Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Easy Way Out

Where to start? It's been an eventful month, which I guess is why I haven't written update since last month. Sunday March 2nd was Jackson's baby blessing. We had a gradual arrival of family for several days preceding it: my mom on Thursday, Dave's parents on Friday night, Dave's brother and sister-in-law Chris and Crystal and their daughter on Saturday, and so forth. My dad was able to fly back from a business trip to Malaysia directly to Portland on Saturday. It was a great weekend and fun to have so much family in town.

Dave's mom stayed until Thursday to help out for a few days. While she was here she made several meals and put them in the fridge or freezer for me to use after she left. When she asked me what I wanted her to make for us I whipped off a list of mine and Dave's favorites off the top of my head. A few days after she left I baked the Cheese and Meat Casserole (a family favorite that is very similar to Lasagna, with layered noodles, meat, sauce and cheese) that she had lovingly prepared for us. I had not anticipated that while familiar to Dave and I, this was an unfamiliar dish to my finicky children. I tried to encourage them by describing how yummy it was, but they were still unappreciative of their grandmother's culinary prowess. After watching them poke at it, having already personally finished my seconds or thirds, I got tired of waiting around, so I left the table. I told the kids that if they wanted to go to the school game night they both needed to finish their dinner.

After nursing Jackson, I came back to check on the kids. Despite Jared's motivation to go to the game night, he wouldn't bring himself to eat it. Camryn however, happily announced that she was done and her plate was clean. After hearing me compliment Camryn, Jared said, "What if Camryn didn't really eat it? What if she just threw it away?" Hmmmm... maybe I should be more suspicious, so I checked the garbage, but there were no signs of the casserole. "Camryn," I asked, "did you eat your dinner?" She nodded. "Camryn," I said, "are you telling the truth? Because if you're not, you're going to be in the worst trouble of your life. Did you really eat your dinner?" Slowly, she shook her head. "Where is it, Camryn?" She pointed toward her seat. It looked empty, but then I noticed a suspicious red streak on the floor near the heating vent that was under Camryn's chair. I lifted the cover to the heating vent and there lay the Cheese and Meat Casserole, about 18 inches down the vent.

I grabbed the longest ladle I could find and started scooping. I removed the remains of Camryn's casserole.... and 2 peanut butter sandwiches, 5 chicken nuggets, 2 half-eaten slices of pizza and other unidentifiable remains. And I thought Camryn was my non-picky eater who loved whatever I gave her.... So I did what every good mother would do. I laughed out loud for about five minutes and took a bunch of pictures. And then I sent Camryn to her room for a good long time for not telling the truth.

Since then, we have had an eventful few weeks. We decided to buy a bigger house here in Sherwood, which of course entails moving, selling our current house and a few other minor details. We went from discussing this for the first time, to starting to move stuff within the span of about two weeks. And then, once we decided for sure to move and that we were going to move out of our house before we list it for sale, immediately Dave was sent on a business trip to Korea for a week (with one day's notice, no less).

The first few days Dave was gone I went through an "I am woman, hear me roar" phase: I started attacking our house with a vengeance trying to get it fixed up and ready to sell. Armed with my trusty electric drill, I went to work. I painted baseboards, textured the patched spot in our ceiling, painted the front door, replaced the front handleset--- and all of this while singlehandedly watching 3 kids including an infant. I mowed the front lawn (listening to Jackson nap on the baby monitor, of course). By the time I went to do the back lawn he had woken up, so I zipped him up in his sweat suit, strapped him in the front pack and mowed the back lawn with him strapped to me. Yes, yes, I know.... I am powerful! I am invincible! It takes more than a husband in Korea to keep me down! And then I crashed and burned on Friday. It didn't help that Jackson didn't go to sleep until 11:30 Thursday night. Or that I forgot to put the garbage out on the curb and barely got Jared on the bus, chasing it down in my pajamas while shoving Jared and his backpack toward it, and the knob on the handle that I replaced stuck really badly so you could barely open the door from the outside. No longer invincible, I was just a normal discouraged and overwhelmed mommy. Luckily my visiting teacher had volunteered to watch Jackson that morning, so I did get a few things done while Camryn was at preschool.

Saturday morning dawned with more excitement, including arranging childcare for the choir run-through, getting keys to the church, writing narration for the Easter program, rehearsing with the organist at the church, rehearsing with the choir, practicing with the soloist I was accompanying, listening to an instrumentalist, emailing the program order, typing the lyrics to the songs for the program, and picking Dave up from the airport.

While I was rehearsing with the organist, the choir started to come in and one of the choir members thought that it was an opportune time to very loudly complain, "This organ is way too loud. It's hurting my ears! This is terrible! It is too loud!" I gracefully responded, "Well, it's going to be loud on the stand so if it bugs you get some earplugs." (OK, I did call the next day and apologize, but at the moment I was really annoyed because a) I happen to like loud organ, b) The organ was not too loud, it was just loud enough that the choir would feel "supported" and not be afraid of singing out, c) Who was he to walk in and start loudly and rudely complaining, d) The way he stated it was rude and sounded like he was criticizing our organist, who happens to be a 15-year-old boy from the ward, e) I didn't really need anything extra to put me in a bad mood and he gave it to me anyway, f) Did he have any idea how much time and thought I had put into the program? Did he want to come half an hour early to rehearse so the volume would be just right? No, he just wanted to show up, walk in and make random rude comments. After the fact, his wife explained that he had hearing problems that made certain pitches painful to hear. I did apologize for my earplugs comment and for being brusque. But no I did not change the volume, and yes it sounded great. (Sorry, I know it was stupid, but it really put me on one....)

After Dave got home we spent the rest of the day re-painting the front door and re-replacing the front door handle (the inner lock part on the one I had bought was crooked and broken). I tried not to be bitter that half the things I spent all week doing while he was gone needed to be re-done. So much for being super-woman....

We survived an extremely busy Easter Sunday, complete with choir rehearsal at our house, rehearsal with the soloist, and a great choir Easter program. We had a friend watch Jackson during the choir program at church. Jackson unfortunately downed the bottle that Dave packed WAY too quickly. Right about the time that the narrator was reading, "Shall a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?" Jackson seemed to realize that HIS mother had forgotten HER sucking child and let out the most piercing compassion-inducing cries he could muster. Other than that though, the program went really well.

After church I realized that I had forgotten to go home during Sunday School to play the Easter Bunny. No problem, we had taken two cars so I just went home while Dave took the "long way" home. I looked and looked for the Easter stuff I had bought (which was not a whole lot, since Target was mostly sold out on Thursday and I hadn't had a chance to go to any other stores), but I couldn't find it. It was then that I realized that I had left it in the minivan, of course. I concocted a plan: the Easter Bunny left a note saying that the baskets were hidden. Dave helped the kids look upstairs while the Easter Bunny hastily assembled their baskets and hid them in the garage. Despite the minimal basket stuffers, the kids declared it the best Easter ever and happily ate their candy.

Thank goodness for Ranell, who "helped" with Easter dinner (by bringing the ham, funeral potatoes, brownies and about 60 hard-boiled eggs to dye). We had a lovely dinner and were dying eggs in preparation for the egg roll when an errant elbow sent a cup of green egg dye flying and splattering all over the kitchen floor and several children. This caused a universal breakdown and the executive decision to postpone the egg hunt/egg roll until Tuesday evening. On Tuesday evening we had an egg hunt and the egg roll and then the kids played while the parents chatted. The kids seemed to be having fun, but we didn't notice until it was time to go home that they had continued the egg roll in our absence: there were crushed egg shells, egg remains and smooshed egg yolks all over our living room. So again, like a good mom, I took a bunch of pictures before getting out my cleaning spray. (Me: "Jared, did you think it was a good idea to smoosh eggs in the living room?" Jared: "No." Me: "Then why did you do it?" Jared: "Well, there were eggs leftover." Oh, well that explains it!)

We are moving to the new house this week. We are buying the house from friends and because they didn't have to list it with a realtor (and they were expecting it to take several months to sell) they are going to let us live there while our house is on the market. Dave was scheduled to take the whole week off and spend it helping with the move. But.... it's Wednesday and he hasn't been able to take a day off yet. He worked until 3:30 on Monday night and has to give a big presentation tomorrow. Is this surprising? You tell me.... I guess we just have to do everything the exciting way......



Quotes of the week:

Camryn has been singing a song she learned at preschool about counting to 10 in Spanish: uno, dos, tres, ... ocho, maria, dias, la, la, la, la, la

Dave: Jackson, you wish you could have some milk don't you? Jared: Why don't you give him some? Me: Jackson can only have mommy's milk or formula. He can't have cow's milk until he's 1. Jared: Our milk comes from a cow??? Me: Yep, we drink cow's milk. Jared: Mom, are you a cow?

This is the schedule that Jared made over Christmas break that has been hanging on his door:


Dinner. 5:00
Dinner. Treet. 5:00
Get redy for bed 7:00
Close ise. 7:30

1. Wake up 8:00
2. Go pody 8:03
3. Get drest 8:05
4. Eat Breckfest 8:10
5. Pack up 8:15 (crossed out)
6. Go to bus stop 8:20 (crossed out)
(half day of school)
Afternoon 1. snack 12:00
2. 12:03
3. Play with ants and uncls
4. Play with cklay 12:43
5. Get christmas tree12:59

Christmas Break Schedule

1. wack up 8:10
2. get drest 8:15
3. eat breckfest 8:25

1. deckerate tree
2. sing som songs
3. play at