Saturday, July 23, 2011

About Last Thursday (or It Could Always Be Worse)

In the intervening week-and-a-little-bit since my last post I have been meaning to fill in with a post about the rest of my day. Thanks to a google search and some tinkering I was able to re-attach the vacuum belt and clean up the cracker mess.

After my adventures in vacuum repairing, I piled the kids in the car to run some errands and then took the car into the shop to get it checked. (It had been making a groaning, screeching sort of sound when I braked and sometimes a bit of a thunk-thunk-thunk throbbing noise. Probably not good signs....) Sure enough, our tires needed to be replaced (which I already knew-- what I didn't know is that they were almost worn down to the core) and our brakes needed new rotors. Dave was out of town in California which seriously limited my alternate transportation options. The good news was that they said they could for sure do all of the work that day by the time they closed. The bad news is that I would be stuck with three kids without a car for three hours.

I decided this would make picking up Jared and his friend who was going to come over to play after scout camp a bit difficult. So I got on my phone and canceled the play date and got someone else to get Jared after camp. Now I was only left with three kids and two or three hours to burn. I loaded the younger kids in the stroller and headed for the park which-- thankfully-- was within walking distance of the shop. I found myself grateful for the dismal cloudy day that was not too warm and didn't require sunblock.

We had a lovely time playing until Jackson needed to go potty and I realized there were no bathroom facilities at this park. After quickly scouting my lack of options, I found a way to resolve the issue which may or may not have involved having Jackson pee on a tree. We went back to our lovely afternoon of playing in the park. Jackson and Addy rode in the swings and threw tanbark at each other while Camryn happily played with them. All was well... until Jackson had to go to the potty again. Except this time he had to go poop. I loaded the double stroller with the urgency of a captain loading lifeboats and we charged off at hyper-speed to the nearest store with a restroom. We made it into the Target parking lot when Jackson suddenly jumped out of his stroller seat and announced, "Mom! I need new pants!" So close and yet so far.... Did I mention Addy had a poopy diaper too?

We headed to the family bathroom at Target where I surveyed the damage. Luckily I had a pull-up, diaper and wipes in the basket of the stroller (I had accidentally left the diaper bag in the car). I'll spare  you the details of that delightful 15 minutes spent in the removal of poop from Jackson's posterior (and legs, and shoes-- getting off soiled underwear isn't a tidy proposition). I admit I just threw the underwear in the garbage and didn't even feel guilty. After I got Addy's diaper changed and I had my fill of poop to last me for the next century, we grabbed some snacks and a couple of slurpees and headed off in the stroller again. (I had actually been to Target enough in the past few days that I didn't have anything left to buy. Now THAT is scary.)

We headed off on a walk to the local toy store to burn some more time. I didn't realize we had so many things within walking distance of the car shop. I also realized that while I had driven that street hundreds of times in the past 5 years, I had never once walked down it. We spent a good hour at the toy store and survived with only one destroyed item in the process (maybe it was just Addy's way of getting me to buy her a book). We finished with yet another round of snacks and were heading back to the park when I had another "I need to use the potty"-- this time from Camryn. So we headed back to the toy store, used the potty and began to head out again when I finally got the call that the work on the car was done.

Being car-less wasn't as awful as I had feared. If you took out the pooping-in-the-underwear incident, it was almost downright enjoyable. Nevertheless, it was nice to have my stylin' ride back.

So if you are wondering why I haven't been blogging much this summer, this is my long and circuitous answer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Since My Last Post

Since I clicked "Publish Post" on my last blog entry, the following has happened:

  • Jackson and Addy dumped an entire box of bunny crackers on the living room carpet. 
  • I made attempts to have Jackson and Camryn help clean it up
  • Jackson threw a tantrum and got sent to his room
  • Camryn and I finished cleaning up the crackers
  • I got out the vacuum to get the rest of the crumbs
  • Jackson yells from upstairs that he needs to go potty.
  • The vacuum isn't sucking anything up. The rotor brush isn't moving.
  • I take the vacuum apart and try to figure it out
  • Jackson yells from upstairs, "I need new pants! I'm all wet!"
  • It looks like there is a belt that is supposed to attach the rotor brush to the motor and it isn't connected. How do I fix this? Oh wait, no problem. I learned that in Motherhood 101 (yes, that is sarcasm). At least I have google.

Camp Crazy

This week has been like riding down the river of craziness. Jared and Camryn have had camp this week-- which should make life easier, right? Right? Right????? What it means is 7:15 drop off and 4:15 pickup for one child with 9 am drop off and 12 pm pick up (for only three days) for the other (half of them being while my husband is out of town so I don't have another parent to help).

Yesterday morning set some kind of record (exactly which one I'm still figuring out...). I drove to the church three times before 9:00 am: once to drop Jared off, another time in an unsuccessful bid to get him his lunch (which he forgot) and one last time to drop off Camryn. Both younger kids woke up drenched with wet beds. In the midst of all this, Camryn asked me (at about 8:15) if she could make breadsticks if she cleaned up the mess. It was an easy out to get one child off my back, so I said okay. But both of us forgot that she had her last day of Activity Days camp at 9:00, so her project was stopped mid-stream and the "I'll clean up the mess part" didn't exactly happen how it was supposed to. The kitchen was left looking like this:

Jackson continues his streak of remarkable talent in mess-making. His prodigious talents (just for this week) include spraying a newly-cleaned toilet and floor with pee in 30 second or less, unintentionally partially thawing the outside freezer by leaving the freezer door open, and spilling birdseed on the floor followed by accidentally watering the hardwood through the screen door (while attempting watering the plants on the deck) within 60 seconds of each other.

Dave had a one-day business trip on Monday, meaning he left at 4:00 am and got home at 9 pm. He had a meeting on Tuesday night so he didn't get home until 9:00 pm again. Wednesday morning he was off at 4 am again for a two-day business trip. We have had a diet of Taco Bell interspersed with Papa Murphy's pizza and fruit roll-ups. Despite a conscious attempt to use childwatch at the YMCA, hiring a babysitter, and even overt retail therapy at Target, I feel like I'm flying down river rapids on a log without a paddle. Perpetual peepee accidents, cold cereal and milk dumped on the floor, markers on the wall, bananas smooshed through hair, scattered toys, no matching kids shoes to be found (despite buying 4 new pairs on Tuesday), spilled birdseed, "Mom, can I use a pillowcase for a sewing project?," poop out the diaper and up the back of Addy's shirt, earrings dumped out of my jewelry drawer and scattered all over the floor, Jackson jumping from the slide to the lovesac whilst buck naked on his lower half, "Can I use Alka-seltzer to make an explosion with an old film canister?"... this is my life at present. I find myself turning to my computer keyboard for escape-- like some kind of lifeline to the outside world or grown-up version of a pacifier.

On Tuesday we had a pizza and movie night. The kids settled in to watch "The Princess and the Frog" while I succumbed to the blessed oblivion of zoning out on the internet, planning summer travel or wasting time on Facebook-- it really didn't matter as long as it didn't involve screaming children. Suddenly Jared looked up and pointed out, "Mom, you're not watching the movie!" I shrank in my chair and made some half-hearted attempts to look at the screen. "Um, sure I am. It's about a frog, right?" "No, mom. You're not watching it at all. Close your computer!" After some hemming and hawing and a few attempts to send one last email or smuggle some glances at a travel guide, Jared got visibly upset with me, so I turned off the computer, put my books away and watched the movie. It was actually really nice. Hard to do, but nice.

So for now I'm just trying to survive getting sucked into the vortex of summer.... the endless swirl of activities, messes, children and chaos. And tell myself that I will survive all of this fun. Really.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Not-A-Post

I haven't written a post in almost a month. I haven't really read any other blogs in that same time period. I apologize to my dear blog readers (assuming I have any left...). I have lots to say but am having a hard time translating that into blog posts. The daily realities of life with four kids are combining with the perpetual debate of how much of my daily grind I want to write for the whole world (meaning my mom and five of my friends :] ) to create a lack of creativity. The solution is to stop analyzing and just write.

I'm sitting on a beautiful Saturday morning, er, afternoon at my computer with a list of useful productive things I could do as Addy plays in the bathtub (strike one against my parenting-- even if I can hear her making happy noises so I know any damage being done is to the bathroom and not her) as a result of her earlier mega-poop. Jackson is back inside after I heard him screeching at other kids in the front yard (mother of the year award for me, yes). Yes, I could finish weeding the yard, folding the 6 baskets of clean laundry in my upstairs hallway, make lunch for my kids, plan our summer trip or make a dish to take to the potluck tonight. I could spend time pondering a momentous decision, entertaining myself or doing something useful. I could even write a real blog post. But instead, I'm sitting here writing not much of anything-- which I suppose is a slight upgrade from wasting time on facebook.

Luckily, Dave just finished working so now I can end this lame post. But now the ice is broken and I can start writing again. Even if it's lame. :)