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>One of THOSE Moms

7 Mar

>Yes, it’s officially happened. You know how before you have kids, you see things people are doing with their kids and you tsk-tsked and thought, “I will never do that.”

Yeah, I ate my words yesterday.

I’ve determined that the DMV is the great equalizer; everyone has to go, so you always seem to have a very interesting mix of people there. I would dare say that being in Louisiana makes that mix even more interesting.

Recently, we had a massive pollen dump over our lovely area–like literally, our cars are yellow. My kids, especially Meredith, have not tolerated it well and there is a never-ending flow of nasal secretions at our house. So one would think, “SURELY Kate would have enough foresight to carry a box of tissues with her at all times.” Those of you who think that greatly misunderstand my ability to plan ahead for emergency trips to the DMV.

Anyway, yesterday morning was a gorgeous (albeit pollen-y) day. Sam was going to go to his morning meeting and then head to the DMV to register our Nissan in Louisiana, I was going to take a leisurely trip to Target after I dropped off Clark from school. As I was pulling into the Target parking lot, Sam called and told me he couln’t register the car until he had a Louisiana driver’s license and he couldn’t do that without his birth certificate. So his first round of waiting was all for naught and he was heading home for his certificate. I found new Sunday shoes for Meredith and the cutest little white sundress in the world (for her…not me…) for $11.99 and am heading home when Sam called again, telling me that because I’m the title holder on the Nissan, I have to be there, too. However, I also needed my birth certificate so I could get a Louisiana license so I could register the Nissan. This presented something of a problem because we determined last Friday, when Clark had to go get his 4-year immunizations, we couldn’t find the immunization records or birth certificates of myself and the children. We knew they were together, we just didn’t know where.

So Sam and I spent a LOVELY 45 minutes together ripping apart the office, trying to figure out where the birth certificates could be. It was a little tense and most likely my fault. Then he remembered that he had a box of stuff on his computer and it might be in there. DING DING DING! There they were. Out the door and back to the DMV, only to arrive JUST in time to leave again and pick up Clark from preschool. Sam took Meredith and I waited. While I waited, I listened to the following conversation:

Man 1: I hate the DMV.

Man 2: Yeah, me, too. I just got out of prison, so I have to renew all this stuff before it expires.

Man 1: Oh, yeah? I got out in 2005.

Man 2: Yeah, I just got out last month. What were you in for?

Man 1: Assault and battery. You?

Man 2: Attempted murder.

They then shared some very nice prison stories. I hope I never go there.

Sam returned with Clark and Meredith. Clark was not pleased and asked every 5 seconds if we could go home. Literally. “Can we go home? Can we go home? Can we go home?” Meredith, who was wearing one too-small black patent leather Sunday shoe (which I had brought as a size comparison on our shoe-shopping trip) and one white sandal that was a little too big, wanted to go through the door where they actually help you at the DMV. She was not pleased that this was not an option. We decided in order to placate the children, we would buy a bottle of Sprite from the pop machine and have them share it. Things I’d never do? 1) Let my kids wear 2 different shoes. 2) Let my kids drink soda. 3) Let my kids share drinks.

Meredith’s nose was now leaking an unbelievable amount of snot. I realized I had no tissues and that this was becoming a rather disgusting situation with the pop-sharing, so what did I do? I wiped her nose on her dress. I can’t even believe I just wrote that. Other things I would never do? 4) Let my kids have runny noses. 5) Let snot be wiped onto clothing.

Our number was finally called, I got my new license. The picture is just lovely; my eyes are half-closed, which gives my picture a nice Earl Hickey effect. Turns out we didn’t actually have the title, my dad, who originally bought the car, is currently in Alabama visiting my sister but not visiting me (and I doubt he has it or knows where it is, anyway), and so we still were not able to register the frakking car. We have to request a copy of the title from the State of Utah, and all we have to do is fill out a little form, but the little form is quite confusing and, naturally, the phone menu at the Utah DMV is completely automated with NO option of asking an actual human being a question. So we sent off the duplicate title request with a check for $6 and are hoping they can figure it out. Because there also wasn’t a place for your phone number where they could call you if, say, you filled out the form wrong.

As I was telling this tale to a member of our Bishopbric last night (who is also not from here), I was laughing that everyone else in the DMV must’ve been horrified by my mothering skills and he said, “Oh, no, I’m betting that you just fit right in!” Which is probably right…

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>I’m Homesick…and Now It’s Complicated…

28 Dec

>I was so worried about what Christmas would be like, not being with any other family. And it was wonderful. We had so much fun and the kids just loved it. But now…we’re in the post-Christmas slump and I can’t help but think about how much I wish we were in Utah.

But now we have a problem. When I was homesick before and daydreamed about moving back, we had no strings attached–Louisiana could just be a blip on our radar. Now, almost a year later, things are complicated–we have little roots here, friends, people we would miss; I love our pediatrician and our family practice doctor. Winter here is kind of ugly (think perpetual soggy spring), but the climate itself is awesome.

This is what I want: Louisiana winters, Logan summers, and spring and fall in Provo. I want Provo in the spring and summer when the hordes of students go home. I want to live within driving distance of Disneyworld and Houston. I want to live within driving distance of my parents and my in-laws. I want Southern hospitality and I want the consistency of church in Utah. I want good Mexican food, fast Chinese food, and red beans and rice and Boudin. I want lizards, tree frogs, and dragonflies, but I don’t want fire ants, mosquitoes, or cockroaches. Utah can keep the Hobo spiders, Louisiana can keep the humidity. I want Louisiana thunderstorms and Utah blizzards.

It’s funny, because in the time I’ve spent here, it’s made me love and appreciate my family even more; I guess absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. I suppose it’s a sad truth that we can’t always have what we want, and when we do, we don’t appreciate what we have; we can’t know happiness until we know sorrow. And that sucks.

>Leftover Utah Pictures

29 Aug

>

The many moods of Meredith (in a 5 minute time period):



The Bean Museum (we were unbelievably lucky to catch a reptile show!):

Clark and his best baby buddy, Beck:

He likes other babies way better than he likes his sister.
We had such a good time and I was really bad about taking pictures. It was really good for me to go home and see that everything is still there and I feel so much less homesick now. We had so much fun with Marcie and Kim and their kids and the cooking show and going to the park with grandpa and walking along the “trails” as Clark called them, eating at Costa Vida or Noodles and Co. and Kneaders and Zupa, hanging with Nurse Heidi, seeing Joy…it was awesome. And I love you guys and miss you all!

>Woo-Hoo!!

8 Jul

>So I just bought plane tickets to Utah this afternoon!!!! Long story short, Sam has to go to Cincinnati for four weeks in August. Which is a long time for me to be all alone in this crazy, crazy place. So we’re going to drive up to Cincinnati with him at the end of this month and stay for a week and a half or so, then the kids and I will fly out to Utah for another week and a half or so, and then we’ll fly back to Ohio for the rest of the time. I’m so excited–I miss my family, friends, and Mexican food like crazy! I’ll be there August 9-18 and I’m hoping to be in Provo for a couple of days. Yayayayay!! 🙂

>Home

29 Mar

>

I miss my little house in Provo so much it hurts. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true.

It’s so funny to me that the-place-that-shall-not-be-named was home to us for over 3 years, but I have never felt even the tiniest wince of sadness about leaving there. I so expected to be sad to go; I mean, we brought two babies home from the hospital there. But we finished cleaning, left the key on the counter, and were just kind of like, “See ya!”

But the “little yellow house,” as Clark calls it…I loved it. It was home. It was shelter from a very stormy time in our lives. I know I’ve said all of this before, but I guess this blog entry is more for me than anything.

So anyway, thanks for wallowing in a little self-pity with me. If you’re in Provo and you see my happy house, honk and wave for me!

>A Little Bit Homesick

26 Feb

>So last night, I had a dream that I attended my friend Natalie’s nursing school graduation, which is funny because she is a Spanish teacher. There was also a hotel and some kind of “lady of the night” involved (I think), but I don’t really remember that part. Anyway, I was missing Natalie all day and then, lo and behold, she called me this afternoon and we talked for a good half hour before her phone died. And I missed her even more.

I think this is the first time that I’ve really been homesick. I miss my little yellow house, I miss storytime at the Provo City Library, I miss having roots somewhere. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m tired and haven’t left the house in a week, but I’m homesick.

On the up-side, Clark is feeling MUCH better. He’s not better better, but he ate two bowls of cereal first thing this morning and talked non-stop all day, which was quite an adjustment after him lying on the couch for the last three days, all glassy-eyed and quiet. So thank heaven for Tamiflu, Sprite, and prayers!

>All that We Left Behind…

21 Feb

>As I was just perusing The Daily Universe (BYU’s newspaper) online, I discovered that Pacific States, the company where Sam did his capstone project, basically exploded. Several people were injured and the plant is closed indefinitely. Sure glad we didn’t go down that avenue…

Also, the place where Sam did his internship has been massively downsizing their workforces. Again, super glad he’s manufacturing laundry detergent rather than prototypes.

And finally, the place in Orem where we were storing our stuff burned down.

Plus, people here call me things like “Little Mama” and “Baby,” not in a Joey Tribbiani “How-YOU-doin’?” sort of way, but in a grandmotherly kind of way that makes me feel all squishy and loved. So we’re glad to be here, even if I’m having serious Costa Vida withdrawal. I think sweet pork salads are on the menu for next week; it may not be the real thing, but it’ll be close enough.

Oh, and Happy 100 Posts to ME! 🙂

>The Icing on the Cake

19 Feb

>So for those of you who have been following our adventures (or misadventures) for the last few months know that we’ve had some patience-trying moments. For example, in the last 5 weeks alone, Meredith has had a UTI, we’ve moved across the country, we missed our flight from Seattle to Louisiana, we’ve blown out a tire (and consequently bought 4 new tires), we almost had to pay sales tax for our van in both Utah AND Louisiana because the finance guy at our car dealership didn’t know what he was talking about, we spent over 12 hours in the car on what was supposed to be an 8 hour trip to go to Ikea only to discover that someone had put the wrong piece of furniture in one of the bins, so we have a double headboard to go along with our queen-sized bed (and the rest of the parts are all queen-sized), had the doctor’s office lose our insurance billing information. You know. All sorts of fun stuff. And I’m sure I’ve blocked some of the incidents from my memory.

Well, hey, at least we’re getting a smoking tax refund. So I thought. Well, I guess we still are, but not until we jump through a few more hoops. You see, do you remember THIS incident? You know, where Sam was pulled over the day he came down here for his interviews? Well, when he got the ticket, they gave him a court date. However, we would no longer be residents of the Great State of Utah when his court date was supposed to occur, so he went down to wherever you pay traffic tickets, explained the situation, and paid the fee. Fine, whatever, it was taken care of.

So on Friday, I log onto our online banking and find a mystery $288 in our account. That was not the correct amount of either of our tax refunds and it didn’t say who it was from, so, in an attempt to be honest in all my dealings, I tried to track down where the money came from. Turns out it WAS our tax refund, minus some fees for Sam’s ticket. Which had been paid. So they apologized and got a fax number to where they could send a refund request form (which, by the way, has not successfully arrived yet).

Today, I check the mail. There was a letter from the State of Utah. I open it. This is what I found:

The records of the court indicate there is now an outstanding warrant for the arrest of SAMUEL [INSERT OUR LAST NAME HERE] referred to as ‘Defendant’. A corresponding amount of bail was set at the time the arrest warrant was issued.

Pursuant to Section 59-10-529 et. seq. Utah Code Annotated, $175.00 has been deducted from your state income tax refund and has been sent to the court to be considered as bail to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court. An administrative fee of $15 has also been deducted from your state income tax refund. Any refund balance is included with this letter.

The defendant must therefore appear in court within 40 days from the date of this Notice. At the time of that appearance, the defendant will be given the opportunity to understand and exercise the constitutional and statutory rights including the right to be heard. If the defendant fails to appear wthin that 40 day period, the amount of bail sent to the court will be forfeited and a new warrant for the defendant’s arrrest may be issued.

So yeah, basically, I’m married to a wanted man. Idiots. All of them. I have to laugh about it all beause I’d be on Xanax otherwise!

>Moving Day 2: Goodbye to the Happy House!

17 Jan

>So we’re out. We’re homeless. But at least it’s homeless in a fun way and not in a sipping-booze-from-a-bottle-in-a-brown-paper-bag way. We decided to spend the night again at Marcie’s house instead of staying at the hotel in SLC and I’m glad we did–driving to Salt Lake tonight would have been YET another thing to do.

So what happened today? The highlights include 1 diaper blow-out, minus any extra outfits, which resulted in one white-trashy trip to K-mart to buy a white-trashy K-mart baby outfit. 1 torn fingernail, resulting in 1 box of Snoopy Bandaids because they were the cheapest ones I could find at the grocery store. 1 almost-parking ticket and 1 threat from a police officer to the movers to have the truck packed up in two more hours or to get a ticket. One chewing-out from the next-door neighbor regarding said truck. 1 decision to never live on a busy road (let alone with a short, steep driveway) ever again. 1 getting-stuck incident in my friend’s driveway after dropping off Clark for the day. Several spider carcasses swept out of the garage. 150 boxes loaded onto a truck and I didn’t have to do any of them.

What else? Hmmmm…it was a balmy 17 degrees today. I guess Utah is cold in January; who knew?? 🙂 We went to Costa Vida one last time and said goodbye to Sam’s brother and then said goodbye to the house one last time. You know, we only lived there a few months, but it felt more like home than where we’d lived for three years prior. I’m not really a touchy-feely vibey kind of person (at least not in the way of the lesbian massage therapist who once told me my back hurt because my yin and yang were out of balance), but I think our house was a happy house; it had good vibes. It was kooky and weird with the rust and orange and red and green carpets (not all in the same room, thank goodness!) and the turquoise kitchen and the macabre-ish bathroom, but…I can’t exactly nail the feeling down more than just saying it was a happy house. And for us, it was.

>Moving Day 1: A Mover Named Elvis

16 Jan

>So it’s begun! Today, a guy came and unhooked our washer and dryer and then three United Van Line employees came to pack up all our stuff. Last night was a little rough–I made it to bed around 2 am after trying to get everything organized and our bags all packed before my back seized up as a result of lifting a too-heavy DI box in and out of the van. And our bags weren’t even packed. So I was a little panicky this morning. But by the time Elvis (yes, his name really is Elvis) and his crew got there and I got our suitcases packed and Clark was playing at Hannah and Leah’s house and Meredith was taking a nap, I was just blissfully watching someone else pack up all my stuff and realizing that I DIDN’T HAVE TO DO IT! After we moved less than 6 months ago, the thought of moving again literally made me ill, but it’s not so bad when someone else does all the dirty work for you. I just happily followed them around with a bottle of Windex and a rag. Sam, on the other hand, had a rough day as he watched all of his many, MANY treasures being packed in a way that he wouldn’t pack them. It’s an exercise in many virtues for the most anal man alive to watch someone handle his personal belongings.

Tonight, we had a yummy, relaxing dinner with our friends Marcie and Matt who have been SO generous and have let us spend the night in their guest bedroom. They’ve offered to let us stay tomorrow night as well and we may take them up on it–we have run a cost-benefit analysis on staying in a hotel near the airport vs. spending the night in Provo.

So yeah…that’s about it. If you drove along 900 E. today and cursed the semi truck that was blocking the right lane, sorry. It’ll be there again tomorrow. 🙂