Welcome To My Home… I Guess?

Is it cheating if I was a major player in the embarrassing story, but not the embarrassee? Because this hilarious thing happened to me a couple of days ago and I thought it was worth sharing…

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So, let me set the scene for you. It’s a random morning. Toys are littered all across the carpet. Sesame Street is on full blast. Jack is in his high chair eating a waffle and I’m doing the dishes. Pretty standard.

Suddenly, I hear a key unlock the front door. I’m like… Dan has JUST left to work. He must have forgotten something or maybe he has the day off (like in my wildest dreams).

The door wooshes open. Immediately followed by this unsure pause. At this point, I think Dan’s being funny or something. Maybe he’s trying to prank me. I poke my head around the corner to see…

Not Dan. Not anyone I’ve ever met before. There was this total stranger. A girl about my age staring at me in COMPLETE BEWILDERMENT.

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Me: Okay, uh… Hello?

Her: … I think the leasing office gave me the wrong key.

So apparently, she was going to check on a “vacant” apartment to give a tour later that day, but instead checked in on mine. I can only imagine what she must have thought when she opened the door. “SQUATTERS! With Sesame Street … and family pictures hanging on the wall… ummm…”

I’m just glad that I was actually wearing pants that morning.

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Detailed Ultrasound Pictures of Baby #2

Had an ultrasound of our new little boy the other day. He was moving a lot (per his norm) and even got the hiccups which was kind of fun to see.

He’s big. Which I kind of figured because I was really ballooning out but not gaining any weight. They told me that I’m measuring at 28 weeks and he’s in the 65th percentile for size. To which I was like, cool… I’m not even 28 weeks yet…

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO that’s going to come out of me in a few months.

But everything looks good. Everything is super healthy and going well! They were able to get some pretty detailed pictures so I wanted a chance to show them off:

Seeing my little boy’s face for kind of the first time made me tear up. (Although everything makes me tear up when I’m pregnant haha) With everything that has been going on, I haven’t really been able to spend a lot of attention on this new little one. (Middle child, much?) But getting caught up on ultrasound and seeing him so clearly, it made me feel really excited to meet him!

ONE TRIMESTER TO GO!

Just a Random Blog Post on Everything That’s Been Going On

There is just so much happening right now that I’m not even sure how to consolidate this information into one post. So please forgive the scatter-brained mess this will be haha

1. ARIZONA

Arizona is great and we love it. Even with the summer heat, (I think the highest it’s gotten so far was 113 degrees Fahrenheit?) But tbh, I live the hermit lifestyle anyways and the AC in my apartment is great!

What I would say to someone looking to move down here would be… you like strip malls? Because at least where I live in East Mesa, there are alternating strip malls and gated communities in between a lot of palm trees and cacti. The great thing about it though is you are always in a close radius to any store you could dream of. There’s a department store or grocery store every two blocks and anywhere you’re at you are by a freeway enterance. The design is really smart and this state has everything dialed in. Like OH MY GOSH all the roads are huge!

‘Kay, I don’t know if it’s just the area I’m in, but the people here are either big hit or completely frigid when it comes to friendliness. And (kiiiind of an agist perspective) I’ve noticed that it is totally dependent on age. Like, the younger people in my building complex. Lol… I will straight up make eye contact with them and loudly say, “Hi!!” And they will 100% snub me as they pass. On the other hand, I’ve had several old people stop and talk to me *just because I was smiling to myself*. It’s a funny dynamic. I’m sure my loud, young-person greetings pins me as an outsider even more than my translucent skin color and long pants.

Overall, this place is a big hit for Dan and I. Jack has adjusted very well to our new apartment and has been EATING UP all of the time he gets with Daddy.

THE PREGNANCY

Yeah! The pregnancy is going well. I don’t know how I always manage to be pregnant when we move somewhere and end up being the useless lump. Ugh. Carrying Jack is getting harder and I get a lot more tired than normal. But I think that has to do with all the running around we’ve been doing as well. This baby is SUPER SUPER active. I feel twists and turns all day and Daniel can even feel little kicks now. Trying to find a doc is a bit stressful, but everything is going great. Stay tuned for a gender reveal soon!

WRITING

So if you haven’t seen my last update, my computer blew up. WRITERS. WORST. NIGHTMARE. I ordered a new computer and now I’m waiting for it to arrive. (Typing this on my phone still).

Fortunately, my novel is backed up and safe. If June hadn’t been so hellishly ridiculous I might have my fourth draft finished by now. Buuuuuut nonetheless I am incredibly close. I can see the finish line. Just another round of edits (Oh, just that?? That’s nothing. **SARCASM**) and then TA FREAKING DA, I’ll start beggining door to door for representation.

Here’s something cute: I was in the bathroom getting ready and could hear Dan on the phone with an insurance agent. (He didn’t know I was listening) When they asked what I did for a living, he very confidently responded, “She’s an author.” THIS DOLL I MARRIED WHAT THE HECK! He believes in me so hard! I hope he’s right. And I hope I can kick it back into gear when my new laptop comes.

Oh and PS the cute black laptop that died was named ‘Othello’. I’m considering naming this next one ‘Horatio’, since, ya know, he’s basically the only character that survives in Hamlet. And I’m really looking for a computer who can live to “tell my story”. Haha!

That’s about it. Blech. Sorry. At some point I’ll get back to normal with this blog and put out more embarrassing stories.

 

An Entire Family of Bad Luck Brians

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Have you ever seen the movie Pure Luck? Because let me tell you… this move to Arizona has been some of the worst luck I’ve ever had. It’s been so ridiculous in fact that you wouldn’t believe it unless I made a comprehensive list.

So here you are:

We got a late start getting out on the road because one of our drivers disappeared at Walmart for an hour

U-haul’s system went out nationally and double charged us for the trailer

Car’s AC went out as soon as we hit Mesquite

We tried to see Hoover dam. It was closed.

Our other car wasn’t put on the trailer correctly and almost fell off in the middle of the desert

Our credit card stopped working because of the unusual location even though we informed the bank we were moving

Got to the Air BnB late, misunderstood where the entrance was and got chewed out all day for trying to break in

Got locked out of our own gated community as we were trying to move in

Brought an air mattress for our helpers… didn’t bring an air pump

Got two replacement mattresses and a pump… that pump was broken

The flight we purchased for our helpers was delayed like three hours. Didn’t know about it until after they had gone through security

Someone in our building was smoking and it was blowing into our apartment

It took 4 trips to the DMV to get registration done because of random misunderstandings

Caterpillars keep crawling in through the bottom of our front door 🤷🏻

Our pool turned green

Jack had diarrhea for the first week

And then because of the diarrhea Jack had bad diaper rash the second week

I spent like 15 minutes picking out the most gentle face wash/moisturizer I could find at the store. I was allergic to it.

Dan’s bike got stolen off our porch

After fixing the AC we took our car to get tint put on the windows and our MECHANIC’S car broke down and he couldn’t get to it until the next day

We went to three different restaurants because we had gift cards. NONE OF THE GIFT CARDS WORKED

The ONE thing I was madly pregnancy craving does not exist here in AZ

The radiator in the OTHER CAR broke down

And literally as I was typing up this list, Dan came in to tell me that the plug on my laptop just SPARKED and EXPLODED. So I’m trying to write this post on my phone.

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This probably all sounds made up. IT’S NOT. Hopefully, a meteor isn’t about to fall on us. Um… Help?

Trying to Recreate the Parent Trap IRL

So, here’s a thing that happened.

It was 1998. A beautiful time of matching windbreakers over mom jeans and boy bands with frosted tips. 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Boyce had just blown everyone away in the school talent show by singing “My Heart Will Go On”. And while all the adults were laughing at There’s Something About Mary, the kids were all about Lindsay Lohan in the remake of Disney’s The Parent Trap.

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If you’ve never seen it, first off – shame on you because it’s a real treasure. Secondly, the idea is that two twins separated as babies by a divorce meet at a summer camp. After camp, they pretend to be each other in an effort to rekindle their parent’s love. To this day, my sister Natalie and I are still huge fans of both the old movie and the new movie. In fact, when it first came out we were so enchanted by it that we decided, Hey, let’s switch places…

Here’s the problem. Um… we look nothing like each other. I was a super blondie and Nat had really dark hair. We didn’t even really look like sisters, let alone twins. Also, we were three years apart. My sister was in the fifth grade and I was in second grade…

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Nevertheless, we were sure that this was a good plan.

We planned it out for weeks. We each had a notebook with tons of important tips jotted in them, where my desk was in the room, where I kept my markers, nick names I called my best friends so they would be none-the-wiser.

The day came and we went right to each others classrooms. Natalie went to second grade and I went to fifth. My sister, haha, recognized RIGHT AWAY that it wasn’t going to work. She stepped into class and the teacher was all like, “Can I help you?”. She just kinda shuffled back out the door, “Uh, no. I’m good.”

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I, on the other hand, was still so sure about this. The teacher had kind of the same reaction.

Teacher: Do you need something?

Me: Nope. I’m Natalie.

Teacher: …. wut?

Me: I’m Natalie.

All the other kids started laughing so hard! And they were big kids. And it was scary. So I started to cry. My sister’s teacher had to walk me back to my second grade classroom. Ah, man.

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Anyways, coincidentally! Utah Children’s Theatre in Salt Lake is putting on The Parent Trap. How fabulous is that? Doesn’t that sound like the most fun ever? Come and see it! Tickets and showtimes can be found at uctheatre.org I can’t even tell you how excited I am to check it out! I’m definitely bringing Natalie with me.

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Taking a Toddler to Disneyland AND a Cruise

My resolution for 2018 has been to “try not to automatically assume the worst thing is going to happen”. And to start out the new year we really put my fears to the test by taking our 18-month-old on a very ambitious vacation.

It’s hard. Maybe it’s a mother bear thing, because eventually you train yourself to predict what will happen with your child. “Don’t play near that table, you’re going to knock your teeth out. Don’t sit on the sofa like that, you are going to fall backwards. Everyone hide all phones and remotes or we’re about to have a meltdown.” As our vacation drew near all I could think about were my disastrous predictions. But you know what? Overall, I will say that my negative expectations were very much proven wrong.

THURSDAY: SHIPPING OFF (AS IT WERE)

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Expectation: Jack will throw a HUGE tantrum on the plane and it will be a miserable two hours.

Reality: Jack did fine on the plane. Everything else went wrong.


Seriously. Jack on the plane, total angel. Trying to get on the plane. PBBBBBBBTTTTTTTHPPPPPPPPT! (In case you couldn’t tell that was me blowing a raspberry with my thumb pointed down) Our boarding pass didn’t print. Security was backed up. My baby food tested positive for bomb material for some reason. (TF!?) The amount of freaking money we spent on a Taxi, I was like, really? Why don’t you just float us across the pacific then for that kind of room and board.

Finally, we made it onto the ship and met up with family. Then I could focus on the SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR of the trip…


Expectation: Jack wont sleep a wink in his stranger danger porta crib.

Reality: Jack slept so deep that he might have slipped into several comas. I’m not sure


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Yes, those are naughty pacifiers for a toddler.

When we went camping to witness the Solar Eclipse… it was a nightmare, okay. We had to take turns sleeping in the car to actually get our child to stop screaming at least. This time, zonked. He didn’t care. He didn’t even wake up through the several announcements and alarms leading up to the mandatory safety meeting. Neither did Dan. The two would’ve gone down with the ship, still synchronize snoring in the cabin.

Turned out, not even a marching band could wake this child. He slept through lights being turned on, he slept through us talking and laughing at normal volume. He even slept through the Disneyland fireworks show which sounded like a full on air raid TBH.

FRIDAY: MEXICO

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Excuse my dead child

Expectation: We won’t be able to see much of Mexico and have to come back early so Jack can nap on the ship.

Reality: We got to do a day excursion and Jack napped on the go.


See, I told you about the sleeping thing.

We got to do some street shopping and see ‘La Bufadora’, which is like the Old Faithful of the Mexican coastline. “Really?” No, not really at all actually, but still. AND THE TACOS OMG! If you are wondering whether I purchased a very expensive cruise ticket just for Mexican tacos… then you clearly have never had authentic Mexican tacos. Good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY.

SATURDAY: A CHOPPY DAY AT SEA


Expectation: It will be rough keeping Jack entertained.

Reality: It was rough keeping Jack from having fun.


All this kid wanted to do was run around. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Lapping the length of the ship over and over. Up, up, up and down, down, dooooooownnn each and every staircase he could find. He had to explore every single inch of the ship. The Casino, the smoking areas, fire station units, stranger’s cabins. I swear, Jack’s dream vacation would be to go to a giant enclosed football stadium, have someone wind up the key in his back and spend the week doing endurance training. It was hard to get him to SIT DOWN. Or you know, step away from the toddler-sized gaps in the railing on the upper deck.

SUNDAY: TAR PITS, HOLLYWOOD, LOTS OF DRIVING

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Expectation: We will be twiddling our thumbs all day.

Reality: We did tons of fun stuff. It turned out to be one of my favorite days.


We had nothing planned for this day, other than we knew we would do something with my husband’s side of the family (with whom we shared the cruise with) and then something with my side of the family later on (with whom we were to share Disneyland with). But none of us, really had any plans in mind. So we ended up hanging around Hollywood.

AND IT WAS AWESOME.

Okay, so I had never been to the tar pits before. We ended up spur of the moment going there… I turned into a nine year old boy. I just REALLY needed to see something sink into that tar. So I peer pressured [bullied] my husband until he threw a big rock in there AND IT WAS SO CEWL OMG LIKE SOMETHING STRAIGHT OUT OF AN ODDLY SATISFYING COMPILATION ON THE YOUTUBES!

Afterwards we all had a nice uplifting Sabbath lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Somehow my baby slept through like 40 minutes of concert-level music. (Why do I worry about things?) He of course later woke up to get in on rocking out. –Hard Rock Cafe is kinda like my thang. So I was very hyper and talkative [annoying?]–

Hard Rock Cafe also happened to be neighbors with Grauman’s Chinese Theater, so we stopped there too because eh, why not?

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“Eh, why not?”

MONDAY: DISNEYLAND

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Expectation: Jack wont be able to do much.

Reality: There was so much for Jack to ride that we didn’t even get to all of it.


Someone once told me that there isn’t a lot for babies to do at Disneyland, but THAT AIN’T TRUE! I think it’s easier to name the rides that babies CAN’T go on than the ones that they can. I can’t say the same for California Adventures but at the OG uhhhh YEAH! It’s a family place for a reason.

Pluuuuus Grandma and Grandpa took Jack back to the hotel for his afternoon nap. While Dan and I got to ride all the big people rides. Yeah, whassup Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Space Mountain I’m looking at you, sailor. It was the best date ever.

NUMBER ONE TAKE AWAY ADVICE FOR PARENTS WANTING TO BRING TODDLERS ON VACATION: Bring other adults with you. Seriously, it was a relief both on the cruise and at the amusement-park-designed-specifically-for-parents-to-enjoy-with-their-children-but-maybe-he-enjoyed-his-nap-tho-shuttup.

TUESDAY: DISNEY BEFORE THE TREK HOME

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Expectation: Disneyland would be rained out and half closed.

Reality: It was ABSOLUTELY the most darling and wonderful Disney day.


The days we went to Disneyland were the days California decided to flood.

We were gearing up for our underwater Disneyland tour, when guess what? It turned out to be a perfectly sunny day. (And the crowds were frightened away too) Walked on to every ride, had a marvelous time. And OH NOT TO MENTION. Jack just happened to meet his hero after riding the Winnie the Pooh ride a few times in a row.

Let’s play a game, who is more excited to meet Pooh. Jack or Mom?

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It was a lovely trip and here’s my takeaway… That scary thing you’re thinking of doing? Look, you should just do it. It’s likely that your expectation of an EPIC FAIL may actually be just an expectation and nothing more.

The Worst Christmas Present

You know that person that never wants or needs anything so they’re impossible to buy for? That’s my brother. I never know what to get him, so instead we came up with a beautiful Christmas tradition…

To try and get each other the worst Christmas presents possible.

 

Here is what I managed to get my brother this year:

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An instructional DVD of how to become a Mary Kay consultant

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A VHS of the classic hit “Crawlers”

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Party Cheetos

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Pete the Repeat Parrot, which is a repeat gift of something that we treasured(?) from our childhood.

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An outdated Algebra textbook for a class he’ll never take

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A Blockbuster membership card

 

Here’s what he got me:

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Fist of all this is the box it came in.

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A DVD to entertain our cats when we’re away… we do not own a cat

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A buttload of expired groceries from my mom’s food storage (that I was told he wrapped the day of)

… Also dehydrated water (which my mom demanded back for some reason? Not pictured.)

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The coup de grace, an actually DVD copy of my number one worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Beautiful.