Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday 5: It's Wednesday Edition

1. Yesterday, I walked down the street, introduced myself to a woman I’ve never met, and whisked her 9 month old away to my house. This is what happens in military life. Her husband is deployed, the movers were bringing her household goods, and a mutual friend, who is helping her with the mover’s inventory, texted me and asked if I could help out. I think I got the easy job- he’s a little red headed butterball and super sweet to boot. The best part is that my ovaries have in no way indicated that they’d like to see another Little Explorer after spending time with Butterball. It’s nice confirmation that baby fever does subside and four is a good number for us. Oh, and in a random twist, it turns out Butterball’s mom and dad are mutual friends of good friends of ours from college. (Cue “It’s a Small World.”)

2. The Labor Day holiday weekend was another short one for the Intrigue Family. As is so often the case, The International Man of Intrigue was traveling for most of the weekend. He returned from India on Sunday afternoon, and we did end up having an impromptu pizza and beer party in our driveway with some neighbors on Sunday night, as well as a cookout at the neighbors’ house on Monday. It ended up being a nice weekend, but clocking in at a day and a half, it was far too short.

3. The International Man of Intrigue and I just finished watching “Battlestar Galactica” and then binged watched Netflix’s “Stranger Things” in about three days. “Stranger Things” is part Stand By Me, part X-Files, and part Goonies. It is kind of scary, but really good!

4. I remember, when I was first out on my own, half my life ago, that I had a revelation. I was brought up to eat whatever was on my plate, even if I didn’t care for it. When I was at the grocery store, alone, with my own money, I realized I never had to eat canned creamed corn again. It’s taken me until recently to realize the same applies to books. I’ve always been a voracious reader. I’ll read about anything I can get my hands on, even the label on the creamed corn. Earlier this year, I started reading a book, realized it wasn’t my cup of tea, and quit reading it. That was sort of a watershed moment for me. I started thinking about what the books I really enjoy have in common and have done a better job of choosing what I want to read. It turns out I’ve been skipping out on mysteries and detective novels, which I love, because I don’t like scary books, and these often overlap with suspense or horror, but if I’m careful, I can find books in this genre I really enjoy. I also enjoy books set during either of the world wars. I discovered (thanks to Mrs. British Neighbor) the Ian Rutledge mysteries by Charles Todd. Detective novels set shortly after The Great War are currently my cup of tea. 

5. I was texting with the mom of a student in Gertrude Bell’s class. We were bemoaning our kids’ after school behavior and I mentioned that I was having a late afternoon cup of coffee to hopefully make it through until bedtime. She said it was time to switch to wine. I got to wondering, why is there not caffeinated wine? Or caffeinated booze in general? Someone make this happen.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday 5: Keeping the Little Explorers Alive Edition

1. I’m gunning for the parenting sweet spot, folks. I’m still far from having self sufficient kids, but last week, it was as if a beam of heavenly sunshine picked me to illuminate. Gertrude Bell has to read out loud for 20 minutes every day. Arthur Dent has to be read to for 20 minutes a day. Cue angels singing. I do not have to be a part of this! Gertrude Bell reads to Arthur Dent at night before bed and I just have to sign their papers! Finally, having a lot of kids relatively close together results in a win! (In case you’re wondering, this never worked with Amelia Earhart reading to Gertrude Bell because Amelia Earhart has been reading about 17 grade levels above her age since she finally figured out how to read.)

2. I’m exhausted. It used to be, when the International Man of Intrigue went to the field or TDY (That’s Temporary Duty for all you non-giant-governmental-organization folks.) I would do something like stay up late repainting a room or sewing new curtains. Now, I mostly go to bed early and try to keep the Little Explorers alive and fed. No one tells you when you have kids that the keeping alive part is really a lot of work. For example, Arthur Dent is determined to fall and crack his head open in the bathtub or shower. He even did fall a couple of times in Florida, yet the warning seems to come as new information every time. 
“Arthur Dent, no jumping in the tub.” 
“But, Mama, I wasn’t jumping. I was just hopping.” 
“Arthur Dent!”
“That was dancing.”
“No dancing either. Can you mostly just keep your feet still and on the bottom of the shower at all times?”
(Five minutes later…)
“I’m sorry, Mama. Can I karate chop my way out?”

3. I took the kids to the pool this weekend and managed to get burnt to a crisp. I can’t even tell you the last time I got a sunburn. I’m a big believer in sunblock. I guess I should have had the Little Explorers sunscreen up before we left the house, but instead we did it poolside. Putting sunscreen on Little Explorers is about as easy as giving a cat a bath, and then add to it that the pool was mere feet away, and it was a workout. By the time it was done, I was too busy trying to make sure no one was drowning to realize that I had forgotten my own sunscreen. Two days later and I’m still red and a little uncomfortable.

4. This week, Hawaii is expecting visits from two tropical storms, as well as from President Obama. I bought so much food at Costco yesterday I could barely push my cart to the parking lot. I think The Intrigues will be ok.

5. One major thing I’ve learned about Hawaii is to pack drinks and snacks, or even lunch, every time you leave the house. In the last couple of weeks, I have had what should have been quick errands turn into multi-hour outings. Since Laura Ingalls Wilder is still at home all day and is my sidekick for all these shenanigans, we ended up eating out a few more times than I would have liked. I should clarify- one of those times eating lunch out was shoving money into a vending machine and feeding my child a well rounded meal of fritos and M&Ms. Now I keep a reusable water bottle with me and granola bars and almonds stashed in my purse. If I think there’s a chance that we’ll be out within an hour of meal time, I up our rations. Aloha, baby.