Friday, July 31, 2009
Today my sister and I thought it would be a good idea to gather up the kiddos and head to a local elementary school to take advantage of the free lunch program they offer all summer long. The idea had all the right ingredients to render it great: free food, good company, entertained children.... But, unbeknownst to us, all the forces of the universe were plotting against us today, and our fun adventure turned into what can only be described as a series of unfortunate events. But we learned a lot from our experiences-- lessons that I am happy to pass on to those of you who might also be thinking of heading off to get some free lunch at a local elementary school one of these days. Settle in people!
Lesson 1: If it's 96 degrees out, take your air-conditioned car instead of trying to walk the 1.25 miles to the school with 4 children. Walking sucks.
Lesson 2: If you're idiotic enough to walk anyway, don't wear uncomfortable flip-flops-- and make sure your children aren't wearing them either. That makes walking suck even worse.
Lesson 3: Take all the kiddos potty before heading out, because a mile and a quarter is a long time to have to hold it-- and the whining gets annoying after a while.
Lesson 4: Make sure you ate breakfast that morning-- because walking in uncomfortable flip-flops on a 96 degree day with an empty stomach is a real drag.
Lesson 5: Always consult Google Maps to find out the best route to take before walking to a school you've never been to from your house before. (With four children on a 96 degree day.) Because wrong turns are not "adventurous", they're from the devil.
Lesson 6: Confirm the operation hours of the lunch program before leaving your house, because nothing is worse than finally arriving at the school; hot, tired, hungry and cranky, only to be told that lunch ended 5 minutes ago. (And, no, they can't give you anything from the tray full of food you can see in the background being carted away-- that would be against the rules. Thank you, Lord, that we didn't break any rules!)
Lesson 7: If you don't stop halfway through your trek to apply the sunscreen you'd forgotten to slather on your children before you left, you won't be 5 minutes late and miss lunch.
Lesson 8: Call your hubby to come pick you up so you won't have to make the miserable trip back home on foot.
Lesson 9: Bring a cell phone with you. Don't assume your sister has hers. She doesn't. She thought you had yours. But you didn't! Neither of you dummies brought your stupid cell phones with you. So when you wanted to call your hubby and beg for a ride home so you could feed your hot, tired, hungry, cranky brood, you won't be able to. This bears repeating: bring a cell phone!
Lesson 10: Don't believe the crabby lunch-lady, the one who wouldn't bend the rules an inch to give your children any of the food that was clearly available, when she says there is no phone that you may use. That lady is a big dumb dodo-head. Instead, go behind her back and use the phone to call your hubby when she is not looking, because, technically you asked one of the teenagers in the school if it was okay and they said "yes". Take that, big dumb dodo-head lady!
Lesson 11: While you're waiting for your hubby to rescue you, don't have everyone go outside to see if he's arrived yet or else the doors will lock behind you and you'll be stuck outside in the painful heat instead of luxuriating in the air-conditioned indoors.
Lesson 12: Don't let your sister park behind your car when she goes to your house. If you do, your hubby won't be able to get in his car and rescue you from the terrible day you're having. He'll have to ride his bike to the school, get the keys from your sister, ride his bike back home, transfer her two carseats into his car (because her car won't seat 7 passengers), move her car out of the way, then drive his car over to the school to pick you all up. He will then exact a promise from you to provide a certain type of "thank-you" later that night in exchange for his heroics, no matter how hot, tired and grumpy you are. But you'd vow anything because you are eternally grateful to be riding in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Lesson 13: If your hubby suggests that you all go get pizza to make up for the lunch that never was, make sure someone in the group actually has a wallet. The pizza, unlike the school lunch, is not free.
Lesson 14: Go home, get your wallet, and then go get the pizza before everyone (including the mothers) begin to cry.
Lesson 15: Take a nap. You deserve it!
I hope that my experiences today will make a positive impact on your own choices the next time you think up a "great" idea. I'm here to help, people. Here to help.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I'm talking about muffins here. No, not the kind you eat. The kind that sits above your waistband. And I have an extraordinary muffin top going right now!
I've decided that if the extra flab is called a "spare tire", then suddenly the whole notion sounds extremely undesirable-- but who doesn't like muffins for Pete's sake? In fact, if I didn't already have a muffin top, I might be inclined to get one. A blueberry one. Costco-size.
Or maybe I'm still just trying to make myself feel better about the vacation weight I have yet to lose....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today hubby and I took the kids over to some dear friends' house so that hubby could help his buddy haul a bunch of heavy stuff out of their basement and to the dump. Their house is fun; playground, good food, toys galore.... And with seven children (including our two) it was also very busy! But, nonetheless, when my friend announced that she needed to take her oldest child to a music lesson at the same time the guys planned on making their run to the dump, I offered to hold down the fort with the remaining six children. Music lessons are what-- a half an hour? Me, alone with 6 children for 30 minutes.... For some reason I thought I was capable of this.
At first it was a cake walk. The baby was napping, the two older children were busying themselves with a game, and the three "little" guys were running around the backyard having a grand ol' time. I'm good, I thought-- really good. I should have, like, a couple more kids or something because I've got this whole mom thing down. At some point in my little fantasy the baby started crying (apparently she's normally a marathon napper-- just not while I'm there) and I went in to check on her. And...ewww...bad smells were emanating from the crib. I picked her up and sure enough; poopy diaper. That wakes 'em up every time, dangit! I changed her and came walking down the hall to dispose of the offending diaper when I heard a sound that went a little something like this: CRASH! I looked over to see my friend's 3-year old standing amidst a pool of shattered glass and water. He'd come in for a drink and accidentally knocked over the glass of water on to the tiled kitchen floor. The other boys rushed in to check the scene out and one of them walked right into the shards.
"Nobody move! You guys all need to stay out of the kitchen while I clean this up!" I said in my sweetest serious voice. But it was too late-- the little guy's foot was bleeding. I sat him down and checked it out-- fortunately it looked pretty minor. So I handed the baby off to her older brother and tracked down some rags to sop up the water so I could then sweep. The glass seemed to have shattered in millions of microscopic slivers and spread to the four corners of the kitchen. Amazing. Truly amazing! And keeping the curious children away from the hazard zone was a delightful battle.
After I got that cleaned up (and warned the children that shoes were now a requirement inside the house-- just in case) the 3-year old needed to go potty...now! We rushed to the bathroom and I began to lift up the toilet seat. "No," he said, "I sit". Oh, dear. I sat him down and realized just in time that he wasn't pointing his little drain pipe down. I cringed, and then poked my finger on it before the flow began. Phew! That was a close one! And awkward....
Then there was more crying. Who's crying now?? I ran out to see the older boys getting into it a bit. Something about spitting.... TV? Who wants to watch TV!? We found a show on Nickelodeon and...ahhhhhh. Relief. I looked at the clock-- it had been 2 hours since the other three adults had left. 2 hours?? What happened to 30 minutes? I rang hubby's cell phone and he informed me they were at Starbucks. Starbucks. Somebody was going to die, because I was going to murder them.
I think I sat in a stupor on the way home. Wow. I have a new appreciation for our friends. Somebody should give them a trophy or something, because they are both very sane, intelligent, good-natured people. On my best day I'm not sane, intelligent or good-natured (just ask hubby)-- and I have less than half the amount of children they have.
So anyway, hubby isn't so sure about the vasectomy he's scheduled for on Friday. But I am. I am very, very sure.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We all know how much I hate waiting rooms, but my little trick of taking my iPod in with me has dramatically decreased any awkward social interactions I might experience (much to my delight). But this last time I took LM to his Occupational Therapy appointment I had to bring Ruby Jane with me, and I didn't want to shut her out of my consciousness and leave her at the mercy of the strangers therein. So, I came sans iPod.
Big mistake. There was a woman in the waiting room with three children. She was one of those women who defies any notions of age. Just from a visual appraisal, you'd have to guess her age span as being anywhere between 31 and 48. She has a smooth, plump face devoid of any wrinkles. Yet, her hair is completely gray. Her voice is low, but not gravely. And she dresses like a Kindergarten teacher. Her three children are all under the age of 5, and no, they are not adopted.
Her daughter, age two or three, was not able to respect my personal space. And as long as she didn't bite me or draw on me with her markers, I figured I could tolerate the fact that she was using my feet as her pillow. But when she started attempting to look up my shorts I began to feel a tad uncomfortable. I nervously glanced at her mother a few times to see if she might relieve me, but her mother was very busy reading a book. Oh well, I thought, and crossed my legs tightly. But then her baby crawled over and pulled himself up on my leg. I smiled at him, and as my reward he proceeded to lick my knee until drool began to drip down to my flip-flops. I was screaming inside my head. Stranger-baby mucus! Dripping! Down my leg! This time I looked at the mother more pointedly; please save me, lady! No such luck. I gently shifted in my seat to disengage the baby and fortunately it worked. Okay, I can deal with this!
Then the little girl needed to go potty. This, fortunately, got the attention of the mother. And on her way out she asked me, "will you watch the baby while I'm gone?" and didn't wait for a response before making her exit. Er...? I tried to imagine leaving my baby with a stranger, even just for five minutes in a medical office, and couldn't fathom the notion. The baby must have had the same thought because he began to cry. What do I do now?? I bent down and began to thrust toys in his direction, smiling fervently (too much so?) and cooing, "it's okay!" over and over again. I didn't want the lad bawling when his mommy dearest returned-- what if she thought I pinched him or something?? Fortunately, he settled down before she came traipsing back in, space-hogging daughter in tow.
That is when Ruby Jane leaned over and whispered to me, "next time, let's sit over there", pointing through the glass to the fabulously uneventful "adults only" waiting area. I nodded, wondering why I didn't think of that. She is so much smarter than I am....
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wow, some of these quotes are almost a month old! Guess I have some catching up to do.
1. (I overheard this one while on LM's end-of-the-year school field trip.)
Boy: (inspecting a juniper bush) "These berries are poisonous!"
LM: "Let's feed them to Natalie!" (the class bully).
Boy: "That would kill her!"
LM: "Oh, okay, we'll let her live."
2. Hubby: (speaking about Ruby Jane) "That kid has a sweet tooth!"
Ruby Jane: "Actually, all my teeth are sweet."
(I guess, by now, we all know who she gets that from....)
3. LM: "Popi, your feet smell like macaroni and cheese."
4. LM: (working hard to make a spaceship out of Legos, but getting frustrated) "Mom, I need some terribly big help right now!"
5. LM: (as Popi was trying to entertain him at a restaurant) "Popi, do you think this is all about you?"
6. LM: Mom, did you leave the "r" in Barbecue Sauce?" (our fish).
LM: "And it didn't work?"
(I'm stumped. You tell me, how does one answer a question so profound?)
Bonus: Talk about profound! Like father like son....
Hubby: (as he presented our gift card to the waiter to pay for our check) "This gift card has money on it."
(The waiter paused for a moment, expecting a less obvious point to follow, but when hubby offered none he took our gift card politely and left. Perhaps hubby was aware of some new crime spree involving the use of zero-balance gift cards at eating establishments and he was simply reassuring our waiter? Oh, hubby!)
7 pounds, folks. Yes, that is how much I gained on vacation. Isn't that just delicious? Okay, that definitely accounts for my barely fitting pants. Yeah-- 7 pounds is nothing to sneeze at.
So.... Pity me, laugh at me, give me an A+ for effort, but DO NOT noticeably look me up and down next time you see me, as tempting as it will be now that I've confessed. (Wait until you think I'm not looking, then go for it.) For expediency I'll tell you that the fat cells gathered mostly in my lower-abdomen and hip/butt/thigh area-- so skip the full body scan and just target those areas. Once again, the fat cells failed to muster their forces in my...er...bosom.
Dang! All that work for nothing!!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I just returned from a lovely vacation. It was everything a great vacation is; full of good food, great people, and grand times. My love tank is so full right now! But, that's not the only full thing around here. My pants are too. Uh, wait-- that came out wrong. What I mean is, my pants are snugger now than they were before I left. How can that be? How can pants go from fitting fine to just barely fitting in the matter of a week? Oh, I'll tell you! I will tell you right now!
I ate a lot of food last week. A LOT. If I saw it and it looked good, I ate it. If I saw it and it didn't look so good, I ate it anyway. If I was hungry I ate, if I wasn't hungry I ate.... Basically I was shoving food down my throat 24/7 because, heck, I was on vacation! Isn't that what you do on vacation? And if you think I was munching on raw almonds and dried fruit, think again! Butter, cream, toaster pastries, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, seafood, pasta.... These things are not your hip's friends. And yet, I indulged in them as though I was 21 again. (Remember those days? When you could eat a horse and actually lose 10 pounds? Yeah, those days are gone.)
Now that I'm home reality is setting in once again. As I pulled my pants on this morning, wriggling a bit to get them up (you know that dance, right?) and then sucking in to get them zipped, I realized something. I realized that every calorie you consume on vacation comes home with you. How unfair is that?! And the sad thing is, I would do it again if given half a chance. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. Er...make that just a glutton.