Sunday, June 3, 2007

Adventures on the Homefront

Hello everyone,

This week I have been testing the theory resulting from my epiphany last week (that the best way to keep your kitchen clean is not to use it to cook). I started on Tuesday with my kitchen fairly clean and haven't cooked dinner once since Dave left (well, I did once --last night). I did not touch the dishes once this entire week and amazingly my kitchen STILL stayed the same. It was amazing!! I think I am on to something. Our family nutrition has probably fallen by a factor of 10, but the kitchen has stayed clean with zero input of work.

On Tuesday, Dave left on his weeklong trip to Taiwan and Singapore, to visit and try to placate and fix problems for very unhappy customers. From what I've heard, it has gone well so far. Dave said the person who did this trip last time got yelled at for about 45 minutes straight and that was his entire trip to Taiwan. It's gone better than that: the customer has been very polite and no yelling has been involved, although they will say something in English and then talk to each other for 2-3 minutes in Chinese before saying something again. Dave asked one of the account team guys what they were saying and he said, "Be glad you don't understand Chinese." So apparently there still are a few things to iron out, but they've at least been able to make progress. In fact, the customer even said, "This has been a good visit. We need you to come more often." Um, maybe I wish it hadn't gone so well.

Meanwhile, the kids and I have been doing our best to be lazy and party while Dave is gone, to pass the time, of course. =] On Tuesday we finally got the drywall guy to come and fix the hole in our ceiling --after only 5 weeks of having a gaping hole with insulation hanging out, I'd say this is progress. We got $1.25 happy meals for dinner and called it a day. Wednesday the kids had a dentist appointment. Camryn told me about 3 times that the dentist said she was VERY good. The kids were thrilled about their "treat bags" that they got: filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste and --you guessed it-- floss!! So thrilled in fact, that Camryn spent 20 minutes throwing a screaming fit before bed because hers was lost. After the dentist we went to T-Ball and then to Safari Sams with some friends for 1/2 off night. Between pizza, the giant jungle gym and the kids first try at miniature golf, we had a great time. Jared and Camryn came up with a method of hitting the ball that involved shuffling along while swinging the putter forward and backwards between their legs. Apparently this was a very efficient method: Jared informed me that he made it through the course three times.

Thursday was Camryn's preschool picnic and Jared went on his long-awaited fieldtrip to "Horning's Hideaway" to go FISHING!!! This was an EXTREMELY exciting event. Jared informed me that he was going to get a fish on the field trip and he was NOT going to eat his fish: he was going to keep it as a pet. However, by the time he got home from the trip, he seemed to have adjusted quite nicely to the idea that you catch fish to eat, because he handed me his ziploc with a whole Rainbow Trout, gushing juices, and said, "Here mom. You can cook this for dinner." I don't think Jared knows that his mother only eats boneless fish and that I have no idea how-- or deisre to figure it out-- to gut them either.

Thursday I spent all day throwing around the idea of driving to California. Dave would be gone until Wednesday night, giving us plenty of time, we could have all kinds of fun with Meg and Jen and why not? It would only be 10 hours in the car by myself with kids... not bad. But still I went back and forth.... part of me wondered at the wisdom of randomly driving 10 hours in the car with two kids, but part of me wanted to do it just to prove I could, that I don't have to be one of these boring, responsible adults that has to plan everything 8 months in advance. I don't have to be held down from being spontaneous and having fun!! So after waffling for several hours, I packed my bags and threw them and the kids in the car. I surreptiously hid Jared's fish in the outside garbage, since it would be rotten by Wednesday, and around 5:00 pm, off we drove. I had it all planned out: we would drive halfway, stay overnight in a motel and then drive the rest of the way. And then we would have a week of California fun!! A beach that is warm!! My old favorite restaurants!! Someone to hang out with!! So we stopped to get the oil changed first, got gas and were about to drive out of Sherwood and, try as I might, I just didn't feel good about it. In fact, it really didn't feel right, so I called my mom and told her how I was feeling and decided not to go. So this was kind of tough to explain to a 5 year old and a 4 year old who are hyped about going to Grandma's. And tough to handle myself-- instead of being Mrs. Independent, unshackled and unafraid, off to find adventure and fun, I was Mrs. Incredibly-Pathetically-Waffly

-and-Gutless-who-wasted-a-whole-day-deciding-to-boot. Oh well. So I tried to placate the kids by taking them to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner.

On Friday, we woke up bright and early to go to the coast with some friends. We were going to go next week (before the whole California trip idea surfaced), but next week was supposed to be cold and it has been 85 degrees all this week. So at 8:15, we were all in the car, driving away in the beautiful sunshine. When we got to the coast it was a little windy, so I picked up a sweatshirt and Wal-Mart before we went to the aquarium. At the aquarium, Jared accidentally got hit in the face by a swinging door. This caused a breakdown, which was then accentuated by the fact that Camryn and Connie got to see more than he did while he was waiting for 2 minutes for his owie to go away. Jared wanted me to make Connie and Camryn come back and wait while he looked so he would get the same amount of time as them and when I refused, he started throwing a fit. Luckily, it soon passed with quiet patience, clenched teeth and threats to remove him permanently to the car. After the aquarium and lunch, we headed to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun.... except there wasn't any-- sun, that is. Not only was it cloudy, but it was windy and FREEZING. Undaunted, we put on the kids' sweatshirts and packed them and the sandtoys down to the beach. The kids played happily, only occasionally commenting on the cold, while I huddled on a beach chair, wrapped in my sweatshirt, two beach towels and a beach blanket. Just before we left, the kids got braver and got their legs wet, so of course they were freezing with cold, standing wet in the wind as we tried to get them clean enough to go in the car. At this point Camryn threw a huge fit, which only the bribe of Hello Kitty fruit snacks and a movie in the warm car helped to pass (what can I say, I'm a weaker parent when my daughter is wet and sandy in cold winds and freezing temperatures).

So we drove home, got Taco Bell and took the kids to our Friday Night babysitting swap. I decided to go shopping for maternity pants, since my current pants are getting a little tight around the waist. In the process of shopping for them, I realized that I am not NEARLY desperate enough for comfort to wear maternity pants just yet. There has to be some other way.... I guess I could go for elastic waistband ... that wouldn't exactly keep me fashionable, though. Saturday passed uneventfully with Super Saturday in the morning, a trip to Home Depot and a McDonald's ice cream cone. I did actually make dinner on Saturday, but I cleaned it up as quickly as possible to hide my tracks.

Tonight after dinner at a friend's house, I was putting the kids to bed. Despite my desire to finish as quickly as possible, I actually made time to read them two stories, after which they hopped in bed. I've been trying to get them to say their own prayers now. Camryn went first and prayed "that Jesus won't die again" and that "Jared and I can be baptized soon." I asked Jared if he wanted to say a prayer, but he was mad that Camryn got to go first. I asked him if he wanted to say a prayer or if I should just go out. Jared: "Mom, I want to go fishing as a family." Me: "That would be fun, Jared. We'll talk to daddy about it. Now do you want to say your own prayer tonight?" Jared: "There's a place called 'Horning's Hideout' and they have lots of Rainbow Trout." Me: "Yes, Jared. Are you going to say your prayer?" Jared: "The best place to catch fish is in the shade. I was in the shade and I caught the biggest fish. Me: "Do you want me to go out now?" Jared: "Then you cut the fish's gill so it can't breathe. And you taked it to the front and they cut it in half and they put it in a bag with your name on it." Me: "JARED, do you want to say your prayer?" Jared: "But you have to put the fish in a cooler. If you just put the bag with it in your car it will make it STINK!" Me: "JARED, it's time to say your prayer. Are you going to say it?" Jared: "OK." So Jared said his prayer and prayed that he can have fun with his dog that he gets when he is 10. As soon as he said "Amen," he said, "But mom, there's one important thing to remember.... you have to reel your fish in slowly. Then they use a thing to keep it's mouth open and you put it in a net." Me: "Good night, Jared. I love you." Jared: "You have to be really careful to make sure the fish doesn't bite you." Me: "Have a good sleep. I'll see you in the morning." Jared: "We'll catch a Rainbow Trout and then we can cook it for dinner." Me: "GOOD NIGHT!!!"

Camryn: "Wait!! Mom, I have a song about the baby. Let me sing it for you. It's short. 'I'm so glad we're having a baby, coming out of mommy's tummy. And then we'll go to the hospital and see the baby too. It will be so fun. It will be so special when we can bring the baby home.'" Jared: "Mom, I have a song about the baby too: 'I'm so glad when baby comes home, glad as I can be....'" Then the kids went on about how they wanted to feed the baby applesauce, but it couldn't have nuts, and they would read it stories and sing it songs as I vainly tried to make a smooth exit.

I hope you all are doing well. Love,


Quotes of the Week:

Jared: "Mom, look there's something really special. It's the first star tonight. I wonder how it came out so we could see it. Maybe it's because of my lucky rock."

Camryn: "Mom, I'm making ice cream. You get out a big bowl with a lid and put some go-gurt in it. Then you put it in the freezer until it gets hard. It needs to stay in THIS long [holding up her thumb and finger]. It's not for my dinner treat. It's for my dinner."

Jared: "Mom! Guess what!! I can do a cartwheel!! It's because of my lucky rock."

Camryn: "I'm going to marry daddy." Daddy: "You can't marry me. I'm already married to mommy." Camryn: "I'll marry you again." Daddy: "No, you can't get married to someone when they are already married." Camryn: "Then I will marry Jared." Jared: "NO, Camryn! You can't marry me. You have to marry someone else." Camryn: "Who will I marry? Hmmm. I'll marry Tyler Werle." [A boy from her preschool class.]

Me: "Jared, what should we name the baby?" Jared: "We could name it Arthur if it's a boy. Or we could name it D.W. if its a girl." [You gotta love names based off of cartoon characters. They have also suggested Maya and Miguel.] Camryn: "We could name the baby DeeDee Doodle." Jared: "Yeah, then if she dressed up in the same clothes, she can be on T.V."

Camryn (at her preschool's party): "Mom, let's invite that girl over for a play date." Me: "What's her name?" Camryn:"I don't know."
More quotes that I missed from last week:

Camryn: "When I went on the bike ride at my school, I fell on my head, but I landed on my helmet so I was fine. I didn't even cry."

Jared on day of Q and U wedding came downstairs wearing a plaid button-up shirt, buttoned right to the top.
Me: "Jared, unbutton your top button." Jared: "No, mom. I need to be extra handsome today."

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