Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday Random 5: Food Edition

Are you guys going to be super sad if I’m not as funny as I used to be? It’s easy to be hilarious in a third world country developing nation. Not so much at home. Yes, crazy things still happen, like the time I had all four kids in one of those monstrous kid carts at Target and Arthur Dent managed to fall out of it and take Laura Ingalls Wilder with him. It happened right in the produce area at the front of the store. No fewer than three Target employees rushed to the scene. Arthur Dent was crying and had a ginormous bruise already appearing on his leg, Laura Ingalls Wilder was screaming in her tipped over carseat, Gertrude Bell was screaming because she was convinced the baby was hurt, and there was Sprite dripping from everywhere in our heaping full shopping cart. Everyone was fine, but this is what happens when I turn my back to try to buy lettuce. Lesson learned. I haven’t had a salad since.

Anyway, it turns out it’s Tuesday again already. Here’s your Random 5!

1. The other day Gertrude Bell stood in the pantry and whined, “There’s NOTHING to eat in here!” Fellow Adventurers, I about lost my cool, which never ever happens. I am the picture of calm and collected parent. Ok, that’s not true, but I try hard. I honestly had to take a minute. That’s when she said it again, “Mooooom, we have NOTHING to eat!” Deep breath. Serenity now. “Gertrude Bell, remember when we lived in Sri Lanka and went to places like India and Nepal? Those kids really did have nothing to eat. There’s even kids right here in the U.S. who open their refrigerators and there’s nothing at all in there, not nothing they want. So don’t say that again, ok?” I will admit, I had a little extra angst about this because the other day I was realizing just how much food we waste. When we were living in Sri Lanka, we waited until the weekend to clean out the fridge because we didn’t want our household staff to see us throwing away food. We also didn’t waste nearly what we do now. In some ways, I know it has to do with factors we didn’t have there- produce seems to go bad faster here, and I don’t have someone to cut it up and have it ready to go for me. Sigh. I miss having domestic help. I really, truly, do. Any Fellow Adventurers out there want to come and prep my fruits and vegetables every time I go shopping? Hello?

2. Speaking of full pantries, yesterday I was cleaning out my pantry for the sixth time this month. Some people would say it’s because I lack an organizational system that works for me. People who know me would look around my house and say I lacked an organizational system. Period. My pantry is actually pretty well situated. The problem is that the Little Explorers are tiny vultures. Tiny, hungry, messy vultures. Yes, I keep all the snacks and cereal on a low shelf where they can reach it. But then their little brains kick in. Wait, there might be something yummy up top that we can’t see. Let’s drag our time out stools and fifteen random pillows in there so we can climb up and see what mom’s hiding for after we go to bed. Yeah, nothing good.

3. You know what? Kids aren’t just tiny vultures, they’re gross. My kids have set areas where they’re allowed to eat and drink. Still, I never knew the joy of smelling something strange in the house and having no idea where it was coming from before I had children. 

4. During the morning school commute yesterday, I heard THIS interview with Tim McGraw on the Bobby Bones Show. During the interview, Faith Hill walked in and the two proceeded to be lovebirds. At 18 years together, they are almost as adorable as The International Man of Intrigue and me! 

5. You know what is amazing? A video baby monitor. I didn’t have one with the first three kids. We got by with the old fashioned kind, but when we were living in Sri Lanka, we tried to use it. Even though we plugged it into a transformer, it fried almost immediately, rendering it completely useless, a fact which we ignored when we packed up the useless piece of junk and brought it back to the states instead of getting rid of it. So, that left us monitor-less. By kid number four, we really weren’t sure we needed one, but then we brought home Laura Ingalls Wilder. Did I mention that she was a 2 lb, 7oz. preemie with severe reflux? Of all the major problems that go along with being such a tiny little thing, this was her only issue, but she tended to hold her breath when she spit up and required suctioning of the nose and mouth immediately. Scary stuff. Because she goes completely silent when she does this, a video monitor was the way to go. Now that she’s well on her way to completing her first year of life, the reflux is still an issue, but the severity of it has gone down and she’s mostly quit holding her breath until she turns blue. This makes my ability to sleep a lot stronger. We still keep the video monitor on her, though. The best thing is when I hear her in the morning. Eventually, after whining for a minute or less, I hear a squeal of delight. I pry my eyes open as quickly as possible so I can see the hand reach out and grab her calf and pull her out of the camera’s range. The next thing I know, Amelia Earhart is bursting into our room with the baby on her hip. All four of the Little Explorers pile into bed and I know without a doubt that I feel a teeny tiny bit sorry for every other person in the world, because I got the most awesome, most adorable kids EVER.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday Random 5: Back To School Edition

The International Man of Intrigue bought me a fancy schmancy MacBook Air for Mother’s Day. It gave me the feeling I should get up and blog again. Lucky for us all, I decided to lie down until that feeling passed. Now it’s mid-August, mid-day, and mid-laundry, and I feel like indulging all five of you who asked that I start blogging again. The rest of you will just have to put up with me! 

Before I go on into my actual topic for the day, most of you know what we’ve been up to for the last year an a half. Some of you don’t. Here’s the short version, including the addition of Little Explorer Number Four: We moved back to the states two Januarys ago. We miss living overseas and hope to go back after this tour. For now, we’re enjoying eating cheese and walking around Target. In December, little Laura Ingalls Wilder joined our family through adoption. She is the apple of everyone’s eye. Arthur Dent was too busy becoming wrapped around her teeny tiny preemie finger to even notice he’d been unseated as the baby of the family. Amelia Earhart has become more, ahem, in charge, and Gertrude Bell continues being the free spirit she is.

Now, on to today’s topic. As my Facebook friends know, every week on Tuesday I join friends in posting a “Random 5” things. Sometimes it’s really random, and sometimes the observations are connected. This week they all seemed to have to do with school. They also seemed to be longer than usual, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dust off the blog. Here goes!

Tuesday Random 5, Back To School Edition:

1. I try never to drop my kids off for their first day. I leave that task to The International Man of Intrigue if at all possible. I just don’t handle it well. As excited as I was for the constant bickering to end, and the chance to grocery shop with only two kids in tow, I knew I couldn’t see them settling into their new classrooms without tears. Not theirs, mine. I sobbed like a baby when Amelia Earhart rode away on the bus to kindergarten in Sri Lanka. When we got back to the US, she started kindergarten after Christmas. Having done the whole first day of school once already, I handled it like a champ and managed to make it to the parking lot before getting my ugly cry on. Now that The International Man of Intrigue realizes my predisposition to tears, he does his best to take the morning off from global diplomacy and be the parent to have to hold it together.

2. So, Amelia Earhart is entering second grade. On back to school night, she walked up to a group of girls who were in her class last year and said “hi” and called them each by name. They ignored her. Luckily, she didn’t seem to notice, but it made us realize that the days of “mean girls” aren't too far away for her. I know she’s not always nice, but I’ve made it my mission to teach my kids that even if they don’t like someone, they have to be kind. The problem with not being a “mean girl” is that it seems like either you are one, or you’re the target for one. It’s pretty hard to fit anywhere else. I know it’s hard to believe, but I, the amazing Dorothy Gale, spent a good portion of grade school and high school as the target of the mean crowd. Fifth grade was particularly brutal. There was a girl who used to corner me and kick me in the bathroom. There was a boy who would kick me as hard as he could in the shins every time he walked by my desk. My best friend since first grade told me she couldn’t be my friend anymore because she had to go be popular. I spent most of that year with bruised legs and a bruised heart. I grew up in a really small town, so everyone I went to school with probably knows just which jerks I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I also realize, looking back, that I was mean to a few people myself. I think the idea of being even a little less of a loser was to blame, but it’s really not an excuse and I feel terrible about it still. Anyway, all this is to say that I would be heartbroken to find out I raised a kid who was mean. Unfortunately, that means I’ll probably be heartbroken to be raising a kid who is picked on by the mean crowd. 

3.  I am very thankful that our kids got the chance to be Little Explorers. I know there were plenty of people who thought taking them to Sri Lanka was crazy and stupid. Traveling to Nepal, Bangladesh, and across India with three kids 5 and under? Obviously we had hit our heads on something and our brains were worse for the wear. Well, it turns out there was brilliance there after all. (Was there any doubt?) Turns out that one of the extra benefits of taking a year off of preschool to travel the world is courage. Amelia Earhart has always been outgoing and a risk taker. Gertrude Bell is very much an introvert and takes a while to warm up to people. She doesn’t care for new social situations or chaos. She does, however, embrace the opportunity to try new things. She’s participated in some activities with Amelia Earhart’s Girl Scout troop and, while she’s still very much the introvert, she steps up in many situations and ventures outside of her comfort zone to try new things. Yesterday, on the first day of school, Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell both hugged The International Man of Intrigue goodbye and started second grade and kindergarten tear free. I wish I could say the same for their parents.

4. “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone. I never understood this quote until I had kids, and I don’t think I really understood it until I sent my first baby off to school. Ouch. It sums all of it up so well, though, doesn’t it?

5.  As if to wrap up my thoughts on this matter, I heard the theme song to the movie “The Breakfast Club” on the radio this morning. Which kid were you? (I don’t think I have to explain. See #2.)

That’s this week’s Tuesday 5. Should I keep it in blog format or go back to Facebook? Either way, I’ll try to be less serious next week.