Sunday, June 29, 2008

There's a Party in my Tummy... So Yummy

With the move to Tucson and my recent, (Clark, its recent) unwillingness to cook anything in this heat, Clark, Booker and I have been on a tour of sorts. We'll call it a food tour bidding farewell to all our favorite Mesa eateries. So far we've been to Cafe Rio (more of a Utah establishment but since Tucson doesn't have one we needed to get our sweet pork fix in), Bellagio's, Joe's Real BBQ and Krispy Kreme (again, Tucson doesn't have one). Tucson does have a Texas Roadhouse and In-and-Out Burger which I hadn't expected. 

So I'd like to pose a question for any Tucsonite readers out there: what are your favorite places to eat? We've been to El Charro Cafe (a Tucson institution apparently) and had the Carne Seca. And we've eaten at Beyond Bread where I fell in love with everything on the menu- delicious sandwiches on yummy bread with unusual ingredients like hummus, brie, cranberries, curried chicken, eggplant etc. I had a cheesecake brownie there that was UNREAL. I took one bite and told Clark that I wanted to put the kids in daycare and get a job working at Beyond Bread. I don't care if I have to bus tables, I just want to be close to all that scrumptiosity. 

Can you tell I've been thinking a lot about food lately? I've only got 56 days until Baby No Name arrives and its back to strict diet and exercise. But until then, I'm letting loose... so point me in the right direction. 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camino Lomas Street

I thought that moving in Arizona's summer heat while in my third trimester was going to be even more extreme than wake-boarding in my third trimester. It turns out, it wasn't. Thanks to Clark's AMAZING family, I hardly had to lift a finger. My brothers-in-law went above and beyond their familial duties today. They loaded up our U-haul truck and even drove all the way down to Tucson with us to help unload it.  We showed up at our new house and an hour later everything was inside. I'm so lucky to have married into such a service-oriented family. Booker even got to stay and hang out at Joy's house all day which was much more fun for him than coming to Tucson. 

As you may have guessed, we did end up finding someone who agreed to let us live their house. I didn't want to mention anything until we actually signed the lease. Its even closer to Clark's office (about 5 minutes away) and its in a nice little neighborhood with a community pool. Although we may not use the community pool too often since there's a hot tub in our backyard, which I'm not too thrilled about. What if Booker drowns in it? What if I get some crazy desire to give birth in it? Sick- not happening. Or worse, what if our ward gets the wrong impression and they think we're some sort of morally loose family? I'm not sure why a hot tub would give us that reputation but still... I worry. Although, Clark did suggest that once the kids are asleep we should watch DVDs on his laptop while relaxing in the hot tub and that sounds just lovely to me. As well as being close to the office, its an otherwise great location with lots of yummy restaurants nearby (as my somewhat starved brother-in-law Dan pointed out). I think I'll be making many trips to Paradise Cafe for a maple spice cookie in the near future. 

Overall, it was a good day, although quite exhausting. I kept waiting for something to go wrong, but aside from the blistering heat and the ridiculous amount of money that we spent on fuel for the U-haul, everything went smoothly. We're back in Mesa for the next few days because Clark has one more Bar class on Monday. While I'm eager to get back to Tucson to start unpacking, I'm somewhat grateful for the forced break I get over the next two days. We'll be back and forth quite a bit over the next three weeks for Clark's mock-exams and for my mother-in-law's homecoming in mid-July. Its going to be a busy month but thanks to all the help we've received and for something called the nesting instinct (which now, more than ever, I'm convinced is quite real) we'll hopefully get through to August. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Killer Scorpions

In the past couple of weeks, we've found a total of 5 scorpions inside our house (one of which came within inches of my fat pregnant foot on its way to the refrigerator looking for a midnight snack). I'm not sure if its the time of year or just because we're moving and shifting things around in the house, but we seem to have a small scorpion problem. So last night I purchased a black light from Walmart and waited for Clark to get home from his Bar class- no way was I going to turn that light on without Clark in the house. 

You see, when you shine a black light on a scorpion it glows florescent. This was one of the coolest things I learned when I moved to Arizona. Clark assures me that this is common knowledge, but I beg to differ. Unless you grew up having to worry about scorpions, then you don't know that they glow in the dark with a black light. 

Anyways, Clark got home and we started in the backyard. Result: one scorpion. Well, one dead scorpion once we were done with it. Garage- one scorpion who got away by crawling into a crack. Shoot. Then we moved inside the house... and found NO scorpions. Hooray! Then we moved into the front yard and found a total of 7 scorpions! Big, fat, juicy, crispy scorpions. Our scorpion-smashing brick was pretty messy by now. 

We moved back inside the house and guess what we found sitting right smack in the middle of our most common walking path on our scorpion-colored carpet? That's right, a super pissed-off scorpion. I now have no doubt in my mind that scorpions communicate with each other or can at least sense when a scorpion massacre is taking place nearby. Scary. We had abandoned our brick by now, so this particular guy got the big flush. 

I couldn't go anywhere for the rest of the night without the black light. Which stinks because on average I pee approximately 8 times throughout the night, and as previously mentioned... I dig my midnight snacks. 

Thankfully, we didn't find anymore scorpions. Perhaps we'll go out "hunting" again tonight. It really is quite exhilarating- like bungee jumping but way cheaper. How's that for a fun Friday night date? Saving the world or rather, our house on Baltimore Street, one scorpion at a time. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Little Red and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Forget Tara Danette Drive. The owner "decided to go with another applicant." So now we have no place to live and we need to move in ONE WEEK! And on top of it all, I don't have a doctor either. It turns out they don't take my insurance... which would have been nice to know when I met with them 6 weeks ago. Does anyone know a VBAC-friendly doctor in Tucson? 

Ugh. Blah. Poop.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Skank Trek: The Next Generation

So I was up in the gym just working on my fitness Tuesday morning. I was doing a step machine or something up in the front when a girl walked by. She looked like she must have been 16 or so. She also looked like she was looking for a pole to dance on to get her cardio in. She had on these tiny little low-riding hoochie shorts that said something on the booty and a short tank top. I took a break from the machine to weep for the future for a minute. I get that sports attire is different from regular clothes, and no one wants to wear excessive clothes in Arizona in the Summer, but there has got to be a line and she was way over it.

Then she met up with who I can only assume was her mother. Forties, bleach blond hair, boob job, the EXACT SAME hoochie shorts, (though they may have said something different on the bum, I wasn't paying THAT much attention) shoes, and a sports bra. That's it. That's all.

It seems like I have moments like this every week or so. Something that is simultaneously unusual and stereotypical that makes me want to pick up and move to New Zealand and leave all of our televisions behind.

It also makes me wonder what kind of things I'm doing that may elicit the same sort of reactions in other people. I'm not personally a big fan of hoochie shorts, but what if someone sees Booker yell at me when I try to get him to do something at the grocery store. If I were an objective observer watching myself parenting all day I might fear a little for the future. Maybe I'll make a goal to be less judgmental. In New Zealand.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Scariest Tag Ever

Alright, if you're going to do this tag then NO CHEATING. That means no cleaning up or hiding stuff. No running a brush through your hair or hiding the big bag of cheetos on the coffee table. Half our house is already packed up so things either look quite neat or rather messy. Here goes nothing...

A self-portrait
Yikes. I told you this was a scary tag. 

Clark's closet. Its a disaster. That is actually a wet towel on the floor. Shameful.
My closet. It may not look much better, but I swear it is. 

The Refrigerator
Plenty of Diet Cokes. Safeway had a buy 2 get 3 free special! Kinda pathetic how little produce I have. There's a watermelon sitting on the counter. I promise, we eat fresh fruits and veggies. 

The messiest room in the house
That's probably a toss up between Clark's closet and Booker's toy room. And this is his toy room with most of his toys packed. 

The kitchen sink
No dishes in the sink. That's a huge pet peeve of mine. Just put them in the dishwasher!

Laundry Room
Nothing special really. Some clean towels after our trip to the pool on Friday. Fascinating.

Favorite Room
My bedroom, where the bed is almost always made. Getting into an unmade bed is like putting on dirty underwear. Gross. I love our bedroom because we have a TV in there and I just LOVE getting into bed with Clark and watching TV before we fall asleep. Sometimes I totally forget all about Booker sleeping in the other room. My bedroom really should be a Booker-free zone but unfortunately its his favorite place to play. Last night, when I climbed into bed I found a stash of his toy cars (like 20 of them) hiding under my covers along with every remote in the house. Totally not cool, Booker.
It may not be my favorite room, but this is probably where we spend most of our time. The TV room. Yes, that is Booker's pink stroller hanging out. He likes to put his balls in it and push them around the house. 
What the kids are doing right now
Sleeping peacefully. Tonight, Booker insisted on bringing all his balls to bed with him. Fine with me as long as he goes to sleep. 

Favorite Shoes
Anyone who knows me, knows I love my Reef flip flops. I have a black pair for black based outfits, and a brown pair for brown based outfits. Summer, fall, winter, spring- I've got them on.  

The bathroom
Again, nothing special. This is the guest bathroom. This toilet is dear to me because a few months ago we had a plumber come and tell us that it needed to be completely replaced and it would cost us like $600. Well, Clark and I decided to take matters into our hands and we fixed it ourselves. It involved removing the entire toilet and bringing it out to the backyard and literally flushing it out with a hose and flashlight. It was complicated but I felt so accomplished because now it works! And all it took was a a $10 snake from Home Depot and some elbow grease. Stinkin' plumber.
Dream Vacation
Clark's would be snowboarding and surfing in New Zealand. 
I'd say anywhere with a beach and no Bookers. 

Tag someone
This tag is pretty involved but also kinda fun so I won't tag anyone specific. But if my dad had a blog, I'd totally tag him so he could take a single picture of his hooch (trailer) and show us what its like to live in Baghdad. If you've got a camera and some free time, give it a try. 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Circle of Life

I'm a big fan of television. I mean, there is obviously no social utility to watching the Hills unless you want to learn how to be a giant prick or vapid socialite, but there is a lot of television worth watching. Here's an example of television teaching the facts of life courtesy of Animal Planet:

It's actually footage of a cheetah eating a wild boar, but Booker clearly gets the gist. When he's a little older we'll be able to explain that the "piggy" is not just going "ni - night" Otherwise he might never want to go ni-night again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lake Day

Water sports and I have always kinda had a rocky relationship. I'm the type of person who likes to just sit on the boat with my large Diet Coke, some tanning oil and a good book. Yet every time I make a trip to the lake, I feel this immense pressure to get in the water and impress. 

It all started when I was a kid and used to go up to Idaho with the Pritchetts. Now there's a family who takes their water sports seriously. I think they actually have a rule that someone HAS to be in the water attached to a rope at ALL times. The Garns are similar. They could have thrown Addie in the water and she would have popped right up and started doing flips and jumps across the wake. I don't think anyone ever believes me when I tell them I'm just as happy to sit back and watch their beautiful display of athleticism... and it really is quite beautiful.  

But like I said, I feel pressure to at least try to wakeboard. I'm like this giant, awkward walrus who gets dragged behind the boat for several hundred feet before my poor blistered hands just give up. But I don't mind trying because its probably funny for everyone else on the boat to watch and even though I ought to be horribly embarrassed, I'm not. And sometimes its kinda fun because I actually do get up and manage to stay there for 10 seconds before wiping out.

Today I was especially impressed because I actually got up despite being 7 months pregnant (man, that life-vest was working hard for me). That's nothing, though, compared to my in-laws. Rebecca probably could've given birth right there in the wake, she's that good. In fact, I think that's how Kinsey was born- that girl has lake water in her blood. But when it comes to water sports, I'm a Tueller woman and therefore have something else in my blood... diet coke maybe? I promised myself I would stay up long enough for Clark to take some photos as evidence. He, of course, is totally awesome at wakeboarding and spends his time jumping across the wake and reminding me how pathetic I am! 

Booker's first attempt at water sports was also very impressive. He reluctantly went on the tube with his mom and dad, but was much happier once I pushed Clark off (the tube was better balanced). Otherwise, he's like his mom. Just happy sitting on the boat and pointing out "WATER, MOMMY, WATER!" trees, cactus, birds and the almighty oreo cookie. 

We had an awesome, terrific, amazing and fun-filled day. Thank you Garns for letting us tag along! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tara Danette Drive

Welcome to our new blog! Clark and I decided its a little crazy to try and maintain 3 blogs (his, mine, and Booker's) so this is our newly combined effort. Booker will still have his and will likely share it with his little brother once he arrives. Four family members, two blogs. Sounds good to me.

Anyways, what better way to start a new blog than to announce that we found a house in Tucson to rent for the next year. We made a somewhat impromptu trip down to Tucson this morning and drove all over town meeting with real estate agents. We saw a total of 5 houses/town homes and still made it back to Mesa in time for Clark to attend his Bar class at six. Not bad. I'd like to remind my family members in Mesa that we're only a two hour drive (door to door!) away and its not like we're moving to Utah or somewhere crazy.

This is what I like about the house:
- Its a nine minute drive to Clark's office (we timed it). This is impressive since Clark's office is in the nicest most expensive part of Tucson, the Foothills, which is mostly home to million-ka-jillion dollar properties. We wanted to live close to his office, but not break the bank. This house is perfect for that.
- Its close to major shopping, malls, movies theaters and even the hospital I plan on delivering at. And there's a Trader Joe's just around the corner!
- It has a two car garage. A lot of houses we checked out only had a carport and we've got a lot of junk we want to store in the garage.
- There's a big back yard (well, big to us at least) with an actual LAWN! Granted, its a really small patch of lawn but finding grass in Tucson proper is quite hard. Tucsonians LOVE that Southwest feel- death and cactus. Its everywhere. So the lawn makes Clark very happy, although it does mean we'll have to purchase a lawn mower.
- There's a whole room for laundry, not just a dingy little closet. Washer & dryer are included.
- There's a whole separate area for our dining table, not just a corner of the kitchen or living room.
- The master bathroom has an extra large bathtub. I like taking baths and I'm extra large. Score.
- Best of all, its cheap.

Here's what I don't like, but will tolerate:
- Its on Tara Danette Drive. Its clearly one of those neighborhoods where the developer decided to name the streets after his children. At least we're not on Faith Dawn Court or Austin Nicolas Drive. But still, I'm not looking forward to changing our address and having to spell that one out.
- The previous renter/owner had an unusual sense of style. The paint in the main family room is pretty odd. Its blue with a bright red trim, I don't despise it but I don't love it either. I'll link the house listing below and you can check it out yourself. Be sure to scroll through the photos (its on the right and there's 8 of them). Booker's room is light purple which kinda stinks as well. We're allowed to paint though, so hopefully we can fix it up to our liking.

Otherwise, I'm quite happy with our decision to rent this particular house. There were a few other houses that were closer/nicer/bigger. But they were either a little too expensive or else a little too old/run-down feeling. I think we'll be quite happy on Tara Danette Drive.