Archive | October, 2009

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane. Never Again.

26 Oct

Whine: I got myself whipped up into such a cleaning frenzy today that I cleaned the girls’ toy kitchen. Oh yeah, and I pulled a muscle (or two) in my glutes. Now that is some SERIOUS cleaning.

Cheese: Our actual kitchen is still a disaster. Spaghetti and a one-year-old anyone?

 

Well, I foolishly promised a post today. And technically, it is still Monday, even on the east coast (barely). But I wanted to share my latest travel adventure with you, as my own personal Aesop’s Fable. You know, the made up stories that show how the character with the tragic flaw inevitably meets his/her doom because of it? Yeah, like that. Only this is my real life and not a made up cautionary tale.

Travelling alone with my two small children (and the one inside of me who always seems to be throwing some sort of party–or temper tantrum–I’m not sure) seemed a like a daunting task even to me, the often over-optimistic one (see? my tragic flaw). But when the siren song of my alma mater, Wheaton College, called me back for a ten-year reunion, I couldn’t resist. Being on campus with almost all of my old roommates and reliving the glory days of our hysterical lameness was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

So I packed up our bags, weighed them on the scale to make sure we made the weight cut off (we didn’t), took some junk out, weighed them again and rushed us all to the airport. And actually it wasn’t so bad. They let me cut in the security line and Big Sis was the model helper throughout the whole take-your-baby’s-shoes-off-because-she-might-be-a-terrorist thing. We got on both our flights with relative ease and arrived with our chariot (aka Katie and Eric) awaiting us at baggage claim. It was so uneventful I even had the foolish nerve to say, “See, that wasn’t so bad.”

Famous last words.

Our time in Wheaton was lovely. Except for the part Chloe where started puking and infecting everyone’s kids with some weird virus. But, you know, kids puke, you move on. I got to see some of my old professors (who remembered me, or more accurately, my penchant for dramatic breakdowns.) I got to show Sophie the campus and try to counteract some of the constant Baylor/TCU indoctrination that goes on around here. And mostly I got to hang out with my friends, people who have known me since I had a perm and tight-rolled my jeans and still like me. We mostly just sat around and talked over really delicious Chicago-style pizza. Life. Theology. Books. Movies. Old Times. New Laughs. It was a good fabulous weekend.

Until the trip home.

I should’ve known it would be a disaster because we were on time to the airport. That was the last good thing that happened that day. Our initial flight was delayed an hour. Which, of course, meant that we would miss our connecting flight. After getting off the first flight (from the very last row, thank you very much) we “ran” (me with a loaded stroller and Big Sis wandering aimlessly staring up at the ceiling) to the opposite end of another terminal and caught another connecting flight just in time. The plane for that flight was tiny and apparently tiny planes shake and shudder every time a bird flies by. There were lots of birds flying by that day. I thought we were going down for sure. Although my lunch certainly was not. Finally, having narrowly escaped death in a tin can, we arrive to find Mr. Dad. But no luggage. Of course.

But at least the end was in sight. Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

No, Mr. Dad, in a rare show of airheadedness (that’s my department, Mr!) had locked his keys in the car. We spent another FOUR HOURS at the airport. Two of which were spent with Mr. Dad trying to open it himself, ala Man vs. Machine. I imagined him out there trying to wrestle it into submission. But we apparently found the one thing he can’t fix, so we waited another two hours for the locksmith. Meanwhile certain children were having intestinal issues (tiny planes, anyone?) and the ariport Chili’s was out of corndogs. I mean, can you believe our luck??

After a twelve-hour travel day, we made it home and into our beds. It took me a week to recover from the trip. So like any good character in a cautionary tale, I can say: lesson learned. Period.  And next time my buddies beckon with offers of deep-dish pizza and a trip back to old times, I am definitely going to say that I can’t go.

Maybe.

Oh, who am I kidding, I would do it all again tomorrow, wouldn’t I? Make that lesson unlearned. I’ll save the fables for Aesop.

Plane ride to Chicago

Flight to Chicago, pre-misery. Well, mostly.

That’s What You Get

23 Oct

Whine: You would think that a 3-inch elastic waistband and a growing belly would be enough to keep my pants up. You would be wrong.

Cheese: When you’re wearing strechy pants, every meal is all-you-can-eat.

 

I’ve been working with Big Sis lately on idea of choices. You know, things like “If you choose to put your stingray in the bathtub, then you can’t choose to take it with you in the car because it will be soaking we.” (True story) Or, “If you choose to whack your sister on the head (again), then you will spend the next twenty years (give or take) in time out.” (Again, true story.) You get the idea.

Unfortunately, the world of choices and consequences and decisions is not limited to the under-five set. Nope. We all get to play by the same rules. You would think, however, that years of making choices and reaping the benefits/consequences would give us the upper hand in decision making. But one glance at YouTube or daytime TV or in the mirror, for heaven’s sakes, tells you that even grown ups make some baaaaadddd decisions.

I’ve made some doozies myself. Like the time (this morning) I ate a Nutty Bar (oh, how I love you, Little Debbie) and a Diet Coke for breakfast. Or the time I was locked out of my house late at night and decided to crawl in the window and subsequently got stuck. One leg in, one leg out, four feet off the ground. While baby Big Sis sat in the car. I hear you asking, “Did your mother not teach you ANY common sense?” Of course she did, that’s why I used my cell phone to call her to come get me out of the window. She (wisely) sent my stepdad, who was very understanding and non-judgemental about the whole thing.

But seriously, I often hear my poor mother’s voice in my head when I reach the end of a particularly foolish path saying “That’s what you get.” I’m not sure my mother actually ever said that to me out loud, but I sure gave her plenty of chances to do so.

Recently, my track record has been stellar. I thought I’d share a few of my recent “That’s what you get” episodes for your enjoyment.

 

That’s What You Get. . .

. . . for starting a blog.

       I started my blog one year ago tomorrow. Happy Blogaversary to me! My little spot on the WWW has brought lots of unintended results. Guilt being one of them. I wish I blogged more. It’s definitely not for lack of source material. I like telling y’all the stories that keep my life interesting. And I like keeping track of all the ways in which my family has put me on the advanced track to aging. But life in a house full of crazy people sometimes limits my free time, and I’m learning to be ok with that. Especially because often, if I were to blog, my children would be giving me “source material” at a rate that I couldn’t handle. (As if I can handle the rate they’re at now.)

       But I’ve also made new friends and kept up with some old ones. I’ve heard your stories, too, which I love. And I’ve gotten to know that my foibles, accidents and fabulous life choices amuse the rest of you. Which pretty much makes it worth it. So if that’s what I get for starting a blog, I’m glad I did.  And as a special Blogaversary present to you, I’ve already written a post for Monday, so check back then for more riveting action!

 

. . . for buying a fancy-schmancy printer.

      My very old, very cheap printer had been on the fritz for months. So I finally broke down, found my coupons and headed to Office Depot. Mr. Office Depot expertly assisted me in my selection, down to the other things I would need to make the printer actually work that I wouldn’t have thought of until I had already spent fifteen hours yelling at and kicking my new printer.

      I decided to reward my very sedentary nature and purchase a printer that prints wirelessly so that I would not be so inconvenienced as to have to take my laptop into the other room and hook up a USB cord in order to print. But just as I was bragging (yes, bragging) to my sister about my labor-saving ways, I realized the da*&%$ thing was no longer printing. (And this after an hour on the phone with HP to go through the religious rites of set  up.) So I called HP again, and Carlos was, in fact, very knowledgeable and helpful, but it still took him an hour of remotely controlling my laptop from another continent (VERY CREEPY) to fix the problem.

       So, in total, I’ve printed ten pages and scanned two pictures with my new printer, all from the comfort of my couch. But I also spent approximately seventeen hours in setting up and repairing the darned thing. That’s what you get. Worth it? Totally. Cause now I can sit on my couch and scan pictures of my babies. (see below) 

 

. . . for trying to make dinner.

        I’ve barely cooked a meal in the last four months. So when I gingerly approach my kitchen to cook something other than frozen pizza/french fries/chicken nuggets, I expect wild applause (from Mr. Dad) and complete cooperation (from the children.) Yesterday I started dinner well before 8pm, and it included actual vegetables and potatoes not previously frozen. But as I’m chopping and stirring and seasoning, I am interrupted by a confusing scene. Lil’ Sis has lost that reddish glow to her hair; it looks a little darker. Upon closer inspection, I discover that someone else in the house has been doing some seasoning of her own. Wait for it. . . wait for it. . . uh-huh:  Big Sis has liberally applied a large coat of pepper to the top of Lil’ Sis’ head and shoulders. Apparently she decided the “salt and pepper look” was more fitting than “carrot top” for her sister.

 

. . . for insisting on knowing the gender of your unborn baby.

      Last week we went to the doctor for a sonogram. The Sonogram. The one lots of my friends go to and cover their eyes so they can be “surprised” when the baby is born. Weirdos. I go to that sonogram with only two questions on my agenda: “Does everything look ok?” and “What private parts does this baby have?” Sue me, I’m a planner.

      So the sonogram is going ok, except that Baby Lahdee (as Big Sis has named him/her) will not be still. But somehow our expert sonographer manages to get the requisite pictures. Good, round head? Check. Long, bony spine? Check. Big, ravenous looking stomach? Check.

       So then it’s time to get to the good part(s). Except that on the way to those parts, she pauses on my right ovary and says hmmm, apparently you have cyst there, which is no big deal, except that it explains the occasional stabbing pain in your right side. Good to know, I say, now GET ON WITH IT. Except at this point, Baby Lahdee is simultaneously cruching his/her legs together AND swimming in circles with all his/her might. How this is possible, I do not know, although it makes me eager to meet this child.  

       Eventually she determines that Baby’s bottom is right next to my ovary/cyst and the only possible way to determine the gender is for her to repeatedly punch, jiggle and jab me in that very tender area with the sonogram thiny-magiggy. Here’s where my true dedication kicks in though, and I decide to take one for the team. Breathlessly I tell her to keep going till she gets some nudie shots of this baby. And she does.

       After we left the doctor, them walking, me stumbling in pain, we headed to Target to pick out a gift for the baby. I must have looked a little funny clutching my stomach and limping, but I didn’t care. I had just gotten to see my healthy–and very active–son.

 

Isn't HE cute??

Isn't HE cute??