressions of our house: It's practically perfect in every way. :) There's lots of room and storage space. We even have an attic. However, the little sitting room in our master bedroom is going to be it's own little room thanks to some Ikea curtains, and will stow all our food storage and sewing supplies--it will be tight. But I'm so glad we do have that room. So glad! The tile that I detest so much is NOT the kind they have. Hurray! But the double ovens are tiny! I don't know that they will fit my cookie sheets. I'll always have to use both to cook bread. Kind of takes the benefits away from having a double oven (you know, cook dinner in one, bread in the other, etc.) Oh, and the walls of my bedroom are navy blue and GRAY. Gray, really? I know that's in style right now, but that's got to be the most depressing color.
  • But really, I'm not complaining. I really like the house.
  • We had to buy a refrigerator. Umm, Leo was not impressed with that. Costs add up fast when you move.

  • Never ever use anything but the blue painters tape. Never ever. Never. Biggest stupid mistake we made. I just sent Leo for tape to Lowe's and he came back with regular masking tape. This is what happens. The paint just peels off with it.
  • Needless to say, we went back and bought blue tape and then I redid all the edges. This was Ana's room by the way. It had two walls painted a dark burgandy. It was really dark and ugly. So we painted them blue.
  • We had brought Ana to help clean, but the house was super clean and we didn't really do any. But it was good she came, because then we registered her for junior high and she got her first taste of it when school let out while we were there. She's a lot more nervous now.
  • We went back to Georgetown Tuesday night and spent Wednesday and most of Thursday there.
  • When Isabel arrived at our house, she ran through the entire house excitedly screeching, "Oh my gosh!!! Oh my gosh!!!! I love it!!!" She is crazy.
  • Friday we were waiting for our fridge to be delivered and and our stuff to be delivered, so I called the Relief Society president Thursday night, and she kindly arranged for lunch and dinner to be delivered on Friday. It was so nice. And then she stopped by on Saturday to meet us. She said there are tons of kids in our ward and was very friendly.
  • Saturday our stuff was delivered and I managed to unpack the hallway stuff and most of the bathrooms. Ana unpacked her room, and Leo the garage. Sadly, the kitchen is yet to be touched.

  • We all are covered in mosquito bites. Isabel and Sebastian's are particularly bad.
  • While Leo was unloading the garage, I sent Sebastian outside with him. Only, then when I came out quite a while later, Sebastian was gone. Isabel's first comment to me was, "Sebastian's going to be lost, he's been gone a long time." Not cool. Leo looked for him on his bike and when he found him--just down the street several houses away--Leo said he had a panicked look on his face and was crying a very scared cry. Poor little guy. And very lucky for us.
  • And Saturday night I madly searched through our things, because I thought today was Easter. Umm, yeah. My kids had a great Easter. I only realized my mistake when someone in General Conference--we did set up our computer so we could watch today--mentioned that next week was Easter. Oops.

  • And now it is dinner time. Sandwiches. Yum. And Leo just left for San Antonio, where he has orientation in the morning. Sigh. It hasn't sunk in yet that he'll be traveling with this job again. Not as much as when he was a pilot obviously, but still, I'll miss him.

  • So that's all, at least all I remember right now.