Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Best Advice Ever Given? Well..not exactly. I just liked this book cover.
But after attending my nephew's wedding, and seeing my newly-married cousin over the weekend, I was thinking about advice for the new bride.
So I was reading a few articles recently (I told you I like to read magazines) about “How to Get Your Husband to Do Stuff You Want.” There's a title to grab you, right?
Most of the advice from the magazines seems pretty obvious to me now, but I do remember a time when I thought he should just do what I want because he LOVES me. And wants me to be happy. And can intuit my wants through our magical psychic bond.
Yeah, THAT didn’t last very long….
One of our big fights when we were first married was about how to do the dishes. He thought you needed to wash dishes before you put them in the dishwasher; I thought that it was the POINT of having a dishwasher for IT to do the work. Call me crazy.
And then there was the issue of when exactly is the dishwasher considered FULL? According to me, it was when you couldn't possibly cram one more thing in there, but my husband had other ideas.
But anyways, there was a lot of, “You’re doing the dishes wrong;” “ No, YOU’RE doing the dishes wrong,” for a while. Until we both learned something, that I will illustrate here with a little parable. Wow, it’s almost like Sunday School, isn’t it?
True story: A few years ago my neighbor was going out of town, and at the last minute asked me to have my daughter (who was about nine or ten) come feed her dog while she was gone.
Actually, now that I think about it, she was already GONE, and she had asked me only to have my daughter come feed her fish before she left, but then suddenly it’s: Oh yeah, there’s a dog too. She had not offered to pay my daughter anything for the fish, and she did not offer to pay her for feeding the dog. But I didn’t want the dog to starve to death, so I said okay.
So for about four or five days I had to take my daughter over there, unlock the door, make sure she fed the dog and walked it and make her clean up if it had pooped the house, which it HAD most days. It was annoying, but I did it, as a favor to my neighbor. Also, I paid my daughter myself, to make sure it got done.
Then my neighbor came back in town and called me.
To say, Thanks for feeding my dog; I really appreciate it? Or to say, Let me give your daughter some money for her trouble? Oh nooooooo.
She said the dog had thrown up and she wanted to know WHAT exactly my daughter had fed it.
Uh, the dog food you left? I said.
She said we must have fed it too much, or at the wrong time or something, because now it was sick. She said the food bowl was too full and that if the dog ate too much food it would throw up. So WHY, she demanded, did we feed the dog wrong?
I was actually speechless here, but what I wanted to say was, You’re WELCOME!
I mean, first of all, the dog had not thrown up the whole time she was gone, because we didn’t see any barf; we had only had a few poop accidents. Besides, if the dog has food issues, shouldn’t you have told me that BEFORE? When you asked me to FEED it?!
But mostly I said nothing. And the next time she asked me to feed the dog while she was gone --oh yeah, she DID ask me again!-- I said I was busy. For the rest of my life.
So my point is, When you ask someone to do something for you, DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WAY THEY DO IT! Or they won’t ever want to do things for you again.
And that’s why these days when my husband does the dishes, on rare occasions, I do not say, “Why did you run the dishwasher with three forks and five plates in it?” or “Why are half the dinner dishes still in the sink when you said they were done?” I say, “Thank you,” and leave it at that. (Oh, and complain about it later on my blog, but that’s just a technicality, right?)
And there’s some advice for the new bride. For whatever it’s worth.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sometimes we have a Quote of the Day for our family.
Usually it's when someone says something that sounds completely ridiculous when you put it out of context, such as the things I wrote about before in "Stuff Parents Say." (Remember? "How would YOU like it if your sister put cheese in YOUR phone?" Yeah, I thought you'd recall that...)
Or it's something that just so perfectly typical of the person who says it, like ET's "Go outside and pee on a tree, dumb butt," which I wrote about in "Sibling Love."
But this Sunday we had some competition for Quote of the Day.
The first stand-out quote happened in the morning when we were all getting ready for church. Everyone was downstairs and ET was the last one upstairs getting dressed.
Then she hollered, "Mom! Baby Boy is upstairs and he's EATING my deodorant!"
That's right. He'd knocked down the safety gate, climbed the stairs, and decided to find out if Cocoa Butter Kiss Secret tasted as good as it smelled.
Maybe it did, because he actually took TWO tiny bites...
Then after church we were supposed to go to my sister-in-law's for a Father's Day lunch, but we ran into a little trouble, causing me to speak Notable Quote #2:
"Can we come over a little early? We got kicked out of church."
What had happend was, the lady from the nursery had come to the sanctuary DURING THE OPENING HYMN to tell me Baby Girl had a weird rash and could I come get her because they didn't know if it might be contagious.
Well, I knew it wasn't from eating personal care products, since that was the other one.
Actually, I knew she had a rash, because she has very sensitive skin and often has rashes. And I was pretty sure this one was prickly heat, seeing as it's like NINETY-EIGHT DEGREES OUTSIDE every day right now!
And she's not used to those kinds of temperatures, since she lives in paradise full-time these days...
Anyways, one of my friends who is a nurse actually came out of church with me and looked at it. She said it was most likely heat rash.
But we still had to leave the premesis once I'd removed the twins from the nursery and they'd begun running up and down the church halls, and it was only 11:15 a.m. So I piled all the kids in the car.
Which brings us to the final contender for Quote of the Day (drum roll please)...
"Stop beating your sister with a rubber glove!"
I was getting gas on the way to my sister-in-law's house and the kids were "entertaining themselves" in the car with a box of rubber gloves.
Why would we have a box of rubber gloves in the car, do you ask?
Well...on Saturday we visited my 90-year-old great-aunt at the nursing home. She is the sweetest lady; she always wants to give you something when you visit her. But when you're in a nursing home, there's not that many things you have around to give away. So she gave me a box of rubber gloves.
She tried to give me a box of adult incontinece wipes too --"to wipe the babies' faces," she said-- but I declined. I was a little afraid the Depends Undergarmets weren't far behind...
I tried to decline the rubber gloves too, but once the kids saw them it was all over.
They were blowing the gloves up like balloons, wearing them and making weird noises, making them into bracelets... and, of course, pummeling one another with them.
So that was Sunday morning, before noon...
Don't even get me started on the REST of the day!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I know, I know. You’re thinking, Wait a minute! You LIVE in Hawaii? And you’re going on vacation to the beach in ALABAMA? On the Gulf Coast, where the big OIL SPILL is?!?!
Yep. I guess I MIGHT be a redneck…
So anyways, we went down there because (1) we go every year with the family, and (2) my husband’s nephew was getting married on the beach.
We were really excited about the wedding. I’d never actually attended a beach wedding before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They told us they’d reserved a minister, and planned where it would be and all, but you can’t really reserve a spot, since the beach is public and anyone can walk by.
So when we got there I was a little surprised to see that there were four --count ’em, FOUR-- other weddings going on around the same time.
I feel bad about the guy we met coming in who asked me how long until the wedding started. I told him he had thirty minutes, but I guess he was with another group, since I never saw him again. Whoops!
So there we all were, standing around waiting for our respective weddings to start and pretending we were the only family on the beach.
One group had chairs. They thought they were SO special.
Another couple had no spectators whatsoever; it was just them and the minister, who also appeared to be the photographer. I was wondering if he planned to slap on some Elvis sideburns and be the entertainment too.
Our bride and groom were trying to avoid seeing each other before the ceremony, which isn’t easy on an open beach! I think the groom was relegated to his car while the bride was having her picture made in various locations on the beach. I hope they cracked the window for him…
But once the ceremony started it was really lovely. We all stood by the water as they recited their vows. People hardly noticed the oil tankers in the background.
We actually saw almost no oil the whole week we were there, aside from a few occasional spots on the beach. The exception was in the places oil had collected a little, where they had set up barriers in the ocean to stop it from going into any of the canals.
However, tonight I saw an icky-looking photo on Fox News of Orange Beach, which was the very beach we had the wedding on. It’s just starting to really wash up there as of yesterday.
I appreciate the oil waiting until we were done with our wedding. I’m sure all the brides and grooms did too!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
But it was so VERY difficult I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything about it yet. Check out "The Scream" on the left there. That gives you a little idea of how I felt during the trip.I’ll just show a few little snapshots to give you a picture of how the flight was.
Snapshot #1: Me weeping over the American Airlines website after reading the following error message, “Unable to complete on-line check-in; seats are unassigned and flight is closed. Check in at airline required.”
That’s right, after an hour on the phone Wednesday with Duh Man, the seats had STILL not been assigned. The seat numbers I’d made him read me? Those were for the flight coming BACK next month! Just one more reason that guy will never make Employee of the Month!
Snapshot #2: ET cleaning her face at her seat on the airplane, before the lights went off. She said she’d tried to go wash her face in the bathroom and the flight attendant gave her a hard time for going in there twice.
I said that’s the problem with being a teenager, adults just ASSUME you’re up to no good all the time. (Yeah, I remember what it was like. But I still might offer to switch places and let HER be the mother of five, and I’ll be the misunderstood adolescent!) She was still griping about it the next day, by the way…
Snapshot #3: Halfway through the long long flight from Honolulu to Dallas, in the darkened plane, across the masses of sleeping passengers, a scream rings out: One of my kids is pummeling another one in the head.
Their father started awake and separated them. That was the first of about four seat changes for ET.
Snapshot #4: All seven of us (including the babies) racing through the Dallas airport to make our connecting flight; we had less than twenty minutes and the other gate was as far away as it could be while still being in the same airport.
We were carrying about ten bags and two car seats, in addition to pushing two strollers. Boo kept getting behind and yelling, “Wait up!”
Snapshot #5: Me cleaning out Auntie Anne’s of all their cinnamon pretzel sticks so we could have something for breakfast, then hurrying back to the family with the food and five drinks in my arms. (Me: Do you have a drink carrier? Auntie Anne’s Guy: Uh…no… Me: Can I at least have a bag for the food?)
After we’d arrived at our connecting gate, huffing and puffing, we’d discovered the flight had not even boarded yet, so I’d dashed off to find something for everyone to eat. Of course when I came back they were all getting on the plane and I had to rush, pushing the stroller and balancing cups and bags. As we hurried past, the flight attendant asked, “Are those car seats airline-approved?” My husband said, “They were okay on the last flight!” and we kept going.
But in the end, we finally made it to Birmingham and were reunited with all of our extended family. So it was worth the stress.
But we may wait another two or three years until we try it again.