Thursday, March 1, 2007

Snapshot of Life - Feb. 28, 2007

5:39 - My arm has fallen more asleep than the rest of my body, which wakes me up. Strange how that happens, isn't it? So I get up to go to the bathroom, and notice that the light is already on, a sure sign that someone in the house is awake already. I'm not wearing my glasses so I walk carefully downstairs and lo and behold, I find Boy #3 on the couch, watching Fox News, with his blankie over his face fast asleep. The fact that he is asleep down here means that he got up hours ago, and I am puzzled as to why I did not hear him. I'm a fairly light sleeper, as my dad said I usually wake up when I feel the first molecule of air disturbed by Boy #3's eyes opening, but today I slept through him opening and closing his door, opening and closing the bathroom door (the reason for the bathroom stop was to pick up the stepstool we keep in there), trudging down the stairs with the stool, turning on the light in the kitchen, going downstairs to watch tv. I'm baffled by this, but pretty awake so I grab my camera from my purse where I left it after my photography class last night and take a couple of pictures of him asleep on the couch. I carry him back upstairs, turning lights and tv off as I go, and get back into bed where I'm preoccupied by thoughts of what a good story this is going to make and the fact that it was so dark in the room when I took the picture, what did that do for my shutter speed and how could I have compensated for it?

7:35-8 - I'm up for real this time, get boy #1 off to school, and have some breakfast. Boy #3 stumbles down at 7:45 to join Boy #2 in front of the tv. DH comes down at about the same time and asks me how many orders we've had today. I reply that I haven't checked yet, and he asks, "Where are your priorities, woman?" I show him the picture of Boy #3 and tell him what happened at 5:30 this morning. He's excited because he just put up a new training course on our site, a big ticket item that we think is going to sell pretty well - and when we checked we had sold one this morning, so that's a great way to start the morning. We sit reading email while we eat some breakfast. Boys #2 and #3 start a fight over who gets the red blanket that is downstairs, and DH says "I'm not going to handle this" which is the grown-up version of "Not It" a fun kids game that has really lost it's appeal as I've gotten older. So I say I'm not going to handle it either, figuring that I can outlast him in tolerance of listening to children fighting. I recognize that the whole situation is stupid at this point - we've got two kids in a screaming, grabbing fight over a blanket, and two adults in a silent battle of wills over the same issue. DH proves that he's really not going to handle it by getting in the shower, I debate letting the kids fight devolve into bloodshed - the blanket is red, after all, the bloodstains won't be noticeable - but the grown-up in me realizes that she has lost the "Not It" game and takes the blanket away from both kids and out of the room. I'm guessing there was a better way to handle the adult end of the fight, but I'm not sure what at this point.

8-9 - Peace in the house as Boys #2 and 3 settle down in front of Curious George on PBS and all is forgiven. DH showers then I shower, everyone is dressed ready to go. There is some bickering as to who is going to do what in terms of laundry. The good/bad of having a very involved, loving husband is that the division of labor is very strict. And when one person tries to modify/interfere/remind the other of their duties, it is a very sticky situation for both parties. Let's just leave it at that. Which reminds me that I need to go switch the laundry.

9:05 - Pick up Ammon, take boys to school, take DH to work, swing back home to grab the forgotten Box Tops that I need to mail. Get to the post office but it doesn't open for 10 minutes, so Boy #3 and I head next door for a couple of smoothies. By the time they are ready, the post office is open and I go in to mail the Box Tops. Next #3 gets dropped off at a friends house to be baby-sat while I go to the doctor.

10 - My appointment at 10 is with a plastic surgeon who is notorious for making me wait literally hours for my appointment, and as this is considered a "pre-op" appointment, I have no idea how long this whole thing is going to take. The nurse on the phone said no longer than an hour, but does that include the waiting time? I don't know, but I've got my ipod and an actual book on paper to read in the meantime.

10:10 - I am back in the car, on the way to pick up #3 from sitter because the "appointment" consisted of me signing 3 pieces of paper and paying a $500 deposit. What a complete waste of a baby-sitting favor! Oh, I did also ask the nurse to take out the stitches from my biopsy 3 weeks ago. She said the doctor doesn't normally take the stitches out because he's just going to cut that whole piece of my face off anyhow, but I'd rather not go 6 weeks total with a dead fly attached to the side of my face. (I had originally compared my stitches to daddy-long-legs legs, but DH said dead fly was a more apt description.)

10:15 - My baby-sitting friend is hosting playgroup today, so #3 and I stay to chat with the other moms in the ward. Here is the list of what we discussed:

1. B feels like she is failing at everything she is doing - parenting, marriage, calling, job, etc. She can't stay on top of all of it and ends up doing a bad job of all of it. We all commiserate, because we all have been there.
2. R has had a cold for 2 weeks and is miserable.
3. There are general complaints about the weather and the fact that we haven't left the house in forever.
4. S comes in late and says that she feels she is failing at everything she is doing. We rehash this discussion and commiserate again.
5. M has scheduled the defense of her dissertation which she has been working on for years.
6. I say that I can't decide if my lethargy is due to my lingering cold or the fact that I'm entering my 3rd trimester. I mention that I actually bought two books (gasp!) a few weeks ago at Costco (books that aren't available at audible and are new so it'll take forever to get at the library, besides the fact that they weren't too expensive and I was in a bad mood while shopping and thought it would make me feel better). Anyhow, I haven't read either yet, which is so unlike me. I tell them about when I was pregnant with #3 and picked up a Reader's Digest, but just couldn't read it because the articles were too long to keep my attention. This from the person who has read the unabridged Les Miserables more than once. So I think I'm hitting that phase and I'm bummed about it.
7. We had a very interesting discussion about poverty and excess. A house my father-in-law did some work to was just sold during the Parade of Homes for $1.6 million. The house is like 6200 square feet, and the family that bought it has 6 children. Problem is, the house is just too small for them, especially the home theater, so they are going to live in this house for a year while they build a development in the area which will include a new house for them. FIL might design the new theater, which will be two stories with a balcony, the size of an actual movie theater. So we had an interesting discussion about judging people for the way they spend their money, the way poor people might look at us for the way we spend our money (as we are all home-owners and financially stable), the fact that we don't know how much money these people spend on charity etc, B's experience of living in an upscale neighborhood and the things people there discussed that sound ludicrous to regular people, but that brings us back to the way poor people might feel about the discussions we have - which preschool to send our kids to, the sale on clothes at a nice store at the mall, where we go on vacation etc. Someone brought up a quote possibly by Brigham Young who said that church members will be judged by what they do with their riches. This discussion came on the heels of R mentioning that she is listening to Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (don't know if I got that name right) in which she spends some amount of time living as a working poor trying to make ends meet. Fascinating if a little left-wing-agenda-ed at some points.

Everyone at playgroup is very kind not to point out that #3 is acting like a complete jerk - yanking toys out of other kids hands and throwing fits when they touch something that he might have considered playing with once. When it is time to go, he runs upstairs ahead of me, which isn't a problem, but by the time I get up there he has left the house and is standing next to the van, which is a problem, as this house is on an incredibly busy road. My daily and nightly prayers for the safety of my children are certainly not in vain, and it makes me want to cry when I think about it. I hate being pregnant and so emotional.

12:15 - I leave playgroup and come home to meet #2 coming home from school. His friend stays for lunch and they play Lego Star Wars for a while.

1:00 - #3 obviously needs a nap, his night schedule was atrocious last night, so I put him down in his bed. I go into the craft room to watch my judge shows while I reply to work emails. My email account will only receive, not send, my mail, so I have to send everything through my gmail account. For the 4,000th time, I curse Qwest and their horrible DSL service.

2:00 - It's been an hour and #3 shows no signs of sleeping, so I send #2 up to get him out of his room. #3 comes downstairs and announces to me so proudly, "Mom, I took a nap!" Yeah, right. I tell him that Caillou is on, easily the worst children's show ever created, and he shouts "Yay! Caillou! Caillou!" If Barney was the show to scorn when I was younger, Caillou has certainly eclipsed Barney as most annoying children's show, at least in this home.

2:25 - #1 is home from school and comes in to talk to me. I am interrogating him about his homework (apparently done at school due to a substitute teacher) and while I'm talking he picks up the newspaper that is sitting on a chair. Reading the front page, he points to it and in his best 40-year-old imitation says, "Oh, UVSC is excited to become a university" with the sound of an intellectual discussing the current events of the day. I look up at him and we both crack up.

2:30 - #1 and #2 get into a fight because #2 has called #1 a "fussy pus" which I can't really decide if it's a bad word or not, but when #1 comes into petition me to stop #2 from calling him that, it just reinforces the fakeness of the newspaper reader of 5 minutes ago. He's now joined #3 on the couch to watch Thomas the Tank Engine, which he won't admit to, but it's one of his favorite shows. As big and old as he gets, he's still the 2 year old who loves trains and fire trucks in his heart.

2:30-3 - I call DH on our iChat on the computer. I told him about my appointment this morning, about the interview with on the radio this morning with a semi-famous person he was friends with as a teenager, and we had a nice discussion about faux famous people in Utah. It seems that anyone with any screen time at all is counted as a famous person. I asked DH who he thought the most famous person I had ever met was, and he said "Me" at the same time as #1 chimed in "Dad" from the other room. I lamented that I didn't think this post was going to be as entertaining as the other ones were, and that maybe I was a two-hit-wonder. DH laughed at that so I figured I'd write that down, so that maybe I'd get at least one laugh from this post. I told DH that he must have some work to get back to, and that Judge Judy was about to start so I better go. He wished me luck in law school and hung up. We're a riot sometimes.

3-4:30 - Watch the Judge and People's Court and the beginning of Ellen while I read the newspaper and answer emails and also have an episode of Alias on the laptop. Oh, there is also some child-monitoring but not so much as they are fairly contained by Lego Star Wars. I both love and hate that computer game.

4:30- There's a cookbook out at Harmon's grocery stores that I read a review of in the newspaper today so I want to go over there and pick it up. Which means of course that our store won't have it, but I'll end up buying dinner while I'm there because my head is killing me and I don't want to cook.

5:30-6 - Hey, it's a miracle, they actually had the book, I picked up DH and got home before Boy #2 needed to come home from his friend's house. Dinner is rotisserie chicken and rolls, although #2 ate at his friend's house and #3 found a box of fruit snacks, which he at least ate off of his dinner plate.

6 - 7 - It's DH's turn to do the dishes and the kids need bathing. Bathing isn't usually too hard, #1 is totally self-sufficient, #2 needs coaxing which can be painful, but #3 has gotten a serious aversion to getting his hair washed, so the person who bathes him ends up with some real hearing damage. I've often thought about the people who complain about noise living by an airport, say, or working in a factory or something, claiming that the decibel level is so high that they could be doing actual damage. I think someone ought to do a study on potential on-the-job injuries suffered by stay at home moms. I mean honestly, a two year old in an echo-y bathroom is easily as loud as a Boeing 747 taking off. Maybe we can get some legislation passed, or sue the bathroom makers for not making bathrooms sound-absorbent and therefore are to blame for my hearing loss. That could explain how I slept through #3's nocturnal activities this morning.

So anyhow, DH goes up to get #3 in the tub and while I'm waiting for him to come down and tell me to go and bathe #3 I start the dishes for him. And in a stroke of mutual benevolence, he ends up bathing all the kids and I do all the dishes and wipe down the counter too. We both couldn't have thought the other guy could be nicer.

7 - 8:30 We watch American Idol as a family, mostly. #3 announces at 6:55 that "I'm tired. It's bedtime." I'm skeptical, but I follow him upstairs, he has been known to do this in the past. But today he takes three steps into his room and starts complaining and pointing to the hallway, like I tricked him somehow. So we left and went back downstairs. By 7:30 he was ready for real, #2 needed some real coaxing for his bath, and then he kind of laid on the floor whining that he wanted to do something fun. I ask him if he's hungry and he says yes, so I take him upstairs for a bedtime snack. We do scriptures and only miss one singer on American Idol (not that we rushed for that reason, we rush for many other reasons) and I take #2 up to bed.

8:30- We kick Brad out of the room to go down and read while we watch Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (The short answer for me: yes) It's an interesting concept, the questions actually test real knowledge not just random trivia so I think it's harder than it looks in some ways. The questions deal with such basic stuff that you assume you just know it but then you second guess yourself. Well, I should say, the contestants seem to feel that way. Generally, I know these answers well enough that I don't feel the need to shout them out to prove anything to whoever might be listening. Biggest problem with the show is that it is incredibly slow - they get through about 6 questions in the whole half and hour, with a lot of hemming and hawing on the part of the contestant, although I think they are hamming it up just for the show. Some of the questions:

1. What color do you get if you mix red and yellow?
2. How many sides does a trapezoid have?
3. Who was the first president to be impeached? (the first guy lost on that one)
4. What ship did the Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth in?
5. If a triangle has an area of 16 inches and a base of 8 inches, how tall is the okay I can't remember the whole question, but the answer was 4 and I got it right.
6. What does REM stand for in sleep terms?
7. What star is closest to the earth?
8. How many decades are in two millenia? (the second person left instead of answering that question)

Well, that was basically the two episodes we watched over yesterday and today. It's got to pick up the pace or I just won't be able to hack it. #1 likes this show because he is a 4th grader and wants to see if he knows as much as a 5th grader, but we can just recite the questions back to him at bedtime and save him the 30 minutes of pain listening to Jeff Foxworthy insult (deservingly) these contestants.

9:00 - All the kids are asleep and DH and I are both pretty beat, so neither of us moves off the couch even though the only thing that is on is a rerun of the King of Queens. By 9:30 we flip over to Lost which we haven't watched since the middle of last season when we gave up in disgust, and while I doubt the plot has progressed much in the year since, we don't have the patience to try it. Thank goodness for a show like Heroes in which things actually happen every week! So by 9:38 we head upstairs to read scriptures and are asleep by 10:15 ish.

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