Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Zoo

It's cooling down around here. Meaning, it's 85 degrees instead of a sweltering 92. Don't ask me why those seven degrees are SOOO incredibly different, but in Miami, it is like life and death. Literally. 

I saw today that it is snowing at Powder Mountain. Meanwhile, I took the trash out at 7pm tonight in shorts and flip-flops and still felt like it was too muggy and hot to be out. BUT it has been nice enough to be outside and enjoy yourself. I mean, we drank four water bottles during our zoo trip...but we survived. And in August, we would not have survived. So ya know, thanks for that Miami!

We hit up the children's petting zoo this time around because we haven't in forever. Mostly because they have camel rides and the carousel over there and my kids always want to go and I always say no, so usually we just avoid that part of the zoo. But it IS fun to pet and brush the goats!

How many children does it take to brush one goat? ;)
Recently I got Will three new outfits on end-of-summer clearance (huge perk of no season changes) and they were all really cute match-y outfits. Only he has a sudden and FIRM belief in monochramaticism. So all one color it is! Haha.

My kids have never been old enough to play on this particular playground at the zoo. I tell ya what. We have had a zoo pass for a year and a half now and still find new things to do. Miami zoo is just SOOOOO massive. I love it.

Looking at the rhino.

The lion was pacing RIGHT IN FRONT of the glass. It was AWESOME!!! I convinced Will to get up right next to the glass. It was scary. I was scared.

 This bear was also out and about and he NEVER is (we usually only see the Sun Bear, and now I can't remember what this bear is). So that was exciting.

Then, because I had thought it was cool enough (it hit 90), I hadn't brought splash pad apparel so we played at the park next to the splash pad instead. The kids had a grand time, minus Ruthie who decided to feel sick and ornery and she sat in the stroller the whole time whining about the sun burning her whenever a stream of light hit her the wrong way. Sigh. 

All complaining aside, the weather really has been absolutely gorgeous lately. Ya know when you have a few weeks of winter and you just need a day where you feel the sun on your face and get burned a little? I get that feeling far too often in the winter. Don't get me wrong. I love the cold and I love the snow and I love every holiday/winterish/warm fire feeling. But I really do love that I can play outside with my kids all year round here and right now is starting to be SOOO perfect to play outside endlessly. It is just the greatest. And the Miami zoo? It will always hold such a special place in my heart. I was telling Claire's mom all the things we did and had to backtrack and retrace our steps to say something and she laughed "You really do have the route of animals memorized, don't you?" Yes, yes I do. All the massive huge area of it. Cause ya know, it's the lions, then the donkeys, then the sea otters, THEN the komodo dragon and on to the...hahaha. 

Friday, October 23, 2015


All right folks, things are starting to get crazy because we're adding a third to the number of kids around here who can talk! Okay, that's a bit of a stretch, but Molly's "M-AH-MAAAAAAAA" screech is definitely meant for me and Hahaha. She also says "mnhk" in the exact same guttural way that Will did when he was a baby and the reminder just gets me every time. She also says a 'thank you' deep down in her throat (so much like Will!) that is the sweetest. She also says 'buh' and waves goodbye and says 'EYE!' and waves hello! My favorite thing she does right now, which isn't a word, is kissing. My other two kids gave those awesome open-mouthed kisses that just made my heart melt. Molly purses her lips real tight and makes HUGE smacking sounds when she kisses your lips. It is HILARIOUS! She'll get crazy hyper and give you tons in a row and it is just so so funny.

Will has been taking off in the speaking department like CRAZY. My favorite is when he tells me he likes something. "Me LIKE-uh dis, mama. Me LIKE-uh red." His 'k' is such a hard, hard, hard sound. As if he's putting all his little might of effort into it. So great. He is still determined to wear his undies on backwards (the pictures need to be in the front of course!) and if I do it wrong "'Nudder way, mama, 'nudder way!!!!" He uses the word 'another' all the time, which I find so enchanting and it always sounds like 'nudder'. For the LONGEST time he called Ruthie 'Dodd' and has just recently--within the past two weeks--started calling her "Rupee". I love it. I ask him to say her name all the time. I think it's because he says his 'p' sound as hard as he makes his 'k' sound. Just so much effort into that one letter! There's a lot of "Rupee, no! Me do dat!" around these parts lately.

Ruthie is a crazy girl that is getting much too grown-up in her language skills. She says hilariously mature things all the time and I always think I should write them down to remember them but I never do. One thing she does that is so funny is that instead of saying 'yesterday', 'in the past', 'a few days ago', 'a little while ago', or anyway to denote something that already happened, she says "once upon a time ago' and then continues right on with her story. "Once upon a time ago when we were at our friend's house. Mama. Mama, do you reemember that?" Haha.

The VERY BEST kidism lately that I cannot get over is Will's singing. We've been listening to Primary songs in our van for...oh the past few months. Will has started singing the very last word of every phrase very loudly. He just jumps in when the word is already half over and jovially overpowers the entire song. It is such a riot. But we've been working on I'm A Mean Old Witch because of Halloween coming up. Ruth had it memorized by the end of the meal that I started teaching it to them. It just caught Will's funny bone that he can 'get' someone at the end of the song. He LOVES it. So tonight when we were singing it at bedtime he does all the actions, makes a little hat for the witch, swings his arms around for the flying on a broom, and then he sings "My tin is POKEY and my NOSE and I'LL. GET. YOOOU!!!!" with these tiny little clawing fists that are supposed to be scary but a HUGE loopy grin on his face. The fact that he says 'pokey' instead of 'pointy' and then just sings 'NOSE' all loud and forgets all the other lyrics. HAAHAAHAA. I've got to get that on video. And you just know he thinks he is the most clever thing that ever happened because of his proud little smile the entire time. I love it. Oh I just really, really love it.

That canine-missing grin! OOOOHHHHHH I just LOOOOOOOVE it!!!
This girl is SOOOOO crazy. And tiny and hilarious and just the funniest, funniest little person. We just love love love her! Also, she was the only one who kept smiling for pictures, everyone else was too interested in their lego tower, haha.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Back Patio + Bayside

First off, some pictures of our back patio. When we moved in it was a complete JUNGLE back there. It was hot and muggy and horrible and rainy and we never went back there because there was no space to play and there were HORRENDOUS mosquitoes. Also, when I did send the kids back there, my kids weren't really old enough to play by themselves, so it just felt cramped and crowded. 

I wish I would have taken 'before' pictures, because about a month ago I decided the four feet of overgrowth needed to go. I bought a massive hedge clipper at Home Depot, that could probably take off limbs, and went to town. For two hours. Just cutting down the trees and vines and plants. We had to make a 6 ft x 6 ft pile on our front street for landscaping to pick up. It was intense. And now there is enough space to play! Not only that, but we are finally getting cool enough days that if my kids go out in the morning, right after breakfast they can play and it's not too hot(which is perfect because I can hear them from my upstairs bedroom, directly above, and get ready while they happily play--also, Ruthie can open the door and let themselves back in if she needs to)! With the overgrowth all cut back there is actually room to be back there and they are old enough now that they will occupy themselves for up to an hour. It is seriously the greatest. The mosquito problem has not been resolved, although I did buy expensive bags to hang up in the corners that supposedly attract and kill mosquitoes. Mostly I just spray them all before they head out and we just constantly smell like mosquito spray around here. Which, for an hour of happy kid time where they are entertaining themselves, is a pretty small price. 

You can actually see fence all the way around. That is a new thing for us!

Moving on to our SECOND date night in TWO weeks. This is more date nights than the last six months combined. What can I say, we had free babysitting offers, and who are we to say no to that?!?! 

This week we decided to go back to Bayside Market sans kids. It was pretty fun. We probably could have planned it better. But as it was, we relaxed, enjoyed ourselves, enjoyed fresh seafood (fried), and had a really great time. 

I took the metro by myself to meet up with Sterling in the big city. It has been SO wet today and every time the metro moved forward, rivers of water would flow off the windows. It was sweet.
Riding above the city.
I love walking around the ocean. It felt less Miami-ish and more New England-ish with the rain and below ninety weather! So beautiful!

Sterling's classmates recommend Bubba Gump's. It was ALL about Forrest Gump. Our waiter even tested us on movie trivia. We failed miserably. My only excuse is that I'm too young for that movie's popularity?!?! I remember my older siblings knowing it. Anyway, the restaurant itself was ALL decked out with memorabilia and hilarious quotes and we loved the vibe.

We ordered the giant seafood fry or something like that. We got fried shrimp, fried fresh fish, and fish hush puppies with fries. We shared and I am SO glad we did. They had this incredible dipping sauce along with cocktail and tartar sauce that was SO delish. The fish hush puppies made me wish my brother Wyatt was there SOOOO bad. He used to ask my mom to make corn fritters all the time and he LOOOOVES seafood like no one I have ever met (and his wife is allergic--of all the twisted things!) and the fish hush puppies were pretty much corn fritters with pieces of shrimp and fish all throughout. I loved them. A lot. 

To end we ordered an IBC rootbeer float to share. We had to specify 'kid' instead of 'adult'--meaning, no alcohol. We didn't realize that meant we got the kid cup---but we were pretty excited to bring our prize home to show our kids, hahaaahaaahaaahaa!!!!

See the lights at the bottom? They are like a disco ball. It is pretty intense, believe me. Haha. 

Such a fun restaurant! I'm so glad we tried it out! Also, something about seafood and rainy days just goes together.
Bayside Celebrity Walk. They have a bunch of stones on the sidewalk with celebrity names. 
We discovered our next date night. A little pop-up a la carte dinner! It was to die for picturesque complete with a Spanish band!
The entrance.
You better believe we walked all throughout it even though we had already eaten and had no plans of purchasing anything!

That little bag of eggs!
I offered to take a cute couples picture for them, so then they offered the same. So nice! And it was around 80 degrees outside, but it was VERY rainy--my jacket is poncho material, not heavy at all. Don't let it deceive you, haha.

Sterling and I were trying to take a picture of the lady dancing on the building (the purple one on the left) but I thought the sign was hilarious too. 
I live in a CITY?!?!
Again, I LIVE IN A CITY?!?! Haha. This is riding the metro-mover which is free around downtown. It's weird because there are no seats, just open space with poles to hold onto. I tried to take a picture of one from the outside, but it was too dark and didn't really show up. 
We had a really great time. I had recently watched several podcasts of a Power of Moms conference and so had SO MUCH to spew at Sterling of things I want to do. Luckily, he's awesome and just listened to all of my excitement. It was a nice night. Also, Summer was watching my kids and that is just SOOO relaxing. My kids LOVE her and LOVE her kids (she has five, and only one boy--he worships Will and wishes Will was his own brother) and are always so sad to leave her house. While we were on our date they had grilled cheese sandwiches, played 'camping', ate cookies, pulled out blankets, and watched Mary Poppins while eating popcorn. Who wouldn't love that?!!?! I feel so lucky that we have been blessed to meet all the wonderful people in Miami that we have. 

Also, when I told Summer that it still made me nervous to ride the metro by myself, she laughed. She told me she's only ridden once and it was with her husband. She scanned her card to walk through the security gates, but it opened up on the opposite lane from the one she was standing on and the person standing in that line just looked and walked through without scanning his card (stealing her money and pass basically). Luckily, a security guard saw and let her through. THEN she did it AGAIN coming home!!! BAAHAAHAA! That totally made my day. At her expense. Us country girls trying to pretend we are city girls is just too hilarious sometimes. Plus, I just love her. Huge shout out to her for taking such great care of my kids and loving them like her own! From telling me who I should get as an OB before moving here, to babysitting my kids when I had Molly and she didn't even know me, to babysitting tonight, she has always been such a huge lifesaver. Some people are just real life angels. 

I have to clean my house tomorrow. And fold the five baskets of clean laundry that have sat in my room for the past three days. Sigh. The end.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A date! A date! (Wynwood Walls)

This is something I've wanted to do ever since we decided to go to U of M for med school and I started pinning fun things to do here. There were lots of kids there, and it's advertised as family friendly, but I am very glad we went just the two of us. Besides lots of bars and loud music, you go through quite a few sketchy alleyways and HUGE crowds and it was just so nice to know that I wasn't keeping track of kids, counting heads, and worrying about cars and safety. 

WE WENT ON A DATE! A REAL LIVE DATE! What with Molly being big enough to not be nursing, eat table food, and generally being past the baby stage, it is so much easier to be gone for a longer amount of time. Not only that, but an AWESOME podiatry resident and his family moved nearby and since they have three kids as well, we have started swapping babysitting. Which means we can actually afford to go on a date because it's FREE. Sometimes life is just too good.

We took the following picture of me because they gave us free popsicles to post it to social media. The guy was hilarious. Sterling picked a pineapple popsicle that ended up having basil in it. That's what happens in the indi-area of Miami, haha. (I am so out of the loop. Indi? Granola? These things aren't specific in a melting pot like Miami, haha.)

FOOD TRUCKS! I have never seen so many in my life. They were up and down about four streets. And the SMELLS! It felt like a carnival!

Sometimes I realize I live in Miami.
We got a 32 oz. lemonade and needed to be rehydrated about .5 seconds later. It was HOT! But it was so fun. And that lemonade was DELISH!
Basically you wander around this little section of downtown Miami (a fairly scary section of downtown Miami) and look at all the buildings graffiti. They are done by actual graffiti artists. I've heard of that before, but it was pretty neat to see it all in person. They have a little area you walk into where they just have walls set up with famous graffiti artists. You can go on tours. We listened to one for a few minutes before moving on. It was really interesting, just a bit long.
See that building behind the food trucks? Wynwood Arts Complex. 

How many faces do you see? I was terrible at these things, I'd usually only see one thing in a specific wall and Sterling would have to point out all the intricate details.

This little alleyway was my FAVORITE. We walked past it again later that night and it was all lit up with twinkling lights. It felt like I was in another world in some crazy bazaar or something. 

It led into this little nook. I was especially in love with the puke couch.

The alleyway opened up into this and then back onto more streets of walls.

For you, Bridget! Sterling said you would be SO excited!
We decided to get that stick-figure heart painting and put it above our bed, haha!! Someday!
Apparently, Gramps is a local club that is really trendy. Just off to the left of the picture was a guy standing to check ID's. I almost convinced myself to go in just to get my ID checked, because I've never done that before, haha.
There were quotes and scriptures and sayings painted all over the sidewalks, but this was my favorite. 

I had to post this because there are lots of houses that look like that in Miami that are not in the Wynwood Art district. HAHA.
The next few pictures are just SO Miami(and yes, I'm talking dumpsters and lamp posts and garbage). Someday, when we don't live here, this will remind me of our time in Miami and I will laugh. I already laugh. But really--it's just such a crazy place:

Sterling was getting a little close and personal with this guy. Then he realized he had a gun. HAHA.

So many people everywhere.
A lock keeper. Pretty neat. 

This was leading into the section that has tours.

Little corners with crazy furniture. I guess that Gratitude one is SUPER famous.

If I could have, I would have got this couch for you, Andrea. And the lamp.
Sterling was done posing LONG before this, but I asked a nice lady to take our picture in front of this wall. Everyone who has gone takes a picture of this wall, it's the thing to do. So I thought I'd get in on it. 

A lot of the walls were quite risqué, so they are not pictured. But ya know, it is Miami.
Sterling requested a picture of this one because it isn't spray-painted, it's actually chipped into the wall!
Random guy pushing his cart across the street--HAHA! I love it! I don't even know why I loved it so much! 
YAY!!! We were so excited we almost got it! But chose these incredibly delicious kabobs instead.
More food trucks.
And here, pictures for all of the ethnicities represented:

Quite the variety of food options, no? Variety as in, the ones you always come across here. I almost convinced Sterling to try some Venezuelan, but we were having  hard time keeping our options gluten-free.

This massive jenga was just out for anyone to use:

This was not directly on a wall. On the second Saturday of every month several little art galleries in the area open up for everyone to walk through for free. This was in one of them. 
Kayli, Sterling said to ask Brett what this was. A kit car?
Random guy with monkey on street corner. Several of the street corner people asking for money were not so enchanting.

 And that CRAZY amount of pictures concludes our date night. I promise Sterling didn't mind that I spent our date snapping pictures. We had FOUR hours, so it really didn't even seem like I pulled the camera out that frequently. And we just SAT and ate for almost an hour and a half--unheard of! And I didn't have to share my food with Molly! We had such a great time and it was so nice to get a fun experience in just the two of us. I really enjoy being able to get into some Miami local places while we are living here. Spices to life, right?!