Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sam's Club Addles the Brain

Do you sometimes have days when the most random things make you feel like bursting into tears...and then things go downhill from there?  Yesterday was like that for me.  It all started with a trip to Sam's Club, as most inclinations to burst into tears do. 

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but it is no picnic taking my four little ones on errands.  Especially the craziest one of them all, Wesley. I won't go into details but suffice it to say that standing at the register I suddenly notice that I am sweating in a serious way...just from trying to buy things like flour and frozen pizza and peanut M&Ms (you're welcome for those office snacks, Tyler) with these kids (by the way, why does the Denton Sam's Club not sell skim milk? I was incredulous. Tyler's theory is that Denton is more historically rural and farm people like "wholesome" whole or 2% milk.  I just found it annoying).  I think it ends up taking us about 10 to 12 minutes to get from the register to the exit door because Wesley is FREAKING out.  He is squirming and screaming and I can barely hold him.  I try letting him walk and he makes a bee-line for the Tire Center and walks underneath the gate into their register area...etc.  You can picture it.  By the time we are finally outside walking to the car I feel like I have crossed the Sahara or scaled at least part of Everest...something momentous.  Is this the scenario that brought me close to tears?  No. 

After loading everyone up I head over to Sam's gas station.  I slide all of the proper cards and start pumping the gas.  After a couple of minutes I look at the pump and notice that the "premium unleaded" pump is the one that was selected.  I have no idea how this happened since I have never in my life pressed the wrong pump at the gas station, but there you have it. I am so mad that I have just put several gallons of gas at $3.55 a gallon into the van that this is the moment when the tears threaten.  The frustration is intense.  And then I think how absolutely ridiculous it is to cry over pumped gas (which should be the new colloquialism, don't you think?  "Spilled milk" is so last century). 

Apparently this episode affected my mental processes in a significant way because after we got home and unloaded all of the Sam's Club stuff we got ready to go swimming.  The kids wanted to walk to the pool so that we would dry off on the return trip.  Makes sense.  I gather all of our supplies, put the baby in the stroller, run back inside to grab my keys and my cover-up, have everyone stand in the front yard while I run back and close the garage door and exit the front door, locking it behind me.  At this moment C.T. says something like "where did you put your keys Mom?" and I say "I have no idea, but I don't think I have them".  And I didn't have them.  Oh bother.  It was 2:45 in the afternoon.  Tyler usually leaves work about 6:30, and that's on a good day.  My plan is to go to the pool and have the kids stay there as long as possible and then hang out in our backyard until that gets to be too much for them and possibly throw ourselves on  the mercy of neighborhood friends by showing up on their doorstep begging for shelter.  We stayed at the pool until 5.  I texted Tyler and told him what the situation was just so he'd know that if he could avoid working until 9 it would be good.  He said he'd try to leave early.  We walk home and stay in the back yard for half an hour and Tyler comes home and rescues us from the great outdoors.  There are my keys, sitting on the family room coffee table where I put them down to put on my cover-up.

The plus side to everything that happened yesterday is that the kids were completely tired out and fell asleep so fast after I put them to bed.  Not one person came downstairs saying they couldn't sleep because they couldn't get the vampire episode of Phineas and Ferb out of their heads (Lily), or that their bug bites were too itchy  (Amelia, whose entire right side- face, arm, hand, leg, foot - is covered with mosquito bites from sleeping on the trampoline with Tyler Friday night), or that they can't sleep because when Mom goes downstairs it feels like she's not home and that makes them feel like they want to cry (C.T.).  So even though there were several more challenging moments to the day, I honestly laid my head on my pillow feeling like it had been a good day after all.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mid-Summer Review

One thing I can say for myself: I am consistently an inconsistent blogger.

Lots of things happened in the last few months so I'll just give some highlights.

#1 School ended!

#2 Tyler quit his job!

#3 Tyler started a new job!

#4 We went to Maine!

#5 It's super hot!

#6 We celebrated the Fourth of July!

I thought the exclamation points made all of the highlights so much more exciting, didn't you?  Doesn't it feel like we have had a AMAZING! summer so far because of those?  I thought so.  

Some details to go along with the highlights for those who are interested:

#1 The last week of school was full of award ceremonies.  I guess I just didn't realize that with two kids in school I would be going to an awards ceremony almost every morning of the last week of school.  So of course I scheduled swimming lessons for Amelia that week also.  Which meant that we were rushing to get to the school, hoping that our kids got their awards by 9, then rushing to the swimming lessons, and finally wandering the halls of the swimming facility chasing Wesley as Amelia followed me crying and reusing to go into the pool for her class.  Money and time well spent, wouldn't you say? 

This is Lily's kindergarten class at her Kindergarten awards ceremony.  She is in the middle of the top row, with the big red flower.

Here is C.T. with two friends from church.  They each won the Lil' Texan award at the last school-wide awards ceremony, which is a great award to get based on citizenship and performance and just generally being a good kid.  Lily won this award the first term, and C.T. won it the last term.  Bookends!

#2 Tyler was frustrated with his job.  He just didn't feel like he was getting the professional experience that he wanted long term, so he found a new job and quit his old one.  5+ years with Citi are complete and a new phase is started.

#3 His new job is with PACCAR, which is the parent company of Peterbilt - you know, the semi truck people.  (I always think of the movie Cars. Lightning McQueen is looking for Mack on the highway screaming "Mack!" at an approaching semi and the truck bellows "I'm a Peterbilt you moron!").  He's an accounting manager in their marketing division.  It's a lot to learn and quite demanding, but I'm sure we'll see him again someday.

#4 My family reunion was in Maine this year, near Bar Harbor.  I've always wanted to go to Maine.  As a child I loved the books Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine. If you've never read them, check them out.  The illustrations are wonderful.  I read One Morning in Maine to my kids a few times in preparation for the big trip and I'm happy to report that Maine lived up to my expectations for the most part.  It was so great to see my family and the kids adore playing with their cousins.   

We took a boat tour through the harbor to Little Cranberry Island. 
My nephew James loved to hug Wes.  As you can see, Wes just kind of went limp and waited for it to end.
We went to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park and Amelia was thrilled to be there.

Me with my cute Mom and Dad at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.

We didn't come prepared to swim at Sand Beach on this day, but that didn't stop our California kids from jumping into the ocean anyway.  They were soaked!

The whole gang rode bikes through Acadia.  It was beautiful, and the weather was so perfect. 
We went canoeing. 
We took a little hike to this small Light House.
Some of us at Bar Harbor - so lovely there.
We had a great trip.  We flew to Boston and rented a car and drove the 5 hours to Maine, so on the way back we decided to leave a few hours early to get in some sight seeing in Boston before our flight home.
In front of the Old State House on Boston's Freedom Trail
That turned out to be a bad idea.  The kids were terrible!  We tried walking the Freedom Trail, but only made it part way before we just abandoned the whole venture.  Such complaining I never heard!  It made me so thankful that we hadn't done our original plan of driving to Maine from Texas stopping at different cities along the way.  They just don't appreciate walking around looking at old buildings yet...:)

#5 I know summer in Texas is always hot, but I guess I'm getting wimpier because I don't like going outside at all - not even to go to the swimming pool.  So, we've been kind of boring, holed up in our house with the fans on, making a lot of snow cones.

#6 We had a good relaxing Fourth of July.   Our ward has a pancake breakfast at the park every year and we went to that.  The weather wasn't too sweltering so I could stand it.  Tyler smoked some pork for our lunch of Bar-B-Que smoked pork sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, and chips.  We made homemade strawberry ice cream for dessert.  We had the exact same meal for dinner - isn't that what you're supposed to do on holidays?  Recycle all the food every meal?  We went swimming in the afternoon and headed out to see some fireworks in Denton.  Usually we set off a few of our own fireworks in a nearby parking lot, or most memorably, at the park 'n pop lot.  This year we skipped that and just watched the show.  It was pretty stress free and the kids were able to have fun with their friends - a great Fourth of July.

Happy Summer!