Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't You Have Something Better To Do?

As a means to completely alienate you with the dull that is my life, and because I haven't a damn thing to say, I feel the urge to inflict a blow-by-blow window into my Thursday (yesterday). Blame Dana for planting the seed.

4:something atrocious am- Forgot to pull curtains last night. Didn't close sliding door to balcony. Had a bit of brandy while curled up with Charles last night watching that BBC makeover show with Trinny and Susannah. End result is waking at this hour due to the confluence of dawn streaming through the window, birds behaving loudly, and a full bladder.

4:something marginally later am- Charles is rousted up by the evil dog, who moments before had been licking my toes, to no avail. I chalk one extra point toward my impending sainthood as I did not kick her in the pointy nose but merely moved my tootsies to a spot she couldn't reach. This caused the cat, however, to pounce on them.

4:45 am- Give up the sleep ghost, as the combination of Charles showering in one bathroom and the beloved and stupendously excited son using the other bathroom, each shred the small vestigial tissue of my sleep. Refusing to rise, despite insistent bladder, I grab my book, which I am nearly finished with. (Middlesex, by the way. Excellent book. All should read.)

5:something am- Give up the ghost of reading in bed and empty bladder. Stumble to kitchen. Charles, dressed in sweats and bundling his shirt and tie with him, has already left, to first work out and then boss teachers and students around.

6:20 am- After trying to read the lovely book on the couch with the kids (yes, Sara is up, of course she's up) while they watch TV, I decide the mixture of literature and Dora the Explorer are not a good combination. I send Colin off to dress and slog to the kitchen to contemplate coffee and breakfasts. I am blessed by being saved from certain loud and varied whining by the presence of 2 (not 1) pancakes in the freezer, the last of the batch made last week. No child will be pancakeless this morning.

6:35 am- Breakfasts on table, I log onto internet and read some blogs. I'm not sure if I left any comments. If I did, I hope I didn't sign my name as they were certainly worthy of only an 'anon' tag. It's all rather fuzzy.

7:00 am- Feeling greasy and sweaty as it is warm and humid with the storms coming in, I skootle to the shower, coffee in hand. I muse on the march of middle-age that is my present physical person. The coffee is decaf as I have found caffeinated coffee to make me rather more gassy and bloaty than I would like to be. Bye-bye sweet caffeinated coffee. It was a nice couple of decades we had, while it lasted.

7:25 am- I am dressed and no longer rancid. Son has had all he could take of waiting inside and had decided to pop out to the bus early. See, today is The Big First Grade Field Trip! Today! The 25th! Of May! They get to go to the geology museum, to McD's for lunch and then to a play. What raptures are in store, if only the bus would come!

7:41 am- The bus comes at it's usual time, despite his going out early and willing it otherwise. I am sitting in the study so I can watch and make sure he gets on the bus OK, sipping the decaf latte and eating my ham, bagel, and grapefruit. I muse on how the bagel is not stale, despite being 5 days old and claiming to have no preservatives. Wish I knew the secret. Mine go stale in a day when I make them.

7:42 am- Sticky, sticky, maple-syrupy-and-pancakey Sara is wiped down. She decides she must have a bath. Fine with me. She plays with her bath toys while I flop on my stomach in the hallway by the bathroom door, continuing to try to finish my book. Molly makes this rather more difficult than it should be by alternatively needing to go out and pee or poop or smell the daisies, or by stepping on me when I am prone on the floor of the hallway. Damn dog.

8:15 am- Bath water is cold. Girl must get out. She doesn't want to. (Neither do I, truth be told, as it is a nice excuse to loll, as, well, you must watch the small girl in the bath, right? Don't want her to drown.)

8:45 am- Girl dressed and detangled. Dog chastised for this and that. Books read to girl. Thoughts turn to vacuuming and mopping and other such exotic tasks. Instead, I am ordered by the girl to 'snuggle' and watch a show with her. I am her slave. I drift off to semi-sleep for a long half hour. Sweet, sweet semi-sleep.

9:25 am- Ok. No more stalling. House is filthy. As in smears of mud from tramping feet all over the kitchen floor. As in a pile of dishes needing to go in the dishwasher. As in a mountain of laundry. Spend the next couple of hours vacuuming, mopping, cleaning cat box, doing wash, doing dishes, playing in spurts with the girl, and chastising the dog. Somewhere in there, managed to clean the bathrooms, too. Also a pot of tea was consumed. The good of the shower is long gone. Sweaty and smelly am I. But the house is no longer a superfund site.

noonish- Lunch. Food, food, glorious food. Chicken Caesar salad for me, deconstructed chicken Caesar salad and bread for Sara (salad with chicken on the side). Ice cream sandwiches a deux afterward. And 2 pieces of dark chocolate for me, for it's health benefits, of course.

1:00 pm- Book (Madeline) for Sara, then songs and down for a nap for her. (The heavens open and the angels sing.)

1:45 pm- I skip down to the basement, where the TV and treadmill lurk. Netflix keeps me in shows which I only let myself watch if the treadmill is going. Currently, I'm on the second-to-last disc of the first season of Lost. (Is it as good as everyone says? Oh, yes. Absolutely.)

2:45 pm- Done with the run and halfway through this disc. Resist the temptation to 'just watch a bit more while I stop sweating'. More saint points. Double points, I'm sure.

2:46 pm- Upstairs to drink water and dick around on spider solitaire, cooling off.

3:15 pm- Several games later and no wins, of course, am now chilled in sweat-soaked shirt and shorts, sweat dripping off my weenie ponytail down my neck, I am able to pull myself away from the crack that is spider solitaire. I shower.

3:30 pm- I am overcome by gravity and flop on the bed, legs hanging off the side, leafing through a plant ID book, searching for the name of the little blue wildflowers that grow by the road out front are. No success. Eyes close.

3:40 pm- I realize that if I nap, it would be bad as I neglected to unlock the front door before flopping, so Colin would have to ring the bell, waking Sara. This must NOT happen. Naptime is sacred and NOT to be interrupted unless you want an unreasonable banshee in place of your delightful, sweet daughter. I spring up and head to the study so I can watch Colin get off the bus. Hmmm. Spider is on the computer in the study. A few more games won't hurt.

4:01 pm- Colin leaps off the bus and tears down the driveway. I leap out the front door, intercepting him to hear all about The Day in the great outdoors, where he can shout and exclaim all about the fossils and crystals and the globe that you weren't allowed to touch. Another bonus is that there is no homework today. Who knew the geology museum was so stupendously cool? Promise him that we'll go ourselves in a few weeks. Ever since his class did a unit on rocks, he's been rather rock obsessed. Pretty much every room in the house has a rock or a pile of rocks that he's left after studying them. At least it isn't bug carcasses.

4:20 pm- He asks to go play some games. Sure. I take Molly out and then we are driven back in by more rain. Poor pup. Little outside time. We are in for it tonight as she has not had her proper exercise. Sara is still asleep.

4:40 pm- Book finally finished. It even had a good ending. Contemplate dinner. Realize that I was going to make some bread a few hours ago. Decide to throw the ingredients in the bread machine, anyway, and curl up with cookbooks to decide what to do with the chicken. Decide to pan fry it in olive oil and serve it with a gratin of eggplant and tomatoes with Parmesan.

5:10 pm- Drat. Girl not up. Open her door and put up the anti-dog gate so Molly can't go in and jump on her. Banshees don't like to be woken from a sound sleep by being jumped on by a dog that weighs twice what you do.

5:30 pm- Sara emerges, smiling. We snuggle on the couch some.

6:15 pm- Wrestle the bread dough from the machine, knead it into submission and confine it in a pan. Buttermilk light whole wheat bread. While bread rises, attend to eggplant, which must be broiled, brushed with olive oil for a bit, then tossed with tomatoes and sprinkled with Parmesan and returned to the oven. If all goes right, the bread will be done by the time the veggies are ready.....aaaaannnndddd YES! It all comes together. Cook the chicken while the oven does its work. In the midst of all the cooking flurry, my mother-in-law calls from her doctor's office. Charles was supposed to pick her up on his way home and he hasn't come, yet. As things are in the middle of broiling and I can't leave the kitchen for about 5-10 minutes, we decide that she'll call back if Charles hasn't shown. I'm now a bit concerned as Charles NEVER forgets stuff like this. Thankfully, he pulls into the drive a couple of minutes later and, after slapping his forehead, drives back to get his mother.

6:50 pm- Dinner is on the table. I personally think it's a delish dinner. The kids disagree. Sara eats not a bite except for a bit of the middle out of her bread. Colin does a better job and is nearly done when he gets sent from the table for continuing to use the word 'poop' at the table. (We are working on appropriate meal time conversation and avoiding the word 'poop' unless needed to describe poop.) He makes the supreme error in blowing me a raspberry as he heads to his room. He expresses extreme remorse but Evil, Horrible Mom sends him to put on his pajamas and await the arrival of his father so I can decide the punishment for such disrespect. I try hard not to smile or laugh. Really, I know it's not a severe transgression, but we are trying hard to raise kids who are respectful of others, and that needs to be nipped in the bud. I also know that when I am old and dottery, I'm not going to be put in the nice nursing home, but the stinky one that smells of urine and feces and harsh disinfectants. And canned peas.

7:20 pm- Dinner is over and Charles finally gets in. Poor guy. I sit him down to eat tepid dinner and have a chat with the son, now in bed. He looses electronic game privileges for Friday and all is better, again. He finds his long-lost crystal book in his bookcase, so all-in-all, the day ends well for him. I fold a couple of loads of laundry, chat with Charles, hang with Sara, reading more books, well really one book, over and over. For some reason, we watch a show detailing the lives of the actors of the show Charles in Charge. I don't think either of us have ever seen the show. We don't like the actors very well, and yet, like some accident scene, we couldn't look away, and watched it to the bitter end. Then, to atone for some previous crime to humanity that must lurk in my past, I stayed up and watched the first 1/2 of a show detailing the lives of actors who played nerds and dweebs and such in other sitcoms that, to my knowledge, I'd never watched. Really bad '90s sitcoms. Charles, in his wisdom, decided to bail and go to sleep.

9:30 pm- I finally rouse myself and realize that, instead of loosing IQ points by the minute watching this dreck, I could get up, find a new book, and go to bed. Which I did. The new book is The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins. Written in 1868. There's a diamond. With a curse. And it's stolen.

So. That was my day. Dull, yet nice. Today was supposed to be 'partly cloudy' but so far there's no partly about these clouds. I have a full morning of outside stuff to do, so hope for this to burn off, okay? Time's a-wasting. And for us Yanks, a very happy 3-day Memorial Day weekend. Go grill something good.



Blogger listmaker said...

NOT dull, delightful. Have a good weekend.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

I loves you, I do.

And I'm coming over dinner. Your kids can have cereal with mine ('cause I'm not cooking anymore - One too many "everything is yucky"'s**, from the husband, even, Rat bastard. Let them eat Cheerios! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!) and I'll eat the loveliness that you cook.

** It was NOT yuckiness, it was Damn Good. Sheesh. If they had their way, we'd have nothing but Kraft Mac & Cheese for every meal - except Pockets doesn't like tHAT either.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

A lovely day indeed! E was banished from the table for blowing raspberries AND saying "poop" over and over again last night too! Something in the air... Have a great weekend!

1:07 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Wow. I liked reading about your day and seeing how much you were able to do (and remember!). I hope the weekend is lovely for you!

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Ohhh, man. I loved _Middlesex_. Eugenides is an excellent writer; if you've not read _The Virgin Suicides_, I highly suggest you go out and get it. Or you can wait for me to bring my copy.

Soon, soon we will be only MINUTES away from each other (I will be in Madison all next week). You had better get your axe and pre-selected watery grave site ready!

Sounds like a perfectly nice day. Now that you've mentioned having a treadmill in your home, I have this idea that maybe I could afford a used elliptical machine for our basement. And when I can run again, I will get a treadmill!That would be so much nicer than going to the gym in the mornings...

Also: I share your son's love of geology. It is such a fun subject and rocks are really interesting. I sort of regret not majoring in it at college or something, not that that would have put me on a greater job path than where I am now.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- Hope yours contains at least a bit of fun! Thinking lots of good thoughts for you and all you're facing.

Teri- Loves you back. You've had it, too? We should form a club. Charles doesn't complain, he just eats something else if it doesn't suit him, which is fine with me. It's the whining I object to. Sadly, it's all deserved as I was a whiny, picky little shit, myself. Payback. Hey, here's a thought: Pockets and Colin get hitched. Then we drill any progeny in what to say and what pitch to whine in?

Kate- Excuse me, but I'm laughing over here, not AT you, but WITH you, of course. Did S take notes? My Sara did, oh yes, she certainly did.

Beth- Looking back, it was surprisingly productive, all laid out like that. Had you asked me, I'd have said, "Not much. Some housework."

Ariella- I noticed it was on your sidebar of favorite books. I don't have Virgin Suicides yet but plan to get it at the next Border's hit. You will be here all next week?!? I'm delighted! Minutes away, indeed! And, don't worry, I don't axe at the first meeting. The eliptical sounds like the ticket for your bothersome knee. I am so thankful I can just hop on the treadmill, between the kids and the less-than-optimal WI weather 8 months a year, the treadmill keeps me sweating. Let me know if your plans include a potential get-together.

5:14 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I like rocks. They are pretty.

I was all set to ask you to adopt me for the Chicken Caesar salad and the homemade bread and the eggplant with parmesan and then you mentioned that T word. Blech. Tomatoes are evil, Diana. Evil. How can you not know that?

I am envious of Ariella for being near you for an entire week. That is just wrong (but she should go to Ella's Deli and have a tuna fish and cream cheese bagel for me). And I miss living in Madison. Do I want to move back? Hmm. Would I be able to convince Keem and Beth to move with me? Probably not.

I loved reading about your day. It is not boring at all. So there.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Holy poop, you do more in one day than I do in a week. Seriously, I feel shamed. If I manage to shower by 3pm I feel the day is a success and order take-out to reward myself.

You people with children have super-genes or something. I'm in total awe.

6:13 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Sounds like a lovely day...I too, watch the British What Not to Wear- love Trinny and Susannah, but don't think I would want to be on their show- esp. the poor people who have to be in the mirror in their undies!

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Very entertainingly written.

It's not OK to say "poop" at the table? Whyever not?

I like how you just casually slipped in the info that you make your own bagels. I guess the bread machine makes it a bit easier, but I've always been under the impression that it is a lengthy and drawn-out proposition and that you have to somehow obtain special high-gluten flour, so it's never been something I've even contemplated doing.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

If you'd like to meet for breakfast next Saturday, that could probably be arranged. I know you take your whole family into Madison, so we could meet for just a cup of coffee, too, if you're pressed for time.

By that time we will have closed on our house and will be the proud owners of a new washer/dryer!

Is the farmer's market open this time of year? God I love that place.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana, Dana, Dana- Tomatoes are food of the gods. If I only grew one edible, it'd be tomatoes. It may worry you greatly that they grow near the raspberries.

Leigh-Ann- I think you're selling yourself waaaaaay short. Having read snippets of your day caring for all your tail-kids, you have me beat for busyness by a mile.

Stace- No kidding! I wouldn't even want to see that 360 degree view in the privacy of my own room.

Rozanne- Sure, 'poop' is fine. Even 'Hey mom, lets poop in the poop while we poop!' is fine. But, 15 solid minutes of chatter where every-other-stinking-word is 'poop' (no exaggeration, if you throw in the song he made up to the tune of Jingle Bells) is more than my limit. Had we been having an actual conversation where 'poop' was a necessary part of an exchange of ideas, that would be perfectly acceptable. See, not completely unreasonable.

Oy, making your own bagels is beyond easy. Just make the dough (It's a simple 5-6 ingredient bread dough (Ive always used regular flour. You can buy bags of gluten in the baking aisle if you want to add to your dough for various recipes. I haven't done that for bagels. I should try and see if it makes a difference.) When done via the dough cycle of the machine (or after the last kneed via hand), shape them into bagel shapes (I roll them in a ball and stick my finger in the middle for the hole) and throw them in a pot of boiling water that has a tsp of either sugar or salt in it. Boil about a minute and a half per side and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes (400? 450? I always have to look it up.) All told, start to finish, I can have bagels in 2 hours or a bit less. The fun thing is you get to choose what you want in them, just kneed in the fruit or whatever at the last kneed, before boiling.

Ariella- Saturday morning probably won't work, due to soccer. I'll e-mail you and let's figure something out, shall we?

6:31 AM  
Anonymous christie said...

Sounds like an absolutely lovely day to me...uneventful is so under-appreciated by so many....

My question is what do you drug the girl child with before naps to make her slumber for so long? (err, and can you mail me some for the heathen boy?)

6:27 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Christie- You know, I have no freaking idea why both my kids were such excellent nappers. Maybe it has something to do with them getting up by 5 am each morning? Maybe it is because I am completely desperate for them to nap each day so I can get some things done?

8:36 AM  

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