Friday, July 07, 2006

Day in the Life: July edition

It's Day in the Life time again, courtesy of Paper Napkin.

To review: Robin & Julia are my daughters, José and Yolanda are my in-laws, and Alex is my husband, who has been working in the United States for the past year & a half, and who will be moving home again in about a month.

Thursday, July 6, 2006:

6:20 - Wake up to (my) dogs freaking out when the neighbors leave for work, the same as they do every morning. Dislike dogs. Robin & Julia join me in bed.

6:30 - Get up, open curtains in both bedrooms, turn on radio, make bed.

6:40 - Hold girls' hands, walk down stairs. Open downstairs curtains, open parrot cage, put coffee on.

6:50 - Wash the plates, cups & silverware that are in the sink. Leave pots, pans & storage containers for later. Move clothes from washer to dryer & start dryer. Refill washer.

7:05 - Decide to give girls bread instead of corn flakes for breakfast because they prefer it. Open bread bag to find that pre-mold smell. Slices look fine but probably have that pre-mold taste. Put back in bag and get out other kind of bread. Looks & smells fine. Butter two slices & call girls.

7:15 - Julia doesn't like the bread because it has discernable seeds in it. Offer her a banana.

7:20 - Fix my usual breakfast of granola & banana (out of raisins) with a glass of water.

7:21 - Julia is still hungry but doesn't want the bread. Wash an apple & hand it to her.

7:23 - Eat breakfast. Notice that Julia did actually eat some of the "yucky bread." In fact, she ate the entire crust, leaving the rest intact. Will these children ever like the same thing two days running?

7:30 - Tell girls to get dressed. Pour coffee and bring it upstairs.

7:32 - Dress in gym clothes, put change of clothes in backpack.

7:40 - Brush teeth, put parrot back in cage, stop dryer, find cell phone, wallet & keys, get sneakers on.

7:50 - Tie up dogs, get kids in car, back car out, untie dogs, lock gate.

7:54 - Try to call Yolanda to ask her to wait for me at the corner but the cell phone has no signal.

7:55,7:56,7:57- No signal.

7:58 - Call Yolanda using speaker phone feature of cell phone.

8:00 - Drop girls off at corner, give pre-mold bread to Yolanda for her chickens, head to gym.

8:05 - Arrive at gym but have to wait at corner because driver coming out of the tiny side street is busy gawking at the girls in the tae-bo class, which has already started. Hope he'll be embarassed when he realizes he's blocking traffic. Hope he notices that the person he's blocking is a girl on her way to the tae-bo class.

8:06 - He may or may not have noticed, but when I get to where he was I giggle because I realize he was probably gawking at Carlos, the tae-bo instructor. This is allowed because Carlos is built to be gawked at (you'll recall he's the tall, lithe, muscular black man with shoulder-length braids and a personality that can only be described as flamboyant) and, more to the point, today he is wearing a low cut, skin tight wrestling singlet that I really really thought I'd be able to find a picture of on the Internet but it turns out I can't. Suffice to say, it made me think of Asterix and--more particularly--Obelix, but I soon discovered that was only because of the stripes and the belt.

8:08 - Join tae-bo class.

8:40 - Leave tae-bo class when Carlos switches to floor exercises because there's a muscle in my back that has been bothering me and it hurts when I do those kinds of movements. Do part of my weight routine instead.

9:15 - 10:00 What I really came for: spinning class. Abel is in fine form today, lots of banter makes the class more fun.

10:05 - Call Yolanda's house to see if the girls want to come home with me or stay with her. José says Robin and Yolanda and the new dog left a little while ago to walk down to the butcher shop.

10:06 - Remember that I brought clean clothes and had considered going into town after the gym to look at computer prices, maybe take myself out for lunch. Too late now.

10:10 - Drive by butcher shop, then see them a couple of blocks away. Circle block & wait for them. Robin sees the car first. Yolanda seems confused to see me there.

10:15 - Robin and the dog sit in the car while Yolanda picks up the meat.

10:25 - Drive them home, pick up Julia.

10:40 - Stop at gas station. The dealer logo on the car ahead of mine is from Bill Rowe Nissan, Rocky Mount, NC. Ask for a gallon of gas for the lawn mower (about $4, although I don't know how close it was to an exact gallon, plus $0.30 for the container, which is simply a recycled gallon jug that probably originally had some kind of sauce or food product in it.)

10:50 - Arrive home, leave car outside of gate. Find that Joanna is there, cleaning. She hasn't been coming on a very regular schedule lately, and I hadn't expected her today. Good thing I did some of the dishes this morning - there were an awful lot and I don't consider it part of her job, although she always does whatever's there.

10:55 - Turn on Clifford computer game for Julia.

11:00 - Go over to see about Tina, who usually doesn't move more than ten feet from her doghouse, but who is now in the front corner of the yard. Wonder if she's lost.

11:10 - Cut grass.

12:30 - Talk with Joanna and make a note of her hours before she leaves. Arrange to have her husband house-sit during the quilt retreat later this month.

12:40 - Finish mowing, put away mower, gas and assorted planks and pipes found lying about the yard.

12:45 - Flea-powder Tina and scatter remaining powder in her dog house. Make mental note to buy more powder and do this regularly.

12:55 - Turn Julia's computer game back on - the power went off for a few minutes while I was mowing.

1:00 - Get the cordless phone and my book (To Have & To Hold by Jane Green), run a bath.

1:10 - Julia is hungry: tell her to get a banana & a slice of cheese, and that I'll heat up yesterday's homemade pizza after my bath.

1:30 - Emerge from bath, put two slices of pizza in the microwave. Julia wants to go to the restaurant across the street. Consider the options while she begs.

1:40 - Say yes. Eat my slice of pizza, put Julia's away. Turn off computer. Tie up dogs, drive car into gate, untie dogs.

1:50 - Call Yolanda to say that we'll be out and see if they'd like to come up. Yolanda says there's "something" she needs me to pick up at her house.

1:55 - Get Julia into the car. Re-tie dogs (notice that Tina seems to have found her way back to the dog house), drive car out of gate, untie dogs. Drive to Yolanda's house.

1:57 - Speculate that maybe Alex has come home sooner than expected and is there. Decide probably not.

1:59 - Speculate that maybe we won some money in the big "Christmas in July" lottery that was played on Sunday, and to which I, uncharacteristically, bought a ticket. Decide probably not.

2:01 - Speculate that maybe Yolanda made me a belated birthday cake and/or Robin has talked her into taking her shopping for a present. Figure that's probably it. Please, God, no ceramic figurines.

2:03 - Arrive at Yolanda's house to find store-bought chocolate cake with light & fluffy cocoa frosting. Cut cake, enjoy with José, Yolanda, Robin, Julia & Betty. (No ceramic figurines.)

2:10 - Betty leaves to walk home.

2:12 - Downpour seems imminent, so take the car over to catch up with Betty and drive her the rest of the way home.

2:17 - Return to Yolanda's house - still not raining - Betty probably would have made it. Chat for a few more minutes, decide to try and get home before downpour. Cut piece of cake to leave for Robin & Yolanda, take other half home.

2:20 - Ask who wants to come home: to no one's surprise, Robin wants to stay & Julia wants to come home. Get in car & drive home. Tell Julia we'll go to the restaurant another day because it's about to rain so she wouldn't be able to play on the swings anyway. Julia finds this unacceptable. Remind her that when we go at night or in the rain she doesn't like sitting at a table inside, doesn't like the food and always demands to come home before the others are ready. Julia finds this unacceptable. Decide that Julia's going to have to lump it because I'm really tired from my active morning.

2:30 - Arrive home, lie on bed & read.

2:40 - Julia's mad about the restaurant. Offer to read her a story. She chooses Whiteblack the Penguin. Read story.

2:50 - Go back to my book.

3:00 - Julia wants a bath. Start water running, go back to book.

3:03 - Help Julia into tub, put her hair in ponytail, go back to book.

3:10 - Julia says the water is "vewwy deep now" - turn off water, finish book, watch an episode of Friends.

3:40 - Julia wants to get out of the tub. Get her out, help her find her new pajamas - they're a present from Papi and were just delivered this week, so she's eager to get them on even though it's not bed time yet.

3:50 - Consider checking E-mail or blogs, or starting this post, but don't feel like turning the computer back on. Decide it can stay off today. Watch some more TV, feeling lazy and unproductive, but also tired and virtuous from all the exercise this morning.

5:30 - Julia is hungry again. Get the pizza back out, microwave a piece for each of us. Remember about drinking water and drink a whole bottle. Refill bottle and have some more with the pizza. Share pizza crust with the parrot, who is appreciative.

6:00 - Julia is still hungry but doesn't want more pizza. Offer popcorn while we watch a video. Of course that offer is very well received. Have her finish her dinner, clear plates, wash hands, etc.

6:10 - Feed pets, empty dryer, move clothes from washer to dryer. Take clothes upstairs and put with clean clothes from the rest of the week. Is it really such a pain to put clothes on hangers, that I hardly ever do it?

6:20 - Make popcorn, open a beer, change into sweats, get into bed with Julia.

6:25 - Watch Shrek with Julia. She stays awake almost until the wedding scene, so watch through to the end.

8:15 - Take Julia to her bed, rewind video, get some cookies and switch to Friends DVD.

8:20 - Phone rings - it's Alex. He says he gave notice today and that his immediate superior and some other in-charge guy both took it very well, appreciating the month's lead time and indicating that the door would be open if he wants to come back at some future time. Discuss some E-mails that need to be sent regarding an instrument needing repair and a potential survey client here in Costa Rica. Say good night.

8:35 - Return to Friends.

9:10 - Fall asleep, turn off TV, go back to sleep.


Sheryl July 07, 2006 7:22 PM  

I bet in a lot of ways it's nice to have your in-laws so close by. Are your girls bi-lingual?

Jennifer July 07, 2006 8:44 PM  

Oh, it's great. They're just the right distance away: very very accessible (10 minutes away) but not right in the same house. We have lived together with them at two points in the past and while we don't have any personality clashes, the lifestyles just don't mesh well enough for a long-term thing.

Yes, the girls are bilingual. Robin (7) was born in Costa Rica and lived in the US for 3.5 years (from ages 1.5 to 5). Julia (5) was born in the US and moved here at age 2.5. But the immersion isn't really the thing - the reason they're bilingual is that Alex (a native Spanish speaker) has always spoken Spanish to them and I've always spoken to them in English. We wouldn't have it any other way.

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