Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just for fun! :)

I just thought I would put a cute video of Ella up and some pictures :) Nothing really new to update! All Pretty for Church...

First time with a pony tail! Little Pineapple Princess! :)
Just barely enough hair...
So cute!
She's pretty much the cutest...

This is Ella crawling around the floor in the Rotunda at the school. It is always very air conditioned in there and the floor is always cold. She is one happy camper crawling around on the cold floor....getting cooled off. So cute :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Memory Tag...

Okay Karey...this is for you :) Those were so funny!

The rules to this are:
Put any memories you have of me and you (whoever is reading this) in the "comments".

Good times, good times :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Unwanted visitor...

Oh boy! Was last night an adventure or WHAT?! HOLY CRAP! :) So here's what happened...

Tom and I were very tired last night, so we decided to go to bed a little early and just read till we both got super tired and fell asleep. So we're sitting in bed like old married folk reading our books - Tom, Harry Potter, me, A Painted House. An hour or two goes by and right before I say, "Well, I'm tired, wanna go to sleep?" we hear a sound bang in the bathroom! Our bathroom is pretty tiny and there is only a small window in there so we were like, "What was that?!" I tell Tom to go see what it was....he says, "you come with me!" So we sneak open the door....very slowly....and AH! A MOUSE ON TOP OF THE SHOWER!!!! It jumped so we screamed and hurried and shut the door! It was a pretty big mouse, too, mind you. Not a rat...but a big mouse. The door to our bathroom is very close to the ground so we knew it couldn't slip underneath the door or anything. So we're trying to figure out a way to get this mouse out. We formulated several ideas:

1. Use a bug bomb and wait till it kills it and just get it in the morning.

2. Use a rat trap and just wait till it kills itself.

3. Use a trashcan and catch it.

So we decided on option three. So Tom grabs the big trash can from the kitchen and we both sneak into the bathroom. The bathroom is tiny tiny, but we can't see where the mouse is! so I'm standing on the biday (spelling??) and Tom is standing on the toilet. We start shuffling things around and the mouse is behind the bathroom trash can! Tom places the garbage can from the kitchen on the floor and hits the other trashcan. The mouse RUNS into the big trash can but then runs out! WE ALMOST HAD IT!

Then the mouse RAN underneath the countertop. We looked underneath but couldn't find it? We have NO idea where it could've gone. So we start shuffling things inside the cabinet and it JUMPS out and back behind the other trashcan! Tom adn I also had a broom and mop for protection :) hehe. We looked super funny, I have to say. We're both in our underwear, broom and mop in hand, with big tennis shoes on, standing on top of the toilet and buday! Good times... :)

So the mouse is still running around the floor and we're trying to get it in the corner, when all of a sudden it RUNS up the door! YES! The mouse CLIMBED up the sheer face of the door!!! We hurried and knocked it back down onto the floor and it JUMPED up onto the toilet! We are pretty much freaking out by this point (okay...we were freaking out at the beginning, but now we are beside ourselves) because we have Super Mouse in our bathroom! It can disappear!

So we FINALLY catch it in the trashcan and it starts jumping trying ot get out and we hurried and put a towel over it. Phew...we took it outside onto the balcony and on the count of three, I tore of the towel and Tom threw it over the balcony! It was quite exciting. :)

The whole escapade took almost an hour. So we didn't end up getting back in bed until after midnight, and then our adrenaline was so riled up that it took another half an hour or so until we could sleep! haha!!

Gooooood times.... :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Funny story in ICM...

Okay, first off: ICM stands for Introduction to Clinical Medicine. It is a class that all the med students have to take their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th semesters. It is pretty much like practice interviewing for patient histories and stuff like that. I've been doing it this semester with Ella and it is getting pretty funny with all the different students. Some of them are really good, others suck pretty bad. I'll give a few examples. Keep in mind that Ella is sitting on my lap the whole time, and I'm the only one that has ever brought a baby with the students are a little thrown off by that...

Case 1: I'm a 76 year old woman with gallstones. So I tell the student that I've been havnig stomach pains.

Student: "You're having pains in your your menstrual cycle regular?"
Me: "Um...I haven't had one in a while."
Student: "Oh - are you pregnant?"
Me: "Uh...what? I don't think so. That would be pretty amazing considering the fact that I'm 76."
Student: "Oh yeah yeah! Right...well this your baby?"
Me: "Uh...that would be pretty amazing considering the fact that I'm 76!"

Pooooor students. :) Other times Ella will be really fussy and screaming and stuff and the students totally ignore it and keep rattling off questions and stuff and I'm like, "geez! Give me a second!" Hehehe :) Pooooor students.

Anyway, I just thought that story was kind of funny :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You know you're in the Caribbean when...

(Here is a video of Ella because she is just so dang cute! :))

I honestly thought I had posted this already, but I guess not on here! If I have....oops :) So here is the official "You Know You're in the Caribbean When...." I'm sure there will be more as time goes, though...

  • There is a guy shaking his you-know-what in the middle of the road.

  • You can't get through a street because there are too many goats in the way.

  • Your car catches air at least once a week from going 40 over a speed bump you didn't see.

  • You can't jog through the golf course because it is trespassing, but apparently it is okay to be a homeless guy living in one of the abandoned buildings mugging people – that's not trespassing.

  • You can't walk/drive through the golf course at night because of these homeless people.

  • The security guards open and close the gates when you come and go regardless of who you are, what crimes you've committed, or where you're going. Nice security.

  • Security guards are merely a formality, and barely even that.

  • You go outside and it takes you ten minutes to start sweating and you think, "Hm, kind of chilly today."

  • You need an off-road vehicle just to go to the grocery store.

  • Grocery shopping takes you four hours and six different stores to get everything you need.

  • Everything is posted in gilders and kilos, but everything is transacted in dollars. Go figure.

  • The roads are so flooded after a light sprinkle that jellybean cars often flood their engines just trying to get through the puddles.

  • A fat Italian owns your road, so you have to use the scary dirt one instead.

  • There are hundreds of scary, mangy dogs running around everywhere.

  • There are pigs in the dumpster behind the 1-2-3-4 and More store.

  • Ace is by FAR the nicest, cleanest, well lit, best priced, most American, most refreshing store on the whole island.

  • If you have to sweep your house at least 4 times a week, and each time it is like half the beach is in your house!

  • If people around you have never even heard of carpet.

  • If the natives are speaking English, but you aren't even close to understanding it!

  • If you have to worry about someone stealing your car door…just the door.

  • You're not sure if it's a pond, or a pothole…probably a pothole.

  • When you have to bring a cooler in the car to keep your food cold on the way home from the grocery store.

  • When tourists are better drivers than the locals.

  • Complete strangers treat your child like it is theirs – and discipline like it's theirs.

  • Your apartment has the pungent smell of marijuana.

  • The best restaurant on the whole island is a little window called Pizza Dan's.

  • When beer is cheaper than water, and ice is extra.

  • When crabs fly out of your air conditioning vents.

  • When monkeys show up on your doorstep.

  • When you go to sleep to the sound of dog fights and cat fights.

  • You pull over to look at the ocean views.

  • When it takes four different gas stations to refill your propane tank.

  • Island time is not on a watch, but a concept and a mindset.

  • When it's okay to drink and drive, but not to eat fried chicken and drive.

  • When you are prejudiced against because you are the white male.

  • When you hang out in stores just for the air conditioning.

And here are some cute pictures of Ella just for fun :)

So sweet!

Derek Zooland


She LOOOVES Mac n Cheese!

Friday, July 18, 2008

So sick of....

people telling me I live in a tropical paradise! Allow me to give some Q & A's about St. Maarten REAL life. Keep in mind that we are talking REAL LIFE, not vacation life. There is a vast and deep difference. (I am copying the Q & A form from Katie because hers are just so dang cute! I hope mine comes across as entertaining as hers!)

Q: Wow! You're living in the Caribbean?? That must be great!
A: Actually, no. We really miss the U.S.

Q: No....are you serious?
A. Very.

Q: Well, why??
A: Let's see....where did you buy your groceries? Walmart? Albertsons? Target? We don't have any of those. We have a Cost-U-Less, which is like a small version of Costco...sort of. We have a Grand Marche that is the closest thing to a normal grocery store. And we have a Food Express, which is more like a glorified food mart gas station, without the gas. All of these stores are hit and miss: the prices vary day by day, the quality varies by how close to get it after arriving on the island, the actual products vary because sometimes they just stop stocking things, and all the produce is a little sketchy. Also, you have to bag your own groceries....or tip the black kid in the red shirt a dollar.

Q: What do you mean, "tip the kid"?
A: Like I said...the baggers are NOT employed by the grocery store. They just wear red shirts and show up and bag your groceries. You are supposed to tip them a dollar. I, however, tip them a dollar only if they bag my groceries and take them to my car. You have to earn my dollar...

Q: Well, aside from grocery shopping, it must be nice, right?
A: What other errands do you have to run? Going to the bank? Going to the post office? Let me give you an example of these things: there are several different banks on the island and they are all run the same. There are three or four tellers, and four to five people in line. An hour are called. Yes, an hour...and that is fast.

Q: Why does it take so long?
A: Yes...that is the question. Anyway, after waiting in line for an hour, you ask them politely to cash your check. They take quite a percentage off and slowly, slowly, count the money out for you. This is, of course, assuming everything is okay with your check. Sometimes it can take two or three trips to the bank to get a check cashed. Onto the post office. The post office is located in the middle of Simpson Bay. It is a teeny tiny little room attached to the back of the Pasta Cafe restaurant. There is one teller and one security guard passing out numbers. The numbers are written on little torn pieces of cardboard. You get your number - 4. Not bad. They call out number "12"...not a good sign. Well, after waiting in line for two or three hours, you get to the front of the line only to realize that your letter is going to cost $4.50 to mail it. It is just one letter. By now you are severely irritated because not only is it extremely expensive, but you are hot and sweaty from waiting outside (yes, outside) for two hours. You give up and pay the $4.50 and hand your cardboard number back to the security guard. Once again, this is assuming something didn't go wrong.

Q: Wow, that sounds irritating...but the weather is nice, right?
A: I suppose....if you were to sit around in a swimsuit all day on the beach. It is SO ridiculously hot and humid. It is like the air is so thick you can't breath it in. Blah. At least there is a breeze most of the time, but when there isn't....holy crap. So hot. The only thing that feels better is jumping in the pool...thank goodness for that!

Q: But you have a nice place, right?
A: OH YES! We absolutely LOVE our new place. Oh yes! Oh yes!! It is clean and beautiful and has a pool and a hot tub and a breeze and everything! We Love Love LOVE our apartment. Also, we live right next door to another student couple who are VERY nice that we really like!

Q: Is the food good in St. Maarten?
A: Well....the food is hit and miss. If you have the money to spend, then the food is really quite good. If you are starving students like we kind of settle for less - like Subway. The restaurants are all a little sketchy, though - there are many horror stories from other students about MOST restaurants on the island. You kind of just have to get used to the fact that there are probably cockroaches in the kitchen, and the cooks probably don't wash their hands. Yum...

Q: Will you miss anything about St. Maarten when you leave?
A: Bubble Tea - the best slurpee thingies ever....but they just built one in Salt Lake....sooooo, yeah. No need for St. Maarten on that one. Also, we will miss Pizza Dans. His pizza is VERY good, but nothing California Pizza Kitchen couldn't do! :)

Q: Is it harder to have a baby down there than it would be in the States?
A: Not necessarily - you just have to be aware of different things. I never, EVER have to worry about her being kidnapped or hurt by anyone and it greatly raises my safety by having her, but you have to worry about other things like: mosquito bites and the diseases they carry, heat stroke, dehydration, sun burn, etc. Also, it is a little annoying trying to buy anything "baby" related down here. It is either really cheap and poor quality, or REALLY expensive! I also didn't know that little toddler treats existed by Gerber! I bought quite a few when we were in the States and will definately bring a lot back again! :)

Q: What is your LEAST favorite thing about the island so far?
A: The people. read right. The people. They are irritating and lazy. Everyone down here knows it, too. There is no such thing as customer service and the racism is ridiculous against white people - especially Americans! People do tend to treat me nicer since I have a baby, but is a little ridiculous. Some people will charge you more for something just because you are white, and they will answer "I don't know" to everything, just so they don't have to stand up and go ask someone to find out! It is VERY frustrating. That is one of the main reasons we like to shop at Ace hardware and the Grand Marches - because they actually have decent customer service! The whole concept of "The Customer is Always Right" does NOT apply down here. Wow....not at all.

Q: So do you think you'll visit St. Maarten again after you leave?
A: Um...not if we can help it. MAAAAAYBE on a cruise...but even then....we might just stay on the boat.

Q: Are there good days and bad days down there?
A: Yes. Good days are when you don't have to go into town and deal with the locals. Good days are when you can just hang out at home or with some friends and it is really quite pleasant. Bad days are when you have to go grocery shopping or running errands.

Well, there we go! It sounds a little negative, but lets just say its been "one of those days" all the other island girls will know what I mean... :)

Lots of love!
p.s. Everyone needs to come visit us!! It makes things so much more pleasant! We even have an extra bedroom!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Babies are Yucky!

Ew! Babies are yucky!!!!! Blah!! Allow me to elaborate...(just a little heads up - this is kind of graphic in a yucky...poopy....kind of way...)

Our morning routine consists of this: Tom wakes up, gets ready. Ella and I drive him to school. Ella and I come home and take a shower, get ready, and do our daily activities. Well, two days ago (Sunday) I was getting Ella into the shower, so I took off her diaper and stood her by the bathtub. A few seconds later I hear these little grunts coming from her direction. I was like, "uh oh!!" I reached down to pick her up and hover her over the toilet, but tooooooo late. Plop Plop! Two little turds on the bathroom floor! I was like, "EW! TOM HURRY COME HERE!" So I hand Tom to her so I can clean up the poop, and I hear little grunts again. I said to Tom, "Hurry! Hover her over the toilet!" He hangs her over the toilet, but a little turd falls and lands on her ankle, so she, of course, rubs it all over her feet! EEWWW!! I don't think we got any poop in the toilet. So I clean up the baby turds off the floor and put her in the tub to wash her off. Yuck. That was two days ago.

Yesterday, I'm getting Ella ready for the shower by myself. I take off her diaper and stand her up in the shower. Little grunts. Oh no! I reach over....toooooo late. More baby plops in the bath. YUCK! So I get a paper towel and flush them down the toilet. I then go to wash her bottom off....more turds....I just washed these ones down the drain. Eeeewww.....Meanwhile, Ella is just laughing away and doing her little grunts. I swear. I think that child knows exactly what she is doing and gets a big kick out of it! EW! Babies are YUCKY!!!!

It's funny, though. During both these poop ordeals, I wasn't nearly as grossed out as I thought I would be. I mean....its poop! And she's on solid foods so it is YUCKY poop! It is poop where you can still tell what she had for dinner the night before! EEEEWWW!!!!! But I was WAY more grossed out by the cockroach in our apartment than picking baby plops out of the bath tub. Go figure. Being a mom desensitizes you a bit, I guess. Blah.

So yeah. I just thought I would spread the cheer of motherhood. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Smart Baby!

Well, I've decided that our daughter is seriously one smart cookie. She is not even one years old yet and she is almost walking. She blabbers like she is having a conversation with you. She has learned what bed time is. She eats almost only solid foods. She understands smiling. She is learning how to go down stairs.

She is so funny. Last night we put her down for bed right at 8:00 and she didn't even scream/cry or anything! So a few minutes went by and we started to get worried. Usually she cries for about five or ten minutes before falling asleep. So we go in her room and she is laying in her crib blabbering to the ceiling. So Tom says, "Good night, Sweet Pie." and walks out. A few minutes later, we go and check on her and she is sound asleep! We had a good laugh about it and thought it was a one-night thing.

Well, tonight we put her down for bed at 8:30 because she was so happy and not sleepy at all. A few minutes goes by and she is totally silent. Then we hear her happily yelling (not an angry yell) and we go and check on her and she is crawling around her bed just yelling. It was seriously so cute. So we let her do that for almost half an hour, then decided we would just take her out of her crib since she is wide awake and happy! So now it is 9:15 and she is crawling around the sitting room just playing with her toys. How cute!

We had a busy day today. Tom has his second block exams on Monday. Blah! He has been studying like a mad man!! He is pretty much gone all day, except for in the evenings, but then studies till bed time after dinner. I feel like a single mom! Haha! I try and keep myself busy, but sometimes it is hard. I have discovered this photo book making thing online, though, that is super awesome! I'm not putting the link or anything down, though, because that is what everyone in my family is getting for I don't want them doing it themselves :) ha!

Ella and I went swimming today for almost three hours down by our pool. Amy and Camille came over and Jenna came down, too. It was Jenna's birthday, so we made brownies and cupcakes. It was very fun. I love hanging out with my little caribbean buddies. Swimming in the afternoon definately makes the day go by faster, too! So I figure that will be our little daily activity.

Anyway, we have church tomorrow morning, and then are going over to our friends house to play Mexican Train - woo woo! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

In Remembrance...

In Memory of...

Grandpa Penrose


This blog is dedicated to Tom's dad, Dr. Keith Weber Penrose. He passed away suddenly on June 27th. Here are just a few little tidbits about him that I picked up...

First off - he was VERY stern. He was strict in every sense of the word. He was very dedicated...even dedicated to being strict! :) He had his rules and expected them to be followed. If the rules were not followed...the wrath of the Dad was incurred. (This is not so unfamiliar to the Grandpa Henderson.) His most famous form of was the infamous "Long Talk". Yes...a long talk. No, not just an hour lecture or so...we're talking about hours and hours and hours of lecturing, lecturing, and more lecturing. The kids all say that by the time you are only HALF way through a long talk, you wish he would just ground you! Haha!

Even though he was very strict and stern, he had a hilarious sense of humor. His favorite movie was Blazing Saddles. If any of you have seen this movie, you know what I'm talking about. Keith definately appreciated Mel Brooks' sense of humor. Once you got him laughing, it was hard to get him to stop. After a good line from the movie ("Somebody's gotta go back and get a shit load of dimes!") he would chuckle for quite some time afterwards.

Keith was also very fond of his cars: red mustangs...audis...etc. was a little bit scary driving with him at times...especially in the big, red suburban they used to have! Woo wee! One time we were driving out to Ephraim, and I was SURE we were going to fly off the road! Haha! We didn't...and we made it there just fine. :)
A major part of who Keith was was dedicated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had some rough years in his youth, largely due to some mean, aweful people in Idaho, but when he got back on the path, it was with full force and unwaivering faith. He was dedicated to the gospel with a steadfastness that would be hard to match. His testimony and understanding of the gospel helped create the man he was.

Goodness gracious! Was school important to that man, or what?! Every time Tom would talk to him, I would hear from this side of the line, "Yeah, I study all day...yeah...I should probably study some more...I now, play later...." every time! You could almost time it word for word :) It all comes down for caring about his kids, though. Keith always wanted the absolute BEST for his kids - even if they didn't always appreciate it. He would have done ANYTHING for them. I think he wanted them to have an education so much so that they would never be in a bind. The more educated you are, the more opportunities you have - I think Keith knew that, so each of his kids is pressed to do very well in school. I know that Keith is so proud of Tom right now. Even if Tom doesn't feel like he is doing very well, or if his self confidence is slightly waining...I know his dad is so proud of him. He is proud of everything he has accomplished already, and everything he will accomplish. I also know his dad is super proud of the smokin' hot wife Tom has! haha! :)
Now, if you know know that he has some crazy eating habits. Well, he gets it from his father! The kids all joked that if their mom was to pass first...they would have starved to death - or lived off Costco chicken and hotdogs with swiss cheese! Keith, I've decided, was just very particular about his food. He likes what he likes...and thats it! Tom is like that, too.... ;)

I hope someday that Ella will grow to understand how much her grandfather loved her. Keith said to me once, as Ella was fussing and crying, "Hand her to me...I have infinite patience." to which Cheri yelled, "yeah right!" Keith then clarified by saying, "Infinite patience for my GRANDDAUGHTER....Not my children!" It was very funny :) He doted on her like nothing else! I remember RIGHT after I had her (on a Wednesday), that Saturday he wanted to take us shopping at the mall and Babies R Us so he could buy her new clothes and toys! He would pick out little outfits and go "Oh! This is perfect for Baby Ella!" At the mall, there weren't very many toys and he kept walking around the stores going, "Where are all the toys?!?!" It was so cute :) He would sit and hold her for hours and just rock her to sleep. For as gruff a guy as he was...he softened up like melted butter around Ella. I absolutely know for a fact that he would have confessed to murder for her! Haha!

I wish I could have gotten to know Keith better. I wish Ella could have known her grandpa a little more. I know that the rest of our future kids are with him now, though, and I wouldn't be suprised if they come down spoiled rotten because of it! Lots of love and prayers...