Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This One's Mostly for You . . . That Is If You're Josh

Check this out! You know how I feel about succulents. A little obsessed, right? Well, one aspect of that obsession is the whole concept of propagating echeveria. If a person could really pull off a leaf and produce another plant, I’m interested. I decided to try it out a few weeks ago and pulled off leaves from several varieties I’ve got sitting on the front porch. I laid them on the window sill at my kitchen sink and gave them a few days to develop a callus. Once they looked about right, I laid them in a container with a mixture of potting soil and sand and ignored them for a week or so. And look what I found today! Roots, baby! I may actually be able to pull this off!

That was yesterday. And yesterday morning started off great. Fantastic, even. And then, at 8:15 a.m., Sierra looked at the giant calendar on the wall and said, “Mom! Michael has a test this morning! Oh! So do I!” Uh oh. How did I miss this? I don’t do things like this. I was mortified.

I yelled orders and headed the kids to the van. We dropped off Kenny and Sam at school and headed to Kennewick where Michael and Sierra would be tested for the next several hours. When we reached Quinalt Baptist Church, the WAVA (Washington Virtual Academy) teachers laughed and headed the kids in the right direction. I sure appreciated the kindness. I would learn later they these two were not the last kids to show up and testing didn’t start until closer to 9 a.m. As Josh and I headed out I asked when they would finish and found out they’d need a snack at 10:30 p.m. Nice. That meant I was coming back in a few hours. But still, crisis averted.

Next thing on the agenda was to rush home without getting a speeding ticket. My parents would be there any time and the laundry wasn’t put away, the floors needed sweeping, and my bed wasn’t made. MY BED WASN’T MADE!!!

Josh and I managed to put things to rights just as they drove up but the bed remained unmade as Skipper was unwilling to extricate himself from my comforter. He isn’t allowed to sleep in beds at Mom and Dad’s house and he took full advantage of the Tempur-Pedic magic that is 85% of our tiny bedroom. Once he realized they were here, he evacuated and hurled himself directly at his true love, Dad. That boy was ready to hit the road.

I thought they’d stay for a bit but as it turned out, the plan was to pick up the dog and head out. That is until Dad decided he was going to mow the backyard (actually, he said, “I’m gonna mow this !@%$#%@” but you know, nothing unusual there). In my defense, I did mow it last Wednesday—it wasn’t a jungle or anything. But I sure appreciated it. Mom and I made snacks for the kids and before I left to deliver them, she had the weed eater started and was finishing up Dad’s work. They don’t do anything by halves, those two. They blow into town, work like a team of oxen on crack, and they blow right out; never a dull moment and never a job left undone. Except my garage. They’ve never stuck around long enough to fully take on that train wreck (though to their credit they have built a full complement of shelves to accommodate any organizing we may one day attempt. Ha!).

Did I ever tell you that Michael works 26 miles away? Well he does. So it was a treat to meet him for lunch. He happened to be at WSU-Tri-Cities attending training on ASME B31.3, whatever in the world that is (you could tell me and I still wouldn’t know), so Sam and Josh and I met him at Burger King. Because Iron Man. Obviously. Sporting upside down crowns, they put their Iron Mans (Iron Men?) together and began yelling, “I’m Sally O’Malley and I’m FIFTY YEARS OLD! I like to kick, I like to stretch, and I like to kick!” as they kicked, stretched, and kicked with the toys. I think Michael was a little embarrassed; the place was full of people from the training. Those are my boys! They obviously pay way more attention to my antics than I thought!

Have I told you lately of the very sad news that my favorite lip gloss has been discontinued? I’ve been using it for ages and then BAM! it’s gone. I made a pilgrimage to all three Walmarts in the greater Tri-Cities area and located six tubes. Another five online. But I’m still a little sad. R.I.P. Rimmel Vinyl Gloss in “Snog”. Yes, I’m being dramatic. I suppose. SNOG!

Tomorrow my baby turns four. Can’t hardly believe it. Four years ago I sat in a hospital bed at Kadlec Medical Center, disappointed a little. My doctor thought for sure Josh would come by the time “E.R.” was over. He walked in to check on me again and noticed Michael sleeping on the couch. He decided this was a good time to talk to me about making sure this was the end of the line. He said, “I know people. He could wake up with a bag of frozen peas in his lap.” I needed the laugh.

My sweet surprise was born a few hours later. And he’s kept us on our toes ever since! He is awesome. He makes me laugh every day and by way of entertainment value, he gives way more than he gets. Tonight he spent a few hours with Sierra and the boys while Michael and I went to the Delta High School orientation with Michael Jr. I imagine a fair amount of television was watched. When I turned on the bath water for him tonight, he hopped in and began singing, “Who’s that lady? Sexy lady!” from the Swiffer commercial. Seriously. You KNOW laughing is both not an option and the ONLY option. And that’s how it always is.

Tonight I wrapped him up in a few blankets and took him out front for a cuddle in the swing Michael hung in a big sycamores while I was still in the hospital, recovering from this little man’s exit. From the swing we could see the glowing “Kadlec” sign and I sang “The One Bathing Suit Your Grandma Otter Wore”. I don’t think he gets the humor of the song but he’s a good audience.

Tonight, as his eyes were closing, he murmured his last words as a three year old: “I want ice cream . . .” Sounds about right. Man, I love this kid.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Me Again.

I miss you! I’ve been wanting to write you a little something lately but my time’s been filled with new obligations and old ‘shoulds’ and, well, I just haven’t done it. But I miss you.

Seriously. What’s new? Furniture is new here. Finally. After a year and a half of complaining about the shoddy quality of our original set, the replacement set arrived. Not without a lot of effort on Michael’s side though. Thanks to his persistence we have this newer, nicer, pricier set and only had to surrender the old stuff. And put the slipcovers on because Some Assembly Required. But it’s Awesome because you know (YOU KNOW) it’s only a matter of time before Josh does a chocolate-covered face-plant with a running start. It WILL need the recommended dry cleaning. Probably on a fortnightly basis.

Did I tell you awhile back that Michael had Charter bundle the cable, phone, and internet? The Googles, the interwebs, and the e-mails? Anway, he did. And it was FANTASTIC! Fantastic because we upgraded enough to get me my BYU TV but also Super Fantastic because we now have . . .*drumroll please* . . . Caller I.D.! I didn’t realize this was part of the package but when someone called while the technician was still here and I could see it was an unwanted solicitation (are there ‘wanted’ phone solicitations?), I couldn’t help but share with him my newfound joy. He just looked at me. Gave me the old *blank stare*.

Charter Technician: “You mean you didn’t have Caller I.D.?”

Me: “No sir, I did not. Not since the electronic ankle monitor!”

Charter Technician: “I didn’t know anyone didn’t have Caller I.D.” *extra blank stare*

So I have Caller I.D. And I am so screening my calls. Not yours of course. No. No, I’d never do that, but you know. There are People That Need Screening. Some of you have been accidentally screened because apparently we also now have Voice Mail. I was sort of confused when people began asking me if I got their messages. Um no. My answering machine wasn’t flashing anything new. Then Michael reminded me that there wouldn’t be any more flashing lights. So now to remember how to use Voice Mail. This is not making me feel any younger.

I’m having a small problem. Tiny really, in the big scheme of things. When I used to post every day, I knew I was sharing my Stuff with a large group of friends. Most folks I conversed with on a regular basis had access to my blog and knew what I was up to. I never felt the need to apprise folks of my details during real life interactions because anything I cared to share was already Out There. Now it’s different but my mind hasn’t caught up yet (big surprise, eh?). I still write daily; haven’t skipped a day, but it’s only a journal on my computer. And now when I have real life conversations I find myself holding back because it feels like I must’ve already shared. I’m still assuming everyone knows everything. I’m saying “Oh. I didn’t tell you that?” a lot lately. I’ve got to learn to share and relate like a normal person again. So anyway.

The kids are doing fine. All the regular stuff. Sierra and I started watching The Food Nanny on BYU TV and have made a few of the meals we’ve seen. Although the Food Nanny’s dishes are a little pedestrian and she herself is so aggressively wholesome that it can be difficult to watch, the kids have mostly enjoyed the food. I need to work harder at getting the kids involved with the cooking. They’d probably learn a little something. None too soon; yesterday when I asked one child (who will remain nameless to protect the theoretically innocent) for a can of chicken broth, I saw him shake the can and give another sibling a knowing look as it was handed over. Seriously. Carbonated chicken stock? There was a little disappointment when I was able to open it without incident.

Random thought: “Ghost Busters” and “Phineas and Ferb” are both located in “The Tri-State Area” and both involve vast amounts of attempted “busting”.

Okay, my eyes are burning and I’m getting sleepy thinking of all the yard work that’s waiting for me tomorrow. Darned teenagers and their blasted sprinkler head stealing. *shakes fists in the air*. I have no proof but I only ever see teenagers and old Ukrainian women walk past. Anyway, trees to plant, smalls section of lawn to mow (the part that Mr. Malley’s sprinklers hit), weeds to pull, annuals to arrange, deck to tidy up. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve lost you already. But you’re awesome. And don’t forget, I miss you.