Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why do I bother leaving the house?

What have we been up to today, you ask? I wish I had something exciting to share with you, but like most weekends we haven't amounted to much this weekend. Though, truthfully, we amounted to more than we do during a lot of our weekends.

We find it really challenging here finding things to do during the weekend with the kids. We've finally freed ourselves from Brandon's morning nap only to find that he'll fall asleep in the car if we attempt to do anything, therefore screwing the afternoon nap. Kyle and Natalie have entered a particularly amusing phase where they each torment each other incessantly from the safety of their carseats in the third row of the TrailBlazer. This means we can hear them squealing at, screaming at, and taunting each other, but we can't reach them to effectively threaten them. Any time we go somewhere Kyle complains the entire time that he wants to go home, and when we finally leave Natalie throws a fit because she doesn't want to go home. Brandon keeps his opinions to himself, therefore reinforcing his position of Favorite Child.

All of the above doesn't surprise me, and it wouldn't really even daunt me if I hadn't had to spend 20 minutes trying to talk the kids into leaving the house instead of watching Toopy & Binoo, only to give up and let them watch Toopy & Binoo before we could leave the house in the first place. And then we spent 10 minutes bundling everyone up into their winter coats and shoes because 42F might be warm by our recent standards, but when we're standing outside in the wind it feels fairly Arctic.

Add to this the fact that there are very few entertainment options in a city the size of St. John's when it's cold, snow is covering every surface--including sidewalks, and I'm not an 'outdoor person', and you see why it might be easier to just stay home.

I heard a rumor this morning that the pack ice was visible from Signal Hill, so we loaded the kids into the car and drove up there, and the view really was beautiful. (I had to look up 'pack ice' on Wikipedia first, and in case you're as clueless as I was here's what they say about pack ice: Drift ice is ice that floats on the surface of the water in cold regions, as opposed to fast ice, which is attached to a shore. Usually drift ice is carried along by winds and sea currents, hence its name, "drift ice". When the drift ice is driven together into a large single mass, it is called pack ice.) Beautiful enough to even make all the coats and arguing worth the trouble. The sun was shining, the wind wasn't quite gale-force, and the ocean was endless. The amount of ice was impressive. But I'm really looking forward to summer and warmer weather so that when the kids are complaining the cold can't be one more thing they're complaining about and at least the 10 minutes of coat-layering can be removed from our pre-outing ordeal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have trouble thinking of things to blog about on Thursdays. Maybe it's the McDonald's lunch? The quarter pounder and fries that drain my energy? Or perhaps the chaos that ensues every week when it's time to put everyone's shoes and coats on when the kids just want to whine and struggle and disappear into the PlayPlace? Whatever it is, I have generally run out of blogging energy by Thursday of each week.

I'm thinking about stealing an idea from my friend Staci's blog. Every Sunday she does a Silent Sunday blog post with pictures of her family, and I really look forward to her photos every week. I think I'll do mine on Thursday, and I doubt that mine will be silent--since silence is virtually impossible for me--but dedicating one post a week to pictures is a great idea. Everyone needs a pick-me-up on a Thursday, right? I think it would force me to do a better job of capturing fun and random photos of my kids. I realized this week that I hadn't really broken out my camera since we got back from our vacation.


My big boy

Princess Brandon Goofball My beautiful girl

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SIDS prevention

Just a reminder...

Things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS:

1. Place infants to sleep on their backs, even though they may sleep more soundly on their stomachs. Infants who sleep on their stomachs and sides have a much higher rate of SIDS than infants who sleep on their backs.
2. Place infants to sleep in a baby bed with a firm mattress. There should be nothing in the bed but the baby - no covers, no pillows, no bumper pads, no positioning devices and no toys. Soft mattresses and heavy covering are associated with the risk for SIDS.
3. Keep your baby’s crib in the parents’ room until the infant is at least 6 months of age. Studies clearly show that infants are safest when their beds are close to their mothers.
4. Do not place your baby to sleep in an adult bed. Typical adult beds are not safe for babies. Do not fall asleep with your baby on a couch or in a chair.
5. Do not over-clothe the infant while she sleeps. Just use enough clothes to keep the baby warm without having to use cover. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you. Overheating an infant may increase the risk for SIDS.
6. Avoid exposing the infant to tobacco smoke. Don't have your infant in the same house or car with someone who is smoking. The greater the exposure to tobacco smoke, the greater the risk of SIDS.
7. Breast-feed babies whenever possible. Breast milk decreases the occurrence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Studies show that breast-fed babies have a lower SIDS rate than formula-fed babies do.
8. Avoid exposing the infant to people with respiratory infections. Avoid crowds. Carefully clean anything that comes in contact with the baby. Have people wash their hands before holding or playing with your baby. SIDS often occurs in association with relatively minor respiratory (mild cold) and gastrointestinal infections (vomiting and diarrhea).
9. Offer your baby a pacifier. Some studies have shown a lower rate of SIDS among babies who use pacifiers.
10. If your baby has periods of not breathing, going limp or turning blue, tell your pediatrician at once.
11. If your baby stops breathing or gags excessively after spitting up, discuss this with your pediatrician immediately.
12. Thoroughly discuss each of the above points with all caregivers. If you take your baby to daycare or leave him with a sitter, provide a copy of this list to them. Make sure they follow all recommendations.
Provided by the American SIDS Institute,

The American SIDS Institute is sponsoring a national event, Spring for SIDS, to raise awareness of SIDS and to raise funds for SIDS research. If you'd like to learn more, if you'd like to start your own team to help the cause, or if you'd like to make a donation please visit and enter the team name 'First Colony Moms' when asked 'Team or baby's name donation is in honor of.'

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My secret addiction

It's trashy and rude, and I love it! This has to be the best Hollywood gossip site around.

Perez Hilton

I don't care that the sidebar ads are tacky and the layout looks like something a 12-year-old girl would design. If you want to know what's going on with the celebs, you want Perez.

I'm not a celebrity stalker in a way that would ever prompt me to ask for an autograph or hunt someone down on the rumor that they're staying in the same hotel as me, but I am a little fascinated by what the rich and famous are up to and how they live. I guess it's a little bit of escapism on my part, but for the most part, it just makes me grateful that I'm me and not them.

I complain that there are no pictures of me with the kids, but if I'm honest that's entirely because every time Shaun approaches the camera I shout, "Don't take a picture of me! I'm not prepared to be photographed! I'm not wearing any eyeliner! Are you crazy?! Step away from the camera..." That's usually followed by a very confused look from Shaun, then quickly followed by another look from Shaun indicating just which one of us he thinks is crazy.

Can you imagine if you had real photographers permanently camped outside your house? With telephoto lenses?! Scrutinizing how fat you were or if you were sick and dying because you looked tired? No, thank you. I'd have to stop leaving the house covered in snot and drool, I'd have to start showering before I left the house in the morning and forego the 'I haven't washed my hair today' ponytail, and I'd definitely need to go shoe shopping. I'd have an audience for every time I almost busted my you-know-what on the ice in the driveway and for every time I yelled at the kids for opening the garage door without waiting for me ('DO YOU WANT TO GET HIT BY A CAR?!?!').

I couldn't take it, but I sure do love it that there are people in Hollywood that run around without their underwear on and let the paparazzi take pictures because my Web-surfing would be much less interesting without them. And I can always use a little reminder to be grateful for my stay-at-home-mom life--no one is judging my footwear, I'm allowed to carry baby weight for as many years as I like, and the kids love me despite the snot--it's their snot after all. Thanks for the reality check, Perez!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Someone can't take a joke...

I still wouldn't call what we had yesterday a 'storm' since there was very little wind, and visibility seemed to be decent most of the day--I wouldn't really know since we didn't leave the house at all--but we did get about foot of snow! It was snowing when we got up yesterday morning, and it was still snowing when we went to bed last night. There was just a gentle, constant snowfall all day long. I think it ended up being the second greatest amount of snowfall we've had at one time this winter.

We spent the day watching television, playing Wii, reading, and just generally hanging out together. It was a really nice snow day. And it made me very glad that I braved the crowds at the grocery store on Friday night just so that I wouldn't have to leave the house during the day yesterday. Our snow day wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable without food. The kids and I even made cookies in the afternoon, and then I made a big pot of potato soup for dinner.

I'm hoping this was our last legitimate snow day of the season. Now that Sheila's had her way with us I'm ready for Spring! Who knew Sheila couldn't take a joke?!

ETA: Here are a few pictures. Note that this is one storm's worth of accumulation--all the snow from previous storms had melted away before yesterday's snow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sheila's knocking

What's that, Sheila? You heard my request a few days ago? Oh, that. I was just kidding. What's that? You don't do kidding? Oh.

WINTER STORM WARNING: St. John's and vicinity
Issued at 5:15 AM NDT FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2009



Oops. I guess we'll see. Stay tuned for tomorrow's weather report.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is it trash day or not?

What's with the moving-target trash pick-up? Here in St. John's the day of the week that our trash gets picked up slowly migrates from one day of the week to the next all year long. Whenever there's a civic holiday, trash day jumps to the next day of the week until the next civic holiday, when it jumps again. For instance, since New Year's Day trash day has been Wednesday. That's almost three months of Wednesday trash pick-up. When we have another holiday trash day will move to Thursday.

Normally the trash is not my problem. Shaun's in charge of trash collection, so I leave it up to him to determine if trash day is moving or not. However, Shaun's in Halifax on a business trip for a few days, and this morning I had to decide if I needed to collect the trash and put it out on the curb.

I have a number of options when I think it might be trash day: 1) I can pretend I have no idea what day of the week it is and leave the trash for whenever Shaun gets home, 2) I can assume trash day hasn't moved because there isn't a freaking holiday between March 11th and March 18th (St. Patrick's Day is not a real holiday despite all the hangovers that occur) and put the trash out like a good little wife, or 3) I can go to the St. John's city website, search high and low for the garbage collection information, determine if trash day has or hasn't moved, and then put the trash out accordingly.

This morning I opted for Option 2. I knew if I looked up the garbage collection schedule it would confirm what I stated above--there isn't a freaking holiday between March 11th and March 18th--and I'd have to put the trash out anyway. So I ran around the house emptying trash cans, emptying the diaper pail, changing trash bags, and then I rolled our lovely enormous garbage cans out to the curb when I was loading up the kids to take Kyle to school.

But when I drove Kyle to school I noticed something. No one else had their trash out. Hmmm. I thought to myself, 'Wow. I'm the only one in the entire neighbourhood (more Canadian spelling) that remembered today was trash day.' Or was I. So I sat down, scoured the internet for the aforementioned garbage collection schedule, only to find that trash day is now Thursday.

Why? Good question. And here's the answer: There is a holiday between March 11th and March 18th. St. Patrick's Day is a real holiday here. Observed on March 16th. Really? St. Patrick's Day? A civic holiday? Kyle's preschool was still open, and the grocery stores were open, but it's a holiday for government employees and garbage collectors. I had no idea. I guess that's what happen when most of the population is descended from Irish immigrants.

So now I sit at my computer, thinking about how it's 14-degrees Fahrenheit out, and I have to take an extra trip outside to drag those stupid garbage cans back inside. Only to repeat dragging them back out tomorrow morning. I'm going to take this good little wife business and stuff it. Next time I'm going with Option 1. I do kids, not trash.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Ross Castle, Killarney, May 2004
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.

-An Irish blessing

Monday, March 16, 2009

The legend of Sheila's Brush

My informal snow total for the winter is currently at 96 1/2 inches. What's interesting about this is that it's now been 9 days since we've had any measurable accumulation. Even more remarkably, we haven't had more than an inch and a half of snow since February 23rd. It's been warm enough, on and off, that most of the snow piles deposited by the snow plows on the corners of the roads around here have even disappeared.

I have to say that I expected much worse from our first winter in Newfoundland. The locals assure me that winter is generally much more snowy. The temperatures this year have been colder than usual, but the snowfall has been much less than is typical.

Local folklore has it that every year soon after St. Patrick's Day there will be one last fierce snowstorm before Spring will arrive. They call this storm Sheila's Brush. Apparently, the legend says that Sheila was either the wife, mother, or housekeeper of Patrick (before he was a saint, of course), and when he asked her to clean the house she swept with such fury that she stirred up a storm.

I'm curious to see if we'll get a chance to witness Sheila's Brush in the next week since this has been such a mild and strange winter by Newfoundland standards. I know a hundred of inches of snow over the course of winter sounds like a lot, but it's definitely much less than the Newfoundlanders usually see.

I could be inviting trouble or jinxing myself here, but bring it on Sheila. I want to see what you've got. My snowpants haven't gotten nearly enough wear this year, and the kids want one more snow day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Donate to Spring for SIDS

My moms' group in Sugar Land, First Colony Moms, has decided to participate in Spring for SIDS this year in memory of Kristen Clarke Reed, the 4-month-old daughter of one of our members, who passed away on March 6, 2009.

This national event is sponsored by the American SIDS Institute with the purpose of raising awareness of SIDS and raising funds for SIDS research.

If you'd like to learn more, if you'd like to start your own team to help the cause, or if you'd like to make a donation please visit and enter the team name First Colony Moms when asked 'Team or Baby's name donation is in honor of'.

Mommy needs a nap

I think I may have just broken a record. I've been out late two nights in a row. That never happens any more. And, as a result, I've taken a nap at the same time as the kids for two days in a row. And I'm talking about a solid, deep asleep, two-hour nap. It helps that Brandon's teething and super tired and that Shaun's home to pick up my lazy-butt slack.

I've made several friends here, other expat wives with kids, and we get together once a week for a playdate. At this week's playdate we decided we were overdue for a moms' night out, so we remedied that situation on Friday night. First we went to a place called YellowBelly for drinks and dinner--the food was good, and the conversation was great.

Then we moved on to Christian's on George Street where we talked everyone that hadn't already been screeched in into doing it. I've blogged about 'screeching in' before, and if you ever come visit me here in Newfoundland you can expect to be dragged to such an event yourself. Don't worry--once you've had several drinks you'll have a blast, and you won't even care that you can't understand a word the crazy fisherman is saying. *Wink*

After Christian's we moved over to The Well, and we sat around drinking and talking a little more until last call. Then we all hailed a cab home, and I was tucked snug into my bed around the hour of 3 A.M. Shaun didn't even notice when I got home it was so late and he was so dead asleep.

We'd scheduled a babysitter for last night several weeks ago, so Shaun and I decided to head out for dinner and a movie. My goal is to try as many nice restaurants as we can while we're here in St. John's. There are so many good ones that I may be forced to increase 'date night' from one night a month to two nights a month. Last night we went to The Cellar--more great food and great conversation.

Then we decided to head over to the movie theatre (notice the '' spelling rather than ''--I'm trying to be respectful of the Canadian spelling here). There were quite a few movies we hadn't seen since it's rare that we get out of the house without kids, so I chose He's Just Not That Into You. It was fine, but there wasn't much to it, and Shaun and I were both sleepy--another byproduct of sharing our lives with three little people determined to wear us out--but it was nice just to get out the house with my honey for a little date.

I can't believe the weekend is almost over, but I'm so tired that I'm not sure I could handle any more weekend at this point. I'm going to sleep like a log tonight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Offshore tragedy

Friends and I were horrified yesterday morning to hear that a helicopter carrying 18 oil workers had gone down in the sea not far from St. John's. Early information seemed hopeful that survivors would be recovered, and one survivor was, in fact, brought to St. John's soon after yesterday's accident. However, the 24-hour window has now passed, and it's unlikely that any more survivors will be found.

These helicopters are the primary means of transporting workers between St. John's and the oil rigs and platforms not far from here in the North Atlantic. Everyone on board these flights has received serious survival training and is required to wear a survival suit in the event that this kind of accident occurs. Shaun has even had the training, though he's yet to take a trip offshore.

Everyone in Newfoundland will be affected by this tragedy in some way. If you don't work in the oil industry yourself, you at least have a loved one who does. Even I had a few moments of panic yesterday on behalf of a friend whose husband is offshore right now. My thoughts are with all the friends and families of those missing at sea right now and with those who have family members offshore who are trying to get home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A sad week

My heart has been very heavy for the past several days. An acquaintance back in Sugar Land, a fellow mom from my beloved moms' group, lost her 4-month-old baby girl to SIDS on Friday. This mom is now living her worst nightmare, my worst nightmare. The memorial service and wake are being held this afternoon, and the moms are turning out in full force to show their love and support and to fill the grieving family's freezer with enough meals for a month.

I'm heartsick for this mother that will never know her daughter as a little girl or as an adult. I'm anxious for my friends who are pregnant or have newborns and are now dealing with the panic only a worried mother can feel. I'm frustrated that my friends are troubled and I'm not there to help them. I'm grateful for the health of my own children but reminded that we have no choice in this life but to live for today because we don't ever know what tomorrow will bring. And I'm proud to be a part of this community of mothers that will not allow another mother to suffer alone.

I may physically be in Newfoundland, but my heart is in Sugar Land today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Disney debrief

So, we've been home for a week now, and we've all finally readjusted to being back home. I was skeptical going into the trip that the kids would all be entirely too young to appreciate Disney World. I was completely wrong. Yes, Brandon was too young to appreciate it, but Kyle and Natalie had a blast. Kyle loved the roller coasters and the handful of shows we saw. Natalie loved the race cars and looking out for princesses at every turn. I was surprised by how much fun they had and how much they enjoyed themselves.

The last week of February must be ideal for crowd avoidance because we hardly spent any time waiting in lines the whole time we were there.

We also enjoyed a beautiful week weather-wise. It was cool in the mornings--if you think 50- and 60-degree weather is cool. Here in St. John's we'd call that summer. In the afternoons the temperatures were in the mid-70's to mid-80's the entire week. We even made it into the pool at the resort a couple of times.

We spent three of the five days we went to Disney World at the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom definitely had the most to offer small kids. Natalie's pretty small, but even she met the height requirement for the bulk of the rides there. Kyle could ride everything but Space Mountain. The kids also enjoyed the day we spent at Hollywood Studios. There's a really cool Toy Story Mania ride, a cute Playhouse Disney Live! show, and a fun Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground there. We'd go to the parks early in the morning and head back to our resort around 2 in the afternoon. The crowds were definitely thinnest first thing in the morning and would start building up in the early afternoon.

Disney World was exactly as I remembered it from over 20 years ago when I went as a kid, and it's really just as nice and clean as it was then. It's also just as cheesy. I think it's really best enjoyed by young kids now that I've seen it again. I would imagine we'll go again in a few years, but by the time the kids are 10 or so I think they'd be over the whole thing. Shaun and I had a really great time watching the kids enjoy themselves, but there really wasn't a whole lot there for adults.

The very best part of the week was getting to spend time with Shaun's mom, my mom and dad, Shaun's grandparents, and my brother and sister-in-law. I know the kids loved seeing and playing with everyone, and Shaun and I did, too. It had been way too long since we'd seen family--that's what we get for moving away to Canada!

The worst part of the week was, once again, Liberty International Airport. Granted, traveling was so smooth on our way down to Florida that I almost had to pinch myself, but when we flew home last Sunday night we spent the entire time we were in Newark wondering if our flight was going to take off at all. First it was on time, then it was delayed an hour and a half, then it was on time again but at a different gate. Then we got on board and were told two people were going to have to get off the plane to accommodate for the extra fuel we needed to take on since the weather was bad in St. John's and we might get all the way there and not be able to land and have to be diverted. Great. We sat on the runway for an hour and half before we finally took off, and the kids were tired and grumpy.

I didn't care what the weather was like in St. John's--I needed to get out of Newark! Even if it meant landing in the sleet in St. John's. And then having to break through an inch of ice covering the Trailblazer before we could get in it and drive home. Then getting home at midnight and having a battle with Kyle over why he was going to bed and not playing his Wii in the middle of the night. I was so happy to get out of Newark, and I was even happier about getting out of Newark when a huge snowstorm hit New Jersey on Monday morning and I imagined how bad things could've gotten if we'd been stranded there!

It was a great vacation, we all had a ton of fun, and now that the laundry is done, the suitcases are put away, and we've all adjusted to all the time changes, it was totally worth the planning and effort! I might just have enough energy to attempt another vacation in about six months.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The preschool check-up

Here in Newfoundland well-child check-ups only occur, as far as I know, when a child is 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 4 years old. I called in November to make an appointment for Kyle's 4 year check-up, which they refer to as the 'preschool check-up', and they couldn't get him in until this week. That's right--that's a 4-month wait--and it's totally typical because the healthcare system here is entirely overloaded. I won't even tell you what kind of crazy-lady looks I get every time I try to make an appointment for a specific time slot versus whatever appointment time (generally smack-dab in the middle of naptime) they try to assign me.

Check-ups aren't done by a family doctor, they're done by public health nurses. If you have totally healthy children they may never see an actual doctor. Kyle and Natalie have met our family doctor but neither one has ever been to see her for medical reasons. In fact, Natalie hasn't even seen a public health nurse and won't for another year. It seems to me that by not having check-ups between the ages of 18 months and 4 years the healthcare system is missing out on a critical window of opportunity for early intervention if a child happens to have developmental delays.

I figured Kyle's check-up would be the standard height, weight, and immunizations, so I was unprepared for the battery of tests they administered to my son.

"Stack these blocks into a tower. Count out five blocks for me. Can you show me the red block? Do you know what a desk is?" And my personal favorite, "Do you know what a banana is?" To which my smart-ass of a son replied, "Nope. I don't know what a banana is." The nurse asked, "You don't know what a banana is? Do you eat a banana?" Kyle then said, "Nope. I drink my bananas." While this exchange occurred I sat quietly to one side, trying to entertain Brandon, rolling my eyes.

The public health nurse also asked Kyle to stand up and hop over a piece of paper, gave him an vision exam which he passed with flying colors, and then she asked him to stand on one leg (all while wearing his enormous snow boots). Kyle said, "I don't want to stand on one leg! I'll fall over!" Smart kid. This alone tells me he's intelligent--even if he'll swear to a nurse he doesn't know what a banana is.

The nurse also performed a hearing test, and Kyle didn't hear one of the sounds on its lowest setting in his left ear, so the nurse said she'd write up a referral to an audiologist. She then said there'd probably be a wait to get in to see the audiologist, but it wouldn't be too bad, and they'd probably even be able to get him in before he goes to Kindergarten. In September.

I'm really not concerned. I know Kyle's development is totally normal, and I'm fairly certain the child hears every last thing I mutter under my breath. I sometimes wish his hearing wasn't so good. But, really, a wait until September for a hearing test with an audiologist? A four-month wait just for a well-child check-up? I had to wait three months to get in to see a trained OB/Gyn a few months ago. And a friend was going to have to wait a year to get her daughter in to see a pediatric opthalmologist, so she flew to Houston instead.

Free healthcare is great and all, but could it be a little more timely, please? And so far our family doctor has been great, but I'm a little hesitant about this system where doctors and nurses act like they're doing me a favor by seeing me or my kids versus providing a service that I pay for.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What's for dinner?

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm getting a little tired of the typical weekly dinner rotation around here, and I really wish I could complain to the cook, but since I'm the closest thing we have to a cook around here I usually keep the complaints to myself. Shaun's also wise enough to keep all comments to himself. The kids aren't that wise, but since I carried them for a total of 121 weeks and endured a combined 17 hours of labor giving birth to them it's not worth it to me to freeze them with my death-stare. I'm saving that for when they're teenagers and all cuteness has worn off.

Dinner usually consists of spaghetti, tacos, baked chicken, pork chops, or a pizza delivered by my friends at Peter's Pizza. The exact preparation may vary, and side dishes also rotate, but it's all pretty much the same thing. I do, however, have a new favorite recipe website. It's not going to impress the sophisticated chefs out there, but it's just the kind of website I need. I love There's a ton of easy, fast recipes. The recipes are all fairly basic, require few ingredients, and don't take a ton of time--all necessary elements of a recipe when 1) you hate the grocery store and have a barely-stocked pantry, 2) everyone's favorite afternoon game is 'What time do you think Daddy will be home tonight?', 3) dinner must be prepared with at least two of my three children acting as obstacles to approaching and/or opening the refrigerator/oven/sink/dishwasher, and 4) you hate cooking even more than you hate the grocery store.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Remnants of our vacation

I know I still haven't blogged about our trip last week, and my only excuse is that I'm trying to dig my way out from under the mountain of laundry taking over my house. The good news is that I have officially unpacked the suitcases, which is an enormous accomplishment since it would usually take two months before the suitcases would be emptied and shoved back to the bottom of the linen closet. I felt all motivated last night for about 22 minutes, and the result was the suitcase unpacking. This morning I decided it was time to stop ignoring Mount Laundry, so several loads have been washed and dried, and now I'm just hoping I don't run out of steam before some folding occurs.

It's hard to believe that the vacation we'd been looking forward to for six months has been reduced to a pile of dirty clothing and and handful of digital pictures. Oh yeah, and credit card bills.

Stay tuned for my Disney debrief, but for now here are a few pictures from our trip to Florida to tide you over.

Tigger, Shaun, and the kids
Brandon and Pop-pop
Kyle, Grandma, and Natalie
Shaun and Natalie riding Dumbo
Mom-mom and Natalie
Me and my girl
Grandma and Kyle
Natalie meets Sleeping Beauty
Kyle rides Toy Story Mania

Family mini-golf

I hate DST

Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend?! Seriously?! When did Spring get here? And why on Earth didn't someone warn me about this before I went to Florida? So now I have to deal with time changes three weekends in a row?! Argh! I cannot wait until my three little monsters are teenagers and love to sleep in and I don't have to stress out about time changes!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jet lagged

I'm back! Sort of. Today I'm finding myself in that dimension between real life and vacation. You know what I'm talking about. That first day home when you just sit around, looking at the laundry to be done, debating whether or not it's worth it to get the kids out of jammies and into clothes, wondering if you really need to take a shower, relaxed and relieved to be home but overwhelmed by the effort it's going to take to put everything away.

We're also suffering from a little bit of jet lag today. I know an hour and a half isn't much of a time difference to speak of, but it makes a big difference to the kids. Twice a year when we have to 'spring forward' or 'fall back' I want to kill myself, so doing it twice over the course of one week seems like insanity. And, if I'm being totally honest, I'm just as bad as the kids. I don't handle time change well. Ask Shaun. He'll tell you what it was like to travel with me from Houston to Moscow. Shaun travels so well it's almost like time zones don't exist to him, but I'd be comatose for about three days, then grumpy for another two weeks when I had to adjust to the 8-hour time difference. Today's jet lag is mild but persistent, aided by the fact that we got in late last night and spent way too much time in airports yesterday. It's going to take another day or two for all of us to recover.

The good news is that I don't have to see Newark again until August. God willing.