Monday, August 17, 2009

A Road Trip, RainX, and a Tropical Depression

So massive boredom hit the kids and I on Tuesday and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty around here that morning. What started into simple squabbling between siblings with mom in the middle, quickly turned into all war by lunchtime. No one could agree on anything to do and everyone was screaming mutiny against The Mom for her even giving birth to one or the other siblings.

School is starting soon..... right?

After everyone had basically succumb to tear-filled fits, I finally yelled for everyone to pack an overnight bag cause we were going to Nana's for the night. I had had it and I wanted to leave, but as a mom we can't just "up and leave" our babies. We gotta take the whole entourage with us when we go; stuffed animals, fishing gear, scooters and all. Oh... and the kids too!

Upon my announcement, everyone suddenly acted as if nothing at all had happened all day. I'm a nervous wreck but the kids are suddenly perky little pickles with giant smiles on their faces while they rush around, knocking each other over while laughing, and helping one another pack as they go.

"Where the hell were these kids an hour ago???", I say while banging my head on the bedroom wall.

"MOM! Someone's knocking on the door!", one of them yell as I'm pecking bruises into my brain.

"That's just me knocking some stuff over in the bathroom!", I yell back as I stuff the foo-foo pain meds into my suitcase knowing I've just caused some major damage in the migraine department and I'm gonna need these later in the day. But who cares, cause that's what the freaking pain meds are for; killing anything that remotely feels like a brain cell has gone all mafia on me.

I throw the bags into the back of the van, then throw the kids into the van, and down the road we cruise. I decide to take the scenic route cause after all, it's a stinking road trip right? But along the way, someone forgot to tell the tourist that's school is about to start and they need to GO HOME already! There they all are, clogging up my scenic drive with my kids, that lies between me and my parent's house.

Julian decided it best to hide during this picture for whatever reason.

And YES I took this while driving, cause I'm like talented like that!

Well if you can't beat em or run them off the road, then join them in their last hurrah of the summer. I pull the van over into one of those state park thingies with a beach full of white sand and... tourists. The kids and I take a quick stroll through the water as I threaten them that if they go swimming, we have to go home cause there are no towels to dry them, nor baby powder to help clean off the 10 pounds of sand they will collectively plop in my car if they do.

Back in the car a half hour later, we are five minutes into the drive again when hunger pangs start growling in the car so loud that I'm hoping I still have that spare pair of ear plugs I've been using of late cause old age has caused me to detest water in my ears when I swim and loud funky noises coming from my kids.

"MOM - we're huuuuungry!", one child at a time begins to whine as if I'm only gonna feed one child and ignore the rest, so they all have to say it in succession. Since I'm out for a little diversion from the boring norm we've been having lately, I secretly decide to take them someplace they think that I really don't wanna take them.

It's all about stinking reverse psychology, plus the ability to always keep them guessing that what they want, mom doesn't, but mom really does, so it just totally messes with their heads.

And that's why we became mom's in the first place.... right? No, well then.... never mind.

So I pull into Johnny Rockets because it's retro and like the kids haven't been since they were, like 3! I'm long overdue on this one. Everyone is so ecstatic that their all falling over one another to get out of the van, and I'm sure Nia has been trampled on, but she's like "I'm OK!", and bouncing out of the car sporting one shoe on and one in her mouth.

I'm sure it's the new look for kids for the fall, but hell, fashion has not been on the top of my to-do's list of late since this whole economic meltdown has been in full swing.

I line each child up at the counter, order up, and soon they are stuffing their little mouths with burgers and chocolate shakes like it's the first time that savory and sweet met at the same time on their adolescent palates. God were they happy! I could have gone home at that moment and they wouldn't have cared, but then Nadia mentions pancakes at Nana's and all of them convinced me to head to Williams and Sonoma for a container of the buttermilk pancake mix that sets me back $11. I couldn't manage the $23 bottle of pure maple syrup they tried to sell me cause that portion of my budget went to bail out the fucking banking system that is NOW charging me higher rates for MY money to even be USED in the bank I saved!


Back in the car and on the road again we go. I spent the rest of the trip dodging a major electrical storm. I hate driving in the rain at night, but my trip that should have taken only 1 1/2 hours had me parking my van in my parents driveway 4 1/2 hours after I left my house, leaving me bugged eyed and blurry, but not a drop of rain on my car.

The kids and I kept my parents up till 2 in the morning just talking and playing. I swear my dad looked as if he was going to just pack it in on the front porch and sleep there. Nia was bouncing off the walls until she literally dropped in her tracks and went to sleep. The rest of us cozied up with sleeping bags and pillows and sacked out on the floors and sofabed like we were camping out under the stars together - only with no bugs..... and the electrical thunderstorm thingy.

The next morning was a flurry in the kitchen as Nadia and Julian prepared breakfast of biscuits, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, fresh OJ, and I took over the coffee pot. I had to help in some way. I was feeling pretty good, especially after I had check my emails and found that I had been chosen as Blog of the Day at It was like the road trip - small achievements turning into big things!

By the way, did you see it?

We played in the park for hours, talked, played, ate, strolled, and then..... decided when it was time to go home that we'd bring my mom home with us. Plus I was in a rush to post my newfound blog of the day award for all 3 million+ people on the internet I was hoping would see.

I was hoping to make some sort of funky bumper sticker on my dad's computer to announce to passing cars "Hey - Did you see my FuelMyBlog Award Yet?" But my dad's computer has such an archaic CPU processor in it that loading virtually anything leaves you taking a nap at his desk before it ever appears on the screen.

"Dad, you need to buy a more updated computer. Yours is way too slow for today's internet." I plead with him.

"There's nothing wrong with my computer. There must be a problem with the site your going on.", he snaps back because my father is NEVER wrong.

"I'm sorry, I didn't know Internet Explorer was so bad off these days that it took an hour to download.", I snap back

My father continues trying to convince me that his computer is as good, or better than my iMac while telling me it's the sites problem not his computer, even though his stinking computer is like, over 10 years old!

I guess that same analogy applies to when I was trying to call my parents last week and his phone wasn't working.

"It must be your iPhone cause there certainly isn't anything wrong with my phone.", he told me during one conversation before I arrived on Tuesday. That must be why there was a phone repairman there to fix HIS phone and NOT mine when I finally arrived.

So I wound up taking my mom home, but without my bumper sticker.

On the way back home, I was out maneuvering yet another hellacious storm heading my way. I went South, then West, then South again, then West again. I thought I had missed it when.. BAM - I thought God had suddenly struck me blind, but then I realized it was lightning coming down right on top of us and then every cloud on the face of this earth that contained water was suddenly pouring on my van.

Weeeelllll... that little impromptu shopping trip I had planned back where we ate at Johnny Rockets the previous day, was completely out the window since it is one of those fancy-smancy outdoor market kinda places, and it wasn't happening in this weather today. I wasn't in the mood to be struck by lightning as my son shopped for fishing hooks in Bass Pro Shop today.

So I talked the kids into going to Fresh Market instead. My kids LOVE a good grocery store. My kids LOVE good fresh food with fancy names. My son cried the last time he went in a Fresh Market cause everything looked just so good he wanted to buy it all and I had to break it to him that I didn't win the lottery that week. After plunking down around $70 worth of chi-chi food stuffs I just had to ask:

"Hey, I got a FuelMyBlog Award - do I qualify for a discount today?"

I was met with a long silence and a firm "No. We don't do that here MA'M."

Oh my God - they called me "Ma-M"!

But we managed a decent salmon and some hercot verts, and an awesome deal on organic Pinot Noir. The kids were stuffing salt water taffy into bags because they thought themselves to be savvy shoppers finding it at $1.99 a pound instead of $6.99 a pound the previous day. I indulged, but Nia had a meltdown cause she couldn't get taffy AND a free cookie to stuff in her mouth all at once.

Since it was still raining cats, dogs, and a kitchen sink or two, I promptly drove to the first Starbucks and ordered myself a triple latte to make the last leg of the trip home, and of course, the kids got some more sugar in the form of blueberry streusel muffins so that by the time we got home they could be so wired up that they could finish folding the laundry that I forgot to do before we started this whole road trip thing. Hell, they could clean my bathroom while they were at it cause they were all looking as if someone had surgically increased their eye size by 2 inches or so.

It's kinda creepy when you look in your rearview mirror and see 4 sets of eyes, really BIG eyes staring at you like something from Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

DAH - DAH! DA - DA - DA - DA!

May I say that my mom was just loving this whole road trip back to my house. When we arrived home, my husband had so kindly reheated the pea soup in the crock pot, bought hot dogs, and focaccia. I know, it is an absolutely weird combination - like a Southern redneck Italian craving baseball food??????

It was not gourmet or even something I would order at a baseball game, but it was warm and filling after a long wet trip, very, very good!

Kudos to the hubs for this one!

Next I had important business to do: announce to the internet world that I had been blog of the day even though had just missed the whole day to announce it to everyone. If I could have place a gold frame around my award on my blog, I would have. I announced as simple as it was: "Fuel My Blog Award", and I made sure everyone in the house oohed and aahed over it's bright red and yellow icon staring at them from my computer screen.

THIS should earn me some respect in my house. Yeah Right! Who am I kidding! "Fuel My blog THIS mom!"

So my mom visited and I was blessed with being "forced" to playing Wii bowling, baseball, tennis, golfing, and ping pong, Wii Animal Crossing, several bad rounds of attempting to play music on a electronic piano, rolling in a giant blow-up blueberry-looking ball, baking cookies, attempting new recipes, and yacking till my jaws hurt. There hasn't been one night since Tuesday of last week that I have managed to get to bed before 2 in the morning.

But I did manage a mouthwatering Salad Nicoise (Thank You Ina!), in the process, and Julian and Toni whipped out cookies around 10 p.m., one night!

After making my house a complete wreck, getting absolutely NO work done whatsoever, and the hubs freaking out about all of it; I decide it's time to take my mom back home and basically do the same thing to her house.

It's all about give and take here.

I leave on Sunday morning with my husband screaming at me during my morning shower, "There's a tropical depression headed our way! It's gonna be here in about 4 hours! You gotta get OUT of here NOW!"

Let's get this straight here - a tropical depression is nothing more than a big thunderstorm with a lot of wind. Why people freak out over these things, and the weather channel reports like it's the apocalypse or something, I have no clue. But it IS that time of year that if you live on the coast, you freak out about any storm headed your way whether or not it has a name attached to it or not. I don't go into panic mode unless it hits hurricane status, but the hubs has fallen victim to the tropical "whatever" equals death and destruction syndrome now.

I am physically forced to leave the house within 10 minutes after my shower, wet head and all, in order to miss impending "disaster" headed my way. I run into two minor 15 second showers as I was hauling ass on I-10 as not to meet up with this storm. The husbands whole paranoia thing had rubbed off on me and I was feeling rather stupid about it by the time I reached my parents house.

The girls played while the adults gabbed, and gabbed, and gabbed, and yacked till midnight and we noticed Nia passed out with two huge blue and pink marker stains on the butt of her PJ's. Have no clue - don't really want to know how that happened in the process of her artistry earlier that evening.

No tropical depression ever arrived either.

We headed home this morning after the "onslaught" (ha, ha, ha), of the tropical depression. My dad had convinced me to slather RainX all over my windshields, and I have got to say, that shit is coolest stuff one could ever put on their windshields. On the way home, I hit several downpours this time, but not once did I have to turn the wipers on. That RainX stuff made all the water droplets turn into tiny, tiny beads that went flying off the top of the windshield, leaving me with a virtually water free view in which to drive.

Can you get a ticket for not using your wipers during a rainstorm while depending on a funky chemical by which to see?

I'll have to ask FuelMyBlog about this.

I'm home, I'm unpacked, and everyone is sacked in front of the boob tube watching Happy Feet in various positions of exhaustion. Reality hits as I look at the work piled on my desk and in the laundry room. For the rest of the day, I think I'll help finish off the salt water taffy, eat some leftovers in the fridge, and join the kids on the sofa.

Tomorrow is when reality can start again. I'll make my FuelMyBlog bumper sticker with a normal working computer then.


Grace said...

Yes. RainX is the BEST stuff on earth when you're driving while there's a downpour. Such a plus to have on your windows especially when you've already got to deal with drama (disgruntled kids) within your vehicle.

Tara R. said...

Wow! I'm exhausted just reading this. Quite an adventure.

I was very disappointed in Claudette. What a wimp.

Congrats on the award! That is very cool!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really long exhausting day.