Friday, March 28, 2008

Pack It Up, Pack It In...Let It Begin


We are now officially in the midst of getting our move on. We got our keys yesterday and made a couple of trips to Payson with our car loaded full of our treasures (or junk, we're not sure yet). We have a bunch of pictures of the new place that I will let Desta post at a later time (This is James by the way).

It felt nice to actually be in the house we have been talking and dreaming about for well over a month now. Of course we have only just begun the process as we still have our old apartment filled with boxes and furniture/appliances. We will take some more boxes down today and rent a truck to move the big stuff tomorrow. Saturday night will be our first official "sleepover" night. It's a pretty exciting time for the Gillice Family. Oh, and Zoe totally loves the new place. She had tons of room to run around and dance and whatever else she does when we are not looking. The stairs held a particular fascination for her. She especially enjoyed our garden boxes in the backyard, or more specifically, she enjoyed taking the dirt out of the garden boxes and placing it on the stone walkway.

And for those of you keeping score at home:
Hours spent in Payson - 4
Mullet sightings - 3

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Am Currently Incapable of Thinking of a Witty Title

March is going out with a bang! We have been enjoying ourselves so much lately and the best part is that Zoe has been a ton of fun. She loves being able to go outside again and I have to be careful about talking about going outside if I'm not prepared to leave in the next few minutes. Easter was great. It was our last day in the ward and we enjoyed every last second. For dinner I fixed corn beef and cabbage with potatoes, carrots, rolls, and deviled eggs - I originally boiled the eggs intending to color them, but as the time approached, I decided that I needed a nap more than dyed eggs. After dinner we got together with the Namannys for dessert. Zoe played downstairs with their kids and it was fun to have a conversation without having to regulate or "help" - one of Zoe's many new words.

Speaking of new words, Zoe is constantly building her vocabulary. If she isn't picking up on words we use, she is creating her own language. She literally talks all day. And sings and shouts and generally makes sure we are audibly aware of her at all times. I love it. I hope she stays in a good mood as our week stretches on and our life gets put in and taken out of boxes.

Packing is coming along slowly, so we really need to get ourselves in gear this week, as we plan on having all of our stuff out by Saturday night. That said, please excuse us if posts are few and far between in the coming weeks. If I could, I would post more often, but blogging (and checking blogs) seems to take over everything else when I do it, so I will have to practice some self-discipline and refrain, to an extent. What would really help me out is if all of my fellow bloggers could not have anything noteworthy happen so I won't feel compelled to check your blogs so often. Is that asking too much? (OK, I was just kidding on that one, it's actually really relaxing to sit down after working really hard, and sometimes not so hard, and check up on you all)

UPDATE - I started writing this Sunday night and it is now Tuesday morning. Zoe is having a hard time with the move and has stopped taking naps, although she gets fussy and starts crying "Nap! Nap!" She also refuses to fall asleep before 9:30 pm despite being put to bed by 7:30. Plus, I managed to hurt my back last night which means I have to cool it a little on the packing. I can't just stop altogether, as I'm the only one able to pack right now, but I just have to watch myself. James has a huge project for one of his classes due this week so that is top priority for him. At this point, I'd say my top priority is keeping my sanity. while I'm doing so, if I happen to get the laundry done and the rest of the kitchen packed, then I'd say that the day is a success.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cancellations, Cancellations, and More Cancellations

OK, I'll lead with all the icky, rage-inducing stories first and then move on to happier themes. The day I flew home was pretty yucky weatherwise and I thought I was lucky to make it out of Green Bay on time. Then I land in Chicago and get a message from the airline that my next flight was canceled. But it was OK because they were nice enough to book me on a flight to Salt Lake leaving at 7 pm - the next day! I ran to the nearest gate and had an emotional breakdown for some poor American Airlines worker - What am I supposed to do for a day and a half in an airport with a toddler? Why couldn't they have canceled my flight before I left my family? etc. The nice man said he would put me on a flight to Cincinnati and then I would fly from there to SLC. Much better. All I had to do was walk down a different concourse and get a boarding pass from Delta for the flight from Cincinnati to SLC and then get my 4:00 flight out of Chicago. So I did that, to an extent.

I got a boarding pass and then had lunch. By then it was time to check in for the next flight so I walked to the other side of the airport and, of course, that flight was canceled. The next helpful person tried to put me on a flight for Cincinnati that left 2 hours later, not realizing I couldn't care less about going to Ohio. When he finally listened to me long enough, he told me to go back to another part of the airport to be put on standby for a direct flight to SLC leaving at 6:30.

After some frustrating gate changes, more delays, and some very non-helpful people treating me terribly, I finally got on that flight - I was literally the last person to board the completely full flight. Using Google Earth, James and I figured out that I walked about a mile and a half in the airport, dragging Zoe and a huge diaper bag around. And that's besides chasing her around for 6 hours. The flight was miserable - 3 hours holding onto a child who didn't want to be held onto, hadn't slept all day, and only slept for 30 minutes on the flight. By the time we touched down it was 10 pm and, as Zoe most eloquently puts it, we were "done." In every way possible I was exhausted. By some miracle my luggage got on the plane as well and I didn't have the aneurysm I would have, had our bags remained in Chicago or been sent somewhere else.

From start to finish I was disappointed with the service, or lack thereof, that I received from American. They don't even serve a snack, though they will sell you a $3 bag of chips. I think I'll stick to my old favorites Delta and Southwest.

OK, now for the more fun stuff. Zoe and I had a blast in Wisconsin. It was just like being at home, only with someone to talk to all the time and help with Zoe. My sister's oldest, Isaac (6), adored Zoe and constantly told me that I was his best aunt ever. He loved to help me and play with Zoe. The younger boy, Elijah (4), liked Zoe for about the first 2 days, then he changed his mind. If he had to sit next to her or if she was in his room he would whine that he didn't like her. I guess you can't please everyone.

My sister and I worked on projects, watched movies, and talked endlessly. One night I stayed home with the kiddos so she and her husband could have a real date. Zoe behaved perfectly the whole week. She ate more than I've ever seen her eat, including having a banana a day (no one tell her that a banana is a fruit or the spell might be broken), and she also took a 2-3 hour nap each day. For the most part, Zoe was content to play in the boys' room, jump on a large leather ottoman, and scale the stairs endlessly. She only fell down the stairs once, and it was only about 5 or 6. she didn't break anything and she was slightly more careful on them afterwards, so I guess that is the best-case scenario. If you can't tell from the pictures, my sister and her husband are remodeling their house.

As far as vacationing with a toddler (and without your spouse) goes, we couldn't have had a better time. I only wish we could get together more often.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Planes, Planes, and More Planes!

After 3 flights and 9 hours, Zoe and I arrived safe and sound in Wisconsin to visit my sister and her family. Her kids are the only cousins Zoe has close to her age on my side and they had never met so we decided it was about time to change that. Anyway, back to the planes. Zoe was an angel all day long. She even fell asleep in my arms for about 30 minutes. She never complained about being confined. Two out of three of the flights we had an entire row to ourselves, and on the other flight we had what seemed to be the only open seat on the whole plane located right next to us. The only low point of the day was when Zoe kicked me really hard in the eye as I reached over her to get something. Oh well.

Zoe loves being with her cousins and she is adapting to being in a new, much noisier house. Life with 4 and 6-year-old boys is much different than we're used to. My sister and I have been watching tons of chick flicks and working on some sewing and home improvement projects she has. Never a dull moment around here. The best news is that Zoe has been eating a lot more than she normally does and today she asked to (and actually did) eat a banana! I thought I'd have to get my smelling salts out. Then I remembered I didn't have any.

Anyway, I know this is kind of boring, but we're having a great time and I will add pictures later. And more updates about our trip after I get home. If anyone sees James wandering aimlessly around the grocery store, please direct him to the milk.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Packing, Ditching, Crying

We finally started putting our stuff into boxes. We are officially ready to transport a bookcase, it's contents, my craft and scrapbooking stuff, and Zoe's old clothing. Hooray! For as long as it took us to pack up so little, I'm guessing we are in over our heads here. Oh well. It's one of those things that has to be done. Seeing our house full of boxes (most of them empty) does get us a little more excited for the move though.

Zoe, on the other hand, has not been so excited. Last week she had some teeth coming in, then Saturday she was feeling terrible. I thought it was allergies at first, since she had a runny nose, puffy eyes, and she was sneezing. She was so lethargic all day, falling asleep in James' arms and then taking a 3-hour nap, but then she was running a temperature in the evening so I have no idea what was wrong with her. On Sunday she still had the runny nose and was beyond grumpy so she and I ditched church. She refused to take a nap and from about 4:30 pm on did nothing but scream. I'm so serious. She wanted us to hold her but as soon as we picked her up she screamed to get down. Then she would lay on the floor screaming. It was a miserable evening. She even screamed in the bath tub. And her diet for the entire weekend consisted of water and corn chex. I'm pretty sure she's back to her 12-month weight, not that she had that far to go.

Today she has been miraculously healed. Her appetite is back (as much as it ever was) and she is just running around the house happy to be alive. And today we are happy she is alive as well. Especially since I have a ton of last minute errands to run before she and I hop on a plane and jaunt off across the country to visit my sister. Hopefully her "illness" doesn't return.

Grrr... Blogger is having issues with posting pictures, so I will just have to add them later. Sorry.

UPDATE: Pictures are now posted (duh). - James

Friday, March 7, 2008

Desta, You Got Some Splainin' To Do!

A few people have noticed the new poll and widget adorning the side of our blog. Funny story. I'm pregnant. Ok, so maybe it's not that funny, but, still, it's pretty cool. I'd just like you all to know how lucky you are that we are moving because if we weren't I'd still be keeping this a secret and lying through my teeth to all of you. I'm sorry if anyone felt out of the loop, but don't feel bad. Outside immediate family I only told two people (and that was to keep my head from exploding). I just couldn't bear the thought of moving away from all of our friends here without them knowing. Otherwise I would have held out on you until 20 weeks and one day. And you know I'm just stubborn enough to do it, and skinny enough to get away with it. I've already kept things under wraps for nearly a month (although I've suspected since the end of January). I also couldn't pass up an opportunity to put another poll up. I'm all about maximizing the capabilities of the blog, dontcha know.

So mark your calendars for October 3rd, if things go according to plan (which they better if this kid knows what's good for him, or her).

For all you women wondering how I got nearly 10 weeks into my pregnancy without knowing I was pregnant, there is a quick explanation: I have the easiest pregnancies in the world. The thing that finally tipped me off and made me go out and buy a test was I started waking up at 5 am to go to the bathroom, and if I coughed while I was laying down I got a really sharp cramp in my abdomen. Those are my definitive signs of pregnancy. You are all allowed to be extremely jealous. Just know that I plan on using my powers for good and having as many children as we can stand. And then probably one or two more, just for good measure.

I may or may not get around to Flashback Friday today. If I don't then it will be absent from this blog for a while, as I'm planning on packing all that stuff up tomorrow. So we'll see if Zoe (and my rigorous schedule) let me get it done. Zoe has at least two teeth coming in and has been making life miserable for everyone. Well, me. Between not eating, not sleeping very well, and the general grumpiness that accompanies teething, we have not been on the best of terms lately. Although when I've got her doped up on Tylenol she can be pretty fun. Still a little too whiney, but definitely more fun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Husband Tag

Here we go with some more Tag. This one is from Kayla and is more about James. Don't worry, Marie, I haven't forgotten you!

1. What is his name?
James Owen II (not Jr. how weird is that?)
2. How long have you been married?
4 years on August 17th.
3. How long did you date?
Define "date." We knew each other for about 2 years before we were married and dated off and on for about 9 months or so.
4. How old is he?
31. I KNOW!
5. Who eats more sweets?
We aren't really into the sweets, but I'd say James eats more usually. Right now I indulge myself more often.
6. Who said I love you first?
Me, the big chicken.
7. Who is taller?
James. Just enough so I can never wear heels again.
8. Who can sing better?
Duh. You don't want to hear me.
9. Who is smarter?
Hmm, very touchy question. Who can write, record, and produce his own music and then put it on a website he designed? James. Who has a college degree, and took less than 12 years to get it? Me. So I guess that we're tied.
10. Who does the laundry?
The washing machine has a restraining order against James and we are all thankful for it. Besides, I love doing the laundry, in a really controlling, OCD way.
11. Who pays the bills?
James earns the money and then I see that is is allotted properly.
12. Who sleeps on the right side?
I sleep on James' right side. No particular reasoning.
13. Who mows the lawn?
James would love having a lawn to mow. Every once in a while he's had to take over for the apartment managers and he loves it.
14. Who cooks dinner?
I do. James' culinary specialties include: Hamburger Helper, pancakes, spaghetti, and microwaving leftovers.
15. Who drives?
James. Unless he isn't in the car, then I'll take over.
16. Who kissed who first?
I'm pretty sure it was mutual. It kind of snuck up on us.
17. Who asked who out first?
We never really "went out" on a traditional date. We just hung out with each other all the time until one night it just turned into kissing (see #16).
18. Who proposed?
Is there such a thing as a mutual proposal? Here's the quick version: James and I were broken up (again) and then he left me a note after work saying he wanted to see me. When he came to pick me up he was telling me how much he missed me and wanted to be with me. In all my tactfulness and grace I interjected, "So what, does that mean we get married?" James replied quietly, "Yeah, I guess so." Me: "Oh, ok. Where are we going for dinner?" I know. So romantic.
19. Who has more siblings?
Me - 3 brothers and 1 sister. James has 2 sisters.
20. Who wears the pants?
I think we'd both agree that I do, although I share, and I do a great job of letting James think he wears the pants.

I'm going to do something out of character and tag specific people: Fern, LaDonna, Nicole, and Michelle (unless you don't want to, or have already done it and I've forgotten).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Music Snobs Anonymous: WILCO

If you think we're fond of The Arcade Fire, just get us started on Wilco. Depending on the day (and the hour therein) Wilco is by far my favorite band. They played on Saturday Night Live last night, though both James and I were disappointed by their song selection. Their latest album, Sky Blue Sky, is phenomenal but the two songs they chose to play were not among our favorites. Not that the songs aren't good, but we just couldn't figure out why they didn't choose their best songs for live television. Oh well.

Anyway, Wilco is a Chicago-based band that has been around for a while. Though each of their many albums is completely unique in sound, there is a cohesiveness that I love. Sometimes their music is categorized as Alternative Country and that often fits, with beats, lyrics, and even instruments that would fit right in at the Grand Ole Opry. Their soul-piercing electric guitar solos, however, probably wouldn't. The following song I would consider my favorite, if I was forced to pick just one. More than being my favorite song of theirs, I believe this song is as close to musical perfection as has ever been created. The song is "Jesus, etc." off their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The video is actually from a documentary about the production of that album titled I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. Like I said, music snob. If anyone is in love with Wilco as utterly as we are and want to borrow the movie let us know.

Some other favorite songs include:

From Mermaid Avenue Vol. 1 (under the name Billy Bragg and Wilco)
  • California Stars
  • Hesitating Beauty
From Being There
  • Far, Far Away (our wedding song)
  • Someday Soon
  • Someone Else's Song
  • Kingpin
From Summerteeth
  • She's a Jar
  • Pieholden Suite
  • Via Chicago
The entire album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (I am not exaggerating)

From A Ghost Is Born
  • At Least That's What You Said
  • Hummingbird
  • Company In My Back
  • Theologians
  • The Late Greats
From Sky Blue Sky
  • Either Way
  • You Are My Face
  • Sky Blue Sky
  • What Light
OK, so that's quite a list, but believe me, I am being very selective. I love all their stuff but it is so different. These guys are also great live and I was so sad that Salt Lake wasn't on their tour this year. I am still hoping they surprise us all and do a show that we can attend. I'm not above begging.