Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Back on the rock

Holidays were, absolutely amazing. I loved every second. It's great to back though and the island is as beautiful as ever. We have a new playground which we go to at least five times a week. Dylan is walking, getting into EVERYTHING and Hal is swimming like crazy and loves swimming out in the ocean with her goggles to look at all the beautiful fish.

Taylor is the head TA over the anatomy lab. He's amazing. This head TA job is not a little deal either. The guy works like crazy, helps in the lab, then does his studies, then comes home and takes care of me and the girls. How he does it, I have no idea. He's pretty incredible and I'm really lucky to have him.

I love this island though. The water is this GORGEOUS turquoise and the sun is warm and we just sit outside a lot and Dyl waddles around and I just love it.

Dylan was sick the majority of the holidays but she is feeling better, getting lots of teeth in which isn't all that great but she's doing good.

My Halle is begging for gymnastics lessons, I haven't found anyone to teach her yet, but I'm hoping to nab a teacher soon. All the gymnastics classes are full - there are only two places on the island.. boo.

Here's pictures!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We survived a hurricane. And now I'm writing about it.

These past few days have been extremely, extremely insane. My family and I survived a hurricane. A category 1 hurricane. So it is the smallest of the hurricane's but it's a full blown @#$@(?#$ hurricane so, yeah. The eye of the hurricane went right over the lagoon -- which my house is up against the lagoon. I was smack dab in the middle of it.

So rewind to Saturday, it's block week and Taylor is studying like a mad man. I haven't seem him in days and it's normal.. whatever.. it's block week. Block week is his exams which are always on a Monday. So two days till exams and he comes home and mentions a storm coming. I'm thinking okay, whatever, little storm, no big deal. I can handle two kids, a job and an island. Bring it on.

Also on Saturday, I notice this weird sore on Halle's back. It looks like she scraped her back and I ask her about it. She can't remember falling down. Whatever, I move on.

Sunday, Halle has full blown staph infection (impetigo to be exact). So terrible sores all over her body, wide spread, extremely contagious. I'm attempting and failing to keep Halle in a small area, only touching a few things, while entertaining Dylan. No church for us, obviously. Small confined building and highly contagious rash -- not a good idea.

Sunday night around 3 pm-ish, the storm has been upgraded to tropical storm -- which basically just means they throw out a bunch of warnings and no one pays attention. I didn't think much of it. I go to the store anyways --shh don't tell--- and pick up a few necessities, (aka diet coke, milk for dylan, bananas, eggs -- stuff our family lives off of)

Taylor is gone studying on Sunday too of course. We still think he is going to have exams the next day, so crazy studying -- never hear from him -- this is normal.

The tree that almost crushed my neighbors house
All day Sunday Dylan is just being a pill. Straight up screaming, awful, mess. Not herself at all. Just angry at the world and she is letting me know. I notice some little sores on her but I just hope and pray she isn't getting the infection too. Meanwhile, the radio is talking about getting prepared for the storm that is coming Monday.

Exams are postponed, and everyone kinda starts to prepare-- somewhat. Monday around 4 p.m. the rain starts coming and all the power goes out and water. We are lucky to have a generator so our power is back out but TV is out, water is out and wifi is out.

It's officially upgraded to a category 1 hurricane and I'm thinking holy crap that came on fast. I always thought people in hurricanes probably had weeks of warning and time to prepare -- nope. not at all. I had a couple mild warnings and then all of a sudden, #$^#$^ hurricane knocking on my door. I check Dylan's mouth and she's sprouting her two huge front teeth, and they are almost peeking through. PERFECT. I message Taylor around 5 and tell him to get his #$^&@(#$* home because I'm not going to be separated from him during a @#$%& hurricane. (I used those symbols too) He runs home and the rain is pouring and winds picking up.

People around our house are running around trying to secure everything outside. The owner of our place is yelling at us trying to get us to bring Halle's bike inside and all our other shiz. Ricardo, the maintenance guy comes around and he tells me to just give it to him and he will put it under our deck, which I think is perfect. He says, "She tends to make things very small, seem extremely big. It's just a little rain. No worry." Typical island attitude. At this point I'm still agreeing with him. I still don't really think it's going to be a big deal. I figure our power and water will go out and that's about it.

So Taylor gets home, we put Hal's bike on the back porch--still outside but hidden. There really isn't a place to put it inside. We have an all-inclusive kitchen/dining/play/living/office room, with minimal walking, playing, standing space.

Anyways, our windows start rattling. Everyone loses power, except for us because of our generator so I can't communicate with anyone on the island (we use internet for everything. no phones out here) Winds pick up to 70 mph -- which is INSANE. Our lovely neighbor David comes over to tell us to move our car or buy a new one after the storm because a tree is ready to fall right on top of it. Taylor goes to move it and I run to the asian market to buy the necessities. This is when my true colors really came out. I came home -- literally with the following items:

1. Four cans of diet coke
2. Popcorn kernels
3. Butter
4. Sugar
5. One bottle of water

Now I know who would die first in a major storm -- this girl. I wanted to make popcorn balls okay?!?! Plus I wanted to distract the kids. So now, Taylor is home, it's officially quite scary, Dylan is getting her teeth, crap is flying all over and trees breaking and branches flying and Halle is in so much pain from her sores on the back of her thighs and her back that she can't sit or lay down or do anything.
A family in my ward's house where the roof collapsed

I put on Lego movie for Hal (thank you Haley for the movie -- she LOVES it) and I pop popcorn and make a carmel for it. Taylor and I watch the palm trees and the lagoon and it is @#(*$# insane. I've never EVER seen a storm like that. Boats were stuck on the lagoon, the casino down the street had it's roof collapse on it, next thing I know our neighbor says a giant tree fell about three feet from her house. It could have easily fell right in the middle of her house and seriously injured her and her two little girls and husband. REALLY scary. Luckily they are fine. We're still panicking and our roof starts to leak right above our bed, then there starts to be some leaking right above Hal's bed too. I put towels down and by now it's about 8 p.m.

Movie's over and I've shoveled so much popcorn into my mouth I can hardly stand it. We throw on the frozen soundtrack and dance around the room -- because-- Why not? Hal LOVES dance parties, so that's what we do. DANCE PARTY. in the middle of a hurricane. We hardly notice what is going on outside. It was great. Hal washes up and I put the heavily medicated kids to bed.

Shortly after all the leaking started, the eye of the storm passes over us and then we notice all the palm trees are being blown in the opposite direction. That's when we know it's on it's way out. Thank goodness. Our windows are rattling, I'm worried about coconuts or branches flying and breaking our windows. We somehow manage to get through everything with no flooding and no damage.

Lots of our friends weren't so lucky. A family in our ward had part of their roof collapse, about half of my friends had major flooding in their apartment with quite a bit of damage to their belongings. One of my friends had their windows broken.

Anyways, when the winds shift it somehow shifts the water on the roof and the leaking stops. I start reading and Taylor is back to studying, but by now we're thinking there is no way he has exams tomorrow.

The next morning I wake up around 6 a.m. with Dyl-- again, normal -- and the wreckage outside is
Our parking lot which is usually spotless.
They sweep it every day
insane. It's like a complete, other place. Everything is COVERED with branches and trees and you can hardly walk around. The outside was completely unrecognizable.

Everything was closed. The asian market was still open but all the water was gone and a good majority of everything else. No power still so if you were looking for something, you had to do it in the dark-- good luck with that --- . It was kind of like Jumanji when they were at the grocery store, minus all the shooting and stuff. I kind of felt like I was in a movie. it was weird. Exams cancelled, schools cancelled, island is in rebuilding trying to get roads drivable and everything put back and assess damage.

Dylan gets the infection, yey, and her two front teeth push through. Halle then wakes up with a fever and pukes her guts out.. Then later I hear domino's is opening at 4 pm so I'm thinking there is no way in @#($*# I'm cooking, I'm too freaking tired and exhausted from sick kids, I'll just go pick up a pizza. Put the kids in the car -- and my car won't start. PERFECT. We walk to the pizza shop by our house --- I can't take the stroller because it's under our deck and I probably couldn't push is with all the branches anyways, so carrying Dylan, walk to the pizza shop, everyone else wants pizza too. They guy ran out of supplies and its about an hour wait. Screw that. We come home, I'm very defeated, and I make mac and cheese.

It's been insane. Luckily everyone is safe. My kids are on the rebound. Taylor is currently taking his exams, and I'm living to write about this insane, insane, few days of mine. I did a little bit of damage in the online shopping department because I was attempting to feel something like I was still in the states and in the comforts of shopping, whatever, it made me feel better.

I also lived off of popcorn, carrots and diet coke. who knew? I really like caramel popcorn.

Seriously, though it made me count my blessings. I have everything I need. I have my beautiful kids and Taylor, who is INCREDIBLE. I'm really, really lucky to have him. If you are still reading, I'm super impressed. This is a NOVEL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things that are easier than living in the Caribbean

  1. Running a marathon
  2. Navigating Ikea
  3. Cleaning your oven while it's on
  4. Trying to get a diaper on a squirming, pooping baby
  5. Going to jail

Sunday, August 17, 2014

One semester down, Only four to go!

So Taylor takes his last final exam tomorrow and his whole semester is OVER. Really, really weird to think we are already 20 percent of the way done. Last week he was a little upset and said, "I'm so mad. I only have a 91 percent in anatomy." ONLY a 91 percent. We backed it up a bit and I told him a 91 percent is freaking awesome. He's doing great and really working harder than he ever has in his life.
Dylan is crawling. Barely and very, very slowly but she is crawling. She knows how to do it, just doesn't really choose to do it often. I don't blame her either. We don't have a shred of carpet. All tile in the caribbean. She is eating tons of food and growing like crazy. I'm attempting to ween her off of breastfeeding to like three times a day, as opposed to the current seven times a day.:) Love her though. Taylor says he is known as the guy with the cute baby. It's fun. I take the kids to school to see there daddy a lot and all the female students just die over Dylan. She does not lack attention that's for sure.

Halle is having a blast with all her friends. She is definitely my little social butterfly. Her two best friends have gone to school so it's a little hard for her because I can't afford to put her in the school so she is homeschooled but we are making it work. I'm going to hopefully put her in gymnastics which I know she will just love. She loves climbing trees, swimming, surfing and riding her scooter in Maho and on the bridge.

As for me, I'm just living the dream over here. I've been doing some reporting/editing/freelance work for the St. George News which is great to supplement a bit of the beans and rice/med school budget. 

The challenge has been issued. Second counselor in the young womens org. I have never been in young womens -- since I was a young woman myself, so it'll for sure be interesting but I'm excited. 

So, on our whole island we have a branch. Today at church I would say we had around 40 people. There were two girls in young womens, plus one visitor who was on vacation on a cruise.

The social dynamic is interesting because there are not a lot of marriages out here in general, and it is not uncommon for a woman to become pregnant in her teen years, and also not uncommon for women to have multiple children all with different fathers.

Anyways, I love these girls and we will see what the future brings.

We are doing awesome but miss our family terribly! Face time us when you get a minute!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dylan - My short attempt at a birth story - thank you ashton

Talking to my sister-in-law Ashton last night and seeing her birth story was so amazing and fun and made me smile from ear to ear, laugh and cry all at the same time.

So here goes nothing... Dylan. To preface this you kind of need to know a little about Halle's birth. She was nine days late, and Taylor, Halle and I were treated like we had swine flu. Taylor really did have it, so he couldn't be with me at all during labor and Halle was completely quarantined after birth just in case she had swine flu. No one could see, hold or touch Hal for about 12 or so hours after she was born other than doctors. Plus Taylor had to go home too. That's the complete short story on that one. Halle was beautiful and healthy, but a little traumatizing doing most of it without Taylor and then having them both taken away from me immediately afterwards.

Dylan now, the pregnancy was .. meh... I hate with a freaking passion being pregnant. The most awkward, terrible,  sick, blah, disgusting thing in the world. If I didn't get a baby out of it, no freaking way would I volunteer even for a million bucks. Well, maybe a million. Anyways, by about month three I want to get the bloody thing out of me. Once I hit 37 weeks I started the trampoline, exercise ball, yoga stretches, everything I could to attempt to bring on labor. Never, ever even remotely helped.

Dyl was measuring big according to their ultrasounds so I was hoping to get her out early and I sure as he*& wasn't letting her stay in an extra week and a half like Halle. When the doctor offered to deliver her one week early, I'm pretty sure I gave him a high five.

(Funny story: I coached Halle's soccer team last summer and turns out my OB's son was on the team. Talk about awkward and funny. The best part was our first realization I was his patient. He brought his son Spencer wearing sunglasses and introduced himself by his first name of course. He said, "Wait do I know you?" He took off his sunglasses and I realized he was my OB and almost said, "Yes, last week you were looking at my Woah.. hahah" Yep, awkward but very funny.) So I had his cell and email the entire pregnancy - thank you provo rec team list and info.

Anyways, Sept. 29, this beautiful, gorgeous Sunday morning in Provo they set me up in this gorgeous corner room with a view and a TV (I was the commissioner of my fantasy league and the patriots were playing someone at 11:00 a.m. that day so I had to have a TV to watch my game).

We got there at 8 a.m. and they hooked me all up, I ate right before and was rested and felt amazing. Scared out of my brains but still feeling good. Two kids scared that crap out of me. At 9 a.m. they gave me the epidural and broke my water. Then shiz started to get real.

My mom was teaching a lesson in church - Sunday school I think and I kept thinking there is no way she is going to make it because everything went so fast. But she did. My mom and sisters got there and waited outside with only like 20 minutes to spare. At 10:40ish it was pushing time.

Dylan LaVieve arrived around 11:15 at 8 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches. She made record time of only a three - isn hour labor and Taylor was there the WHOLE time.

My players stunk during the patriots game, if anyone was wondering. Complete flop. I don't even remember who they played or who it was but all I knew was Dylan was here and healthy and it was over and Halle was thrilled and I couldn't believe how amazingly fast it all was. My mother-in-law had Halle and they came shortly after and it was amazing having everyone to see me so quickly. My sister-in-laws came really soon too and I just love them to death.

It's been ten months now, which is INSANE, but I love pickles like nuts.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Welp, Taylor studied all during the fourth... yep. Welcome to my life. Ha. Me and the kiddos though, we had a killer fourth! First my friend had this amazing party in her backyard with treats and an inflatable pool and this beach ball, sprinkler combo thing. A blast. Then we went and bought pastries at La Sucrerie in Simpson Bay and it was breathtaking! We got these macaroons that -- I really didn't know I even liked macaroons, they were INCREDIBLE THOUGH! Amazing and we got these pastries and a sandwich for Taylor and this mile high meringue and an almond croissant, and to top it off we ate while watching the yachts and the boats on the bay. Ate right at the dock. It was so beautiful. Halle loved her pink raspberry macaroon and Dyl is digging the sweets already too. (She's screwed, especially with a sweet digging mama like me).

After that we went home, Dyl napped and I got to watch the French play, which is freaking awesome because I literally live about two minutes away from a French territory. This is why it is so STINKING awesome to be living where I'm living for the World Cup. I live in the netherlands and then two minutes away from france! CRAZY. I love it. I see flags and psycho hooligans in red, blue and white or this florescent orange for the netherlands. Crazy. Not a single american flag except on hotels. HA. Anyways, After the french-- cough -- lost -- cough -- we did a little swimming at our pool, then off to another party!

The Spouses Org at the med school did this pot luck with sparklers and snappers and hamburgers and hot dogs, and beer.. naturally.. haha. It's kind of odd being really the only ones that don't get absolutely wasted on the island. It's a very popular past time out here. And the nudity. hahaha

Okay, well Taylor got to come home around 8 ish so we hung out a bit and watched a show.  Taylor is working so hard. He studies like crazy and actually helps a lot of his peers with anatomy and his stronger subjects. Always been a great teacher that one. The bishopric figured this one out and last week we get to church and see Taylor's name on the program. No one even called or did anything. Just, oh hey, welcome to church, you're speaking first! He did awesome though of course. It bugs me sometimes how good he is at teaching and speaking.

Missing the family but boy are we keeping busy out here. Love YOU ALL! COME VISIT! John and Bonnie I CANNOT WAIT CANNOT WAIT! 6 days!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Updates on the littles

Welp, just trucking along here. Nothing has really happened. Another mugging in broad daylight, but it's all a day in the life. Haha, nothing really new. I thought I should kind of update a bit on my kiddos, since they are my absolute life now.

So Halle is obsessed with climbing trees right now. We go searching for trees with good branches daily. There is one that we climb in the parking lot of our complex but the security guards always tell us to stop. Good thing they are our friends so they usually let us play for a good 20 minutes before they have to tell us. Then there is one by our pool and one by this little green pad where Hal rides her scooter. The other day she was climbing on one without me outside and she fell off and got a bloody nose. I think the best part of it was our bar tender Denise who Halle is really good friends with was the first to get to Halle, even before me. She immediately ran over and wiped her off and held her. It's so great. Haha sometimes I find Halle up at the bar talking to Denise. :) I guess that's how we roll out here :) haha. No joke there is not a SINGLE playground on the island. They just don't have any out here. The kids group for the school took the kids to this mall playground indoor thing (kind of like a jump on it/chuck e cheeses). Halle loved it. She has tons of friends and super happy!

Dylan, holy crap is already 9 months,  is still the center of attention out here. I can't even stroll down the street with people asking about her. She smiles at everyone, including the stray dogs and cats. I swear she smiles at the rocks. Dork, haha. She is hilarious. She is sitting really well but not crawling. It's a little difficult out here because there is no carpet so she will always bang her head or whine with her knees on the tile. Basically I never really put her down. She is glued to my hip. No wonder she doesn't really want to crawl or walk. She is nursing really well still. She doesn't like baby food really. She eats puffs, tons of ritz, tons of bananas, yogurt, fruits, fish, and that's about it.

They are both pretty great. Taylor is awesome. He studies like crazy and has an awesome study group. I'm so so proud of him. He works so hard.