Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Biggest Mistake I Have Ever Made

I was a freshman in college--at the college that the Princeton Review has consistently ranked the #1 Stone-Cold Sober school in the US. When hearing that, you'd think that it must be a school where students are well-behaved and don't do stupid things. You'd think...
The truth, however, is that if you put together a bunch of college students who don't drink, they are forced to be more creative at finding really stupid things to do.

It was me and Gillian. Gillian had moved into our dorms mid-semester and had definitely added any spunk that we may have been missing. She's the kind of girl who is always sure to make you laugh. We were laying on the bed in my dorm room - we both had homework to do - but that was at the bottom of the priority list. I don't remember our conversation exactly, but I think it went something like this:

Me: Have you ever chugged a whole 2 Liter of Hawaiian Punch?
Gill: No, but can you imagine doing it and then spinning around for five minutes afterward?

We were out the door before we knew it, knocking on Jayci's door next to us. "Hey, we need a ref and a timer for this game we're going to play!"

After a short stop at Cosmo's (the little store at the dorms), we were on the lawn chugging away. Then spinning around in circles. It was almost fun until I stopped spinning but I laid on the ground wondering when the world outside would stop spinning. It refused to. We had to crawl up the stairs to our third floor dorm room where I went straight to the bathroom and let the Hawaiian Punch go--that meant I lost the competition. But the world kept spinning...for hours.

So much for getting my homework done that day.
And so much for thinking that "Stone-Cold Sober" would mean not doing stupid things.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS to Nate and Lauren!

Congratulations to Nate (Camm's little brother) and Lauren who got married Saturday.

  Nate, you made a great choice. Lauren is absolutely fantastic. I'm so glad to welcome her into the family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Little Housekeeper

I had half of the kitchen floor swept into a nice pile when Ruby walked into the room. She doesn't talk, but from the look in her eyes and the jabber out of her mouth, it was as if she said, "Mom, let me take over!" and she reached up and grabbed the broom (at least twice her height) out of my hands.
"No problem," I said to her, "by all means."
Using every muscle in her tiny arms, she maneuvered the broom the best she could.
She's a determined little girl and the fact that she's a baby wasn't going to stop her.
She pushed my pile of dirt neatly under the fridge. When it was all shoved under, she handed me back the broom with a look in her eye as if to say, "Wasn't that easy? Why didn't you think of that?"
And now I think to myself, "You're right, why didn't I?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Blog!

This weekend my blog turned 1 year old! We had a celebration.
Show your support to my 1 year old by sharing/posting/liking your favorite post from the past year. In the comments section, tell me which one was your favorite!

Also, if you haven't already, like my facebook page and keep voting for me daily on top mommy blogs! Thanks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snow day

I have the fondest memories of loving the snow as a kid. Snow meant sledding, tubing, snowmen, snowball fights, snow angels, and whatever else we could think of to do. It wasn't until I got older that snow meant freezing to death any time I went outside, sliding while driving, and overall misery.

When it snowed this year, I figured I should relive my childhood days of loving the snow with my little one.
We got Ruby all dressed up in her puffy hot pink snow coat and boots. Camm and I got equally bundled and told Ruby that it was time to go outside, have fun and build a snowman. We stepped outside and Camm and I got to work playing. Ruby stuck her finger in the snow for one second and realized she was not going to like this.
Despite her cries, we told her snow was fun and she needed to stay outside and have fun. She was too smart for her own good and continued to sob.
Maybe I won't be able to relive my childhood love of snow through her. Apparently she was born with my adult pessimism. What should I do about this?

Waving her hand and screaming "No no no!" as Daddy tries to hand her a snowball

PS-In Case you haven't heard, this week I'm doing a promotion on my facebook page. Whoever likes and shares the most posts off my page will receive their very own family portrait in stick figures. So click here and start liking!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm not a fan of pets. Animals are fine in their habitat. But I'm not one who has any desire to curl up with a puppy...or a kitty...or a hamster...or even a goldfish for that matter. When neighbors' dogs come barking to say "hello" I struggle to kindly ward them off without making it look too much like I am avoiding the friendly gesture (and trying to not kick them). I know that my sort-of-hatred for them is wrong, but I still sort-of-hate them.
That being said, Ruby can choose for herself if she wants to like animals. So far, her relationship with them is developing, and I think she may become an animal lover. How will I cope with that decision?

As a baby laying on a blanket at Grandma's house, she was fascinated by the kitty
She was delighted when she learned how to crawl so she could chase the cat:
But she became disappointed when she learned the cat was way faster than her:
We moved away and Ruby's animal interactions became less frequent.
There was the day we spent at Camm's work with a dog. Any time the dog came near, things went about like this:
But when the dog fell asleep, she couldn't take her hands off him. 
In Tillamook I took her to the petting farm. It went about like this:
She was very interested and wanted me to touch/feed them. But she would have nothing to do with it (you can bet I liked that - being the non-animal person I am).
On our way back from Tillamook, we stopped at my sister Kara's house. That's when she seemed to lose her fear. She became the animal lover. The cats hid frantically under the bed, and Ruby spent the whole time attempting to coax them out. 

When I tried to bring her downstairs to distract her, she insisted on climbing the steep wooden stairs to find them again:
And she resumed her post at the bed. The cats were scared to death.
That happened one week before we got to South America...
That means we spent the week watching her adore every animal she came in contact with. I think we stopped her before she touched any stray animals, but I'm not totally sure.
And just for the record (sort of as a side note), in Peru, there's a popular dog that looks like this:
pic found here
OK, so now I've got this baby who is really starting to love any type of animal and I have to figure out how to cope. I don't ever want a pet. And any time she touches any animal, I would appreciate it if she would take a bath immediately following so as to not carry any hair or germs with her. I don't think this is going to work.

Any ideas on how I can let up a little bit?
Or any ideas on how I can persuade her to not really like animals?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where am I?

It seems like in novels, every time a character travels they wake up not remembering where they are. Every time I read a book that says that, I think to myself, "That's ridiculous, how could they just not remember?" Yesterday I found out that maybe the authors of those books aren't so ridiculous as I thought.

Twenty minutes into our five hour road trip from the airport, we heard a strange sound and the heater stopped blowing. We rolled into our garage cold but alive at 5:30am. Ruby and I had to drop Camm off at work at 7:30am, so needless to say, there wasn't much time to sleep. After going all night trying to keep the car defrosted without a heater, we realized it was a safety must to have it repaired. I took it in to the shop right after I dropped Camm off. I rode the shuttle home and Ryan (the mechanic) said he'd call me when it was done.

When Ruby took her afternoon nap, I had to join in. I was exhausted. I collapsed on my bed without even pulling the covers over me. The phone rang and I groggily answered it.

Me: Halo!?
Ryan: Um, Ms. Clark?
Me: Si.
Ryan: I just wanted to tell you that your car is ready for pick-up so you can come in and get it when you'd like.
Me: Está bien. Venimos ahora.
Ryan: Um, what? Ms. Clark?
Me: Si. Soy yo. Ahorita venimos.
Ryan: Ms. Clark? I just wanted to tell you your car is ready.
Me: Si, ya sé. Ahorita venimos.
At this point I was getting SUPER frustrated. Why did this kid make me keep repeating myself? Why did he keep repeating himself. I had already told him three times that I'll be right there.
Ryan: I'm just calling to say that it'll be ready when you get here.
I was beyond confused. Why did this guy keep telling me the same thing over and over?
Me: Ya ya ya.
I hung up the phone. There was nothing else I could do.

It wasn't until about three minutes after I hung up the phone that I realized I am in the United States and I was speaking Spanish when the guy was speaking English to me.

The worst part was that I still had to go in and face Ryan. "Uh, sorry about the whole speaking Spanish to you on the phone thing. I guess I was confused..."


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trip high lights

Day 1: Things are going to be different Ruby.
It didn't take long for our girl to learn that her very strict night time and nap schedule would be thrown away. If she wanted to sleep, she'd have to find some way to do it on her own.

Day 2: Day of the Traveling Pants.
Moll noticed Camm had huge hole in butt of pants
Then Camm sat on and smashed a fruit snack into his pants
Camm spilled water that made it look like he wet his pants (or at least that's the story he told me!)
And then the fiasco all ended with Ruby throwing up all over Camm's pants. We finally arrived in Guayaquil where Camm was free to throw those things away.

Day 3: Fell in love.
Guayaquil is the most beautiful place I've ever been in my entire life.
Ruby started to figure out that she's basically a movie star in south America. She started strutting around looking up as people cooed and told her she was beautiful. This trend continued the entire week. Something my very confident child probably didn't need.
Fun with Carmen and JuanCarlos (friends from when I was a missionary in Peru who are both from Ecuador)

Day 3.5: Unethical bribery?
Carmen came with us to Peru, but as the bus stopped at 3am to go through customs, they told her she wasn't allowed into Peru. For some "unknown" reason, she was not allowed to enter the country. She argued with the customs agent for an hour. Then the bus driver was getting impatient so started arguing with the customs agent for her. The thing that didn't make sense was that there was absolutely NOWHERE for her to go. We were in the middle of nowhere where there would be no bus to get back to Guayaquil. It was the middle of the night. We could have either left her on the side of the road to maybe hitch hike the five hours to Guayaquil. Or, we could pay the customs agent $50 to let her in. It wasn't really a fair decision to say the least.

Day 4: Finally in Peru
Hung out with many old friends
Ruby kissed a baby boy (this was not even close to her first kiss)
Went to church activity where the teenagers did cultural Peruvian dances.
Ate delicious food
Rode Mototaxis
Fun to be back to a place I once considered home

Day 5: Vamos a la playa
Beautiful, sand, digging, sandcastle, running barefoot, jumping waves, ceviche, criollo, chicarron de pescado, friends, fun. Excellent day

Day 6: Ferreñafe Ferreñafe Ferreñafe
Try saying that three times as fast as you can.
From Chiclayo you have to take a thirty minute "combi" (a van that functions like a bus) to get to Ferreñafe. The combi drivers yell out "Ferreñafe Ferreñafe Ferreñafe" very quickly repeatedly as they try to get your business from another combi driver.

Day 7: Geography lesson
Nor and Pio - two older men that I love to death taught me that Arequipa is NOT part of their beloved Peru. The map may say so, but those Arequipans are way too cocky to be a part of them.

Day 8: Barrio Angamos
Carmen and I left early Sunday morning to go to visit some friends who got baptized while we were there but who no longer go to church. They didn't know we were coming and when we knocked on the door, they screamed with excitement. It didn't take much convincing at all for them to get ready and walk to church with us. They now have a baby around Ruby's age and it was fun to have them interact.
Last day in Peru. Spent the day hanging out with friends.

Day 8.5: Customs was much easier this time.
No bribery, no problems. Bus drivers were happy.

Day 9: Let's move to Guayaquil
As we spent our last day walking downtown the most beautiful city in the world, we couldn't help but talk about how much we would love to live day

Day 10: CNN in the airport, sleeping on the plane
Not much else to add here. Obama won though!!!

Day 10.5: our flight had arrived at 1130pm and Camm had to be at work at 7:30am. And we live five hours away from the airport. You do the math. We were driving all night...
Special thanks to Dana and Tim for picking us up so late and sending us off with a bag full of snacks.
Also, special thanks to the caffeine that kept my Camm awake.

By far the best trip we've ever been on in our entire lives.

the end

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