Friday, July 28, 2006

Bowling: Good, Clean (mostly), Cheap, Family Fun

We are not a big bowling family; I'd say I go on an average once every 5 years or so. We haven't gone the last two years because bowling in Small Town costs a small fortune. On Monday we went to a little bowling alley in Heber with 6 adults and 6 kids.

Thanks to Guapo, I've got some great pictures of myself from behind. Check this form:

You'll be shocked to learn I rarely break 100 points.

And here I am after I have sat on a puddle of Sprite that Julio spilled on my seat:

The kids had a BLAST. Aren't bumpers wonderful?

Here's Juan Carlos (3 yrs old) experimenting with kicking the ball instead of rolling it (receiving some coaching from Julio):

It would take that ball what seemed like an eternity to make it down the lane:

Margarita (8 yrs old) was ticked because Julio (and Juan Carlos, I think) beat her. She sat around and whined and cried for about a half an hour and then told Guapo she was going to challenge all the kids to a running race when they got home so she could beat them all . I just can't imagine where she gets her competitive spirit from!

And finally, you can see my best score EVER. 129. And until the last few frames I was on track to take Guapo down. Unfortunately, he maintained his cool better than I did and pulled out the spare in his last frame. Dang it.

It was a tough blow. Margarita and I ended up pouting together.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Not really. It was great to get back to my little kiddos. They had a blast at "Cousin Camp" here in Utah while we were off playing in San Francisco.

Nothing too bloggable happened in California. I did get to shower and go to the bathroom by myself for 4 continuous days. And eat my own meal without cutting up anything for anyone. And I slept in until I felt like getting up.

Our hotel was at the top of Nob Hill and dang if we didn't walk up that stupid hill 10 times in 4 days. San Francisco has what they call the"Spare the Air" campaign when the pollution is bad; on those days all public transportation is free. Including cable cars. Our first and last days of vacation were "Spare the Air" days. This meant a 2 hour wait for the cable car to get up to our hotel. And, did you know it costs $5.00 for a one way ride on a cable car? Wow.

So, picture Guapo and me dragging our luggage 1/2 mile up the dang hill. When we checked in to our fancy-shmancy hotel the check-in lady looked at us like we were hill-billies. "Where are you coming from?" she asked condescendingly as the sweat dripped off of our chins. I think she felt bad for us, because she gave us a room upgrade. Score!

We did all of the normal San Fran stuff. I will spare you all the details.

Anyone else out there in Utah? I am roasting!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Live from Utah

Thanks everyone for wishing me well on my trek to the airport. Everything went just fine. We met up with Guapo whose flights were neither delayed nor canceled. The kids traveled like troopers and we arrived in Salt Lake late Friday night.

We are now staying with Guapo's parents, Grandma Sue and Grand-dude who live in Midway. That's right. Grand-dude. He's too cool to be called "grandpa" so he is Grand-dude. It's pretty cute to hear all his grandkids call him that, but I always chuckle when I think of them all grown up talking amongst others about their "grand-dude".

Since June 28 the longest I have slept in one bed, consecutive nights, is 4 nights. I am waking up in the middle of the night trying to figure out where the heck I am. Oh well.

We took care of our primary Utah business yesterday. It's a devious little plan that we have involving our kids.

Every trip, we take them to our alma mater, BYU, and "have fun". We buy them a t-shirt or a sweatshirt and some treats. We are hoping by doing this they will have such fond memories of BYU that there's no way they will even consider going to some other school. For those of you who don't know, BYU.Is.Cheap. With three kids (so far) we need cheap college.

Trip 2006: Mission Accomplished

Well, Guapo and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this month, so we are off to San Francisco tomorrow for a few days without the little ones. Grandma Sue and Grand-dude have graciously offered to take care of Margarita, Julio, and Juan Carlos while we ride cable cars, eat crab (my mouth is watering just typing the word!) and just hang out and relax. I can't wait to sit on the airplane all by myself tomorrow morning and read a book or take a nap!!!

(I am taking my computer, but I'm not sure Guapo will love it if I blog on our anniversary trip. We'll see!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

One More Sleep

I think it was Grammy that taught my kids to count down anticipated occasions by counting the number of "sleeps" left. As in, "only 5 more sleeps 'til Christmas." I choose Christmas as an example because the last time we were here in our mountain house it was over Christmas break, so Juan Carlos (3 yrs old) will not stop asking me when Santa is coming.

Ummm, that would be 164 sleeps.

One more sleep until I am no longer a traveling single-mother. We meet up with Guapo tomorrow night, thank goodness.

I don't know how people do it. My kids make me batty when Guapo's not around. Well, I get batty when he is around, but it usually happens later in the day. It's so much better when I have back-up and can share the bad-guyness with Guapo. I'm don't seem like such a meanie when I won't let Julio light matches or Julio drop things in the potty because Guapo is right there backing me up.

It finally dawned on me last night that hiking is the perfect activity for my boys. They ran around and screamed and hit dead tree trunks with their "swords". No one was giving me that, "control your kids" look. I could just relax!

boys in forest

It's not just for discipline issues that I want Guapo here. Although they make me batty, my kids are great kids. They do cute things. The things are so much cuter when Guapo can enjoy their cuteness with me. Like yesterday, my mom bought Julio (5 yrs old) a Superman costume. The kid wore it We went shopping, to the park, out to eat, and yes, he went as Superman.


And, most of all, I just love Guapo and being with him.

Along with the end of my single-parentness is coming the end of my shopping extravaganza. It's much harder to spend the big bucks under Guapo's hawkish eye.

So, today while my big kids were in summer camp, Juan Carlos and I headed for the nearby outlet malls. I think Guapo coached him on the phone last night because he all of a sudden figured out if he told me he had to go to the bathroom we had to evacuated the store. He did this three times. After the first false alarm, I was on to his little plan. I would try to hold him off for a while, but he would tell me so loudly, over and over, that the sales people would look at me like I was abusing him.

Only once did he actually have to use the facilities (and it was just a little bit at that). The other times he changed his mind and told me he just wanted to see the fishermen (there was a river running through the mall).

The kid is turning into a real card. While we were shopping, this sweet sales girl was playing hide and seek with him while I was paying for my stuff and on our way out he said in a loud voice, "Mom, that girl's ugly". I wanted to die.

Then, later at a fast food restaurant, he told the girl that took our order she was "tiny" (she was quite petite). So, when we went into the very small bathroom (he finally did actually have to go) there were several large woman; I took preemptive action and covered his mouth before he could ask me whey the were fat (something he did the other day when he saw someone who was heavy).

See what I mean? Cute stuff.

Anyway, tomorrow as my last act as a single parent I have to get everyone packed and to the airport, park in out-lying parking because my parents are out of town, and somehow get my three kids, myself, and our bags into the airport where we will hook-up with Guapo and fly to Salt Lake together.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday- Bloglines

Want to save time blogging and be a better Blog Friend?

Here's a tip for other new bloggers that I recently figured out by reading Tess's Blog. It's You register with this site (for free), let it know the blogs you follow regularly, and it will alert you when new posts are made. I'll spare you more set-up details because if I can do it, anyone can!

This is saving me a ton of time and therefore, it really Works For Me.

Visit Shannon's site for links to other helpful tips!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Two Guys and a Van (And Two Cats)

I feel guilty.

While I have been here buying shoes, hanging out in the mountains, having fun with my sister who was visiting from Seattle, learning about the importance of accessorizing from my fashionista SIL, going to the park with my mom and the kids, eating yummy snacks and foods, and drinking decent milk, poor Guapo and my dad have been moving us from Small Town Mexico to Big City Mexico.

My dad flew to Small City last Wednesday and just got home yesterday. He and Guapo drove my van, with the cats**, to Big City last Thursday. When I say Big City, I really should say "Huge City". I would have loved to have seen the two of them (and the cats) arriving in the outskirts of Big City and trying to make their way to the hotel. Somehow they made it.

They received our stuff from the moving company on Thusrday and unpacked E-VER-Y-THING. From what Guapo tells me there is not a single box left in the house. I can't believe that I am just going to go to my new "home" next month and have everything unpacked.

Thanks Guapo! Thanks Dad! I am a very lucky girl.

(Just so you know, I'm not always this spoiled. I have paid my debt to society in this category; when we moved from LA to Venezuela the Guapo's company made him leave 3 weeks early, leaving a very stressed out me with a 6 month old and a 3 year and a house to move. Not fun.)

**Although Ron and Kitty favor Guapo over other family members, he doesn't so much appreciate their company, so driving with them for 12 hours was a special sacrifice Guapo made.

One final note: I finally changed poor Moses' hat:

It's a little boring. I might have to look for a new hat.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Did I Mention I'm Half Italian?

...and I am a fair-weather fan, so it's been a good day here.

The advantage of being a fair-weather fan is that you don't waste a whole lot of time being disappointed in a lame team. Over the years I have been a fair-weather fan of the Suns, the Jazz, the Nuggets (very, very short lived fan-hood; like 2 games), the Colorado Buffalos, and the Broncos (Sorry Cougars, you are conspicuously absent from this list). The disadvantage is that when viewing games with real fans you look kind of silly; I never know much about the teams, their players, their records, or anything besides their colors.

And, the advantage of being Italian is that you can tell people you are Italian and it sounds cool. The disadvantage is the constant battle against body hair; in my case, my eyebrows.

For those of you who have no interest in soccer, Italy beat France today (5-3) to win the World Cup. They were tied at the end of regular play, and at the end of the two 15 minute overtimes, so they went to a shootout. For those of you who think soccer is boring (like I did before this World Cup), you should watch a shootout. It was VERY STRESSFUL and VERY EXCITING.

(this photo was lifted from, hope they don't mind)

Viva Italia! I'll love you until you stop winning forever!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Hodge Podge from Small *Ski* Town

Wow, I've been a bad blogger this week. I am out of my normal blogging niche; not being in Small Town, I have been at a loss of what to blog about. So, here's a little bit about our week.

First, the shoe report. I will not divulge all of my purchases here but I will show you my new favorite pair (don't worry Guapo, I haven't broken into double digits. Yet.):

I love these! Just $10.00 from Marshalls and they are SOOOOOO comfortable.

Every time I come to the States I say to myself, "This time I will try to buy things so I can look more, put together." And, every time, I return with a mish-mash of t-shirts and jeans. So, this time I called in reinforcement: my fashionista sister-in-law. We went shopping and she was in charge. She even picked out the scariest part of a wardrobe for me: accessories.

Last night she came over and put together outfits for me and I took pictures of each one so I can remember them later. She was AMAZING. With 3 skirts, some jeans, 1 pair of pants, a couple of jackets, and some cute tanks and shirts (and my new shoes of course!) created like a zillion outfits for me. She was on fire. She did things with my clothes that I didn't know were possible.

Finally, at midnight, when my brain was mush and my eyes were blood-shot, I made her go home; I think she could have gone on for a couple more hours. Thank goodness I took pictures, otherwise I don't think I could remember anything today. Here are a couple of examples:

The scary thing was, Margarita (8 yrs old), who has never shown an interest in clothes, was totally enthralled. She sat there until the bitter end asking, "What are you going to do next?" Beware Guapo, things could get really, really bad.

It is always wonderful to be in the States for the Fourth of July. It was a great day except for that the fireworks show was cancelled due to rain. But, they had it the next night. Julio was so tired by the time they got the show underway that he fell fast asleep. Luckily, he awoke just to catch the finale.

Julio sleeping

See the little teeny firework? I don't know how to use my camera. That's as good as it gets.

My dad taught Juan Carlos (3 yrs old) how to roast marshmallows:


Appetizing, no?

And today, we finally made it up to our home in the mountains. It is the most peaceful place in the world to me. We bought it last year, fully furnished and ready to use. The view is amazing. I wanted to post a picture of it, but it was raining when we arrived. So here's the cloudy view; it's still pretty.

Here's the kids' favorite part of the house:


When we bought the house, the owners sent us a list of all of the furnishings. This guy was listed as "Moses the Moose". I am not a fan of hunting, so it kind-of creeped me out at first, but he is such a part of this house. When the kids enter or leave they talk to Moses as if he were a person, "Hi Moses. How are you doing?" "Moses, we missed you so much!"

And when were not here in Small Ski Town they sit and contemplate about how Moses is doing without us. So cute.

Poor Moses is still wearing his Christmas hat. Tomorrow I will have to get out his spring hat. Or maybe my sister-in-law has some fresh ideas for Moses...

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Official Start of Vacation

We arrived in Colorado last night and are enjoying the coolest temps we have felt since we were here in December (65 degrees). I have been wearing pants and long sleeves most of the day.

Julio (5 yrs old) felt the need to wear snow boots to Target today:

(The above portion of today's post was written for Guapo's reading pleasure. And now, I will ask him to kindly stop reading)

Today was a big day for us. We hit Costco, Target, Famous Footwear, and Kohls. I am so tired. I have a firm belief that living the ex-pat life could turn anyone into a compulsive shopoholic. It's like you don't see good stuff for so long, and then all of a sudden you are bombarded with bargains and options and so much cute stuff; it really can be dangerous.

I never know when I will be back, so I must buy, buy, buy!!!!

I am quite the mad-shopper when I come to the States. And my weakness? Shoes. Sometimes I go back with a shoe-count in the double digits. I was going to keep a running count and share it with you, but after purchasing 4 pairs just today, I don't think I will (I can usually hide a large percentage of my shoe purchases from Guapo, so I don't really want to give myself up that easily).

But, I will show you the start of what looks like will be a terrific shopping season:

I have always wanted some of these, they are so cute!

Mom to K-squared (my fashion consultant) urged me to get some "pointy toed" shoes to wear with jeans:

And some two-toned brown shoes:

And I just liked these (and @$%# Blogger just stopped letting me upload photos):


Just so you know, I shop sales. And, I shop at places like Marshalls, Target, Old Navy, etc. I get kind-of nervous in stores without carts (except for Gap) (well, and Banana Republic). I have to take a more experienced shopper with me like one of my sister-in-laws who will tell me what looks good together. My point? These shoes were all on sale and I bought three of them from Target. (I know Guapo's still reading)

But do you see a problem here?

new shoes

Yeah, me too.

All brown.

I must diversify.

And soon.

And thus, with the first shoe purchase of the season, my vacation has officially started.

(PS I can only blame part of my little problem on Guapo and the career path he has chosen, the other part of the blame goes to my mom. Here's a shot of my mom's running shoes. She told me she had just "thinned them out")

mom's shoes

With forces like these working against me, obviously I cannot be held accountable for my actions.