Monday, June 30, 2014


I got tired of not having any pictures on the blog, so here are some *awesome* phone pictures. Also, the awesome video above. Yesterday I was skyping with my mom and I showed her the rain out the door and she was duly impressed, so I thought I'd share the video I took a couple days before. It downpours with these HUGE drops of rain that instantly drench you every. single. day. Yup. That's right. And then in-between the downpours there is beautiful blue sky and sunshine.  So we're learning to take the sunshine and run with it when it happens. Which means we have gone swimming at 9am several times this past week, which worked out great (its already 90 degrees, it only cools down about 5 degrees at night) since it rained every afternoon. 
The pool is so beautiful at 9am. All those apartments behind the pool? That's what ours looks like, only you can't see our building from the pool.
This is what swimming in the morning does for Will. He misses his morning nap, gets worn out from sunshine and water, and barely makes it through lunch before going down for a beautifully long nap. It's actually quite nice since he doesn't get fussy at the pool.

On an afternoon of swimming. 
I made a batch of strawberry jam this week. I have no idea if it worked or not, I actually haven't tried it yet. They didn't have the same kind of pectin here that I usually use so mom wasn't sure if it was the right kind for freezer jam or not. I should try it out. Ruth loved helping.

I have been enjoying Will's nap time as a time to relax and spend some one-on-one time with Ruthie. I feel like in Utah that time was jam-packed with laundry and cleaning and cooking because I'd been gone working, or babysitting, or something, and needed to catch up. So while it is hard to think up things to do, it has also been really nice for me to have the time to focus on her and do a few fun activities.
And last, but not least, an absolutely horrible selfie. Apparently the lighting, plus my not-so-great phone is not the greatest combo. I am 33 weeks.
Right now 33 weeks means:
Popping tums pretty regularly depending on what we eat. 
Having regular contractions that are starting to hurt. (don't be alarmed, I had contractions for about four weeks and was dilated for three of them before having Will three weeks early, so this is just about on schedule, I guess)
More varicose veins than should be allowed on any person, ever. Ruff. And ruff again. 
Not really hungry for much, heat tends to do that to me, but I do consume a large amount of popsicles!
Loving long baths, as always, but usually I'm just as worn out from the pool as Will so I pick bed over bath.
Having to get up 80,000 times a night to go an incredibly small amount---I find this SOOOOO annoying! (especially the last couple nights because for some random reason Ruthie has been waking up and not going back to sleep so I feel like I don't sleep at all!)
Baby girl likes to start moving when I lay down which also makes falling asleep difficult and as much as I like knowing she's doing ok, its somewhat annoying.
I can't decide if this baby is breech or not and I am still stressing about it a bit--hopefully I'll have a dr.'s appointment next week and I'll have a more thorough idea.

And that's all folks!

PS Big shout out of thanks to Bridget for the skirt I'm wearing and the 3 others just like it that she gave me after her mission. I didn't wear them much when pregnant with Will, but with this heat they are LIFESAVING! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's 10am

10am and I am out of ideas for the day. Except for swimming. Which we will definitely do. I thought if I got the kids ready and out the door we could enjoy the park--we left at 8am and by the time Ruth had an accident about twenty minutes after getting there, Will's entire head of hair was wet with sweat and all of us felt the same way. To say it was humid is an understatement. So we came home. To beautiful air conditioning. And I don't think we'll leave again except to swim. Probably for the next three months. Good plan, no?

I currently don't have a camera, so I'm sorry for the lack of photos in my recent posts. But I am excited because I finally decided to return the lens I got off of amazon and just get the same version as my old one. It won't zoom as much (which is why I tried this new lens, besides that mine was broken) but I get so frustrated not having the image stabilizer, which is what makes it possible to snap pictures of my kids and get fifty of them right in a row that all look great. So...until I have a new lens, we are photo-less.

On Friday, before Sterling started school we went to the Miami Children's Museum because every third Friday is free. I thought it would be nice to check it out while I had Sterling to help me and then I would know how often I wanted to come back. Never, is the answer to that. It was CRAZY. A lady told me that I should come on a Monday, because they have more toddler-geared activities and it is a lot less busy, but since it is $18 per person to get in, and you have to pay for everyone 12mo and up, that is never going to happen. I was SO SCARED I was going to lose my children--it was so insane. I had to stand right beside Will and fend off the older kids so they wouldn't steal his fishing rod when he finally got one. They had some really cool stuff actually, but not worth it for the price, and I wouldn't ever want to do the craziness of a free day again, especially by myself. It was barely manageable with two of us. It would probably be ok if you had a 6 and 7 year old, but Ruth's head would bob and I'd think I'd know she was right ahead of me and then suddenly there would be swarms of other heads and I had no idea where she was. Seriously gave me a heart attack all afternoon. So I'm glad we got that out of the way and next time we'll just pay the $5 parking fee at the lagoon and let the kids play in the mud with their buckets--which is what we did the next afternoon.

We walked around this lagoon by our house the first week we moved in, so we came back to swim in it. It was a perfect morning, hot by 9am so it was nice to sit in the water and the kids just played with their shovels and buckets the entire time. Sterling and I said there were pro's and con's to going there or going to the ocean. I like the ocean better. But I think it will be easier to keep track of my kids at the little lagoon--plus they have a lifeguard, which, I would probably get their faster since it is a HUGE lagoon, but it still eases the mind. They were just taking stuff down from filming a commercial when we got there--a lady from the set gave us a bunch of mini water bottles cause she thought Ruth was so cute--and it was seriously the most beautiful morning for that. The palm trees looked just like they should with a perfectly clear blue sky behind them, the water was gorgeous and the sand was yellow and soft. We just lazed around and Sterling took a minute to enjoy not being in school yet. So glad we went!

Monday we hit up toddler reading time at the library--which was awesome!- and yesterday we made play dough while Will napped and then went swimming in the afternoon, which was also awesome. It is hot, so any other outside activities that don't involve water sound pretty unappealing. Sterling is loving school, he's supposed to get his iPad today so he was pretty excited this morning. And that's about all we've been up to lately.

PS As far as the house goes, the manager came yesterday and FINALLY finished the last sink that was leaking, updated us on when the stove part would come, said that he almost had the owner convinced to get us a new fridge (as long as we put in some information from the 'inspector' we had talked to that said mold was bad--my aunt who is a medical professional and currently serving in the Ft. Lauderdale mission where she said they replace fridges for missionaries that have had mold because of health risks) and...I think I can live here. It's actually in a pretty nice area, and when you spend most of the day at the pool, you don't notice the moldy boards under the sinks so much.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Right Now

Whelp folks, it's official. I dropped Sterling off at the metro this morning and he should be in his first day of orientation right now. I keep telling him 'You are starting medical school!' to which he replies, 'Well, it's just masters classes for the summer.'  but that kind of takes the excitement out of it. He's starting his program. Which includes medical school. Which is CRAZY!

How did we get here already? My mom called and chatted yesterday and my sister-in-law Brooke happened to be there visiting (my brother, her husband, is a doctor) and all she had to say was 'Welcome to not having a husband for the next four years!' Sigh. Today I've fed the kids breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, put them in clothes, and we're planning on going to story time at the library. I can do this, right?!?!?!

Sterling has worked long and hard for this and we're HERE!!!! We are in MIAMI! He is going to University of Miami! He's all accepted and actually starting! My dad always says "You'd be living and struggling whether you're in school or not, so you might as well be in school." Yup. Might as well. It's a little odd thinking that today is the first day of what the next four years of our lives will be like.

Good luck to the love of my life! You deserve this and I am so happy to be on this journey with you!

PS Did you know that Brightly Beams in the Spanish hymnbook is not a men's chorus song? But has a treble line? Yeah. I was supposed to accompany in Relief Society, but I had just grabbed an english hymnbook, and I was SO confused at how they wanted me to play it--until I looked in the Spanish book and realized the top hand notes are completely different. Just FYI in case you ever come across the same problem.

PPS We're still getting crazy rain storms over here. Last night my visiting teacher came over and as soon as she left I told Sterling we needed to go on a walk RIGHT THEN before it started to rain. Four minutes after we got back the heavens opened and it started DOWN-POURING! And right as Sterling said something about how its crazy the rain just comes down, without any wind or anything, the wind picked up, there was some crazy storming and the tree behind our apartment bent alarmingly, and the power went out. For three hours. It's kind of crazy to have no power for three hours. Quite the storm.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Just the Kids

I feel like Ruth has grown leaps and bounds lately. I remember thinking "Will you please sit still for longer than 12 seconds and focus on ONE thing?!?!?!" I just wanted her to be able to sit and color, or read, or something. Now all of a sudden, she seems to be able to do just that. The other day during Sacrament Meeting she spent almost the entire hour taking stickers off a page and putting them into a book. That is an UNHEARD of amount of time for her to focus on something. I also worried that I wasn't being that great at getting her into reading, because she never focused on a book at all. For the past week she has sat on my lap every evening before bed and listened to me read for at least fifteen minutes. Amazing! She will also focus much more on pretend games--mostly Ana and Elsa, playing with her tea set, caring for her doll and bear, and even at picking up her toys when she's finished. While I think this is a heaven sent blessing that I definitely needed before this new baby comes, it still makes me a little sad. It makes her seem so much more grownup. I don't ever want her to grow up. Sigh.

This has also been nice with Will. I don't think he'd sit still and play if he was by himself, but since Ruth is right there, he will sit and play too. Which means I might have to come break up a fight or tantrum every two minutes, but hey, it's better than the 12 seconds. Improvement. Will is getting big lately as well. He still doesn't talk, but he has a version of "momma" that definitely means me and it is hilarious to hear. Today Ruth and Will were having a snack of cheerios at the table and I was in the living room.
Ruth yells: Momma!
me: Yes?
Ruth: I'm finished!
me: Ok, one second.
Will: MOMMA!!!!!
me: Yes?
Will: (pleased little gurgling that he is getting the same attention as Ruth) MOMMA!!!!!
me: Yes?
Ruth: Will needs more cheerios!
me: ok.

That's pretty much how Will's conversations go. He really doesn't need to talk--Ruthie does it for him. But he's pretty proud to get the attention focused on him when he can. He also just learned how to 'fist bump' and it is the CUTEST thing in my life. He winds up his little arm and gives that bump full-force. I love it. He insists on doing it to both of my hands before a fist bump is complete, it is too funny. He's also at the age where he sits in the squat position for hours at a time looking at things and playing with things--it is one of my favorite things. It just looks so adorable to see him squatting and doing something all seriously.

Something they also do right now: shriek. Oh, the shrieking in our house lately!!!! Ruth shrieks because Will took her toy, Will shrieks cause she takes it back, then both shriek as they hit at each other to get the toy. The volumes are high and endless and it is not doing anything for my patience levels. I really want Will to start saying a few more words--just so we don't have shrieking at the dinner table when we can't figure out what he wants! Oh, except he can say 'hi' and he says it every morning in a really pleased voice when you come to get him out of his crib. It is really sweet sounding and I love it.

Will has been an awesome eater lately, which makes me really happy. I randomly weighed them the other day when I was unpacking our scale,  Ruth is 29 pounds and Will is 22 pounds--but he seems SO light! I was pretty worried when he basically stopped eating right before the move when we were at mom and dad's house, but it doesn't seem like it was anything major. He eats pretty much everything, and he's getting pretty good with a spoon. This is a huge thing because he has also been pretty adamant about feeding himself and that can be a big headache to clean up after.

Will is also the best hug-giver around. After ferociously hitting his sister, it's amazing how he can calm down and give just the sweetest hugs to her. He likes to snuggle with me for awhile after his naps and I hope he does it forever. He also gives kisses--mouth completely wide open every time. I love that so much too. The other night I gave him an eskimo kiss and now he'll come up and put his face right in mine and shake it back and forth. So sweet.

Well, there's the stats and updates on my kiddos. I can't believe how fast they grow and how much they can do! It's fun to sit back for a second and remind myself of how fun it is to watch them be little, sometimes being in the thick of it is too stressful to enjoy--but I do love it, and they are the best!


On our way to Miami we stopped in Murray, Kentucky--where Sterling grew up and his brother Paul lives. It was only 40 minutes out of our way and it was the first time Sterling has been with both of those siblings at the same time since he was about twelve. We were sorry Marlowe (just younger than Sterling) wasn't able to make it, but he's in the middle of a summer semester at WSU. It was pretty neat to see the house he grew up in. But man, the mosquitoes!!! Poor Danica had about 8 bites on her legs before we found some repellent. Also...the humidity. There was no ocean breeze to help there, and it was HOT! 
I love this picture. Kathy looks so beautiful, I think Ruthie looks like her.
Sterling, Kathy, Paul
Our attempt at a family photo. Awesome.
Ruthie and her cousin Kaylebb.
Will and his cousins Charlotte and Zackary.
Tiffany, Zackary, Kaylebb, Charlotte, and Paul
They hosted a wonderful barbecue and some other family members were able to come as well. I'll have to search on Facebook for some pictures of Kathy's kids JoJo, Jaxon, and Mia. Although they recently moved to Utah and we were able to spend time and take pictures with them there before we left, so that was nice. Hopefully in the future we'll be able to make longer trips out to visit and spend more time getting to know Sterling's siblings, but we're thankful we were able to make the stop on this trip.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Miami Zoo

Ben and Beth were amazing-again-and gave us some discount tickets to the zoo. It was so much fun! It's HUGE! We were there for over four hours and made it through about 1/5 of the map. Craziness. It's definitely a little bigger than the Hogle Zoo, haha. 

Ruth had fun spotting the animals. I was showing Ruth the pelican, below, when she spotted the second one and she was so excited!!!

We went inside the Wings of Asia building. Ruth was more impressed with the fish floating around than the dozens of birds flying around--typical. :)

 I'm having a hard time. I know if it was me looking at someone's pictures, I'd scroll through all the animal pictures and just look at the ones of them--but some of the animals were SOOOO cool!

This guy was my favorite bird, he literally has a box on his head!


This cool bear was just hangin' out in a tree. Haha!
Meet Henry. He provided a LOT of entertainment. He swung around branches and ropes for us, he walked up close to us, and he walked over to a window when we asked him to (Ruth decided she wasn't SO fond of being that close). It was awesome!

And this orangutan was my favorite thing we saw today. So here are WAY too many pictures of him:

Henry and him are buds.

 I know, I know. You're sick of the monkey pictures. It was so cool though! 
Henry getting a little too close to Ruthie for comfort.
 On to the tiger.

The tiger had his own castle. Pretty sweet.

Pretty majestic looking. 
After the tiger we stopped for lunch (PB&J) and Ben and Beth took Caroline home for a nap. It was the most humid day we've been outside in Miami so far--it was a little bit horrid. Sterling said he wanted to start carrying a hankie around in his pocket so he could wipe his brow with it periodically throughout the day. It could definitely be useful. I felt so sticky. Yuck. So we decided to head towards the splash pad and see what we could see in the meantime.
Random fluffy dude.
 TURTLES! My absolute FAVORITE animal!!! These dudes were BIG.

Hot. Sticky. Watching the turtles. 
Watch out for the wart hogs!

Okay, this might be my favorite part. You start walking along the Amazon River. It was absolutely gorgeous. Even in the humidity. Although I felt a little like getting on a wooden raft and singing 'Old Man River' while we sauntered along. 

Isn't that scenery just gorgeous?
We made it to what we *thought* was the splash pad. Turns out there is a much bigger, much better, much more exciting splash pad about a hundred yards from where we were. But when we walked past it was packed, so I'm kinda glad we stopped here and stayed. The kids LOVED it. Unfortunately, adding to an already long list of bruises from that morning, Ruthie fell on the corner of a rock and sliced her thigh and palm. Her thigh only bled a little but her palm bled and bled. Used up all four of the bandaids I had in my diaper bag--guess I should revamp that supply a little. Surprisingly, she stayed happy and continued to play for a LONG time.
He's started pulling you to where he wants to go, it's pretty cute. 
Where is he pulling me?

Nothing we said or threatened could convince them to stop drinking the water. I think Ruthie was mostly just sticking her face in--but Will got a mouth full a few times. 

This is what I did while Sterling played with the kids. Seriously, it was SO hot by that point. I wanted to make it through the Amazon section so bad but I decided to call it quits after that because I just couldn't handle walking in the humidity anymore. I came home and ate no less than 6 otter pops with the AC blowing in my face. I'm not sure I'm used to you yet, Miami.
31 weeks.
Due to the extreme hot weather and Ruthie's sadness at leaving the water--we promised her an ice cream cone. It was practically melted when they handed it to us over the counter. But I still think it was thoroughly enjoyed. 

When we got back in the van it said it was only 84 degrees. Oh humidity, you definitely were there today! Actually, on our walk back to the van the beautiful breeze that I usually can feel came back and it wasn't too terrible. Next time, we'll hit all the other sweet places and the big splash pad. But all in all, it was a terrific day. We saw TONS of cool animals (koalas, kangaroos, howling dogs, lizards, snakes, wart hogs, warty pigs, and more!) Ruth LOVED the animals, we all did really, and it was so beautiful and entertaining. Ben and Beth were amazing and gave us discount passes for the day and we can take them in for 40% off a year pass--which I think we'll end up doing. The zoo is RIGHT by our house, it's going to take us months to explore all of it, and I think we can visit for the splash pad alone until it cools down in the winter months and then we can enjoy other parts too. 

Thanks for a great day, Zoo Miami!