Friday, July 27, 2012

I blame the deck

Today was a one-step forward, two-steps back kind of day. The kind of day that's not actually bad but ends up seeming bad because what is the point of a day that is backwards if you really don't get it back tomorrow?
Just dumb things, like when moving stuff out of Zoe's bedroom so Erik can scrape the ceilings, I realized Zoe's canopy on her bed might be permanently broken, Max peed in the potty but Zoe and I waited for 1, 2, 3, hours for him to pee again (how many books? 4. How many Skittles? 12)  before we went out to get the car washed which took forever and why pay people to wash your car except they did a pretty amazing job even if they forgot to do the floor mats and we waited for another 30 minutes of a day that was already losing ground for those to be washed and we went to Safeway with the aisles full of stacks of Stove-Top and the people also full of Stove-Top, and the kids talked me into a doughnut although they just had a lollipop which Max proceeded to get blue (blue frosting?) all over his face and some on my shirt and the inside of my clean car and on the way home it rained on the clean car and I sliced my finger on the plastic salad box back when I was making lunch and then I when was making a marinade for the dinner I'm taking to Beya's house today because we have nowhere to sit with the deck and the Zoe project (I do think Erik works too much) and squeezed a lemon  for that marinade and now my plastic-made cut is opened in juice. I got almost zero work done today--a little grading of the class but no working on the tenure file and no real writing and I'm pretty sure I have five-million other things I should have done besides watch people wash the car and bribe Max to sit on the potty for 5 of the 8 hours of the day. He still hadn't peed when I put him down for nap. I think I irritated the pee into permanent bladder layer by asking, do you have to pee? Do you have to pee?

This day is the deck project's fault entirely. Three weekend ago, on a lovely Friday afternoon, Erik said, I'm going to do the deck this weekend. Zoe's sent out to work with a screwdriver and some safety goggles to dig the putty out of the screw holes. I'm supposed to unscrew the screws holding the railing to the deck. I unscrewed a total of three because the screws were rusted and stripped out. The fascia board into which the railing was screwed was rotting. Erik was going to fix it. And he is. Still. Right now. As in, he worked all day and then put on his attractive painting outfit and started drilling and sawing and possibly painting. The deck is my favorite place. I made dinner tonight to take somewhere because we have no outdoor seating. I didn't write because I write on the deck (I can write elsewhere. I'm working on writing while standing at the bar in the kitchen. It hurts my wrists unless I wear high heels). But lo that that were the worst, last weekend I spent upside down staining the bottom of the deck with the gray-tinted stain. Why? Why? If there is one thing that seemed backwards it was staining the bottom of a deck no one will ever see. Erik says it will protect it forever I said, we can now never move because no one will ever appreciate my bent-neck work but you and forever. I offered to have an under-the-deck party when I was done but then it rained on the deck and under the deck and through my clean rocks that now have dirt on them, as does my clean car (also it rained on the deck while Erik was sanding and while he was painting and while he was using the chop saw. It's our own kind of rain dance. The deck dance. But with less dance and more splinters.)

So the weekend project has now taken three weekends. Tomorrow we go to Phoenix to complete the backwardness because who goes to Phoenix in July for a Diamondbacks game? I did get dinner reservations at The Arrogant Butcher but if tomorrow is like today I will spend the evening in the bathroom with some Skittles and Where the Wild Things Are, trying to get gray-tinted stain out of my hair because before we leave I promised I would help Erik paint the end also maybe it will rain.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 1

The problem with going a long time without blogging is that I fell compelled to sum up. But summing up is not my strong suit so instead, the details of today.I canceled one of Zoe's camps because I felt like I hadn't seen her at all this summer. Yesterday, as she was reading my YA novel, she put it down and came and sat on the arm of the chair next to me, her long hair tickling my nose, and started reading. I said, Z, I'm writing the same thing you're reading over there. She said, but this is so much more interesting. Stroke by stroke, it's more interesting. 
So without day camp, you think we'd have unfillable hours but instead, every hour is overfull. This morning, after I went running, Max and Z watched Curious George while I graded my Creative Process class (awesome class. Awesome kids for letting me grade.) I made one of my favorite breakfasts of eggs over easy with salsa verde and queso fresco on an English muffin and an avocado spread instead of butter. I'm trying not to eat refined flour but once in awhile, on a day of running, pre-swimming, with Cleo getting up three times in the night to go out, I felt a little processed flour wouldn't kill me. Swim lessons are at 10:15. You would think this would be enough time to get three people in swimming suits but the interruptions of Max, yes, I'll give you some gummy bunnies if you sit on the potty, Zoe's concern about her gummy bunny status, Zoe wondering what book to read to Max as he sits on the potty so I can finish grading,  Cleo's slipping down the stairs which makes her pee on the floor, Max wanting to paint on the potty, me carrying books out of Zoe's room so Erik can scrape her popcorn ceilings next weekend with Zoe screaming mom, he did it, he peed on the potty, to me dropping the books to swing Max around like he won the Olympics, Zoe wanted to watch the actual Olympics while she takes a break from reading The Cat in the Hat to Max so he took himself to the potty,where he peed, mean that an hour is not enough time.
Still, we made it to the lesson. In two weeks, Zoe has gone from dangerous, shoulder-scratching, flailing kind of swimming to a calmer, down the whole Olympic sized pool lane, actual-stroke swimming. Max, who likes to jump into the water but not put his head under the water, simultaneously laughs and cries throughout our parent and tot swim class. The pool is cold and his lips turn purple but he will throw and swim after a ball 75 times as long as he doesn't have to put his head under water, which sometimes he does. I would be happy to stay there for 75 throws but I can't because holding a two and a half year old afloat for a half an hour is its own kind of laughing and crying muscle situation.
Once I'm  out of the house, in the car, running to and fro, I may as well run errands, although this is where the day goes. I was going to make the ground turkey laab for dinner. I needed lemon grass and only New Frontiers sells it. For $1.19 a stalk. $20 of seasonings later, we run to the pediatrician's office to get two copies of Max's immunization records for school. I've registered him for two places this fall. One where he has to be potty-trained and the other where he doesn't. Today is the first day I had high hopes for the first.
Then, I had to run in to Basha's because I forgot the lettuce which would have cost $27 at New Frontiers anyway. Plus, I had promised Max a doughnut for his good potty-work and New Frontiers does not believe in the power of doughnuts.
To lunch with dad! This would have been a good idea had Erik more than twenty minutes to eat. He and his workmate joined us. I had to commend Joe. Going to sushi with a 7 and 2.5 year-old is its own kind of relaxation experience. Max wanted rice soooooo much that he made 72 syllables of the word. Zoe didn't say anything because who was this guy from dad's work and what is a bento box anyway. In the end, Erik and Joe left two-seconds after they ate, Zoe declared that sushi is better at night and Max wanted his 45 syllable doughnut.
We came home. Max peed in the potty again. Zoe said she'd take a nap in Max's room. Zoe came out of Max's room to show me something. I got made because she was keeping Max up so she said OK fine and went back to bed and now I'll never know the secret mystery of 1:19 p.m. on Thursday, July 26th.
I do not think I will make the laab with the lemongrass because the flavoring was too similar to the gyoza in Zoe's bento box which I had to eat one of because even the gyoza weren't as good as usual even though they used plenty of scallions and something lemon-y, similar enough to laab to make me want to make tacos for dinner.
Now I'm typing. This and the other thing and maybe two more things. Then, I'm going to clean out the car, finish cleaning out Zoe's room, help Erik paint the deck some more (a whole deck post forthcoming?) and make dinner of either tacos or laab but I can use ground turkey in either case so it's already like a vacation because I don't have to go to the store again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Instead of eating queso

This summer. Ugh. I will write a post soon about the summer again, following Dr. Crazy's Not Enough Summer Left post. But, in the meantime, I was thinking yesterday, while waiting for Zoe to come back from a wedding in Montana that her parents took her too, that I'm having enough fun no matter what time of year it was. When Zoe got home, she told me how much fun she had had--"It was so beautiful there. We danced." And I thought, hmm. Dancing. Dancing is fun. I should have gone to the wedding, no matter how much it had cost, just to dance. How does one dance when you are no longer 22 and going to Embers and dancing to Bonnie Tyler or invited to the occasional wedding. Singing too. What do I sing now? When?
I did sing some Bonnie Tyler. Or, rather, I spoken-worded some Total Eclipse last May. Sometimes the iPod puts on a singable song but with 1789 songs on there, how is it possible that most of them are not sing or danceable?
Z and Max and I sometimes dance around the living room, in circles around the furniture. If fun is dancing, we'll need good music. I think, for my next summer project, I will make two playlists of the 1789 songs. One for dancing and one for singing. And, by the end of the summer, I will say, that was fun.