Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day in the Life - New, Improved 26 Hour Edition!!

6:00 a.m. - Phone rings. So much for sleeping in a little because the girls are at their grandparents' house. It's Robin, crying, asking me to come pick her up at 7:00 because she doesn't like going to school from Abuela's house. Ask why. Because she doesn't like the lunch Yolanda packs, and she doesn't like having to walk to school. Ask if she's had any breakfast yet. No. Remind her that breakfast usually makes a really big difference in how bad things seem to her. Tell her to go have breakfast.

6:05 - Get up, open curtains, make bed. Go downstairs, uncover parrot cage, open cage, open downstairs curtains.

6:15 - Put water on for coffee. (The coffee maker got fried when the power went out a couple of weeks ago. Since Alex is bringing one when he comes home on Saturday, for now I'm using the traditional Costa Rican system, pictured below. You can get a no-frills setup at the grocery store for about $2. [Found the picture here])

6:20 - Fix granola with bananas. Oh yeah, we're out of milk. Mix up a little powdered milk. Make coffee.

6:30 - Take breakfast upstairs and turn on computer. Eat while checking E-mail, blogs. Track shipment of recent order. Discover and end up spending a long time reading Love, Honor and Dismay and Shakespeare's Sister. Write check to Lisa for slippers she's sending with Alex.

8:00 - Oh yeah. I don't have to take the kids to school this morning and I'm skipping the gym so that I can get some serious straightening up done around the house. This in anticipation of my husband's return on Saturday (he's been working in the United States for a year and a half. There have been visits but now he's coming home to stay.) Get dressed, take dishes downstairs, see a motorcycle pull up outside, but he sticks a bill in the gate and drives off, no need to go out right now.

8:15 - Right. Organizing. Go to kitchen and look at the utility space where I had to uninstall a shelf in order to let the phone company guy get at the wiring to install DSL. Pull some things off the remaining shelf and kind of put them where they go. Find screws and reattach shelf support. Replace shelf. Pull trash can up and start throwing out scraps of wire, cut-off bits of plastic from an old project, 3-inch long pieces of aluminum tubing, etc.

9:00 - Phone rings. Alex needs to make out a bill of sale, will E-mail the information for me to translate.

9:10 - Find a sample bill of sale online, plug in as much as I know about the sale, highlight things he needs to check/fill in, E-mail to him. Get sidetracked by cappuccino drink box, write blog post about it.

9:45 - Organizing. Go back downstairs and look at utility space. Unappealing. Turn to plastic-food-container-storage-space. Attack that. Make stacks of containers without lids, yogurt and ice cream containers to give to kindergarten, burnt-out coffee maker and other items we don't need. Throw stuff away here too. Refill ice cube tray.

10:20 - Check E-mail in case Alex needs more help with bill of sale, maybe check a blog or two.

10:35 - Shovel out foot-deep (well, only in places) piles of stuff that accumulates at end of kitchen counter. Divide into my stuff, girls' stuff, random stuff, trash stuff. Dispose of accordingly.

11:10 - Sit back down at the computer, just for a sec. Realize today is 6th. Decide not to do Day in the Life because it's such a stay-at-home day. Decide to start anyway, in case I change my mind.

11:30 - Hungry. Make Ramen. Eat at computer.

12:00 - Go back downstairs and look at utility area. Unappealing. Return to mess on kitchen counter. Take some stuff upstairs and dump on sewing table - the one place not subject to cleaning by Saturday. Back downstairs. Unload dryer, move day-old clean clothes to dryer, try to reload washer but find insufficient light clothers in hamper. Huh. Caught up on laundry? Well, except for the numerous loads' worth still in my room, waiting to be put away.

12:30 - Back at kitchen counter, find that the folder of Very Important Documents about the car's new engine was not, in fact, at the bottom of any of the piles. Panic gently while checking to be sure, then send some pleas heavenwards and check Alex's desk. This is where the documents should be, but I have no memory of putting them away, so don't particularly expect to find them.

12:32 - Find folder in the "Car" section of the file drawer. Congratulate self. Tidy Alex's desk and remove crap that's not his.

12:40 - Consider making scones but decide not to spend the time on that. Head back upstairs to check E-mail in case Alex needs help with the bill of sale. Find message from local client, reply that he can call Alex at home next week. Add to this post.

1:00 - Go downstairs and look at utility area. Unappealing. Remember that Alex probably won't want the spare bed in his office. Go to move it out and find two kites and a puzzle on the bed. Fold up kites, take puzzle apart.

1:15 - Pull mattress off of bed, drag to playroom. Fold up futon frame, pull out of office, leave in living room. Pull ratty old couch out of playroom and into office (tile floors are nice). Push futon frame into playroom, go fetch empty paint buckets and 3-year-old phone books and place as before under end of futon frame to prevent tipping. Put mattress back on.

2:00 - Reward self with some computer time. Add another couple of items to 100 Things post. Take and edit a photo to accompany it. Putz around online until cell phone alarm says it's time to pick up Julia.

2:40 - Get Robin's play clothes, head out to car. Open gate without tying up dogs, pull out, shut gate. Drive to school.

2:50 - Get to school early, find Robin, give her play clothes to change into when she gets to her friend's house. Wait for friend's mother, make arrangements to pick her up at 7:00 p.m.

3:10 - Julia says she has to bring fruit tomorrow. Go to store and wait two weeks while Julia decides what kind of fruit to bring, suddenly has to pee, returns to fruit contemplation. She settles on carrots (close enough). Buy carrots, potatoes, milk, microwave popcorn, loaf of bread.

3:30 - Return to car in rain, drive home.

3:40 - Make coffee. Julia wants to play on the computer. Tell her she can have a turn when I've finished my coffee. Check E-mail and stuff while drinking coffee.

4:10 - Shut down my stuff, pull up PBS Kids website, give Julia her turn. Get trash can and head for playroom. Get all Barbie stuff into Barbie Stuff Box. All cars into Car Place. All stuffed animals and dolls into Large Box. All books straight and on one shelf. All blocks in Block Place. All dress-up stuff in random box I found. All giant legos in Giant Lego Tub. All crayons, pencils, glue sticks in Crayon Box. Everything else thrown into a couple of the remaining boxes. Doesn't look that different in here.

5:35 - Take down Christmas lights from stairway bannister and hall railing. Yes, Christmas lights. You want to make something of it?? Dump lights on ironing board.

5:50 - Getting late for the homemade french fries I was planning. Plus Robin wouldn't want to miss them. Stare at shelves for a while.

6:00 - Make macaroni and cheese, microwave a hot dog. Call Julia away from computer game, take turn at computer while she eats.

6:30 - Send Julia to get into pajamas.

6:45 - Review directions to Robin's friend's house, drive down to San Rafael. Fail to find friend's house, end up on long rural road with no good place to turn around. Find driveway, turn around.

7:00 - Go back and find friend's house, arriving on time after all. Chat with friend's parents, pet their dog, wait for Robin.

7:10 - Continue chatting with parents, petting dog, keeping overtired Julia unhappily car-bound. Wait for Robin.

7:15 - Go in to find Robin. She's coming. Just looking for her sock.

7:20 - Tell Robin to leave the sock and let's go. Go.

7:25 - Half a mile down the road have a horrible, horrible thought. Wasn't tomorrow the day Julia was supposed to take a paper maché-ed balloon to school to make a mask?

7:26 - Attempts at denial a failure. Tomorrow's the day. Contemplate alternatives to a paper maché-covered balloon. Find none.

7:28 - Go around a couple of blocks to double back to the store that carries glue and balloons.

7:30 - Store is closed. Poor Second Choice store is open across the street and might carry glue.

7:31 - PSC store does have glue, not sure it's the right kind, and balloons, not sure they're the right size. Sigh. Purchase glue and balloons.

7:40 - Stop at little shop near house to inquire about more glue. Just one tiny bottle left. Cashier knows me and has some helpful suggestions. Buy tiny bottle of glue, little box of starch for possible home-brew recipe, ice cream because I think I'm going to need it.

8:00 - Arrive home, carry sleeping Julia to my bed, send Robin to get pajamas on and brush teeth.

8:05 - Feed dogs & cat, start girls' video, sit down at computer to research paper maché technique.

8:09 - Blow up balloon, begin tearing newspaper, mixing glue.

8:20 - Apply first layer of newspaper strips with lots of glue, follow with second layer of dry strips as suggested on one website. This uses up entire supply of glue.

8:50 - Set balloon aside to begin drying, research home brewed glue recipes. Google "quick dry paper mache" and find some options.

9:10 - Cook up batch of flour/water paste, set in cold water bath to cool, get out hair dryer and apply to balloon.

9:35 - First layer seems kind of dryish, paste is cool enough to stick hands in. Apply second layer.

10:00 - Get Kapucci out of fridge, drink while blow drying second layer and reading Boing Boing.

10:30 - Apply third layer.

11:00 - Eat ice cream while blow drying third layer and reading stuff online.

11:20 - Balloon pops from excessive heat. Sigh. Pull out balloon scraps, poke newspaper back into roundish shape, begin blow drying inside, which is not at all dry, rotating constantly to keep it from collapsing too much.

11:40 - Inside is relatively dry. Get new balloon, stick into hole, inflate and tie. Fit is not perfect, but should support the thing. Kind of.

12:00 - Apply fourth layer.

12:30 - Blow dry fourth layer. This thing doesn't look like it's going to be very firm, ever. But it might be usable. Kind of. Good thing kids her age aren't too picky. I hope.

1:00 - Decide that adding additional layers will just trap moisture inside the damn thing and it'll probably be fine. Set on table.

1:15 - Sit down to finish this post.

1:50 a.m. - Post this. Proofread? Not so much.

Edited to add:
2:05 a.m. - Oh yeah. Thanks Sheryl at Paper Napkin for inventing this Day in the Life thing, even though it purt-near kilt me this time around.

Further edited to add:

2:10 a.m. - Hit the pillow.

6:00 a.m. - Pitter patter of little feet.

6:10 - Get up, open curtains, make bed, check balloon. Damp. Very damp. And about as rigid as a brown paper grocery bag.

6:15 - Warn girls that high-order cooperation would be a very good idea, make coffee, fix cereal, pour milk, pass girls the fixins and have them butter their own bread.

6:20 - Settle in to eat breakfast with right hand and blow dry balloon with left. Kids help by getting their own refills.

6:35 - Tell kids to cover ears, pop balloon, begin drinking coffee with right hand and blow drying inside, which is sodden, with left. (Note death grip on coffee mug.)

6:45 - The Idea That Saved The Morning. Prop blowdryer in lid of butter dish. Cut carrots into sticks with both hands, blow dry inside of ballon with no hands.

7:00 - Pack girls' lunches with both hands, BD inside of B w/NH (rotate balloon occasionally and add empty yogurt container to butter dish lid for added leverage.)

7:15 - Get dressed, pack clean clothes for after gym, brush teeth, braid hair...all while blow drying balloon.

7:30 - Blow dryer dies. Yogurt container is half melted. Balloon is dry and firm. Back in running for Mom of Year.

7:45 - Leave house on time, fully dressed, fully prepared, good moods all around. A little tired.

*Note to kindergarten teachers everywhere: Remind the parents. Always remind the parents.


lisa September 07, 2006 8:05 AM  

pssst! The link to Love, Honor & Dismay has your name in it. You need to fix it.

Enjoyed the post. I just did the whole Bill of Sale thing. Found some on the internet and morphed them into one that I liked. Is he selling the car?

Laylabean September 07, 2006 8:19 AM  

Yay - I'm glad you blogged your day this month. Busy you! Will you post pictures of the finished mask?

Jennifer September 07, 2006 10:21 AM  

Well, he is selling the car but the bill of sale was for a survey instrument he's selling to the company he works for.

I did notice the vehicular B's of S when I was looking for a generic one, and will probably get one of those to him today. Although since he's selling it to a guy he sees every day, I think he might be able to just sign it over on the back of the title.

bigger_Daddy September 07, 2006 8:20 PM  

First, I am not Bigger_Daddy, I am borrowing my husband's account so I can post my comment. Because I really wanted to reply... :)

I laughed so hard I cried when I read this. Seriously funny.

Thank you Jennifer, for your comment on my blog. I usually do draft the post (at least for the DITL's), but decided this one time to do it differently. And now I am sorry.

I have bookmarked you, so I will be back, though I may not always comment. TTFN!


juliloquy September 08, 2006 8:46 AM  

The photos are great (as is your chronicle of the day)! Now get yourself some sleep, girl.


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