Sunday, May 23, 2010

South Florida Temple Location - Finally

We finally know where the new South Florida temple will be located!  We have long known the approximate location, but somehow couldn't determine exactly where it would be (although now it is obvious that we should have been able to guess).  Below is a google maps view of the area.  You can also go to the bcpa website and search for Folio 504028060010.  This triangular lot is right next to I-75 and just north of Griffin Road.  It is an excellent location that will allow thousands of people will see it on a daily basis.  On a side note it is also very near to Vista View Park, which has the highest hill in So. East Florida (an old land-fill).

It is incredible to think that the temple will be only 14 miles away from our house!  A 20 min drive instead of 3 hours...quite a difference.  It will only be about 40% as large as the Orlando temple which will make it about 28000 sq. feet, but for our location and and church membership it will be perfect.  For a similar temple check out the temple located in Billings Montana.

The renderings that were shown us actually made it seem much more real and allow us a glimpse of what it will probably be like.  It is a blessing to know that finally (at least in a couple of years) we will be blessed with a temple so close to home.

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Friday, May 21, 2010


My strategy for getting through the last few weeks of pregnancy? Fill my life with as many distractions as possible. Like painting half the rooms in my house, cleaning and organizing the garage, going to the pool, writing meaningless blog entries, committing to watch kids the week before I'm due and planning birthday celebrations on my due date. Other strategies? Purposely not pulling out the baby car seat, swing, bouncy seat and crib from the garage and also positioning the baby clothes far enough back in a closet that makes it almost impossible to get to. Oh yeah, and not buying newborn diapers. This way I can convince myself that I'm just not ready to have this baby and therefore will not waste time each day hoping it will come right now. A sort of mental exercise that I hope will keep me sane since my babies all tend to come after their due date. What does that little baby gadget on the blog do after it runs out of days anyway? We'll most likely find out.

Don't get me wrong, I am most definitely fatter than I ever have been. I passed that point about a month ago. I would love to be able to bend over again, and breathe and shave my legs properly and have a lap. I look forward to being able to roll over in bed without grunting and having a regular body temperature again (remember when the chapel felt cold?). I will be glad to pack up the only remaining maternity outfits large enough to contain me (It's like I'm wearing a uniform, and FYI, they're both dirty right now. No way am I buying more clothes to fit me now.) Most of all I look forward to meeting the child that I have carried around for so long. What will he look like, besides the standard bald, blue-eyed edition that we are known to produce? What will his personality be like? I don't think that part of having a baby ever gets old.

While the distractions are surely helping me not dwell too much on my ongoing discomfort, I am convinced that the ninth month of pregnancy is designed to make you feel as awkward, uncomfortable, heavy and impatient as possible so that you will do anything, anything to get the baby here just so you can end the misery. Even labor. It gets so bad that labor sounds pretty good after a while. Just a few hours of pain? Less than a day and it'll be done? Sign me up.

Wait. Writing this is making me think too much about it, which defeats my strategy. Mental exercise: I'm not ready, the baby has nothing to wear, there are still rooms to tear apart and organize, the car seat probably still has stains on it from the last kid... yeah, that's better.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things I Like

I realize that all these things have to do with cleaning, but it seems like that is a big portion of my life right now.

1. Our new vacuum cleaner. I had asked for one for Mother's Day, but Jared came home and surprised me with it a week before. It's just a standard bag-less Hoover Windtunnel, but it is waaaay better than our last vacuum. After just doing two area rugs there was so much dirt and hair in there that it had to be emptied out. What I'm saying is that all that vacuuming I'd been doing before did nothing! We've needed it for a long time. I love that you can see what you've vacuumed up and easily empty it every time. I am so grateful for this new addition to our cleaning family. It actually makes me (kind of) want to vacuum more.

I left the dirt in the vacuum in the picture. Also shown is the new paint job in our family room. One of my friends came over to help me paint the bottom (she actually likes to paint and would have been really mad if I'd done it without telling her) and another friend came over to watch all the kids. Thank you! That night Jared and I did the top. It looks better than it has since we moved here 7 years ago. I wasn't sure about the blue, but Jared and I both love it so I guess it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It's just fresh and clean and no longer has holes all over the place. Ahh...
2. My Hoover Floormate. We got this machine almost a year ago, but the magic hasn't worn off yet. I still love it. We have a lot of tile in our house and I have always hated mopping all of it, until now. You use way less water and way less soap than normal mopping and you are never mixing the dirty water with the clean water. There is a scrubbing mode, a wet pick-up and a dry pick-up, but I usually just do the wet modes. The best part is that it sucks up almost all the water so you don't have to worry about drying the floor or kids slipping on slippery tile. I used to always wait until nap time because of it, but now I can do it any time. I definitely mop way more than I did before, at least twice a week. Or I'll just do a quick mop in the kitchen after I finish the dishes. It's not the greatest for wood floors, but I would absolutely recommend this for tile. Another perk? It's just loud enough so that I can't hear my children crying or fighting. Just a few minutes of solitude is always nice.

Does this picture look like I missed a spot, because I just mopped. Side note: yesterday Erin was so proud of herself because she cleaned her whole room by herself. Then that evening we had two friends over who helped reverse the work she did. She said, "Hey, I just cleaned this room and now look at it!" Yeah, I know the feeling.

3. Our new dryer. This is another one that we have needed for a long time. Our old one always "worked", sort of. A few months ago it started making a loud noise, but it still dried, sort of. I had researched different dryers throughout this time but then one day it completely stopped drying. I had a huge load of whites (like all sorts of little socks and underwear) in the dryer AND a load in the washer when it died. I had clothes hanging all over the house, like on the curtain rod, on the chairs, on the edge of the crib. I made a comment about it on Facebook and a few minutes later my neighbor came over to dry all the clothes. Yet another reason to love Facebook, and good neighbors. Thanks! That was it for me. After all, I don't live in Argentina anymore (I used to wash my clothes in a bucket--but I also wasn't washing for a family of 5). That night Jared and I went out and bought this beauty. My only needs were to have an extra large capacity and a moisture sensor. I love it! This is the first time in years that I haven't had to check to see if clothes were still wet and then start it again... and sometimes again. I just turn it on and it automatically dries it for as long as it needs. I don't mind doing laundry at all now, but I am not volunteering to do anyone else's. I have enough.

I guess Jared should be on this list because without him bringing home the bacon we could never have these new cleaning luxuries that make my life so much easier. Thanks Jared! Now, if there were only something that could magically cook all our meals for us...

Monday, May 17, 2010


Last Saturday Erin lost her FIRST tooth! All that time and pain of growing them in and she turns around and loses one. This is definitely a new phase in our family. This tooth has been loose forever, at least a month. Jared even tied some floss around it at one point and gave it a few pulls but it only made her bleed and cry so we left it. Then when she was eating a mint she tried to wiggle it and it was gone. She took out the mint and then felt it just sitting there on her tongue. She is so excited about it.

I almost forgot to be the tooth fairy. It was past midnight when I realized it. It would be really lame to forget on the first shot, especially when this is the tooth that sets the precedent for all future lost teeth in our house. What's the going rate for teeth these days anyway? A quarter like in my day? Or a dollar like she already wrote about receiving in her journal? We left a dollar. And what do we do about the tooth? I used to fish through the garbage the next day to try to bust my parents, but I never found anything. Then I imagined that they were saving all my teeth to make into a necklace or bracelet that they would give me upon losing my last tooth (I had heard about that happening). They never did. Looking back and examining Erin's tooth, um... that's gross! No, we did not save her tooth. She can hate me later for it. We buried it deep in the kitchen trash.
The same day that she lost her tooth, Alex got his FIRST bloody nose by somehow running into Erin's forehead. I wouldn't know how exactly that happened because Jared wasn't home, I was at my wit's end and sweaty so I told them to put on clothes (after their bath) and clean their room while I took a shower. After saying "okay mom", they immediately started running around banging their heads together I guess. After the shower they both came in screaming and Alex had blood coming out his nose, in his mouth and all down his front, unclothed I might add. As soon as I got their screaming under control and saw that he was okay, I lost it again because they weren't dressed and they hadn't touched their room. So I just garbage bagged it all up. Did I mention it was a rough day that day? When Jared got home I told him to clean the kitchen and put the kids to bed while I laid under the fan on my bed reading a magazine. I would not make a good single mom.

No picture of the bloody nose. I'm not that cruel to leave a bleeding child while I grab my camera. But I will post one of another first for him, his FIRST bee stings. This was last summer in Utah when he got attacked and stung by three hornets that lived in my parents' swing set. The worst one was on his lip. Poor kid. He looks nothing like himself.
Marissa's hair is finally long enough to put into pigtails, and yes, she is almost two. I put her FIRST ones in last week, took a couple of pictures and within 5 minutes they'd been pulled out. This week they lasted half way through sacrament meeting. Aren't the little antlers cute?She looks like such a big girl with an actual hairdo.
Also on Saturday, Jared played his FIRST outdoor racquetball tournament. Despite the heat and the sweaty shirtless men, I did venture up with four kids and one on the way to watch him play. What can I say? I'm a dedicated wife, and they had free food. It was not at all what I expected. The courts were pretty nice and as you can see, the players were mostly shaded because of the full height walls. It's definitely a different game than indoor though because there is obviously no back wall to play off of. Jared won his first few matches and lost some of the later ones. There were even some pros playing in this one so he was happy to watch them. Fun time again, but I think we are taking a small hiatus from the R-ball tourneys.
As for me? I can't really think of any firsts. I've already done the pregnancy thing and believe it or not, it was not the first time I lost it with the kids... or the first time I had bagged up all their stuff. In this week alone my pregnancy brain has completely taken over. I told my friend I'd pick up her child at a certain time and when it was time to go I could not find my keys anywhere. Okay, also not a first. And the spare key only opens the car door. Yeah, I know. Lame. I eventually made Jared leave work to fulfill the favor I had agreed to and 2 minutes later found my keys safely tucked away in a granola bar box. Okay, maybe my pregnancy brain isn't entirely responsible for that one (I know I didn't leave them there), but this next one?

I am always on top of paying the bills and making sure there's enough money in the right account. So last week, with plenty of time to spare, I transferred $2000 to our checking account from our online savings account to cover a specific bill (it takes 3 days). Or so I thought. I looked at the account today and I transferred it OUT instead of IN. Nice. That's like a $4000 difference, so of course our balance was $0 and there were three overdraft fees. I made the transfer back and got the fees removed, but what's with that? That one is a FIRST for me (and hopefully a LAST).

No picture here either. I guess nobody thinks to snap a picture when I'm feeling so frazzled. From now on I will 1) triple check which account I am transferring money to/from and 2) check the little kid potty every time I go to the bathroom or smell something funky. Tonight the potty got knocked over and the amount of pee that spilled from it and odor it emitted was like nothing else. In my opinion it had been there for at least a few days, unbeknownst to me (and it wasn't from the child who should be using it). Have I said too much?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This was a rose I got in church today. Isn't is beautiful in Erin's little hands? (Also, thanks Photoshop)
This next one isn't the best photo of any of us, but it shows my kids' personalities and gives me so many reasons to love them. Erin, who made me a mother almost 6 years ago, is a natural beauty. Her dark eyelashes, curly hair and facial features keep me entranced. She is sensitive and smart, strong-willed and artistic. She prefers to be in charge and loves to be around people. Alex is sweet and cuddly, is generally quiet but never afraid to talk. He is articulate and quirky, a happy-go-lucky boy with an easy smile and a ready laugh at anything silly. Marissa knows exactly what she wants and always lets us know, in complete sentences--sometimes very loudly. She is fearless of most things and keeps up with the other kids' adventures. She is friendly and tough, also cuddly and happy, and independent as can be. Oh how I love my sweet kids!
I had a great Mother's Day, thanks to Jared and of course my sweet children. They woke me up with breakfast in bed, a homemade coaster, about 10 homemade cards and a rubber mallet. Believe it or not, this is what I asked for. It's not like I need one every day, which is why I never felt justified in buying one, but there have been so many times in my life when I wished I had one--like when building furniture or closing paint cans. Don't think that's all I got though. Jared also got me a vacuum last week. I know, I'm a lucky woman. Jared also made all the meals, did the dishes and bathed all the kids single-handedly. What a lovely day!

This picture gives you a preview of our newly redone bedroom, which will appear in an upcoming post. I just repainted the changing table and I think it looks so much better. You can also see the paint color on the walls, new blinds, my models, our new purple sheets and my 8 month belly. Dang, I feel like I just gave away our bedroom post with this one shot. Oh well.
And finally, Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mother, mother-in-law and to any other mother who may be reading this!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


FOUR weeks ago...

...was Easter. Our friend planned an Easter egg hunt in our backyard, since we are one of the only families who have a yard here. We had a brunch and hid hundreds of eggs. The best part was that we didn't have to do any of the inviting or planning. But it did make us feel like we should do more things at our house because we have a good open home for it. Too bad we never think of it. For our local friends, feel free to plan anything else at our house whenever you want. It was really fun!

As soon as the hunt/brunch was over we got to watch conference. In between sessions we dyed eggs. I said a long time ago that I never had any cooking disasters, but since I've started this blog I have racked up quite the number... including this one. I have actually hard boiled eggs before, but for some reason I tried a new method in a cookbook, that shall remain nameless, and thought they were good to go. Here's how it went down. First, we dyed them the normal way and then actually hand painted them with this other sparkly kit that I bought without realizing what it was. That part was pretty good, albeit messy and slippery. I'm not sure how many eggs were dropped on the floor, but I'd say a good third bit the dust at this point. It was also then that we opened the too-broken-ones-to-save and realized that these eggs were not at all done--which totally grosses me out.

The important part was that we had fun and that they were a beautiful sight, not the usual dye-tinged egg salad sandwiches that I refused to make out of these health hazards. We stashed them in the fridge, thinking we might hide them the next day, but didn't. Later that night Jared thought he would try RE-hard boiling the already dyed, painted and (at least for some) cracked eggs. The result was more akin to a witch's brew because most of the paint came off leaving the eggs pink and turning the bubbly water a sparkly purple. But, it actually worked. It was a little nerve racking eating them in the end, after all that they had been through; but incredibly, nobody got sick. I'm leaving Jared in charge next year.

The kids got new outfits for Easter. I'm still trying to figure out how to explain the Easter Bunny. So we dye the eggs and then hand them over to the Easter Bunny to hide? It doesn't make much sense. Santa is way easier to keep up. Our attempts at a family picture

Mother's Day Portrait

This is why I love being a mother...
In case you can't read that, it does say "I love my mom because she is pretty!" and in case you were wondering, that is indeed a picture of me (click on it for a closer look). The nose, I was told, is only orange because peach would have blended in with the face. The necklace is a diamond one and my hair is just down, not in braids. I didn't ask about the lips. But you can tell it's me because of the vines (also known as bangs--"no mom, they're vines"). I had a really hard time not laughing when I first saw it, because that would have really hurt her feelings. But I'm laughing now. Good thing I'm so pretty!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mini Vacation

THREE weekends ago...

...we took a trip to the west coast of Florida because Jared had a racquetball tournament. This was his second tournament since he was a star in college. I would say this is definitely his current obsession--we've seen quite a series of hobbies over the years ranging from roller hockey, flag football, volleyball, and paintball, to name a few (Why isn't it ever mopping I wonder?). He's planning on doing another tournament this month, although it's outdoors and the rules say "shirts are optional" so I'm not sure if I'll be attending.

I was going back and forth about wanting to go to this one because it was a rough week already, I wasn't feeling great, and 5 hours sitting in the car with whiny kids who would inevitably throw up didn't sound fun, but I decided at the last minute to go. FYI: Yes, Erin did throw up and yes, they did whine--but it wasn't the whole time. We drove an hour out of our way so that I could hit the temple on the way there and after I went I felt amazingly better. Because of this stop, however, Jared missed his first match and had to forfeit. It was the price he was willing to pay for his wife's company, and might I add sanity.

He had two other matches that night, three the next day and one the day after. He won four of those matches so he did a great job. Not only that, but the guy he forfeited to lost to two people that Jared ended up beating and then lost in the finals. In other words, Jared would have probably won that one too. He had a lot of fun.

Here he is in action. Doesn't he look great? He won this one by the way. It was the only one the kids would let me watch, and I'm using "watch" loosely because I was trying to reign them in the whole time.
The kids were being silly, especially Alex. Another note, I did pack enough outfits for Alex for the weekend but he insisted on wearing this one the whole time. Go figure.
This picture might explain why I couldn't pay full attention to Jared's game.
The racquetball facility was something else. The courts were old and made of concrete, there was a naked lady wandering around the bathroom two days in a row making conversation with me no less--not to mention it smelled like smoke in there--and I'm pretty sure there was no handicap accessibility, coming from someone who studied the importance ADA as well as feeling personally handicapped myself. Pretty much a dive, but some good R-ball was had there anyway.

In between games we went swimming, visited an aquarium, went out to eat, bought new sandals for Alex (who only had tennis shoes because of losing one of his only remaining flip flops before the trip), went to a children's museum and watched movies at the hotel. It was just down the street so it worked out pretty well for the kids and me to hang out there during Jared's games. To sum it up, we all had a lot of fun and it was definitely more relaxing and enjoyable than I had envisioned. The ride home was even good because we bought those sea-bands (anti-nausea bracelets) for Erin and voila, no carsickness. They work. Yes, I'm glad I went! Thanks for making me, Jared.

Here are some pictures of the aquarium...

We watched a 3-D movie at the children's museum and the glasses would not stay on any child's head. You'd think they would have had at least two sizes being a children's museum and all. Recognize Alex's outfit?
Marissa and the belly.